Pop Culture

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.

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Seth Rogen will host "Saturday Night Live" for the third time this week.

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.