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30 Funniest Comedians to Come from SNL

Chris Rock

Chris Rock was one of the best and most vital comedic voices of the last 20 years, and we were first introduced to him through SNL. Unlike many of the others, his time on the show wasn’t that great, but it gave him national exposure. Later, he began stand up and would become a film star in movies like The Longest Yard, Dogma, and voicing Marty the Zebra in Madagascar.

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Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman was famous for his impressions on Saturday Night Live, particularly of President Bill Clinton. He stayed on for eight seasons, which opened the door for roles in the Simpsons, Scooby-Doo, and Dennis the Menace. He later had plans to star as the memorable Zapp Brannigan in Futurama before his death in 1998.

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Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon might be most known for her bizarre Catholic schoolgirl impression, Mary Katherine Gallagher, on SNL, but that’s just one of her great roles on the show. After leaving the series, she found success with roles in Superstar, Never Been Kissed, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 

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Norm MacDonald

Norm MacDonald delivered deadpan hilarity and impressions of Bob Dole, Burt Reynolds, and Larry King. SNL was just the start of his career. After the show, it was impossible not to hear his unique voice as the dog in Dr. Dolittle. You might also recognize his voice as Death in Family Guy.

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Seth Myers

Seth Meyers caught the attention of SNL in 2001 and became one of the longest-running members of the show after 13 years. It’s no surprise that he flourished through subtle humor and his impressions of John Kerry. With all the time he spent honing his skills, no one objected to him taking over the Late Show on NBC.

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Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig is a great performer, and SNL helped showcase her talents. Her skits had the audience laughing without fail, but we were all excited to see what she could do with freedom from the show. After SNL, we saw what she could really do as she starred in The Martian, Sausage Party, Ghostbusters, and Anchorman 2.

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Tim Meadows

Tim Meadows was a late bloomer. He was fired from SNL in 1993, but rejoined the cast in 1994. Soon, he latched onto the Ladies' Man, which was his most memorable character. The character was hilarious and showed that he could keep a show running with his talent. The role later became a movie deal, and he co-starred in a number of other films. 

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David Spade

David Spade helped bring SNL into the 1990s thanks to his sarcastic wit. His snarky quips had the audience chuckling as he played Dick Clark’s receptionist or a sneering flight attendant. His well-defined personality translated nicely into movies like The Emperor’s New Groove, Joe Dirt, and the TV show Just Shoot Me!. 

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Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider hasn’t come out with anything recently, but it’s hard to imagine the early 2000s without his comedy. Deuce Bigalow, The Hot Chick, and The Animal all came from his undeniable talent that he honed on SNL. First, he was a writer, but quickly graduated to a cast member where he played roles such as “Tiny Elvis”. 

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Maya Rudolph

This woman has taken Hollywood by storm while starring in films such as Bridesmaids and Idiocracy and also offered her voice for Big Hero 6. It all started in 2000 when she joined SNL, and her talents were recognized. In just three minutes, she can have you gasping for air while laughing.

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Jimmy Fallon

What hasn’t Jimmy Fallon done? In 1998, he joined SNL to showcase his talent, and the audience ate it up. He was attractive, talented, funny, and versatile. Eventually, he moved onto his own thing including the Late Show. Later, he became the host of The Tonight Show, taking over Jay Leno’s spot.

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Tracy Morgan

Tracy Morgan can make anything funny, so it wasn’t a surprise that SNL had to have him on the cast. It was unlike anything we’d seen before, which was why we looked forward to watching characters like Astronaut Jones, Brian Fellow, and Woodrow. Thanks to this display of talent, the world realized how funny he was and he began to star in TV shows like 30 Rock and a few movies here and there.

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Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg joined SNL in 2005, and America found him likable and charming. Later, we saw that he was a riotous comedic actor that made SNL relevant in the internet age thanks to his Digital Shorts. Now, he stars in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and movies like Hotel Transylvania

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Bill Hader

Bill Hader can do nearly everything. He’s a great impressionist, a stunning writer, and one of the best physical comedians in history. As an audience, we were introduced to him in 2005 on SNL, and he kicked everything up a notch. He quickly became famous and began to get movie deals left and right like Superbad, Knocked Up, and Year One

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Adam Sandler

Everyone knows that Adam Sandler was absolutely hilarious in the 90s and early 2000s. Even though his comedy hasn’t aged well, Opera Man and Herlihy Boy were some of the best skits SNL had in years. His goofiness skyrocketed his career on SNL, which gave us film hits like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, and Punch-Drunk Love

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Mike Myers

Mike Myers is now known as Austin Powers and Shrek, but in 1989, he was Andy Grey, Linda Richman, and Marcello while on SNL. He was also known for his hilarious impression of Adolf Hitler, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger, Queen Elizabeth II, and countless more. Myers quickly became an all-time great after his stint on Saturday Night Live

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Dana Carvey

Dana Carvey was a household name in the 90s, and he has SNL to thank for that (along with his talent, of course). Viewers loved the sassy Church Lady and his impressions, which made him absolutely famous. After SNL, he tried to start his own show. It didn’t do great, but it would introduce us to Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, and Louis CK. 

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Jane Curtin

Jane Curtin was an absolute riot in 3rd Rock from the Sun, Antz, and Kate & Allie, but she got her start on SNL. She didn’t have many flashy roles, but her deadpan delivery during "Weekend Update" was a great counterpoint to the antics of the rest of the show. As the glue that held the show together, we can thank Curtin for the first five seasons of Saturday Night Live.

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Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell is a huge household name now, but he was relatively unknown prior to 1995. The show helped skyrocket his comedic career, and he would go on to star in countless movies and TV shows. Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and Daddy’s Home are just a few of the films he’s done in the past.

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Jason Sudeikis

Jason Sudeikis is undeniably funny. It’s no surprise that SNL scooped him up in 2003. Many remember him in his devil character for the Weekend Update, but he has had several great skits during his stint. He’s mostly in movies including We’re the Millers and Horrible Bosses, but he has been known to make a guest appearance on SNL from time to time. 

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey joined SNL as a writer in 1995. With her long-time friend Amy Poehler, they had some of the most hilarious skits Saturday Night Live would ever see. Tina is easily one of the funniest women in America, a best-selling author, and a terrific actor.

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Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey go hand-in-hand, but both are talented in their own right. Amy Poehler had fans laughing from the moment she debuted on SNL. Continuing her success from the show, she later starred in Parks and Rec, Sisters, and Inside Out. Poehler isn’t showing signs of stopping, and I’m glad for it.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus

One of the funniest women joined the cast in 1982 after just moving to New York. Her comedic talents on SNL won her a spot on Seinfeld and several other shows including the Emmy-winning show Veep.

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Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy was so funny that he literally saved SNL. From Gumby to Stevie Wonder impressions, his comedic sketches brought the show back from its horrible ratings and reviews. After literally bringing the show back from the brink of disaster, he went on to star in some big films, including Trading Spaces, Haunted Mansion, and A Thousand Words.

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Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was one of the founding women of Saturday Night Live. Her characters were a riot, and she had a definite elegance to her roles. Radner knew how to ham it up, and has remained a fan favorite since her debut. 

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Dan Aykroyd

Ranking the original members of SNL can be pretty tough, but Dan Aykroyd had to be high on the list. Thanks to SNL, he became a hit star and helped make some of the funniest movies of the 80s and 90s. Many of the movies he worked on involved his SNL co-stars, including Blues Brothers, Trading Spaces, and Ghosbusters.

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John Belushi

John Belushi left us too early, but we were lucky enough to see his talent on Saturday Night Live as one of the founding members. His energy was intense and carried some skits entirely, and no one could ever forget his raucous attitude. We loved him in Animal House and will forever picture him as Joliet from the Blues Brothers.

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Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase was one of the founding members of SNL. It’s hard to find anyone funnier than him, and I challenge you to try. After SNL, he became the star of the National Lampoon's Vacation series, Caddyshack, and many more great hit movies. Naturally, he often stars alongside the other founding members of SNL for the perfect comedic concoction.

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Bill Murray

After starring on SNL as an original member, Bill Murray had the world opened up to him, and we were happy to accept him. Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters, Caddyshack—seriously. The list of his post-SNL hits goes on and on. 

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Chris Farley

Chris Farley made his debut in 1990 and was unforgettable almost immediately. His Chippendales dance with Patrick Swayze was one of the funniest sketches, but it only started his legacy. Afterward, he had roles in Coneheads, Airheads, and the hit movie Tommy Boy with David Spade. 

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