The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

136k votes 8k voters 327k views 158 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Characters that have appeared on SNL only.

The best Saturday Night Live characters of all time include classic, unforgettable characters brought to life by the best cast members on SNL. The list itself is impressive, filled with hilarious characters from the greatest SNL shows from the 1970s, 1980s and beyond. Whether it's men like Eddie Murphy's Buckwheat, Chris Farley's Matt Foley or John Belushi's Samurai, or female SNL characters like Rachel Dratch's Debbie Downer, the characters on this list represent the absolute greatest - those that made us laugh for days after the show aired. This is a vote ranked list, so be sure to cast your vote for your personal favorite SNL character ever (and vote down any characters you don't like). If you don't see your favorite popular SNL characters on the list, feel free to add them!

Saturday Night Live's original sketch comedy represents some of the funniest ever on television. Since the show first aired in 1975, so many talented comedians and actors have given their all to make sure everyone kept laughing. Whether it's the recurring characters from the early years like The Coneheads and The Blues Brothers, or more modern classics like Chris Kattan's Mango, Adam Sandler's Opera Man or, more recently, Bill Hader's Stefon, all are memorable and all are truly funny.

Who are the best characters on SNL? For more great SNL info, check out these lists of the best 'Saturday Night Live' original cast sketches, monologues, sketches from the 1980s and the 1990s. Ever wonder who the most frequent 'SNL' hosts are? There's a list for that, along with information about the youngest and oldest 'SNL' hosts ever - and 'SNL' hosts who were banned. Enjoy!
Collection Photo:  NBC
  • 52 ReRanks
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  1. 50
    + 665
    - 318

    ranked low on reranks
    Mike Myers

    ;
  2. 49
    + 605
    - 449

    added by JimJenkins
    Kristen Wiig Kristen Wiig

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  3. 48
    + 667
    - 414
    Bob Swerski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    Bob Swerski George Wendt Da Bearsss!

  4. 47
    + 588
    - 440
    Drunk Uncle is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Drunk Uncle Bobby Moynahan

  5. 46
    + 564
    - 346
    Gene Frenkle is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    Gene Frenkle Will Ferrell Cowbell!

  6. 45
    + 642
    - 597
    Toonces the Driving Cat is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    often listed & added by zxray
    Toonces the Driving Cat

  7. 44
    + 780
    - 345
    James Brown is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by Mavsc79
    James Brown Eddie Murphy Eddie Murphey

  8. 43
    + 636
    - 543

    added by JimJenkins
    Will Forte

    ;
  9. 42
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    - 814


    Julia Sweeney

    ;
  10. 41
    + 663
    - 566
    Robert Goulet is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    Robert Goulet Will Ferrell Will Ferrell

  11. 40
    + 908
    - 597
    The Continental is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    The Continental Christopher Walken

  12. 39
    + 528
    - 323

    added by JimJenkins
    Chevy Chase

    ;
  13. 38
    + 755
    - 648


    Adam Sandler

    ;
  14. 37
    + 812
    - 543
    The Ladies Man is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    The Ladies Man Tim Meadows Tim Meadows

  15. 36
    + 850
    - 416

    added by JimJenkins
    Gilda Rander

    ;
  16. 35
    + 657
    - 295
    Barry Gibb is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Barry Gibb Jimmy Fallon

  17. 34
    + 1,011
    - 508
    The Roxbury Guys is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    The Roxbury Guys Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan

  18. 33
    + 861
    - 435
    Dancing Mascot is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    Dancing Mascot Justin Timberlake "Bring it on down to Omeleteville!"

  19. 32
    + 907
    - 450
    The Ambiguously Gay Duo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by zxray
    The Ambiguously Gay Duo Stephen Colbert, Steve Carrell, Robert Smigel

  20. 31
    + 984
    - 617


    Bill Murray

    ;
  21. 30
    + 892
    - 680

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Martin Short

    ;
  22. 29
    + 1,044
    - 551

    added by JimJenkins
    Don Novello

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  23. 28
    + 905
    - 751

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mike Myer

    ;
  24. 27
    + 1,278
    - 700


    Molly Shannon

    ;
  25. 26
    + 917
    - 500
    Harry Caray is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by zxray
    Harry Caray Will Ferrell

  26. 25
    + 1,032
    - 495

    added by JimJenkins
    Eddie Murphy

    ;
  27. 24
    + 1,009
    - 437
    The Delicious Dish Girls is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by JimJenkins
    The Delicious Dish Girls Ana Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, Alec Baldwin Pete Schweddy's Balls

  28. 23
    + 1,241
    - 617


    John Belushi

    ;
  29. 22
    + 908
    - 250
    Burt Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Burt Reynolds Norm MacDonald

  30. 21
    + 1,158
    - 559
    George Bush is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    George Bush Dana Carvey

  31. 20
    + 1,147
    - 697


    Dan Aykroyd

    ;
  32. 19
    + 1,226
    - 608

    added by mb29
    Rachel Dratch

    ;
  33. 18
    + 1,398
    - 686


    Walter Williams

    ;
  34. 17
    + 1,250
    - 310
    Chippendale Auditions Dancers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Chippendale Auditions Dancers Patrick Swayze, Chris Farley

  35. 16
    + 1,432
    - 518


    Dana Carvey

    ;
  36. 15
    + 1,518
    - 506
    Bruce Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Bruce Dickinson Christopher Walken

  37. 14
    + 1,456
    - 599
    The Festrunk Brothers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    The Festrunk Brothers Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd

  38. 13
    + 1,462
    - 572
    George W. Bush is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    George W. Bush Will Ferrell

  39. 12
    + 1,518
    - 441
    Roseanne Rosannadana is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Roseanne Rosannadana Gilda Radner

  40. 11
    + 1,266
    - 467
    Mr. Robinson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time

    added by zxray
    Mr. Robinson Eddie Murphy

  41. 10
    + 2,132
    - 768
    Sarah Palin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Sarah Palin Tina Fey

  42. 9
    + 2,678
    - 972
    Stefon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Stefon Bill Hader

  43. 8
    + 1,839
    - 689
    Spartan Spirit Cheerleaders is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Spartan Spirit Cheerleaders Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri

  44. 7
    + 1,627
    - 591


    Dan Aykroyd

    ;
  45. 6
    + 1,779
    - 566


    John Belushi

    ;
  46. 5
    + 2,302
    - 494
    Alex Trebek is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Alex Trebek Will Ferrell

  47. 4
    + 1,960
    - 693
    Buckwheat is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Saturday Night Live Characters of All Time


    Buckwheat Eddie Murphy

  48. 3
    + 1,958
    - 715


    Mike Myers

    ;
  49. 2
    + 2,282
    - 760


    Dana Carvey

    ;
  50. 1
    + 2,655
    - 723

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Chris Farley

    ;
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