Best Female SNL Casts

Laarni

Since its debut in 1975, “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) has become an iconic fixture of American television. However, the show’s long-standing tradition of featuring immensely talented female comedians truly sets the show apart. From Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman, who were the first women to join the cast, to modern-day comedic geniuses like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and many others, the women of “SNL” have made an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

Through their hilarious performances, these female comedians have brought their unique voices and perspectives to the show while using their platform to address significant social and political issues. Their work has profoundly impacted the show’s legacy and helped shape the comedy landscape in television and film.

From breaking down barriers to paving the way for more excellent representation and diversity, the female cast members of “SNL” have inspired countless aspiring comedians and audiences alike. Their contributions have cemented “SNL’s” place in the cultural zeitgeist, and their legacy continues to influence and shape the comedy world.

#30: Chloe Fineman

Born in sunny California in 1988, Chloe Fineman is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. Her comedic career was launched after she graduated from college, where she honed her skills in theater and improv. However, her uncanny ability to impersonate a wide range of celebrities, from Drew Barrymore to Timothée Chalamet, initially catapulted her to social media stardom on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.

It was only a matter of time before the SNL casting team noticed Fineman’s remarkable talent, and in 2019, she made her debut on the legendary comedy show. Since then, she has become well-known for her hilarious portrayals of various pop culture icons and public figures.

But Fineman’s impressive portfolio extends beyond SNL. She has appeared in various T.V. shows and films, including the critically acclaimed series “Search Party and Jane the Virgin” and the movie “High Fidelity.” Additionally, she has performed in live comedy shows and has been a featured performer at various comedy festivals.

What sets Fineman apart is her unique approach to comedy, combining her spot-on impressions with her natural comedic timing. Her brand of humor has earned her a devoted fan base and critical acclaim, cementing her status as a rising star in the entertainment industry and a standout member of the SNL cast.

#29: Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata’s rise to fame in the entertainment industry has been marked by her boldness and fearlessness in tackling critical social issues through her comedy. As a black female comedian, she has faced unique challenges and has used her platform to shed light on issues of race, gender, and representation.

In addition to her work on stage and screen, Zamata is also an accomplished writer, having contributed to publications such as The New York Times and Glamour Magazine. She has also advocated for mental health awareness and has spoken openly about her struggles with anxiety and depression.

Zamata’s performances are characterized by her impeccable comedic timing, sharp wit, and ability to connect with audiences on a personal level. Her unique perspective and unwavering dedication to her craft have cemented her status as one of the most exciting and influential comedians.

#28: Julia Sweeney

Julia Sweeney’s creative talent and versatility as an actress, comedian, and writer have made her a beloved figure in American entertainment. Born on a crisp autumn day in 1959 in Spokane, Washington, Sweeney grew up in the picturesque nearby town of Spokane Valley.

Her legacy was cemented during her Saturday Night Live (SNL) tenure from 1990 to 1994, where she captivated audiences with her portrayal of Pat. This gender-ambiguous character became an overnight sensation. Her unforgettable performance as Pat was later adapted into a full-length feature film, solidifying her status as a comedic icon.

Beyond her work on SNL, Sweeney’s career boasts diverse performances in movies and television shows, such as her memorable appearance in the Quentin Tarantino classic “Pulp Fiction,” the sci-fi adventure “Clockstoppers,” and her eponymous film “It’s Pat: The Movie.”

Additionally, she has created and starred in various one-woman shows, including the poignant “God Said, Ha!” which chronicles her journey through cancer and her brother’s struggles with lymphoma.

Sweeney’s exceptional talent also extends to the world of voice acting, having lent her voice to various characters in popular animated television series like “Family Guy,” “American Dad!,” and “Monsters, Inc.”

#27: Ego Nwodim

Ego Nwodim is a multi-talented Nigerian-American artist who has significantly impacted the entertainment industry. Born on March 10, 1988, in Baltimore, Maryland, Nwodim is a gifted comedian, actress, and writer. Nwodim’s academic pursuits were in biology, which she majored in at the University of Southern California, but her love for performing arts led her to pursue a minor in theater. While in college, she began performing comedy, and after graduation, she moved to New York City to pursue her passion for entertainment.

In 2018, Nwodim joined the Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast as a featured player, where she made history as the first black female cast member since Sasheer Zamata. Her impeccable talent and hilarious impressions of celebrities like Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish, and Lizzo have earned her critical acclaim and a loyal fan base.

Nwodim has also showcased her acting prowess in a variety of films and television shows, including “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” “2 Dope Queens,” and “The Unicorn.” She has also written and performed her one-woman show, “Great Black Women…and Then There’s Me, which reflects her unique voice and perspective.

Nwodim’s magnetic personality, sharp wit, and ability to use humor to address significant issues have made her a rising star in the comedy. She has become a beloved figure in the entertainment industry, and her contributions have made her a valuable addition to the world of comedy and beyond.

#26: Mary Gross

Mary Gross is a multi-talented performer who has excelled in comedy and acting and made her mark as a writer and voice actor. Her early career in the famous “Second City” comedy troupe, alongside legends like Bill Murray and John Candy, laid the foundation for her successful run on SNL. Gross brought to life many unforgettable characters during her time on the show, including her hilarious impersonations of Nancy Pelosi.

Gross’s comedy career continued to flourish after SNL, with roles in popular movies such as “Feds” and “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause,” as well as memorable T.V. appearances in shows like “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “The Middle.” Her voice has also been heard on animated series such as “The Simpsons” and “Big Mouth.”

In addition to her impressive acting work, Gross has also made her mark as a writer, contributing to shows like “According to Jim” and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.” She has even written several children’s books, showcasing her talent and versatility as a writer.

Mary Gross’s contributions to the world of comedy and entertainment have been significant, particularly as a trailblazer for women in the field. Her influence inspires and guides future generations of female comedians, actors, and writers.

#25: Abby Elliot

Abby Elliott is an American actress and comedian, born on June 16, 1987, in New York City. She comes from a family of comedians – her father, Chris Elliott, and grandfather, Bob Elliott, were both well-known comedians and actors.
Elliott began her comedy career performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. She joined the Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast in 2008, becoming known for her impressions of celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Zooey Deschanel, and Khloe Kardashian.

After leaving SNL in 2012, Elliott continued to work in comedy, appearing in T.V. shows such as “How I Met Your Mother” and “Inside Amy Schumer,” as well as in films such as “No Strings Attached” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” She also had a recurring role in the popular T.V. series “Odd Mom Out.”

In addition to her acting work, Elliott is also a writer and producer, having written for T.V. shows such as “Happy Endings” and “King of the Hill.” She has also lent her voice to several animated series, including “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” and “Adventure Time.”

Abby Elliott has established herself as a versatile and talented comedian and actress, following in the footsteps of her famous comedic family. Her memorable impressions and comedic timing have made her a fan favorite, and her work continues to inspire and entertain audiences.

#24: Robin Duke

Robin Duke is a Canadian actress, comedian, and writer, born on March 13, 1954, in St. Catharines, Ontario. She has had a diverse career in comedy and entertainment, starting with her early days as a member of the Second City comedy troupe in Toronto. She is known for her work on various sketch comedy shows, including SCTV and Saturday Night Live (SNL), where she showcased her talent for impressions and memorable characters.

Duke’s range as an actress and comedian is evident in her roles on both television and film. She is best known for her role as Wendy Kurtz on the critically acclaimed T.V. series “Schitt’s Creek,” where she showcased her versatility in both dramatic and comedic scenes. Duke has also appeared in films such as “Multiplicity” and “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” proving that her talent extends beyond sketch comedy.

As a writer, Duke has contributed to several popular television shows, including SNL and “The Muppets.” She has also written several plays and co-wrote the screenplay for the film “The Boondock Saints,” further demonstrating her creativity and versatility.

#23: Ellen Cleghorne

Ellen Cleghorne is an American actress and comedian born November 29, 1965, in Brooklyn, New York. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) in the early 1990s.
Cleghorne began her comedy career performing at clubs in New York City, where she caught the attention of SNL producers. She joined the cast of SNL in 1991, where she became known for her impressions of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Patti LaBelle.

After leaving SNL in 1995, Cleghorne continued to work in comedy, appearing in T.V. shows such as “The Parent Hood” and “The Sinbad Show,” as well as in films such as “Armageddon” and “Dear God.” She also had a recurring role on the popular T.V. series “Ellen.”

In addition to her acting work, Cleghorne is also a writer and producer, having written for T.V. shows such as “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and “The Wayans Bros.” She has also written and performed in several one-woman shows, including “Diary of a Mad Black Comic.”

Cleghorne’s work has been praised for its sharp social commentary and political satire. She has been a trailblazer for women of color in comedy and has helped pave the way for future generations of comedians.

#22: Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was a unique and groundbreaking comedian who brought a fresh and original approach to sketch comedy. She was known for her ability to portray various characters, from the absurd and outlandish to the relatable and sympathetic.

Her willingness to push boundaries and explore taboo subjects with humor and sensitivity marked Radner’s work. She tackled sexism, racism, and mental illness, using her platform to raise awareness and challenge societal norms.

Beyond her comedy, Radner was also a talented writer and performer with a storytelling gift. Her one-woman show was a testament to her skill as a performer and her ability to connect with audiences on a personal level.

Her legacy lives on today through her work and advocacy for cancer research and support. She was a true trailblazer in the comedy world and an inspiration to generations of women in entertainment.

#21: Nasim Pedrad

Nasim Pedrad is an Iranian-American actress and comedian born November 18, 1981, in Tehran, Iran. She moved to the United States with her family when she was young and grew up in Irvine, California. Pedrad attended UCLA, where she studied theater and joined the improv group the Groundlings, where she honed her comedic skills.

In 2009, Pedrad joined the cast of SNL, where she quickly became a fan favorite for her spot-on celebrity impressions and memorable original characters. Some of her most notable appearances include Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, and Aziz Ansari. Pedrad’s original characters, such as Bedelia, the hyperactive child, also received critical acclaim.

After leaving SNL in 2014, Pedrad continued to make a name for herself in the entertainment industry, appearing in various television shows and movies. She co-created and starred in the Fox sitcom “Chad,” playing a 14-year-old Persian boy navigating high school in America, which was praised for its fresh perspective and hilarious writing.

In addition to her acting work, Pedrad is a talented writer and has contributed to various television shows, including “Mulaney” and “Scream Queens.” Her one-woman show, “Me, Myself & Iran,” is a deeply personal exploration of her experiences as an Iranian-American.

Pedrad’s work has been lauded for its ability to bridge cultures and create a sense of unity through humor. As a woman of Middle Eastern descent, she has helped to break down barriers and promote greater diversity and representation in the entertainment industry. Pedrad’s comedic genius and unique perspective continue to inspire and entertain audiences.

#20: Cheri Oteri

Cheri Oteri is an American actress and comedian born September 19, 1962, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1995 to 2000, where she was one of the few female cast members.

Oteri’s unique comedic style was characterized by her ability to play over-the-top characters with exaggerated personalities, such as the Spartan cheerleader Arianna and the overly perky morning talk show host Cass Van Rye. She also showed versatility by portraying male characters, such as the energetic high school student Mickey, and impressions of celebrities like Barbara Walters and Judge Judy.

After leaving SNL, Oteri continued to work in comedy, appearing in films such as “Scary Movie,” “Liar Liar,” and “Inspector Gadget.” She also appeared in T.V. shows such as “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Grown-ish.” In addition to acting, Oteri has been involved in writing and producing for television, co-creating and starring in the Comedy Central series “Strip Mall.”

Oteri’s contributions to the comedy world have been recognized with nominations for an Emmy and a Screen Actors Guild award. Her unique blend of energy, physical comedy, and character work has made her a memorable and beloved performer in the entertainment industry.

#19: Laraine Newman

Laraine Newman is an iconic American actress, comedian, and writer, born on March 2, 1952, in Los Angeles, California. As a founding member of the famous improvisational comedy troupe The Groundlings, Newman is recognized for her groundbreaking contributions to the comedy world. She joined the original Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast in 1975.

She made history as one of the show’s first female cast members and became known for her dynamic impressions of celebrities such as Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli. Newman’s original characters, including Connie Conehead and Sheri the Valley Girl, have become comedic icons.

Following her successful run on SNL, Newman continued to work in comedy, lending her talent to numerous T.V. shows and films, including “The Coneheads,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Stardust Memories,” and “Jingle All the Way.” She has also made a name for herself as a prolific voice actor, providing her voice to characters on shows like “The Critic” and “Duckman.”

Newman’s talent extends beyond acting and comedy; she is also a prolific writer. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker and The Los Angeles Times. As a trailblazing female comedian, Newman’s creativity and humor continue to inspire generations of performers and audiences alike.

#18:Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones is an American comedian, actress, and writer born September 7, 1967, in Memphis, Tennessee. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2014 to 2019, during which she became a breakout star and fan favorite.

Jones started her career as a stand-up comedian, performing in clubs across the United States. Her big break came when she was cast in Chris Rock’s film “Top Five” and Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck.” She joined SNL in 2014 as a writer and featured player, but her hilarious weekend update segments and memorable characters quickly earned her a promotion to a full-time cast member in 2015.

Jones made a name for herself on SNL with her bold and unapologetic humor, tackling topics such as race, gender, and sexuality with wit and charm. Her standout characters included Shanice Goodwin, a sassy black woman with a penchant for oversharing, and Missy Ann, a loud and proud member of a soulful singing group. She also earned acclaim for her impressions of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg.

After leaving SNL in 2019, Jones continued to work in comedy, hosting, and executive producing the reboot of “Supermarket Sweep” and starring in films such as “Coming 2 America” and “Ghostbusters.” She has also released a Netflix special titled “Leslie Jones: Time Machine,” which showcases her signature brand of fearless humor.

Jones has been recognized for her contributions to comedy, including multiple Emmy nominations and a Writers Guild of America award nomination. She is a trailblazer for Black female comedians and has helped to break down barriers and increase representation in the industry. Her talent, humor, and charisma continue to captivate and entertain audiences.

#17: Jan Hooks

Jan Hooks was an American actress, comedian, and singer whose versatility as a performer made her stand out in entertainment. Born on April 23, 1957, in Decatur, Georgia, Hooks began her career in comedy as a member of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe “The Groundlings.”

She joined the cast of SNL in 1986, where she quickly became known for her spot-on impressions of celebrities like Sinead O’Connor and Tammy Faye Bakker, as well as her original characters like Candy Sweeney, the co-host of “The Sweeney Sisters” musical act, and Brenda the Waitress.

Hooks’ ability to seamlessly transition from comedic to dramatic roles was evident in her work outside of SNL, including T.V. shows like “Designing Women” and “3rd Rock from the Sun” and films like “Batman Returns” and “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.” She also lent her voice to several animated shows, including “The Simpsons” and “Futurama.” Hooks received critical acclaim for her dramatic work in “The Unbelievable Truth” and the T.V. movie “The 60s.”

In addition to her acting work, Hooks was a talented singer who performed musical numbers on SNL and in various stage productions. She had a powerful voice showcased in her performances on the show, such as her duet with Phil Hartman in the “Love is a Dream” sketch.

Hooks’ legacy as a performer is one of depth, intelligence, and range. She was a beloved SNL cast member during a pivotal time in the show’s history and helped shape its direction. Her talent and dedication continue to inspire and entertain audiences today, and her contributions to comedy and entertainment will not be forgotten.

#16: Heidi Gardner

Heidi Gardner stands out in the entertainment industry as a versatile comedian, actress, and writer. Born on July 27, 1983, in Kansas City, Missouri, Gardner’s path to success in the industry has been marked by hard work and dedication.

Prior to joining SNL, Gardner sharpened her skills as a performer and writer at the renowned Groundlings Theatre in Los Angeles. She also appeared in various T.V. shows and movies, lending her voice to several animated series. Since joining SNL in 2017, Gardner has made a lasting impression on audiences with her hilarious images of famous personalities and her unique characters, like the social media influencer Bailey Gismert. 

Her incredible work has garnered critical acclaim, including an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Gardner’s creative talents extend beyond SNL, as she has appeared in films and has written for various T.V. shows. Her humor and sharp wit continue to amuse audiences, and her work inspires aspiring comedians everywhere.

#15: Nora Dunn

Nora Dunn is a multi-talented American actress, comedian, writer, and activist, born on April 29, 1952, in Chicago, Illinois. She rose to fame as a cast member on the legendary sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1985 to 1990, where she showcased her impressive skills as a performer and impressionist.

Besides her successful comedy career, Dunn is also an accomplished writer and has written several plays, screenplays, and a memoir titled “Nobody’s Rib.” She has also appeared in numerous films, and T.V. shows, including “Three Kings,” “Entourage,” and “New Girl,” as well as performed in various stage productions.

Aside from her artistic endeavors, Dunn is also a dedicated activist involved in various causes such as environmentalism, women’s rights, and anti-racism. She has worked with organizations like PETA and the Women’s Media Center and has used her platform to raise awareness about important issues.

Dunn’s work is known for its versatility, sharp wit, and commitment to social justice. She was a trailblazer for female comedians on SNL and has continued to inspire and entertain audiences with her talent and activism. Her legacy as a performer and activist will continue to inspire future generations of comedians and activists alike.

#14: Jane Curtin

Jane Curtin is an American actress and comedian, born on September 6, 1947, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the groundbreaking sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from its inception in 1975 until 1980.

Curtin’s comedy career started when she joined the improvisational troupe “The Proposition” in 1968. Later, she became part of the National Lampoon Radio Hour cast. Her work on SNL cemented her place in comedy history as a pioneer of female comedy in a male-dominated industry.

Curtin’s dry, deadpan humor and sarcastic wit made her stand out on SNL. They earned her several memorable characters, such as the straight-laced news anchor on “Weekend Update” and the alien housewife on the “Coneheads” sketch.

Following her time on SNL, Curtin went on to have a successful career in both television and film. She starred in the hit sitcom “Kate & Allie” for which she won two Emmy Awards, and she appeared in movies such as “Coneheads” and “The Heat.” Curtin has also been a prolific stage performer and has received critical acclaim for her work in various theatrical productions.

Curtin’s legacy as a pioneering female comedian has made her an inspiration to generations of aspiring comedians. Her sharp humor and intelligent wit continue to entertain and inspire audiences today.

#13: Melissa Villaseñor

Melissa Villaseñor is a standout Mexican-American comedian, actress, and impressionist, born on October 9, 1987, in Whittier, California. She has made a name for herself in the entertainment industry due to her work as a Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member, beginning in 2016.

Her career began as a stand-up comedian and impressionist, performing nationwide at comedy clubs and festivals. Villaseñor became famous for her impressions of famous people such as Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig and her original characters, such as the “A Day With Mom” series, which featured Villaseñor depicting various scenarios with her mother.

When she joined the cast of SNL, Villaseñor made history by becoming the show’s first Latina cast member. She has since become known for her impressive range of impressions, including Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as her original characters like teen movie critic Bailey Gismert.

Aside from her SNL work, Villaseñor has appeared on various T.V. shows such as “Adventure Time” and “Family Guy,” as well as films like “Hubie Halloween” and “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.” Villaseñor has also released her comedy album “Melissa Villaseñor: King of the Hill.”

Villaseñor’s work is noted for her comedic genius, versatility, and ability to connect with her audience through her impressions and characters. She has paved the way for future generations of Latinx comedians and continued inspiring audiences with her unique voice and perspective.

#12: Victoria Jackson

Victoria Jackson is a trailblazing American actress, comedian, and singer known for her unique blend of humor and outspokenness. Born on August 2, 1959, in Miami, Florida, Jackson began her career as a stand-up comedian and gained popularity with her one-woman show, “The Vicki Show.”

Her quirky and memorable characters, including “Nancy Maloney,” a ditzy teenage girl, and her impressions of celebrities like Roseanne Barr and Zsa Zsa Gabor, made her a standout when she joined the cast of SNL in 1986. After leaving SNL, Jackson continued to work in television and film, appearing in shows like “L.A. Law” and “Baby Boom” and movies such as “UHF” and “No More Baths.”

She also pursued a career as a singer and released several albums. In addition to her entertainment career, Jackson is a political activist and conservative commentator, sharing her views on social and political issues through her books and public appearances.

Jackson’s unique blend of comedy, music, and political commentary sets her apart as a multifaceted performer. Her energy, charisma, and unapologetic personality have made her a memorable and inspiring figure in entertainment and politics.

#11: Ana Gasteyer

Ana Gasteyer is a multi-talented American actress, comedian, and singer born on May 4, 1967, in Washington, D.C. Her career started with The Groundlings, an improvisational comedy troupe in Los Angeles before she joined Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1996.

While on SNL, she showcased her talent in celebrity impressions like Martha Stewart and Celine Dion and her original character Margaret Jo McCullen, the NPR radio host. Apart from SNL, Gasteyer continued to make a name for herself in both T.V. and film, appearing in critically acclaimed shows like “The Good Wife” and “Lady Dynamite,” as well as popular movies like “Mean Girls” and “Wine Country.”

She also conquered Broadway with lead roles in productions like “Wicked” and “The Rocky Horror Show,” showcasing her exceptional singing talent. In addition to her entertainment career, Gasteyer supports various charitable organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, reflecting her compassionate nature.

Gasteyer’s work is distinguished by her clever humor, remarkable range, and impressive vocals. She has captivated audiences with her ability to weave her comedic skills and musical talent, making her a beloved figure in the entertainment industry. Her dynamic career trajectory has proven that she is a true powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

#10: Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a groundbreaking American actress, comedian, writer, and producer born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on May 18, 1970. She is best known for her work as a writer and cast member on the iconic sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1997 to 2006 and for creating and starring in the critically acclaimed T.V. series “30 Rock.”

Before joining SNL, Fey worked as a writer and performer at The Second City in Chicago. She became the show’s first female head writer in 1999 and also appeared on the show as a cast member. Fey is best known for her impression of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, which garnered widespread attention and critical acclaim.

After leaving SNL, Fey went on to create, write, and star in “30 Rock,” which won multiple Emmy Awards and ran from 2006 to 2013. She also wrote and starred in the hit movie “Mean Girls” and has appeared in numerous other films and T.V. shows, including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Saturday Night Live.”

In addition to her entertainment career, Fey advocates for several charitable organizations, including Autism Speaks and Stand Up to Cancer. She has also written several books, including the bestselling memoir “Bossypants.”

Fey’s work is characterized by her sharp wit, fearless humor, and incisive social commentary. She has been praised for her groundbreaking contributions to comedy and her ability to create complex and memorable characters. Fey’s unique blend of intelligence, humor, and feminist perspective has made her one of the most beloved and influential figures in the entertainment industry.

#9: Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig is an American actress, comedian, and writer celebrated for her offbeat sense of humor and ability to create unforgettable characters. Born on August 22, 1973, in Canandaigua, New York, Wiig began her career as a performer at The Groundlings in Los Angeles. She rose to fame as a cast member on the iconic sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2005 to 2012, showcasing her incredible versatility and impression talent, such as her spot-on take on former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Her original characters, like the oddball Penelope, also became fan favorites.

Wiig’s work on SNL led to numerous high-profile film roles, including the hit comedy “Bridesmaids,” which she co-wrote and starred in. She has also appeared in many other films and T.V. shows, including the post-apocalyptic comedy “The Last Man on Earth” and the superhero blockbuster “Wonder Woman 1984.”

Beyond her entertainment career, Wiig has advocated for various charitable causes, including the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and promoting the arts through the David Lynch Foundation.

Wiig’s comedy style is characterized by her willingness to take risks and her ability to find humor in unexpected places. She is a master of physical comedy, and her characters often have a quirky, offbeat charm. With her incredible talent and comedic timing, Wiig has become one of the most beloved and respected performers in the entertainment industry.

#8: Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon is an American actress and comedian known for her unique and unconventional comedic style. She was born on September 16, 1964, in Shaker Heights, Ohio. While pursuing her acting career, Shannon worked as a hostess at several New York City restaurants and also appeared on the T.V. show “In Living Color” before joining the cast of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in 1995.

During her six-year tenure on SNL, Shannon created iconic characters such as Mary Katherine Gallagher, a socially awkward Catholic schoolgirl, and Sally O’Malley, a middle-aged woman who loves to kick and stretch.

After leaving SNL, Shannon starred in several successful films, including “Superstar,” a movie adaptation of her popular SNL character. She has also appeared in T.V. shows such as “Enlightened” and “Divorce” and lent her voice to animated projects like “Hotel Transylvania” and “The Addams Family.”

In addition to her entertainment career, Shannon is a strong supporter of animal rights and has been involved in various charitable organizations such as PETA. She also actively works with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, advocating for HIV-positive children and their families.

Shannon’s work is known for its bold and unconventional style, with her characters often pushing socially acceptable boundaries. Despite this, her characters are also grounded in humanity and empathy, making them hilarious and relatable. Shannon’s unique comedic voice has made her a respected figure in the entertainment industry and a beloved favorite among comedy fans.

#7: Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch is an American actress, comedian, and writer known for her unique brand of offbeat humor and willingness to embrace unconventional roles. Born on February 22, 1966, in Lexington, Massachusetts, Dratch honed her skills as a performer at The Second City in Chicago and as a member of the improvisational comedy troupe “Upright Citizens Brigade.”

Dratch rose to fame as a cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1999 to 2006, where she developed a reputation for playing quirky and eccentric characters like Debbie Downer. After leaving SNL, Dratch continued to make audiences laugh with her appearances in films and T.V. shows like “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” She has also written for and appeared in several comedy web series.

Dratch is a talented performer and an advocate for several charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society and Stand Up to Cancer.

Her willingness to take on unconventional roles and infuse them with humor and humanity sets Dratch apart. Her improvisational skills and ability to bring depth to even the most absurd characters have earned her the admiration of fans and colleagues. Dratch’s work is a testament to the power of comedy to bring joy and laughter to people’s lives.

#6: Vanessa Bayer

Vanessa Bayer is an American actress, comedian, and writer born in Orange, Ohio, on November 14, 1981. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the iconic sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2010 to 2017, where she developed a reputation for her talent for character work and impressions.

Before joining SNL, Bayer graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and worked as a performer and writer for the Chicago-based comedy troupe Second City. She was also a founding member of the all-female improv and sketch comedy group, “Just Add Water.”

During her time on SNL, Bayer created several memorable characters, including Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy and child actress Laura Parsons. She was also known for her spot-on impressions of celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Rachel from “Friends,” and Hillary Clinton.

Since leaving SNL, Bayer has continued to appear in numerous films and T.V. shows, including “Ibiza,” “Drunk Parents,” and “The Good Place.” She has also written and starred in her web series, “Sound Advice,” in which she plays an inept media coach.

In addition to her entertainment career, Bayer is a passionate advocate for raising awareness about childhood leukemia, having been diagnosed with the disease at the age of 15. She is an ambassador for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and is involved with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Bayer’s work is characterized by her ability to infuse humor and heart into everything she does. She has been praised for her ability to create fully realized and sympathetic characters and her impeccable timing and gift for physical comedy. Bayer’s genuine and infectious personality has made her a beloved figure in the comedy world and beyond.

#5: Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler is an American actress, comedian, writer, producer, and director born in Newton, Massachusetts, on September 16, 1971. She rose to fame as a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade improv troupe, where she honed her skills as a performer and writer. Poehler’s comedic talent caught the attention of the producers of Saturday Night Live, and she joined the cast in 2001, quickly becoming known for her dynamic characters and impression skills.

Poehler co-anchored SNL’s popular “Weekend Update” segment with Tina Fey, creating a groundbreaking all-female team. After leaving SNL, Poehler co-created and starred in the hit comedy series “Parks and Recreation,” which earned her several awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a T.V. Musical or Comedy.

In addition to her successful acting career, Poehler is a prolific writer and producer, creating and starring in shows like “Broad City” and “Russian Dolls.” She is also the co-founder of “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls,” a media company dedicated to empowering young girls through education and activism.

Poehler’s work is characterized by her razor-sharp wit, improvisational skills, and ability to use comedy to address critical social and political issues. She has been praised for her fearless approach to humor and her ability to create nuanced and complex characters. Poehler’s talent, intelligence, and unwavering dedication to her craft have made her a beloved and influential figure in the entertainment industry.

#4: Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph is an American actress, comedian, and singer born in Gainesville, Florida, on July 27, 1972. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the iconic sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 2000 to 2007, where she showcased her incredible versatility and comedic chops through her spot-on impressions of celebrities and original characters.

Before joining SNL, Rudolph was a member of The Groundlings improv troupe in Los Angeles, where she honed her craft and developed her unique brand of humor. Since leaving SNL, Rudolph has had a successful career in both film and television, starring in hit projects like “Bridesmaids,” “The Good Place,” and “Big Mouth.” She has also lent her voice to numerous animated movies and T.V. shows, such as “The Emoji Movie” and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.”

In addition to her entertainment career, Rudolph is a passionate advocate for various social and charitable causes, including City Year, which supports at-risk youth with tutoring, mentoring, and community service.

Rudolph’s work is characterized by her impeccable comedic timing, fearless improvisational skills, and ability to transition between comedic and dramatic roles seamlessly. Her talents have earned her critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including four Primetime Emmy nominations. Rudolph’s magnetic personality and incredible talent have made her a beloved and iconic figure in the entertainment industry.

#3: Cecily Strong

Cecily Strong is a trailblazing American actress, comedian, and writer born on February 8, 1984, in Springfield, Illinois. She is best known for her role as a Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast member since 2012.

Strong’s passion for comedy started at a young age, and she honed her craft as a performer and writer at the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago. Since joining the cast of SNL, she has become a fan favorite for her spot-on impressions of political figures like Melania Trump and her hilarious original characters, including the hilarious “The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party.”

In addition to her work on SNL, Strong has made a name for herself in film and television, appearing in projects such as “The Awesomes,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Shrill.” She is also a passionate advocate for gun control and the arts, using her platform to raise awareness for important causes.

Strong’s comedy is characterized by her biting wit, ability to tackle serious subjects with humor, and talent for creating relatable and unforgettable characters. She has been praised for her fearlessness in pushing boundaries and challenging societal norms, making her a true pioneer in the industry. Strong’s humor and dedication to making a difference have made her an inspiration to many.

#2: Aidy Bryant

Aidy Bryant is an American actress, comedian, and writer who has made a name for herself through her unique comedic style and advocacy for body positivity. Born on May 7, 1987, in Phoenix, Arizona, Bryant began her career as a member of the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, where she developed her skills as a performer and writer.

Bryant joined the Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast in 2012. He quickly became known for her original characters and impressions, including her portrayal of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. In addition to her work on SNL, Bryant has starred in and produced several T.V. shows, including “Shrill,” based on her experiences as a plus-sized woman navigating the world.

Bryant’s dedication to body positivity and representation has been a defining characteristic of her career. She has used her platform to advocate for diverse and underrepresented artists and to promote healthy body image and self-acceptance. Bryant has also spoken openly about her struggles with body image and how she has embraced her size and shape.

Bryant’s work is characterized by her relatable and authentic humor, commitment to social justice and equality, and talent for creating nuanced and complex characters. She has been praised for her ability to use comedy to address critical social issues. Her work has helped shift the conversation around body image and representation in the entertainment industry. Bryant’s talent and dedication have made her a role model for many, and she continues to be a powerful voice for positive change.

#1: Kate McKinnon

Kate McKinnon is an American actress, comedian, and writer known for her versatile performances. She was born on January 6, 1984, in Sea Cliff, New York. She is best known for her work as a cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL) since 2012. She has become a fan favorite for impersonating public figures, including Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Before joining SNL, McKinnon was a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City, where she honed her skills as an improviser and writer. She has also appeared in several films, including “Ghostbusters” and “The Spy Who Dumped Me.” She has lent her voice to several animated projects, including “The Angry Birds Movie 2” and “Finding Dory.”

In addition to her acting career, McKinnon is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and has used her platform to raise awareness of important social issues. She has been a vocal supporter of organizations like the Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth.

McKinnon’s work is characterized by her chameleon-like ability to inhabit a wide range of characters, her sharp wit, and her emotional depth. She has been praised for her talent, intelligence, and commitment to her craft and has won several awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on SNL. McKinnon’s humor, creativity, and compassion have made her a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

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