Every young writer and comedian dreams of landing a job at ‘Saturday Night Live’. The long running sketch comedy TV show has been on the air for over 30 years and has produced some of the greatest comedic movie and TV actors of all time. Since its “original cast” days in the 70’s and 80s, the show has taken shots at politicians, news, media and everything in between. Sometimes the reviews are great and other times they fall flat but one thing’s is for sure, SNLs longevity is surely due to its ability to push boundaries and tap into our cultural conscience. Along the way the show has produced some faces that remain familiar to this day—and many of them are Canadian. But what happens after SNL? For some, it’s off to writing gigs and network projects but for others, it’s off to the big time. Here are just a few former SNL’ers who made it big.
Andy Samberg- Net Worth $8 million
Ok, so Andy Samberg is only worth a reported $8 million but bear in mind, the former SNL star only began appearing on the show in 2005. Samberg’s blend of comedy and music and his hysterical lyrics made him a comedian to look out for in years to come. D*ck in a Box, anyone? And the networks and movie studios remember him too. Samberg voiced a character in the hugely successful animated movie ‘Hotel Transylvania’ and starred in the cult classic ‘Hot Rod’. He’s released albums with his comedy music group Lonely Island and won an Emmy for his work on the newly launched sitcom, ‘Brooklyn 99’. After a relatively short amount of time in the business, Samberg is on his way to post SNL stardom.
Kristen Wiig– Net Worth $12 Million
Known for embodying a range of self-deprecating and daft characters, Wiig’s seven-year run on SNL cemented her as one of the funniest women of late night. Serving as a cast member from 2005 to 2012 Kristen delivered spot on impersonations of celebrities and invented hilarious characters like Gilly and the Target Check-out lady. But her biggest accomplishment was writing, producing and starring in the Oscar nominated hit, ‘Bridesmaids’. Both a critical and box office success, the movie earned over $288 million worldwide. Wiig also voiced separate characters in the huge ‘Despicable Me’ movies and had a supporting role in ‘Date Night’. And though her star is only just beginning to rise, Wiig is worth a reported $12 million.
Jimmy Fallon- Net Worth $16 million
During his time on SNL, Jimmy Fallon was considered by many to be the show’s star. He appeared on ‘Weekend Update’ and served as a master impersonator. He embodied everyone from Carson Daly to Barry Gibb and though he was known for often breaking character to laugh, Fallon was a fan favourite. After many skits and booming on air friendship with show favourite, Justin Timberlake, Fallon went on to co-star in a number of mediocre movies. But his big break came when he began hosting late night TV. First filling in for David Letterman and then taking over Late Night from Conan O’Brien. These days Jimmy is hosting the infamous, ‘Tonight Show’ to records ratings.
Amy Poehler- Net Worth $18 Million
A cast and audience favourite, Amy Poehler made her mark during her seven year run on the show. A Chicago trained improve artist, Amy delivered the goods during political sketches as Hilary Clinton and as a pretend broadcaster for Weekend Update—performances that led her to her acclaimed role on ‘Parks and Recreation’. Worth an estimated $18 million, Amy’s movie credits include ‘Baby Mama’ alongside Tina Fey, ‘Blades of Glory’ and ‘Shrek the Third’. Notable fact: Amy’s first appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live’ was the show’s first program after September 11th.
Tina Fey- Net Worth $45 Million
Though she performed for many years as an improve actor, Tina Fey’s primary role on SNL was that of writer. She began writing for the show 1997 and only began appearing on camera three years later to do ‘Weekend Update’ with fellow famous former cast-mate, Jimmy Fallon. But Fey always stayed true to her writing. In 2004 she wrote the movie ‘Mean Girls’ which was not only a critical and box office success, but became a cult classic—fans are still holding out for a sequel. This funny feminist also gave the world ‘30 Rock’. When the show’s run finished, it counted 39 awards including Emmys, Golden Globes, GLADD Awards and accolades from the Writers Guild of America. Though she stays true to being a normal lady, all that work has Fey’s estimated net worth sitting at $45 million.
Robert Downey Jr.- Net Worth $85 Million
He only spent one year on SNL but RDJ has gone on to be one of the most successful and highly paid actors in Hollywood. Serving only from 1985 to 1986 the Oscar winner barely registered a blip on the late night comedy show but his time at SNL propelled him to where he is today. These days, Downey Jr. is taking in $65 million for films like ‘Ironman 3’ and is worth a reported $85 million dollars. The star has also been a part of one of the largest superhero franchises in history, ‘The Avengers’, and is reportedly receiving $50 million to reprise his role as Tony Stark/Ironman.
Will Ferrell- Net Worth $85 Million
A ‘Saturday Night Live’ favourite from 2002 to 2005, Will Ferrell is among the most success alumni the show has ever had. He wrote and played in several of the show’s most beloved and memorable skits including ‘Spartan Cheerleaders’, ‘Blue Oyster Cult’ and ‘Dissing Your Dog’. He brought us impersonations of George W. Bush, Alex Tribek and Robert Goulay. Now worth an estimated $85 million, Ferrell has been bringing us massive comedy hits like, ‘Talladega Nights’, ‘Anchorman’ and the Christmas classic ‘Elf’.
Ben Stiller- Net Worth $100 Million
Though his silly movies and characters would make you think otherwise, Stiller packs a big punch in Hollywood. He is a writer, director, actor and producer who has contributed to a range of movies from indie hits to major blockbusters. Over the course of his long career Stiller’s movies have grossed over $2 billion and he holds a reported net worth of $100 million. He served as a player and writer to ‘Saturday Night Live’ for only four episodes in 1989, but promptly left to pursue his dream of making his own movies. Stiller has given us ridiculous classics like ‘There’s Something About Mary’ and appeared on cult favourites like Wes Anderson’s ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’. He has voiced characters for the massively successful ‘Madagascar’ movies and starred in ‘A Night at the Museum’. These days Stiller continues to write and direct and is said to be in the process of releasing a sequel to the beloved ‘Zoolander’.
Mike Myers- Net Worth $175 Million
This Canadian-born actor and writer was a regular on SNL from 1989 to 1995. He created some of the most memorable characters and sketches like ‘Coffee Talk’, ‘Wayne’s World’ and German electro dance show, ‘Sprockets’. After his run on the late night show, Meyers went on to create, write and star in the ‘Austin Powers’ franchise, which grossed over $670 million worldwide. From there it was on to the animated classic ‘Shrek’ which produced five movies generating a staggering $1.4 billion worldwide. Not bad for a kid from Scarborough.
Adam Sandler- Net Worth $300 Million
Ok, it has been sometime since Adam Sandler was on ‘Saturday Night Live’. He began working on the show as a writer in 1990 and a year later began appearing in sketches live on air. Famous for his silly delivery and whacky songs Sandler’s brand of goofy comedy remains popular today. In 1995 he was fired from the show unexpectedly but fans were ready to follow him anywhere. Sandler’s Happy Madison film production company has produced movies like ‘Happy Gilmore’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, ‘Grown Ups’, ‘Click’ and ‘Mr. Deeds’. Now worth over $300 million, Sandler is likely the most successful former SNL cast member. In fact, the recently release ‘Grown Ups 2’ grossed over $240 million.