List of Saturday Night Live cast members

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As of September 2021, the late-night live variety series Saturday Night Live (SNL) has featured 159 cast members. The ensemble was originally referred to as the "Not Ready for Prime Time Players."

Complete list[edit]

The list below includes both repertory and featured players past and present, 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. "Middle group" performers are introduced after the main cast by the announcer saying "...with" and reading off these performers before ending with featured players.

Table[edit]

Table of Saturday Night Live cast members
Performer Time on SNL No. of seasons Repertory Player Featured Player Middle Group "Weekend Update" Anchor Hosted Best of... Writer
Fred Armisen 20022013 11 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Aristotle Athari 2021–present 1 Green tickY
Dan Aykroyd 19751979 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Peter Aykroyd 1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Morwenna Banks 1995 1 Green tickY
Vanessa Bayer 20102017 7 Green tickY Green tickY
Jim Belushi 19831985 2 Green tickY Green tickY
John Belushi 19751979 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Beck Bennett 20132021 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Jim Breuer 19951998 3 Green tickY
Paul Brittain 20102012 2 Green tickY
A. Whitney Brown 19861991 6 Green tickY Green tickY
Aidy Bryant 2012–present 10 Green tickY Green tickY
Beth Cahill 1991–1992 1 Green tickY
Dana Carvey 19861993 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Chevy Chase 19751976 2 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Michael Che 2014–present 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Ellen Cleghorne 19911995 4 Green tickY Green tickY
George Coe 1975 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 2014–present 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Tom Davis 19771980 3 Green tickY Green tickY
Mikey Day 2016–present 6 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Denny Dillon 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Andrew Dismukes 2020–present 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Jim Downey 1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Robert Downey Jr. 1985–1986 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Brian Doyle-Murray 1980,
1981–1982
2 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Rachel Dratch 19992006 7 Green tickY Green tickY
Robin Duke 19811984 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 Green tickY
Chris Elliott 1994–1995 1 Green tickY
Jimmy Fallon 19982004 6 Green tickY 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 Green tickY
Will Ferrell 19952002 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Tina Fey 20002006 6 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Chloe Fineman 2019–present 3 Green tickY Green tickY
Will Forte 20022010 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Al Franken 19771980,
1986,
19881995
11 Green tickY Green tickY
Heidi Gardner 2017–present 5 Green tickY 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 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
Phil Hartman 19861994 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Lauren Holt 2020–2021 1 Green tickY
Jan Hooks 19861991 5 Green tickY
Yvonne Hudson 1980–1981 1 Green tickY
Melanie Hutsell 19911994 3 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Victoria Jackson 19861992 6 Green tickY
James Austin Johnson 2021–present 1 Green tickY
Punkie Johnson 2020–present 2 Green tickY
Leslie Jones 20142019 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Colin Jost 2014–present 9 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Kattan 19962003 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Tim Kazurinsky 19811984 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Laura Kightlinger 1994–1995 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Taran Killam 20102016 6 Green tickY 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 Green tickY
Gail Matthius 1980–1981 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Michael McKean 19941995 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Mark McKinney 19951997 3 Green tickY
Kate McKinnon 2012–present 11 Green tickY Green tickY
Tim Meadows 19912000 10 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Laurie Metcalf 1981 1 Green tickY
Seth Meyers 20012014 13 Green tickY Green tickY 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 Green tickY
Alex Moffat 2016–present 6 Green tickY Green tickY
Jay Mohr 19931995 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Kyle Mooney 2013–present 9 Green tickY 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 Green tickY
Eddie Murphy 19801984 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Bill Murray 19771980 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Mike Myers 19891995 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Kevin Nealon 19861995 9 Green tickY 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 2017–2018 1 Green tickY
Ego Nwodim 2018–present 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Mike O'Brien 2013–2014 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Michael O'Donoghue 1975 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Cheri Oteri 19952000 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Parnell 19982006 8 Green tickY Green tickY
Nasim Pedrad 20092014 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Jay Pharoah 20102016 6 Green tickY Green tickY
Joe Piscopo 19801984 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Amy Poehler 20012008 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Emily Prager 1981 1 Green tickY
Randy Quaid 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Colin Quinn 19962000 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Gilda Radner 19751980 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Chris Redd 2017–present 5 Green tickY Green tickY
Jeff Richards 20012004 3 Green tickY 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 Green tickY
Charles Rocket 1980–1981 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Tony Rosato 19811982 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Jon Rudnitsky 2015–2016 1 Green tickY
Maya Rudolph 20002007 9 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Andy Samberg 20052012 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Adam Sandler 19911995 5 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Horatio Sanz 19982006 8 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Tom Schiller 1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Rob Schneider 19901994 4 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Paul Shaffer 1979–1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Molly Shannon 19952001 7 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Harry Shearer 1979–1980,
1984–1985
2 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Sarah Sherman 2021–present 1 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 Green tickY Green tickY
Pamela Stephenson 1984–1985 1 Green tickY
Ben Stiller 1989 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Cecily Strong 2012–present 10 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Jason Sudeikis 20052013 9 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Julia Sweeney 19901994 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Terry Sweeney 1985–1986 1 Green tickY Green tickY
Kenan Thompson 2003–present 19 Green tickY Green tickY
Danitra Vance 1985–1986 1 Green tickY
Melissa Villaseñor 2016–present 6 Green tickY 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 Green tickY
Casey Wilson 20082009 2 Green tickY
Fred Wolf 19961996 2 Green tickY Green tickY
Bowen Yang 2019–present 3 Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY
Sasheer Zamata 20142017 4 Green tickY Green tickY
Alan Zweibel 1980 1 Green tickY Green tickY

Timeline[edit]

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


Tenures[edit]

Longest tenures[edit]

Saturday Night Live cast members with the longest tenures
Performer No. of seasons Years on the show Notes
Kenan Thompson 19[1] 2003–present
Darrell Hammond 14 19952009 In 2014, Hammond returned to the show as the announcer following the death of longtime announcer Don Pardo.
Seth Meyers 13 20012014 Meyers anchored Weekend Update from 2006 to 2014. At the time of his departure, he was the longest-serving Weekend Update anchor, however, he has been surpassed by current anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che in terms of episodes.[2] He left the show to become the host of Late Night.
Fred Armisen 11 20022013 Armisen joined the show in season 28 as a featured player, then promoted to repertory player in season 30 and left after the end of season 38.
Kate McKinnon 11 2012–present McKinnon joined SNL in April 2012, near the end of the show's 37th season.
Al Franken 10 19771980,
1986,
19881995
Worked as a writer the first two seasons, and promoted to cast member in Season 3. He left the show in 1980, but returned when Lorne Michaels came back in 1985, regaining his writing and on-air featured status until 1995.
Tim Meadows 10 19912000
Aidy Bryant 10 2012–present
Cecily Strong 10 2012–present

Shortest tenures[edit]

Two people have been publicly announced as having been hired to the cast, but never performed as cast members:

  • Catherine O'Hara, hired in 1981 but quit before ever appearing on air.[3] She has subsequently hosted the show twice.
  • Shane Gillis was announced as a cast member in 2019, but the offer was withdrawn due to controversies surrounding his past use of racial slurs.[4]

One person was credited as a cast member but did not actually appear on the show as such.

  • Emily Prager was hired as part of Ebersol's temporary season six cast following the termination of Jean Doumanian. She was credited for one episode even though she did not appear on the show, as her skit was cut after dress rehearsal. She was not chosen for season seven of the show. Prager had worked as a writer on the show, and also made several appearances in skits prior to being officially named as a member of the cast.

The following cast members spent less than a full 20-episode season on the show.[5]

Saturday Night Live cast members with the shortest tenures
Performer No. of episodes Notes
George Coe 1 He was one of the original "Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players", because NBC wanted someone older in the cast. He was credited as a cast member for only the first episode, though he continued to make several uncredited appearances throughout the first season.
Laurie Metcalf 1 She 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 season seven.
Emily Prager 1 She was hired as part of Ebersol's temporary season six cast following the termination of Jean Doumanian. 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, between 1977 and 1981. When the show was put on hiatus for retooling, she was not chosen to return to the show for season seven.
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 film 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 and later had a recurring role as Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's ex-lawyer.
Fred Wolf 4 He had 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 made a cast member 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.
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-featured 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 featured 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" and the show's first head writer, he was dropped as a cast member after a few episodes. He remained with the show as a writer (leaving and returning twice) 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 said "fuck" 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.

President of the United States impressionists[edit]

Cast members portraying sitting U. S. presidents
Sitting President Performer (years)
Gerald Ford Chevy Chase (1975–1976)
Jimmy Carter Dan Aykroyd (1977–1979)
Joe Piscopo (1980–1981)
Ronald Reagan Charles Rocket (1981)
Joe Piscopo (1981–1984)
Harry Shearer (1984)
Randy Quaid (1985–1986)
Robin Williams (1986)[a]
Phil Hartman (1986–1989)
George H. W. Bush Dana Carvey (1989–1993)
Bill Clinton Phil Hartman (1993–1994)
Michael McKean (1994–1995)
Darrell Hammond (1995–2001)
George W. Bush Will Ferrell (2001–2002)
Chris Parnell (2002–2003)
Darrell Hammond (2003)
Will Forte (2004–2006)
Jason Sudeikis (2006–2008)
Barack Obama Fred Armisen (2009–2012)
Jay Pharoah (2012–2016)
Donald Trump Alec Baldwin[b] (2017–2020)
Joe Biden Alex Moffat (2021)
James Austin Johnson (2021–present)
Jason Sudeikis (2021)[c]

Portraying the sitting President of the United States is considered "about as high [...] an honor that can be bestowed upon a cast member."[6][better source needed]

Darrell Hammond had the longest tenure portraying a U.S. president, portraying Bill Clinton from 1995–2001 and George W. Bush during 2003. He, Joe Piscopo, and Phil Hartman are the only cast members to have portrayed two sitting presidents.

George H. W. Bush grew fond of Dana Carvey's impersonation of him. Carvey was invited to headline a White House Christmas party in 1992, during the lame duck period after Bush had lost the elections.[7] Two years later, on October 22, 1994, when Carvey hosted the show for the first time, Bush appeared in pre-recorded videos, in both the cold open and the opening monologue, critiquing Carvey's impersonation of him.[8][9]

Presidents are not usually portrayed on Saturday Night Live after they leave office. Exceptions are limited to the portrayal of president Richard Nixon who left office prior to the launch of the show in 1975, and Donald Trump who continued to be politically active after leaving office. Dan Aykroyd portrayed Nixon from 1975–79, and Darrell Hammond portrayed Nixon on episode 12 of season 34. James Austin Johnson portrayed Trump in several episodes of season 47.[10]

Impersonation of Donald Trump[edit]

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 (1988–1990), Darrell Hammond (1999–2011, 2015–2016), Jason Sudeikis (2012) and Taran Killam (2015). Alec Baldwin started impersonating Trump as a guest during the 42nd season of SNL in late 2016, when Trump was the Republican nominee during the 2016 United States presidential elections. Baldwin continued with the guest impersonations of Trump after the elections when Trump was president-elect, as well as after Trump was sworn in as president. Baldwin continued to impersonate Trump throughout Trump's presidency.

Alec Baldwin's impersonation of Donald Trump earned him an Emmy award in 2017, in spite of his public declaration that he "loathes the role." At the end of Season 44, Baldwin publicly announced that he will cease impersonating Trump, but changed his mind prior to the beginning of Season 45 after SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels convinced him to continue with the impersonation. [11][12] Following the 2020 presidential elections in which Trump lost re-election, Baldwin tweeted "I don't believe I've ever been this overjoyed to lose a job before!"[13]

Trump has criticized Baldwin's portrayal on multiple occasions. In response, Baldwin taunted Trump with statements such as "release your tax returns and I'll stop."[14] In June 2021, after Trump had left office, it was reported that while Trump was in office he had inquired if the Federal Communications Commission or the United States Justice Department could force SNL to stop portraying him. Trump denied that he has ever made such an inquiry, but claimed that his portrayal by SNL "should be considered an illegal campaign contribution from the Democrat Party." He also criticized Baldwin's portrayal of him, but praised Darrell Hammond's portrayal of him.[15]

Returning to host[edit]

Several former SNL cast members have returned to host the show. The first former cast member to come back and host the show was Chevy Chase in February 1978. While the majority of cast members who also hosted the show were first cast members and then hosted after leaving the show, there have been two cast members who have hosted the show prior to joining the cast: Billy Crystal (he hosted the show twice during the ninth season prior to joining the cast in the tenth season) and Michael McKean (he hosted the show in the tenth season and joined the cast in the nineteenth season). McKean is also the only eventual cast member who first appeared as a musical guest (with Spinal Tap, May 1984).

Eddie Murphy is the only cast member to have hosted the show while still a cast member. He also holds the distinction of having the longest gap between successive hosting of the show. There was a 35 year and 6 day gap between his second and third hosting of the show.

Adam Sandler and Dan Aykroyd tie the record of the longest gap between leaving the show as a cast member and returning as a host. Both hosted the show for the first time nine days shy of 24 years from last appearance as cast. However, both made appearances on the show during the gap. On the flip side, Bill Murray holds the record for having the shortest gap between leaving the show and returning to host at 287 days after leaving the cast.

Saturday Night Live cast members who have hosted
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[16] 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 5 May 14, 2005 November 23, 2019
Tina Fey 6 February 23, 2008 May 19, 2018
Will Forte 1 January 22, 2022
Bill Hader 2 October 11, 2014 March 17, 2018
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
Seth Meyers 1 October 13, 2018
Tracy Morgan 2 March 14, 2009 October 17, 2015
Eddie Murphy 3 December 11, 1982 December 21, 2019
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 3 November 2, 1996 October 3, 2020
Maya Rudolph 2 February 18, 2012 March 27, 2021
Andy Samberg 1 May 17, 2014
Adam Sandler 1 May 4, 2019
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
Jason Sudeikis 1 October 23, 2021
Ben Stiller 2 October 24, 1998 October 8, 2011
Damon Wayans 1 April 8, 1995
Kristen Wiig 3 May 11, 2013 December 19, 2020

"SNL Curse"[edit]

Although SNL is best known as the launchpad for many successful careers, seven former cast members have died before the age of 60. This has given rise to a superstition known as the "Saturday Night Live Curse".[17][18]

Allegedly "cursed" Saturday Night Live cast members
Cast member Age Date of death Cause of death
John 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.
Gilda 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 1988 Writers Guild of America strike. Radner's health worsened the following year. Moments before the season 14 finale, news broke of Radner's death. In lieu of the opening monologue Steve Martin, visibly shaken, introduced a replay of the "Dancing in the Dark" sketch he and Radner had performed in a 1978 episode;[19] her ex-husband G. E. Smith performed a musical tribute to Radner with the SNL Band.
Danitra Vance 40 August 21, 1994 Vance died of breast cancer, which had returned after a 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 a season 20 episode[20] (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.[21]
Chris Farley 33 December 18, 1997 Similar to Belushi, Farley died of a drug overdose from a speedball. His death occurred less than two months after he came back to host SNL, which turned out to be his final television appearance.
Phil Hartman 49 May 28, 1998 Hartman was murdered by his wife, Brynn, while he slept in his Encino, California, home. Before committing this crime, 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.
Charles 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.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Performed once when Williams hosted the show, on November 22, 1986.
  2. ^ Alec Baldwin performed the impersonation as a recurring guest.
  3. ^ Performed once when Sudeikis hosted the show, on October 23, 2021. Sudeikis portrayed Joe Biden on the show when Biden was Vice President, as well as candidate for president during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kenan Thompson: Saturday Night Live repertory-player". NBC.
  2. ^ White, Peter (October 23, 2021). "'SNL': Colin Jost Breaks Seth Meyers' Weekend Update Record". Deadline. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  3. ^ Spirogis, Jeremy (June 11, 2020). "WHY 'SCHITT'S CREEK' STAR CATHERINE O'HARA LEFT THE CAST OF 'SNL' SEASON 6".
  4. ^ Otterson, Joseph (September 16, 2019). "Shane Gillis Out From 'Saturday Night Live'". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Graham, Mark (September 10, 2009). "21 SNL Cast Members Who Only Lasted a Season". Vulture. Retrieved December 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "Why It's Time For Fred Armisen to Hand Over SNL's Obama to Jay Pharoah". Movieline.com. November 29, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  7. ^ Rosenwald, Michael S. (December 2, 2018). "'Wouldn't be prudent': George H.W. Bush's unlikely friendship with Dana Carvey". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "Bush Cold Open". NBC.
  9. ^ "George H. W. Bush Supports Dana Carvey Cold Open". NBC.
  10. ^ Garber, Megan. "Saturday Night Live Can't Resist Donald Trump". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2021-11-07.
  11. ^ Kreps, Daniel (June 7, 2019). "Alec Baldwin 'So Done' With Portraying Trump on 'SNL'". Rolling Stone.
  12. ^ Schaffstall, Katherine (October 21, 2019). "Alec Baldwin on Why He Returned to 'SNL' as Trump". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  13. ^ Hibberd, James (November 8, 2020). "Alec Baldwin 'overjoyed' to lose SNL job playing Donald Trump". Entertainment Weekly.
  14. ^ Butler, Bethonie (June 7, 2019). "All the times Alec Baldwin has suggested he's done playing Trump on 'Saturday Night Live'". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Johnson, Ted (June 22, 2021). "Donald Trump Denies That He Asked Justice Department To Go After 'Saturday Night Live'". Deadline Hollywood.
  16. ^ "SNL Archives | Cast | Chevy Chase". SNL Archives. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  17. ^ "Is There A 'Saturday Night Live' Curse?". HuffPost. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  18. ^ Caroline Donnelly (28 May 2008). "7 Tragic SNL Deaths". Mental Floss.
  19. ^ "SNL Transcripts: Steve Martin: 04/22/78: Dancing In The Dark". SNL Transcripts Tonight. October 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "Michael O'Donoghue Tribute". snltranscripts.jt.org.
  21. ^ "SNL Transcripts: Miskel Spillman: 12/17/77: Least-Loved Bedtime Tale: The Soiled Kimono". snltranscripts.jt.org.

External links[edit]