Entertainment

The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s  

Lisa Waugh
4.7k votes 422 voters 10.6k views 48 items

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!

list ordered by
1
Phil Hartman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
Dec. at 50 (1948-1998)
1986 - 1994 
2
Dana Carvey is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 63
1986 - 1993
3
Mike Myers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 55
1989 - 1995
4
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 57
1980-1984
5
Martin Short is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 68
1984 - 1985 
6
Jon Lovitz is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 61
1985 - 1990
7
Billy Crystal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 70
1984 - 1985
8
Kevin Nealon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 65
1986 - 1995
9
Dennis Miller is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 66
1985 - 1991
10
Jan Hooks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
Dec. at 57 (1957-2014)
1986 - 1991
11
Jim Belushi is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 64
1983 - 1985
12
Joe Piscopo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 64
1980 - 1984
13
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 54
1982 - 1985 
14
Don Novello is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 76
1985 - 1986
15
Damon Wayans is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 58
1985 - 1986
16
Victoria Jackson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 59
1986 - 1992 
17
Nora Dunn is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 66
1985 - 1990 
18
Mary Gross is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 65
1981 - 1985 
19
Al Franken is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 67
1985 - 1995
20
Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 67
1984 - 1985
21
Joan Cusack is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 56
1985 - 1986 
22
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 53
1988 - 1989
23
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 53
1985 - 1986
24
Tim Kazurinsky is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 68
1981 - 1984 
25
Harry Shearer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best SNL Cast Members of the '80s
age 75
1984 - 1985