'SNL 40th Anniversary Special': Some famous faces missing from the show

'SNL 40th Anniversary Special': Some famous faces missing from the show
Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri in an old "Saturday Night Live" sketch. Ferrell turned up for Sunday's 40th anniversary special on NBC, while Oteri attended but didn't perform. (Mary Ellen Matthews / AP)

Live from New York ... it was many but not all of the people who starred on "Saturday Night Live"!

NBC's 3 1/2-hour "Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special" was a ratings monster, with 23.1 million total viewers overall according to Nielsen.



4:47 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that Al Franken, who worked on "Saturday Night Live" for 12 seasons as a writer-performer and is now a U.S. senator from Minnesota, did not attend the 40th-anniversry show. Photographs from the event suggest that he did attend, although he did not perform or appear onstage. NBC has yet to confirm his presence.


The live extravaganza was packed with "SNL" cast members past and present, including Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Garrett Morris, Billy Crystal, Kristin Wiig, Jane Curtin, Will Ferrell, Martin Short and many more. There were live performances by Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.

But devoted "SNL" fans also noticed that a few famous faces were MIA in the frequent shots panning across the formally attired crowd. And some former cast members were given short shrift in the clips memorializing the show's greatest hits.

Some mainstays of the cast during the 1990s attended the show but did not appear in any of the live bits. That included Nora Dunn, Chris Kattan, Cheri Oteri, Chris Parnell and Rob Schneider.

But there were surprising no-shows. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who spent three seasons on the show in the early '80s. Viewers on Sunday learned pretty much zero about her tenure on the show, although she went on to much greater fame on "Seinfeld." She currently stars in HBO's "Veep."

Dennis Miller — who spent six seasons on "SNL" — was seen in a clip behind the "Weekend Update" anchor desk, but he didn't turn up for the celebration.

And then there's a long list of performers who made marks on the show but were not at the anniversary special and appeared fleetingly if at all in clips: Jim Breuer, A. Whitney Brown, Joan Cusack, Mary Gross, Tim Kazurinsky, Mark McKinney and Harry Shearer.

What did you think of "SNL40"? Did you miss a favorite performer?

Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT