Saturday Night Live cast members

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

List of all cast members[edit]

As of September 2017, the show has featured 148 cast members. The list below includes both repertory and featured players, but omits SNL writers and others who were not listed as cast members during the show's credits. The dates given are those of the years they were part of the cast. The chart also shows whether the cast member has served as a guest host, appeared as the anchorperson of the "Weekend Update" segment (by any of its titles), or has been the subject of their own "Best of" home video collection. Many of the cast members were writers as well.

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Performer Years active No. of seasons Repertory player Featured player only "Weekend Update" anchor Hosted Best of... Writer
Fred Armisen 20022013 11 Green tickY Green tickY
Dan Aykroyd 19751979 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Peter Aykroyd 1979–1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Morwenna Banks 1994–1995 1 Green tickY
Vanessa Bayer 20102017 7 Green tickY
Jim Belushi 19831985 2 Green tickY Green tickY
John Belushi 19751979 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Beck Bennett 2013present 5 Green tickY
Jim Breuer 19951998 3 Green tickY
Paul Brittain 20102012 2 Green tickY
A. Whitney Brown 19851991 6 Green tickY Green tickY
Aidy Bryant 2012present 6 Green tickY
Beth Cahill 1991–1992 1 Green tickY
Dana Carvey 19861993 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Chevy Chase 1975–1976 1 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Michael Che 2014present 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Ellen Cleghorne 19911995 4 Green tickY
George Coe 1975–1976 1 Green tickY
Billy Crystal 1984–1985 1 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jane Curtin 19751980 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Joan Cusack 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Pete Davidson 2014present 4 Green tickY
Tom Davis 19771980 3 Green tickY Green tickY
Mikey Day 2016present 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Denny Dillon 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Jim Downey 1979–1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Robert Downey Jr. 1985–1986 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Brian Doyle-Murray 1979–1980
1981–1982
2 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Rachel Dratch 19992006 7 Green tickY
Robin Duke 19801984 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Nora Dunn 19851990 5 Green tickY
Christine Ebersole 1981–1982 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Dean Edwards 20012003 2 Green tickY
Abby Elliott 20082012 4 Green tickY
Chris Elliott 1994–1995 1 Green tickY
Jimmy Fallon 19982004 6 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Siobhan Fallon 1991–1992 1 Green tickY
Chris Farley 19901995 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Will Ferrell 19952002 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Tina Fey 20002006 6 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Will Forte 20022010 8 Green tickY
Al Franken 19771980
1985–1986
19881995
11 Green tickY Green tickY
Heidi Gardner 2017present 1 Green tickY
Janeane Garofalo 1994–1995 1 Green tickY
Ana Gasteyer 19962002 6 Green tickY
Gilbert Gottfried 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Mary Gross 19811985 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Christopher Guest 1984–1985 1 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Bill Hader 20052013 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Anthony Michael Hall 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Brad Hall 19821984 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Rich Hall 1984–1985 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Darrell Hammond 19952009 14 Green tickY Green tickY
Phil Hartman 19861994 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jan Hooks 19861991 5 Green tickY
Yvonne Hudson 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Melanie Hutsell 19911994 3 Green tickY
Victoria Jackson 19861992 6 Green tickY
Leslie Jones 2014present 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Colin Jost 2013present 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Kattan 19952003 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Tim Kazurinsky 19801984 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Laura Kightlinger 1994–1995 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Taran Killam 20102016 6 Green tickY
David Koechner 1995–1996 1 Green tickY
Gary Kroeger 19821985 3 Green tickY
Matthew Laurance 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus 19821985 3 Green tickY Green tickY
Jon Lovitz 19851990 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Norm Macdonald 19931998 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Gail Matthius 1980–1981 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Michael McKean 19931995 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Mark McKinney 19941997 3 Green tickY
Kate McKinnon 2012present 7 Green tickY
Tim Meadows 19902000 10 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Laurie Metcalf 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Seth Meyers 20012014 13 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
John Milhiser 2013–2014 1 Green tickY
Dennis Miller 19851991 6 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jerry Minor 2000–2001 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Finesse Mitchell 20032006 3 Green tickY
Alex Moffat 2016present 2 Green tickY
Jay Mohr 19931995 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Kyle Mooney 2013present 5 Green tickY
Tracy Morgan 19962003 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Garrett Morris 19751980 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Bobby Moynihan 20082017 9 Green tickY
Eddie Murphy 19801984 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Bill Murray 19761980 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Mike Myers 19881995 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Kevin Nealon 19861995 9 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Laraine Newman 19751980 5 Green tickY
Don Novello 1979–1980
1985–1986
2 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Luke Null 2017present 1 Green tickY
Mike O'Brien 2013–2014 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Michael O'Donoghue 19751978 3 Green tickY Green tickY
Cheri Oteri 19952000 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Parnell 19982006 8 Green tickY
Nasim Pedrad 20092014 5 Green tickY
Jay Pharoah 20102016 6 Green tickY
Joe Piscopo 19801984 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Amy Poehler 20012009 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Emily Prager 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Randy Quaid 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Colin Quinn 19952000 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Gilda Radner 19751980 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Redd 2017present 1 Green tickY
Jeff Richards 20012004 3 Green tickY
Rob Riggle 2004–2005 1 Green tickY
Ann Risley 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Tim Robinson 2012–2013 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Rock 19901993 3 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Charles Rocket 1980–1981 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Tony Rosato 19801982 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Jon Rudnitsky 2015–2016 1 Green tickY
Maya Rudolph 19992008 9 Green tickY Green tickY
Andy Samberg 20052012 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Adam Sandler 19901995 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Horatio Sanz 19982006 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Tom Schiller 1979–1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Rob Schneider 19901994 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Paul Shaffer 1979–1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Molly Shannon 19942001 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Harry Shearer 1979–1980
1984–1985
2 Green tickY Green tickY
Martin Short 1984–1985 1 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Sarah Silverman 1993–1994 1 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jenny Slate 2009–2010 1 Green tickY
Robert Smigel 19911993 2 Green tickY Green tickY
David Spade 19901996 6 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Pamela Stephenson 1984–1985 1 Green tickY
Ben Stiller 1988–1989 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Cecily Strong 2012present 6 Green tickY Green tickY
Jason Sudeikis 20042013 9 Green tickY Green tickY
Julia Sweeney 19901994 4 Green tickY
Terry Sweeney 1985–1986 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Kenan Thompson 2003present 15 Green tickY
Danitra Vance 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Melissa Villaseñor 2016present 2 Green tickY
Dan Vitale 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Nancy Walls 1995–1996 1 Green tickY
Michaela Watkins 2008–2009 1 Green tickY
Damon Wayans 1985–1986 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Patrick Weathers 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Noël Wells 2013–2014 1 Green tickY
Brooks Wheelan 2013–2014 1 Green tickY
Kristen Wiig 20052012 7 Green tickY Green tickY
Casey Wilson 20072009 2 Green tickY
Fred Wolf 19951997 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Sasheer Zamata 20132017 4 Green tickY
Alan Zweibel 1979–1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY

Timeline of cast members[edit]

Lighter colors denote "featured players" versus repertory cast members.


Notable tenures[edit]

Longest tenures[edit]

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

Performer No. of seasons Notes
Kenan Thompson 15 Thompson holds the records of being the longest-tenured cast member in the show's history having been a cast member since 2003. He is also the first cast member who was born after the show's premiere in 1975.
Darrell Hammond 14 Hired after a cast overhaul in 1995, he is the last cast member hired in the 1990s to leave the show, and the oldest cast member to leave the show (age 53 when he left the show in 2009). In 2014, Hammond returned to the show where he replaced Don Pardo as the show's announcer after Pardo's death, and often appears in sketches, reprising old roles such as Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
Seth Meyers 13 He joined the show in 2001, in 2006, he starting anchoring Weekend Update and in 2012, his tenure on Weekend Update reached its seventh season, making him the longest-serving Weekend Update anchor (breaking the records held by Dennis Miller and Tina Fey). He continued to anchor Update until he left the show in February 2014 to take over hosting duties for Late Night.
Fred Armisen 11 Armisen joined the show in 2002, and left at the end of season 38 in 2013. He is the show's longest-running Hispanic cast member (beating out the Chilean-born Horatio Sanz). Armisen is also the longest-running cast member of any Asian descend (his paternal grandfather was Korean).
Al Franken Hired as a writer in the beginning of the series, as the show progressed, he and Tom Davis were allowed to perform material on-air sporadically. He left the show in 1980, but returned to the show when Lorne Michaels came back in 1985, regaining his writing and on-air featured status until 1995. Later elected the junior United States Senator from Minnesota.
Tim Meadows 10 Meadows joined the show in early 1991. He left the show at the end of the season 25, which ended in 2000, after ten seasons on the show.
Kevin Nealon 9 Nealon joined the show as a featured player in 1986 following a major cast overhaul, and was promoted to contract status the following year. He served as Weekend Update anchor for his sixth through eighth seasons, then gave up the position in his ninth. After nine seasons on the show, Nealon left in 1995.
Bobby Moynihan He joined the show at the beginning of season 34 in 2008, and departed after the finale of season 42 in 2017.
Maya Rudolph She joined the show in early 2000 towards the end of season 25. She was absent for most of season 31 following the birth of her child. She left the show in Nov 2007, during the first half of season 33 which coincided with the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
Jason Sudeikis He joined towards the end of season 30 in May 2005, after having been a writer for the show in the previous season. He left at the end of season 38 in 2013.
Will Forte 8 Forte joined the cast in 2002, and left in 2010 after the release of MacGruber.
Bill Hader Hader joined the cast in 2005 left at the end of season 38 in 2013, alongside Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis.
Phil Hartman Hartman was brought onto the cast for the show's twelfth season in 1986 following a major cast overhaul, and left following the finale of the nineteenth season in 1994. He also returned to host the show twice in 1996.
Chris Kattan Kattan moved to New York to work on the show as a featured player in 1996, later becoming a full-time member along with Tracy Morgan and Ana Gasteyer. Most notably, he played alongside Will Ferrell as one of the Butabi Brothers, who also featured in the 1998 film A Night at the Roxbury. He left the show in 2003.
Chris Parnell Parnell joined the cast in 1998, and was fired after the finale of the twenty sixth season in 2001 to make way for new talent. About a year later, he was rehired and remained on the show until he was let go again due to budget cuts in 2006.[1]
Amy Poehler Poehler joined SNL in 2001 along with Seth Meyers. She served as co-anchor of Weekend Update with Tina Fey (2004–06) and with Meyers (2006–08). She left the series in December 2008 to begin production on Parks and Recreation. She was the show's longest-running female cast member with 142 episodes as a credited cast member until 2017, where she was surpassed by former cast member Vanessa Bayer, who had been on SNL for 149 episodes.
Horatio Sanz Sanz joined the cast in 1998, and later briefly served as co-anchor of Weekend Update, in season 31 with Poehler, for two episodes, after Fey gave birth to her first child (making him the show's only Hispanic Weekend Update anchor). He was also let go due to budget cuts in 2006.[1]

Shortest tenures[edit]

The following is a list of the former cast members who have had the shortest tenures, spending less than a full 20-episode season on the show.[2]

Performer No. of episodes Notes
Catherine O'Hara 0 In the early 1980s, when SCTV was in between network deals, she was hired to replace Ann Risley when SNL was being retooled in 1981. However, she quit the show without ever appearing on air, choosing to go back to SCTV when the show signed on with NBC. Her SNL position was then given to fellow Canadian Robin Duke. Despite never appearing on the show as a cast member, she did return to host in 1991.
Emily Prager 1 Hired by Dick Ebersol to be a featured player, she appeared in a few sketches at dress rehearsal in what would be the final episode of season six, due to the Writers' Guild of America going on strike in 1981. She did not return to the SNL cast in season seven. Although she did not appear in the single episode for which she was credited as a featured player, she had appeared uncredited in five previous episodes.[3]
Laurie Metcalf 1 She also was hired as part of Ebersol's temporary season six cast following the termination of Jean Doumanian, and appeared on-camera in a Weekend Update piece. When the show was put on hiatus for retooling, she was not chosen to return to the show for the season seven cast.
Dan Vitale 3 Hired as an on-and-off featured player for season 11, he was only credited with appearing in three episodes throughout the season.
Morwenna Banks 4 She was hired as a repertory player for the last four episodes of season 20, but was let out of her contract as part of a major cast overhaul Lorne Michaels had planned for season 21.
Ben Stiller 4 Before becoming a cast member, he submitted a short film – a parody of the movie The Color of Money – that was shown on the season 12 episode hosted by Charlton Heston. He was hired during season 14, but quit after four episodes due to creative differences. Despite this, he returned to host in 1998 and 2011.
Fred Wolf 4 He's been a writer since 1992. However, he became a featured player in near the end season 21 for the last four episodes, however, he only appeared and was credited for episodes 17, 18, and 20. His last episode was in the 3rd episode of the 22nd season. After that episode, he decided to leave the show for good.
Tom Schiller 7 One of the show writers who was upgraded to cast member status during season five, he left the show at the end of the season.
Patrick Weathers 7 Hired as a featured cast member for season six, he was fired along with many of Doumanian's cast.
George Coe 8 He was one of the original "Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players", because NBC wanted someone older in the cast. He was credited for only the first three episodes, though he continued to make several uncredited appearances throughout the first season.
Yvonne Hudson 8 She was a recurring extra during season five, and became the first black female cast member in season six. Like many of Doumanian's cast, she was fired mid-season.
Jim Downey 9 He was hired as one of many writers-turned-feature players in season five, and though he left the cast after the season, he returned to the show as a writer in the mid-1980s and has remained with it.
Matthew Laurance 10 Hired as a feature player during season six, he was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Alan Zweibel 11 A writer for the show before joining the cast in season five, he left after the season finale.
Gilbert Gottfried 12 He joined the cast for season six and was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Michael O'Donoghue 12 One of the original "Not Ready for Primetime Players", he was dropped after a few episodes. He remained with the show as a writer and occasional on-screen performer.
Ann Risley 12 She joined the cast for season six and was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul.
Charles Rocket 12 He joined the cast for season six and was fired as part of the mid-season overhaul, after having dropped an f-bomb one episode prior.
Damon Wayans 12 Hired for season 11 as a featured player, he was fired mid-season for improvising on the air. He returned as a guest to perform stand-up comedy on season 11's last episode and hosted SNL in 1995.
Beth Cahill 13 She joined the show during season 17 as an off-and-on featured player. She did not return the following season, as she was fired along with castmate Siobhan Fallon.
Denny Dillon 13 She joined the cast for season six and was let go after the finale as part of the cast overhaul. She auditioned for the show's first season, but did not make the cut.
Gail Matthius 13 She joined the cast for season six and was let go after the season ended.
Paul Shaffer 13 After being the band's pianist for the first five seasons, he joined the cast during season five, but left after the finale. He hosted SNL in 1987, making him the only member of the house band to do so.
Janeane Garofalo 14 She joined the cast during season 20, but quit mid-season due to creative differences.
Michaela Watkins 15 She joined the show on the first episode after the 2008 United States presidential election, then was let go before the start of season 35.
Peter Aykroyd 16 He joined the show midway through season five, but left at the end of the season, after only 16 episodes.

Youngest cast members[edit]

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

Performer Age when joined show Tenure
Anthony Michael Hall 17 years old 1985–1986
Eddie Murphy 19 years old 1980–1984
Robert Downey Jr. 20 years, 5 months 1985–1986
Pete Davidson 20 years, 10 months 2014–present
Abby Elliott 21 years, 5 months 2008–2012
Julia Louis-Dreyfus 21 years, 8 months 1982–1985
Sarah Silverman 22 years, 9 months 1993–1994
Jay Pharoah 22 years, 11 months 2010–2016

Oldest cast members[edit]

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

Performer Age when joined show Tenure
Leslie Jones 47 years old 2014–present
George Coe 46 years, 155 days 1975
Michael McKean 46 years, 147 days 1994–1995
Darrell Hammond 39 years old 1995–2009
Garrett Morris 38 years, 8 months 1975–1980
Phil Hartman 38 years, 1 month 1986–1994
Mike O'Brien 37 years old 2013–2014
Michaela Watkins 36 years, 11 months 2008–2009
Colin Quinn 36 years, 9 months 1996–2000
Christopher Guest 36 years, 8 months 1984–1985
Billy Crystal 36 years, 7 months 1984–1985
Mikey Day 36 years, 7 months 2016–present

After 14 seasons, Darrell Hammond left as the show's oldest active cast member, ending his tenure at 53 years old during his final season in 2009.

President of the United States impressionists[edit]

Portraying the sitting President of the United States is considered "about as high [...] an honor that can be bestowed upon a cast member."[4] The following is a list of people who have portrayed the sitting President.

Darrell Hammond had the longest tenure portraying a U.S. president, with Bill Clinton from 1995–2001, and George W. Bush during 2003. Hammond also portrayed Richard Nixon in season 34, episode 12.

Michael McKean portrayed Bill Clinton during a brief period after Phil Hartman's departure. There was also a sketch featuring Chris Farley, David Spade, Chris Elliott, Adam Sandler, and Tim Meadows auditioning for the role of Clinton. There was also a gag in a 2001 sketch with Tracy Morgan filling in for Will Ferrell as George W. Bush.

Another noteworthy presidential portrayal was that of Dan Aykroyd as former president Richard Nixon from 1975–79.

Jim Carrey, while never having been an SNL cast member, portrayed Ronald Reagan in Funny or Die's Presidential Reunion of SNL Presidents (which reunited Chase as Ford, Aykroyd as Carter, Carvey as George H. W. Bush, Hammond as Clinton, Ferrell as George W. Bush, and Armisen as Obama), because two of the actors who previously portrayed Reagan had died since and the other three had declined to appear in the reunion. Carrey did, however, audition to be a cast member for the 1980–81 season; he hosted the show in May 1996, January 2011, and October 2014.

Donald Trump, having been a public figure before being president, was portrayed by several cast members over the years. He was portrayed by Phil Hartman (1988–90), Darrell Hammond (1999–11, 2015–16), Jason Sudeikis (2012) and Taran Killam (2015).

Emmy Awards[edit]

The Primetime Emmy Awards are presented by the American Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The following list contains performers who were nominated, and possibly won, an Emmy for their work while in the cast.

Year Performer Category Result Ref.
1976 Chevy Chase Performance in a Variety or Music Program - Supporting Actor Won
1977 Nominated
1977 John Belushi Nominated
1977 Gilda Radner Performance in a Variety or Music Program - Supporting Actress Nominated
1978 Dan Aykroyd Performance in a Variety or Music Program - Supporting Actror Nominated
1978 John Belushi Nominated
1978 Jane Curtin Performance in a Variety or Music Program - Supporting Actress Nominated
1978 Gilda Radner Won
1984 Eddie Murphy Performance in a Variety or Music Program Nominated
1984 Joe Piscopo Nominated
1985 Billy Crystal Nominated
1986 Jon Lovitz Nominated
1987 Nominated
1989 Dana Carvey Nominated
1990 Nominated
1991 Nominated
1992 Nominated
1993 Won
1994 Phil Hartman Nominated
1994 Mike Myers Nominated
2000 Molly Shannon Nominated
2001 Will Ferrell Nominated
Year Performer Category Result Ref.
2008 Amy Poehler Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2009 Nominated
2009 Kristen Wiig Nominated
2010 Nominated
2011 Nominated
2012 Nominated
2012 Bill Hader Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
2013 Nominated
2014 Kate McKinnon Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated
2015 Nominated
2016 Won
2017 Won [5]
2017 Vanessa Bayer Nominated
2017 Leslie Jones Nominated

Both cast and hosts[edit]

As of May 2016, there are 33 SNL hosts who, at one point in their careers, were either a repertory or featured member of the SNL cast. The following performers have hosted SNL either before, during, or after their tenure as a member of the SNL cast.

Host Number of
episodes
First hosted Last hosted
Fred Armisen 1 May 21, 2016
Dan Aykroyd 1 May 17, 2003
Dana Carvey 4 October 22, 1994 February 5, 2011
Chevy Chase 8[6] February 18, 1978 February 15, 1997
Billy Crystal 2 March 17, 1984 May 12, 1984
Robert Downey Jr. 1 November 16, 1996
Jimmy Fallon 3 December 17, 2011 April 15, 2017
Chris Farley 1 October 25, 1997
Will Ferrell 3 May 14, 2005 May 12, 2012
Tina Fey 5 February 23, 2008 December 19, 2015
Bill Hader 1 October 11, 2014
Phil Hartman 2 March 23, 1996 November 23, 1996
Julia Louis-Dreyfus 3 May 13, 2006 April 16, 2016
Jon Lovitz 1 November 8, 1997
Norm Macdonald 1 October 23, 1999
Michael McKean 1 November 3, 1984
Tracy Morgan 2 March 14, 2009 October 17, 2015
Eddie Murphy 2 December 11, 1982 December 15, 1984
Bill Murray 5 March 7, 1981 February 20, 1999
Mike Myers 1 March 22, 1997
Don Novello 2 January 14, 1984 May 12, 1984
Amy Poehler 2 September 25, 2010 December 19, 2015
Chris Rock 2 November 2, 1996 November 1, 2014
Maya Rudolph 1 February 18, 2012
Andy Samberg 1 May 17, 2014
Paul Shaffer 1 January 31, 1987
Molly Shannon 1 May 12, 2007
Martin Short 3 December 6, 1986 December 15, 2012
Sarah Silverman 1 October 4, 2014
David Spade 2 November 7, 1998 March 12, 2005
Ben Stiller 2 October 24, 1998 October 8, 2011
Damon Wayans 1 April 8, 1995
Kristen Wiig 2 May 11, 2013 November 19, 2016

"SNL Curse"[edit]

Although SNL is best known as the launchpad for many successful careers, nine former cast members have died before the age of 60. This has given rise to a superstition known as the "Saturday Night Live Curse".[7][8][9]

Cast member Age Date of death Cause of death
Belushi, JohnJohn Belushi 33 March 5, 1982 Belushi died of a drug overdose from a speedball injection (cocaine and heroin). His death led to the conviction of Cathy Smith for administering the fatal injection.
Radner, GildaGilda Radner 42 May 20, 1989 Radner died from ovarian cancer. She was originally scheduled to host the season 13 finale, a first for a former female cast member. However, SNL was canceled due to a Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike. Radner's health worsened the following year. Moments before the season 14 finale, news broke of Radner's death. Steve Martin delivered his visibly shaken monologue by replaying the sketch "Dancing in the Dark" that he and Radner had performed on an episode he hosted in 1978,[10] and a musical tribute to Radner performed by her ex-husband, G. E. Smith, and the SNL Band.
Vance, DanitraDanitra Vance 40 August 21, 1994 Vance died from breast cancer; although it had been put in remission three years earlier.
Michael O'Donoghue 54 November 8, 1994 O'Donoghue died from cerebral hemorrhage after suffering from severe chronic migraine headaches for most of his life. Bill Murray honored O'Donoghue's memory in an appearance on the season 20 episode[11] (hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker with musical guest R.E.M.) by replaying his sketch "Mr. Mike's Least Loved Bedtime Stories: The Soiled Kimono" from 1977.[12]
Farley, ChrisChris Farley 33 December 18, 1997 Similar to Belushi, Farley died of a drug overdose from a speedball. His death occurred nearly two months after he came back to host SNL, which turned out to be his final television appearance.
Hartman, PhilPhil Hartman 49 May 28, 1998 Hartman was murdered by his wife Brynn Omdahl while he slept in his Encino, California home. Before committing the act, Brynn had allegedly consumed a combination of cocaine, alcohol, and the antidepressant drug Zoloft, and later killed herself. During SNL's 25th anniversary special in 1999, several of Hartman's peers honored his memory by replaying his sketch "Love is a Dream" from 1988.
Rocket, CharlesCharles Rocket 56 October 7, 2005 Rocket was found dead in his Canterbury, Connecticut backyard. Local police concluded his death a suicide; Rocket had allegedly taken his own life by slashing his throat with a box cutter.
Davis, TomTom Davis 59 July 19, 2012 Davis died from head and neck cancer.
Hooks, JanJan Hooks 57 October 9, 2014 Hooks died after a long illness; she was said to have suffered from cancer.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alec Baldwin performed the impersonation on a recurring guest basis, and not as a member of the cast.

References[edit]