From Ryan Gosling to Emma Stone, at Least 17 ‘Saturday Night Live’ Hosts Submit for Guest Acting Emmy for Season 49 (EXCLUSIVE)

As the Television Academy continues to review submissions, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” will see at least 17 of its 20 guest hosts of Season 49 listed on the Emmy ballot in the guest acting race, the highest number of the past five seasons.

The most recent season of the iconic sketch comedy show, which heads into its 50th year, featured an impressive lineup of emcees. Those confirmed to be submitted include comedians Nate Bargatze, Shane Gillis and Ramy Youssef; former “SNL” cast members Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph; and Hollywood A-listers Timothée Chalamet, Emma Stone, Adam Driver, Jacob Elordi, Ayo Edebiri, Sydney Sweeney, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Momoa.

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Musical stars Bad Bunny and Dua Lipa, along with actor Dakota Johnson, have not yet been confirmed to be submitted for consideration.

Multiple sources and representatives confirmed to Variety exclusively that all submissions were made by the network or talent representatives, with adjustments still possible before voting opens on June 13. It is unclear which stars were submitted by the network and which directly by their reps. NBC declined to comment.

This season had a rocky start, premiering in October amid the Hollywood strikes, but ended strong with multiple viral videos and memorable moments. Ratings-wise, the top five most-watched episodes (in terms of NBC live viewing) this season were Bargatze (4.85 mil.), Davidson (4.78 mil.), Lipa (4.73 mil.), Gosling (4.7 mil.) and Josh Brolin (4.64 mil.). Surprisingly, this season’s least-watched episode was hosted by “Dune Part Two” star Timothée Chalamet.

Based on Emmy history, “SNL” has always been strategic about not submitting too many hosts, fearing that would result in vote-splitting among the contenders.

Last five years of “Saturday Night Live” host submissions:

  • Season 48 (19 hosts, including one pairing, 15 submitted):

    • Submitted: Austin Butler, Dave Chappelle, Brendan Gleeson, Michael B. Jordan, Travis Kelce, Pedro Pascal, Miles Teller, Quinta Brunson, Jenna Ortega, Keke Palmer, Aubrey Plaza, Amy Schumer, Molly Shannon and Megan Thee Stallion.

    • Not Submitted: Ana de Armas, Jack Harlow and Woody Harrelson

  • Season 47 (21 hosts, nine submitted)

    • Submitted: Jerrod Carmichael, Kieran Culkin, Will Forte, John Mulaney, Jason Sudeikis, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Hader, Tracy Morgan, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy

    • Not Submitted: Ariana DeBose, Billie Eilish, Oscar Isaac, Kim Kardashian, Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simu Liu, Rami Malek, Owen Wilson, Jonathan Majors, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Kravitz and Natasha Lyonne

  • Season 46 (20 hosts, nine submitted)

    • Submitted: Dave Chappelle, Daniel Kaluuya, Dan Levy, John Mulaney, Rege-Jean Page, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Anya Taylor-Joy and Kristen Wiig

    • Not Submitted: Adele, Jason Bateman, Bill Burr, Timothée Chalamet, Nick Jonas, Keegan-Michael Key, Regina King, John Krasinski, Carey Mulligan, Elon Musk and Issa Rae

  • Season 45 (17 hosts, eight submitted, including three non-hosts)

    • Submitted: Eddie Murphy, Larry David, Maya Rudolph (both David and Rudolph didn’t host; David played Bernie Sanders and Rudolph played Kamala Harris in the Eddie Murphy hosting episode), Adam Driver, Will Ferrell, John Mulaney, Brad Pitt (didn’t host, played Dr. Anthony Fauci in “SNL At Home #2”), RuPaul, Harry Styles, Scarlett Johansson, Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    • Not Submitted: Woody Harrelson, David Harbour, Chance the Rapper, Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lopez, J.J. Watt, Daniel Craig, Tom Hanks, Kristen Wiig

  • Season 44 (21 hosts, 14 submitted, including two non-hosts)

    • Submitted: Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Idris Elba, Seth Meyers, Jason Momoa, John Mulaney, Paul Rudd, Adam Sandler, Sandra Oh, Emma Thompson, Awkwafina, Rachel Brosnahan, Halsey and non-hosts Robert DeNiro and Ben Stiller (who played Robert Mueller and Michael Cohen throughout the season)

    • Not Submitted: Jonah Hill, Liev Schreiber, Steve Carell, James McAvoy, Kit Harington, Claire Foy and Emma Stone

The development makes the guest acting races even more competitive. Gosling’s viral “Beavis & Butt-Head” sketch with Mikey Day and character-breaker Heidi Gardner makes him one of the top contenders to receive his first nom. He’ll face difficult competition from FX’s dramedy series “The Bear,” which features Jon Bernthal, Bob Odenkirk, and former “SNL” writer John Mulaney.

Shane Gillis SNL Trump
Shane Gillis SNL Trump

Many hosts are looking for more than one nom outside the category, notably Stone (lead drama actress contender for “The Curse”) and Youssef (for directing an episode of “The Bear” and his HBO stand-up special “More Feelings”). Even Gillis, hired and then fired by “SNL” in 2019 for past remarks (which he addressed in his opening monologue), will have double bids with his new Netflix comedy “Tires,” angling for lead comedy actor attention.

The competition in the guest actress category is fierce. Jamie Lee Curtis and Sarah Paulson are early favorites for “The Bear,” with multiple members from HBO/Max’s “Hacks” — Kaitlin Olson and J. Smith Cameron — who could be dark horses. Despite a robust list of names, this season’s female “SNL” hosts are in a stronger overall position than their male counterparts.

Rudolph, who won back-to-back trophies in 2020 and 2021, is currently the third most-nominated person in the category’s history with six nominations, behind Cloris Leachman’s eight and Tina Fey’s nine. In addition to her work in the second season of Apple’s comedy “Loot,” she could be on her way to multiple mentions, along with Wiig, starring in Apple’s “Palm Royale.” But Wiig has never won despite her nine Emmy nods.

All 12 regular cast members — Michael Che, Mikey Day, Andrew Dismukes, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, James Austin Johnson, Punkie Johnson, Colin Jost, Ego Nwodim, Sarah Sherman, Kenan Thompson, and Bowen Yang — and five featured players — Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow, Chloe Troast, and Devon Walker — are expected to be listed on the ballots for the two supporting comedy acting categories. Before 2009, cast members competed in the now-defunct outstanding performance in a variety or music program category, which rewarded Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner and Dana Carvey. In the supporting comedy categories, only Kate McKinnon, with back-to-back victories in 2016-17, and Alec Baldwin in 2017 (for playing Donald Trump) have won.

Since guest hosts were allowed to submit in the guest acting races in 2009, “SNL” has been a dominating force, only missing out on an Emmy five times, including the past two years. Previous guest acting winners include Eddie Murphy, Betty White, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish, along with two-time winners Rudolph, Tina Fey, Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, and Dave Chappelle. Recently, with a surge of content, and critical hits like “Hacks” and “Only Murders in the Building,” the show has had fewer mentions, with only three hosts nominated in both categories in the last two years.

The news comes as the chances of “SNL” receiving an outstanding scripted variety program nod, which it has done in multiple iterations and names of the category since 2008, are beginning to narrow.

In December 2022, the Television Academy renamed and redefined scripted variety, leading to fewer submissions, with Variety tracking only five submissions. Per Emmy rules, when categories have fewer than seven entries, the submissions will be screened by the appropriate peer group for a nomination; any entry that receives nine-tenths approval receives a nomination. If none reach the benchmark, the series with the highest approval is awarded the Emmy. This would likely result in “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which has won every year since 2016, again winning the prize.

NBC’s long-running sketch series currently holds several Emmy records, including the most wins for a television program (92) and most nominations for a television program (306).

The eligibility deadline for all series concluding their runs is May 31. The nominations voting round is open from June 13-24.

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