Richest 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Members of All Time
"Saturday Night Live" has kept audiences laughing around the world since its first season in 1975, thanks to cutting-edge humor and a talented cast.
From the beginning, SNL has filled its roster with great young comedians and been the launching pad for some of the biggest movie stars in the world. You could see someone in the cast one year and headline a movie the next year.
With that fame comes big money, making former SNL cast members some of the wealthiest people in Hollywood. These are the richest "Saturday Night Live" cast members of all time and how they made their fortunes.
32. Will Forte — $14 Million
Born: June 17, 1970 (Alameda, California)
Years on SNL: 2002-10
Best SNL character: MacGruber
Bottom Line: Will Forte
Will Forte made his bones as a writer on hit TV shows like "3rd Rock From the Sun" and "That '70s Show" before making the leap to acting when he was hired by Lorne Michaels to join the SNL cast in 2002.
While Forte's forays into the film world haven't gone so well, he's had his most success on TV outside of SNL, and he currently stars in "MacGruber" on Peacock, a role that originated during his time on SNL.
Best Non-SNL Role: Philip Tandy Miller, 'The Last Man on Earth'
Forte's breakout role was in the television series "The Last Man On Earth," for which he was nominated for two Emmy Awards. The post-apocalyptic comedy lasted for four seasons and 67 episodes on Fox from 2015 to 2018.
A solid runner-up was a starring role alongside Bruce Dern in director Alexander Payne's 2013 film "Nebraska," which was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
30. Andy Samberg — $20 Million (Tie)
Born: Aug. 18, 1978 (Berkeley, California)
Years on SNL: 2005-12
Best SNL character: "Dick in a Box" digital short alongside Justin Timberlake
Bottom Line: Andy Samberg
It's a little surprising Andy Samberg isn't higher on this list. He's spent the decade since leaving SNL in 2022 as the star of both a hit TV series with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and a steady stream of feature films.
Samberg won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Comedy in 2013 for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and was also nominated for two Critics Choice awards for his role as Detective Jake Peralta.
Best Non-SNL Role: Nyles, 'Palm Springs'
Andy Samberg leveled up to movie-star status when he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy for his role in "Palm Springs" in 2021.
The film itself was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy.
30. Maya Rudolph — $20 Million (Tie)
Born: July 27, 1972 (Gainesville, Florida)
Years on SNL: 2000-07
Best SNL character: Bronx Beat Ladies alongside Amy Poehler
Bottom Line: Maya Rudolph
One of the most well-respected and talented performers in SNL history, Florida native Maya Rudolph won an Emmy Award for her brilliant portrayal of vice president Kamala Harris on SNL.
Rudolph's success goes far beyond the small screen. She's been in box-office hits like "Bridesmaids" and "Grown Ups" along with its sequels alongside fellow former SNL stars like Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider.
Best Non-SNL Role: Lillian Donovan, 'Bridesmaids'
Former SNL stars Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig teamed up in the 2011 comedy "Bridesmaids" — and it was Rudolph who was at the center of one of the more memorable scenes of all time. You know ... the one where they're trying on wedding dresses.
"Bridesmaids" was a smash hit at the box office, making $288.4 million against a budget of approximately $30 million. It was part of an amazing run of hits for Rudolph. From 2010 to 2013, she starred in four films that made $976.6 million at the box office.
28. Kristen Wiig — $25 Million (Tie)
Born: Aug. 22, 1973 (Canandaigua, New York)
Years on SNL: 2000-12
Best SNL character: Mindy Grayson
Bottom Line: Kristen Wiig
One of the greatest SNL cast members of all time, Kristen Wiig's stardom has continued to rise since she left the show in 2012.
Wiig was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy and an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the 2011 film "Bridesmaids" starring alongside fellow SNL alum Maya Rudolph. The comedy was also a box-office hit, earning $288.4 million at the box office against a budget of approximately $30 million.
Best Non-SNL Role: Annie Walker, 'Bridesmaids'
Kristen Wiig found a breakout role in "Bridesmaids'" alongside fellow SNL alum Maya Rudolph, kicking off a decade where Wiig became a legitimate movie star. It's legit to discuss "Bridesmaids" among the greatest comedies of all time.
The pandemic took some of the steam out of Wiig's movie career as she was set to level up in "Wonder Woman 1984." The sequel to the 2017 film that made almost $900 million at the box office was released straight to streaming on HBO Max in December 2020.
28. Jason Sudeikis — $25 Million (Tie)
Born: Sept. 18, 1975 (Fairfax, Virginia)
Years on SNL: 2005-13
Best SNL character: Joe Biden
Bottom Line: Jason Sudeikis
Jason Sudeikis carved out a niche on SNL with spot-on impersonations of political figures like Joe Biden and Mitt Romney.
The Kansas City native and former college basketball player spent two seasons as a writer for SNL before joining the cast in 2005 and stayed for eight seasons.
Best Non-SNL Role: Ted Lasso, 'Ted Lasso'
Jason Sudeikis came upon the role of a lifetime in the Apple+ series "Ted Lasso" beginning in 2020.
He won back-to-back Golden Globe Awards as the American football coach turned soccer coach.
27. Seth Myers — $26 Million
Born: Dec. 28, 1973 (Evanston, Illinois)
Years on SNL: 2001-14
Best SNL character: SNL "Weekend Update" anchor
Bottom Line: Seth Myers
While fellow SNL cast member Tina Fey received the lion's share of the praise for her impersonation of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2008, it was cast member Seth Myers who was pulling the strings behind the scenes as the writer of those skits. He was the one who wrote the famous line "I can see Russia from my house."
Myers eventually got his due and proper appreciation as the host of SNL's "Weekend Update."
Best Non-SNL Role: Himself, 'Late Night with Seth Myers'
Seth Myers' success as the host of "Weekend Update" on SNL translated perfectly into his job as the host of "Late Night with Seth Myers" since 2014. "Late Night" puts Myers in familiar territory with SNL honcho Lorne Michaels serving as the show's producer.
Myers reportedly earns $12 million per year for hosting "Late Night." Good work if you can get it.
26. Dana Carvey — $28 Million
Born: June 2, 1955 (Missoula, Montana)
Years on SNL: 1986-93
Best SNL character: The Church Lady, Garth Algar
Bottom Line: Dana Carvey
Dana Carvey wasn't just one half of the "Wayne's World" phenomenon on SNL alongside Mike Myers. Carvey also was the person behind the iconic Church Lady character as well as the owner of one of the greatest impersonations in SNL history with his take on President George H.W. Bush.
Carvey's career was mostly a success until the release of the film "The Master of Disguise" in 2002. Widely considered one of the worst films of all time, Carvey didn't appear in another movie until 2011.
Best Non-SNL Role: Garth Algar, 'Wayne's World'
Few sketches have defined SNL like "Wayne's World," which starred Mike Myers as Wayne alongside best friend/co-host Garth, played by Dana Carvey.
The role would also come to signify the biggest movie role of Carvey's career when he played the character in a pair of films. The original "Wayne's World" film in 1992 grossed almost $200 million at the box office against a budget of just $20 million.
24. Amy Poehler — $30 Million (Tie)
Born: Sept. 16, 1971 (Newton, Massachusetts)
Years on SNL: 2001-08
Best SNL character: Bronx Beat ladies alongside Maya Rudolph
Bottom Line: Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler cofounded the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade in Chicago in the early 1990s before the group eventually got its own show on Comedy Central in 1998.
Poehler was on SNL by 2001 and was the co-anchor of SNL "Weekend Update" for her last four years on the show.
Best Non-SNL Role: Leslie Knope, 'Parks and Recreation'
Amy Poehler's biggest success came as the star of NBC comedy hit "Parks and Recreation" for seven seasons, where she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Television Series in 2013.
"Parks and Recreation" ran for seven seasons and 126 episodes and was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series twice.
24. Paul Shaffer — $30 Million (Tie)
Born: Nov. 28, 1949 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years on SNL: 1979-80
Best SNL character: Unofficial musical director
Bottom Line: Paul Shaffer
Paul Shaffer's role on SNL was largely that of music as well. He was the unofficial music director and appeared in many sketches as well. Most notably, Shaffer was the first person in SNL history to accidentally utter the "F" word on live television, which he did during a sketch alongside Bill Murray, Harry Shearer and John Belushi in 1980.
Best Non-SNL Role: Himself, 'Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman'
The world knows Paul Shaffer as the musical director for the entirety of David Letterman's run on late-night television, on "Late Night with David Letterman" and the "Late Show with David Letterman" for 33 years from 1982 to 2015.
23. Damon Wayans — $35 Million
Born: Sept. 4, 1960 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1985-86
Best SNL character: None
Bottom Line: Damon Wayans
Damon Wayans shot to fame on a sketch comedy show after a disastrous one-year stint on SNL.
Wayans was famously fired from SNL by Lorne Michaels after just 11 episodes when he chose to ignore Michaels' direction and began to improvise during a live sketch. But it wasn't long before Wayans became a household name as a member of "In Living Color" from 1990 to 1992,
He parlayed that success into a pretty spectacular film career in the early 1990s, including hits like "The Last Boy Scout" and "Major Payne."
Best Non-SNL Role: Jimmy Dix, 'The Last Boy Scout'
If we're making a list of the greatest action movies of all time, we have to include "The Last Boy Scout" starring Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans — a grab-you-by-the throat box-office hit directed by the legendary Tony Scott.
What's interesting about "The Last Boy Scout" is that screenwriter Shane Black ("Lethal Weapon") was paid a record $1.75 million for the script, which he wrote after taking a two-year break from writing triggered by the end of a relationship.
22. Martin Short — $40 Million
Born: March 26, 1950 (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)
Years on SNL: 1984-85
Best SNL character: Ed Grimley
Bottom Line: Martin Short
Canadian comedian Martin Short spent just one season on SNL. And that was all he really needed.
Short was credited with breathing new life into the show in 1984-85 while it was on life support, reeling off a string of iconic characters that propelled him into a film career that has been pretty hit or miss. But it has kept going since the mid-1980s, which is saying something.
Best Non-SNL Role: Oliver Putnam, 'Only Murders in the Building'
If you haven't watched Hulu's brilliant "Only Murders in the Building," there's plenty of time to catch up before Season 2 debuts in June 2022.
Some casting directors deserve all the accolades, because the pairing of Steve Martin, Selena Gomez and Martin Short as the over-the-top Broadway composer Oliver Putnam is absolute magic.
21. Christopher Guest — $45 Million
Born: Feb. 5, 1948 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1984-85
Best SNL character: Frankie of Frankie and Willie
Bottom Line: Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest didn't have a long stay on SNL. But those in the know understand Guest is the all-time king of mockumentaries — from "This Is Spinal Tap" to "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show."
Guest has been married to actress Jamie Lee Curtis since 1984. He hasn't made a film since the mockumentary "Mascots" for Netflix in 2016.
Best Non-SNL Role: Nigel Tufnel, 'This Is Spinal Tap'
The late 1970s were chock-full of super-serious rock documentaries like "The Song Remains the Same" and "The Last Waltz." The 1984 film "This is Spinal Tap" took them all to the woodshed with a mockumentary about a fictional rock band.
At the heart of "Spinal Tap" was first-time director Rob Reiner, who went on to become one of the most successful box-office directors of all time, and Christopher Guest gets to deliver the film's most iconic line: "These go to 11."
19. Chevy Chase — $50 Million (Tie)
Born: Oct. 8, 1943 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1975-76
Best SNL character: SNL "Weekend Update" anchor
Bottom Line: Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase became a household name as a member of the original cast in 1975-76, most notably as the anchor of SNL "Weekend Update" with the iconic line "I'm Chevy Chase … and you're not."
Chase is also one of the most controversial figures in SNL history. He left the show midway through the 1976-77 season to pursue a film career and hosted the show seven times before he was permanently banned in 1997 after being abusive with staff and cast members.
Best Non-SNL Role: Clark Griswold, National Lampoon's 'Vacation' Series
Chevy Chase had a roller-coaster film career, including iconic roles in "Fletch" and "Caddyshack" that were followed up by sequels to each film that are widely considered two of the worst sequels of all time.
Chase's most revered role has been as family man Clark Griswold, which he first played in "National Lampoon's Vacation" in 1983. He reprised the character three more times over the next decade-plus.
19. Jim Belushi — $50 Million (Tie)
Born: June 15, 1954 (Chicago, Illinois)
Years on SNL: 1983-85
Best SNL character: That White Guy
Bottom Line: Jim Belushi
The younger brother of the late, great comedian John Belushi has had a pretty phenomenal career of his own, including two seasons on SNL in the mid-1980s.
Belushi smartly found supporting roles in hit films through the 1980s, including "Trading Places" and "About Last Night." Those roles opened the door to him becoming a leading man on films in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He became a TV star in the early 2000s with "According to Jim," which ran for 182 episodes from 2001 to 2009.
Belushi now grows cannabis full-time on a farm in Oregon.
Best Non-SNL Role: Principal Rick Latimer in 'The Principal'
It's OK if you're shaking your head at this one. We get it. But true action movie fans know that Jim Belushi's role as a principal at a "war zone" high school in "The Principal" is one for the ages.
You can even make a pretty good argument that the reason Belushi shines is because of co-star and Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman") and director Christopher Cain, who had the biggest hit of his career one year later with "Young Guns" in 1988.
16. Chris Rock — $60 Million (Tie)
Born: Feb. 7, 1965 (Andrews, South Carolina)
Years on SNL: 1990-93
Best SNL character: Nat X
Bottom Line: Chris Rock
American audiences first met Chris Rock as a cast member of SNL in the early 1990s, when he shared an office with Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and David Spade in what may have been the most iconic grouping of comedic talent. Ever?
Rock left SNL but never abandoned his standup comedy roots, making some of the most iconic standup specials of all time, including "Bigger and Blacker" in 1999 and "Never Scared" in 2004.
Rock has hosted the Academy Awards twice, in 2005 and 2016, although he will probably forever be known for what happened at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Best Non-SNL Role: Andre Allen, 'Top Five'
The little-seen 2014 film "Top Five" starring Chris Rock was the comedian's shot at Oscar gold. The film earned three Critics Choice Awards nominations for Best Comedy, Rock for Best Actor in a Comedy and co-star Rosario Dawson for Best Actress in a Comedy.
Rock shows another side of himself that we had never really seen in one of his roles, where he plays a character you might say is loosely based on himself.
16. Billy Crystal — $60 Million (Tie)
Born: March 14, 1948 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1984-85
Best SNL character: Fernando Lamas
Bottom Line: Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal actually had a sketch cut from the first episode of SNL in 1975 but returned as a cast member in 1984-85, where he quickly became famous for his portrayal of Fernando Lamas as a talk show host. If you were alive in the mid-1980s and heard people saying "You look … mahvelous!" to each other, that was all Crystal.
Following SNL, Crystal's career became a rocket ship, making him one of the bigger comedy stars of the late 1980s and early 1990s with hits like "City Slickers" and its sequel, along with "When Harry Met Sally" alongside Meg Ryan.
Best Non-SNL Role: Harry Burns, 'When Harry Met Sally'
If we're ranking the greatest romantic comedies of all time, we have to put "When Harry Met Sally" toward the top of the list. You'll do a double-take when you read the credits for this film that include a screenplay by Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner as director, and it was Reiner's life Ephron based much of Crystal's role as Harry on.
In an incredible case of Hollywood sliding doors, Tom Hanks, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton and Albert Brooks were all offered the role of Harry and turned it down before Reiner turned to Crystal, who was his best friend at the time.
16. Jimmy Fallon — $60 Million (Tie)
Born: Sept. 19, 1974 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1998-2004
Best SNL character: Barry Gibb on The Barry Gibb Talk Show
Bottom Line: Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Fallon shot to fame as a member of the SNL cast beginning in 1998, where he was eventually cohost of SNL's "Weekend Update" and eventually left the show for a film career that didn't quite go as planned, most notably with lead roles in critically-reviled movies with "Taxi" in 2004 and "Fever Pitch" in 2005.
Best Non-SNL Role: Himself, 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon'
Jimmy Fallon has become more successful as the host of late-night talk shows than he ever was on SNL or in film roles — first as the host of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," then becoming the host of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" beginning in 2014, for which he's reportedly paid a whopping $16 million per year.
The producer of both talk shows? SNL honcho Lorne Michaels.
14. David Spade — $70 Milion (Tie)
Born: July 22, 1964 (Birmingham, Michigan)
Years on SNL: 1990-96
Best SNL character: Total Bastard Airlines flight attendant ("Buh-bye!")
Bottom Line: David Spade
David Spade got his start as a writer for SNL before moving into the main cast, where his ability to play a diverse range of characters made him a key member of the cast for six seasons.
Spade has shown a knack for picking hits since leaving SNL in 1996 — mostly by sticking to being a member of ensembles. He was nominated for an Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award during a seven-season run on "Just Shoot Me" and knocked out 100 episodes on "Rules of Engagement" from 2007 to 2013.
Best Non-SNL Role: Richard Hayden, 'Tommy Boy'
The late, great comedian Chris Farley had one movie where he was truly great — the 1995 comedy "Tommy Boy" opposite David Spade.
The thing about "Tommy Boy" is that for all of Farley's brilliance, it doesn't work without having Spade as his foil. That chemistry was fostered working on SNL, so a lot of the credit goes there.
14. Tracy Morgan — $70 Million (Tie)
Born: Nov. 10, 1968 (Brooklyn, New York)
Years on SNL: 1996-2003
Best SNL character: Astronaut Jones
Bottom Line: Tracy Morgan
Tracy Morgan beat out Stephen Colbert for the final cast spot on SNL in 1996 and made the most of the opportunity, becoming one of the show's most well-known players for the next seven seasons.
Morgan struck comedy gold when he was cast as a parody of himself in "30 Rock" — a show created by fellow SNL alum Tina Fey as a direct parody of the comedy sketch show the two once starred in.
Morgan was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on "30 Rock" in 2009.
Best Non-SNL Role: Tracy Jordan, '30 Rock'
Tina Fey knew exactly what she was doing when she cast comedian Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan in the critically acclaimed comedy series "30 Rock" — because the character was based directly on Fey's own experiences working alongside Morgan on SNL.
For his work on the show, Morgan was nominated for an Emmy Award and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards.
13. Tina Fey — $75 Million
Born: May 18, 1970 (Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania)
Years on SNL: 2002-06
Best SNL character: Sarah Palin
Bottom Line: Tina Fey
SNL proved to be the perfect launchpad for the career of Tina Fey, who is most well-known for her scathing impersonations of former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin beginning during her run for office in 2008.
Fey's riches and fame quickly extended beyond SNL. She wrote and costarred in the hit 2004 film "Mean Girls" and created the hit television series "30 Rock" for NBC. Fey has won nine Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and in 2010 became the youngest winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Best Non-SNL Role: Liz Lemon, '30 Rock'
Tina Fey took meta to a new level when she created, wrote, directed and starred in "30 Rock" for 139 episodes over seven seasons — a show based directly on her experiences working on SNL.
"30 Rock" became one of the most critically acclaimed television comedies of all time, and set the record with 22 Emmy Award nominations in 2009.
For her work on "30 Rock" Fey won three Golden Globe Awards and six Emmy Awards.
12. Harry Shearer — $85 Million
Born: Dec. 23, 1943 (Los Angeles, California)
Years on SNL: 1979-80, 1984-85
Best SNL character: None
Bottom Line: Harry Shearer
Harry Shearer's time on SNL was not pleasant. He famously butted heads with Lorne Michaels and the rest of the staff during his first stint in 1979-80 and returned to face some of the same problems in 1984-85.
Shearer has had some big success away from SNL. He cowrote the classic comedy "This Is Spinal Tap" as well as costarred in the mockumentary.
Best Non-SNL Role: Ned Flanders/Mr. Burns, 'The Simpsons'
Harry Shearer has made the bulk of his fortune from his work on "The Simpsons," where he's been one of the main voice actors on the cast since the show began airing in 1989.
In that vein, Shearer has voiced two of the most iconic characters on the show — the evil Mr. Burns, Homer Simpson's boss, and the Simpsons' long-suffering neighbor, Ned Flanders.
11. Dennis Miller — $100 Million
Born: Nov. 3, 1993 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Years on SNL: 1985-91
Best SNL character: Himself as host of SNL "Weekend Update"
Bottom Line: Dennis Miller
No role on SNL is more coveted than becoming the host of SNL's "Weekend Update," and Dennis Miller is arguably the person who did it better than anyone else.
Miller had a few stops and starts in his film and television career but eventually found his best role traced back to SNL — playing himself.
Best Non-SNL Role: Himself, 'Dennis Miller Live'
After leaving SNL, Miller fell flat with a syndicated talk show that only lasted seven months, but found his footing with "Dennis Miller Live" on HBO, which lasted nine seasons and 215 episodes, bringing home five Emmy Awards in that time.
10. Will Ferrell — $160 Million
Born: July 16, 1967 (Irvine, California)
Years on SNL: 1995-2002
Best SNL character: Gene Frenkle (the cowbell guy)
Bottom Line: Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell was part of a group of comedians and writers who brought SNL back to life in the mid-1990s after being handpicked by Lorne Michaels from the comedy improv group The Groundlings.
Ferrell's seven-season run on SNL was made up of one iconic moment after another, and he parlayed that success into becoming one of the biggest movie stars in the world in the early/mid-2000s with a string of box-office hits, including "Talladega Nights," "Anchorman," and "Elf."
Best Non-SNL Role: Ron Burgundy, 'Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy'
Will Ferrell has starred in some of the biggest comedies of the last 20 years, and while our personal favorite film of his is "Step Brothers," that's more of a 1-2 punch with longtime collaborator and Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly.
If you're just putting a movie on Ferrell's shoulders, you have to point to "Anchorman" as the time he created a character so iconic that it will probably be the role he's associated with the most, no matter what happens next.
9. Bill Murray — $180 Million
Born: Sept. 21, 1950 (Evanston, Illinois)
Years on SNL: 1977-80
Best SNL character: Nick the Lounge Singer
Bottom Line: Bill Murray
Bill Murray made his bones as a writer and performer on SNL in the late 1970s — he won an Emmy Award for writing on SNL — before becoming an A-List movie star in the early 1980s.
Known for roles in blockbuster comedies like "Stripes," "Ghostbusters" and "Caddyshack," Murray eventually showed his dramatic chops in the early 2000s when he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in "Lost in Translation" opposite Scarlett Johansson, with the film also nominated for Best Picture and Best Director and winning Best Original Screenplay for writer/director Sofia Coppola.
Best Non-SNL Role: Bob Harris, 'Lost in Translation'
Few actors are able to change the perception of themselves after 30 years in the business. Bill Murray did so in 2003, when he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in "Lost in Translation" opposite Scarlett Johansson.
The film also was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director and winning Best Original Screenplay for writer/director Sofia Coppola.
5. Ben Stiller — $200 Million (Tie)
Born: July 1, 1952 (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Years on SNL: 1989
Best SNL character: Tom Cruise parody in "The Hustler of Money" (short film)
Bottom Line: Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller's run on SNL didn't last very long. He was part of the cast for a total of four episodes before he left the show because of its refusal to let him continue to make short films. In Stiller's defense, that was why the show hired him in the first place.
Stiller was whip-smart about what was next. He became a success making short parody videos for MTV. That led to the network offering him "The Ben Stiller Show," which aired its second season on Fox.
Stiller spent the 1990s and 2000s as one of the biggest comedic stars in the world thanks to hits like "There's Something About Mary" and the "Meet the Parents" trilogy of films, which earned approximately $1.15 billion at the box office.
Best Non-SNL Role: Director, 'Escape at Dannemora'
We're purposely swerving here. Of course, the easy thing to do would be to pick one of Ben Stiller's roles in any number of blockbuster, iconic comedies over the years. Most notably "There's Something About Mary" and "Meet the Parents" come to mind, or maybe even "Zoolander," which he also wrote and directed.
What most people don't know about Stiller is that he is a wonderful director, and his Showtime series "Escape at Dannemora" was one of the best limited series of all time. In a testament to his talent as a director, the series starred a pair of Academy Award winners in Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette, along with Golden Globe Award nominee Paul Dano.
5. Dan Aykroyd — $200 Million (Tie)
Born: July 1, 1952 (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Years on SNL: 1975-79
Best SNL character: Irwin Mainway
Bottom Line: Dan Aykroyd
Dan Aykroyd became one of the biggest comedy actors in the world thanks to his team-ups with fellow SNL cast member Eddie Murphy in "Trading Places" and Bill Murray in "Ghostbusters." The two films combined to make approximately $420 million at the box office in the early 1980s.
Aykroyd, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1990 for "Driving Miss Daisy," has made a fortune with investments outside of show business. He's one of the founders of the House of Blues chain of restaurants/concert venues.
Best Non-SNL Role: Elwood J. Blues, 'The Blues Brothers'
Despite being in some of the biggest comedy blockbusters of the 1980s, we still have to go back to Dan Aykroyd's role in "The Blues Brothers" opposite John Belushi as his most iconic.
That "The Blues Brothers" delivered the goods is kind of a miracle in itself. Aykroyd's script took almost six months to write and had to be essentially rewritten by director John Landis in order to be filmed, and Belushi's partying almost derailed production at several different points.
One of the most expensive comedies of all time, "The Blues Brothers" was a hit, grossing $115 million at the box office and making untold more millions in rentals.
5. Eddie Murphy — $200 Million (Tie)
Born: April 3, 1961 (Brooklyn, New York)
Years on SNL: 1980-84
Best SNL character: Mr. Robinson
Bottom Line: Eddie Murphy
One of the most well-known actors and greatest comedians of all time, Eddie Murphy was only 19 years old when he got his start on SNL in the early 1980s. He famously killed five extra minutes of air time at the end of one show by doing a standup routine — the same routine he'd done in his audition for SNL.
By the time Murphy ended his run on SNL in 1984, he'd reached a level of fame few ever experience. At that time, he was arguably the biggest movie star in the world thanks to hits like "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Trading Places."
Best Non-SNL Role: Axel Foley, 'Beverly Hills Cop'
We're singling out Eddie Murphy's role in "Beverly Hills Cop" just because that's when he became arguably the biggest movie star in the world. The role that was developed for Sylvester Stallone became Murphy's signature role.
Made for just $13 million, the original "Beverly Hills Cop" grossed $316 million, making it the highest-grossing film of 1984. And Murphy was only 23 years old.
Its sequel, released in 1987, grossed $276.5 million at the box office.
5. Mike Myers — $200 Million (Tie)
Born: May 25, 1963 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years on SNL: 1989-95
Best SNL character: Wayne Campbell
Bottom Line: Mike Myers
While we haven't heard from Mike Myers in quite some time, it's worth pointing out that his time on SNL in the early 1990s transitioned into a period in which he was one of the biggest movie stars in the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Myers' ascent to the top of the Hollywood food chain began with his SNL success and the success of the "Wayne's World" film based on his most famous character, late-night public access TV host Wayne Campbell.
The "Wayne's World" film was made for just $20 million and made almost $200 million at the box office in 1992.
Best Non-SNL Role: Austin Powers, 'Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery'
Mike Myers hit A-List status in Hollywood with the release of the comedy "Austin Power: International Man of Mystery" in 1997, which spawned two sequels.
Myers, playing the time-traveling titular spy character, also produced and wrote the films, which grossed almost $700 million at the box office.
4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus — $250 Million
Born: Jan. 13, 1961 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1982-85
Best SNL character: Patty Lynn Hunnsucker, teenage correspondent
Bottom Line: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
When Julia Louis-Dreyfus ended her three-year run on SNL in 1985 she was just a few years away from taking on one of the most iconic roles in comedy history as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld" from 1989 to 1998 although she carved out another iconic role on HBO's "Veep" which ran from 2011 to 2019.
Best Non-SNL Role: Elaine Benes, 'Seinfeld'
It was on "Seinfeld" where Julia Louis-Dreyfus became a household name — and also where she made the bulk of her fortune.
She and the three other main cast members, Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards, each earned a reported $80 million when the show went into syndication in the early 2000s.
3. Robert Downey Jr. — $300 Million
Born: April 4, 1965 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1985-86
Best SNL character: None
Bottom Line: Robert Downey Jr.
No one could have predicted the earth-shattering highs and devastating lows awaiting Robert Downey Jr. when he spent one miserable season on SNL in 1985-86. Rolling Stone once selected him as the worst SNL cast member of all time.
But by the early 1990s, Downey Jr. was an Oscar nominee after his brilliant turn in "Chaplin." However, by the end of the decade, his career was in tatters after his drug addiction led to a series of disturbing arrests.
Best Non-SNL Role: Tony Stark/Iron Man, Marvel Cinematic Universe
Robert Downey Jr. put his career back together in the 2000s, becoming the center of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Tony Stark/Iron Man. He was reportedly paid $75 million for "Avengers Endgame" in 2019 in his last turn as the character.
Starting with the original "Iron Man" film in 2008, Downey played the role in 10 films over an 11-year stretch. Together, those films grossed a staggering $12.4 billion at the box office.
2. Adam Sandler — $420 Million
Born: Sept. 9, 1966 (New York, New York)
Years on SNL: 1991-95
Best SNL character: Operaman
Bottom Line: Adam Sandler
We predict it won't be long before Adam Sandler overtakes No. 1 on this list. He recently signed a $250 million deal with Netflix to continue creating movies for the foreseeable future.
Sandler has been the star behind some of the biggest comedies of the last 30 years. And we first got to know him for four years on SNL in the early 1990s, as part of some of the most iconic casts in the show's history.
What's next for Sandler? He has two or possibly three movies coming out in 2022.
Best Non-SNL Role: Howard Ratner, 'Uncut Gems'
Let's say the most important part up front. Adam Sandler should have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as jewelry store owner/gambling addict Howard Ratner in "Uncut Gems" in 2019.
Sandler should have been a no-brainer over at least two Best Actor nominees that year — Antonio Banderas ("Pain and Glory") and Jonathan Pryce ("The Two Popes").
Here's hoping Sandler gets his due one of these years.
1. Lorne Michaels — $500 Million
Born: Nov. 17, 1944 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Years on SNL: 1975-80, 1985-present
Best SNL character: Himself
Bottom Line: Lorne Michaels
You might say we're cheating by putting the creator of SNL in the list of cast members, but we say he's been on screen enough over the years (mostly as himself) that Lorne Michaels has to be here.
The fact that he was behind perhaps the most famous on-screen moment in SNL history probably qualifies him. Michaels famously offered The Beatles $3,000 to perform on SNL in 1976. Little did he know John Lennon and Paul McCartney were together in New York, watching the show, and almost actually took him up on the offer.
Best Non-SNL Role: Producer, 'The Tonight Show' and '30 Rock'
Lorne Michaels is best known as the producer and creator of SNL, but the man has seemingly found a way to get more out of the 24 hours in a single day than anyone. Maybe ever.
Take into account that he is also the producer of Golden Globe Award-winning shows "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "30 Rock" as well as being the producer on 25 feature films since 1980, including eight films based off of SNL characters.
That's a lot of starmaking. And it's paid off.