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Who Is the Youngest SNL Host Ever? Look Back at Drew Barrymore's 1982 Episode

Barrymore hosted SNL as a child, fresh off her star-making turn in E.T.—watch moments from the Five Timers Club member's historic episode.

By Samantha Vincenty

Actress, talk show host, director, and producer Drew Barrymore is Hollywood royalty, with a show business pedigree rooted in the beginning of the U.S. entertainment industry. Her ancestors with the surnames Drew and Barrymore starred in radio shows, plays, and motion pictures dating back to the silent film era. Her grandfather, John Barrymore, was one of the first true movie stars, and Sophia Loren is one of her godmothers. And Barrymore became a movie star herself as a small child, when she charmed audiences as Elliott's adorable sister Gertie in Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. 

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

Like many actors who've risen to fame in a breakthrough film role, Barrymore's winning turn in E.T. landed her a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live in 1982. Unlike nearly every other Host before or since, Barrymore was just seven years old at the time. 

Here's a look back at Drew Barrymore's first time hosting SNL, and her many returns to the show over the years.  

RELATED: Every Star in SNL's Five Timers Club, in Order

A nun (Mary Gross) speaks to Drew Barrymore on Saturday Night Live on November 20, 1982.

Who was the youngest person to Host SNL? 

Drew Barrymore. 

Barrymore was famously seven years old when she first stepped onto the Studio 8H stage, making her debut on November 20, 1982. English rock band Squeeze was the musical guest

Her hosting gig came during a five-year period when Lorne Michaels, the creator of Saturday Night Live who remains Executive Producer today, stepped away to pursue other projects from 1980-1985. The show was run by executive Dick Ebersol at the time.

Season 8 cast members included Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Joe Piscopo, all of which shared the screen with Barrymore during her cold open—in which she adorably counted to three before saying, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday night!" 

For her monologue, a pigtailed Barrymore was escorted onstage by cast member Tim Kazurinsky to answer audience questions. Oh, and she met a chimpanzee.

Barrymore recently reflected on that night on her talk show during a February 13 interview with Lisa Frankenstein director Zelda Williams. While Williams didn't grow up on camera like Barrymore, the late Robin Williams is her father, and Barrymore shared her childhood memory of meeting the comedian. 

"I got the privilege of meeting him for the first time when I was seven in 1982," Barrymore told Williams. "Steven Spielberg brought him to Saturday Night Live that I was hosting."

"At seven!" Williams marveled. 

"You—wait, what?!" Lisa Frankenstein star Kathryn Newton gasped. 

"Still the youngest Host," Barrymore said, with a triumphant fist pump. "I wasn't nervous until your dad came, and then I got nervous," she admitted to Williams. Why? Because "he's so wonderful and he's put so much beauty into this world and he means so much to people."

Drew Barrymore is a member of the SNL Five Timers Club

Will Forte as E.T and Drew Barrymore during the monologue on Saturday Night Live.

Barrymore returned to host five more times: March 20, 1999; October 13, 2001; February 14, 2004; February 3, 2007; and October 10, 2009. She's made cameos several times as well—most recently in 2018.

And, of course, her distinctive delivery has been impersonated by several people on the show, including Season 49 cast member Chloe Fineman. 

How can I watch Drew Barrymore's 1982 SNL episode? 

All 49 seasons of Saturday Night Live are available to stream on Peacock anytime.