Saturday Night Live cast members


Saturday Night Live cast members

The following is a list of Saturday Night Live cast members, past and present. The cast members of Saturday Night Live are often referred to as the "Not Ready For Prime Time Players".

A photo of the original cast of SNL. From left to right: Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Chevy Chase

Contents

List of cast members

The following list of cast members includes both featured and repertory players, but omits SNL writers and others who weren't listed as cast members during the show's credits. The dates given are those of the years they were on the show. Also noted on the chart is whether the cast member ever served as an episode's host, appeared as the anchor of the "Weekend Update" segment (under any of its titles), or has been the subject of their own "Best Of" home video collection.

Performer
(†) denotes deceased
Years Active Featured Player ONLY Repertory Player Weekend Update Anchor Hosted Best Of
Fred Armisen 2002 – present Green tickY
Dan Aykroyd 19751979 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Peter Aykroyd 1979 – 1980 Green tickY
Morwenna Banks 1995 Green tickY
Vanessa Bayer 2010 – present Green tickY
Jim Belushi 19831985 Green tickY
John Belushi (†) 19751979 Green tickY Green tickY
Jim Breuer 19951998 Green tickY
Paul Brittain 2010 – present Green tickY
A. Whitney Brown 19851991 Green tickY
Beth Cahill 1991 – 1992 Green tickY
Dana Carvey 19861993 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Chevy Chase 19751976 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Ellen Cleghorne 19911995 Green tickY
George Coe 1975 Green tickY
Billy Crystal 1984 – 1985 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jane Curtin 19751980 Green tickY Green tickY
Joan Cusack 1985 – 1986 Green tickY
Tom Davis 19771980 Green tickY
Denny Dillon 1980 – 1981 Green tickY
Jim Downey 1979 – 1980 Green tickY
Robert Downey, Jr. 1985 – 1986 Green tickY Green tickY
Brian Doyle-Murray 1979 – 1980
1981 – 1982
Green tickY Green tickY
Rachel Dratch 19992006 Green tickY
Robin Duke 19811984 Green tickY
Nora Dunn 19851990 Green tickY
Christine Ebersole 1981 – 1982 Green tickY Green tickY
Dean Edwards 20012003 Green tickY
Abby Elliott 2008 – present Green tickY
Chris Elliott 1994 – 1995 Green tickY
Jimmy Fallon 19982004 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Siobhan Fallon 1991 – 1992 Green tickY
Chris Farley (†) 19901995 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Will Ferrell 19952002 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Tina Fey 20002006 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Will Forte 2002 – 2010 Green tickY
Al Franken 19771980
1985 – 1986
19881995
Green tickY
Janeane Garofalo 1994 – 1995 Green tickY
Ana Gasteyer 19962002 Green tickY
Gilbert Gottfried 1980 – 1981 Green tickY
Mary Gross 19811985 Green tickY Green tickY
Christopher Guest 1984 – 1985 Green tickY Green tickY
Bill Hader 2005 – present Green tickY
Anthony Michael Hall 1985 – 1986 Green tickY
Brad Hall 19821984 Green tickY Green tickY
Rich Hall 1984 – 1985 Green tickY
Darrell Hammond 19952009 Green tickY Green tickY
Phil Hartman (†) 19861994 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jan Hooks 19861991 Green tickY
Yvonne Hudson 1980 – 1981 Green tickY
Melanie Hutsell 19911994 Green tickY
Victoria Jackson 19861992 Green tickY
Chris Kattan 19962003 Green tickY Green tickY
Tim Kazurinsky 19811984 Green tickY
Laura Kightlinger 1994 – 1995 Green tickY
Taran Killam 2010 – present Green tickY
David Koechner 1995 – 1996 Green tickY
Gary Kroeger 19821985 Green tickY
Matthew Laurance 1980 – 1981 Green tickY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus 19821985 Green tickY Green tickY
Jon Lovitz 19851990 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Norm Macdonald 19931998 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Gail Matthius 1980 – 1981 Green tickY Green tickY
Michael McKean 19941995 Green tickY Green tickY
Mark McKinney 19951997 Green tickY
Tim Meadows 19912000 Green tickY Green tickY
Laurie Metcalf 1981 Green tickY
Seth Meyers 2001 – present Green tickY Green tickY
Dennis Miller 19851991 Green tickY Green tickY
Jerry Minor 2000 – 2001 Green tickY
Finesse Mitchell 20032006 Green tickY
Jay Mohr 19931995 Green tickY
Tracy Morgan 19962003 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Garrett Morris 19751980 Green tickY
Bobby Moynihan 2008 – present Green tickY
Eddie Murphy 19801984 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Bill Murray 19771980 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Mike Myers 19891995 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Kevin Nealon 19861995 Green tickY Green tickY
Laraine Newman 19751980 Green tickY
Don Novello 1979 – 1980
1985 – 1986
Green tickY Green tickY
Michael O'Donoghue (†) 1975 Green tickY
Cheri Oteri 19952000 Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Parnell 19982001
20022006
Green tickY
Nasim Pedrad 2009 – present Green tickY
Jay Pharoah 2010 – present Green tickY
Joe Piscopo 19801984 Green tickY Green tickY
Amy Poehler 20012008 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Emily Prager 1981 Green tickY
Randy Quaid 1985 – 1986 Green tickY
Colin Quinn 19952000 Green tickY Green tickY
Gilda Radner (†) 19751980 Green tickY Green tickY
Jeff Richards 20012004 Green tickY
Rob Riggle 2004 – 2005 Green tickY
Ann Risley 1980 – 1981 Green tickY
Chris Rock 19901993 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Charles Rocket (†) 1980 – 1981 Green tickY Green tickY
Tony Rosato 1981 – 1982 Green tickY
Maya Rudolph 20002007 Green tickY
Andy Samberg 2005 – present Green tickY
Adam Sandler 1991 – 1995 Green tickY Green tickY
Horatio Sanz 19982006 Green tickY Green tickY
Tom Schiller 1979 – 1980 Green tickY
Rob Schneider 19901994 Green tickY
Paul Shaffer 1979 – 1980 Green tickY Green tickY
Molly Shannon 19952001 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Harry Shearer 1979 – 1980
1984 – 1985
Green tickY
Martin Short 1984 – 1985 Green tickY Green tickY
Sarah Silverman 1993 – 1994 Green tickY
Jenny Slate 2009 – 2010 Green tickY
Robert Smigel 19911993 Green tickY
David Spade 19901996 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Pamela Stephenson 1984 – 1985 Green tickY
Ben Stiller 1989 Green tickY Green tickY
Jason Sudeikis 2005 – present Green tickY
Julia Sweeney 19901994 Green tickY
Terry Sweeney 1985 – 1986 Green tickY
Kenan Thompson 2003 – present Green tickY
Danitra Vance (†) 1985 – 1986 Green tickY
Dan Vitale 1985 – 1986 Green tickY
Nancy Walls 1995 – 1996 Green tickY
Michaela Watkins 2008 – 2009 Green tickY
Damon Wayans 1985 – 1986 Green tickY Green tickY
Patrick Weathers 1980 – 1981 Green tickY
Kristen Wiig 2005 – present Green tickY
Casey Wilson 20082009 Green tickY
Fred Wolf 19951996 Green tickY
Alan Zweibel 1979 – 1980 Green tickY

Cast timeline

(1975–1980)

  • Repertory cast members

  • Featured cast members

(1980–1985)

  • Repertory cast members

  • Repertory cast members

(1985–1990)

  • Cast members

  • Cast members

(1990–1995)

  • Cast members

  • Cast members

  • Cast members

(1995–2000)

  • Cast members

(2000–2005)

  • Cast members

(2005–2010)

  • Cast members

(2010–2015)

  • Cast members

Family connections

Some cast members are related to former staff of the show. The most prominent example is Jim Belushi, younger brother of cast member John Belushi. Before that, Bill Murray's older brother Brian Doyle-Murray was a writer and cast member. When Dan Aykroyd left the show in 1979, he was replaced by a series of short-lived featured players, one of whom was his brother Peter Aykroyd. 1980 featured player Matthew Laurance was the identical twin brother of 1977-1980 associate director and bit player Mitchell Laurance. Long-time writer and sometime performer Jim Downey is former cast member Robert Downey, Jr.'s uncle. Abby Elliott is the daughter of former cast member Chris Elliott (and granddaughter of Bob Elliott, who appeared on SNL as a guest performer on the 1978 Christmas episode hosted by Elliot Gould).

Other family connections exist that do not share the same name. For instance, cast member Gilda Radner was briefly married to G. E. Smith, who later became the show's bandleader. Michael O'Donoghue was married to SNL band pianist Cheryl Hardwick. Cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall were an item during their tenure, and were married in 1987. Cast member and writer Tina Fey is married to musical director Jeff Richmond.

Longest tenures

The following is a list of the cast members with the longest tenures, who have spent eight seasons or more with the show.

Person Years on Show Notes
Darrell Hammond 14 Hammond was hired after the massive cast overhaul in 1995. He is known for his numerous amount of impressions, which was the key to his longevity on the show. Hammond holds the record for most celebrity impersonations (107, with Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Trump, Chris Matthews from Hardball, most of George W. Bush's Cabinet, particularly Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, and Sean Connery as his most frequent and most popular). He is also the last cast member hired in the 1990s to leave the show (Hammond left at the end of Season 34), the oldest cast member to leave the show (Hammond was 55 when he left the show), and the longest-running cast member at 14 seasons (1995–2009).
Al Franken 11 Franken was hired as a writer in the beginning of the series in 1975. As the show progressed Tom Davis and he were allowed to perform material on air sporadically. Franken left the show in 1980 (he originally was chosen to be the executive producer of season six, but was turned down after Franken performed his piece, "A Limo for the Lame-O," which criticized NBC's executive producer at the time Fred Silverman), but returned to the show when Lorne Michaels came back in 1985, where Franken regained his writing and on air featured status until the 20th season.
Seth Meyers 11 Meyers joined the show in 2001 and is currently the head writer and anchor of Weekend Update. He has been confirmed to be returning for season 37, which would be his eleventh season on the show. Is the only SNL cast member to have a family member on a rival show (Seth's brother, Josh, was a MADtv cast member from 2002 to 2004).
Tim Meadows 10 Meadows joined the show in early 1991 and was almost fired during the cast overhaul after season 20 (he was kept in the cast at the last minute in an attempt to add racial diversity to the new cast and to give Meadows the chance to perform that he didn't get during his first five years on the show). Meadows is the longest-serving black cast member (he left the show at the end of the 25th season).
Fred Armisen 10 Armisen joined the show in 2002 and is currently still in the cast. He has been confirmed to be returning for season 37, which would be his tenth season on the show. Armisen is now the show's longest-running Hispanic cast member (beating out the Chilean-born Horatio Sanz), as well as the longest-running Asian castmember (Armisen is half-Japanese), the only current cast member born before 1970 (Armisen was born in 1966), and the oldest current cast member at age 44).
Kevin Nealon 9 Nealon joined the show in 1986. He served as anchor of Weekend Update for his sixth, seventh and eighth seasons, even though he gave up his position as anchor he returned his ninth season. Nealon did not return to the show after 1995.
Kenan Thompson 9 Thompson joined the show in 2003 and is currently still in the cast. He has been confirmed to be returning for season 37, which would be his ninth season on the show. Is currently the second longest-running black male cast member (behind Tim Meadows), the only longest-running cast member who was born after SNL premiered in 1975, the first cast member who was born after SNL's 1975 premiere to join the show's cast, and the first SNL cast member who got his start on children's shows.
Will Forte 8 Forte joined the show, like Armisen, in 2002. He left the series after the release of MacGruber in 2010.
Phil Hartman 8 Hartman, like Nealon, joined the show in 1986. He left in 1994 and hosted the show twice in 1996. He was later killed by his wife four years after leaving the show.
Chris Parnell 8 Parnell was hired in 1998 and was fired in 2001 to make way for new talent. About a year later, Parnell was rehired and remained on the show until he was let go for the second time in 2006 due to budget cuts.
Amy Poehler 8 Like Meyers, Poehler joined the show in 2001. She served as co-anchor of Weekend Update with Tina Fey from 2004–2006 and with Meyers from 2006 - 2008. She left the series in 2008 to begin production on Parks and Recreation.
Maya Rudolph 8 Rudolph joined the show in early 2000. She was absent for most of the thirty-first season, because of the birth of her child. She did not return to the show in 2008 after the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike ended.
Horatio Sanz 8 Like Parnell, Sanz joined the show in 1998 and was let go due to budget cuts in 2006. He served as co-anchor of Weekend Update in the thirty-first season with Poehler for a few episodes, after Fey gave birth to her first child.

Shortest tenures

The following is a list of the cast members who have had the shortest tenures on the show. [1]

Person Number of Episodes Notes
Emily Prager 0 Prager was hired by Dick Ebersol to be a featured player on the show. She appeared in a few sketches at dress rehearsal in what would be the final episode of the sixth season, due to the Writers' Guild of America going on strike in 1981. She did not return to the SNL cast in season seven, and is the only SNL cast member who never appeared on the show, despite being credited.
Laurie Metcalf 1 Like Prager, Metcalf was hired as part of Dick Ebersol's temporary season six cast following the termination of Jean Doumanian. Unlike Prager, Metcalf appeared on-camera in a Weekend Update piece. When the show was put on hiatus for retooling, Metcalf was not chosen to return to the show for the season seven cast.
Dan Vitale 3 Was hired as an on-and-off featured player for the 11th season, he was only credited with appearing in three episodes throughout the season.
Morwenna Banks 4 Was hired as a repertory player for the last four episodes of the 20th season, but was let out of her contract as part of a major cast overhaul Lorne Michaels had planned for season 21.
Ben Stiller 4 Before becoming a cast member, Stiller submitted a short film -- a parody of the movie The Color of Money -- that was shown on the season 12 episode hosted by Charlton Heston. Stiller was hired during SNL's fourteenth season, but quit after four episodes due to creative differences. Despite this, Stiller returned to host in 1998 and 2011.
Tom Schiller 7 Schiller was one of the show writers who was upgraded to cast member status during the 5th season. He left the show at the end of the season.
Patrick Weathers 7 Weathers was hired as a featured cast member for the sixth season, but was fired along with many of Doumanian's cast.
George Coe 8 Coe was one of the original "Not Ready for Primetime" cast in SNL's 1st season, because NBC wanted someone older in the cast. He continued to make several uncredited appearances throughout the first season.
Yvonne Hudson 8 Hudson was a recurring extra during SNL's fifth season, and became the first black female cast member in season six. Like many of Doumanian's cast, she was fired mid-season.
Jim Downey 9 Downey was hired as one of many writers-turned-feature players in SNL's fifth season. Even though he left the cast after season 5, Downey returned to the show as a writer in the mid-1980s and has remained with it.
Matthew Laurance 10 Laurance was hired as a feature player during the 6th season, and, like many of the cast, was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Alan Zweibel 11 Zweibel was a writer for the show before joing the cast during season 5, and left after the season finale.
Gilbert Gottfried 12 Gottfried joined the cast for the sixth season and was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Michael O'Donoghue 12 O'Donoghue was one of the original "Not Ready for Primetime Players," but was dropped after a few episodes. He remained with the show as a writer and occasional on-screen performer.
Ann Risley 12 Risley joined the cast for the sixth season and was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Charles Rocket 12 Rocket joined the cast for the sixth season and was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Damon Wayans 12 Wayans was hired the 11th season as a featured player. He was fired mid season for improvising on the air, Wayans returned as a guest to perform stand-up comedy on season 11's last episode and hosted SNL in 1994.
Beth Cahill 13 Cahill joined the show during the 17th season as an off-and-on featured player. She did not return the following season.
Denny Dillon 13 Dillon joined the cast for the sixth season and was let go after the final episode of the season as part of the cast overhaul.
Gail Matthius 13 Matthius joined the cast for the sixth season and was let go after the season ended.
Paul Shaffer 13 Shaffer joined the cast during the fifth season after being a part of the show's house band; he left after the season's end. He hosted SNL in 1987, making him the only member of the house band to do so.
Janeane Garofalo 14 Garofalo joined the cast during the 20th season, but quit mid-season.
Michaela Watkins 15 Watkins joined the show on the first episode after the 2008 United States presidential election, then was let go before the start of the 35th season.

Youngest cast members

The following is a list of the youngest people to join the show

Person Age When Joined Show Tenure
Anthony Michael Hall 17 years old 1985–1986
Eddie Murphy 19 years old 1980–1984
Robert Downey, Jr. 20 years old 1985–1986
Abby Elliott 21 years, 5 months 2008–present
Julia Louis-Dreyfus 21 years, 8 months 1982–1985
Sarah Silverman 22 years, 9 months 1993–1994
Jay Pharoah 22 years, 11 months 2010–present
  • Kenan Thompson is the first cast member to be born after the show's premiere in 1975. [2]

Oldest cast members

The following is a list of the oldest people to join the show.

Person Age When Joined Show Tenure
Michael McKean 46 years old 1994–1995
George Coe 46 years old 1975–1976
Darrell Hammond 39 years old 1995–2009
Garrett Morris 38 years, 8 month 1975–1980
Phil Hartman 38 years, 1 month 1986–1994
Michaela Watkins 36 years, 11 months 2008–2009
Christopher Guest 36 years, 8 months 1984–1985
Billy Crystal 36 years, 7 months 1984–1985
Colin Quinn 36 years, 4 months 1995–2000
  • Hammond was the oldest person to be a cast member, he was 53 years old during his final season on the show.

President of the United States impression

Impersonating the President of the United States is considered "about as high of an honor that can be bestowed upon a cast member."[3] The following is a list of people who have impersonated the president.

President Performer (Years)
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
President Performer (Years)
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Saturday Night Live Curse

Although SNL is well-known as the launchpad for many successful careers, seven cast and active crew members have died prematurely. This has given rise to a superstition known as the "Saturday Night Live Curse".[4][5][6]

Two cast members have died of a drug overdose at the age of 33, in parallel situations. John Belushi and Chris Farley overdosed from a "speedball," an injection of cocaine and heroin. Belushi's death led to the conviction of Cathy Smith for administering the fatal injection. Nearly four years before Belushi's death, SNL aired a short sketch titled Don't Look Back In Anger featuring an elderly Belushi as the last living of the "not ready for prime time" cast members. Farley's death occurred nearly two months after he came back to host SNL, which turned out to be his final television appearance.

Yep, they all thought I'd be the first to go. I was one of those live-fast, die-young, leave-a-good-looking-corpse types, you know?
—John Belushi

Original cast member Gilda Radner died on May 20, 1989 from ovarian cancer. She was originally scheduled to host the thirteenth season finale, a first for a former female cast member, but the show was canceled due to a Writer's Guild of America strike. Her health worsened the following year. Shortly before the fourteenth season finale, news came of Radner's death, and Steve Martin delivered his visibly shaken monologue, followed by the sketch called "Dancing in the Dark" that he and Radner performed on an episode he hosted in 1978, and a musical tribute to Radner performed by her former husband G. E. Smith and the SNL Band.

Repertory player Danitra Vance died on August 21, 1994 from breast cancer.

Original cast member Michael O'Donoghue died on November 8, 1994 of a cerebral hemorrhage after suffering from severe chronic migraine headaches. Bill Murray honored O'Donoghue's memory in an appearance on the twentieth season episode (hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker with musical guest R.E.M.) by replaying O'Donoghue's sketch, "Mr. Mike's Least Loved Bedtime Stories: The Soiled Kimono" from December 1977.

Long-time performer Phil Hartman was killed on May 28, 1998 by his wife while he slept in his Encino, California home. Before committing the act, Brynn consumed a combination of cocaine, alcohol, and the antidepressant drug Zoloft, and later shot herself.

Doumanian-era performer Charles Rocket was found dead on October 7, 2005 in his Canterbury, Connecticut backyard. Local police declared his death a suicide; he had allegedly taken his own life by cutting his neck with a box-cutter.

Survivor

Julia Sweeney was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the mid-1990s, but has survived and transformed her experiences into a one-woman show, God Said, Ha!, developed at LA's alternative comedy show, "Un-Cabaret". Miramax released the film version of the show in 1998, produced by Quentin Tarantino. The film version of the play earned the Golden Space Needle Award, while Sweeney's recording earned her a Grammy nomination for best comedy album. It was released on DVD in 2003.

See also

  • List of Saturday Night Live cast members who have hosted

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saturday Night Live cast — The following is a list of Saturday Night Live cast members, past and present. The cast members of Saturday Night Live are often referred to as the Not Ready For Prime Time Players . Writers All cast members on Saturday Night Live are expected to …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live — For the competing sketch comedy on ABC, see Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell. SNL redirects here. For other uses, see SNL (disambiguation). Saturday Night Live The Saturday Night Live inter title season 37 Also known as …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (season 23) — Saturday Night Live Season 23 The Saturday Night Live title card as seen in the opening credits of the 23rd season. Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live TV show sketches — Saturday Night Live has long mocked the television medium with many fake commercials and parodies of TV shows themselves. Another of the show s frequently used styles of recurring sketches has been the talk show format (eg. The Brian Fellowes… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (Season 1) — Saturday Night Live aired its first season during the 1975 76 television season on NBC. At the time, NBC aired reruns of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on Saturday night, but Johnny Carson wanted to have new programming on, in order to save… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (Season 2) — Saturday Night Live aired its second season during the 1976 1977 television season on NBC. This season saw the first of what would be many times that SNL has had a change in casting. Chevy Chase, who was pursuing a girl (and a movie career) in… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (Season 33) — Saturday Night Live aired its thirty third season, during the 2007 2008 television season on NBC. No new cast members were added to the show at the beginning of the season, and the entire cast from returned for Season 33. The 33rd season started… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (Season 6) — Saturday Night Live aired its sixth season during the 1980 1981 television season on NBC. This season became notorious as it was considered by many to be one of the worst seasons ever. Lorne Michaels, executive producer, had left after the… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (Season 20) — Saturday Night Live aired its twentieth season during the 1994 1995 television season on NBC. Much like seasons six and eleven, this season was lambasted by critics for its decline in quality. However, unlike seasons six and eleven, which were… …   Wikipedia

  • Saturday Night Live (Season 8) — Saturday Night Live aired its eighth season during the 1982 1983 season on NBC. This was the third season to air since Lorne Michaels had left his first tenure as executive producer. There were minor casting changes done. Christine Ebersole, Tony …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.