Saturday Night Live cast


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 write as well as perform. Those who do not write tend to receive fewer parts and less camera time.

Three groups serve as “farm clubs” for the cast and writing staff: The improvisational comedy troupes The Groundlings and The Second City, and the publication "Harvard Lampoon". Recently the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre has become a noted "club" as well.

Each of the three brings a different perspective: [http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031103fa_fact]
*performers from the Groundlings often end up creating the vivid recurring characters which are one hallmark of the show;
*writer-performers from Second City are known for “aesthetic perfectionism”; they tinker obsessively with the wording and inflections of a punch line or the behavioral details of a character;
*writers from the "Lampoon" emphasize the conceptual premise of a sketch, taking a boyhood fantasy to an extreme, for example.

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 the dates of the season in which they first appeared as a player and the season when they left. For example, Bill Murray first appeared on the show in 1977. However, the season began in 1976. Therefore, the date given on the listing will specify 1976. If a d appears next to a cast member that means they are deceased.

Cast members who have left a memorable legacy on the show often have been the subject of a "Best of SNL" videotape, DVD, or compilation special. Cast members where this applies are marked with a (•) on the list below. In addition, some hosts have had such compilation videos made for their performances even though they were never members of the cast of "Saturday Night Live": Steve Martin, Christopher Walken, Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin. Cast members who were "only" featured (never promoted to contract player) are marked with an "(F)".

The original "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" ( 1975 )

In alphabetical order:

* Dan Aykroyd (October 11, 19751979) (•)
* John Belushi (October 11, 19751979) (•) / d
* Chevy Chase (October 11, 1975October 30, 1976) (•)
* George Coe (October 11, 1975October 25, 1975 [Credited] .)
**Thereafter, through the first season, Coe was an occasional uncredited featured player.
* Jane Curtin (October 11, 19751980)
* Garrett Morris (October 11, 19751980)
* Laraine Newman (October 11, 19751980)
* Michael O'Donoghue (October 11, 1975October 25, 1975 [Credited] .) d
**Thereafter and through 1978, O'Donoghue was a frequent featured player, usually credited. He also made uncredited appearances in 1981.
* Gilda Radner (October 11, 19751980) (•) / d

Started 1975 - 1979

* Tom Davis ( 1975 - 1980 ) "(F)"
* Al Franken ( 1975 - 1980 ) & ( 1987 - 1995 ) "(F)"
* Bill Murray ( 1977 - 1980 )
* Don Novello ( 1978 - 1980 ) & ( 1985 - 1986 ) "(F)"
* Peter Aykroyd ( 1979 - 1980 ) "(F)"
* Jim Downey ( 1979 - 1980 ) "(F)"
* Paul Shaffer ( 1979 - 1980 ) "(F)"
* Tom Schiller ( 1979 - 1980 ) "(F)"
* Alan Zweibel ( 1979 - 1980 ) "(F)"
* Brian Doyle-Murray ( 1979 - 1980 ) & ( 1981 - 1982 ) "(F)"
* Harry Shearer ( 1979 - 1980 ) & ( 1984 - 1985 )

Started 1980 - 1984

* Denny Dillon ( 1980 - 1981 )
* Gilbert Gottfried ( 1980 - 1981 )
* Yvonne Hudson ( 1980 - 1981 ) "(F)"
* Matthew Laurance ( 1980 - 1981 ) "(F)"
* Gail Matthius ( 1980 - 1981 )
* Laurie Metcalf ( 1980 - 1981 ) "(F)"
* Emily Prager ( 1980 - 1981 ) "(F)"
* Ann Risley ( 1980 - 1981 )
* Charles Rocket ( 1980 - 1981 ) d
* Patrick Weathers ( 1980 - 1981 ) "(F)"
* Tony Rosato ( 1980 - 1982 )
* Robin Duke ( 1980 - 1984 )
* Tim Kazurinsky ( 1980 - 1984 )
* Eddie Murphy ( 1980 - 1984 ) (•)
* Joe Piscopo ( 1980 - 1984 )
* Christine Ebersole ( 1981 - 1982 )
* Mary Gross ( 1981 - 1985 )
* Brad Hall ( 1982 - 1984 )
* Gary Kroeger ( 1982 - 1985 )
* Julia Louis-Dreyfus ( 1982 - 1985 )
* Jim Belushi ( 1983 - 1985 )
* Billy Crystal ( 1984 - 1985 )
* Christopher Guest ( 1984 - 1985 )
* Rich Hall ( 1984 - 1985 )
* Martin Short ( 1984 - 1985 )
* Pamela Stephenson ( 1984 - 1985 )

Started 1985 - 1989

* Joan Cusack ( 1985 - 1986 )
* Robert Downey Jr. ( 1985 - 1986 )
* Anthony Michael Hall ( 1985 - 1986 )
* Randy Quaid ( 1985 - 1986 )
* Terry Sweeney ( 1985 - 1986 )
* Danitra Vance ( 1985 - 1986 ) d
* Dan Vitale ( 1985 - 1986 ) "(F)"
* Damon Wayans ( 1985 - 1986 ) "(F)"
* Nora Dunn ( 1985 - 1990 )
* Jon Lovitz ( 1985 - 1990 ) (•)
* A. Whitney Brown ( 1985 - 1991 ) "(F)"
* Dennis Miller ( 1985 - 1991 )
* Jan Hooks ( 1986 - 1991 )
* Victoria Jackson ( 1986 - 1992 )
* Dana Carvey ( 1986 - 1993 ) (•)
* Phil Hartman ( 1986 - 1994 ) (•) / d
* Kevin Nealon ( 1986 - 1995 ) (•)
* Ben Stiller ( 1988 - 1989 ) "(F)"
* Mike Myers ( 1988 - 1995 ) (•)

Started 1990 - 1994

* Chris Rock ( 1990 - 1993 ) (•)
* Rob Schneider ( 1990 - 1994 )
* Julia Sweeney ( 1990 - 1994 )
* Chris Farley ( 1990 - 1995 ) (•) / d
* Adam Sandler ( 1990 - 1995 ) (•)
* David Spade ( 1990 - 1996 ) (•)
* Tim Meadows ( 1991 - 2000 ) (•)
* Beth Cahill ( 1991 - 1992 ) "(F)"
* Siobhan Fallon ( 1991 - 1992 )
* Robert Smigel ( 1991 - 1993 ) "(F)"
* Melanie Hutsell ( 1991 - 1994 )
* Ellen Cleghorne ( 1991 - 1995 )
* Sarah Silverman ( 1993 - 1994 ) "(F)"
* Michael McKean ( 1993 - 1995 )
* Jay Mohr ( 1993 - 1995 ) "(F)"
* Norm Macdonald ( 1993 - 1998 )
* Morwenna Banks ( 1994 - 1995 )
* Chris Elliott ( 1994 - 1995 )
* Janeane Garofalo ( 1994 - 1995 )
* Laura Kightlinger ( 1994 - 1995 )
* Mark McKinney ( 1994 - 1997 )
* Molly Shannon ( 1994 - 2001 )(•)

Started 1995 - 1999

* David Koechner ( 1995 - 1996 )
* Nancy Walls ( 1995 - 1996 )
* Fred Wolf ( 1995 - 1997 ) "(F)"
* Jim Breuer ( 1995 - 1998 )
* Cheri Oteri ( 1995 - 2000 ) (•)
* Colin Quinn ( 1995 - 2000 )
* Will Ferrell ( 1995 - 2002 ) (•)
* Darrell Hammond ( 1995 - present ) (•)
* Chris Kattan ( 1996 - 2003 ) (•)
* Ana Gasteyer ( 1996 - 2002 )
* Tracy Morgan ( 1996 - 2003 ) (•)
* Jimmy Fallon ( 1998 - 2004 ) (•)
* Chris Parnell ( 1998 - 2006 )
* Horatio Sanz ( 1998 - 2006 )
* Rachel Dratch ( 1999 - 2006 )
* Maya Rudolph ( 1999 - 2007 )

Started 2000 - 2004

* Jerry Minor ( 2000 - 2001 ) "(F)"
* Tina Fey ( 2000 - 2006 )
* Dean Edwards ( 2001 - 2003 ) "(F)"
* Jeff Richards ( 2001 - 2004 )
* Seth Meyers ( 2001 - present )
* Amy Poehler ( 2001 - present )
* Fred Armisen ( 2002 - present )
* Will Forte ( 2002 - present )
* Finesse Mitchell ( 2003 - 2006 )
* Kenan Thompson ( 2003 - present )
* Rob Riggle ( 2004 - 2005 ) "(F)"
* Jason Sudeikis ( 2004 - present )

Started 2005 - 2009

* Bill Hader ( 2005 - present )
* Andy Samberg ( 2005 - present )
* Kristen Wiig ( 2005 - present )
* Casey Wilson ( 2008 - present ) "(F)"
* Bobby Moynihan ( 2008 - present ) "(F)"

Current Cast (Season 34, 2008-2009)

* Fred Armisen
* Bill Hader
* Will Forte
* Darrell Hammond
* Seth Meyers
* Amy Poehler
* Andy Samberg
* Jason Sudeikis
* Kenan Thompson
* Kristen Wiig
* Casey Wilson"(F)"
* Bobby Moynihan "(F)"

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. Long-time writer and sometime performer Jim Downey is former cast member Robert Downey, Jr.'s uncle. 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.

Although cast members Brad Hall, Rich Hall and Anthony Michael Hall share the same last name, they are not related.

"Saturday Night Live" Curse

Although "SNL" is well-known as the launchpad for many successful careers, a few cast members (and active crew members) have died prematurely. This has given rise to a superstition known as the "Saturday Night Live Curse". [cite web | url=http://www.who2.com/satnightlivecurse.html | title=Saturday Night Live Curse? | publisher=Who2? | accessmonthday=September 21 | accessyear=2006] [cite web | url=http://www.saturday-night-live.com/snl/miscellaneousstuff/documents/thesnlcurse.html | title=The SNL Curse | publisher=Saturday-Night-Live.com | accessmonthday=September 21 | accessyear=2006] [cite web | url=http://www.snlra.com/curse.html | title=Live From Up There | first=Steven | last=Worek | publisher=SNLRA.com | accessmonthday=September 21 | accessyear=2006 | archiveurl=http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:1OzYG_P-cXYJ:www.snlra.com/curse.html+site:http://www.snlra.com/curse.html&hl=en&lr=&strip=0 | archivedate=2006-07-06]

Two cast members have died due to drug overdoses, in parallel situations. Both Chris Farley, deceased December 18, 1997, and John Belushi, deceased March 5, 1982, overdosed from a "speedball," an injection of cocaine and heroin. Farley's death occurred nearly two months after he came back to host "SNL", which turned out to be his last television appearance. Belushi's death lead to the conviction of "friend" Cathy Smith for administering the fatal injection. Nearly four years prior to Belushi's death, "SNL" aired a short sketch titled "Don't Look Back In Anger" featuring an elderly John Belushi as the last living of the "not ready for prime time" cast members.

Cast member Gilda Radner, deceased May 20, 1989, succumbed to ovarian cancer after a long struggle. Radner was scheduled to host the last episode of season 13 (1987-1988), a first for a female former cast member, but the show was cancelled due to a writer's strike. Her condition worsened until a year later, when Steve Martin hosted the last episode of the 1988-1989 season (Season 14). Shortly before the episode, news came of Radner's death, and Martin's visibly shaken monologue now introduced a sketch called " [http://snltranscripts.jt.org/77/77rdancing.phtml Dancing in the Dark] " that he performed with Radner on an episode he hosted in 1978, followed by a musical tribute to Radner performed by her former husband G.E. Smith and the SNL Band.

Repertory player Danitra Vance, deceased August 21, 1994, died due to breast cancer.

Michael O'Donoghue, deceased November 8, 1994, died of a cerebral hemorrhage; the cast member and writer long suffered from severe chronic migraine headaches. Bill Murray honored his memory in [http://snltranscripts.jt.org/94/94etribute.phtml an appearance] on the season 20 (1994-1995) episode (hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker with musical guest R.E.M.) by replaying O'Donoghue's sketch, " [http://snltranscripts.jt.org/77/77hmrmike.phtml Mr. Mike's Least Loved Bedtime Stories: The Soiled Kimono] " from December 1977.

Long-time performer Phil Hartman, deceased May 28, 1998, was shot and killed in his sleep by his wife, Brynn. Before committing the act, she consumed a combination of alcohol, cocaine and the prescription drug Zoloft. She later shot herself.

Doumanian-era performer Charles Rocket was found dead by local police in his Canterbury, Connecticut backyard on October 7, 2005. The death was ruled a suicide; Rocket had allegedly taken his own life by cutting his neck with a pair of box-cutters.

urvivor

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.

Contracts

"SNL" received some negative publicity in 1999 when it was leaked that, henceforth, actors joining the show would have to agree in their five-to-six year contract that, upon request, they would act in up to three movies by SNL Films, for fees of US$75,000, US$150,000, and then US$300,000; and also that, upon request, they would leave SNL and act in an NBC sitcom for up to an additional six years. This appeared to be a reaction to former cast members such as Adam Sandler and Mike Myers going on to movie stardom.

Some agents and managers characterized these long-term contracts as involuntary servitude, saying that almost any young, undiscovered comic would immediately agree to any given set of exploitative contractual restrictions for the opportunity to launch a career via the show. NBC publicly defended the new contracts, saying that SNL was doing a service to young comics by launching so many careers.

Jay Mohr reported in "Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live" (ISBN 1-4013-0006-5), that his starting salary of his 5 year deal was US$5,500 per episode (in 1994) plus $1,500 for his writing credit. The following year's salary was $6,500 per episode, up to $12,500 for a 5th year tenured player.

ee also

*Bad Boys of SNL

References


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