Three's a magic number for Seth Rogen as 'SNL' host

Seth Rogen is bringing the funny — and hopefully, the Muppets — back to "Saturday Night Live."

Rogen returns to host "SNL" for a third time Saturday, almost five years to the day since his last gig on April 4, 2009.

But that wasn't the last time we saw the "Neighbors" star on the Studio 8H stage: In September 2011, he and Steve Martin hijacked Alec Baldwin's record-setting 16th "SNL" monologue. (Martin, who had hosted "SNL" 15 times since 1976, accused the "30 Rock" actor of using "performance-enhancing drugs" to break his record and enlisted Rogen, an "expert on drug use," to administer a urine test.)

It's surprising Rogen hasn't taken the hosting reins more often. Unlike many other nervous guests, he seems genuinely comfortable before a live audience and his comedic timing syncs perfectly with the "SNL" regulars.

In his first appearance, October 6, 2007 — on the heels of his films "Knocked Up" and "Superbad" — Rogen read the monologue he supposedly wrote at age 13 in the hopes that he would one day land the hosting job. Bill Hader — his "Superbad" cop partner — joined him on stage in the guise of Steven Segal.

Two years later, while promoting "Observe and Report," Rogen showed off a svelte physique, joking that he'd "lost about 1 million pounds" since he was last on "SNL." In that episode, he played the straight man in one of Andy Samberg's Lonely Island digital shorts, "Like a Boss."

Muppet fingers crossed that Rogen will resurrect his Rowlf impression for a third time Saturday: both of his previous "SNL" featured a Muppets sketch in which he dressed up as the floppy-eared brown dog.

Rogen will be joined Saturday by another famously mellow redhead: British pop star Ed Sheeran, who's making his "SNL" musical guest debut.

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