Last week, Dennis Perkins, the AV Club reviewer, in his review of the Bill Hader episode, talked about his all-star SNL cast.
Longtime SNL fans, like longtime fans of other generations-spanning organizations like the Justice League or the X Men, make all-time all-star teams. (I know I’m not the only one—let the comments show…) My own rules are pretty strict—seven members only, no featured players, members judged only from the time they were on the show—and subject to constant changes of mind, but Bill Hader has been a consistent (Not Ready For Prime Time) player since his second year on the show.I've actually thought about this before, and, like Perkins, I thought about it in the context of Bill Hader being one of my choices. Hader was a great and versatile SNL cast member and absolutely belongs on any SNL all-star team.
Who else would go on my list? Only two others come immediately to mind.
Phil Hartman - The most versatile player ever to grace 30 Rock's stage. Man of a thousand voices, Hartman could do anything, play any type or mood. His early death was a huge tragedy.
Will Ferrell - One of the biggest successes ever to come out of SNL, he had a huge range and could be goofy, overbearing, serious, or absurd. Plus, he wrote the Cowbell sketch.
Beyond those three, I'm not sure. Eddie Murphy is widely acknowledged as one of the most successful SNL alums, but I'm not a big fan of his time on the show, even though he pretty much single-handedly saved it during the eighties. Dana Carvey was great on SNL while Darrell Hammond, the longest-serving cast member, took over the Phil Hartman versatility role during the 90s and well into the 2000s.
Of the women, Amy Poehler would probably go to the top of many people's list, but like Murphy, she's not a personal favorite of mine. Kristen Wiig would be on many people's list and I think current cast member Kate McKinnon is very close to making it on mine. Some people on the AV Club said that the recently departed Jan Hooks would make their list.
Speaking of current cast members, I love Taran Killam and if he continues as he has been, he'll eventually be on my list. I also really like Cecily Strong.
Here's a complete list of all the casts of SNL.
Who would make your list?