We have reached the top ten in my personal favorite performances from the dozens of Saturday Night Live alumni. Today’s list covers numbers 10-6 and if you missed my previous editions, you may find them here:
Let’s get to it!
10. Randy Quaid, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Ahhh, Cousin Eddie. One of the funniest supporting characters in film history with Quaid’s performance as the black sheep of the Griswald family. He was great in Vacation as well, but his work in the Yuletide classic gets the nod. Quaid only appeared in one ill-fated season of the show from 1985-86.
9. Kristin Wiig, Bridesmaids (2011)
Wiig is one of the greatest SNL performers period and her first starring role was a blockbuster showcase for her immense talents. Her costar Maya Rudolph deserves a shout out for her performance as well.
8. Eddie Murphy, The Nutty Professor (1996)
Beyond his terrific work as Sherman Klump and Buddy Love, this update of the Jerry Lewis tale also finds the versatile star hilariously playing nearly every member of the Klump clan under Rick Baker’s amazing makeup work. This was deservedly a major comeback vehicle for Murphy.
7. Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man (2008)
People tend to forget that Downey was a cast member in the forgettable 1985-86 season that Quaid was a part of. There’s other performances that I could have included here (including other Avengers work), but I’ll give his first appearance in his signature role the attention it warrants.
6. John Belushi, National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
This is the first breakout role for a SNL cast member and it’s absolutely one of the best with Belushi’s iconic performance as John Blutarsky (or Bluto). You can still find his photo chugging Jack Daniels in many a college dorm across the country.
We will reach the top 5 in short order! Stat tuned…