15 Celebs Who Rose to Fame After Being Fired From Saturday Night Live

Mar 20, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. ET
Jenny Slate 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards
Image: Christopher Patey/Getty Images

With 43 seasons and 150 featured cast members so far, it's no surprise NBC's long-running comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live has a truly fascinating history — one that's been covered in countless memoirs (two are Tina Fey's and Amy Poehler's), podcasts (WTF with Marc Maron has many SNL-centric episodes) and, more specifically, the national bestseller (and beast of a book) Live From New York, a complete and uncensored history of the show, straight from the mouths of its stars, writers and guests themselves. 

To start, did you know there's believed to be an SNL curse? Basically, once you leave the cast, you have a higher chance of an early death. How morbid is that? John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Chris Farley and Phil Hartman (among others) are believed to be victims of the curse. They definitely died young: 33, 42, 33 and 49, respectively.

And have you heard of the F-Bomb Club? You do not want to be part of this club, either, especially if you're a cast member. Sam Rockwell and Kristen Stewart are two of the most recent celebs to join it by accidentally dropping the F-bomb when they appeared as hosts on the show. Lucky for them, they weren't part of the cast, or they would have gotten fired. It's true; producer Lorne Michaels has a very low tolerance for cursing on live TV (for good reason). 

For instance, remember when Jenny Slate, a cast member from 2009-2010, dropped the F-bomb on her very first on-air skit? She never quite lived it down because she eventually got fired for doing it.

For some, getting fired might signal the end of their career, but not for these former SNL cast members. In fact, getting the ax helped boost them to fame and stardom. 

Here are 15 SNL cast members who got fired and made it big.

1 /13: Rob Riggle

Rob Riggle Spike TV 10th Annual Guys Choice Awards
Image: FayesVision/WENN

1/13 :Rob Riggle

2 /13: Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans PaleyFest 2016
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2/13 :Damon Wayans

3 /13: Jenny Slate

Jenny Slate SFFILM Festival
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3/13 :Jenny Slate

4 /13: Robert Downey Jr. & Anthony Michael Hall

Robert Downey Jr Spider-Man Homecoming premiere
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4/13 :Robert Downey Jr. & Anthony Michael Hall

5 /13: Norm Macdonald

Norm MacDonald 2015 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day
Image: WENN

5/13 :Norm Macdonald

6 /13: Sarah Silverman

2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards
Image: Brian To/WENN

6/13 :Sarah Silverman

7 /13: Adam Sandler & Chris Farley

Adam Sandler and Chris Farley
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7/13 :Adam Sandler & Chris Farley

8 /13: Laurie Metcalf

Laurie Metcalf AARP The Magazines Movies for Grownups Awards
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8/13 :Laurie Metcalf

9 /13: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus HBO Emmy Party 2017
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9/13 :Julia Louis-Dreyfus

10 /13: Joan Cusack

Joan Cusack 2013 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards
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10/13 :Joan Cusack

11 /13: Chris Rock

Chris Rock 2016 Emmys
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11/13 :Chris Rock

12 /13: Casey Wilson

Casey Wilson 2014
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12/13 :Casey Wilson

13 /13: Taran Killam & Jay Pharoah

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah
Image: WENN

13/13 :Taran Killam & Jay Pharoah