comedy 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL

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List Rules Comedians who spent time on the writing staff at SNL, but aren't necessarily known for their SNL stints.

In the world of comedy, many high-profile comedians got their start on the institution that is Saturday Night Live. Comedians who wrote for SNL would frequently go on to create popular films and television series. From 1975 to today, there are many fantastic writers who have impacted comedy in major, meaningful ways. This list of former SNL writers features all manner of great comedians who have made audiences laugh since their time on NBC's mainstay sketch show.

From writers like Larry David and Christopher Guest, female comedians like Sarah Silverman and Laura Kightlinger, and hilarious male stand-ups like Hannibal Buress and Dave Attell, comedians who wrote for SNL run the gamut. With this great list of SNL writers, who went on to notable comedy careers in their own right, you'll get a who's who of comedy throughout the years.

Take a look at this list of famous comedians who were Saturday Night Live writers - some of these sketch writers and stand up comedy vets who started in Studio 8H might surprise you!
Larry David is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo: David Shankbone/flickr/CC BY 2.0

The creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm was on staff for one season (1984-1985) very early into his career, during which he got exactly one sketch on the air. Then he quit halfway through the season, only to return a few days later as if nothing had happened. 

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Age: 69

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter Actor, + more

Credits: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Three Stooges, Whatever Works Radio Days, + more

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Hannibal Buress is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo:  uploaded by Logan Rapp

Right after his first comedy album release, Hannibal Buress started on Saturday Night Live as a writer during the 2009-2010 season, and left with only one of his sketches actually making it on air. He left that to go on to 30 Rock, and promptly quit after six months. It was after those two jobs that he realized he should be performing as well as writing for himself.

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Age: 34

Birthplace: USA, Chicago, Illinois

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Credits: The Eric Andre Show, Neighbors, Daddy's Home, Saturday Night Live

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John Mulaney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo:  uploaded by Logan Rapp

In 2008, John Mulaney won a spot to join Saturday Night Live's writing team, where he remained for six seasons before moving on to his own TV projects. From 2009-2012, he earned Primetime Emmy nominations for his work on the show and he was co-creator of the character Stefon (with Bill Hader), whom he'd based on someone he actually knew

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Age: 34

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Credits: Saturday Night Live, Mulaney

Also Ranked

#97 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

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Sarah Silverman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo: Joan Garvin/via Wikimedia Commons

Sarah Silverman was a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live for eighteen weeks, within a year of beginning her stand up career. She was fired after one season during which only one of her sketches made it to dress rehearsal and none made it on the air. She stated that she wasn't ready for SNL when she got the job.

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Age: 46

Birthplace: Manchester, New Hampshire, United States of America

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter Actor, + more

Credits: Wreck-It Ralph, School of Rock, There's Something About Mary, Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic

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#16 on Famous Women You'd Want to Have a Beer With

#69 on The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

#40 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

#67 on The Funniest Jewish Comedians And Actors

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Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo:  uploaded by Logan Rapp

Christopher Guest was hired for a one year only contract as cast member and writer for the 1984-1985 season of Saturday Night Live, creating characters like Frankie (of Frankie and Willie), Herb Minkman, and Rajeev Vindaloo.

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Age: 69

Birthplace: New York City, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York United States of America, + more

Profession: Film Score Composer, Television director, Television producer, Musician Film Producer, + more

Credits: This Is Spinal Tap^!Best in Show^!The Princess Bride^!A Mighty Wind

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#51 on The Best SNL Cast Members of All Time

#67 on The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked List

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#49 on The Most Successful Saturday Night Live Alumni

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Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo:  uploaded by Logan Rapp

Very early in his career (1988) Conan O'Brien joined the writing team of Saturday Night Live, creating recurring sketches like "The Girl Watchers" and "Mr. Short-Term Memory." He worked on the show for three years and even got to be on the screen, holding the door open for Tom Hanks in "The Five Timers' Club."

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Age: 53

Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States of America

Profession: Talk show host, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer Screenwriter, + more

Credits: Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live, Carson on TCM, Conan

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Bob Odenkirk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo:  uploaded by Logan Rapp

Bob Odenkirk got his career start as a writer for Saturday Night Live in 1987, working alongside Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel. He contributed to a number of different sketches, but felt like he'd done a less than stellar job after three years on the show.

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Age: 54

Birthplace: Berwyn, Illinois, United States of America

Profession: Television director, Comedian, Television producer, Film Producer Screenwriter, + more

Credits: Saturday Night Live, Breaking Bad, Nebraska, Run Ronnie Run

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Dave Attell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 19 Comedians You Might Not Know Wrote for SNL
Photo:  uploaded by Logan Rapp

In 1993, after performing on Late Show with David Letterman, Dave Attell was discovered and hired by Lorne Michaels to be a writer and occasional performer. He could be seen behind Chris Farley during the classic "Rudy Giuliani Inauguration" sketch.

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Age: 52

Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

Profession: Comedian, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor

Credits: Insomniac with Dave Attell, Dave Attell: Captain Miserable, Dave Attell: Road Work, Comedy Underground with Dave Attell

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#52 on The Funniest Stand Up Comedians of All Time

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