There’s no way to write about the history of “Saturday Night Live” without including Kristen Wiig. Her overall place in that story is for individuals to decide, but to remove her from the conversation betrays a fundamental misreading of her overall importance to the history of the show. From 2005-2012, she quickly rose from “solid ensemble performer” to “the absolutely go to person week in and week out”. For her last few years, she was the center of the program, carrying the biggest workload and often getting the biggest laughs. The sheer number of characters that she created, the professionalism and integrity that she brought to each show, and the way she helped the show survive the loss of such female “SNL” standouts such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph cannot be overstated.
As we come to the close of another season of “Saturday Night Live,” it’s time to think ahead to what changes will happen in the show’s cast when it returns for its thirty-ninth season this Fall. While Lorne Michaels traditionally likes to draw nationally unknown talent from the nation’s top improv troupes, is it time for him to think about drawing from a better-known pool of talent? After all, there is precedent for this in the show’s history, even if Michaels himself wasn’t involved in bringing in cast members such as Christopher Guest and Billy Crystal.
Looking at already-known actors might seem counterintuitive, and logistically implausible. But let’s imagine that a full season commitment wouldn’t be necessary. Imagine if intermittent stints on the show were allowed, providing a constantly rotating pool of talent that would not only provide comedic depth and breadth for the show, but also make each installment unique unto itself? Let’s look at some names that might fit the bill, looking at the likelihood they would be good full-time participants or simply part-time players.
We’re heading into the home stretch of the 38th season of “Saturday Night Live”. With only a few episodes left, it’s time to look back at the season as a whole and analyze the cast’s overall importance to the show at this point in time. These Power Rankings have absolutely nothing to do with the comedic skill of anyone currently on the show’s cast. These rankings reflect how “SNL” perceives them in the pecking order, based on overall appearances, number of signature roles, and other intangible qualities that can be assessed by watching each episode. Wonder why certain cast members only seem to appear during the host’s goodbyes? Has it ever seemed like certain not-ready-for-primetime players seem to be at the forefront of each sketch? These Power Rankings might help explain why.
Check out our rankings blow. Do you agree or disagree? Who are you favorite "SNL" players?
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It’s been almost a month without new episodes, but “Saturday Night Live” returns tonight with host Melissa McCarthy and musical guest Phoenix. McCarthy was a game host during her first gig in the Fall of 2011, but the episode itself was a mixed bag. In that episode, she played quite often against Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg, both of whom have since left the show. She and Jason Sudeikis also had a lot of interactions last time around, so it will be interesting if “SNL” holds onto that dynamic or pairs here up with the many new cast members that have popped up in the interim.