Ah, the legendary '80s of Saturday Night Live. Lorne Michaels left in 1980 and took a chunk of the cast and writers with him. Suffice it to say, things got weird. The show had skyrocketed in the ratings and the cast were now big time stars. Michaels needed a break and the network didn’t like his subs, Al Franken, Tom Davis, and Tom Downey so they decided to meddle. Despite all the drama, there were some truly great SNL cast members in the 1980s, but which memorable members of the '80s Saturday Night Live cast were the best?
Michaels's replacement, associate producer Jean Doumanian, tried to fix things. She sought talented people on a smaller budget and had just a few months to get the task done but it seemed as though she was set up to fail. Sure, the '80s saw SNL cast standouts with the introduction of Eddie Murphy, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks, Jon Lovitz, and Nora Dunn. But then there were the low moments… Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, and the f-bomb from Charles Rocket that took down Doumanian’s job at SNL along with his tenure on the show.
Dick Ebersol was brought in to stem the bleeding and save the show. He managed to attract some star talent with the addition of Billy Crystal and Martin Short, but Saturday Night Live was a rollercoaster ride of the good, the bad, and the not funny during this era. Saturday Night Live definitely strayed from the original concept that Michaels had launched, but it did have its moments. It wasn’t really until the return of Michaels in 1985 that things began to slowly turn around. SNL has, and will always have, a reputation as a strange island unto itself.
So how would you rank the rambling cast of the eighties? Let 'er rip! And BTW, you look mahvelous!