Author Topic: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members  (Read 29854 times)

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2015, 09:20:38 PM »
#24. Jane Curtin

Era: 1975-1980
42 points on 3 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #6 (Tripe)
Most Memorable Characters: Update Anchor, Prymaat Conehead, Enid Loopner, Tom Snyder’s Mother, Betty Ford, Pat Nixon, Joan Face, Joan Crawford

Sometimes referred to as the “Queen of the Deadpan”, she was the best straight man -er woman- SNL had in her era. Curtin was the normal one of the group, she was moral, focused and didn’t party or do mad drugs like the others - she went home to a husband. And that was pretty much reflected on screen.

While she played it uptight on Update, it’s incorrect to assume that she couldn’t cut lose. Proof of that is in her expressive, spot-on portrayal of Tom Snyder’s Mother. She mimicked Dan as Tom to perfection.

Seeing her return to the Update set during the 40th Anniversary Special was a treat. She was an even better actress, seemed more at ease and was smiling, and got in some great lines too. Hell, even at 67 years old she could mop the floor with those stiffs they got doing Update now. Lorne should bring her back just to do the news…. seriously.

Jane was nominated in 1979 for an Emmy for SNL, but it was her work on the sitcom, “Kate and Allie” that netted her 2 wins (and another nomination)

Rolling Stone ranked her #47 and said...
Curtin basically invented the role of the "disgruntled SNL player who makes no attempt to hide that she'd rather be anywhere else on the planet right now." There's always a few of those — hell, some seasons it's the entire cast. But for five years on SNL she had a thankless role — the token square surrounded by crazies — and her specialty was making it look really thankless.

Jane returns to Update for the 40th anniversary… http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/snl40-weekend-update-with-tina-fey-amy-poehler-and-jane-curtin/2847149
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 02:42:30 AM by George Harrison »


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #76 on: March 27, 2015, 09:21:05 PM »
#23. Dennis Miller

Era: 1985-1991
42 points on 4 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #6 (Compound)
Most Memorable Characters: Weekend Update Anchor, Koko the French Clown, Gary Hart

Decide ranked him 3rd best Update Anchor and said... When Lorne Michaels returned to ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the mid 1980s, Weekend Update was in shambles. It had lost direction and heat. Michaels gave the position to clever comic Dennis Miller who restored the segment to its former glory. He was also one of the first anchors to use the position as a soapbox for his own political and social commentary

Paste magazine ranked him #25 and said…
Forget what he’s become: in his day Dennis Miller was a groundbreaking figure on SNL, and the show’s first great news anchor since the original cast members left in 1980. His cynical, irreverent, reference-packed schtick was a perfect response to the strip mall and fast food culture of 1980s America. Other than Eddie Murphy, Miller was probably the coolest SNL cast member of the 1980s, and still maybe the best Weekend Update anchor the show’s ever had. If he had done more outside the desk, he’d probably be higher on this list.

Rolling Stone ranked him #34 and said…
The Eighties, man — Elton John married a woman and Dennis Miller was funny. It'll be tough explaining either fact to future generations. But let history record that when the Berlin Wall came down, Miller had the right cheap smirk at the right time, comparing the event to "Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis getting back together. I haven't really enjoyed any of their previous collaborations, and I'm not sure I need to see their new stuff."
Dennis Miller vs. Dennis Miller… https://screen.yahoo.com/wf-channel=dennis-miller-snl-skits/
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 09:25:09 PM by George Harrison »


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #77 on: March 27, 2015, 09:21:29 PM »
#22. David Spade

Era: 1990-1996
47 points on 5 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #5 (Pak-Man)
Most Memorable Characters: Hollywood Minute reporter, Christy the gap girl, Dick Clark’s receptionist, Total Bastard Airlines Attendant

Early on David made his mark off screen as a writer, giving much of his material over to Dana Carvey to perform. And then he did Hollywood Minute and that was the spark he needed to make an on screen name for himself (and put Eddie Murphy on a 20-year pout when he took a shot at the former SNL cast member.)

He had great chemistry with pal Chris Farley, and as Dick Clark’s receptionist, he once gave Jesus (Phil Hartman) a hard time.

Paste Magazine ranked him #32 and said…
David Spade helped bring SNL into the 1990s with a heavy dose of sarcasm and irony. If you hate how the internet tends to value snarky quips over any other kind of humor, you can pin some of the blame on Spade. He helped popularize the condescending one-liner for the teens and tweens of the early ‘90s with caustic characters like Dick Clark’s receptionist and a sneering flight attendant. Spade’s greatest contributions to the show were his Hollywood Minute segments on Weekend Update, where he foreshadowed the rise of internet celebrity culture by scathingly insulting any star who happened to do anything embarrassing that week. Few cast members have forged such a singular and well-defined personality during their time on the show.

Rolling Stone ranked him #27 and said…
Spade invented the "Hey, Jackson Browne — 1973 called, they want their hair back" joke template. He doesn't get enough credit for that. He puttered in the background for years, waving good night every week with that "maybe next time" sad-puppy look, before he found greatness with his "Hollywood Minute" segment. So bitchy and (the key) so pointless. Best and meanest line: "Aaaaw, Ric Ocasek — why the long face?"

The Hollywood Minute… https://screen.yahoo.com/david-spade-snl-skits/weekend-segment-david-spade-000000216.html


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #78 on: March 27, 2015, 09:21:56 PM »
#21. Chris Rock

Era: 1990-1993
48 points on 5 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #13 (C.Jones)
Most Memorable Characters: Nat X, Onski, Buster Jenkins, Young Pop

Paste Magazine ranked him #33 and said…
Chris Rock is maybe the best and most vital comic voice of the last 20 years, but his stint on SNL was a disappointment. Nat X, the militant host of a BET late night talk show, might be one of the best remembered characters from the 1990s, but Rock largely fell into playing token minorities and background characters. Like Damon Wayans a few years before him, Rock didn’t relish being turned into Garrett Morris, who basically existed solely to play stereotypical black characters during the show’s first five years. Unlike Wayans, Rock stuck around long enough to make a true impression, regularly unleashing his whip-smart stand-up comedy as commentary on Weekend Update and bringing hip-hop culture to a show known for being very white and full of Baby Boomer self-congratulation. He didn’t get as much airtime as he deserved, but nobody who watched SNL between 1990 and 1993 will forget that Rock was on the show.

Rolling Stone ranked him #21 and said…
Rock always had a hard time getting on the air — there was a classic In Living Color sketch about Rock getting thrown out by NBC security who refuse to believe he's a cast member. But make no mistake: Even back then, Rock was hungrier and faster than anyone else. Whenever he got a sketch (barely once a month, usually in the final 15 minutes), he blew the rest of the episode away, with his militant Nat X ("What's the matter, Whitney — you can't get a black bodyguard?") or his B-boy Onski from "I'm Chillin'." Nobody in the history of the show inspired more Monday-morning "Who the hell was that guy?" conversations. If he never worked a day after SNL, we'd all still know his name.

The Best of Chris Rock at NBC… http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/chris-rock/video/1144506


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #79 on: March 27, 2015, 09:24:03 PM »
SNL Question of the night: Share a memory of a favorite sketch or sketches
“Dueling Brando’s” with Peter Boyle and Belushi is a special one for me (being a Brando freak), and there was Toonces, Synchronized Swimming, Matt Foley and “More Cowbell!”

Two that I remember fondly: the Land Shark, it’s an oldie but a goodie, coming at the height of the Jaws craze, my favorite movie at that time. This exemplified SNL at it’s most absurd… https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-best-of-the-70s/land-shark-jaws-ii-224409387.html

And Julia Child bleeding out from a cut... that absolutely slayed me. And it’s another from Dan Aykroyd, as well as another from him that took me by surprise and left me breathless from laughter. It’s rather Pythonesque if you think about it. How something icky or violent happens, and it never stops. Like the Black Knight losing body parts or Mr. Creosote losing his lunch. 

Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #80 on: March 27, 2015, 10:00:30 PM »
I don't think either Maya or Bill made it on my list, but that's because I have barely seen any SNL in the last 15 years.  Their output outside of that has been great, though.  With Spade and Rock, you are getting into my territory.  Spade might be pretty hard to stomach now, but I remember really liking him when he was on the show (particularly Hollywood minute).

Also, who is this Loren you keep referring to.

Also also, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer is definitely a strong memory for me.  As is all of Jack Handey.  I would skim subpar episodes in the hopes of seeing those.

"When I see an old lady fall, my first instinct is to laugh.  Then I think 'what if I was an ant and she fell on me'? Then it wouldn't be so funny."


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #81 on: March 27, 2015, 11:08:12 PM »
Spade I'm okay with, however I could never get into Rock, SNL or otherwise.

I agree with you on Deep Thought's. That was one of my all time favorite things, and sometimes I'd stick with a show just to see them. I had one of the books at one time as well.

* It's the weekend and I'm not sure when I'll post the next batch. Fred and I are going to hang out, and watch SNL like in the old days. Maybe I'll tote along my laptop or use his and post them late. Or maybe I'll have some free time to do it earlier in the day.

« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 11:18:40 PM by George Harrison »

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #82 on: March 28, 2015, 07:49:11 AM »
#26. Maya Rudolph

Era: 2000-2007
40 points on 3 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #2 (Tripe)
Most Memorable Characters: Beyoncé, Donatella Versace, Britannica, Paris Hilton, Tina Turner, Beertje Van Beers
Everything I said about Oteri but in triplicate. Probably the best cast member I actually watched when she was on the show (my #1 pick has an edge for some other reasons) just a phenomenal performer.

And just so hot.

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #83 on: March 28, 2015, 10:40:11 AM »
SNL Question of the night: Share a memory of a favorite sketch or sketches

Buh-Wheet Sings and Farley vs Swayze in a dance-off.

And did I vote for Hader? If I didn't I should have. Add 'Anthony Peter Coleman' to the list of memorable characters.

Have you seen the "Skeleton Twins" with him and Wigg? Both give phenomenal performances.

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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #84 on: March 28, 2015, 11:20:39 AM »
My favorite running sketch has got to be Celebrity Jeopardy. One reason why I put Darrell Hammond at #1.

But my all time favorite single bit is also my favorite opening. Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman as Ross Perot and James Stockdale after the disastrous Vice Presidential Debate during the 1992 Presidential Election:




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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #85 on: March 28, 2015, 07:49:16 PM »
* Nope, Fred you left him off. But don’t feel bad; EVERYBODY left a giant or two off their lists. And yup, I caught the Skeleton Twins on DVD - Sad movie/great acting.

* I almost forgot - Seth Meyers and Bill Hader wrote a Spider-Man comic, “The Short Halloween”. It was fair to middling.

* So Cole gets to work with the likes of Rachel and Laraine, AND enjoy a hearty "Colon Blow" breakfast to help maintain bowel health? Are we all green with envy or what?

* I have 2 entries after this one, so if anyone wants start to PM'ing me nominations for the next LOC poll, go ahead on.

And here are today’s entries: While I like most of these folks, only 1 wound up on my list (aside from the host)…
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 02:39:32 AM by George Harrison »


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #86 on: March 28, 2015, 07:49:48 PM »
Tonight's Host: #3. Alec Baldwin -14 points
He's hosted "SNL" more times than anyone - 16 - and with good reason. Like Walken, Baldwin used "Saturday Night Live" to recreate himself as a comic force. Baldwin perfected the art of the deadpan, getting laughs while playing a sometimes twisted straight man — from Canteen Boy's predatory scoutmaster to a soap opera doctor with a pronunciation problem to unfortunately named baker Pete Schweddy. – Jere Hester (nbcbayrea.com)

And here’s a clip of Pete… https://screen.yahoo.com/molly-shannon-snl-skits/nprs-delicious-dish-schweddy-balls-000000088.html


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #87 on: March 28, 2015, 07:50:06 PM »
#20. Tracy Morgan

Era: 1996-2003
49 points on 5 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #10 (Tripe)
Most Memorable Characters: Brian Fellow, Astronaut Jones, Uncle Jemima, Dominican Lou, Woodrow, Star Jones

Tracy had a unique delivery and often seemed like he was off in his own world. Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet was the bit that I liked best. I also got a kick out his Star Jones, who was always quick to remind people that she is a lawyer, before explaining something that was painfully obvious to everyone. Oh, and who can forget the spanking he gave Shaq? HaHa!

Paste magazine ranked him #13 and said…
Tracy Morgan is one of those people who can make almost anything funny (which is why it’s so weird that his stand-up isn’t better than it is). His delivery is hilarious and unique, and it’s surprising that he was able to use it so well with so many characters while still having them feel different. Astronaut Jones, Brian Fellow and Woodrow were brilliantly absurd and like nothing else on SNL at the time. He might be a limited performer compared to some, but despite his limitations he did as much great work as almost everybody else on this list.

Rolling Stone ranked him #53 and said…
So much funnier on 30 Rock. In fact, he was so great on 30 Rock, his SNL stint now looks like one long setup.

Brian Fellow… https://screen.yahoo.com/brian-fellows-safari-planet-2-000000654.html
« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 09:56:01 PM by George Harrison »


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #88 on: March 28, 2015, 07:50:43 PM »
#19. Will Forte

Era: 2002-2010
51 points on 7 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #13 (Cole Stratton)
Most Memorable Characters: MacGruber, Tim Calhoun, The Falconer, Hamilton Whiteman, Greg Stink

Will is the kind of weirdo comedian straight out of the Twilight Zone that I dig, I just ran out of room on my list to include him. Thank goodness the rest of you picked up my slack. The barely audible Politician Tim Calhoun is my favorite of his characters. Underneath that calm reserve is a man about to crack. Though I’m sure he’ll crack quietly and with fingers raised.

Forte was also fantastic in one of my favorite films of 2013, Nebraska.

Paste Magazine ranked him #19 and said…
Will Ferrell and Tracy Morgan both left the show in 2002, depriving SNL of two of its best practitioners of absurd comedy. Will Forte immediately filled that gap with some of the most surreal sketches and characters in the show’s history. Although he’s best known for MacGruber, a bit created by Lonely Island member Jorma Taccone, Forte’s other original characters like The Falconer, Tim Calhoun and Hamilton are why he’s so high on this list. Also his impression of George W. Bush as a nervous, whiny child was a sly bit of political commentary.

Rolling Stone ranked him #52 and said…
It was always way too easy to take this laid-back gent for granted, especially after several dozen "MacGruber"s, but his spluttering hysteria in the "Potato Chip" sketch — a NASA recruiter who cherishes all 35 of the chips on his desk — came from a dark and special place.

Forte’s best sketches… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/26/will-forte-leaving-snl-_n_695898.html?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 11:54:20 PM by George Harrison »


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Re: LOC #84: Top 50 Saturday Night Live Cast Members
« Reply #89 on: March 28, 2015, 07:51:08 PM »
#18. Andy Samberg

Era: 2005-2012
55 points on 4 of 10 lists - Highest Ranking: #1 (anais.butterfly)
Best known for his Digital shorts and impression of Mark Wahlberg and Nicolas Cage

Truth be told I’m not a fan of Samberg’s brand of humor, so I don’t have many personal reflections. I thought Laser Cats was cute, and I laughed at his impression and later confrontation with Mark Wahlberg, so there was that. And he is credited for bringing SNL into the digital age. anais loves him (and thinks he HAWT!) as do a lot of critics and fans - like the writers of these two publications…

Paste Magazine ranked him #15 and said…
Andy Samberg is a likable guy. He’s charming. He’s also a good comedic actor. He’s not on this list because of any of his sketches or characters, though. He’s here because he and his Lonely Island cohorts made SNL relevant in the internet age with their Digital Shorts. SNL’s been doing pretaped segments since its first episode, but they never felt as vital as the Digital Shorts, which were perfectly timed to tap into the growth of Youtube and viral videos. Samberg’s long gone, but the show still cranks out fake music videos and virally-minded short films every episode; sometimes they succeed, but never as consistently as they did when Samberg was around.

Rolling Stone ranked him #22 and said…
"Lazy Sunday" basically invented YouTube — most people in 2005 found out the site existed by frantically clicking around trying to rewatch Samberg and Chris Parnell mack on cupcakes. (Ironic, given how SNL is stricter than Prince when it comes to policing YouTube.) Despite Samberg's boyish energy, he had real staying power — let's just say the list of stars who were funny on SNL and then went on to star in funny sitcoms is a very short list, and Samberg is near the top.

Andy’s Wahlberg talks to the animals…


And the next week the real Mark shows up…

« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 02:22:24 AM by George Harrison »