The 30 Best Saturday Night Live Characters

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10. Roseanne Roseannadanna – Gilda Radner
Roseannadanna, you are a hasty, tactless woman with wild, wild hair.

9. Coneheads – Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman
Remulak—thank you for dropping off your cone rubbing, pencil eating, over-zealous Frenchies to our planet. Frank Zappa was so inspired by your natives he decided to write a song about them. Marvel Comics produced his own comic book series. And 1993 brought an official The Coneheads film, which brought with action figures and a cult classic to the American public.

8. Brian Fellow — Tracy Morgan
As the opening sequence to his show explains, “Brian Fellow is not an accredited zoologist, nor does he hold an advanced degree in any of the environmental sciences. He is simply an enthusiastic young man with a sixth grade education and an abiding love for all God’s creatures.” He does, however, seem to possess a hilarious Doctor Doolittle-like ability to communicate with the animals on his show, as they often pop up in goofy thought bubbles. For a character who borders on formulaic (he’s got a whopping three catchphrases—”I’m Brian Fellow!”, “That’s crazy!” and “Let’s get goinggggg!”—and nearly every one of his sketches follows the same pattern), Fellow never gets tiresome. After all, who else is going to keep all those animals in check by asking the tough questions like, “Why does that pig hate Jewish people?” – Bonnie Stiernberg

7. Gumby – Eddie Murphy
Here, Gumby’s a child’s friend turned vaudeville actor who occupies a deli off Broadway. He has class we assure you, but the waitress refuses to serve the green giant because she has mistaken him for someone else (easily done, all people are green) who has done a dine-and-dash many years before.

6. Matt Foley – Chris Farley
Motivation: this is what Matt Foley brings. He comes in to speak, overweight, dishevelled, cynical and negative. He yells, “You can end up being 35 years old, thrice divorced and living in a van down by the river!” something his listeners begin to think is known through personal experience. Though his speeches backfire, the end results are always positive, because no one wants to wind up like Foley. As Foley would say, “Well la-dee-frickin-da!”

5. The Blues Brothers – Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi’s alter egos, The Blues Brothers, are one of the most memorable SNL duos ever. Though their first stint aired originally in 1978, The Blues Brothers grew past Saturday night appearances, releasing a full-length album entitled Briefcase Full of Blues later that year and the beloved film The Blues Brothers in 1980. There’s even a possibility that a TV series based on the original characters (and pitched by Aykroyd and Judith Belushi) might appear on primetime networks in the near future. – Hilary Saunders

4. Mister Robinson – Eddie Murphy
Only the likes of Eddie Murphy could convince the real Mr. Rogers that the slumlord hunting, grocery stealing, child defrauding parody of Mister Robinson is not at all offensive but rather, highly amusing and affectionate. In honor of Mister Robinson’s considerable ways, here’s to drug dealers named Mr. Speedy and signs that read, “Bitch.”

3. The Spartan Cheerleaders – Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri
Roll call! Her name is Arianna, and she’s never done drugs, so check her out. His name is Craig, and he’s done drugs once, but you should still check him out. The Spartan Cheerleaders may not be the most popular spirit squad members, but they always try to get the crowd rowdie (that’s how they spell it, you know) at events that don’t normally get the attention they deserve. One such event is at a chess tournament, which may be the duo’s best performance ever. – Adam Vitcavage

2. The Church Lady – Dana Carvey
Enid Strict, better known as The Church Lady, is one of Dana Carvey’s most well-known characters—and for good reason. Her holier-than-thou attitude brings smirks to all our faces as she smugly condemns celebrities of the day (often ones who were dealing with highly publicized scandals at the time, like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and Rob Lowe) and busts out her Superior Dance. Isn’t that special? – Bonnie Stiernberg

1. Wayne and Garth – Mike Myers, Dana Carvey
Almost 15 years before Michael Scott dared to deliver the phrase, two mulletted suburban rockers with a public access show brought the infamous “That’s what she said” to the TV set. The duo of the party-oriented Wayne Campbell and (with us as always) Garth Algar broadcasted their show, Wayne’s World from the Cable 10 channel in Aurora, Ill. And the subject matter was all stuff that was the most important to them: Babes, rock and roll, Aerosmith and trying not to hurl. But maybe the most memorable part about them was their inspired theme song with unforgettable lyrics: “Wayne’s World, Wayne’s World, party time, excellent!” – Tyler Kane

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