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NFT: SNL Cast Competition: 2001/02 v. 1994/95

Beezer : 11/20/2020 4:43 pm
For the hell of it, and because I've watched the show since its first year and really don't think THIS particular cast is as god-awful as so many folks mention like a given throwaway line ... I started perusing old casts.

Some are incredibly great, especially the earliest years. Obviously, a smaller cast, but not a weak spot in the starting lineup. The numbers have grown over the years, so that can help the depth, I suppose.

I think these two are among the very good full lineups, looking back.

2001-2002
Rachel Dratch
Jimmy Fallon
Will Ferrell
Tina Fey
Ana Gasteyer
Darrell Hammond
Chris Kattan
Tracy Morgan
Chris Parnell (first episode back: March 2, 2002)
Amy Poehler (upgraded to repertory status: Jan. 12, 2002)
Maya Rudolph
Horatio Sanz
Dean Edwards
Seth Meyers
Jeff Richards

1994-1995
Morwenna Banks (first episode: April 8, 1995)
Ellen Cleghorne
Chris Farley
Chris Elliott
Janeane Garofalo (final episode: February 25, 1995)
Norm MacDonald
Michael McKean
Mark McKinney (first episode: January 14, 1995)
Tim Meadows
Mike Myers (final episode: January 21, 1995)
Kevin Nealon
Adam Sandler
David Spade
Al Franken (final episode: May 6, 1995)
Laura Kightlinger
Jay Mohr
Molly Shannon (first episode: Feb. 25, 1995)

Some very solid talent in each lineup, but if I had to pick, I go 1994-95 by a nose.

What's your call? And aside from the original cast (first 2-3 years, can an entire cast compete with these two?

+++

As an aside, here's the current cast. I wonder how many of these will be will become household names 5, 10 or more years down the line.

2020
Beck Bennett
Aidy Bryant
Michael Che
Pete Davidson
Mikey Day
Heidi Gardner
Colin Jost
Kate McKinnon
Alex Moffat
Kyle Mooney
Ego Nwodim
Chris Redd
Cecily Strong
Kenan Thompson
Melissa Villaseñor
Andrew Dismukes
Chloe Fineman
Lauren Holt
Punkie Johnson
Bowen Yang








1994-1995  
pjcas18 : 11/20/2020 4:49 pm : link
and it's not really close.
I'm going '94-'95 and it's not close  
BamaBlue : 11/20/2020 4:57 pm : link
The 2020 cast looks like the 1962 Mets roster by comparison.
1994-95  
LBH15 : 11/20/2020 5:15 pm : link
by a wide margin.
And besides the early cast the Phil Hartman  
pjcas18 : 11/20/2020 5:18 pm : link
years were better. Not sure how to narrow it down to 2 years since he ended in 1994, but during his 1986 - 1994 stint the following *famous* cast members were involved:

Phil Hartman
Victoria Jackson
Dana Carvey
Kevin Nealon
Ben Stiller
Mike Myers
Chris Rock
Rob Schneider
Chris Farley
David Spade
Adam Sandler
Julia Sweeney
Tim Meadows
Sarah Silverman
Jay Mohr
Norm Macdonald
Chris Elliott
etc.

Except Stiller I think all those people had at least one overlapping season
'75 and '76  
Stan in LA : 11/20/2020 5:32 pm : link
Everything beyond that pales in comparison.
Cast for 75/76  
Stan in LA : 11/20/2020 5:33 pm : link
Dan Aykroyd
John Belushi
Chevy Chase
Jane Curtin
Garrett Morris
Laraine Newman
Michael O'Donoghue (final episode: November 8, 1975)
Gilda Radner
RE: '75 and '76  
pjcas18 : 11/20/2020 5:38 pm : link
In comment 15052551 Stan in LA said:
Quote:
Everything beyond that pales in comparison.


that's why we've all said "other than the original cast..."
RE: 1994-1995  
UConn4523 : 11/20/2020 5:42 pm : link
In comment 15052524 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
and it's not really close.


Yup, landslide
I'm a Will Ferrell fan  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 11/20/2020 5:48 pm : link
I know a lot of people find him annoying, but to me he might be the #1 SNL cast member on either of those two seasons. He carried that show. There are some really good names that season besides him too.

But I might take Farley over Ferrell straight up, and the rest of that '95 cast is just way too deep. Gotta go with '85.
'95  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 11/20/2020 5:49 pm : link
.
a lot of people might disagree but  
markky : 11/20/2020 6:25 pm : link
i thought the last "quarantine" show before they took a break was very good. it's as if having to do virtual skits forced them to focus on things that were actually funny.

i've been watching from the very beginning and i'm bullish on the current cast, although some of the righting is too obvious and formulaic these days.
1995 by a mile  
Greg from LI : 11/20/2020 6:28 pm : link
Chris Farley was that damned good.
Eh not a big fan of the 94-95 cast  
sb from NYT Forum : 11/20/2020 6:30 pm : link
Farley, Sandler and Spade had one foot out the door, Myers was wearing thin, and Chris Elliot, Janeane Garofalo, Michael McKean and Mark McKinney never clicked. Jay Mohr was awful and Kevin Nealon stayed maybe 5 seasons too long. The 94-95 season is considered one of SNL's worst.

Don't get me wrong, I love Farley and McDonald. But Farley's best moments were earlier seasons and McDonald's best was later.

I like the 2000-2001 cast. It's astoundingly talented.
I side with '95 but...  
bw in dc : 11/20/2020 6:39 pm : link
that '02 class seems a bit underrated now that I think about it.

I'll toss in '90 as a dark horse.

Miller, Myers, Hartman, Carvey, Lovitz, Nealon...
Here's an article on the 1995 season from New York Magazine  
sb from NYT Forum : 11/20/2020 6:39 pm : link
Worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

Quote:
“They can’t even fake forcing themselves to care,” says a longtime SNL writer who’s saddened by the show’s decline. “When you watch the show on TV, that comes through—it really seems taken with itself. And when it’s as bad as it can be, and people still act like there’s nothing wrong, then it’s sort of like a fuck-you to the audience—‘We don’t have to be good, because we’re Saturday Night Live!’ It’s like the post office. ‘What are you gonna do, deliver the mail yourself?’”

Internal squabbling and raging egos have always been a part of the Saturday Nightethos—“It was a combination of summer camp and concentration camp,” remembers Anne Beatts, one of the show’s original writers; now it’s “a cross between Love Boat and Das Boot,” says Mike Myers, the Wayne’s World star who recently left the show.

But as SNL lurches toward its twentieth birthday this October, the turmoil is producing far fewer laughs. For every bright spot—like Norm MacDonald on “Weekend Update”—there are a planeload of bombs, like an interminable October sketch in which Chris Farley and Tim Meadows simply screamed at each other. Last week, Garofalo fled SNL to make a movie. Writers phone their agents regularly, begging to escape. With ratings down 19 percent from two years ago, and NBC nervously watching the show’s weekly budget climb to an all-time high of $1.5 million, executive producer Lorne Michaels still hasn’t figured out how to put the fun back in dysfunctional.

Link - ( New Window )
comparing all timers here  
mattlawson : 11/20/2020 9:16 pm : link
in 2001 the best stuff was in front of them. in 95, it was all behind them. hard to compare.
I’d go with like the 92 or 93 cast  
eric2425ny : 11/20/2020 10:32 pm : link
When Phil Hartman was still there. The writers could have done a better job with that group honestly. Farley is still that guy that every time I see him I laugh. The other day I went on YouTube and there was a clip on there I totally forgot about that popped up where Farley is Giuliani’s son and keeps getting hit with foul balls at the Yankees home opener lol. You can tell Kevin Nealon is trying not to laugh. Ferrell is the only other cast member I can remember that just makes me laugh the minute I see him but that cast was not as good as the one Farley was on.
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Forgot to add that out of this current  
eric2425ny : 11/20/2020 10:36 pm : link
cast Kate McKinnon is awesome. She is like the Ferrell type that is always funny. Those alien abduction skits with Ryan Gosling are the funniest sketches I have seen on there in the past decade or more.
Bad Boys of SNL > Ferrell carrying years  
DCGMan : 11/20/2020 11:06 pm : link
Norm alone is 2 skits worth of hard laughs with Weekend Update. Throw in Farley & Co. and that more than makes up for Ferrell and Morgan.
What?  
Route 9 : 11/21/2020 10:00 am : link
My high school years were the early 2000s and everyone around me was still eating up the 90s SNL days.

The people that were a part of my gang were Will Ferrell fans, but more so for his movies and not his SNL work.

Tina Fey is a very talented person though. I really like her.
RE: RE: '75 and '76  
Route 9 : 11/21/2020 10:04 am : link
In comment 15052555 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
In comment 15052551 Stan in LA said:


Quote:


Everything beyond that pales in comparison.



that's why we've all said "other than the original cast..."


I would've loved to see some BBIers tests from when they were in school. Odd fondness for answering questions with options that aren't included within the parameters of the question. LOL.
forgot one  
giantfan2000 : 11/21/2020 10:59 am : link
I think Fred Armisten also started with Poelher in 2002

that said .. I think SNL is pretty lame these days .and it is insane how big the cast is

they could literally split the cast in two and have two separate shows
There's a ten mile wide gap...  
jnoble : 11/21/2020 3:27 pm : link
...between the talent of not just the cast members but the quality of the sketch writing between '90-'02 era. They did and said things, especially in the 90's, that they couldn't now because of the current state of woke PC-ness. They said "bitch" "homo" (and "pillow biter" once in a '95 sketch with David Hyde Pierce).
Jeanine Garafalo left the cast after only a few months because she found the humor too sophomoric and complained it was a boys club. She probably wasn't wrong but as bad as the show was considered in '94-'95 to the point it was almost cancelled, I'll take ANY of those sketches over the utter shit that they pump out now. Also, its done a 180 from being a "boys club" dominated by frat guy humor to the women of the cast dominating the show. And none of them are funny. Sorry but Kate McKinnon is overrated and has no range in her impressions. She has the same crazed vampire grin in everything she does. Aidy Bryant can only play the desperate fat girl. I can't tell much about the male cast members because the writing is such that they can't really show what they're capable of. Micheal Che is OK, I like him. Colin Jost is a second rate Seth Myers who was a second rate Norm MacDonald on Weekend Update
RE: Here's an article on the 1995 season from New York Magazine  
jnoble : 11/21/2020 3:39 pm : link
In comment 15052604 sb from NYT Forum said:
Quote:
Worth reading. Here's an excerpt:



Quote:


“They can’t even fake forcing themselves to care,” says a longtime SNL writer who’s saddened by the show’s decline. “When you watch the show on TV, that comes through—it really seems taken with itself. And when it’s as bad as it can be, and people still act like there’s nothing wrong, then it’s sort of like a fuck-you to the audience—‘We don’t have to be good, because we’re Saturday Night Live!’ It’s like the post office. ‘What are you gonna do, deliver the mail yourself?’”

Internal squabbling and raging egos have always been a part of the Saturday Nightethos—“It was a combination of summer camp and concentration camp,” remembers Anne Beatts, one of the show’s original writers; now it’s “a cross between Love Boat and Das Boot,” says Mike Myers, the Wayne’s World star who recently left the show.

But as SNL lurches toward its twentieth birthday this October, the turmoil is producing far fewer laughs. For every bright spot—like Norm MacDonald on “Weekend Update”—there are a planeload of bombs, like an interminable October sketch in which Chris Farley and Tim Meadows simply screamed at each other. Last week, Garofalo fled SNL to make a movie. Writers phone their agents regularly, begging to escape. With ratings down 19 percent from two years ago, and NBC nervously watching the show’s weekly budget climb to an all-time high of $1.5 million, executive producer Lorne Michaels still hasn’t figured out how to put the fun back in dysfunctional.


Link - ( New Window )


My friend's mom gave me that famous issue of New Yorker trashing the show. I wish I saved it.
David Spade described everyone being blindsided by that article. The journalist who wrote it hung out with the cast for a few weeks and acted like he had no issues, laughed hysterically at Farley and then left and published that article just trashing everyone. Spade & Sandler & Farley had to be talked out of finding him and beating him up by Lorne Michaels who threatened to fire them if they did but that's how pissed they were at getting blindsided by it.

The ironic thing is that first paragraph claiming the show had a conceit to it like they didn't care if they were funny is EXACTLY what's wrong with the show NOW.
I know journalists  
pjcas18 : 11/21/2020 4:15 pm : link
stereotypically are not muscle head bodybuilders, in fact many are quite the opposite, but it would be hard to find a less intimidating person than David Spade to put fear into someone.

He's built like a petite teenage girl.

even the terrible trio of Spade, Sandler and Farley I'd give the average journalist a better than 50/50 chance of being fine. Bob Barker kicked Sandler's ass.
RE: I know journalists  
jnoble : 11/21/2020 4:29 pm : link
In comment 15053181 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
stereotypically are not muscle head bodybuilders, in fact many are quite the opposite, but it would be hard to find a less intimidating person than David Spade to put fear into someone.

He's built like a petite teenage girl.

even the terrible trio of Spade, Sandler and Farley I'd give the average journalist a better than 50/50 chance of being fine. Bob Barker kicked Sandler's ass.

Yeah, I thought the same thing but Spade said that's how fired up they were after someone from the outside they trusted published that poison pen article lol
RE: RE: Here's an article on the 1995 season from New York Magazine  
Moondawg : 11/21/2020 4:47 pm : link
In comment 15053150 jnoble said:
Quote:
In comment 15052604 sb from NYT Forum said:


Quote:


Worth reading. Here's an excerpt:



Quote:


“They can’t even fake forcing themselves to care,” says a longtime SNL writer who’s saddened by the show’s decline. “When you watch the show on TV, that comes through—it really seems taken with itself. And when it’s as bad as it can be, and people still act like there’s nothing wrong, then it’s sort of like a fuck-you to the audience—‘We don’t have to be good, because we’re Saturday Night Live!’ It’s like the post office. ‘What are you gonna do, deliver the mail yourself?’”

Internal squabbling and raging egos have always been a part of the Saturday Nightethos—“It was a combination of summer camp and concentration camp,” remembers Anne Beatts, one of the show’s original writers; now it’s “a cross between Love Boat and Das Boot,” says Mike Myers, the Wayne’s World star who recently left the show.

But as SNL lurches toward its twentieth birthday this October, the turmoil is producing far fewer laughs. For every bright spot—like Norm MacDonald on “Weekend Update”—there are a planeload of bombs, like an interminable October sketch in which Chris Farley and Tim Meadows simply screamed at each other. Last week, Garofalo fled SNL to make a movie. Writers phone their agents regularly, begging to escape. With ratings down 19 percent from two years ago, and NBC nervously watching the show’s weekly budget climb to an all-time high of $1.5 million, executive producer Lorne Michaels still hasn’t figured out how to put the fun back in dysfunctional.


Link - ( New Window )



My friend's mom gave me that famous issue of New Yorker trashing the show. I wish I saved it.
David Spade described everyone being blindsided by that article. The journalist who wrote it hung out with the cast for a few weeks and acted like he had no issues, laughed hysterically at Farley and then left and published that article just trashing everyone. Spade & Sandler & Farley had to be talked out of finding him and beating him up by Lorne Michaels who threatened to fire them if they did but that's how pissed they were at getting blindsided by it.

The ironic thing is that first paragraph claiming the show had a conceit to it like they didn't care if they were funny is EXACTLY what's wrong with the show NOW.


Beat me to it. Norm Macdonald said the same thing. That it seems like the guy planned to write a trashy article from the outset, since he was having a great time all week.
RE: '75 and '76  
Moondawg : 11/21/2020 4:47 pm : link
In comment 15052551 Stan in LA said:
Quote:
Everything beyond that pales in comparison.


I love them, but I don't agree. IMHO Dana Carvey would have been the best member of that cast.
I actually think Jost/Che are funniest news since 70's...  
x meadowlander : 11/21/2020 5:12 pm : link
...love the current cast - all comes down to writing. Show has almost always been hit or miss, week to week but I'm really happy it's survived for 45 years.

RE: I know journalists  
Route 9 : 11/21/2020 5:49 pm : link
In comment 15053181 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
stereotypically are not muscle head bodybuilders, in fact many are quite the opposite, but it would be hard to find a less intimidating person than David Spade to put fear into someone.

He's built like a petite teenage girl.

even the terrible trio of Spade, Sandler and Farley I'd give the average journalist a better than 50/50 chance of being fine. Bob Barker kicked Sandler's ass.


Lol according to some Hornswoggle was the meanest of the WWE locker room.
Always liked Kevin Nealon  
dpinzow : 11/21/2020 10:13 pm : link
for some reason on Weekend Update
RE: Cast for 75/76  
speedywheels : 11/22/2020 12:44 am : link
In comment 15052553 Stan in LA said:
Quote:
Dan Aykroyd
John Belushi
Chevy Chase
Jane Curtin
Garrett Morris
Laraine Newman
Michael O'Donoghue (final episode: November 8, 1975)
Gilda Radner


LOL. Now Stan can’t even read correctly...
RE: I actually think Jost/Che are funniest news since 70's...  
Moondawg : 11/22/2020 4:24 pm : link
In comment 15053213 x meadowlander said:
Quote:
...love the current cast - all comes down to writing. Show has almost always been hit or miss, week to week but I'm really happy it's survived for 45 years.


Norm and Dennis Miller were as good as anybody.

Norm was the best ever, imho. And the last "truly dangerous" cast memebr according to Tina Fey. Not another "Seth!" playing to safe laughs.

I know we aren't allowed to admit that about Miller anymore, but he was.
RE: I actually think Jost/Che are funniest news since 70's...  
Moondawg : 11/22/2020 4:24 pm : link
In comment 15053213 x meadowlander said:
Quote:
...love the current cast - all comes down to writing. Show has almost always been hit or miss, week to week but I'm really happy it's survived for 45 years.


Norm and Dennis Miller were as good as anybody.

Norm was the best ever, imho. And the last "truly dangerous" cast memebr according to Tina Fey. Not merely another "Seth!" playing to safe laughs.

I know we aren't allowed to admit that about Miller anymore, but he was.
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