One of the shows that has influenced a lot people’s taste in comedy is Saturday Night Live. While not everyone will necessarily agree with the statement up top, it’s undeniable that the almost fifty year old sketch comedy show has been a stepping ground for a lot of comedians. Just being on the show can be kind of a big deal for those that get cast on the show. You’re being given the chance to show your performing skills in front of millions of people for weeks on end. While so much has changed in the comedy landscape, what with YouTube and TikTok being the place most people put out content, SNL is still a lot of comedians first ever work on television.
There was a period during the ’80s when creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels left the show. It seemed that he was pretty burnt out from doing at the show at that point and wanted to do other things. Most of the cast and crew also left because of it. Critics didn’t necessarily like the latter season of the first part of Lorne’s tenure at the show. So during the summer break, NBC decided to offer the showrunner position to then-associate producer Jean Doumainian. Her tenure only lasted that one season. But a few of the cast members she hired that season would still be involved for the seasons when Dick Ebersol took over the role.
Eventually, Lorne came back just before the start of 1985–1986 television. Similarly to Jean Doumanian’s tenure, the show came with an entirely new set of cast of members because wanted to have a younger cast. Bear in mind, when SNL started in 1975, almost everyone in the cast and writing staff, including Lorne, were roughly in the same age range. It’s kind of insane that at one point of the show’s history, one of the cast members in Season 11 would have played an integral part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
One of the cast members that Lorne Michaels hired when he came back was Jon Lovitz. He was one of the few cast members that he hired in Season 11 that he kept for the following season. Somehow, that season would a sort of return to form for the show. Having Lovitz in cast along with Nora Dunn, Dennis Miller, A. Whitney Brown, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Victoria Jackson and Kevin Nealon in that ensemble just seemed to make sense, in a way. During his tenure on the show, he did a lot of recurring characters including [insert characters here].
After leaving SNL in 1990, Jon went on to do a lot of work on film and television. I think being show on national TV for five or so years will definitely put your name out there. Like I said at the top of the post, the show is still a good place to become known by people, whether it’s the audience or the industry. Having your name and face be prominent during the title sequence definitely helps people remember you better. Actually getting screentime on the show definitely magnifies that by a lot.
Even though Jon didn’t really have a lot of lead roles in the later part of his career, he still gets a decent amount of work whether in front of the camera or as a voice in an animated series. There’s something about his voice that lends well to animated characters. It’s just naturally expressive. He still gets asked to come back to do cameos on Saturday Night Live or even host sometimes. And it’s sort of rare for them not to come back to the place that helped your career. At this point, Jon Lovitz has an estimated net worth of $53,000,000.
It’s definitely harder now for a lot of cast members that get hired at SNL to have the level of fame that the cast from previous eras had. So much has changed in the media landscape in Hollywood that the projects that those previous cast members didn’t aren’t as prevalent anymore compared to the past 30 years or so. While it’s still great to be hired on a show that’s easily available for people to watch in the United States, there’s definitely a challenge for them to lead a movie or television show.
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