Top 50 Saturday Night Live Recurring Characters (25 – 1)

August 22, 2012

Welp here’s where I piss everyone off lol The Top 25 SNL Recurring characters. The countdown continues Characters 50 – 26 are here! I admit to one or two I would’ve dropped lower but I still think that the list overall is solid.

My Criteria:
Had to make me laugh
I actually watched them on TV
They had to appear at least 3 different times
No digital shorts they had to appear on the show

25. What Up with That – ‘09

(Kenan Thompson)

A Newer skit and maybe not a popular pick being this high but DeAndre Cole totally ignoring his guests and busting out in song, complete with Vance (The Red Tracksuit wearing back up dancer)
It has always made me laugh

24. Mephistopheles – ‘86

(Jon Lovitz)

“You, watching this at home, worship me! I command you! Become my willing thralls and live eternally!”

23. Fernando’s Hideaway – ‘84

(Billy Crystal)

The Catchphase was more popular than the skit but the skit was pretty funny
“And, as you know, my friends.. as you can see, the booth is empty, and I am very upset. I don’t feel marvelous. I look marvelous, but I don’t feel marvelous. Which is hokie-dokie for me, because, as you know, my credo is “It is better to look good than to feel good.”

22. Brian Fellow’s Safari Planet – ‘99

(Tracy Morgan)

Tracy Morgan got little to no burn on SNL which is a shame because he could’ve been huge; my favorite character by far was Brian Fellows
from the animals stealing his credit card or just the declaration that he was Brian Fellows was enough to make me laugh

“Is a donkey and a mule the same thing?”
“Does this donkey fix cars?”
“Rabbits can’t cut their own hair….THAT’S CRAZY!!!”
“The rain forest? That sounds wet!”
“Once I saw a video of a monkey washing a cat, THAT’S CRAZY!!”

21. Velvet Jones – ‘81

(Eddie Murphy)

Author of the self-help book “I want to be a ho” One of the first Pimps to appear on SNL
… and one of the first to actually retire the character on the air said “he died of over exposure” lol

Top 20

20. Ed Grimley- ‘84

(Martin Short)

I remember the character from SCTV he got more exposure on SNL though
The Wheel of fortune obsessed, Triangle playing, move busting hyper active character eventually got his own cartoon

19. Toonces, The Driving Cat – ‘89

(Dana Carvey, Victoria Jackson)

Lyle and Brenda’s cat Toonces who could drive a car “Not just very well” lol … always ended up driving his owners off a cliff
Toonces has encountered Martians, posed as a chauffeur, flew a plane, played the Terminator “The Tooncinator” … they even gave him a half hour special on NBC in the 90s

18. Coneheads – ‘77

(Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman)

Damn funny series of sketches, ahead of their time; the fact that they convinced people they were France and no one ever mentioned the shape of their heads sold the skits
… the movie? eh.

#MeppsMepps #ConsumeMassQuantities

17. Bill Swerski’s Chicago Superfans – ‘91

Bill Swerski, Todd O’Connor, Pat Arnold, Carl Wollarski, and George Wendt as Bob were huge in the 90s Live from Ditka’s Sports bar had tons of people saying “Da Bearss” and “Da Bullss”

16. Gumby – ‘82

(Eddie Murphy)

Gumby when the cameras were off lol
Cigar smoking green Jew? “I’m Gumby Damnit” – Hilarious!

15. Dick Clark’s Receptionist – ‘91

(David Spade)

“Okay, and you are..?”
David Spade playing the receptionist turned away just about everyone, made them sit down and wait … even Jesus:
Jesus: Hello, my son.

Hi. And you are..?
Jesus: I am the Lord. I’m here to get on the airwaves that Richard Clark controls to tell the world I have come back as I promised.

Now.. did you have an appointment, or..?
Jesus: My son, don’t you recognize me from the Bible?

I’m not a big reader. If you could just have a seat.
Jesus: Listen. Friend..

I know. If you could just have a seat. Thanks.

Roseanne Arnold: [ to Jesus ] Isn’t he the worst?
Jesus: He really is.
Michael Tassoni: Can’t you do something?
Jesus: I will. In a minute.

Receptionist: Threatening me with eternal damnation won’t get you in any faster.

14. Mr. Subliminal – ‘86

(Kevin Nealon)

My favorite thing Kevin Nealon did on SNL (Other than Weekend Update) Phil Maloney’s way of sliding in the subliminal thoughts during a normal conversation was pure comedic genius, the timing was impeccable

Secretary: Oh, no, no, Mr. Maloney.. I’m married, don’t even think about it.
Phil Maloney: Oh. Well, maybe we can just be friends – Hot Sex – and leave it at that.

13. Celebrity Jeopardy! – ‘96

(Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Norm Macdonald, and various others)

I’m cheating here because I’m lumping Alex Trebek, Burt Reynolds, and Sean Connery together here …
It is near impossible NOT to laugh at Jeopardy when it comes on …

“Mr. Reynolds has apparently changed his name to Turd Ferguson.”
“Yeah, I’ll take the condom thing for, uh.. eight thou” … That’s “Condiments”. For $400
“Yeah well, why don’t you give me, ah.. Why don’tcha give me Ape Tit for $200.” …
Alex Trebek: It’s not “Ape Tit.” It’s A Petit.. ..never mind! Let’s just go to “Animal Sounds” for $600. This is the sound a doggy makes.
Mr. Connery.
Alex Trebek: No.
Sean Connery: Well, that’s the sound your mother made last night!

12. Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar – ‘85

(Jon Lovitz)

So I, uh, you know, I put my shirt on and I – I went for a hike and then – and then I fell down a glacier! Yeah, that’s it. Twenty thousand fee– er, miles! Yeah! … And I was frozen in the ice — to death. And the following spring, I thawed out. And when I came to, who do you think was next to me? Amelia Earhart! Yeah. … Yeah, and I said, “Hey, Amelia, how ya doin’?” And she said, “Mmm, not good.” … ‘Cause her leg had been broken. But her plane had been preserved in the ice. And I said, “Well, if you let me fly your plane out of here, I’ll come back for you.” [Confidentially] It was the only time I lied. …


11. Total Bastard Airlines – ‘94

(David Spade)

David Spade being an asshole makes for great SNL sketches apparently

Buh-bye. Buh-bye. Hey, you live here in Pittsburgh?
Passenger: Uh.. no, actually, I –
Buh-bye! Buh-bye.

Passenger: Uh, excuse me, could you tell me –
Buh-bye. I’m sorry, what part didn’t you understand – the buh or the bye? Buh-bye.

Passenger: Excuse me, could you tell me where the baggage claim will be?
Mmm.. your baggage.. right.. what was it I wanted to tell you about your baggage? Oh, yeah – nobody cares, buh-bye!

Top 10

10. The Festrunk Brothers – ‘77

(Wild and Crazy Guys) (Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin)

“And here is a thing I will tell you: that two swinging foxes have the hots-on for us, and are coming here tonight to let us hold on to their big American breasts!
Why not? There’s nothing preventing them. After all, there is no other pair of Czech brothers who cruise and swing so successfully in tight slacks!
We are.. Two wild and crazy guys!”

9. Deep Thoughts – ‘91

(Jack Handey)

Not entirely a character but he has a name AND the segments were recurring … always funny; these are prolly the genesis of my random thoughts
“One thing kids like is to be tricked.
For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland,
but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse.
“Oh, no,” I said. “Disneyland burned down.”
He cried and cried, but I think that deep down,
He thought it was a pretty good joke.
I started to drive over to the real Disneyland,
but it was getting pretty late. ”

“The first thing was, I learned to forgive myself. Then I told myself, ‘Go ahead, do whatever you want, it’s ok by me.'”

“If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, because I bet that’s what *really* throws you into a panic.”

“Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words “mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery and that’s why so is mankind.”

8. The Spartan Cheerleaders – ‘95

(Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri)

These are two Love/Hate Characters … the Dallas Cowboys of the SNL skits you cannot deny their popularity though, personally I’ve always got a laugh off of them

Roll call! cha cha butchee, cha cha cha butchee roll call.
I’m Arianna, I have team spirit, I don’t do drugs, so check me out.
Cha cha butchee, cha cha cha butchee Roll call.
My name is Craig, I did drugs once, I am a spartan, so check me out.

#ThePerfectCheer #FunkyColdMedina

7. Master Thespian – ‘85

(Jon Lovitz)

Oh, Master.. M-master, you’ve cut me.. look how the blood gushes from my very veins!
Oh, please forgive me, it was an accident..
Don’t be silly! [ opens his jacket to reveal no cut ] Acting!

6. Matt Foley – ‘93

(Chris Farley)

Matt.. I kinda wanna be a writer..
We-e-e-elll.. la-de-freakin’-da! We’ve got ourselves a writer here! Hey, Dad, I can’t see real good that Bill Shakespeare over there?
Dad: Well, actually, Matt.. Ellen and I have encouraged Brian in his writing.
Dad, I wish you could just shut your big yapper! Now, I wonder.. Brian, from what I’ve heard, you’re using your paper, not for writing, but for rolling doobies!! You’re gonna be doing a lot of doobie-rolling when you’re living in a van down by the river!

5. Land Shark – ‘75

(Chevy Chase)

Underrated and forgotten but one of my favorite skits on SNL all time
… the Land Shark is considered the cleverest of all sharks. Unlike the Great White shark, which tends to inhabit the waters and harbors of recreational beach areas, the Land Shark may strike at any place, any time. It is capable of disguising its voice, and generally preys on young, single women.

Basically the Shark knocks on doors and pretends to be all types of things in order to get the person to open the door, and when they do he swallows them lol

Mrs. Arlsburgerhhh?
Woman: Who?
Mrs. Johannesburrrr?
Woman: Who is it?
Woman: Flowers for whom?
Plumber, ma’am.
Woman: I don’t need a plumber. You’re that clever shark, aren’t you?
Woman: Candygram, my foot! You get out of here before I call the police! You’re the shark, and you know it!
Wait. I-I’m only a dolphin, ma’am.
Woman: A dolphin? Well… Okay. [opens door]
BITE! lol

4. Buckwheat – ‘81

(Eddie Murphy)

All you need to hear is the Buh Weet Sings album with
“Munce. Tice. Fee Tines A Mady.”
“Wookin’ Pa Nub”
“Una Panoonah Banka”
“Barbah Ob Dabil” ( Bigaro! Bigaro!”)

And the episode when Buckwheat got shot! The whole saga … hilarity!

3. The Church Lady – ‘86

(Dana Carvey)

Another iconic character from the 80’s eventually got overexposed but at the height of the skits everyone loved it
From “Isn’t that Special” “Satan” and the Praise Dance … all hilarious

2. Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood – ‘81

(Eddie Murphy)

My personal favorite character, (mentioned on the Eddie Murphy Episode of the eclectik discussion podcast)

“It’s… one… hell of a day in the neighborhood
A hell of a day for a neighbor
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
I’ve always wanted to live in a house like yours, my friend
Maybe when there’s nobody home… I’ll break in!
So… come out with some folks and a smoke
You bring the stash, ’cause Robinson’s broke!
Will you be mine?
Won’t you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor?”

Hi, boys and girls! I’m all alone today. But that don’t mean you can stay too long. My wife will be home from work soon. Can you say “BITCH”? I’m sure you can. That’s our special word today, you know. Come see. It’s a very special word! Do you know any? I’m sure you do! They come on all colors — Black… White… Puerto Rican. Go practice your new word to see if you’re saying it right. Walk into Mommy’s room… and say “BITCH!” I’ll wait! Did Mommy slap you? Then you said it right!

1. Wayne’s World – ‘89

(Dana Carvey, Mike Myers)

Cable 10, Aurora, Illinois community access channel.

At first I thought really? But yeah … Wayne and Garth ran things for years on SNL
The Skits
Excellent, Schwing, Ka-Booom, Heinous, Not, Extreme Close up! We’re not Worthy, Fished in, Shyea Right, Party On,

Tom Hanks as Aerosmith’s roadie: “Check. Check. Check 1. Sibilance. Sibilance. Check. Check. Check 2. Sibilance. Sibilance.” And that’s pretty much what I do.
The Madonna Justify My Love skit: “Look at the unit on that guy”

They even made Bohemian Rhapsody into a thing … hard to deny it

Welps … that’s the list feel free to tell me how Gilda, Belushi, and Murray are not on the list … I know but I didn’t laugh at their characters as much as these

Who were the Snubs?

Who shouldn’t be on the list at all?

Are the bottom 25 better than the top 25?

Let me know your Top 10 in the comments!

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  • Sheila

    Great list! But no love for Dieter and the Sprockets???? Caveman Lawyer???? the music teachers The Culps???

  • Corey Chapman (@chapmanrunner)

    I really enjoyed this list. You can tell a lot of time and hard work went into putting this bad boy together. Makes me want to hit up YouTube and watch clips from all 50 characters.

    nice job, e.

  • HowardtheDeck

    SO glad DeAndre Cole and Vance made the list – they are hands down my favorite of the last 3 years. And yes – Brian Fellows was WAY underrated. Great choice. Solid list, well executed. Fun read

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