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The Best TV Shows Starring SNL Alumni

Updated November 11, 2020 6.4k votes 638 voters 21.1k views56 items

List RulesTV shows that star a former Saturday Night Live cast member only. Vote up the overall best shows.

There might just be a machine in Lorne Michaels’s mansion basement that churns out shows starring Saturday Night Live cast members. With over four decades on the air and tons of talent passing through the cast, there’s certainly a lot of material to mine - all comedies, natch, but diverse in scope, from political Veep (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) to quirky Portlandia (Fred Armisen) to irreverent 30 Rock (Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Chris Parnell). Once SNL cast members become alumni, they are usually best known for their current roles, not their glory days on the show. Soon audiences forget that TV shows starring SNL alums are everywhere. 

The talk show circuit has certainly benefited from vacating SNL cast. From Jimmy Fallon to Seth Meyers, some of the best SNL cast member TV shows are holding it down in late night. Other former cast mates have teamed up – consider Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis, who have put some fine comedy on the small screen with The Last Man on Earth. Fred Armisen and Bill Hader created the acclaimed mockumentary series Documentary Now! And a number of SNL alum lend their voices to The Awesomes

These TV series starring former SNL cast members crosses many genres and formats: some are animated comedies, some are talk shows, and some are only available through premium channels. But it's up to you to decide the very best of the best. Which TV shows with Saturday Night Live cast members rule? Vote up your favorites. 

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  • 1
    Seinfeld
    237
    99

    Seinfeld

    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Julia Louis-Dreyfus  (1982-1985)

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  • 2
    Parks and Recreation
    290
    114

    Parks and Recreation

    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Comedy-drama

    SNL Alumnus: Amy Poehler (2001-2008)

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  • 3
    Veep
    196
    77

    Veep

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Political satire, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982-1985)

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  • 4
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    276
    90

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Sitcom, Police procedural

    SNL Alumnus: Andy Samberg (2005-2012)

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  • 5
    30 Rock
    242
    109

    30 Rock

    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Satire

    SNL Alumni: Tina Fey (2000-2006), Tracy Morgan (1996-2003), Chris Parnell (1998-2001, 2002-2006)

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  • 6
    Better Call Saul
    120
    85

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama, Comedy

    SNL Alumni: Bob Odenkirk (1987-1995), Michael McKean (1994-1995)

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  • 7
    Archer
    116
    80

    Archer

    H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Adult animation, Action, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Chris Parnell (1998-2001, 2002-2006) 

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  • 8
    The New Adventures of Old Christine
    77
    61

    The New Adventures of Old Christine

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982-1985)

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  • 9
    In Living Color
    84
    58

    In Living Color

    Keenen Ivory Wayans, Jim Carrey

    Premiered1990

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy, Variety show, Sketch, Comedy

    SNL Alumni: Damon Wayans (1985-1986), Chris Rock (1990-1993)

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  • 10
    NewsRadio
    93
    69

    NewsRadio

    Dave Foley, Stephen Root

    Premiered1995

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Phil Hartman (1986-1994)

  • 11
    Rick and Morty
    121
    70

    Rick and Morty

    Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Adult animation, Sci-fi, Comedy, Adventure

    SNL Alumnus: Chris Parnell (1998-2001, 2002-2006)

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  • 12
    Everybody Hates Chris
    77
    62

    Everybody Hates Chris

    Terry Crews, Tichina Arnold

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Chris Rock (1990-1993)

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  • 13
    Community
    59
    27

    Community

    Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    SNL Alumnus: Chevy Chase (1975–1997)

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  • 14
    Late Night with Seth Meyers

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Talk show, Variety show

    SNL Alumnus: Seth Meyers (2001-2014)

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  • 15
    Rules of Engagement
    66
    46

    Rules of Engagement

    Patrick Warburton, Megyn Price

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: David Spade (1990-1996)

  • 16
    Just Shoot Me!
    78
    64

    Just Shoot Me!

    Laura San Giacomo, Enrico Colantoni

    Premiered1997

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: David Spade (1990-1996)

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  • 17
    The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
    138
    138

    Premiered2014

    SNL Alumnus: Jimmy Fallon 

    More The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 

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  • 18
    Conan
    90
    76

    Conan

    Conan O'Brien, Ginnifer Goodwin

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Talk show, Variety show, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Robert Smigel (1991-1993)

  • 19
    My Wife and Kids
    47
    49

    My Wife and Kids

    Damon Wayans, Tisha Campbell-Martin

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Damon Wayans (1985-1986)

  • 20
    Suburgatory
    38
    47

    Suburgatory

    Jeremy Sisto, Jane Levy

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Satire, Comedy

    SNL Alumni: Ana Gasteyer (1996-2002), Chris Parnell (1998-2001, 2002-2006)

  • 21
    The Last Man on Earth
    86
    87

    The Last Man on Earth

    Will Forte, January Jones

    Premiered2015

    SNL Alumni: Will Forte (2002-2010), Jason Sudeikis (2005-2013)

  • 22
    Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
    53
    65

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    SNL Alumni: Janeane Garofalo (1994-1995), Amy Poehler (2001-2008), Michaela Watkins (2008-2009), Kristin Wiig (2005-2012)

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  • 23
    Happy Endings
    41
    57

    Happy Endings

    Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    SNL Alumnus: Casey Wilson (2008-2009)

  • 24
    Portlandia
    79
    82

    Portlandia

    Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Sketch comedy

    SNL Alumnus: Fred Armisen (2002-2013)

    More Portlandia 

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  • 25
    Documentary Now!
    51
    58

    Documentary Now!

    Fred Armisen, Helen Mirren

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Satire

    SNL Alumni: Bill Hader (2005-2013), Fred Armisen (2002-2013)