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August 21, 2014

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Why isn't Jan Hooks famous?

by Eliot Glazer, posted May 9th 2009 12:50PM
Radner. Louis-Dreyfus. Poehler. Fey. Shannon.

jan hooks snlSuffice it to say, the number of women who became famous on Saturday Night Live before graduating to solo success is few and far between. Sure, Gilda Radner can be considered a pioneer in the art of sketch comedy. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus undoubtedly honed her comedic skills before becoming a sitcom icon on Seinfeld. And, yes, Tina Fey can easily be considered a heroine to comedy nerds everywhere who have witnessed her climb from Weekend Update anchor to Mean Girls scribe to single-handedly decimating the vice presidential chances of one certain gun-wieldin', six-pack-totin' Alaskan governor.

But, sadly, the number of men who left Studio 8 for the superstardom of Planet Hollywood (not the theme restaurant) easily outnumbers the ladies. For every Amy Poehler, there's a Will Ferrell. And a Bill Murray. And a Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler (although, to be fair, there's also a David Gary Kroeger, A. Whitney Brown, and Charles Rocket for every Melanie Hutsell, too). (And for the record, no, you shouldn't recognize those names.)

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Mr. Bill makes a comeback

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 3rd 2008 10:03AM
mr. billOne of the greatest -- and most resilient -- characters in the history of Saturday Night Live is making a comeback. Or maybe he's just taking a paycheck. Mr. Bill is the star of a new MasterCard debit card "Priceless" commercial. He's going to depict how even someone like Mr. Bill is tough enough to survive the rough financial times in which we live, just by using his MasterCard debit card.

The new 30-second commercials will begin airing on June 9, showing Mr. Bill as a typical guy heading in to work at the office. Naturally, along the commute, he stops for coffee and Mr. Hand scolds him accidentally. At the gym, he's catapulted off the treadmill. Later, an briefcase opens and launches him out the window. Naturally, through it all, Mr. Bill endures. Being made of clay has its pluses.

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The Not Ready for Prime-Time Players who made it to the big time: 1975-1985

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 17th 2008 1:42PM

An early opening of Saturday Night Live.As AOL Television continues their look at the 50 Best TV Comedies -- Ever with numbers 30-21, we here at TV Squad are also looking at television comedy, but with a slightly skewed difference. Last week, we took a look at the numerous stand-up comedians who became sitcom stars. In this installment we look at one particular TV comedy that made stars out of a number of actors and actresses.

I'm talking about NBC's Saturday Night Live. Since its premiere in 1975, the late-night sketch show has given us a slew of actors and actresses who have made the move onto both the big and small screen. Sometimes the move was towards more comedy, sometimes it was a switch to more serious roles, other times it was a little bit of both. And, while many of those who made it are still in the public eye these days, some of the greatest of those who came from Studio 8H had their careers snuffed out way too early.

The amount of those who rose to the top varied from cast to cast. Some casts, like the very first one, produced a whole slew of talent who went on to bigger and better things. Others, like the first casts from 1980-85 and the mid-1990s, produced very little in the way of big stars.

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When SNL was funny... now on iTunes

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 10th 2006 10:29PM
Remember the good ol' days of Saturday Night Live? You can. On your video iPod, or just on your computer. This week, iTunes released all sorts of video clips that span the last 30 years of Saturday Night Live. You can purchase individual sketches, including The Hanukkah Song, Wake Up and Smile, Schwetty Balls, Motivational Speaker, plus a few oldies-but-goodies like Word Association with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor, and King Tut with Steve Martin. There are also all sorts of commercial parodies such as Colon Blow, Oops I Crapped My Pants, and Mom Jeans (what? no Clear Gravy?). You really have to love those sketches, though, because they each cost $2. The collection is by no means complete, but it looks as though SNL is just getting started. For instance, I didn't see any of the Wayne's World or Church Lady sketches available for individual purchase. However, those are included on the "Best Of" compilations that are also available for download, for $10.

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