NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live (SNL), is one of the most popular shows on TV. Debuting in 1975, the show has become a Saturday night staple for viewers across the United States. Now celebrating its 40th year on the air, SNL has received a host of awards, including becoming the most nominated show in Emmy Award history. The show has also helped to launch the careers of some of the industry’s most successful comedians and actors. Although the show has clearly found the formula for success, the show has certainly undergone several changes during its time on the air. With each passing season, cast members have come and gone – some leaving a more lasting impact than others. However, due to the welcoming nature of SNL there have been many long-term guests who were never actually member of the show’s cast at all. Here are five people you thought were cast members of SNL but weren’t.
Actor Danny DeVito has been entertaining audiences for over 40 years. He is best-known for his role in TV and film productions including Taxi, Get Shorty, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Throughout his career, DeVito has also been no stranger to appearing on Saturday Night Live. Although he was never a cast member on the show, he has appeared on the show several times, and has hosted the show a total of six times. Each time he appeared on the show, DeVito was met with love, and more importantly, laughs, from both cast members and the show’s audience.
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4. Christopher Walken
Despite his long-standing friendship with Lorne Michaels, actor Christopher Walken was never actually a cast member on Saturday Night Live. However, even without being a cast member, Walken was one of only two actors to be given an open invitation to host the show whenever his schedule permits. Over the years, Walken has been one of the most popular guests on the show. He is well-known for his skit with recurring skit “The Continental” in which he plays a painfully unaware “ladies man” who in reality has very little lucky with ladies. Walken has been such a popular guest and host on the show, that his hosted appearances have been compiled into a Best of… Saturday Night Live DVD, an honor that is usually reserved only for cast members.
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3. John Goodman
John Goodman has had a very successful career throughout the years. With that in mind, it may come as a surprise to know that Goodman was rejected when he auditioned to be part of Saturday Night Live’s cast in 1980. However, despite never being a part of the cast, he has become one of the show’s most popular guests over the years. Goodman has made more than a dozen appearances on the show, including 13 appearances as the show’s host. Goodman is well-know for portraying former civil servant, Linda Tripp, who played an important role in exposing former president Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
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2. Alec Baldwin
With a grand total of 16 appearances as a host on Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin currently holds the record for the most shows hosted. Baldwin is the only other actor (other than Christopher Walken) who has been extended an open invitation to host the show whenever possible. Baldwin made his first appearance on the show in 1990 while promoting the film The Hunt for Red October. Although his first appearance on the show was successful, no one could have predicted the long-lasting relationship that was eventually formed between Baldwin and the show. With 25 years of experience working with Saturday Night Live, Baldwin says that things have certainly changed over the years, stating: “Everything is so much more immediate, so transient, in media now. The writers have to make sure that if something breaks in the news on Friday, they have a place for it, even if it’s a monologue or Weekend Update. It’s pretty much always been that way, but now more so.”
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1. Steve Martin
Steve Martin is quite possibly the most popular Saturday Night Live guest who was never actually a part of the show’s cast. Over the years, Martin has appeared on the show a total of 27 times with 15 appearances as a host. During Martin’s appearances on Saturday Night Live, the show’s ratings increased considerably, and he has often been considered the show’s most popular guest. While on the show, Martin has become well-known for popularizing the “air quotes” gesture, and for coining the phrase, “just a wild and crazy guy.” Martin appeared on the show in February 2015 to commemorate the show’s 40th anniversary. During the episode, he performed the show’s opening monologue which included appearances from Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock, and Alec Baldwin. Throughout the years, Martin has formed strong bonds with those connected with the show, including Saturday Night Live’s creator, Lorne Michaels. In 2007, when Martin married Anne Stringfield, Michaels served as his best men.
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