Stardom on Saturday Night Live doesn’t necessarily equal stardom after leaving 30 Rock. Dana Carvey and Darrell Hammond were made for SNL but aren’t likely to be in Hollywood blockbusters. (Except Wayne’s World, of course.) It’s easy to forget that Joe Piscopo was once huge.
A lot of players who are busy on SNL carve out nice niches for themselves. Or end up in the Senate.
What about those who go from SNL obscurity to success elsewhere? Splitsider, which covers and analyzes SNL in vivid detail (but is too harsh about last season), came up with a fun list: Eight ‘SNL’ Cast Members Who Went from Sidelined to Success.
You could nit-pick a little with Chris Elliott — like Janeane Garofalo and Michael McKean, he was already established but was shoved into a cast in which the long-serving Chris Farley, Adam Sandler and David Spade were simply ruling the roost and doing their worst work on the show.
I might add Jay Mohr, Gilbert Gottfried, Casey Wilson and Damon Wayans.