A highly scientific survey that will surely lead to no disagreements.
BY PHIL NUGENT
We are gathered here today to rank the — what is it? Jesus! — ninety-two past and present cast members of Saturday Night Live , in ascending order of their contribution to the show. This is no way to make friends. But while no one will be completely happy with the results, let's at least stress one of the ground rules: for the purpose of this experiment, these performers are being graded solely on the work they did on SNL itself. If we were talking about their entire careers, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Rock, and Joan Cusack would be clustered at the top. As it is, they're not even serious contenders for the top twenty.
92. VICTORIA JACKSON (1986-1992):
Jackson's cute-ditsy-idiot act got pretty thin when dragged out over the course of five seasons. Plus, it turns out it wasn't an act.
91. JIM BELUSHI (1983-1985):
It seems unlikely that the people who hired Jim Belushi believed they were bringing his brother John back on board, especially since John Belushi had been dead for a year at that point. But the alternative explanation is that they knew who Jim Belushi was and still wanted him, and how likely is that?
90. GARY KROEGER (1982-1985):
Kroeger was so boring that he was cast as Walter Mondale during the 1984 presidential campaign. His most memorable bit featured him begging viewers to elect Mondale so that he'd still have something to do on the show after November. In retrospect, it may have cost Mondale some votes.
89. COLIN QUINN (1995-2000):
Quinn is a funny guy, but he just looked miserable when he was on this show, and the feeling soon became contagious. The definition of one-note comedy.
88. ROB SCHNEIDER (1990-1994):
We'll say this for Schneider: considering how doggedly he insisted on pounding one-joke characters into the ground, doing the same shtick over and over and over again, he couldn't have picked a more fitting catchphrase than "Makin' copies!"
87. ELLEN CLEGHORNE (1991-1995):
Perhaps the biggest laugh ever generated by Cleghorne's name was a throwaway reference on Family Guy , when someone wondered aloud if she'd ever find "an appropriate vehicle." The most appropriate vehicle for Cleghorne's career is probably a hearse.
86. BRAD HALL (1982-1984):
If anyone remembers Brad Hall today, it's because he married Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
85. HORATIO SANZ (1998-2006)
Too much laughing at his own jokes, not enough funny.
84. MELANIE HUTSELL (1991-1994)
Hutsell did a few memorable appearances on Weekend Update as Jan Brady (a role that she had played before joining SNL ). Otherwise, pretty forgettable.