Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ class: Where are they now?
Monday night’s premiere of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” may be nerve-racking for the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, but it also has to be a bit of a relief. Since leaving “SNL” in 2003 on a wave of goodwill and buzz that the boyishly handsome charmer could be the next big thing, Fallon has struggled through a series forgettable comedies (“Taxi”).
Now he’s settling into a seat made warm by no less than David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. High expectations, yes. But just to sit behind that desk for a week puts him in the most exclusive of company. No sweat, Jimmy, as of Monday night, all your post “SNL” expectations have been fulfilled.
But what about the rest of “SNL’s” class of 2003? How are they holding up?
-- Patrick Kevin Day (Diane Bondareff / Associated Press)
Rachel Dratch ‘SNL’ cast member: 1999-2006
Best characters: Debbie Downer and Nicole, the Girl with No Gay-Dar!
Since then: Even though she was replaced as part of the regular cast of “30 Rock” before it premiered with Jane Krakowski, Dratch has appeared on 11 episodes of the show. In demand for voice work, she’s voiced characters on “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Squidbillies,” “Assy McGee,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Superjail!’ She’s currently appearing on stage in Los Angeles in the Center Theatre Group’s “Minsky’s.”
Tina Fey ‘SNL’ cast member: 2000-2006, writer starting in 1997
Best characters: “Weekend Update” anchor, Sarah Palin (in 2008)
Since then: Perhaps you’ve heard, Fey scored an Emmy trifecta last year as star, writer and producer of “30 Rock.” She also starred in the 2008 comedy “Baby Mama” with fellow “SNL” alum Amy Poehler and wrote and co-starred in “Mean Girls.”
-- Rick Porter (Evan Agostini / Associated Press)
Will Forte ‘SNL’ cast member: 2002-present
Best characters: MacGruber, idiot politician Tim Boo Calhoun
Since then: Still an SNL regular, Fortes other projects have included writing for That ‘70s Show and roles on shows including 30 Rock, and Flight of the Conchords, and the films Baby Mama, Fanboys and John Krasinskis directorial debut Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. Forte, left, co-starred with Will Arnett in the comedy “The Brothers Solomon.” More recently, the former Late Show with David Letterman writer has also done voice work for an upcoming episode of American Dad! and the new Mitch Hurwitz comedy Sit Down, Shut Up!
-- Denise Martin (Merrick Morton / TriStar Pictures)
Darrell Hammond ‘SNL’ cast member: 1995-present
Best characters: Holds the record for longest consecutive tenure of any “SNL” cast member, the most impressions (104) and the most times starting off the show with “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” Best known for his Bill Clinton, Sean Connery, John McCain, right, and Chris Matthews impressions.
Since then: Appeared on Broadway in 2007 in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Taking a darker turn, he’s now playing a killer for hire, the Deacon, on “Damages.”
-- Brill Bundy (Dana Edelson / NBC Universal)
Seth Meyers ‘SNL’ cast member: 2001-present
Best characters: “Weekend Update” anchor, Dan Needler, Nerod the receptionist, impersonations of the Dell Dude
Since then: He’s still there, but he has appeared in “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” during his downtime
-- Hanh Nguyen (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Parnell ‘SNL’ cast member: 1998-2006
Best characters:Tom Brokaw, Daniel from “Jarrett’s Room”, the “Lazy Sunday” guy.
Since then: Parnell, right, has worked steadily in both TV and movies, with a recurring role on “30 Rock” and co-starring in ABC’s " Miss Guided.” His movie credits over the last few years include “Anchorman,” “Walk Hard,” “Hot Rod” and the independent feature “The Grand” (pictured).
--Rick Porter (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Amy Poehler ‘SNL’ cast member: 2001-2008
Best characters: “Weekend Update” anchor, Sally Needler, Amber the one-legged hypoglycemic and impressions of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Katie Couric
Since then: During hiatus, Poehler appeared on “Arrested Development” (her husband Will Arnett’s defunct show), in “Blades of Glory” with Arnett as a brother-sister ice skating team and with Tina Fey in “Baby Mama.” She gave birth to a son, Archie, and stars in NBC’s upcoming comedy “Parks and Recreation.”
-- Hanh Nguyen (Brad Barket / Getty Images)
Finesse Mitchell ‘SNL’ cast member: 2003-2006
Best characters: Starkisha, a typically all-sass ghetto woman
Since then: He starred in the film Whos Your Caddy and released a DVD of his stand-up comedy, Snap Famous. Mitchell also wrote a relationship advice column for Essence magazine and in 2007 released the book Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much: A Brothers Take on Dating and Mating for Sistas.
-- Denise Martin (NBC)
Maya Rudolph ‘SNL’ cast member: on and off from 1999-2007
Best characters: Donatella Versace and Christina Aguilera
Since then: Playing mom to daughter Pearl with boyfriend, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, Rudolph has managed to squeeze in time for four episodes of “Kath & Kim” and returned to “SNL” in November to play Michelle Obama.
--Brill Bundy (Neilson Barnard / Getty Images)
Horatio Sanz SNL cast member: 1998-2007
Best characters: Member of the Boston Teens (along with Jimmy Fallon), and the obnoxious lady Carol
Since then: It hasnt been long, but Sanz had a role in Step Brothers and will appear in the upcoming ABC series In the Motherhood, which debuts March 26.
-- Todd Martens (NBC)
Jeff Richards ‘SNL’ cast member: 2001-2004
Best characters: Drunk girl, infant rapper Baby K, Gary Busey, George W. Bush, and Dr. Phil
Since then: Most notable projects include “Sheep Man,” a film written by and starring him, and MTV’s short-lived “Where My Dogs At?” cartoon. He’s set to host an upcoming benefit for world hunger at the Comedy Store.
-- Jevon Phillips (MySpace.com)
Fred Armisen SNL cast member 2002-present
Best characters: His Barack Obama impression won him accolades, but Gunther Kelly, his musical non-expert, is a highlight to any “Weekend Update.”
Since then: Armisen is still on SNL, but that hasnt stopped him from taking on a number of extracurricular activities. He can be seen in a variety of projects, ranging from cult projects such as Flaming Lips movie Christmas on Mars to more mainstream fare, including The Rocker and Baby Mama.
-- Todd Martens (Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC)
Keenan Thompson ‘SNL’ cast member: 2003-2009
Best characters: Bill Cosby, DJ Dynasty Handbag, Virginica Hastings and impersonations of Star Jones
Since then: He’s appeared alongside Samuel L. Jackson in “Snakes on a Plane,” did some voice-over work in " Space Chimps,” watched Ice Cube cut hair in “Barbershop 2" and starred in the live-action comedy “Fat Albert.”