The SNL cast members of the 80's was formed following a tumultuous moment in SNL history. The last of the original SNL cast members left the show at the beginning of the decade, leaving Peter Aykroyd, Tom Davis, Jim Downey, Brian Doyle-Murray, Al Franken, Don Novello, Tom Schiller Paul Shaffer, and Alan Zweibel to perform the 1980 season. The 1981 season saw a nearly complete revamp of the SNL cast, and introduced several members who stayed with the show for the first several years of the decade.

  1. Eddie Murphy became an SNL cast member in 1980 and remained with the show as a repertory player until 1984. His notable characters included Gumby, Buckwheat, and Mr. Robinson. The 1980s saw Murphy rise to stardom, not only through his work with "Saturday Night Live", but also a blossoming television and film career.

  2. Joe Piscopo was well-known for his celebrity impressions as an SNL cast member. Among them were impressions of Frank Sinatra. He also did the sports cast for the "Saturday Night Live Newsbreak". He was with the show from 1980 to 1984.

  3. Mary Gross joined the SNL cast in 1981, following the shows near-miss with cancellation in 1980. While performing on SNL, she was a "Weekend Update" anchor, and played a wide range of characters, including Alfalfa, Siobhan Cahill, Chi Chi, and Celeste. She went on to act in a wide range of film and television comedies after her departure in 1985.

  4. A. Whitney Brown is an Emmy Award-winning performer who joined the SNL cast in 1985. His appearance on the show followed an exodus of the previous cast members, who left the show with executive producer Dick Ebersol. His most notable work on SNL was as part of a two-man team with Dennis Miller. Together, they hosted a "Weekend Update" segment called "The Big Picture".

  5. Nora Dunn joined the cast in 1985, and was one of only five cast members to maintain employment after the season's terrible ratings. Characters on the show included talk show host Pam Stevens and a French prostitute, Babette. She went on to work in both film and television.

  6. Jon Lovitz is perhaps one of the better-known SNL cast members of the 80's. He worked on the show from 1985 to 1990, and went on to comic success in both film and television. His work on SNL won him two Emmy Awards, and included the characters of Tommy Flanagan, Mephistopheles, Master Thespian, and Michael Dukakis. By the end of his time with SNL he had received a $500,000 film contract.

  7. Dennis Miller's talk show career began in 1985 when he became the anchor for "Weekend Update". He is well-known for his biting commentary, a trait which has allowed him a long-running career as a talk-show host and television commentator.

  8. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who may be best-known for performing on a show about nothing, joined the SNL cast in 1982 and left in 1985 with the rest of the cast. While on "Saturday Night Live", Louis-Dreyfus met Larry David. The two would go on to join forces with Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards to create one of the most successful television series of all time. She is a two-time Emmy Award-winner, a five-time Screen Actors' Guild Award Winner, and recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

  9. Dana Carvey is widely known for his celebrity impersonations, and is one of the longest-running SNL cast members. He joined the show in 1986, and remained there for eight subsequent years. His best-known characters include the Church Lady and Garth, who is one half of the starring duo in "Wayne's World". His George Bush, Sr. impersonation was iconic during Bush's presidency.

  10. Kevin Nealon was an SNL cast member from 1986-1995. His characters included Franz of Hans and Franz with Dana Carvey and Mr. Subliminal. He also anchored "Weekend Update". Along with SNL, he has appeared in a number of television shows and films, including seven seasons playing opposite Mary-Louise Parker.