Athletes shine on the field. That is their stage. They come to work prepared, willing and ready for a game. So what happens when they are taken out of their comfort zone and must perform all the same on a real stage – the stage of Saturday Night Live.
Many have attempted, and many have failed. But there are those few that have shined just as brightly beside Chris Farley as they do on the field. Here is a look at some of the best — and worst — athletes who have hosted Saturday Night Live:
George Steinbrenner – Oct. 20, 1990
Not one to toot his own horn — yeah right. Steinbrenner was in rare form as he belabors the point that he was not famous for his accomplishments but rather for being a beloved figure from other walks of life.
OK, George, we get it. You’re rich. But the mogul still does an impressive professional job as SNL host. The millionaire could hold his own against the like of Jim Belushi and Dana Carvey.
Michael Jordan – Sept. 28, 1991
Jordan isn’t just any profession athlete. S of course, he was part of no ordinary SNL skit. In one of the most popular SNL skits to date, “Bill Swerski’s Superfans,” Jordan delivers a great performance thanks to Chris Farley and Co. His SNL debut was no Space Jam, but Jordan can do no wrong.
Tom Brady – April 16, 2004
Brady’s willingness to shed his clothes in the name of comedy proves his appearance as host of SNL was a success. His humor just makes his fans love him more and his rivals that much more jealous.
Peyton Manning – March 24, 2007
I have to say Manning’s appearance on SNL was by far the best performance by an athlete on the show. Who knew the humble goody-good could be so mean to kids and downright funny? Always with a knack of sense of humor, Peyton took on Saturday Night Live like a regular primetime Monday Night Football game — with confidence and left everything on the … stage.
Michael Phelps – Sept. 13, 2008
Phelps may hold 15 Olympic Gold medals, but he also holds 15 different facial expressions – at least he did during this skit. It was not the most thrilling of SNL skits; the swimmer was just a fish out of water here, literally.