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Youngest, Oldest, Longest, Shortest: ‘SNL’ Edition

February 2, 2015

Saturday Night Live started in 1975, here are some “not ready for prime time” superlatives.

Saturday Night Live

Youngest performer

The youngest was also already well known before joining SNL. 1980s “Brat Pack” actor Anthony Michael Hall of The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles joined SNL in 1985 at age 17. (Previous record holder: 19-year-old Eddie Murphy.)

Oldest performer

Current cast member Leslie Jones is 51, and she joined the cast at age 47, slightly older than when established actor Michael McKean (Laverne & Shirley, This Is Spinal Tap) joined the cast in 1994 at age 46.

Most times hosting

Not counting his many guest appearances as President Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin has guest-hosted SNL 17 times. In second place is early-seasons favorite Steve Martin with 15 (although he’s made 15 more cameo and guest appearances).

Most frequent musical guest

Paul Simon has been the listed musical guest 10 times, but he’s not the most frequent musical performer. That would be Dave Grohl, who has appeared on SNL 12 times. With his band Foo Fighters, Grohl has appeared eight times, but he previously guested twice as the drummer for Nirvana, once with the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, and once as a guest drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. 

Former cast member most times hosting

More than 30 former cast members have back to guest host. The most frequent was Chevy Chase, who, after leaving the show in the first season for a movie career, has hosted eight times. 

Longest tenure

Darrell Hammond joined the series in 1995 and is most memorable for his impressions, particularly that of President Bill Clinton. He stayed with the show for 14 seasons, then returned at the beginning of the 2014-15 seasons to be the show’s announcer, replacing the late Don Pardo.

Shortest tenure

Writer/performer Emily Prager was hired toward the end of the 1980-81 season. She was listed in the opening credits of one episode, but didn’t appear in the show at all, and that would turn out to be the last episode of the season, due to a writers strike. Prager wasn’t asked back the next season, leaving her SNL tenure at a single episode.

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