Top 10 SNL Cast Members: Where Are They Now?
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
SNL was a launching pad for a lot of celebrities. For this list, we'll be looking at the best, still-living “Saturday Night Live” alums and what they've been up to since leaving the show. Our countdown includes Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers and more!
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 SNL Cast Members: Where Are They Now? For this list, we’ll be looking at the best, still-living “Saturday Night Live” alums and what they’ve been up to since leaving the show. Who’s your favorite former “SNL” cast member? Let us know in the comments!
#10: Andy Samberg
“SNL” has always been a great showcase for comedy and music. But rarely do you get both from one performer. Andy Samberg made a name for himself as a member of comedy group The Lonely Island. Their Digital Shorts brought “SNL” to a new level of relevance in the aughts. And Samberg’s work during live sketches was also first-rate. After leaving “SNL,” Samberg starred as Detective Jake Peralta on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and in acclaimed sci-fi rom-com “Palm Springs.” He hasn’t forgotten his Lonely Island friends either, making the hilarious mockumentary “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.”
#9: Amy Poehler
It should come as no surprise that Amy Poehler excelled on “SNL,” considering her credentials. A founding member of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, Poehler is the first woman in “SNL” history to be promoted to regular in her debut season. And between hosting “Weekend Update” and her impression skills, it seemed she could do it all. She showed further range by starring as Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation” and literally embodying joy in “Inside Out.” She also recently starred as the main character and his mother on animated series “Duncanville.” Even when we can’t see Poehler on screen, we can still feel her presence and enthusiasm.
#8: Bill Murray
“SNL” finding such incredible talent in its early years helped it to become the comedy institution it remains today. And one of the greatest examples is Bill Murray, who joined in the second season. While it took some time for Murray to find his legs, he soon became a standout, first, on “SNL,” then, as a movie star. ‘80s comedies like “Caddyshack,” “Stripes,” and “Ghostbusters,” become legendary thanks in part to Murray’s involvement. He later showed what a great dramatic actor he is, but his comedic sensibilities have remained sharp. We’ll gladly watch Bill Murray’s work over and over again.
#7: Bill Hader
Another beloved Bill, Bill Hader is one of “SNL”’s finest impressionists. He also gave us one of the best recurring characters as unhinged club promoter Stefon. And while we miss seeing Hader as a regular on “SNL,” we always welcome his return. Hader has since appeared in many films, both live-action and animated. And he’s drawn acclaim for his starring role as a hitman-turned-actor on dark comedy “Barry.” A multi-time Emmy winner who’s capable of making us laugh and terrifying us, Bill Hader shows just how much talent can come out of Studio 8H.
#6: Tina Fey
Tina Fey achieved icon status as the first female head writer in “SNL” history. And she’s made further waves in the comedy world, writing beloved teen comedy “Mean Girls” and creating and starring on “30 Rock”. The hits don’t stop there, either. Among Fey’s best work are her collaborations with fellow “SNL” alum and “Weekend Update” co-host, Amy Poehler, including their multiple amazing stints as Golden Globes hosts. Recently, Fey had a starring role in Pixar’s acclaimed “Soul.” Though Fey’s achievements on “SNL” are amazing on their own, we’re so glad she’s stayed so productive.
#5: Mike Myers
Mike Myers had a knack for playing larger-than-life characters on “SNL”. And he played metalhead Wayne Campbell in two films. But the iconic roles kept coming after he left the show. The “Shrek” and “Austin Powers” films became blockbusters thanks to Myers and his willingness to go far for a laugh. After making a few not-so-good movies, Myers spent some time away from the spotlight. However, he’s made a bit of a comeback recently, appearing in “Bohemian Rhapsody” and creating and starring on “The Pentaverate.” Myers contributions to comedy can be largely summed up in one word: Excellent!
#4: Kristen Wiig
Kristen Wiig auditioned for “SNL” as the now-famous “Target Lady”. So, we’re not surprised she got cast. Through characters like this and mischievous schoolgirl Gilly, Wiig brought a special kind of energy to the show. She made such an impression that she received a massive sendoff when she left. Wiig’s resumé has remained impressive in the years since, starring on animated series “Bless the Harts” and in multiple live-action and animated films. She’s also made her mark in superhero movies, playing a villain in “Wonder Woman 1984”. Villain or not, we’ll always think of Wiig as a “wonder woman.”
#3: Will Ferrell
We don’t know what “SNL” in the 90s would’ve looked like without Will Ferrell. But it would’ve certainly been a lot less funny. Ferrell had the ability to make his fellow cast members - and us - crack up without saying a single word. That wasn’t a fluke, as he went on to make comedies like “Elf” and “Anchorman” even more hilarious than they already were. Many of Ferrell’s characters tend to be immature and obnoxious. But they’re also lovable. And he’s shown his dramatic chops in works like “Stranger than Fiction” and “The Shrink Next Door.” If Will Ferrell is part of something, he’s all but guaranteed to improve it.
#2: Dana Carvey
Like Will Ferrell, Dana Carvey famously played President Bush on “SNL.” However, Carvey portrayed the elder Bush. And while you can dispute the accuracy of his impression, you can’t dispute the hilarity. Characters like this and The Church Lady made Carvey one of “SNL’s” most essential cast members. And “Wayne’s World” wouldn’t have been the same without him. It likely seemed his fame would only grow from there. Unfortunately, his sketch show was short-lived, and his big-screen turn in “The Master of Disguise” was not well-received. But Carvey’s limited screen presence in recent years hasn’t diminished our love for his best work.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Chevy Chase, 1975-76
This Original Cast Member Reached a New Generation Starring on “Community.”
Adam Sandler, 1990-95
After Giving Us “The Chanukah Song” on “SNL”, Sandler Went to Become a Comedy Superstar
Maya Rudolph, 2000-07
The Funny Lady Can Now Be Seen on the Comedy Series “Loot”
Dan Aykroyd, 1975-79
This "SNL" Legend Recently Returned to the "Ghostbusters" Franchise Alongside Bill Murray
#1: Eddie Murphy
When Eddie Murphy joined the cast of “SNL,” the show was in a rough spot, creatively. But not only did Murphy manage to survive a tumultuous time for the show, many argue he saved it. In his four seasons, Murphy created characters both uproarious and subversive. Oh, and did we mention he hosted the show while he was still a cast member? Incredibly, that was just the start of Murphy’s success. His one-of-a-kind energy made hits out of movies both explicit and family-friendly. A run of uninspired movies in the 2000s led to a hiatus. But in 2019, Murphy drew praise for starring in biopic “Dolemite Is My Name” and returning to “SNL” to host. The reaction speaks for itself.