Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com
“Saturday Night Live” has been on the air for almost 38 years now. During that time we’ve seen countless comedians become overnight stars thanks to the show. Bill Murray, Chris Rock, Kristen Wiig, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey—he list goes on and on. Yet, while the show has the ability to break performers into mainstream popularity, not every comedy cast member has emerged from the show a star.
Here are 15 comedians who didn’t make it as “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” through SNL, but went on to success nevertheless.
Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN.com
In 1983, James “Jim” Belushi joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. This was a year after the death of his brother, John Belushi, who became one of the show’s biggest breakout stars. Jim Belushi was not quite as successful—the comedian, who also wrote for the show, was hired, fired, and rehired during the course of the ninth season. He lasted until the tenth season and left the show. Belushi also spearheaded the SNL’s infamous “lost season” of 1984-85. Belushi served as creative director under package Ebersol, who was contractually obligated to bring in three new episodes following a writer’s strike. These episodes were due just before SNL control reverted back to current head honcho Lorne Michaels. Rather than stick with original ’84 cast (who they couldn’t afford), Belushi and Ebersol hired a whole new repertoire that included unknowns Vincent Shiavelli and Kevin Peter Hall. Those three episodes haven’t aired since Michaels’ return.