Fans were surprised when “SNL” said goodbye to newcomers Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells, John Milhiser and Nasim Pedrad earlier this week.) But with the NBC sketch show entering its 40th season, Wheelan and the other featured departed players might not feel so bad to see how these famous alumni did after their short stints.
(1980-1981) Though let go on SNL only after one season, Gottfried’s shrieking voice is unforgettable – he lent it to Disney’s “Aladdin” as the annoying parrot Iago as well as appearing in several movies throughout the 1990s and 2000s.
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(1984-1985): After making her mark as one of the SNL’s youngest cast members, Louis-Dreyfus continued keeping people laughing — usually about nothing. Louis-Dreyfus' role as Elaine on NBC’s laffer “Seinfeld” is still being syndicated 20 years later since it originally aired. She is also an Emmy winner on HBO's "Veep."
(1984-1985) Crystal didn’t let his termination on SNL slow him down. The funny man turned to the silver screen and went on to star in “When Harry Met Sally” and “City Slickers.” Younger generations might recognize his voice from “Monsters Inc.” as Mike Wazowski.
(1985) After being fired for taking too much creative license with his character, Wayans teamed up with his family to create the variety show “In Living Color,” act in a handful of comedies and star in the early 2000s ABC show “My Wife and Kids.”
(1985-1986) Academy Award-nominated Cusack took to the movies after her stint on SNL, appearing in “Addams Family Values,” “Toy Story” films, and headed back to TV for Showtime’s hit “Shameless.”
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Robert Downey Jr.
(1985-1986) Though he could not save his place on the SNL cast list, Downey went on to save the world in “Avengers” and “Iron Man” movies, solve mysteries in the “Sherlock Holmes” installments and on the softer side – was “Ally McBeal’s” love interest on the hit TV show.
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Anthony Michael Hall
(1985-1986) Following his geek role in “The Breakfast Club,” Hall didn’t last long on SNL. Regardless, the Brat Pack star went on to somewhat darker roles in “The Dark Knight,” “Edward Scissorhands,” and “Stephen King’s: Dead Zone.”
(1989) After only being on SNL for a month, Stiller seems like he got the last laugh, stirring up laughs in “Meet the Parents” films, “Zoolander” and “Madagascar.”
(1993-1994) Twenty years after her short stint on SNL, Silverman has continued to keep people laughing through her memorable TV appearances, notably in “Bob’s Burgers,” “Louie” and most recently “Masters of Sex.” She even went on to get her own funny show on Comedy Central.
(1993-1995) Mohr followed his SNL career with memorable roles in “Jerry Maguire,” “Pay It Forward,” and “Street Kings.” Today he runs his own show — hosting “Jay Mohr Sports,” a daily sports radio talk show on Fox Sports Radio.
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(1995-1996) After leaving SNL, Koechner found sunny skies by appearing in both installments of “Anchorman” alongside SNL castmate Will Ferrell and developing a dysfunctional working relationship with Steve Carrell in NBC’s “The Office.”