Jamie Neish: SNL is still a source of movie stars

Billy Crystal. Pic: Comp
Billy Crystal. Pic: Comp
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SATURDAY Night Live celebrated its 40th anniversary earlier this week with a special extended episode, packed with sketches, skits and musical numbers.

Created by Lorne Michaels, Saturday Night Live (or SNL as it’s more commonly known) originally premiered on NBC in 1975. It’s since become a mainstay on American television.

But it’s not only the show that’s enjoyed lasting success. The central cast, too, which changes every couple of years, have also started out strong on SNL, often going on to bigger and better things.

Take comedy legend Billy Crystal (pictured), for example. Crystal had a spot in the SNL cast for a year between 1984 and 1985 before taking Hollywood by storm and starring in such classics as When Harry Met Sally, City Slickers, Analyze This and Monsters, Inc.

There are plenty of other actors and actresses whose careers were boosted by the show too. Joan Cusack was a cast member, as was Jimmy Fallen, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy. He enjoyed a steady post-SNL career until quite recently when everything went a little quiet amid tabloid rumours and legal issues.

The long and short of it is that SNL is a terrific platform for comedy performers. It may have weathered some storms over the years, but it feels like an institution that would be sorely missed if it came to an end.

To prove how beneficial SNL has been to the film world, you only need to look towards Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters redo. The four cast members all have ties with SNL.

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