'SNL' characters that still make us laugh


It may feel like “Saturday Night Live” has been around forever, and let’s face it -- it kind of has.

The sketch show, which debuted in 1975 on NBC, has been giving America late-night laughs ever since, bringing with it a host of talented actors and comedians and, of course, unforgettable characters.

With the 43rd season underway, let's look back at some of the more notable recurring characters to grace the "SNL" stage.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon)

Though not technically characters, Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon's parody of 2016 presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are already the clear highlight of season 43. Besides having the voice and mannerisms (and for Baldwin, the hair) down pat, these "political" appearances in cold opens have made this "SNL" season worth tuning in to.

Stefon (Bill Hader)

Perhaps Bill Hader’s most memorable character, Stefon brought out the laughs -- and character breaks -- during “Weekend Update.” With writers including John Mulaney changing up the script, Stefon’s wild recommendations for “New York’s hottest club” would crack up even Hader himself.

Dooneese (Kristen Wiig)

One of the sisters from the Finger Lakes, who performs on the “Lawrence Welk Show” (well, the "SNL" version), this lady is quite the interesting performer. In each appearance, Dooneese attempts to seduce the male lead of the performance, with very unfortunate luck. Outfitted with baby doll hands and a very twisted mind, Kristen Wiig’s character has definitely left an impression -- or perhaps scarred -- many "SNL" fans.

"The Californians" (Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig and more)

One of the most loved recurring sketches of recent seasons, faux dramatic soap "The Californians" follows Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig's tumultuous relationship, complete with California Valley accents, and many explanations of directions.

Target Lady (Kristen Wiig)

“Approved!” You may have given Kristen Wiig’s signature line a go yourself, but only she can master the bowl cut, red vest-wearing Target Lady, who brought joy and laughter into all of our lives -- all while being an extremely nosy cashier.

"Bronx Beat" (Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph)

Maybe the reason we all say “sweatah weathah,” Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph's daytime talk show, “Bronx Beat,” featured gum-chewing New Yorkers Jodi and Betty, who chatted about the latest pop culture, politics, and -- of course -- how much Jodi loves her husband.

Debbie Downer (Rachel Dratch)

Depressingly hilarious is probably the best way to describe this Rachel Dratch character. Debbie Downer has made appearances at multiple social functions, from Thanksgiving dinner to a trip to Disney World, all while reminding us of the disease and horrors that plague our world.

Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon)

Molly Shannon's Catholic student is nearly unforgettable -- she had a sing-off with Whitney Houston, after all. Mary Katherine Gallagher swings in the balance of being a superstar and being extremely clumsy -- all while trying to conquer her crippling stage fright.

Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar (Mike Myers, Dana Carvey)

Party time, excellent: Every generation seems to know the theme to "Wayne's World," an "SNL" sketch-turned-movie franchise that follows the friendship of Wayne and Garth on their public access TV show. Complete with catch phrases and lots of laughs, these two characters are fan favorites.

The Spartan Cheerleaders (Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri)

Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri's characters chould bring the spirit to any school function -- even a chess tournament. Though hilarious, the choreography mastered by Ferrell and Oteri is also quite impressive.

Matt Foley (Chris Farley)

Chris Farley’s run on "SNL" was all but perfection, and some can argue that the most memorable Farley moments come from motivational speaker Matt Foley. Known to compel young teens not to do drugs and end up living in a van down by the river, this Farley character generally caused all other actors in the scene to break character.

Church Lady (Dana Carvey)

“Well, isn’t that special…” Dana Carvey’s now infamous Church Lady -- also known as Enid Strict, has even made recent appearances on "SNL." Showing us the world of “Church Chat” and reminding us of all of our sins, Carvey’s character is one to remember.

Ed Grimley (Martin Short)

Martin Short’s cowlicked character is the epitome of what the performer brought to the variety show in the ‘80s -- ridiculous comedy. Ed Grimley's passion for game shows, pop culture and the triangle made for a great recurring sketch which even led Short to bring Ed to life in an animated series.

Wild & Crazy Guys / Festrunk Brothers (Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd)

Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd’s paisley-sporting, finger-wagging characters with “many swinging adventures" brought the laughs during the early years of the show. The Festrunk brothers recently came back to "SNL" on a dating show sketch with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake’s Digital Short characters from “Mother Lover" (and that other clip involving boxes).

Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner)

This character comes courtesy of original cast member Gilda Radner. Roseanne Roseannadanna, outfitted with larger-than-life hair, made several "Weekend Update" appearances to answer letters and give straightforward life advice -- all in good humor, of course.

 

 

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