62. ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. (1984-1985)

Before he was the scruffy leading man that everyone loves, Robert Downey Jr. was the scruffy utility player that no one liked. He and most of his castmates were scrapped after one year on the show.

61. KENAN THOMPSON (2003-)

Thompson has his fans, but he still seems like he's escaped from some other sketch comedy series, possibly on Nickelodeon.

60. JOE PISCOPO (1980-1984)

Poor Joe Piscopo seemed like an also-ran for his entire tenure on the show: despite being pushed by Dick Ebersol as a major talent, he was deeply jealous of Eddie Murphy's ascent to fame and grew increasingly difficult during season nine, when Murphy left mid-season. But his recurring characters, "Weekend Update" spots, and impressions were more valued than history would have us believe.



O'Donoghue was one of the show's most important writers, and the stories about his backstage behavior are legendary. On-camera, though, he thought it was funny to talk about sticking needles in Mike Douglas's eyeballs. (To you kids out there asking, "Who was Mike Douglas?" I say: exactly.)

58. TIM KAZURINSKY (1981-1984)

Despite clashing frequently with Dick Ebersol and complaining about poor writing, Kazurinsky put in some of SNL's most idiosyncratic characters: he careened across ethnicities and time periods. Even though he's probably more remembered for Police Academy at this point (poor bastard), what other cast member could claim to have played Adolf Hiter, FDR, and Gen. MacArthur?

57. MARY GROSS (1981-1985)

Poor Mary Gross was most visible playing Alfalfa to Eddie Murphy's Buckwheat, an admittedly funny part that overshadowed most of her other work.

56. MOLLY SHANNON (1995-2001)

Having created one of the most grating characters in SNL history, Shannon proceeded to milk Mary Katherine Gallagher for six years, probably driving an entire generation away from SNL in the process.

55. WILL FORTE (2002-2010)

The affable Forte always came off as a nice guy, but doesn't it seem like a parody of a target as big as MacGyver, given a full fifteen years to gestate, should've been funnier than MacGruber?

54, 53. MICHAEL McKEAN (1995-1995) and MARK McKINNEY (1995-1997):

These two now seem yoked together in the show's history. They were both old pros who'd done brilliant things, but didn't bring much to SNL. (McKean must've been hired just because he was the only member of Spinal Tap who'd never been a cast member.)

52. JOAN CUSACK (1984-1985)

Lorne Michaels has always had an eye for talent, as evidenced by his hiring Robert Downey Jr. and Joan Cusack for the 1985 SNL season. But once he finds that talent, he doesn't always know what to do with it, as evidenced by the fact that neither Downey nor Cusack became stars until years after leaving the show.

Commentarium (276 Comments)

Dec 17 11 - 2:09am
Let Me Just Say This

I'd be more eloquent and argue, but this list sucks. Andy Samberg, despite being overdone and annoying, was able to bring SNL to an internet venue and was able to package skits in a social networking-positive way. And Chris Farley, even if his shtick was one grain, and may have been blown out of proportion after his death, had some of the most memorable and funniest skits on the show. Ever. Lorne makes his bucks from specials and DVD boxsets featuring Farley.

Dec 17 11 - 6:15am

Agreed. There are some people on this list who should be ranked higher and some who are completely overrated. Tsk tsk on your list Nerve

Dec 17 11 - 11:02am

Wait, are you saying that an internet list has opinions you disagree with?

Dec 17 11 - 1:03pm

Holy cow, Sven. You pulled out that meme so early on a Saturday morning?

Have some coffee and come back when you're awake.

Dec 17 11 - 1:35pm

Well played Sven. Rather than broadly being critical, share your counter opinions. I actually think this list is pretty good. I definitely disagree with a bunch, but comedy is crazy subjective.

Dec 17 11 - 3:59pm

I like the top ten on this list. Anything past that is pretty difficult to quantify

Jan 01 12 - 4:49pm

andy samberg brought notoriety to the lonely island, not snl.

Sep 08 12 - 6:31pm

Terry Sweeney is ranked higher than Garret Morris,Seth Meyers, Chris Kattan... This list is like it was made by someone who had some else tell them about the show. I know comedy is subjective and blah blah blah but Garret Morris was awesome. Aykroyd said so himself in interviews.

Dec 17 11 - 2:18am

casey wilson?

Dec 18 11 - 4:46pm

I always thought Casey Wilson was great, but I don't think she was ever more than a "featured player" (the ones introduced second in the opening bit).

Dec 18 11 - 7:12pm

She was definitely in more skits than Morwena Banks. She did get introduced in the opening credits, so you have to consider her a regular.

Jul 21 12 - 4:02pm

This list is horrible and poorly opinionized. jimmy fallon that low? you people obviously have never seen him on the show, same for chris kattan. i am appauled.

Dec 17 11 - 3:28am

how is abby elliott that high? shes non existent on the show, and simply there because of nepotism. the best female on the show right now is nasim pedrad and shes not even on this list...

Dec 18 11 - 12:09am

Yeah, wait where is Nasim?

Dec 18 11 - 5:21am

it just doesnt make any sense that abby elliot is ranked higher than legends like belushi, schneider, and kattan. during their time if you thought of snl you would think of those specific actors. elliot is an afterthought at best.

horrible job nerve.

Dec 19 11 - 7:27pm

But the Belushi she's ranked higher than is Jim, not John

Dec 20 11 - 12:33am

jim belushi was a legend too. albeit not as much as his brother. but seriously, the point is that abby elliot is ranked in the 50's when schneider and kattan are at the bottom. plus, david spade isnt even on this list!

Dec 20 11 - 10:31am

@stupid, you are a terrible hater of things on the internet. Spade is on the list (36). Jim Belushi is NOT a legend. Your comments come off as juvenille when you get so much wrong. Also, Kattan and Schneider were THE WORST.

Dec 21 11 - 5:04am

@poppy. you should probably stop smoking whatever it is you're smoking. maybe it was a reach to call jim belushi a legend but his stay on SNL was memorable (the name belushi didn't hurt), and i just didn't see david spade, but now i do. but your comment is absolutely retarded. i am a terrible hater of things on the internet because i disagree with one list that is clearly under scrutiny not just by myself but others? my name, thisisastupidlist, is meant in jest because i do not think the entire list is horrible but rather at my complete and utter shock that abby elliot is even on the list. the top 10 is sensical. what is illogical is the fact that abby elliot, someone who is not memorable or significant to the show at all is ranked higher than people who were. namely, chris kattan, rob schneider, molly shannon, will forte, jimmy fallon, and kenan thompson. kattan, schneider, shannon, forte, and fallon were staples of the show during their time and were great actors. kenan thompson has shown that he can carry a scene and could join their league one day. abby elliot cannot hold a scene and is just not funny. her main source of fandom comes from the fact that she's "hot". just watch the show and see how many skits abby elliot is in, and then how many of those skits she actually plays a major role in... you can't imagine a world in which the actors i named were not called back for the following season of snl, but you can imagine one in which abby elliot is cut from the show.

i do not hate her and i hope she eventually succeeds on the show because that would be valuable for me as a viewer, but as of now, she is simply not funny, and her place on this list is ridiculous.

Dec 22 11 - 1:04am

@thisisastupidlist - great points about elliot. does not appear that she will come anywhere close to what fallon, forte, kattan, and schneider were to their years. she is not even the best actress on her season, yet she is place ahead of a number of them. i'm not sure that jim belushi was such a legend, as you say, but i think that he is clearly a much better comedic actor than elliot.

@poppy - have you even watched snl? i'm not sure where your anger stems from, but thisisastupidlist made some concrete arguments. i agree with your point that JIM belushi was not a legend, but i'm not sure how you can possibly back-up the statement that kattan and schneider were the worst. they clearly were not the best on the show during their tenures, but then look at the legends that were at the top during their time. kattan and schneider were great comedians and icons for snl during their reigns, and should be ranked much higher than they should.

Dec 26 11 - 6:44pm

You people scare me.

Mar 07 12 - 4:16am

@thisisastupidlist - wow, waht the shit are you talking about ???

Dec 17 11 - 3:30am

Chris Farley should be higher(better) number than 22.

Dec 18 11 - 7:52pm

Deserves to be in the top 10. Early nineties, late eighties, one of the best time periods of SNL.

Dec 19 11 - 4:43pm

Agreed. Easily the most egregious error on the list.

Dec 23 11 - 9:45am

As Dana Carvey sung when he hosted SNL the other day, "86 to 93 was the best"

Dec 17 11 - 3:46am

WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!!!! Let's not, I repeat NOT limit the talents of the overlooked but great and hilarious Jim Breuer to just, a character he himself hated, but it made me laugh, goatboy. That dude has so much more material to him. Seriously. He's amazing. Breur's talent extends so far beyond just that one bit.

Dec 17 11 - 12:13pm
Mr. Gentleman

Thank you for your input, Jim Bruer.

Dec 17 11 - 4:24pm

I am not Jim Breuer, but you're obviously someone who hasn't seen his work outside of snl, so you're just suffering from your own limited mind.

Dec 17 11 - 4:27pm
The Internet Arguer

You are too Jim Breuer.

Game, set, and match.

Dec 18 11 - 8:40pm

This list doesn't care about anyone's work outside of SNL - it's attempting to grade their work as a cast member. Love Jim's outside stuff, but his most enduring character on SNL was "Backgroundy O'McNolines"

Dec 26 11 - 11:51am

Jim Breuer. No doubt.

Sep 07 12 - 1:58am

Just for that you're not getting any ass.

Dec 17 11 - 4:19am

So we're on to hating stuff from the 90s now? Chris Kattan, Horatio Sanz, and Jimmy Fallon all belong higher on the list. Not like, a ton, but still higher. They were all solid cast members.

Dec 17 11 - 12:21pm

I feel like everyone began watching SNL at some point, and that's their favorite era. Whenever a person goes back to watching the show, they hate it because it's not what they knew. So everyone's nostalgic for whatever they first loved about the show, and it's a dumb tendency that prevents people from appreciating anything good that comes from current stuff.

Dec 17 11 - 2:16pm

Yup. This is an essential tenet of criticism for this show and favorite bands and whatever.

Dec 18 11 - 4:59pm

There's no way that anyone could rate Jimmy Fallon's or Horatio Sanz's presence as being representative of the best era of SNL. I grew up during that era, and they were putrid. I always thought the late 80s/early 90s (and then as I grew older and watched the late 70s episodes) were the golden years.

Dec 26 11 - 11:53am

@shannon - you just figured this out now? You're not terribly smart, are you? Expect to work as a table dancer for the rest of your life. Just sayin'.

Dec 17 11 - 5:06am

Victoria Jackson wasn't the greatest, but there were far worse (Gary Kroger, Brad Hall, etc.). The trouble is that the author of this list doesn't like her politics and religion. How bigoted and disgusting he is.

Dec 17 11 - 11:02am

"bigoted and disgusting?" that, uh, seems a little strong

Dec 17 11 - 1:53pm


Dec 17 11 - 6:49pm

Yes, SHE is a bigoted lefty loser! VJ was awesome, and should be praised for being so forthright on her CORRECT political observations!

Dec 18 11 - 5:00pm

Name one tolerable role Victoria Jackson ever had on the show. She was a dumb blonde one-trick pony who couldn't even get her one trick right.

Dec 20 11 - 3:39pm
Velvet Cyberpunk

Victoria Jackson was forgettable at best. Of course the reason why conservatives are sticking up for is because she was so talented and NOT because she's a GOP Neo-Con, right?

Jan 30 12 - 1:50pm

Right, Velvet Underground! She WAS talented, and funny, and cute as a button! Plus, you all are still talking about her, 20 years later-what other female performer from that long ago can you still say that about, besides the original Big 3?

Dec 17 11 - 5:51am
Eddie Murphy

Starring Eddie Murphy...and....EDDIE MURPHY !

Dec 17 11 - 6:38am

Thanks for ranking Colin Quinn so poorly, but you make a mistake when you say he's "a funny guy." He is one of America's least funny alleged funnymen.

Dec 17 11 - 6:38am

Top 10 for Amy Poehler? I know she's great on Parks & Rec, but this list supposedly isn't about that (or UCB, for that matter). Here's my question to you: name me ONE sketch she was ever in (not counting her stint as co-anchor of Weekend Update). I like her, but not in the top 10.

Dec 19 11 - 3:06pm

I always liked her as Caitlin to Horatio Sanz's Uncle Rick, but she's being highly overrated here, and I say this as a pretty big Amy Poehler fan. To have her rated higher than Chris Farley is criminal.

Jan 03 12 - 6:58pm

Or Gilda Radner. She should definitely be in the top ten.

Aug 24 12 - 2:51am

Where the hell is Steve Martin?

Dec 17 11 - 7:34am

Did I miss David Spade? Or did they miss David Spade?

Dec 17 11 - 9:37am

He's number 36.

Dec 17 11 - 5:45pm


Dec 26 11 - 11:55am

No problem. But next time, try actually reading the article instead of getting someone else to do your work for you. Bimbo.

Mar 12 12 - 2:11pm

SW is a prick

Dec 17 11 - 7:59am

This list is asinine and poorly researched. Tim Meadows doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the top 50, let alone ahead of Gilda Radner. It's like the person who compiled it never really even watched the show. Other than the odd appreciation of a one-note actor like Meadows, once you get in to the Top 20, it's hard to argue with any choice over another. They were all immensely talented. It's the 20-90 rankings that are all over the place and impossible to support.

As to the person who's complaining that Victoria Jackson ranks low because of her religious and political beliefs, watch five minutes of any of her "performances" and make your case on any form of objective criteria. I hated her when she was on the show, the fact that she's an ignorant bigot now only makes her complete lack of talent even more grating. I hated Melanie Hutsell and Anne Risley, too -- and I have no idea what their politics are. Not finn is not funny.

Dec 17 11 - 8:00am

Dont' know what spell check did. My last comment was supposed to read: "Not funny is not funny."

Dec 17 11 - 8:37am
The Answer My Friend

It's kind of weird to "hate" Anne Risley. She was so inconsequential and barely made any impression at all - less an intensely negative one than none at all.

Dec 17 11 - 1:36pm

I agree, way overrates Tim Meadows.

Dec 17 11 - 3:57pm

I love Tim Meadows, and I wish they'd used him more effectively, but yeah, he didn't deserve to be ranked so high.

Dec 26 11 - 11:56am
Scott Lackey

Tim Meadows is awesome, but Mike64 is a foggot.

Dec 17 11 - 9:02am

I think this is a pretty good list, overall. My only major complaint is with Joe Piscopo being so low. He's an easy punchline now, but, at the time, he was clearly the number 2 performer on the show, and wasn't as far behind Eddie as people tend to think.

Dec 18 11 - 10:10pm
christopher tracy

Agreed. He blew in feature films and stand-up, but he was really effective on SNL. "You are blind and I have sight..." is one of my favorite lines from the show's history.

Dec 20 11 - 8:03am

The line is actually, "You are blind as a bat and I have sight" which is even funnier.

Dec 17 11 - 9:04am

So many one-off cast members fare better than Horatio Sanz? This list is ridiculous and arbitrary.

Dec 17 11 - 12:18pm

I feel like this list is ignoring the contributions of these people to the show that the intro says it recognizes. I mean, Jimmy Fallon's laughing in sketches was annoying to many, but I really don't see how Danitra Vance (who no one remembered til they read this) was more influential to SNL history than Jimmy Fallon.

Dec 17 11 - 12:27pm

This article seems like it was written in reverse. "Who's the best comedian ever to be in SNL?" "Duh, Eddie Murphy." "Who else after that?" "Ummmm....Will Ferrell...Bill Murray...I don't know who the fuck's been on that show other that that..."

Bone(s) of contention: The only way Will Ferrell should ever be ranked before Bill Murray is alphabetically. WTF. Also, David Spade and Chris Farley should be way higher on the list. Not to mention Gilda Radner, hello!

I'm getting sick of these Nerve articles that seem to have been written by some 23-year old whose only exposure to media events that happened before 1995 was some sort of noncontextual YouTube clip. At least ask your fucking parents to explain the cultural relevance of Gilda Radner and Joe Piscopo if you're going to attempt to rank them in an article. Either that, or stick to ranking boy bands.

Dec 17 11 - 1:50pm

Agree 100%. Gilda Radner was HILARIOUS and should have been placed in the top 10.

Dec 17 11 - 1:52pm

Laraine Newman should have been ranked alot higher too.

Dec 17 11 - 6:54pm

Ditto, Vix, on Laraine Newman-a very underrated performer, but if Gildas not in the top 10, then this list has no merit! And Ferrell at #2? Yeah, hes #2 alright-only by smell!

Dec 17 11 - 9:15pm

where is Steve Martin? Was he always just hosting?

Dec 19 11 - 1:29pm

I just reread this list and I think it's pretty close in line with what I think. Definitely some outliers, but how could anyone do a list like this and there not be. Also, Piscopo was terrible, you lost all cred with that.

Dec 26 11 - 11:59am
We all

Wow. We lost our cred. What could we possibly do to restore your faith in us, Jackel? Say the word.

We all

Dec 17 11 - 12:59pm

Shit list. Where are Jay Mohr, Sarah Silverman or A. Whitney Brown?

Dec 17 11 - 1:37pm

They weren't full cast members

Dec 17 11 - 3:23pm

Neither was Finesse Mitchell

Dec 28 11 - 10:24pm

He was a full cast member from 2005-2006.

Dec 17 11 - 1:01pm

OR Al Franken? What the hell? You should feel badly about this list because it was badly done.

Dec 17 11 - 1:38pm

Not a cast member

Dec 17 11 - 2:04pm

Fair enough. "Full cast" seems like an unnecessarily narrow restriction (especially considering Al Franken) but I can accept that.

Dec 26 11 - 12:09pm
John Son

Good. Because the only alternative was for me to club you into submission with a cold, wet, dead fish and then insert your corpse into a furnace in the basement of a high school.

Dec 17 11 - 1:02pm

Damon Wayans. Missing.

Dec 17 11 - 1:25pm

Try watching the shows next time. Some are faulted for recurring characters, some for having same. Others excelled for having a catch phrase, others criticized for not.

I tire of the lot of you. Write and edit as if you care - that is how I read.

Dec 26 11 - 12:12pm
robert paulsen

if i could write and edit as i cared, i'd edit your last post to say "hi, i'm a chronic butthole licker with a penchant for self-flagellation. call me at my home phone :" then i'd put your home phone number here.

Dec 17 11 - 2:59pm
What about

Garrett Morris?

Dec 20 11 - 11:34am


Dec 26 11 - 6:47pm
Garnet Morris


Dec 17 11 - 3:14pm
Wait Five Minutes

That added line about writing only about the notable players doesn't cut it. Even if you hated Chevy Chase, for example, he certainly was notable, and you write nothing about him. That's just one example.

Dec 19 11 - 11:25pm

Could someone update me on what happened? First this was a half-assed list with several items that had no write-up or justification, and there were a bunch of comments complaining about that (including mine) which have now been deleted. Now the list seems complete, but did something happen in between? What was this "line about writing only about the notable players" that I can't seem to find anywhere now?

Dec 17 11 - 4:36pm

So, according to the list SNL's best days are behind them (I agree). Not one current cast member was ranked above 30. Fascinating.

Mar 24 12 - 11:54pm

Hmm. If you actually watched the show currently to make that snarky comment, you should know that Andy Samberg (29), Jason Sudeikis (24), Bill Hader (20), and Kristen Wiig (19) are ALL current cast members. Fascinating.

Dec 17 11 - 4:38pm

Taran Killam. That is all.

Dec 17 11 - 4:39pm

Gilda definitely should have been in the top ten. For shame!

Dec 17 11 - 5:15pm

Steve Martin? Gilda Radner? Eddie Murphy? Anyone... Bueller?

Dec 20 11 - 11:49am

Steve Martin wasn't a cast member. He just hosted a lot.

Dec 17 11 - 5:26pm

Nothing to say about Chevy Chase? Nothing at all? It's not that I dislike the premise, or the lovely fight we all knew it would brew up, but this project deserved more than the Cliff's Notes review you guys gave it.

Dec 17 11 - 5:50pm

This entire article was designed to slam Victoria Jackson, because she is a rarity. She's a Conservative Celeb. She's also is highly vocal about her total disdain for President Obama. So the little Leftists at Nerve had to come up with this faux article in order to express their displeasure for someone who doesn't bow before their Demi-God.

Dec 17 11 - 6:12pm

I'm a Christian Conservative (Go Bachmann!!!) and I have to disagree with 'TiminPhx'- in all fairness Victoria Jackson WASN'T that funny. (Check out her skits on You Tube) All she had was that dumb blonde shtik and it got old really quick. I think last place suits her fine. (Though I have to say, I LOVE her politics- Go Jesus!!!)

Dec 17 11 - 9:53pm

I think your "Go Jesus" at the end somewhat oversold your pretense in being a Christian Conservative. And while Jackson wasn't the funniest, her choice as the worst, is clearly just a Lefty smear job as I initially wrote. Leftists such as the writer and I would guess you, can't stand someone not accepting the wisdom of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, PBS, NPR, the genius of Snarkmaster Jon Stewart, Steve Colbert, and newspapers and periodicals such as Time, Newsweek, the NYTimes, and on and on and on and on.

God forbid, someone turn out to disagree with the religion which is today's Progressive/Liberal way. If they do, burn them at the stake.

Dec 17 11 - 10:45pm

It must suck to be so underrepresented in the snarkmaster department that you have to latch onto Victoria Jackson as your comedy torchbearer. What about Dennis Miller? He's a righty and he's way higher on the list. And that guy hasn't been funny since....(I'll get back to you on that.)

Dec 19 11 - 6:26pm

Chill out, partner. Take the next few plays off.

Dec 20 11 - 4:39pm
To TiminPhx

I'm going to try to explain this as unemotionally as possible and I''m not concerned with Ms. Jackson's position as a cast member. (The list is insignificant). I don't know if the "Leftists at Nerve" are intentionally slamming her but she definitely deserves to be slammed and if you were in the arts you'd understand this. A lot of artists (actors, writers, painters, etc.) struggle there entire life to make a meager living at what they do. It's like a calling. (I'm already assuming you don't really understand what it means to have 'a calling' but to those that have it: it's real.) These artists make huge sacrifices to follow this calling. So when some hot blonde, (Victoria Jackson was an attractive 26 year old with a nice figure who convincingly played a dumb blonde and that was more or less her entire schtick). After she did her stint at SNL, she never did anything with her life and retired to sunny Florida. The problem, and this is why people hate her, she thought she was entitled to this fame forever, and never learned humility. When the public moved on she became a bitter judgmental person without learning 'Christian' sympathy to what her fellow artists were going through. She reaped the benefits at a relatively young never really having to struggle for it and expected people would gather around her feet. That didn't happen and now she's old and fat and the only way she can get any attention is by being a hate monger because that's all that Republicans really respond to. If she was still a poor, struggling actress, do you really think she'd be a Republican? (Show me one poor struggling artist that is.) She let herself go and is bitter and depressed and is taking it out on those who were like her. In short: the poor.

Dec 20 11 - 10:05pm

Amen sister

Dec 21 11 - 1:38pm

Very True! In short what she did was betrayed the middle class. She's disgusting. I hope she rots in hell!

Dec 21 11 - 4:46pm

Timiphx: If you absolutely must sacrifice for your calling, then go ahead and do so.

But if it is truely your calling, then sacrificing should be par for the course. Why write into a forum like Nerve and try to garner sympathy for your position? You choose to be an artist. There are downfalls to this choice, just as there are upsides to this choice. If you expect everybody to feel sorry for you, I'm not quite sure what to say.

Dec 26 11 - 12:16pm

you all are far too worked up over a seamy trash article. kthxbai

Dec 26 11 - 6:49pm
The Baltimoron

Go Jesus!!!

Dec 17 11 - 5:58pm

Hey, lib, Victoria Jackson was one of the BEST! Why dont you like her-cause she "came out" as a -gasp- conservative? Theres enough liberal shit on SNL, dont drag it here, to a third-rate lefty website!

Dec 23 11 - 3:41pm

There has to be SOME rational for her last place finish that has nothing to do with her performances. I could not believe that she was put on the bottom.

Dec 17 11 - 6:21pm
Old Fart

As an old fart who has watched the show since its inception, I see a lot of selective memories in this list, or maybe just giving in to the myth of SNL.

We hold the Belushi era in high reverence because all we see of that era are the best of compilations.

Go back and watch the shows in their entirety. There were as many if not more duds in those shows as there are now.

It's easy to get down on the more current members because well, they are more current and haven't been built into a mythic powerhouse of comedy.

Dec 26 11 - 12:18pm
Alan Coffee

Old Fart, that is the sanest comment I've ever read on Nerve. Good on ya.

Dec 17 11 - 6:30pm
Mr. Horse

I still don't think Will Ferrell was funny on SNL. I don't know what it is about him but I just can't laugh at his antics.

Dec 26 11 - 12:20pm
Mr. Horse

Again, I still don't think Will Ferrell was funny on SNL. I don't know what it is about him but I just can't laugh at his antics.

Jan 04 12 - 12:50pm

Obviously your thoughts do not echo the vast majority of SNL fans. Will Ferrell was great on SNL. Unfortunately his movies often are not. I actually feel that way about a lot of SNL cast members. Once they move on from SNL and go on to do movies, the movies are often crappy. I think it has been almost a decade since I laughed at a movie with Adam Sandler, David Spade, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider or Mike Myers in it.

Dec 17 11 - 6:57pm

If any cast member of the last 10 years is ranked higher than 50-or is it lower than-then this list is fuckin rubbish! These "comedians" arent that good, and the writings worse, but geez, the main problem is, they never LEAVE! 4 years , 5 max, should be the limit, as it was with the inaugural actors, and no one was better than them-they should ALL be in the top 10!

Dec 17 11 - 7:32pm

So curious as to how old you are, Phil Nugent? I'm 45 years old and wasn't permitted by my parents to stay up late enough to watch the first few seasons. It would seem to me that you would have to be at least 50 years old and have watched from season one in order to properly compile these rankings. I suspect, however, that you are closer to 25. Because there's NO WAY IN HELL that you could not have Gilda Radner in the top ten! No way at all.
At the very least, I would think that anyone who was only on SNL for one year would have to have ranked the lowest, just by your own description of this list to rank them in "ascending order of their contribution to the show." Please explain to me, Phil, my young friend, how anyone who was only able to last one season could have contributed more than anyone who was on SNL for longer?
This list is by far the biggest FAIL on Nerve in recent history. You should be ashamed.

Dec 18 11 - 1:33pm

If only there were some kind of video machine that would let people watch old shows ...

Dec 21 11 - 7:01pm

i think there's one at unfrozen caveman lawyers house

Dec 26 11 - 12:21pm

ROFLMFAO LOLOLOLOLOLOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec 26 11 - 6:51pm
Alan Coffee

mm +1

May 08 12 - 2:24pm

I'm laughing so hard at MM. Too funny.

Dec 17 11 - 8:26pm
Overdone It A Bit

Calling Jim Belushi the second worst is a bit much. He's not the greatest gift to comedy, but he did supply some moments of mirth. Quite a few of the people ranked above him never did.

Dec 20 11 - 9:17pm

I agree. I feel like the author is being a bit harsh on him simply because he couldn't measure up to his brother. He was in a few good sketches and was funny as Captain Kangaroo. He doesn't deserve to be much higher, but he deserves to be higher than the plethora of people whose names you couldn't remember before reading this list, i.e. Brad Hall.

Dec 17 11 - 8:28pm
May Have Been Asleep

1995's kind of a blur, but I admit I have absolutely no memory whatsoever of Morwenna Banks. Did you make that one up?

Dec 17 11 - 10:50pm

I love lists and understand that not everyone can agree- but this list truly stinks.
Kevin Nealon at #27?! He was not funny to me - I think he belongs in the 90 something range.

Dec 17 11 - 11:35pm
Joe Mama

The "buh-bye" sketch appeared twice. Honest! Once with Helen Hunt, then again with Steve Martin.

Dec 18 11 - 1:03am

Man, what a steal for Finesse Mitchell getting in at the 72 spot. At least Julia Sweeny had a memorable (if horrible) characer. Mitchell's only contribution was being the token black guy one of the shittiest casts of SNL ever.

Dec 18 11 - 2:25am

For this Sketch alone Jim Belushi should bemuch higher

Dec 20 11 - 1:26pm

I thought the exact same thing. That ksetch is a classic. That should be worth jumping ahead of many former members who, frankly, committed the worst sin: you just can't remember them.

Dec 26 11 - 12:26pm

LOL! Point taken Brett!

Dec 18 11 - 8:39am

The list starts out as an attack on people the writer doesn't like, then a list of people the writer doesn't care about, then a tribute to people the writer likes. It should've been split into 3 articles so that the different parts don't discredit each other.

Dec 26 11 - 12:26pm
John Son

Shut the fuck up, Martian.

Dec 18 11 - 2:07pm

I was hoping to see Phil Hartman at #1, but I'll grant that there was some stiff competition for that spot. I'm just happy to see Phil Hartman near the top, getting the credit he deserves. I always thought he was the best cast member ever, personally.

I would have definitely ranked him over Will Ferrell though. Will Ferrell obviously did a lot on that show but I find him kind of hit-or-miss, while Phil Hartman NEVER missed. He was as reliable as it gets. A true pro.

Dec 18 11 - 3:06pm

Terribly subjective list. Jan Hooks? Sexy in her way, but overused and not that funny. She is way too high. The writer seemed to simply stick no-named performers in the middle of the list as opposed to the end where they belonged. Several of those at the back end were simply placed there to gather momentum for this awful ranking.

Dec 18 11 - 3:43pm
i have no name

"He once broke up on the air while playing Frankenstein's monster; it was like seeing Nolan Ryan pitch wild and bean the umpire."

Nolan Ryan is the all-time leader in walks, and second all-time in wild pitches. He's just about the worst possible example you could have chosen for this sentence.

Dec 19 11 - 6:27pm


Apr 16 12 - 12:01am

I thought the same thing. Maybe replace it with Greg Maddux or Roy Halladay.

Dec 18 11 - 3:52pm

This is the weirdest list ever. It's like they're in no particular order, because they aren't in order by who's best. I've seen every episode of SNL and I didn't even remember some of these people! When I saw Victoria Jackson on the bottom I knew it would be bad. Has this person ever even seen this show?

Dec 18 11 - 4:52pm

Exactly. Ranking someone last because you do not agree with their politics invalidates the entire list. Fail.

Dec 19 11 - 12:45am

I bet the writer is annoyed that Victoria Jackson is a conservative because it creates these comments. Dude, she was awful, so annoying.

Dec 18 11 - 4:06pm

NO mention of Casey Wilson or Ben Stiller? FAIL! Also, whatever you think of Victoria Jackson now, her earlier, chubby incarnation Denny Dillon had NO business being ranked ahead of her, let alone that high...

Dec 18 11 - 4:43pm

Maybe it is just me, but I don't tend to advertise a top 100 list that is missing comments on the members in it. Seriously, I get that there are obscure members, but if you don't have anything to say about them then how can you rank them?

Dec 18 11 - 7:40pm

I think you got it exactly right with Murphy as the top guy, he was insanely good before his ego eventually ruined it. But his talent is off the charts.

Dec 18 11 - 8:10pm

i forgot, was Steve Martin Part of the cast?

Dec 19 11 - 12:44am

Nope. Seems like it though because he hosted so many times.

Dec 18 11 - 8:24pm

Dude. Where's Jay Mohr? Also, how come no write up for Norm MacDonald?

Dec 19 11 - 12:43am

Mohr wasn't a full cast member, just what they call a "featured player."

Dec 18 11 - 10:02pm

nora dunn?? really?
list is so ridiculous

Dec 18 11 - 11:34pm

honestly just looked to see who number one was and i wholeheartedly agree

Dec 19 11 - 4:34am

Brian Doyle Murray is also missing from the list.

Dec 19 11 - 8:47am

1 - Abby Elliott is up waaaay too high on this list
2 - Kristen Wiig should not be higher on the list than Bill Hader. That's just kooky talk.

Dec 19 11 - 5:18pm
niccolo and donkey

Phil Hartman is of course the best ever.

Here's my list - http://www.saloforum.com/index.php?posts/8119/

Dec 20 11 - 4:51pm

At least your list is much better than this shite, perhaps with the exception of Rich Hall (though I love Sniglets, I think that he's too high on your list). But I can't understand why you, too, give the short shrift to Gilda Radner. Jan Hooks was terrific, no doubt, but go back and watch some of Gilda's stuff...she was truly brilliant and ground-breaking. Without her, none of the other women would have followed....

Dec 19 11 - 5:39pm

Kristin Wiig, and Dana Carvey are WAAAAYYYY overrated.....

Dec 19 11 - 6:27pm
niccolo and donkey

Dana Carvey was dominant at his time but his material, like that of Mike Myers, hasn't aged well at all.

Dec 19 11 - 9:58pm

Tim Meadows at 12? At best, he should be in the middle of the pack - what have you people been smoking?

Dec 19 11 - 10:17pm

Just what we needed. Another hand-job for the current cast of SNL. This list blows.

Dec 20 11 - 3:58am

It seems as if the people were, for the most part, just randomly placed, and then the biggest stars were put at the top. Except for Robert Downey Jr, who Lorne Michaels is credited as discovering even though he was in several movies before being a cast member, and who even this list compiler admits was awful, lasting only one year, yet is still ranked higher 62. Very weird list. I'm guessing whoever wrote it is around 25 yo. Anyway, Kristen Wiig is the greatest female cast member ever. Cheri O'Teri, Jan Hooks, and Amy Poehler are also up there. Chris Elliot's daughter and Tim Meadows are dreadful. Watching the daughter not get a laugh for her awful impressions is one of the new hallmarks of the show.

Dec 20 11 - 4:31am

Jan Hooks ranking higher than Kristen Wiig? Dude, really?

Dec 20 11 - 5:44am

I figured from the start that Eddie Murphy would be at the top of this list, but - why?! I do not understand why people think that this guy used to be all that great. I've seen some of his old performances, and they are very hammy. (Plus, I absolutely hate his stand-up films, as full of bigotry as they are). John Belushi should also be tossed down to the middle of the list somewhere.

Dec 20 11 - 9:13am

I would rank Murphy pretty high, but Bill Murray and possibly Dan Akyroyd higher. Akyroyd didn't have the strong identifiable persona that Belushi or Chevy Chase had, but his versatility and body of work were pretty extraordinary.

Dec 20 11 - 1:26pm

The fact that Anthony Michael Hall is anywhere other than the bottom of the list, let alone above people like Jimmy Fallon, Jim Belushi, Chris Kattan etc is a blaring sign that this list is bullshit... this person is obviously someone too immature to be making the list cuz they obviously don't have any concept of the classic casts and have ranked it according to their personal like for the individual, instead of the persons accomplishments and effect on the show.

Dec 20 11 - 1:43pm
Domenic Priore

Robert Smigel (TV Funhouse and more) might as well be #1 on this list, and he's not even on it. Will Ferrell sucks, big time, just like Jim Carey to me. Chris Kattan's "monkey"... frickin' same kind of awful. I'm glad that era of "comedy" (loud, obnoxious, stupid, no redeeming value etc.) has almost come to an end. Kristin Wiig unfortunately is still kind of keeping that kind of thing "alive" on the show today, she's about as funny as Joan Davis on "I Married Joan." Kenan Thompson from today's cast, however rated way too low, mostly when he comes on the show today, it picks up. Bill Hader's great, I can't remember the last time I liked a character on the show as much as "Stephon"... and Hader's "Italian" segments are some real genius. Eddie Murphy had his moments but he was also self-righteous '80s egotistical bunkness a lot of the time... definitely not even close to "#1". Gilda Radner is obviously way under-rated by this list, so is Garret Morris, some of the most memorable things on the show (for me, personally) were done by Garret Morris, like him in a Mets uniform sliding into a base at the end of one of Akroyd's "Bad Red Chinese Play"... the Chico Escuela character and his role on "What Men Like" ... What this list shows is how some great talent got shuffled aside, people like Chris Elliot, Chris Rock, John Cusak, Janeane Garofalo all ranking behind Bobby Moynihan says a lot, and then Harry Shearer hovering just abovove Moynihan is another "huh? wha hoppened?" Chevy Chase probably ranked too low as well, John Belushi definitely ranked too low, same with Akroyd and maybe it was just a teenage crush but Laraine Newman was someone I always really looked forward to seeing what she was going to do next. Maya Rudolph was another great one ranked far too low, plus she could sing (good, and funny)... when she was involved with parodies of TV variety shows... or "Club Traxx"... she killed. Finally... it was my great pleasure, when I moved to New York in the late '90s/early 2000s, to be seated on a subway train when Rachel Dratch walked in with a couple of friends and proceeded to tell really funny, biting stories to them my whole ride down the 6 train... she was a great one on the show, of course.

Dec 26 11 - 12:29pm
The Baltimoron

Holy fucking sweet jesus in heaven above, you need to get a life.

Dec 20 11 - 2:32pm

Maya Rudolph is the reason I started watching SNL again in 2001. She and Rachel Dratch coming in under Kevin Nealon (the most painfully unfunny full cast member from the early 90s) is insane.
And say what you want about Chris Kattan but he always got laughs -- watch his old sketches, people LOVE the wiggly guy.
Lastly, for everyone loving Will Ferrell -- I guess you don't remember how much everyone HATED him when he first joined the cast? He could easily swap his number 2 spot with Mike Myers, a comedian who always respected his audience and never ever played "the dumb guy."

Dec 20 11 - 6:23pm

Charles Rocket was the worst, by a mile. Buck Henry was one of my favorites.

Dec 20 11 - 6:32pm

This list is a joke!?!?!?! Has anybody watched SNL lately? Have you laughed at any of the skits other than the Samberg/Timberlake skits? I watch every week hoping for a laugh and rarely do I even snicker. It is a travesty to have any of the current cast members ahead of people like Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, etc. The current cast other than Kristen Wiig is awful and the writing is even more horrendous. Bad job on this list. Sudeikis is horrible!!!

Dec 26 11 - 6:55pm

Dude, this is what SNL was over it's entire existence. Occasional gems and mostly just attempts. Ever watched Monty Python or Kids In The Hall? Same thing. Comedy is difficult. There are too many compilation "best-ofs" for short attention spans. Occasional nuggets of gold, a ton of effort.

Dec 20 11 - 6:33pm

if any woman, Gilda needs to be in the top 10, most of the other women could be a lot lower... let's be real here.

Poehler could be in the top 50, not the top 10 though, no way.

also, let's put Mike Myers at 2 and Will Ferrell at 8, and we might be getting somewhere. (while Ferrell did a lot for SNL at the time, people seem to gloss over the fact the show was fuckawful at that point.)


Dec 20 11 - 9:01pm

PHIL HARTMAN at #4 is not right, he was good but not better then JOHN BELUSHI and DAN AYKROYD
are 1 and 1A

Dec 20 11 - 9:53pm
Awful List!

I'm curious as to the age of the author of this article/creator of this list. Clearly, that person has no frame of reference for the talent of the ORIGINAL cast members. It is a disgrace to place the brilliant Gilda Radner so low. And Eddie Murphy as No. 1? That is utterly ridiculous. Phil Hartman should be No. 1 and Dan Aykroyd should be No. 2. While Bill Murray was occasionally funny, he was tedious and more than a little one-note in his contributions. Jane Curtin, Gilda, and Laraine Newman were founding members and should be revered as such. None of the others after them would even BE on the were it not for them. This list is age-ist and sexist, but when talking SNL, what else is new?

Dec 21 11 - 12:49pm
G Unit

Best Guest Hosts of SNL - Steve Martin & Justin Timberlake.

Dec 21 11 - 9:20pm

You put Victoria Jackson at the bottom for her politics, period. I thought this was supposed to only be about their performances on SNL, not their careers (or lives)? Granted, she's middle-of-the-pack, but you're telling me she's worse than people who got canned after one season? Save your politics for some other list.

Dec 22 11 - 10:36am
12-String Infidel

What he said. Total PC crap. Is Eddie Murphy
really a better comic actor than Bill Murray?

Dec 27 11 - 3:33pm

For all those who are saying that Jackson got put in the lowest slot because of her politics, I would like to ask you: can you name one funny sketch that she was the focal point of during her multiple years on SNL? One?

How about a character she did (and "dumb blonde with squeaky voice" doesn't count, because that's what she was portraying herself as in real life).

In all the time she was on it, I can remember two things she was involved in that were mildly funny: the commercial for the product that burnt off extraneous fingers, and her playing Tina Yothers in the Family Ties sketch when Justine Bateman hosted. The first sketch almost any female cast member could have done, and the second was only funny not because Jackson was doing it, but because the writers just had her say the same word ("Yeah") in each flashback. Again, those were the two BEST things Jackson did IMO, and she didn't bring anything special to the table in either sketch.

To turn the accusation around then, just because her politics resemble your own, doesn't actually make her funny. Maybe Jackson wasn't THE worst if you did a deep, deep analysis of the entire history of the show, but I still think she should be near the bottom regardless.

Dec 22 11 - 1:56pm

this is a terrible ranking - terrible. Molly Shannon at 56? WTF? Radner should be top 5 easy, she was a game changer. and Eddie Murphy, are you kidding me? Top 20 yes but come on. Maya Rudolph 34? Joke. And Chevy Chase is a gross woman hating pig. Anyhoo....terrible ranking. And why would you only rank cast members on appearances/performance when Tina Fey for example was also head writer. She brought the show to new heights, she should be top 10.

Dec 22 11 - 3:02pm

I must be the only person on the planet who doesn't like Andy Samberg. Lazy Sunday was good, and the stuff with Timberlake, but beyond that I don't like any of his stuff.

Dec 22 11 - 4:37pm
Elvis Pretzel

Anyone that gives high ratings to Will Farrell has obviously forgotten the painfully bad skits he's been a part of. Frankly, I'd like to forget them too....

Dec 22 11 - 5:18pm

Did I miss Nora Dunn and Beth Cahill? Cool article, though. Phil Hartman forever!!

Dec 22 11 - 5:25pm

Jane Curtain over Chris Farley???Really?You must be on more drugs than Farley was...

May 18 12 - 12:16am

Farley is not on drugs. He is dead.

Dec 22 11 - 6:06pm
what the...

Seriously? Tina Fey? I get that you hate Palin, but you think she's ahead of some of the comedy greats you dissed? If politics weren't part of your yardstick she wouldn't be in the top 50.

Dec 26 11 - 6:56pm

She's HOT dude, get it on. Fuck her, just don't vote for her.

Dec 22 11 - 6:08pm

1.Will Forte
2.Kristen Wiig
3.Bill Hader
4.Fred Armisan
5.Jason Sudekis
6.Andy Samberg
7-92. The rest.

Dec 22 11 - 7:08pm

I agreed with most of this list except for Darrell Hammond. He did impressions, but that was it. From my understanding, he never got a single sketch on the air, and most of the impression stuff was written by the writers. He was talented at impressions, but I don't think he's top 20 material. As annoying as Rob Schneider's movies are now, he was a better SNL cast member. He was great on the show, and so was Chris Kattan. I feel like some of the cast members were punished on this list by their post-SNL work, which isn't very fair.

Dec 22 11 - 7:25pm

This list sucks. Fallon is by far THE WORST for breaking the cardinal rule, Fey was a good writer not performer, Kristin Wiig is completely overrated and I have a feeling you put Victoria Jackson so high because of her personal politics.

Dec 23 11 - 3:12pm

breaking the rules is the whole point of snl. if he was the worst he wouldn't have been on for so many years.

Dec 22 11 - 8:20pm
Damon Powell

Other than some in back doing better, the top 4 are dead-on. Phil Hartman was just the funniest.

Dec 22 11 - 10:10pm
Brad Reason

Great list, nothing out of whack or anything I'd argue about. I'd probably raise Andy Samberg a bit, and lower Tim Meadows in the list. A great list all around. Good job.

Dec 22 11 - 10:15pm

Nora Dunn at 23? Name one character or skit she was involved in? Can't can you, that probably because she wasn't funny.

Dec 22 11 - 10:39pm
Tony C.

Where's Steve Martin?

Dec 26 11 - 5:19pm

He was not a cast member.

Dec 23 11 - 1:06am

Clearly, anyone who would list that top ten as the best ANYthing, is a person who was either conceived or born during the initial SNL years, has no knowledge or recollection of that era, and has no appreciation for true sketch comedy. For the record, I stopped watching SNL after the first Joe Piscopo show; however, I know the majority of the people and corresponding characters and work, and, while everyone is free to their own opinion, this list is worthless.

Dec 23 11 - 2:02am

Oh c'mon. I loved Horatio Sanz.

Dec 23 11 - 2:57am

What? Eddie Murphy #1? Will Farrel #2? Phil Harman over John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd? Please ... I put Murphy in the top 10 and Farrel top 20 but both these guys were the "B" team in my mind.

Dec 23 11 - 4:56am
Cap'n Bob

Tracy Morgan is waaay to high. So is the unwatchable and never funny Jim Bruer. Will Ferrell #2? Bah!
By the way, Mr. Editor, seeds are not sewn, they are sown.

Dec 23 11 - 4:56am

This is the worst list I have ever seen. Farley not in the top 5? Eddie Murphy 1? Did they even watch SNL? Amy Poehler, although I LOVE UCB, shouldnt be in the top 20.

Dec 23 11 - 9:49am

Has there ever been another cast member so utterly free of talent in every direction as JIM BREUER?

Dec 23 11 - 1:52pm

Phil Nugent is amazing at making terrible lists. He might as well have just used the pull the name out of the hat technique...works just as well.

Dec 23 11 - 2:04pm
Sasquatch McOwens

Congratulations on your research skills! You did come awfully close to actually listing every SNL cast member (at least, what, 80% of them?), and your blurbs are sufficient in convincing the layman that you've actually watched (nay studied!) every one of these performers enough to have compiled a well-reasoned ranking. Some might argue that, say, giving Gail Matthius and Denny Dillon a tied position on your list is little more than an addled acknowledgment of their simultaneous presence on the show rather than a nuanced judgment of two very different performers. I, however, would never ever argue such a thing.

Dec 23 11 - 2:43pm

Dennis Miller arguably made the Daily Show workable by doing the "Fake news" for a long time, even after SNL. Plus he is a hell of a writer, deserves more respect....

Dec 23 11 - 3:50pm

. . . and he had not one funny moment on SNL. He just thought he was funny.

Dec 23 11 - 2:51pm

so wrong on horatio. shame shame. also, could you try making a list that is one page long with no clickys? thanks

Dec 23 11 - 2:55pm

you put will forte behind seth myers? just for delivery alone he should be way way up there.

Dec 23 11 - 4:00pm
mike v

Chris Farley doesn't even make the top 20? Are you people serious? This list is really bad.

Dec 23 11 - 4:05pm

Gotta say, Nealon and Kazurinsky are a little high,-up same with Tim Meadows---mostly agree with the rest.

Dec 23 11 - 10:49pm


All ranked higher than Jimmy Fallon, one of the most universally praised/beloved members in SNL history. Yeah, ok. That's as far as I look. I was almost out when Ellen Cleghorne ranked higher than Rob Schneider, but marched on. I know it's all objective/an internet list etc etc etc BUT COME THE FRUCK ON!!!!

Dec 24 11 - 11:29pm

If you think Jimmy Fallon was universally praised/beloved, you're inhabiting a very selective universe.

May 27 12 - 3:38am

Jimmy Fallon is one of Lorne Michael's unfunny pet projects. Same goes for Kristen Wiig. They are both awful. They get too much praise.

Dec 24 11 - 8:56am

This list is all over the map except for some top tens. Whee is Andy Kaufman? Dennis miller was way to high and Hellooooooo...any one heard of STEVE MARTIN?????

Dec 27 11 - 3:19pm

Neither Kaufman nor Martin were cast members.

Dec 24 11 - 6:48pm

What? How is it that WILL FARRELL is in the top 10 but Gilda Radner isnt? Give me a break. Radner had more talent than Ferrell will EVER hope to have.

Dec 25 11 - 12:09am

Your list could not be more incorrect

Dec 31 11 - 1:28pm

Well then, YOU write one and publish it on Nerve, you fucking twit. Can't wait to see it and critique it.

Dec 25 11 - 3:47am

Chris Rock, far below Bobby Boynawhatever, absolutely terrible. So much wrong with this list.

Dec 27 11 - 3:23pm

This is a list based ONLY on their work on SNL, not in their whole careers. Rock himself has had very harsh things to say about his work on SNL--that he wasn't properly utilized and therefore his performance was often mediocre.

Dec 31 11 - 1:27pm

As opposed to the REST of his work, where he wasn't properly utilized and therefore his performance was often mediocre.

Dec 26 11 - 3:35am

Calling Norm Macdonald the best Weekend Update anchor ever is like calling Tina Fey illiterate.

I liked Norm, because I'm not a hater, and he was a little edgy and caught people off guard with those punchlines about crack, or OJ Simpson, or both, but if you found his humor that funny, "Best SNL Weekend Update host," your sense of humor is mildly retarded in a clinical sense.

May 27 12 - 3:11am

Most people think Norm Macdonald was the best weekend update host ever. It's not even debatable anymore. The people that don't think he was the best just didn't get him. He should even be ranked higher than he is because he had some good sketches, too.

Dec 28 11 - 1:59am

tim meadows in 12th... that's funnier than anything meadows ever did on the show ( and in 10 seasons, has anyone had more?) wiig should be top 10 for sure, she's been in damn near every sketch for several seasons now, and she's perhaps the most versatile actor/comedian to ever appear on the show... also where's casey wilson, was she never an official cast member, only "featured?" props for putting the list together, but i disagree with your ordering considerably...

Dec 30 11 - 4:12pm

as for Wayans, Watkins, Wilson...it appears that only Main Cast, not Featured Players, are counted in this list.

so can i get a shout-out for Emily Prager??!?!!!?

Jan 01 12 - 1:28am
Holy crap

Tim Meadows was better than Chris Farley? That just isn't even close to debatable.

Jan 01 12 - 12:49pm
Case Thompson

These lists are designed to provoke responses just to show readership, but good night, this was not thought through at all. Did you get drunk and just surf the web: "Oh, yeah, he was on the show. Put him in at seventy-something."

Jan 03 12 - 9:10pm
PL Holden

That list brought back some awesome memories, but I gotta say, Chris Rock is much higher up on my list.

Jan 06 12 - 5:38am

I'm pretty shocked...how do you pull up this many people and write such a fantastic and spot-on list, and leave out STEVE MARTIN? What the flying fuck, it would be an outrage for him not to be in the top 3, let alone unlisted. Ffs

Jan 06 12 - 11:47pm

He was not a cast member. ffs

Jan 06 12 - 5:41am

All ass-hattedness on my part aside, this was still extremely well done as funny as shit to read otherwise.

Jan 07 12 - 11:59am
Hello Kitty

I can understand ranking the actors based on their work solely on (SNL), since this is after all an SNL poll. But was Murphy really all that great on the show???? I've seen clips, episodes of him through the magic of DVDs, and I have to say that I've seen better and believe that other cast members have made a greater contribution to the show than he did. Maybe Murphy could fit in the top 20, but certainly not one.

As for Jimmy Fallon, he was a very beloved cast member on the show - the hosting gig that he just did brought in great ratings (the guy was missed). IMO he should have been ranked much higher on the list. This guy was a strong player who could do just about anything thrown at him. If the only reason for a low ranking is because he laughed at his own jokes...that doesn't seem fair. The same could be said to Horatio S., another talented guy that was ranked too low (presumably for laughing at his own stuff). Both guys made great contributions and were strong utility players that delivered the goods.

Jan 07 12 - 12:06pm
Hello Kitty

I meant to say list instead of poll (though a poll could be very interesting in gauging public opinion).

Also wanted to add that the top ten ranking is very solid (with the exclusion of Murphy at top spot). I don't know who I'd pick as number one, but it wouldn't be him.

As for Chris Farley, I would have fit him in top 20 at best, he was phenomenal in the show (personal life aside, as it should be - we are only looking at body of work on the show). And Farley was wonderful. :)

Jan 08 12 - 4:45am

IMO, There's some debate between Farley, Spade, Chase, Fallon, but hard to argue about the top 10.
Maybe you can make a case to bump Amy Poehler, the rest are pretty spot on.

Jan 08 12 - 5:44pm

This is a shit list. I agree with Tina and Amy being in the top 10 but over Gilda and Farley? That just isn't right. I love them, but really? They should be 8 and 9. Again- why the frick is Abby Elliott so high? She sucks, isn't funny, and is cue card Sally. Nasim outshines her by far (where is Nasim, anyway?) Jimmy Fallon should not be ranked that low, and neither should Horatio. I love Bill Hader and as much as I like Kristen Wiig, Bill should be ahead of her. Stefon- OMG.

Jan 08 12 - 6:19pm
Hello Kitty

Nasim is awesome (she's also not one of the main players, she's secondary in the credits). What's interesting is that for a secondary player, she is featured a lot (probably because Lorne M knows that she can carry skits).

As for Abby Elliot...I won't say that she's untalented, but I really don't know who the gal is. I can't pick her out on the screen (is she heavily featured?) I think she's a bit high on the list, hasn't quite earned her stripes the way some of the other cast members have.

Amy P is awesome and I think she earns her spot (there's a reason she was nominated for an Emmy while on the show).

It'd be nice if Nerve.com could do a ranking of secondary players (secondary players that never became primary members or whatever you want to call the people who get named first in the opening credits). Then you could compare Nasim and some of the other cast members as well.

Jan 09 12 - 11:20pm

Rachel Dratch, criminally underrated... must have been mistype. Least funny comedienne ever, most overrated.

Jan 13 12 - 10:22pm
Hello Kitty

Gotta disagree; I just saw the 'Best of Jimmy Fallon' on DVD and Dratch was heavily featured....she was a very strong player. Wonder what she's doing now.

Jan 27 12 - 1:36pm
John Ervin

Eddie Murphy at number one!? Why do people still worship this jerk after all these eyars? He made three good movies and did a few funny skits on SNL back in the eighties and has been spending the last three decades as one of Hollywood's most overpaid, overrated a-holes! Give me Joe Piscopo any day over this a-wipe!

May 13 12 - 8:49am

3 good movies???? Trading places, beverly hills cops 1and2, both 48 hours, harlem nights, boomerang, COMING TO AMERICA, I Spy, and 2 Phenomenal stand ups

Feb 10 12 - 4:26am

your obvious list is being obviously wrong

Feb 12 12 - 5:05am

kenan thompson #61????? he should be on bottom 3 list

Feb 17 12 - 5:45pm

I'm torn. Andy Samberg does deserve some credit for reviving the series with the digital shorts but he's still on the show and it kind of sucks again. Chris Farley IMHO deserves to be in the top five since the Matt Foley sketch is easily the best ever. Then again, Eddie Murphy completely tore up the 80s,he's in like every one of the best sketches from the 80s (relevant: http://www.ranker.com/list/the-best-saturday-night-live-sketches-of-the-...) but so did Will Ferrell in the 90s and 00s. This is so hard to pick! Gah!

Feb 19 12 - 2:20am

Glad to see Jan Hooks outranking Kristen Wiig. I think she should outrank Fey and Poehler as well, but that's because she's in my top five cast members of all time.

Mar 11 12 - 10:43am

I love Tina Fey but top 10 seems high. I HATED HATED HATED Amy Poehler on the show and have no idea how she sniffs the top 30, let alone the top 10.

Will Ferrell over Phil Hartman and Bill Murray? Blasphemy!

Mar 18 12 - 1:41am
Aaron J.

Ummm.....Gilda not in the Top 10? And Dan Aykroyd in the top five? Sorry, Dan Akroyd was really not that funny. His humor was far more forced that Gilda's. Gilda was by far more of a natural comic talent than Aykroyd. I watched "The best of Dan Aykroyd" a few months back and you know what? He really was not that funny. Also, Joe Piscopo was VERY funny. He was one of the best character actors ever. Far funnier than Hammond. Phil Hartman was a good pick though.

Mar 31 12 - 2:41am

headphones price beats by dr dre available in a variety of shapes, colors, Cheap Beats by Dre styles and sizes. To make the result even more complicated, Cheap Beats by Dre a clean and professional is requested by requiring consumers’ living patterns vary considerably by dre monster vie.
Monster Dre Beatsbeats To meet these requirements, companies must price beats by dr dre provide the best audio sound in the smallest of the atria. Monster? s mission with all Beats by Dre Solo were consistent with a studio in a more portable. Beats By Dre Did they accomplish their stated purpose? You? Monster beats by dre Beats By Dre Pro ll soon see as we explain its flaws and strengths.

Beats By Dre Lady GagaThe answer to Beats by Dre online success was actually monster beats by dre effective marketing tactics that start when your attention caught a look in the box. The display hangs superb presentation of the crowd, Beats by Dr Dre
and imbeds mentally you are buying from? Abest ?the best?A. When you open it, for two incredible sexy headphones have reached your disposition.effectivement monster beats by dre its marketing tactics The only thing that can choose Beats by dre uk the best price can experience beats by dr dre be a mind-blowing sound.

The song is the first price beats by dr dre and played?magic Beats by Dre ?A is allé.effectivement monster beats by dre its marketing tactics Another song is playing and we get some,?magic?At back.Let? s start out that your headphones are not big enough to cover your ears. His escapes on small hiccups that leave a less definition. Beats by Dre Kopfhörer If you plan to create some form of joint, the Solos to create a full sound with a muddy bass overwhelming. For bass lovers, due to what you? re looking for. For the rest of the earth, bass consumes a significant amount of guts and upper Beats by Dre Headphones areas leaving them just the price beats by dr dre meat for them.

Apr 05 12 - 6:51pm

Why is Seth Myers so low and Kenan Thompson? They're hilarious.

Apr 06 12 - 10:40am

I like the commentary on each character, but the rankings are completely off.

Face it: No cast member of SNL from the last 10 years should even make the top 20 except Will Ferrell and maybe Tina Fey (for good measure. I never thought she was all that funny but a great writer nonetheless.) Amy Poehler, Andy Sandberg, Kenan Thompson, and Jason Sedeckis should be way further down on the list. Seth Meyers just plain sucks. Nothing that guy ever does is funny.

Calling Eddie Murphy number one is a complete farce. He didn't have very strong tenure on the show. He was awesome, but only for a few seasons and he had a real lackluster cast to back him up. The early 80s was essentially not SNL but the Joe Piscapo and Eddie Murphy comedy hour.

Other gripes:

--Norm McDonald was not the best Weekend Update anchor. That award goes to Jane Curtain and Dan Akroyd. You can't top that duo. His ranking, IMHO is justified though.
--Having Martin Short, Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest at 18 is another poor call. Neither of them should be that high because while all great comedic geniuses, they didn't contribute a whole lot to the show in each of their short runs.
--Dennis Miller is too low on the list. He was better than Norm at doing the news and was always pretty funny when they gave him a sketch.
--Tim Medows at 12? No way. That's a pipe dream.
--A few of the 1980s female cast members like Nora Dunn are way too high. The 80s female cast members were completely overshadowed by all the strong male performances. None of them stood a chance in hell at being talented.

May 27 12 - 3:29am

Dennis Miller was not better on Weekend Update than Norm. Nor were Akroyd and Curtain. It's common knowledge Norm was the best. Even Chevy Chase, despite being a total asshole, said Norm was the only person to get it right after him. Amy Pohler has earned her spot. She may be the best female cast member ever, with Gilda Radner a close second.

Jul 05 12 - 11:34am

after going back and watching more and more of the show, Norm is definitely the best but Dennis is still too low. Akroyd and Curtain were still great as hosts.

I actually would go on a limb and say that the best female SNL cast members would be Gilda and Jan Hooks.

Apr 09 12 - 12:03am
Carl White

This was a fun list.
Its amazing how I know all of these names but how few cast members really had big careers post SNL.
Fame is funny, I think of so many of these people as stars thanks to my memories but then you google them and realize that for the most part for so many of them their moment in the sun was so short-lived.
I still think of Joe Piscopo as a big star and then you realize he is lucky to be doing dinner theatre at this point in his career.
I think I may need to have a mid-life crisis now.

Apr 14 12 - 2:08pm
Lola Crantum

You left out a number of people: Nasim Pedrad, Maya Rudolph, Jenny Slate, Steve Martin, and plenty others. This list is poorly opinionized and flawed.

Apr 15 12 - 7:05pm

Steve Martin was never a cast member, only host. I liked the list except, I think Bill murray should have been number one.

Apr 20 12 - 4:15am

1. Phil Hartman
2. Will Ferrell
3. Tina Fey
4. Dana Carvey
5. Jan Hooks
6. Chris Farley
7. Mike Myers
8. Rachel Dratch
9. Bill Hader
10. Chevy Chase
11. Steve Martin
12. Dan Aykroyd
13. John Belushi
14. Eddie Murphy
15. Bill Murray
16. Kristen Wiig
17. Kevin Nealon
18. Dennis Miller
19. Ana Gasteyer
20. Jon Lovitz
21. Chris Parnell
22. Norm Macdonald
23. Adam Sandler
24. Amy Pohler
25. Chris Rock
26. David Spade
27. Jason Sudeikis
28. Maya Rudolph
29. Darrell Hammond
30. Robert Smigel

Jul 18 12 - 9:58pm


May 06 12 - 12:52am
james g

your list is an abortion! who ever put this list together should have their internet priveleges revoked, and obviously has NO knowledge of the show and it's cast members. What a terrible job nerve.com. I will be sure not to visit your site again... unless i want to get some bad information. You have Anthony Michael Hall ranked ahead of Jimmy Fallon... enough said. Next time you want to do a story, try doing some research first.

May 27 12 - 3:33am

Jimmy Fallon sucks.

May 06 12 - 7:47am

Kenan Thompson should be #92 only because this is an all inclusive list.

May 27 12 - 3:18am

I agree. "What's up with that?" is possibly the worst recurring sketch of all time.

May 17 12 - 4:01am

Abbie Ellito and Vanessa Bayer should be placed last...they are untalented!

May 25 12 - 1:13am

How does no one's list include Darrel Hammond even in thier top 20?? Clinton, Regis, Chris Matthews, Jessie Jackson, etc....... and 14 years on the show?

May 27 12 - 3:32am

He only did impressions, at least Dana Carvey, another major impressionist, had some characters.

May 30 12 - 8:46pm

The credibility of this list got shaky with Horatio Sanz, the completely crumbled with Fallon. Both ridiculously low.

Jun 02 12 - 9:39am

This list is ok but in my opinion Kristen Wiig should replace Tina Fey in the top 10. Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are also great!. These past few seasons have included one of the better cast ensembles in SNL history with Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jason Sudaikis, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Chris Parnell and Amy Poeller.Wow, all very talentented and some have moved on to better things and more are leaving this year! This group is up there with the original cast in my opinion as far as talent. Just wish the writing was as good as back then..

Jun 02 12 - 9:58am
Sue B

Keenan Thompson is hilarious when he has the right material! Unfortunetly, the writers don't know how to utilize his comic talents. He can sometimes say nothing or very little and have a look on his face that will make you laugh!. Also, Bill Hader is sooo hilarious and so versatile..very underated. They both do well for what the writers offer on the show.. sad about Kristen Wiig leaving. super talented!

Jun 02 12 - 6:18pm

Stupid list is stupid. The person who made this list has no idea about comedy. These are all superficial critiques. Learn about comedy first. This is why sometimes I hate the internet. Some people think they have a clue, then actually have the balls to write about it online.

Jun 03 12 - 5:11am

It's bad enough that Gilda Radner wasn't listed as number 1 but to list Tim Meadows ahead of her? are you freaking kiding me? That's like listing Greg Kite ahead of Larry Bird on a list of greatest Boston celtics players.. What a joke.

Jun 04 12 - 3:31pm

Congratulations to everyone commenting on this list hating on the newer cast members. You've officially become the pedantic alumni of youth revisiting your metaphorical old campus telling everyone, "Yeah but in MY day, WE had real stars." No one cares. Young people like the new cast. Young people make up most of comedy. If you don't find it funny anymore, it's probably because you've outgrown it. Now go to bed early on Saturday nights and leave enjoying the talented cast and writing staff to the people who haven't given up yet.

Jun 12 12 - 1:50am

Seriously? Bobby Moynihan at 37? Are you as retarded as he is?? Please put him at 89 where he belongs.

Jun 18 12 - 5:12am
SNL 4 Life

Seriously, the author of the article is f-king with us all. I get it, jokes on us all…made us look like a-holes. HA HA! Ok, the Top Ten isn’t bad but John Belushi & Chris Farley shares the 5th spot. Terry Sweeney at #38? The guy was on SNL for five minutes and was horrible, not funny at all. WTF?!?

But seriously, just my two cents -
1. Steve Martin gets the SNL Cast Member Honorary Doctorate. His sketches, career and 2nd most host appearences give him alumni status, unoffical or not.
SNL Sketches – King Tut, Two Wild & Crazy Guys (The Festrunk Brothers w/Dan Aykroyd), Penis Beauty Crème, Theodoric of York-Medieval Barber, A Christmas Wish, Close Talkers

2. #1 All-Time SNL Cast Member: Eddie Murphy + 1 (Joe Piscopo)
I guess if my first impression of Eddie Murphy was Doctor Doolittle, The Nutty Professor and Shrek; I’d probably think he was a no talent comedic hack too. But before all that, his work on SNL was ground breaking comedy for TV. Not to mention he wrote the majority of his own material.

Classic SNL Sketches – Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood, Ebony & Ivory w/Joe Piscopo, Velvet Jones, White Like Me, I’m Gumby Damnit, Buckwheat (Buh-Weet Sings), Tyrone Green-Prose and Cons, Little Richard Simmons Show, Pudge & Solomon w/Joe Piscopo, Stevie Wonder Impersonator w/Steve Wonder as impersonator.

Aug 10 12 - 6:21pm

How could Steve Martin possibly not make the top ten? This list lost all credibility with his omission.

Aug 12 12 - 2:03am
Trace Oakley

Not a bad list, overall. No one is going to completely agree with such a comprehensive list, but my quibbles are relatively few: Gilda not being in the top ten is ludicrous, Laraine ranked at 40 is way too low (she's a top ten in my opinion), Carvey, Fey and Poehler don't belong in the top ten, and I wouldn't put Hartman that high. Wiig belongs in the bottom 20, not the top 20. I would put Brad Hall and Victoria Jackson at a tie for last. Michael O'Donoghue was never a full-fledged cast member, though he did appear int he very first SNL sketch. He brought much of the danger that originally distinguished the show. He should be much higher.

Aug 13 12 - 12:32am

Eddie Murphy is not funny.

Aug 18 12 - 10:03pm

Where's Nasim...? D;

Aug 25 12 - 4:41am

To comment on factual errors and list inconsistencies, rather than a debate of opinions:

#69: There were two "Total Bastard Airlines" (aka "buh-bye") sketches, not one. The first (the one we're all familiar with) was Helen Hunt/Snoopy the Dogg, the second was Steve Martin/Eric Clapton.

#59: I'm not sure what relevance modern audiences possibly not being aware of who Mike Douglas was has on your point about the sketch's viability in the 1970s, when the audience was quite aware of who Mike Douglas was.

#28: Dratch probably isn't the best example for Fallon to follow in the breaking department.

While I get the idea behind excluding featured players from the list (does anyone need to be told that Patrick Weathers didn't make an impression on the show?), you skirted the line by including George Coe and Michael O' Donoghue. While listed in the opening credits of the first few episodes ever, they're historically considered featured players, even though such a billing wouldn't be used until 1979. Al Franken and Tom Davis also fell into this category, so at the very least, you should have included them.

Sep 03 12 - 11:21am

does anyone remember the girl walking down the street with the poka dot dress on in the intro to the show , i think it was in the eighties i like to see that again

Sep 05 12 - 8:34pm

Nike NFL Jerseys might decide that it's a good idea to start buying Burberry Outlet in addition to gold Burberry Outlet and diamonds. Their particular British scents for women by Burberry Outlet fragrances are appropriate for normal use.Who does not recognize Wholesale Nike Nfl Jerseys ? Everybody who is anybody has a Burberry Sale on their collection. Unfortunately not everybody could afford an expensive Burberry Sale and it is more practical to buy Burberry Sale that look the same as the original.Most teens desire famous name NFL Jerseys Cheap . As the prices most of the Burberry Outlet Online seen as excessive and unaffordable, some parents of these teens who may not buy these sorts of Burberry Outlet Online might not seek these Burberry Outlet Online . Most parents of these girls have found a good Louis Vuitton Outlet to buy their teenage daughters sophisticated Michael Kors Outlet is with Michael Kors handbags. Teenage girls needing to stay up with the recent fashion wish these Louis Vuitton Outlet .These Michael Kors Outlet are always very impressive.