The 40 Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

February 15, 2015 7:52 PM

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The 40 Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

Tonight NBC celebrates the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live with a live special that will feature dozens of former cast members, hosts and musical guests. Even Eddie Murphy, who for years has refused to return to the show that he saved in the early ‘80s, will make his return to Studio 8H. The show’s had its share of ups and downs these last four decades, but it remains a cultural institution, and one of the biggest career boosts a comedian can get. Here are the 40 best cast members to appear on Lorne Michaels’ show since it debuted in 1975. Our only restriction is that current cast members aren’t up for debate, unless they’ve been on for at least five seasons. (So Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer both miss the cut by just a few months.)

Shannon is a divisive figure. She mastered one of SNL’s most common types of recurring sketches: the character that somebody, somewhere must like, considering how often they get tossed out on TV, but that neither you nor any of your friends are ever excited to see. So basically she was a precursor t...

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