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Posts tagged as saturday night’s children

Saturday Night's Children: Kristen Wiig (2005-2012)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Live cast sendoffs are a rare event on SNL and reserved only for the most well-liked players, and if Kristen Wiig's farewell segment at the end of the season 37 finale was any indication, the art major-turned-sketch comedy superstar left her SNL stint on the best possible terms. Beloved by many for her sheepish, awkward, yet unabashed delivery and bringing to life [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Dan Vitale (1985-1986)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

In all of SNL cast history, Dan Vitale stands invisible as the most forgotten player. Until only recently, his IMDB page was mixed up with a female dancer of the same name and did little to shed light on the seasoned Queens-born comic and legendary drunk who was a regular at the original Improv, friend to Bill Hicks, and briefly-lived SNL featured [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Jim Downey (1979-1980)

Aside from having the best set of lines in Billy Madison, Jim Downey is best known for having a long writing tenure at SNL second only to Lorne Michaels. Downey joined the show at the same time as Bill Murray in 1976, and with only a few exceptions (including a break in the early '80s to serve as head writer at Letterman), he was a regular fixture on the writing staff until the end of last year, serving as the show's longest-running head writer from 1986-1995 and knighted ruler of SNL's political cold open sketches. Despite being better remembered as a writer, Downey also spent a single season [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Tim Kazurinsky (1981-1984)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

No one gives out awards for consistency, but if they did, Tim Kazurinsky served as one of the few steady voices during the first half of the 80s on SNL, a time when the future of the show's writers, cast, and producers was uncertain and the magic and acclaim of the original cast had noticeably disappeared along with Lorne Michaels. In addition to [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Robert Smigel (1991-1993)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Though he’s best known as the voice behind the raunchy puppet and former Conan regular Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Robert Smigel is responsible for many of SNL’s best sketches and pretaped shorts during his impressive run as writer from 1985-2008. Between the Chicagoan Bill Swerski’s Superfans, TV Funhouse segments like The Ambiguously Gay Duo, and commercial parodies like “Schmitt’s Gay,” [...]

Eight 'SNL' Cast Members Who Went from Sidelined to Success

Now that Saturday Night Live's highly transitional 39th season has come and gone, the next question on SNL fans' minds is which cast members will be back in the fall and which will be given the axe. A couple relatively new cast members like Taran Killam and Kate McKinnon have stepped into the forefront by inhabiting nearly every sketch as Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader used to do, but the currently overstuffed cast of season 39 (particularly its white dude-dominated featured players) could definitely use some trimming. For all the contingents though, successful SNL player stints don't necessarily guarantee fame and fortune, and the opposite [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Al Franken (1977-1980; 1985-1986; 1988-1995)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

SNL has a long history of pitting two groups together to create comedy gold: the untamed, brash Chicago improv troupers and the pompous nerds of Harvard. Tina Fey put it nicely in a 2011 New Yorker piece when she wrote "If Harvard is Classical Military Theory, Improv is Vietnam." While the Harvardlings mostly occupy writing positions at SNL (see Conan O'Brien and [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Seth Meyers (2001-2014)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Now that Jimmy Fallon has taken over The Tonight Show, Seth Meyers — whose last SNL episode was just over two weeks ago — is poised to take over for him on Late Night. The post-SNL path to success usually isn't that simple for veterans of the show, or as Lorne Michaels put it: "You're a star on SNL. That does [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Bill Hader (2005-2013)

Few SNL cast members have matched the supreme mimicry talents of Bill Hader, whose repertoire of dead-on impersonations clocks in at over eighty. When he joined the cast in 2005, Hader instantly transformed from an unknown film and TV production assistant to late night's newest sketch comedy chameleon and force behind the Manhattan club-hopper Stefon, and he made such an impression that he earned two Emmy nominations for his work on SNL in 2012 and 2013, making him the first male cast member to receive the double Emmy honor in the show's history.

Saturday Night's Children: Eddie Murphy (1980-1984)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

When Eddie Murphy arrived at SNL in 1980, all odds were stacked against him: The magic of the original cast, writers, and producer was gone, public opinion of the show dwindled, and at only 19 years old, he was the youngest performer to join the cast. But thanks to a combination of undeniable talent, persistence, luck, and a streak of Hollywood blockbusters, Murphy [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Harry Shearer (1979-1980; 1984-1985)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

While he's most widely known for his 25 years (and counting) of voice work on The Simpsons or starring with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean in the breakout 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, Harry Shearer also spent two brief stints as an SNL cast member — one late in the show's original '70s run and another during its mid-'80s overhaul. Say what [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Andy Samberg (2005-2012)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

If we could single out any SNL cast member for changing the game in terms of the show's format, impact, and internet-age revolution, Andy Samberg would be the one. With his Lonely Island team Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, Samberg brought SNL into the digital age with "Lazy Sunday" and made 100 more Digital Shorts before leaving for primetime television. Beyond their many [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Fred Armisen (2002-2013)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

One of SNL's most modest and low-key players, Fred Armisen brought a punk rocker/character comedian hybrid edge, quiet charm, unrelenting versatility, and collaborative talents as both a background and lead funnyman to his eleven seasons — making him one of SNL's most dependable anti-punchline wardens of weirdness — and his best characters blur the line between parody and realism as well as cynicism [...]

Saturday Night's Children: 2013 In Review

This year turned out to be another round of 1980s domination for Saturday Night’s Children. While it’s been a low-key year for the column as far as SNL superstars go, we reached feature #100 with Eddie Murphy a few weeks ago and passed the 70% mark on cast members covered overall – 101 out of 137 and counting. In the continued spirit of underdogs and lower-key SNL names, my favorite two cast members to learn about this year were Gary Kroeger and Danitra Vance, two underappreciated 80s players whose stories are both enlightening and inspiring in vastly different ways. So with that, here’s a rundown of the Saturday Night’s [...]