Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ranking the SNL Cast Members from the 2008-09 Season Part 2

Posted by Double M (and Wheezy and Ross)

This is the 2nd post in my 2 post series ranking the SNL cast members from this season. You can see the first post here.

7. Darell Hammond
I'm not sure that you can really consider Darell Hammond a cast member and so it might not be fair to put him on this list. Technically, he's appeared in more SNL episodes than anyone else, but he doesn't really do much outside of political impressions anymore (If you visit Wikipedia, you can see his impressive list of impressions). So Hammond leads off the bottom of the list mainly due to the fact that he doesn't take anything away, but he doesn't really add much. In any case, here's what is probably my favorite Hammond impression and something you will definitely enjoy.

8. Casey Wilson
Casey Wilson was new in the middle of last year when she replaced Maya Rudolph (and thank God, because Rudolph was atrocious). Casey seems to be a one good skit/one bad skit actor. I'm hoping that it's mainly due to the writers (they haven't figured her out yet), so keep an eye on her. My advice to you if she shows up is hang on because you don't know what you're gonna get. All that said, I seriously couldn't find a skit that features Casey that I really enjoyed, so here's a skit she didn't mess up.

9. Seth Meyers
After Casey, it gets pretty bleak for the cast members. Seth Meyers is the head writer for SNL but he's been around for forever. As a writer, he was part of the train wreck seasons, but he's also been a part of the revival, so I'll give him credit for that. Unfortunately, great writing skills (despite the fact that he is somehow deciding to make a movie based on this horrible skit) don't save him from being an atrocious actor. If he shows up in a skit, expect worse line delivery than Jimmy Falon and worse acting than Horatio Sanz (just kidding about that last part). To be fair, he actually does the Weekend Update fairly well. Anyway, here's an example of Meyers in action:

10. Fred Armisen
The only reason Fred is still on the show this year is because he is pretty good at Barack Obama. In fact, Fred is pretty good at emulating/exaggerating real people. Why, then, is he this low on the list? Because outside of imitation, Fred can either:

1) Go drag
2) Annoy the shit out of you with his characters. Example:

If Obama is not elected, look for Armisen to not be back next year.

11. Bobby Moynihan
Bobby gets to be SNL's stereotypical fat guy for the next couple of seasons since they finally got rid of whatever bad actor was not really acting last season. He's new, so maybe there's not a lot of material to go on yet. Basically, he has just acted stupid for the most part and I have not been impressed. Bobby Moynihan has the potential to move up this list a few spots (mainly because he's new) but let's be honest, we'd all be a lot happier if he was actually replaced with Bridget Moynahan. Here's a skit that featured Bobby from last week.

** SNL Cast Members 12 through 19 were added by Ross and Wheezy**

12-14. The Cameramen

So I think there's gotta be at least three of them, so we'll give spots 12-14 to them. The reasoning for this is pretty obvious, without them we'd have to go to New York to see SNL, which isn't gonna happen very often. So their presence makes this show a lot better. In fact the only thing they could do to improve their performance would be not pointing the camera at Kenan.

15. A Bum Ross saw on the street
I know what you're saying, not fair, this guy isn't a cast or even crew member of SNL, but here's the fact. The drunk bum who asked me for change actually got a chuckle out of me. And it happened in life, last Saturday night, so technically he provided more Saturday night, live entertainment than Kenan does.

16. Key Grip
I don't even know who the Key Grip is, or what he does, but he's got to be funnier than Kenan.

17 & 18. Friends rehashing a mediocre SNL skit
Every Monday at work (or Sunday over the phone, for those of us who are unemployed) will inevitably result in at least one instance of a coworker or friend saying "Hey, did you see <insert SNL skit here> on SNL Saturday?" Followed by a retelling of the gist of the skit.

Funny? Probably not. Funnier than #20 on our list? Absolutely.

19. Michael Phelps
Yeah, I know he's a host, he's not cast. Man was he awful on the show. So bad. Such a bad choice. The guy won a bunch of Olympic Gold medals. Kenan, on the otherhand, was on Nickelodeon's "All That". I still think Phelps is a better choice than Kenan.

OK, that brings us to number 20.

12. Kenan Thompson

** End of Ross and Wheezy Modifications**

20. Kenan Thompson (Last and Least)
I could write an entire post about Kenan (I'll make you this promise right now: when Kenan is removed from SNL, I will write an ode to Kenan post for you). He is the worst SNL actor I can ever remember. He can't do impressions of black people (it should tell you something about that Fred Armisen, not the token black guy on the show, is being featured as Obama) and he can't hold it together during skits.

Sometimes people are so bad that they are kinda funny. Kenan is not one of those people. I am amazed he's back on the show this year (I guess he must have a "contract"). Perhaps the show keeps him around so they have an excuse to suck every now and then or so their new actors still aren't the worst ones on the show. I've included two videos below that demonstrate his ability to make you not laugh despite being surrounded by some very funny people. Enjoy.

And that's it for the rankings. I'm intrigued to know if you agree/disagree with me.


D Wheezy said...

I'd have put Amy Poehler at #1, but I might have a soft spot for her because of her choice in mate and her appearances on Arrested Development.

I'd also drop Andy Samberg down a notch or two. Granted, he did 'Lazy Sunday', and 'Dick in a Box'. And that one with Natalie Portman. But as you said, his appearances in skits are atrocious. And his attempts to recreate the magic of his first digital shorts make me want to punch myself in the junk.

Then again, Samberg was on AD as well. If somebody can tell me when/where I'll be impressed.

Johnny said...

Couldn't the same have been said about Samberg right after 'Lazy Sunday' came out? I can remember some terrible video with Tom Hanks and thinking he was a one trick pony then. And then a year later he had 'Dick in a Box', and last year 'Iran so Far'. Basically he's good for one video a year that will probably nail it and another 10 or so that are okay.

Double M said...

With respect to Samberg, I felt like I was pretty fair about him in the rankings - he's a poor-to-very-poor actor.

But he does come up with some funny skits. The yearly digital short breakdown really goes like this:

1 Perfect
3 Funny
2 Ok (make me laugh some)
5 Awful

The thing is the perfect skits carry (Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box are still funny) and the funny skits are still good laughs (like People Getting Punched or The Jonah Hill Skit). Even the The Mirror One was kinda funny. So I think that keeps him at 5.

Besides, who would go above him.

Anonymous said...

If they got rid of Keenan there would be no black people on the show

Ricky "Ricky Fields" Fields said...

Astute observation, anonymous

Anonymous said...

Kenan thompson has really stepped it up this year, though, with the 'Two Worlds Collide' digital short, and whats up with that I enjoy the scared straight skits, i think hes very funny in them

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