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Author Topic: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members  (Read 29945 times)

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MightyJack

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LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« on: March 23, 2015, 09:29:39 PM »
“Live from the Rifftrax Forum, its Saturday Night’s Top 50 Cast Members!”



I remember the début of the show well. I was a nite owl (still am) and Saturday night could get pretty boring when your like 14 and can't drive and nothing was open anyway except for Dennys and 7-11. I was channel surfing and happened to see the name of one of my favorite comedians, George Carlin. So I stopped to see what that was all about.

And it quickly became my regular Saturday night thing.

40 years later it’s still my regular Saturday Night thing. Sure it has had its share of ups and downs. Sometimes it could be down right sad (Seasons 6, 11 and 20). And whenever it suffered a downward spiral, you’d find plenty of critics ready to pronounce the show, “Saturday Night Dead”. But somehow, someway they keep plugging away and would discover some comedy giant, or giant’s, who could step in and usher in a new golden age. The forthcoming list, our list, highlights not only those giants who started it all, but also those who came after and kept the fires burning.

A few notes:
Aside from the digital shorts, NBCs pretty merciless about taking down Youtube postings, so for the most part I’m going to have to provide links rather than embed vids in the write-ups. (and I know they block many vids from countries outside the U.S. and I apologize for that)

I’m going to start off each night by posting a host from our supplemental lists. And follow that up with 6 to 7 cast member postings a day, for a total of 8 days.

Rounding out the Top 10 for those hosts was Justin Timberlake and Patrick Stewart with 1 vote each.

That’s it for the cold open; lets get to the lists…


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 09:30:44 PM »

Tonight's Host: #8. Candice Bergen - 2 points
There have been several top-notch female hosts over the decades, such as seals… er, I mean, like Madeline Kahn, Emma Stone and Drew Barrymore. But only 1 lady was mentioned on a list, which happened to be my list (though C.Jones did name her as an honorable mention). Candice was cool, but not aloof. She had classy good looks, a deft comedic touch and was game to try anything. She also seemed to genuinely like the cast, and being on the show. She Hosted 2 first season highlights and then returned for another go in year two… which Bergen has said was an unhappy experience. The vibe had changed, things were more competitive and Belushi’s personality morphed into something unpleasant. It’s amazing that from such misery, sprung one of SNLs best and brightest episodes. Candice never returned to host with the original gang. But she did make her way back afterwards, and eventually joined the 5 timers club.

A clip of Candice losing it… http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/extremely-stupid/n8642

And now the cast…


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 09:32:52 PM »
#50-49. Harry Shearer

Era: 1979-1980, 1984-1985
15 points on 1 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #11 (ScottD)
Most Memorable Characters: Ronald Reagan, Mike Wallace, FDR, Tom Brokaw, Tom Clay, “Big” Vic Ricker

From reading the book “Live From New York” it sounds like Harry didn’t like working for SNL and several writers and such didn't like him right back - Saying that he was not an easy guy to get along with. And that’s too bad because he’d have been great for SNL. They gave him 2 shots, neither worked out. He did stick through the entire 5th season, and was one of season 10s Ringers but quit (or was let go) mid season. Despite this, I love Harry and while he didn't mesh with the show or fellow cast members (aside from Guest), he did contribute several memorable bits in his brief time. With such short stays, one could argue whether he belongs on an SNL top 50? But I’ll give him points for being involved with one of the shows greatest skits, the Synchronized Swimming piece he did with Short and Guest. That alone makes him worthy of a spot on the list..

A clip of the swim... https://bolstablog.wordpress.com/tag/martin-short/

Rolling Stone ranked him #77 but didn’t have much of anything to say.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 03:57:20 AM by George Harrison »


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 09:36:28 PM »
#50-49. Taran Killam

Era: 2010-present
15 points on 1 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #11 (George Harrison)
Most Memorable Characters: Jebidiah Atkinson, Jonathan Cavanaugh "san", Brad Pitt, Michael Cera, Mokiki

Though I’d never heard of him before SNL, Killam’s an old pro at this game. As Wiki points out, he’s the second Nickelodeon veteran (after Kenan Thompson) to join SNL and the second SNL cast member who was previously a cast member on the sketch show MADtv (after Jeff Richards).

I like Killam for the way he gets into in a role, whether it’s Jebidiah, Mokiki or Jonathan San (from a hilarious bit he does with Vanessa Bayer where the two act as hosts of "J-Pop America Fun Time Now" and spout and act out several stereotypical notions about Japanese culture.) Even if the jokes sink like a stone, it’s fun just to watch Taran perform, he really sells it.

Rolling Stone ranked him #41 and said…
His stock is still rising — the past few seasons would have been dreary without him. His 1860s newspaper critic Jebidiah Atkinson gives scathing reviews to everything from Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" ("Four snores and seven yawns ago") to A Charlie Brown Christmas: "No one wants to watch neurotic children trudging in the snow to smooth jazz." Amen. Not one of SNL's countless Jesus jokes can hang with Jebidiah's review of the Bible's nativity story. "Let's see — a guy travels across the country with his family to find out the hotel is closed? I liked it more when it was called National Lampoon's Vacation."

Mokiki does the sloppy swish... http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/mokiki/n28754
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 03:55:52 AM by George Harrison »


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 09:42:05 PM »
#48. Chris Parnell

Era: 1998-2006
15 points on 4 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #20 (ScottD)
Most Memorable Characters: Merv "The Perv" Watson, Wayne Bloder, Jeph of the boy band 7 Degrees Celsius, Alan "Sticks" McRae, Kevin Aquarius, Sean DeMarco

Chris Parnell has a unique Saturday Night Live record in that he is one of the longest-tenured cast members, and the only one to be fired twice. During his run from 1998-2006 he brought an excitable energy and emcee presence to SNL that helped the show transition into the new millennium, whether as the perfect game show host, hillbilly, rapper, pervert, or news anchor. – Saturday Night’s Children

Rolling Stone ranked him #35 and said…
Never a show pony, but a workhorse. Next time you watch the "more cowbell" sketch, keep your eye on Parnell. Without his deadpan ballast, it's just Christopher Walken reading cue cards at four giggly boys. Dude did a lot of that, which is why he went on to greatness on 30 Rock and Archer.

Parnel raps about Kirsten Dunst… https://screen.yahoo.com/weekend-parnell-raps-kirsten-dunst-000000898.html


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 09:44:20 PM »
#47-46. Victoria Jackson

Era: 1986-1992
16 points on 1 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #10 (Pak-Man)
Most Memorable Characters: Roseanne, Jenny Baker, Brenda Clark

Victoria gets a lot of flack for her quirky voice and personality -and later for her political and religious views- So I’m surprised to see her here. I once caught her stand-up at Zanies in Nashville, it was a fun show, odd, but my ex and I enjoyed some laughs. And on SNL she had her highlights, she did a great Roseanne and was a regular in the Toonces skits.

Rolling Stone ranked her #138 and said…
America had six seasons to wonder how the one-joke, baby-talking ninny ate up so much time on SNL, and nobody ever did figure that out. The best thing VJ ever did was show up on the 25th-anniversary special as an audience member and ask, "I was just wondering — whatever happened to me?"

The writer at the website, “Saturday Night’s Children” found a few silver linings when she said… “Some of her best SNL performances were her segments on Weekend Update where she sings songs about not being a bimbo, plays home videos of her baby daughter Scarlet instead of reporting on her assignments, and performs her "Update Handstand" act on the Update desk. My favorite Jackson SNL moment is her performance in the commercial parody “Handi-Off,” where she plays a woman who has too many fingers.

Victoria reports on her child psychic powers… https://screen.yahoo.com/victoria-jackson-psychic-powers-000000404.html


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 09:45:40 PM »
#47-46. Tim Kazurinsky

Era: 1981-1984
16 points on 1 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #10 (George Harrison)
Most Memorable Characters: Dr. Jack Badofsky, Havnagootiim Vishnuuerheer, The Iguana, Mr. Landlord, Wayne Huevos, Worthington Clotman, Madge The Chimp’s Husband, Father Timothy Owens

I kind of hate how writers and critics act like Eddie Murphy (with a sideways nod to Piscopo) was the only thing worthwhile during the Ebersol years. Yes Eddie was the A #1 superstar, and yes there were a couple of bland white guys in the cast (Brad Hall, Tony Rosato), but there were also several rock solid players: Julia Louis Dreyfus and Gary Kroeger got stronger through the years, Mary Gross doing Alfalfa was a hoot, and the sadly underused Robin Duke was ever a pro (loved her Mrs. T), and above them all for me was the Kaz. I got a huge kick out of the guy. He was kind of the older uncle type, and was originally hired as a writer (Tim expressed surprised when he was later asked to perform in skits.)

Kazurinsky cracked me up with his nebbish characters, like the unassuming nerd who is secretly the deadly adventurer “The Iguana”, or the nervous, punning Dr. Badofsky (pictured above) in Weekend Update segments. I especially adored his Hindu Guru Havnagootiim Vishnuuerheer. Kaz was also seen as Eddie Murphy’s Landlord in “Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood” and was the lead in the oddball “I Married A Monkey” sketches.

Most folks know him as that guy in the Police Academy movies, but for me he was one of the bright lights from the Ebersol era.

Rolling Stone ranked him #32 and said…
One of the most under-appreciated players ever, from the much-scorned early-Eighties cast. The Kaz had a virtuoso collection of nervous twitches, especially as sweaty little Dr. Jack Badofsky, the absolute master of terrible puns. It was a treat to hear the audience boo and groan whenever Dr. Jack lectured on diseases like influenza — if you catch it from the Mississippi River, you've got "Huckleberry Finn-fluenza," if "you sneeze your head off, that's Anne Boleyn-fluenza," while "coal miners' daughters are susceptible to Loretta Lynn-fluenza." Or gonorrhea: "If the New York Post finds out you've got it, everyone in the city's gono-rrhead all about it!"

A clip of Kaz the Guru... https://screen.yahoo.com/unanswered-questions-000000558.html
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 01:34:30 AM by George Harrison »


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 09:46:47 PM »
#45. Jason Sudeikis

Era: 2005-2013
17 points on 2 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #14 (anais.butterfly)
Most Memorable Characters: Joe Biden, Gil, Ed Mahoney, Officer Sikorsky/Matthews, Vance the dancer on “What Up With That”, Pete Twinkle, DJ Suopersoak, Jack Rizzoli, The Devil, Sensei Mark Hoffman, Marshall T. Boudreaux

Man that’s a huge list of characters! Jason’s one of SNLs glue guys. One of those folks who could do it all – he could play it nice, or be a dickweed, like Gil the news anchor, who got a big kick out of his field correspondent Michelle Dison's (Kristen Wiig) misfortunes. He was notable as Joe Biden, and the Devil, who –to quote wiki- “…comes on Weekend Update to point out religious and moral hypocrisy on Earth. On the Emma Stone/Coldplay episode, the Devil gets so upset over the Penn State University sex scandal that he quits his job as The Prince of Darkness and returns to his old job as a customer service representative for Time Warner Cable.”

He was also one hell of an enthusiastic dancer (see “What Up with That”, with Jason in a red and white Adidas tracksuit and sporting an 80s style perm.)

Rolling Stone ranked him #25 and said…
The only devil who could rival Lovitz, mostly because Sudeikis turned the devil into such a regular guy. Sudeikis was the cornfed sports dude who seemed affable on the surface, playing lots of husbands and dads. But it didn't take much to unlock his freaky side — the metalhead in Jon Bovi, Mr. A-Hole, the dancer in the red tracksuit or his unhinged Joe Biden.

Sudeikis’ 10 best sketches… http://www.ifc.com/fix/2014/04/jason-sudeikis-10-best-snl-sketches


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 09:50:46 PM »
And that’s it for now; I’ll be back around this same time tomorrow. But I leave you with the…

SNL Question of the night: Share a memory of your favorite musical performance?

Mine?

It was October 14, 1978 when Saturday Night Live host, Fred Willard introduced an oddly named band called Devo. I watched these guys -garbed in yellow radiation suits, who moved robotically- tear in to a brilliant and electrifying version of “Satisfaction” -- and in that instant they altered the musical landscape for me.

In a world of Disco and bland radio friendly music (and with the NY punk stuff I loved, hard to find in this pre-Internet age) Devo was a breath of fresh ‘weird’ air - Dadaistic concept art with a social bent. They also had a lead singer (Mark) with this wonderful nerd voice that blistered the air to my great delight. The performance was incredible and I couldn’t wait for their second song. (Which with a lot of SNL musical acts hasn’t happened a lot)

The next day I took a bus downtown to Eli’s (the only record store open on Sunday back in the day) and picked up a copy of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! I rushed home, breathlessly placed the needle on the groove and was swept away. To this day they are still one of my all-time favorite bands,

And it all started with Saturday Night Live.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 10:50:37 PM »
#45. Jason Sudeikis
[
Rolling Stone ranked him #25 and said…
The only devil who could rival Lovitz,
Never heard of this guy before, but damn that is high praise. I didn't submit a list (because I didn't watch it all that often) but Lovitz would have been right up there near the top if I had.



Offline ScottotD

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2015, 12:53:25 AM »
SNL Question of the night: Share a memory of your favorite musical performance?


Elvis Costello punking them with 'Radio Radio'
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"A thing I like that there was no chance would ever continue until recently is now continuing but it doesn't meet my exact personal specifications so fuck this"

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Johnny Unusual

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2015, 12:56:23 AM »
I was never a fan of the music, but now you just named two great ones: I am a big Devo fan so I'm sure they were great and I did love the moment when Elvis (who I like) made way for the Beasties (who I also like) EDIT: (Wait, that was the other way around.  It was still cool though).  But unfortunately, I can't name one for myself.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 01:34:12 AM by Johnny Unusual »


MightyJack

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 01:25:45 AM »
Yeah that one with Elvis was memorable. The way he stopped the song they were doing, and then tore into the one he wanted to do in the first place.

And of course I should mention George Harrison's appearance - singing with Paul Simon, and trying to get the money that Lorne promised to pay if the Beatles reunited on SNL.  :)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 02:46:32 AM by George Harrison »


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 06:49:18 AM »
Yeah, the music on that show always annoyed me. They made such a big deal about it, as if that's why I watched the show. Um...NO! Even if I happened to like the band that episode, that's not why I'm tuning in to a COMEDY show. It's great when they use the band members in skits (which wasn't all the time), but then they're just guests. I watched it in the late 80s, early 90s, when MTV was at it's height. So music on TV was hardly a novelty at the time. And even as a kid, I was aware that these bands were not exactly cheap. So I would have much prefered they had put that significant part of their budget towards the actual show instead.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2015, 11:47:07 AM by Darth Geek »



Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2015, 09:21:16 AM »
SNL Question of the night: Share a memory of your favorite musical performance?


Elvis Costello punking them with 'Radio Radio'

I didn't watch the performance when it first aired, but on PJ20, Mike McCready (lead guitar) talks about how he realized he had a problem with alcohol the day after Pearl jam's 2nd SNL performance. Stone (Gossard, other guitarist) asked Mike what he thought of the sang they played the night before, and Mike couldn't remember performing (Blackout).

Other than that, I love Miley's performances.
Anais is the Coolest Butterfly I know  ;D