Justin Timberlake has been a busy man recently with his marriage to Jessica Biel, the release of his first album in nearly seven years, and his purchase of a minority stake in the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. You can add Saturday Night Live host to this list too, as Timberlake will host SNL for the fifth time. He becomes the 13th member of the “Five-Timers Club”, a prestigious club for people who have been host/musical guest on SNL at least five times.
More importantly, he is just the second person to host SNL as an active owner or part owner of a professional sports franchise. The late George Steinbrenner was the first owner to host SNL way back in 1990.
It has been just under 23 years since the last sports franchise owner has hosted SNL. Hopefully, it will not be 20 plus years before another one gets a chance to shine live from New York on a Saturday night.
Here is a list of owners (full, majority, or part) that should get the opportunity to host SNL.
In the realm of professional sports, few owners have the personality and charisma that Cuban has. He has an opinion on everything, is an investor on the hit ABC television show Shark Tank, and his actions have resulted in him being one of the most fined owners in the NBA. Cuban has amassed well over a million dollars in fines since he became the owner of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 (at least he matches each fine with a donation to charity). Cuban’s willingness to make a spectacle of himself is not a good thing for a franchise, but it is a great characteristic for a host of Saturday Night Live. As far as owners go, Cuban has the type of personality that SNL looks for in a host.
While there are questions about how much of the Brooklyn Nets he really owns, it is a surprise that the other owner in the “Suit and Tie Classic”, Jay-Z, has yet to host SNL. Now in the defense of Saturday Night Live, Jay-Z has been a musical guest and has some cameo appearances. Yet, he has never hosted the late night sketch comedy show. Jay-Z has some serious star power, and will certainly attract viewers, so the bigwigs at SNL need to make this happen quickly. He is going on tour with Timberlake on July 17, and hopefully Timberlake will be able to convince him to find some time to host SNL.
Seeing Jerry Jones on SNL would be funnier than watching the Dallas Cowboys choke away another game. The larger than life owner is one of the best candidates (as far as owners go) to host SNL because of his country twang and I am the boss mentality. Jones’ micromanaging approach to running the Cowboys has garnered him his fair share of criticism, but that does not stop him from calling the shots. He routinely writes checks with his mouth that the Cowboys cannot cash (the only checks of his that cannot be cashed), and as a result he has become an almost comical figure in the world of sports. Who knows, he might get on the set of SNL and start trying to run the show like he does in Dallas, bringing in Tony Romo from the audience to fumble lines like he fumbled this snap.
There are owners, then there are icons, and Ryan is a baseball icon who happens to also own the Texas Rangers. Ryan is a first ballot Baseball Hall of Famer, has owned the Rangers since 2010, holds the MLB record for most no hitters, and holds the record for most strike outs. Saturday Night Live loves getting icons from the realm of music and acting to host the show, and in the realm of sports there are few owners as iconic as Ryan.
One of the best drivers in NASCAR happens to be an owner as well, and judging from some of his commercials, Tony Stewart would be a great host for SNL. He is one of the funnier members of the NASCAR community, which is something Saturday Night Live should love. Stewart also has a little bit of an inappropriateness to him (just watch him grab the butt of Kevin Harvick’s Wife), which should be great for ratings.
CJ Hurt covers the NBA for MemphiSport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from games.