No Right Answer: Best Post SNL Career Ever

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Best Post SNL Career Ever

Saturday Night Live has given the world many great comedians, but sometimes it's hard to shake off the ball and chain of where you came from. Which comedian has done it best?

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You guys are definitely right about the real winner being Tina Fey. She is pretty and an awesome actress.

You're scoring system is not calibrated correctly; punching Chevy Chase has to be worth at least 5.

Cue 300 comments about Dan Aykroyd and Chris Rock. I'm just glad you mentioned Tina Fey at the end, or the internet might have exploded in rage.

Next you should do who had the best post Daily Show career.

an annoyed writer:
You guys are definitely right about the real winner being Tina Fey. She is pretty and an awesome actress.

Very True.

It's kinda unfair to pit them together only because neither career is entirely over but one has been around for significantly longer than the other. Oddly enough, this was used as both a positive and negative for Bill Murray. He did own a decade but has also become significantly less relevant today whereas Will Ferrell is all over the place now but of course doesn't have the massive history of classics to his name that Murray has been able to build up by being around for decades more. They're simply two different generations and the question is whether or not this seasons is Will's peak in the same way Murray's decade was back then or does Will have a lot more up his sleeve to come.

Good topic, it's at least making me think about it.

I do agree that, of the choices presented, Bill Murray is the better pick. However, I was kind of surprised that Chris Rock wasn't in the running. While maybe not as accomplished as Mr. Murray, the overall shift in popularity is much more drastic with Chris Rock. He went from forgettable SNL cast member to superstar comedian in the matter of a few years after his departure.

The problem with Chris Rock is that he's not really known as a SNL cast member like Ferrell or Murray. If you're going to include Chris Rock, you might as well go with Robert Downey Jr.

I'm not a huge lover of Will Ferrell, didn't realise people hated him though. To me all his movies play like SNL movies. They all feel like a sketch that's just been stretched out to 90 minutes with one note jokes instead of characters thrown in for support. They all have that "This guy was on top, now he's not, now he's trying to get back on top" plot that kind of fits that idea as well.

That being said Bill Murray is disqualified despite being one of my favourite performers. The debate is best post SNL career, considering Murray punched Chase during his time at SNL how could things possibly get any better for him? You cure cancer, it's still all down hill from "that time you totally punched Chevy Chase in the mouth."

Heck just for female cast members I'd go with Jane Curtin over Tina Fey any day. Although again if its any cast member I'd go Julia Louis Dreyfus over both.

Matt K:
Heck just for female cast members I'd go with Jane Curtin over Tina Fey any day. Although again if its any cast member I'd go Julia Louis Dreyfus over both.

You phrased that weird. Like if you had to pick a woman then Jane Curtin but if it was opened up then Julia Louis Dreyfus. Sounds like you're saying she's a man.

I DID NOT WANT THAT!

And really, I'm fairly certain that the debate ended at Ghostbusters.

el_kabong:
I do agree that, of the choices presented, Bill Murray is the better pick. However, I was kind of surprised that Chris Rock wasn't in the running. While maybe not as accomplished as Mr. Murray, the overall shift in popularity is much more drastic with Chris Rock. He went from forgettable SNL cast member to superstar comedian in the matter of a few years after his departure.

Chris Rock has a successful career but was nowhere as insanely popular as Bill or Will. They pitted two explosive careers together and that's really the way to do it. Adam Sandler also had an explosive career for awhile then but it burnt out too quickly whereas Chris has a solid career without the huge explosive successes.

Spot1990:

Matt K:
Heck just for female cast members I'd go with Jane Curtin over Tina Fey any day. Although again if its any cast member I'd go Julia Louis Dreyfus over both.

You phrased that weird. Like if you had to pick a woman then Jane Curtin but if it was opened up then Julia Louis Dreyfus. Sounds like you're saying she's a man.

Oh no. What I was going for is that out of all the female cast members Dreyfus has the best post SNL career but unlike Fey or Curtin she's not known for being on SNL so I wouldn't have counted her. The post was mostly that only going with female castmember I'd pick Curtin over Fey any day. Both would loose to Murray though.

An interesting choices would have been Eddie Murphy although he had more than enough flops that I'm not sure he could come close to winning but then again his 80's and 90's output (excluding 48 hrs as it's pre-SNL) was pretty strong. Al Franken would probably be my number one pick though. Not much for acting, but writing and even his political career should put him up there.

For people not known for being on SNL but were, Billy Crystal, RDJ, Anthony Michael Hall, Christopher Guest, Laurie Metcalf (Rosanne and Desperate Housewives), Sarah Silverman, Ben Stiller, and Paul Shaffer (Late Show, toured with Springsteen, musical director for Olympics and Rock Hall Induction) would all be interesting choices as well.

Will Farrell? Why Will Farrell? He has put out almost exclusively garbage since SNL. Many better alums, mostly older cast, who have been in much better work post SNL.

There's one scoring category that I'm glad did not come up. A: it's not a very good yardstick, and B: I think the winner in that category might not be either Bill or Will. That category is box office success. Measured by $ or adjusted for inflation $ or just asses in seats... I think the winner in that category, post SNL, (I'd have to do the research) but I'd bet it's Eddie Murphy. Which is why I'm glad that topic got left out. Because I rank Bill higher in terms of career than Eddie. I'm not a good person to ask about judging Farrell though, I just can't stand him and hate every movie he's in (except possibly the figure skating one) so I'm not really fit to judge him in a contest.

Tina Fey is always a winner in my book.

Also, I think I speak for many when I say that I can't wait for Anchorman 2.

Of the two i'd pick Bill Murray too. Will Ferrel does not seem to have that acting range. At least not right now.

The man needs to stop playing the idiot man child in his movies and get serious once in a blue moon.

Lightknight:
It's kinda unfair to pit them together only because neither career is entirely over but one has been around for significantly longer than the other. Oddly enough, this was used as both a positive and negative for Bill Murray. He did own a decade but has also become significantly less relevant today whereas Will Ferrell is all over the place now but of course doesn't have the massive history of classics to his name that Murray has been able to build up by being around for decades more. They're simply two different generations and the question is whether or not this seasons is Will's peak in the same way Murray's decade was back then or does Will have a lot more up his sleeve to come.

Good topic, it's at least making me think about it.

Yes, this is all what I was thinking. I would have liked if this topic could have been separated into Old SNL leavers and their careers vs. the more New SNL batches and those people who left and their careers compared to each other. It is unfair to put an Old SNL person against a newer batch SNL person simply because they haven't had the same amount of time to amass a list of accolades in their "after" career.

Lightknight:

el_kabong:
I do agree that, of the choices presented, Bill Murray is the better pick. However, I was kind of surprised that Chris Rock wasn't in the running. While maybe not as accomplished as Mr. Murray, the overall shift in popularity is much more drastic with Chris Rock. He went from forgettable SNL cast member to superstar comedian in the matter of a few years after his departure.

Chris Rock has a successful career but was nowhere as insanely popular as Bill or Will. They pitted two explosive careers together and that's really the way to do it. Adam Sandler also had an explosive career for awhile then but it burnt out too quickly whereas Chris has a solid career without the huge explosive successes.

I don't want to bring race into this, but being of a non-white ethnic background, I was the 'odd one' for loving Bill Murray (Geek life before anything else, yo)

The movies of his you did not see or probably didn't even know about won out huge for other audiences. So saying that Chris Rock isn't insanely popular... well, depends on your perception.

Bill Murray today (though really funny in movies and supposedly not that good of a person in real life) is more or less relevant because of the meme of Bill Murray being awesome. Much like why people in this decade knowing who Chuck Norris is because of a internet meme. If you didn't have the meme, I'm near sure no one would have ever remembered him unless you're a fan of martial arts films. Especially if you were born at any time after the 80's.

I put money down if someone could find a good internet meme for Chris Rock right now, the next time he'd make a movie it would do ten times as better. Hell, Snakes on a Plane despite being horrible beat out Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby on it's opening weekend. Doing 20 Million in sales even though it was a horrible concept.

... seriously, if one unleashes snakes on a plane to kill one guy, one should realize most of the people will be killed, if not all. And if all the people are killed, then the plane crashes because no pilot... So why not just set the plane to crash? One would think it would cost a lot less, be a lot less dangerous to herd up, and planes crash all the time. I think someone who notices a bunch of dead planes in the ocean would think that's odd and will do a follow up...

A movie staring Will Farell that has romance, slapstick comedy, subtle comedy, and overwhelming sense of dread? That's Stranger than Fiction right there. Maybe Will Farell has been doing a lot of man-child things, but that one movie proved to me that he has quite a range in there that remains untapped. It's like Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's just so completely the opposite of his usual persona that it just blows you away how he could pull that off. Bill Murray may be good, but I get bored watching him now. "Morose" is spot on.

But Tiny Fey wins. Always. Love her.

What no love for Victoria Jackson... ha ha ha ha ha. Can't even do it.

Will Farrell! I'll always give him Anchorman

Phil Hartman.

Very well known for his SNL career, and very well known for his post-SNL work. If not for his death, I think he would still be a major player in the comedy business. Newsradio is still one of my favorite sitcoms of all time.

the abyss gazes also:
What no love for Victoria Jackson... ha ha ha ha ha. Can't even do it.

Victoria Jackson was awesome. She was a member of the crew that I enjoyed the most in the late 80's and early 90's.

I am suprised that nobody threw out Eddie Murphy. He had a good movie run. Dan Akroyd also did well, but his career seemed to be overshadowed by Bill Murray's. Adam Sandler? Happy Gilmore to Punch Drunk Love. He's been successful.

My personal favorite SNL player was Phil Hartman. But I guess he only did a few minor roles in movies and TV after SNL. And then he got murdered, so that didn't go well for him. Bill McNeil was an awesome character.

ObsidianJones:
Bill Murray today (though really funny in movies and supposedly not that good of a person in real life) is more or less relevant because of the meme of Bill Murray being awesome. Much like why people in this decade knowing who Chuck Norris is because of a internet meme. If you didn't have the meme, I'm near sure no one would have ever remembered him unless you're a fan of martial arts films. Especially if you were born at any time after the 80's.

The difference there being Chuck Norris has never done anything decent in his career while Bill Murray is in movies most people know and legitimately love. To say Bill Murray is only popular because of the meme is overlooking the fact that for a lot of people actually do have a lot of respect for his work. I mean I was born in 1990 and I've been a fan of Bill Murray a lot longer than I've had an internet connection. And Rushmore and Lost In Translation came out after the 80's. Two hugely popular films, it's not hard to imagine people watching those and looking back at his early work and appreciating it.

I would have to give this one to Bill Murray. Mostly because I don't like Will Ferrel;.

DVS BSTrD:
Next you should do who had the best post Daily Show career.

an annoyed writer:
You guys are definitely right about the real winner being Tina Fey. She is pretty and an awesome actress.

Very True.

Best post Daily Show Career?? Hmmmm, Stephen Colbert versus Steve Carell? Interesting. I'd watch that episode.

And yes, Tina Fey won this round, hands down. That is my only problem with this show. When there IS a clear right answer, the guys generally ignore it and argue about the second and third place entries. They did the same thing with "Best Movie Trilogy".

But I pick at nits. Sometimes it's fun to watch a debate on second vs third place, when first place is obvious.

DVS BSTrD:
Next you should do who had the best post Daily Show career.

an annoyed writer:
You guys are definitely right about the real winner being Tina Fey. She is pretty and an awesome actress.

Very True.

If you didn't make a follow-up pun for Tina Fey, then she must be good, and I agree. Her and Amy Poehler.
OT: I just KNEW Bill Murray would win! Ghostbusters was the game breaker in the debate, and anyone who was in Ghostbusters can do no wrong.

I'm an old fogey, so to me this isn't even a close race. Bill Murray blows Will Ferrel away. Stranger Than Fiction was pretty awesome, but Will Ferrel's movies tend to be very, very same-y. I like a few of his comedies (Anchor Man of course, as well as Step Brothers) but he's got nothing at all on What About Bob, Groundhog Day and, need I even say it, freaking Ghostbusters!

One can argue that Ferrel hasn't had the time to put together as impressive a record as Murray, but unless he breaks out of doing these same-y roles, he'll never get there.

Also, I LOVE Tina Fey, but I'd still not pick her over Murray.

Oh and people saying Tina Fey, this isn't who's your favourite former SNL alumni, this is who has had the best career and let's face it the stuff we care about is 30 Rock and maybe Mean Girls which doesn't count because it was during her time at SNL. The rest of her career is really pretty meh. I'm looking forward to whatever writing work she odes next and maybe in 5 years or so she will be the winner. Since leaving SNL apart from 30 Rock (where she only wrote one and half season's worth of episodes but that's pretty standard for these kinds of shows) and her autobiography she's written an SNL sketch and that's it. Besides Date Night and Megamind she's only really played bit parts. Like I said, she's probably more talented than the two but give it a few years before we say she wins.

shiajun:
A movie staring Will Farell that has romance, slapstick comedy, subtle comedy, and overwhelming sense of dread? That's Stranger than Fiction right there. Maybe Will Farell has been doing a lot of man-child things, but that one movie proved to me that he has quite a range in there that remains untapped. It's like Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's just so completely the opposite of his usual persona that it just blows you away how he could pull that off. Bill Murray may be good, but I get bored watching him now. "Morose" is spot on.

But Tiny Fey wins. Always. Love her.

I agree completely, that film really caught me off guard! Also I find Maggie Gyllenhaal weirdly attractive, but that might just be because the first thing I saw her in was secretary haha.

Spot1990:

ObsidianJones:
Bill Murray today (though really funny in movies and supposedly not that good of a person in real life) is more or less relevant because of the meme of Bill Murray being awesome. Much like why people in this decade knowing who Chuck Norris is because of a internet meme. If you didn't have the meme, I'm near sure no one would have ever remembered him unless you're a fan of martial arts films. Especially if you were born at any time after the 80's.

The difference there being Chuck Norris has never done anything decent in his career while Bill Murray is in movies most people know and legitimately love. To say Bill Murray is only popular because of the meme is overlooking the fact that for a lot of people actually do have a lot of respect for his work. I mean I was born in 1990 and I've been a fan of Bill Murray a lot longer than I've had an internet connection. And Rushmore and Lost In Translation came out after the 80's. Two hugely popular films, it's not hard to imagine people watching those and looking back at his early work and appreciating it.

Good films don't really spark this generation's adoration as much as something catchy does. There are exceptions everywhere to be sure. I know I am.

Chris Rock made good films, good shows, and a good documentary. Did stand up a few times there too. Of course, it falls under taste, as we can't go to something that's clear cut. Not even sales. Death at a funeral only made 2 million less than Lost in Translation (Death at a Funeral=Domestic: $42,739,347 vs Domestic Total Gross: $44,585,453 for Lost in Translation). I think personally Lost in Translation probably beats the pants off of Death at a Funeral, but do I disagree with thousands of people? And if I do, does that make me 'right'? I mean how do we even judge this?

Do we go to taste? I couldn't even be bothered to see Death at a funeral. I liked Lost in Translation, but Good Hair kept me entertained, informed, and I connected to it than either. Do we go by what the masses say? What if I don't agree with the Masses? Does that make me wrong?

If we try for 'Best' in anyway, we have to talk something arbitrary like revenue. Bill probably doesn't win in that regard. Will had a lot more blockbusters. Anything else can be countered with "You count Lost in Translation/Expendables 2/Good Hair/Anchorman as a good movie? I don't agree". Like I said in my original post, It's a matter of perspective.

ObsidianJones:
The movies of his you did not see or probably didn't even know about won out huge for other audiences. So saying that Chris Rock isn't insanely popular... well, depends on your perception.

Insanely popular is not the same as having explosive acting successes. He's VERY popular and I'd say his name has reached household status. He seems to also be doing quite well financially and is one of the funniest people I've heard. That doesn't mean he's been the lead in huge blockbuster films, though.

I'd posit that his lack of explosive successes would be related to racial or cultural factors as you seemed to indicate. I find that mildly humorous as his material is great and often relevant no matter what color a person's skin is and his appeal could have been every bit as universal as Chappelle's (man, I miss Chappelle Show). But I guess he's been typecast in a kind of way that is publically percieved as not being for other races. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be seen as one of the faces of a demographic, but when that demographic represents less than 13% of the population you're in (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_United_States#Race_and_ethnicity) then that can translate into less visibility and therefore less financial success. Who knows though, maybe I'm wrong and he's just not as funny or as good of an actor as I think he is and it has nothing to do with racial/cultural factors. I have to admit that Will Smith followed a similar period of acting and has arrived at a significantly different level of success than Rock appears to have reached. So maybe it's something more that I'm missing? His willingness to bravely engage sensitive topics like race and politics may have had something to do with it. If they really did mean "Best post SNL CAREER" and not just public face time then maybe none of that matters and he would be a better choice than Will. But I think Bill would still win at this point.

In any event, I'd say Chris has done more behind the camera than most other people. He's a prolific and excellent writer (holy crap if Every Body Hates Chris isn't one of my all-time favorite shows), a wonderful comedian, and a potentially decent director (time will tell) and a successful voice actor. But as far as actual face time and lead movie roles (like I assume they were talking about here, explosiveness as an actor), it's pretty sparse. I'm not 100% sure that Chris Rock's peak has been reached yet though.

What do you think? I'd be very interested in an alternate view of that.

In reference to the post you made while I was composing this. It's all well and good to compare individual successes, but that was only one of Bill's movies compared to one of Rock's best.

Gorrath:
Than Fiction was pretty awesome,

You know, I'm glad other people think this too. I thought the movie really had something to it and Will was great in it. It's one my favorites of his work.

Al Franken.

Owned a liberal talk show network. Now a US Senator.

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