3. Will Ferrell
It’s hard to imagine Will Ferrell landing anyone other than number one on a Saturday Night Live list. This is especially true when it comes to hosting as Ferrell typically delivers a season’s highest rated episode when he returns.
But Ferrell’s return to Saturday Night Live was only the second biggest homecoming of season 45. And unfair or not, he is competing against himself these days. You can’t compare Will Ferrell to anyone except for Will Ferrell. There is a baseline expectation of greatness that Ferrell operates from whenever he is on the show. He picked up from that point when he hosted on Nov. 23.
As host of the Thanksgiving episode, Ferrell made sure SNL went out on a high note before its holiday break. The monologue was a viral hit thanks to an assist from Ryan Reynolds. The “First Thanksgiving” sketch pushed the envelope like few sketches in recent history have, and “Ventriloquist” was vintage Ferrell.
The episode also featured a boatload of cameos beyond Reynolds including Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Fred Armisen, Larry David, Rachel Dratch, Woody Harrelson, and Maya Rudolph. Ferrell’s episode was once again an event and gave Saturday Night Live its first truly talked-about episode of season 45.