Of all the comedy and variety shows that American TV has ever produced, none can equal the legacy of Saturday Night Live. It’s been around for more than 4 decades, and many of its cast has continued to cement their reputation as comedians on TV and film.
The cast members of SNL during the 1980s were especially successful, as the lineup included some of the most well-known comedians of all time:
- Eddie Murphy. In many ways, Eddie Murphy ruled the 80s. After working with SNL from 1980 to 1984, he went on to star in some of the most successful movies of the decade. These included 48 Hours, Trading Places, and the Beverly Hills Cop His standup comedy concerts were lauded as well. Later on, he starred in The Nutty Professor, and he also supplied the Voice of Donkey in Shrek.
- Bill Murray. 1980 was Murray’s last year in SNL, and for the rest of the decade he starred in successful films such as Caddyshack, Stripes, Tootsie, and the megahit His other successful films include Groundhog Day and the critically lauded Lost in Translation.
- Mike Myers. Myers started his SNL career in 1989, but it was during the 1990s when he first tasted success in film. It started with Wayne’s World and its sequel, and from there he also starred in the famous Austin Powers He worked with Eddie Murphy in Shrek for which he supplied the voice for the lead character.
- Billy Crystal. Crystal became a regular cast member for SNL in 1984. He only spent a year in the show, but afterwards his Hollywood career really took off. He starred in the iconic romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally, and also starred in the films City Slickers and Analyze This. He was also the voice of Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. Crystal also hosted the Oscars 9 times, which is second only to Bob Hope’s 18 times as Oscar host.
- Martin Short. Short also joined SNL for just one year alongside Billy Crystal, and he too had a successful comedy career in Hollywood. He appeared in Three Amigos, Inner Space, and the Father of the Bride
- Julia Louis Dreyfus. She was on SNL for 3 seasons starting in 1982. But her greatest TV success was as part of the cast of Seinfeld, which ruled the TV airwaves from 1989 to 1998.
- Dana Carvey. He was one of the most popular performers among the SNL cast, and he also starred in the Wayne’s World movie series alongside Mike Myers.
- Joan Cusack. She was on SNL for just a single season in 1985-1986. Her Hollywood career included appearances in movies such as Say Anything, Working Girl (for which she got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress) and In & Out (Golden Globe nomination). She also appeared in Broadcast News, Married to the Mob, Nine Months, Runaway Bride, and School of Rock.
Julia Louis Dreyfus
So which other SNL comedians do you think belongs on this list?