Friday, October 2, 2015


As we celebrate a week of Saturday Night live stories, I wanted to start out with a list of my five favorite alumni from the show. That show, which has been on for 40 years has been the showcase from some of the greatest comedians our present entertainment industry has ever known. Here are my five favorites...

5. TINA FEY (2000-2006)
Tina Fey breathed new life into Weekend Update, bringing sharp, literate political satire to what had been a regularly scheduled dead spot for years. It says a lot that the show's best political joke since her departure has been the Sarah Palin impression she started doing as a special guest.

4. WILL FERRELL (1995-2002)
Long before Old School, Ferrell looked like the friendly, super-straight guy at the fraternity beer bash who'd been putting off graduation for too long because he wasn't looking forward to managing his dad's construction firm. Watching strange demons take over that normal-looking countenance was a joke that seldom got tired. His surrealist sensibilities carried the show for years. 

3. JOHN BELUSHI (1975-1979)
John Belushi brought the pleasures of brash slapstick to a show that otherwise tended towards hip and cerebral. He made it look easy to dominate the stage and make audiences laugh by brute force. But if you look at the performers influenced, including Chris Farley and his own brother Jim, you can see that it isn't that easy after all.

2. GILDA RADNER (1975-1979)
Gilda Radner won an Emmy for her performance on SNL in 1978 and carried many a sketch amongst the original "Not Ready for Prime Time Players." Her Barbara Walters and Roseanne Roseannadanna characters remain legendary.

1. BILL MURRAY (1977-1980)
Bill Murray's stature as the most beloved of all the SNL alumni was hard-won. He basically made it onto the show over Lorne Michaels' dead body, and he had a rough couple of weeks trying to win over an audience that was hell-bent on hating him because he'd replaced the show's first breakout star, Chevy Chase. But by the time Chase returned to guest host, it was Murray's show he came back to. Murray really proved his mettle when he himself hosted the only exciting episode of the notorious 1980-81 season. It looked then and still looks today as if Golden Age SNL is something Bill Murray carries around in his back pocket in case of emergency. ..

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