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. (born April 4, 1965) is an American actor, producer and singer. His career has been characterized by critical and popular notoriety in his youth, followed by a period of ...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 Crystal (born March 14, 1948) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, and television host. He gained prominence in the 1970s and 80s for television roles as ...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 Stiller (born November 30, 1965) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, musician and director. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and ...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. (; born September 4, 1960) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and producer, and member of the Wayans family of entertainers. Wayans performed as a comedian ...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 (born March 26, 1950) is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, voice artist, singer and writer. He is known for his work on the television programs SCTV and Saturday Night ...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 (born February 5, 1948) is a British-American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor, and comedian who holds dual British and American ...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 (born April 14, 1968), known professionally as Anthony Michael Hall, is an American actor who starred in several teen-oriented films of the 1980s. Hall began his career in ...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 (born December 1, 1970) is an American stand-up comedian, actress, singer, producer, and writer. Her comedy addresses social taboos and controversial topics, such as racism, ...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 Marie Garofalo (; born September 28, 1964) is an American actress, voice artist, stand-up comedian, and writer. Garofalo began her career as a stand-up comedian and became a cast member ...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 Koechner ( KEK-nər; born August 24, 1962) is an American actor and comedian, best known for playing roles such as Champ Kind in the Anchorman films and Todd Packer on NBC's The ...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 Randy Randall Rudy Quaid (born October 1, 1950) is an American film and television actor and Oscar nominee known for his roles in both serious drama and light comedy. He was nominated for a ...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 Jeremy Gottfried (born February 28, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actor and voice actor. Gottfried's persona as a comedian features an exaggerated shrill voice and emphasis on ...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 (born November 28, 1949) is a Canadian singer, composer, actor, author, comedian and multi-instrumentalist who served as David Letterman's musical director, band ...more
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 Riggle Jr. (born April 21, 1970) is an American actor, comedian, and retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer. He worked as a correspondent on Comedy Central's The Daily ...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 Jenny Sarah Slate (born March 25, 1982) is an American actress, comedian, and author. She has played Mona-Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation and was the co-creator of the Marcel the Shell ...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 Mary Cusack (; born October 11, 1962) is an American actress and comedian. She received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in the romantic comedy-drama ...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 Charles Minor Jr. (born October 4, 1969) is an American actor, comedian and writer known for his comedic roles in numerous television programs such as Mr. Show, Saturday Night Live, ...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 (; née Walls; born July 19, 1966) is an American actress, comedian and writer best known for her work on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and The Office. In 2016, ...more
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 Elliott (born May 31, 1960) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his comedic sketches on Late Night with David Letterman, starring in the 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 (born February 21, 1953) is an American actress and singer. She has appeared in film, television, and on stage. She appeared on Broadway in the musical 42nd Street, winning a ...more
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 (May 10, 1929 – July 18, 2015) was an American stage, film and television actor and voice artist. He did voice-over work in video games, movies and TV shows. He was a cast member for ...more
23
Charles Rocket is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Shortest Lasting SNL Cast Members
Charles Rocket Touched By An Angel, Normal, Ohio
Season 6, 1980 - 1981 Charles Adams Claverie (August 28, 1949 – October 7, 2005), known by such stage names as Charlie Hamburger, Charlie Kennedy, and, most famously, Charles Rocket, was an American actor, comedian ...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 Metcalf (born June 16, 1955) is an American actress. Over the course of her four-decade career, she has been the recipient of numerous acting awards and nominations. She has won ...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 Downey (born 1952) is an American comedy writer and occasional actor. Downey has written for over 30 seasons of Saturday Night Live.