Saturday Night Live (SNL) has been airing for around 40 years. By TV standards, that’s A LOT of time. What made SNL so successful and long-lasting is the fact that it had so many hosts and cast members. Despite most of those cast members being good, some were exceptional, which really kept the show going despite having its downs. The following are the top 10 best comedians to ever appear on SNL.
10. Bill Murray
With the success that Bill Murray has had as a comedian, it is no surprise that he is one of the best hosts SNL has ever had. Bill appeared regularly on SNL for three seasons in which he captured the audience hearts and won his fair share of laughs. There is just something about the confident/humorous character of Bill that made him an instant sensation.
From all the awesome characters that he did, Nick Winters the lounge singer was hands down one of his best characters and even one of the best to ever appear on the show.
9. Tina Fey
Tina Fey is a fantastic comedian, writer, producer, actor and so on and so on. There is no denying the huge impact that she has had on the show with her smart and witty, yet hilarious style. The fact that Tina was the head writer during some of the show’s most successful times made her contributions to Saturday Night Live quite remarkable.
The charming character and superior writing skills make Tina Fey one of the best all around contributors to ever appear on SNL.
8. Gilda Radner
During her time on SNL, Gilda Radner was never afraid to make things a little goofy (well, sometimes, too goofy!) in order to get a point across to give people a good laugh.
A great example of those “goofy” characters that she played is Roseanne Rosannadanna and Lisa Lopner. Her unique style manages to present goofy comedy in an elegant way which earns her a spot on our top 10 SNL performers of all time.
7. Bill Hader
Bill Hader is one of those actors capable of making anything funny. His hilarious impressions and physical comedy made his episodes some of the most memorable SNL episodes ever made. Add to that some great writing skills and hilarious sketches and the result is one of SNL’s most memorable performers.
6. Jimmy Fallon
Before having his own show, Jimmy Fallon appeared on Saturday Night Live quite frequently from 1998 to 2004. During his time on the show, Jimmy Fallon was notorious for bursting out laughing and breaking the characters on the show. Despite the fact that some people actually found that funny, others hated it.
5. Tracy Morgan
Tracy Morgan is a pretty hilarious fella. After joining SNL in 1996, he appeared on the show for 7 years. His skits full of great laughs and some of the show’s most memorable characters – Brian Fellow and Uncle Jemima to name a few.
4. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler is one of those actors who either totally nails their role (Waterboy) or it totally fails (Jack and Jill..unfortunately!). However, when it comes to SNL, Sandler was really successful in delivering some really funny sketches.
3. Amy Poehler
Funny as hell and good looking, what would make a better SNL performer? During her appearances on the show, this award-winning actor managed to bring a fresh comedic view and delivered some hilarious sketches that endows her a place as one of the funniest hosts ever in SNL’s history.
2. Eddie Murphy
Asides from Eddie Murphy’s skills as a comedian, Eddie Murphy’s contributions to SNL were remarkable as he joined the show at a very critical time. When Eddie joined SNL, the show wasn’t really going downhill. In fact, it was the worst point in the show’s entire history in terms of reviews and ratings.
Despite this, after Murphy joined the show, things started to really change. With his brilliant performance and deep sketches that tackled sensitive issues related to racism, Murphy was able to steer the show back in the right direction and managed to bring back the laughs to the Saturday Night Live.
1. Will Ferrell
Funny isn’t a word that can be used for describing Will Ferrell. Saying that this man is funny is a great understatement. Will Ferrell can be hilarious without even opening his mouth. With such a comedy powerhouse on the show, bursts of out-of-breath laughter were a pretty common during his time on the show.
Among Will Ferrell’s best impersonations on SNL were those of George W. Bush and Alex Trebek, which were insanely hilarious. The hilarious and memorable sketches of Will Ferrell (Wake Up and Smile, anyone?) and exceptional ability to make people laugh, Will was one of –if not the best- actors to ever host SNL.
Do you have an SNL favorite that we didn’t include on our list? Let us know in the comments section below.