Entertainment

The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members  

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Since 1975, Saturday Night Live has been the dream job for aspiring comedians everywhere. However, like all dreams, sometimes it doesn't go exactly as planned. Sometimes you get fired after a year (or before the season even starts). This is a list containing every single SNL cast member throughout the years who only stuck around for a single season (or less). You might even be surprised to learn that some of these actors were ever on the show.

In many cases, a long run on the show has lead to great success. Will Ferrell (7 seasons) and Kristen Wiig (7 seasons) come to mind, along with Adam Sandler (5), Bill Murray (4), and Tina Fey (9). But, as you can see below, some of these one-year-wonders did just fine in showbiz after they got their 30 Rock eviction notice. Some have gone on to become the most famous and well-respected artists in their field.

For others, Saturday Night Live was indeed a flash in the pan, at least up until this point. You can never say never in Hollywood. This list does not include cast members who are still on the show as their fate is yet to be determined, but it does include comedians like Shane Gillis who were announced but chose not to join the cast. So here it is, the complete collection of Saturday Night Live shooting stars. They burned bright... if only for a short while.
 

1
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Iron Man, The Avengers, Sherlock Holmes
Season 11, 1985 -1986 Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor, producer, and singer, whose career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of legal troubles, and a resurgence ...more
2
Billy Crystal is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
When Harry Met Sally..., City Slickers, Analyze This
Season 10, 1984 - 1985 William Edward "Billy" Crystal is an American actor, singer, writer, producer, director, comedian, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s for playing Jodie Dallas on ...more
3
Ben Stiller is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Zoolander, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Dodgeball
Season 14, 1989 Benjamin Edward Meara "Ben" Stiller is an American actor, comedian, and filmmaker. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. After beginning his ...more
4
Damon Wayans is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
In Living Color, Major Payne, Blankman
Season 11, 1985 - 1986 Damon Kyle Wayans, Sr. is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer, and a member of the Wayans family of entertainers. Wayans performed as a comedian and actor throughout the 1980s, ...more
5
Martin Short is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
The Martin Short Show, Primetime Glick, Three Amigos
Season 10, 1984 -1985 Martin Hayter Short, CM is an Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, singer and producer. He is best known for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. ...more
6
Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Princess Bride, Best in Show, Spinal Tap
Season 10, 1984 - 1985 Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest, better known as Christopher Guest, is an English-American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor, and comedian who holds dual British ...more
7
Anthony Michael Hall is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
The Breakfast Club, Edward Scissorhands, Dead Zone
Season 11, 1985 - 1986 Michael Anthony Hall, known professionally as Anthony Michael Hall, is an American actor, film producer, and director who starred in several teen-oriented films of the 1980s. Hall began his ...more
8
Sarah Silverman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
The Sarah Silverman Program, Wreck-It Ralph, Louie
Season 19, 1993 -1994 Sarah Kate Silverman is an American stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actress. Her satirical comedy addresses social taboos and controversial topics, such as racism, having her comic ...more
9
Janeane Garofalo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
The West Wing, Wet Hot American Summer, 24
Season 20, 1994 - 1995 Janeane Garofalo is an American film actress, stand-up comedian, liberal political activist, and writer. Garofalo began her career as a stand-up comedian and became a cast member on the Ben ...more
10
David Koechner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Anchorman, Waiting, American Dad
Season 21, 1995 -1996 David Michael "Dave" Koechner is an American character actor and comedian best known for playing roles such as Champ Kind in the Anchorman films and Todd Packer on NBC's The Office. ...more
11
Randy Quaid is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Kingpin, Independence Day, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Season 11, 1985 -1986 Randall Rudy "Randy" Quaid is an American actor nominated for a Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award and an Academy Award for his role in The Last Detail. Quaid also won a Golden Globe ...more
12
Gilbert Gottfried is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Aladdin, Problem Child, Cyberchase
Season 6, 1980 - 1981 Gilbert Gottfried is an American stand-up comedian, actor and voice artist. His numerous roles in film and television, include voicing the parrot Iago in Disney's Aladdin and Digit in the ...more
13
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
The Late Show with David Letterman, Spinal Tap
Season 5, 1979 - 1980 Paul Allen Wood Shaffer, CM is a Canadian-American musician, actor, voice actor, author, comedian, and composer who has been David Letterman's musical director, band leader and sidekick since
14
Rob Riggle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
21 Jump Street, The Hangover, The Daily Show
Season 30, 2004 - 2005 Robert Allen "Rob" Riggle, Jr. is an American actor, comedian and retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer. He is best known for his work as a correspondent on Comedy ...more
15
Jenny Slate is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Obvious Child, Parks and Recreation, Bob's Burgers
Season 35, 2009 - 2010 Jennifer Sarah "Jenny" Slate is an American actress, stand-up comedian, voice artist, and author best known for her breakout role as Donna Stern in Obvious Child, as well as being the ...more
16
Joan Cusack is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Shameless, Toy Story 3, School of Rock
Season 11, 1985 -1986 Joan Cusack is an American actress. She received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in the romantic comedy-drama Working Girl and the romantic comedy In & ...more
17
Shane Gillis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Shane Gillis

Season 45, 2019

Shane Gillis is an American comedian, actor, and podcaster, who was hired to perform on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, after which he was fired before making his debut when clips from his podcast featuring racial slurs surfaced. ...more

18
Jerry Minor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Community, Brickleberry, Eastbound & Down
Season 26, 2000 - 2001 Jerry C. Minor is an American actor, comedian and writer known for his comedic roles in numerous television programs such as Mr. Show, Saturday Night Live, Delocated, Brickleberry, Unbreakable ...more
19
Nancy Carell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
The Office, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Bridesmaids
Season 21, 1995 -1996 Nancy Ellen Carell is an American actress best known for her comedic work on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and The Office.
20
Chris Elliott is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Eagleheart, There's Something About Mary, Groundhog Day
Season 20, 1994 -1995 Christopher Nash "Chris" Elliott is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his comedic sketches on Late Night with David Letterman, starring in the cult comedy ...more
21
Christine Ebersole is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Wolf of Wallstreet, Sullivan & Son, Royal Pains
Season 7, 1981 -1982 Christine Ebersole is a two-time Tony Award winning American actress and singer. She previously co-starred on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son, where she played Carol Walsh.
22
George Coe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Archer, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Entity
Season 1, 1975 George Coe is an American film, stage, and television actor.
23
Charles Rocket is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Touched By An Angel, Normal, Ohio
Season 6, 1980 - 1981 Charles Adams Claverie —known by such stage names as Charlie Hamburger, Charlie Kennedy, and, most famously, Charles Rocket—was an American film and television actor. He was best known for his ...more
24
Laurie Metcalf is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Roseanne, Toy Story, Easy Money
Season 6, 1981 Laura Elizabeth "Laurie" Metcalf is an American actress. She is most widely known for her performance as Jackie Harris on the ABC sitcom Roseanne and has also had series television ...more
25
Jim Downey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Billy Madison, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live
Season 5, 1979 - 1980 James Woodward "Jim" Downey is an American comedy writer and occasional actor. Downey is best known as a long-time writer for Saturday Night Live.