SNL Cast - Round 1b
SNL Cast Members
It's been in our lives for almost 50 years now, and it's more than just a cultural institution. It's part of the very fabric of pop culture. And over the years, we've seen some amazing comedians come through the cast (we've also seen some pretty lame ones, but that's for another bracket). But who is the best of the best? There's only one way to find out! Let's vote!
Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood - Round 1
(1) Eddie Murphy v (16) Jay Pharoah
Eddie Murphy is simply one of the greatest to ever do it. From his iconic Mr. Robinson to Gumby to his Stevie Wonder impression, Eddie Murphy owned comedy in the early 80s.
From 2010-2016, no one did impressions on SNL better than Jay Pharoah. It did not matter if it was Barack Obama, Jay Z, or fellow SNL alums Eddie Murphy and Tracy Morgan. If you closed your eyes while Pharoah performed, you would have sworn his character was actually on the show.
(8) Cecily Strong v (9) Rob Schneider
Cecily Strong is another cast member who could claim MVP after every episode. She shows up in just about every sketch, and she’s always hilarious. Her Melania Trump is legendary, and her guest spots on Update always kill.
The Robster. The Robinator. Dr. Schniederson. Roberino. Roooooooob. Schnieder was a key supporting player throughout some of the best years of SNL, and he always held his own around the likes of Sandler, Rock, Farley, and Spade. And he created an all-time classic character that we still reference today.
(5) Darrell Hammond v (12) Norm Macdonald
In many ways, Darrell Hammond was the spiritual successor to Phil Hartman. Hammond was the go-to for every important impression, and could carry scenes all by himself. Hammond also gets extra credit for coming back to the show in 2014 to replace Don Pardo as the announcer.
Norm is the classic Weekend Update host. Dry-witted and irreverent, Norm pushed every button possibly, until it got him fired from the show. But he was more than an Update host, with classic characters like Turd Ferguson (well, Burt Reynolds) and Bob Dole.
(4) Amy Poehler v (13) Julia Sweeney
Amy Poehler was everywhere on SNL. She hosted Update, she was on Bronx Beat, she did a killer Kaitlyn, and she did impressions of everyone from Hillary Clinton to Michael Jackson. She was the best kind of cast member.
Let’s be honest… we remember Julia Sweeney for one character. Sweeney’s Pat is absolutely legendary (even rating a feature film in 1994. But Julia was more than just one note - she was a vital part of the early 90s cast.
(6) Andy Samberg v (11) Will Forte
Samberg gets kudos for essentially inventing the digital short on SNL. Lazy Sunday took the world by storm, and Samberg and The Lonely Island never looked back. He also did killer Nic Cage and Mark Walhberg impressions (say hi to your mother for me, ok?).
Entering on the heels of Will Ferrell’s departure, Forte is best known for his recurring character MacGruber. He is also known for many odd or eccentric sketches and characters known as "10 to 1 sketches" (aka, the last sketch of the show), such as “Potato Chip” with cast mate Jason Sudeikis.
(3) Bill Murray v (14) Chris Rock
He may have only been a cast member for a couple of years, but Bill Murray made an indelible impression. Whether he was playing a nerd alongside Gilda Radner or simply chewing the scenery and exuding charisma as himself, Murray’s time on SNL was legendary.
Chris Rock wasn’t on the show long, but he definitely made his mark. Inextricably linked with is contemporaries like Sandler, Spade, and Farley, Rock never quite found stardom on SNL, but he was a solid troupe player with a few recurring characters.
(7) Aidy Bryant v (10) Vanessa Bayer
Bryant has been on SNL since 2012 and in her ten years has received multiple Emmy Nominations. Impressions like Ted Cruz or Sarah Huckabee Sanders are as well known as original characters like Tonker Bell. Bryant is very present is every episode and deservedly so.
Appearing from 2010-2017 Bayer was somewhat quietly an MVP for the show. Rolling Stone Magazine even called her SNL’s “secret weapon.” She was Emmy nominated for her work on the show in 2014.
(2) Dana Carvey v (15) Billy Crystal
His movie Master of Disguise can’t be considered in this bracket, but he was a master of disguise on SNL too. With characters like the Church Lady, Garth, Hans (or was it Franz), Johnny Carson, and George Bush, it wouldn’t be prudent to overlook Carvey at this juncture.
The year is 84-85, and SNL got a makeover that included the star power of Billy Crystal. He was only in 17 episodes, but he left a lasting impression with characters like Fernando (you look mahvelous, darling) and Willie & Frankie (alongside Christopher Guest).
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