Tonight, Jimmy Fallon will host the 36th season holiday episode of Saturday Night Live. It is Fallon’s first time hosting the show, although viewers will know him from his years on the show as host of Weekend Update and as the current host of the NBC Late Show. Hopefully he will use the opportunity to revisit his skit from over a decade ago, foreshadowing that he would be hosting the show in December 2011.
Over the years annual comedic casts have changed, with Not Ready for Prime Time Players sometimes brilliantly funny and sometimes not so much. Traditional fans look back to the first two seasons to the best cast ever, where superstars Jim Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and even frequent guest Steve Martin, were all propelled to become household names. Later casts included Second City greats such as Christopher Guest and Martin Short. Some of the biggest names in Hollywood were once members of the SNL cast: Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Will Ferrell included. And in all this time we lost a few guys whose careers themselves pretty much peaked on SNL: John Belushi, Phil Hartman, and Chris Farley.
It’s difficult not to make a favorites list of SNL not top heavy in favor of the classic skits from the first seasons of SNL, but we made an effort to spread out some great skits across the decades, and we left out skits with Alec Baldwin that we inclued in our review earlier this week.