SNL has had a rich comic history. All in all, 141 cast members have been on the famous show. Here, we give our top 10.
A versatile cast member, Myers had a knack for creating characters that became pop culture touchstones. While certainly most known for "Wayne's World" with Dana Carvey (which inspired two films, and became one of the few SNL-to-big screen success stories), Myers memorably embodied Linda Richman as the NewYork-accented host of "Coffee Talk ," Simon, the young British boy who talks about his drawings in the bathtub and Dieter Sprocket, a self-interested talk show host that parodied German art culture.
An outsize performer in every sense of the word, Chris Farley threw himself into every sketch he performed during his five-year tenure — and quite literally so, often destroying sets as he barreled through doors and propelled himself through windows. Though he used his girth as a comedic tool for characters such as inspirational speaker Matt Foley and a Chippendale's dancer, Farley wasn't all brash.
Arguably the single most influential and definitive star of SNL in the past decade, Fey infused new life into "Weekend Update" with her sharp, saucy, cutting wit that is still unmatched behind the desk. As the show's head writer — and the first female one to boot — Fey was the brains behind some of the early aughts' best clips (hello, mom jeans!), but seldom appeared in sketches during her six seasons in front of the camera. She actually made her biggest mark as an alum, giving us her legendary (and Emmy-winning) impression of Sarah Palin — and reminding us that "bitches get stuff done."
Murphy helped revitalize the series after producer Lorne Michaels left and took much of the original cast with him. The comic put an irreverent spin on his most popular recurring characters — whether it was parodying Fred Rogers' iconic children series with the grittier, less ethical and more socially jaded sketch "Mister Robinson's Neighborhood," portraying a cynical version of the clay figure Gumby or Little Rascals's grown-up character Buckwheat, who spoke and sang in his signature garbled speech.
Before she captured America's hearts co-hosting the Golden Globes alongside Tina Fey, Poehler was promoted to full cast member during her first season (only the third person to have earned this distinction), and went on to co-anchor "Weekend Update" with Fey, and later Seth Meyers.