Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Very Best of SNL

As I prepared to write this post I was looking through the archives of this blog and discovered that in asking for help with this particular post from both my son and from friends on social media I was having a true, honest-to-goodness old man brain fart. I had already written this post once, over 2 years ago. I re-use posts on purpose sometimes, but this was the first time I wrote a post without realizing I had already done it once. I listed my top 10 favorite SNL cast members in response to an article proclaiming Kristin Wiig the "greatest ever" when she left the show. She didn't make that list and does not make this one either. But after so much kind support from friends all over the place, I decided to go ahead with another post on the greatness of SNL. I hope you enjoy.

There are few shows in the history of television that have been as influential on popular culture as Saturday Night Live!  NBC's Saturday Night (the original title) first hit the airwaves in the fall of 1975. I was a junior in high school, and the show spoke directly to my generation. The very first episode was hosted by the late George Carlin, one of the funniest (and often most profane) comedians ever to grace a stage, and he was the prefect choice- because he made people nervous. For those first few years the show often did the same! Over the months that followed we met a wonderful cast of characters known as The Not Ready For Prime Time Players. We fell in love with them all, and made Chevy Chase the first break-out star of the show. And now, 39 years later, SNL is still going strong.  Or at least still going...

This is a show that has brought us some of the great characters in the history of TV, and none of them were hers. The list of names that Don Pardo has called out over the years is a "Who's Who" of comedy.  Trying to make a Top 12 list of my favorite SNL players was a daunting task. In fact, it was too daunting. So it's a Top 20 list instead! I asked on Twitter and Marilyn's Facebook for people to submit their favorites, and many did. Some of them made my list. But just think about some of the names they suggested that I am leaving off: Jane Curtain, Garrett Morris, Lorraine Newman, Joe Piscopo, Dennis Miller, Kristin Wiig, Tim Kazurinski, Victoria Jackson, Nora Dunn, Mary Gross, Martin Short, Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, Tim Meadows, Kevin Nealon, Horatio Sans, Chris Rock, Julia Sweeney, Tracy Morgan, Rob Schneider, Cheri Oteri, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Kattan, Bill Hader, Ana Gasteyer, Andy Samberg, David Spade, Seth Myers and Maya Rudolph. Wow! Do you remember that Robert Downey, Jr, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Randy Quaid, Ben Stiller, Joan Cusack, Damon Wayans, Christopher Guest and Senator Al Franken were all once on the show? In fact, Stiller got one vote! Steve Martin got a bunch of votes, but I had to leave him off the list because he was actually never in the cast! That's right- he has always been a guest host, as have been Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks and Justin Timberlake - all of whom got votes! So here's my list. It is just my personal opinion. and it is based on the show, not on their post-SNL careers. As always, my Top 20 list features 21 names. Here we go, in no particular order...

  1. Gilda Radner
  2. Bill Murray
  3. Chevy Chase
  4. Eddie Murphy
  5. Chris Farley
  6. Will Ferrell
  7. Dana Carvey
  8. John Belushi
  9. Phil Hartman
  10. Tina Fey/Amy Poehler (Can't split them up!)
  11. Jon Lovitz
  12. Dan Aykroyd
  13. Adam Sandler
  14. Jan Hooks
  15. Darrell Hammond
  16. Mike Myers
  17. Billy Crystal
  18. Seth Myers
  19. Molly Shannon
  20. Jimmy Fallon
So there is my list. Let me know who you think I am wrong about and who you think needs to be added. Let the debate begin!!! And keep thinking, because next Saturday we will list our favorite recurring characters! Anyone remember Emily Litella, Middle Aged Man, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer or Toonces the Driving Cat?  :)

1 comment:

  1. cheryl meadows2/01/2014

    The first time I saw middle aged man I was sleeping over at maries. I peed the bed I laughed so hard. It was the one about his father used to be some other super hero..but now he's dead man. That was such a dry humor skit..and it was like you would hear what they would wrap around your head a few times and then smack you in the face.


Thanks for reading,and thanks for your comment!