All ‘Saturday Night Live’ hosts who have also performed as the musical guest

Image via SNL

Lizzo recently became the 36th person to host Saturday Night Live and also perform as the musical guest in the same episode. Here’s a look back at all of the hosts who have pulled double duty as musical performers in the show’s near half-century history.

Paul Simon

Simon was a longtime friend of SNL creator Lorne Michaels and even made a cameo appearance on the very first episode. He’s hosted the show, but technically has shared both hosting and musical guest duties in the same show four times.

Desi Arnaz

One doesn’t really associate the ’50s TV antics of I Love Lucy’s Desi Arnaz when thinking about the raucous and often bawdy antics of ’70s-era SNL, but Arnaz did indeed pull a hosting gig in February of 1976. As the musical guest, Arnaz sang his signature tunes “Babalu” and “Cuban Pete” alongside his son, actor and singer Desi Arnaz Jr.

Ray Charles

Charles provided an abundance of riches during his host/guest stint in 1977. He sang eight entire songs as opposed to the standard two. The appearance seems to have put him in good stead with performers John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd — they invited Charles to be in their SNL spin-off film, The Blues Brothers.

Frank Zappa

Although Zappa is one of the few people to hold the dual honor of hosting and performing his music on SNL, there’s little wonder that he was never asked back. The counter-culture icon phoned in his performances in the episode’s skit, causing Don “Father Guido Sarducci” Novello to dub him the show’s worst host ever in ​​Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live.

Debby Harry

Harry’s band Blondie appeared as the show’s musical guest in a 1979 episode, but Harry herself got to fly solo in the show’s sixth season — unfortunately one of the poorly received Dick Ebersol-run seasons — as both host and musician, performing the DEVO track “Come Back Jonee” and the Teddy Pendergrass hit “Love TKO.”

Olivia Newton-John

Although Newton-John had followed her smash success in Grease with the commercial bomb of Xanadu, she was riding high on the music charts again with the success of her studio album Physical by the time she got a host/guest spot on SNL in 1982.

Lily Tomlin

In a wildly problematic performance that wouldn’t even make it onto paper today, Tomlin mixed her hosting duties with two musical appearances as Pervis Hawkins, a Black R&B singer modeled along the lines of Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye — and yes, that means blackface was used. Even if it was done in 1975, it’s still pretty cringey.

Stevie Wonder

Wonder’s 1983 host/guest episode was marked by an appearance alongside the show’s breakout star, Eddie Murphy. One of Murphy’s signature impersonations during his tenure on the show was Wonder and the two appeared side by side, with Murphy appearing in character as Wonder, to sing a duet of Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour.”

Willie Nelson

Although Willie had partied with SNL cast members since the ’70s, it wasn’t until 1987 that he got a chance to play and host the show.

Dolly Parton

Just prior to appearing in Steel Magnolias, country legend and secular saint Parton stopped by to host and sing a few songs, performing “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That” and “White Limozeen.”


Occasional actor Sting showed off his performance skills as both a thespian and musician in his 1991 appearance on the show. Sting performed “All This Time,” “Mad About You,” and, for whatever reason, a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s signature tune, “Purple Haze.”

MC Hammer

Hammer, the first hip hop artist to share tad team host/guest duties on SNL, was at the height of his fame during his appearance, performing not only his hit “Too Legit To Quit” but also his “Addams Groove” the soundtrack rap from The Addams Family movie with Christina Ricci and Jimmy Workman, introducing the performance as their characters from the film.

Garth Brooks

Brooks has actually doubled down on the host/guest spot, although maybe only technically as his second time around as musician was as his “Alt-Rock” alter ego Chris Gaines, which was actually a real thing the country music giant did at one point.

Britney Spears

Spears held her own in her sketch performances in her May 2000 episode, so much so that she was asked back to “do it again” in 2002. The show featured a performance of “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” and “Boys.”

Jennifer Lopez

In 2001, Lopez became the first Latinx person to both host and perform as a musical guest. J-Lo performed a portion of her monologue wearing the iconic green silk Versace dress she had worn to a jaw-dropping response at the 42nd Grammy Awards ceremony the previous year. She would repeat the two-fer gig in 2010.

Justin Timberlake

Timberlake has fit in with the SNL players over the years in a way that only a handful of performers, such as Paul Simon or Steve Martin, have, making him practically an ancillary cast member. He’s a member of the “five-timers” club of celebs that have hosted the show five times or more and for three of those appearances, he also performed as the musical guest.

Janet Jackson

Jackson appeared as host and musical guest in 2004, 10 years after her original appearance as the musical act in 1994. Jackson appeared in a sketch parodying the ’70s sitcom “Good Times,” acting in her original role as Penny alongside Tracy Morgan.

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah brought her considerable acting chops and her musical skills to SNL on October 9, 2004 during the show’s 30th season to promote her sadly ill-fated movie Taxi, which co-starred SNL alum Jimmy Fallon. Thankfully, she also featured performances from her album of jazz and soul standards, The Dana Owens Album, which fared much better commercially and critically.


Ludacris, who had already shown off his acting chops in the Fast and the Furious franchise, showed he also had some comedy talents when he appeared as host and musical guest in November of 2006. He performed “Money Maker” and was joined later by Mary J. Blige for their song “Runaway Love.”

Taylor Swift

Swift performed “You Belong With Me” and “Untouchable” during her 2009 SNL appearance, but also used her host monologue to perform another musical addressing her dating past and her recent interruption by Kanye during the Grammys ceremony.

Elton John

Surprisingly, John did not appear on the show during their mutual period of rising stardom in the ’70s, only appearing as a musical guest in 1982. It would be 29 more years until he returned to both host and perform. John would perform both “Hey Ahab” and “Monkey Suit” alongside legendary musician Leon Russell and returned to the stage for an encore of “The Bitch is Back.”

Mick Jagger

Jagger had appeared on the show as a performer with The Rolling Stones, but for his solo appearance he still ended up bringing some heavy artillery as back up, including The Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire. Jagger performed Stones hits with both bands and dedicated a one-two punch of “She’s Like a Rainbow” and “Ruby Tuesday” to departing cast member Kristen Wiig.

Bruno Mars

Mars followed Swift’s cue and featured a mostly musical monologue performance. He performed “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Young Girls” later in the show.

Justin Bieber

Bieber appeared shortly on the heels of his acoustic album, Believe Acoustic. He performed acoustic versions of “As Long As You Love Me” and “Nothing Like Us.”

Miley Cyrus

Miley’s first appearance came right after her controversial “twerking” incident at the 2013 VMAs, which she mined as a source of comedy, poking fun at people’s reactions to the event (in an admittedly tone deaf way). Cyrus would return for the season premiere two years later to host and to perform ​​”Karen Don’t Be Sad” and “The Twinkle Song.”

Lady Gaga

Unfortunately, Gaga’s double host/guest gig in 2013 was marred by her own choice of musical guest. The star brought up R. Kelly to perform their duet, “Do What U Want.” Gaga, who has returned as musical guest since then, has since apologized for working with Kelly.


Drake has pulled double duties twice, once in 2014 and once in 2016. In all, he has performed “Started from the Bottom,” “Trophies,” “One Dance,” and “Hype.” The sketch “Drake’s Beef,” making fun of the rapper’s feud with Meek Mill, was an audience favorite.

Blake Shelton

Shelton recreated the feel of classic corn-fed variety hour Hee-Haw in his monologue and joked a bit about his recent stint as People’s “Sexiest Man Alive.” He performed “Boys Round Here” and “Neon Light” on the show.

Ariana Grande

Grande spent the monologue reminiscing and poking fun of her shared Nickelodeon kid days with fellow Nick alum Kenan Thompson and showed off her impressive impressions both as an actor and a singer. She also scored, albeit for a short while, a relationship with Pete Davidson.

Donald Glover

Donald Glover affected a bit of a dual personality for his host/guest stint, referring to his musical performance only in terms of it being by Childish Gambino even though the world at large is well aware that the two are the same person. His Gambino alter ego performed “This is America” and “Saturday.”


Four-time musical guest Halsey found herself hosting as well on February 12, 2019.

Chance the Rapper

Chance’s appearance as host and guest was almost overshadowed by a special appearance from Aquaman actor Jason Momoa, but his performances helped make him just as memorable, especially when he brought on his own guest star, Megan Thee Stallion, to perform “Handsome” with him.

Harry Styles

Styles is fast proving to be another favorite of the show, having performed five separate times both as a solo artist and a member of One Direction. The singer is already gaining recognition for his acting skills, and his hosting gig proved that he has what it takes to handle sketch comedy as well. The singer’s signature song “Watermelon Sugar” was announced by actor Jon Hamm.

Nick Jonas

Styles’ fellow former boy bander Nick Jonas is the only Jonas brother to host SNL so far. His older brother Kevin did sneak into the mix, though, to introduce Nick’s performance of “This is Heaven.” The younger Jonas also performed “Spaceman.”

Billie Eilish

Eilish poked fun at her own often criticized style of dressing during her monologue. The singer had some strong performances in her sketches as well, even managing to crack up SNL regular Kate McKinnon during their “Hotel Ad” sketch.


The last and latest host and musical guest is the inimitable Lizzo, although reviews for the show were — as they have often been for the last few seasons ⏤ mixed. Lizzo’s monologue and performances were perfect examples of the performer’s spectacular positivity and charisma. This might only be the first time we’ve seen her fulfill both roles, but it hopefully won’t be the last.

About the author

Beau Paul

Beau Paul

Beau Paul is a staff writer at We Got This Covered. Beau also wrote narrative and dialog for the gaming industry for several years before becoming an entertainment journalist.