Lorne Michaels’ “Saturday Night Live” — which was deemed one of the 50 best shows of all time by TV Guide and has bragging rights to 86 Emmy Awards — has been giving us giggles since 1975. Some argue the 2000s were the funniest era of its entire run. From Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s take on “Weekend Update” to Maya Rudolph as Beyonce and Donatella Versace to Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer, pop culture has really never been the same since! Join Wonderwall.com as we check up on them and more of our favorite merrymakers to find out what the most hilarious “SNL” comedians from the NBC sketch-comedy show’s aughts era are up to now…
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Rachel Dratch appeared on “Saturday Night Live” from 1999 to 2006 during which she played one of the sketch-comedy show’s most memorable characters of all-time: Debbie Downer. She also portrayed numerous celebrities and characters including “wicked” Boston teen Denise, Harry Potter, Drew Barrymore, Martha Stewart, Elizabeth Taylor and Britney Spears. She’s made several other appearances on the show since leaving her main-player role, most famously and recently to take on Senator Amy Klobuchar.
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Rachel Dratch has enjoyed a steady presence on the big and small screens for years post-“SNL,” appearing on dozens of TV shows including “The Middle” and “Broad City” and in movies like “Click,” “Spring Breakdown” alongside pal and fellow “SNL” alum Amy Poehler (Rachel also co-wrote it) and the 2021 Hallmark Christmas parody “A Clüsterfünke Christmas” on Comedy Central with former “SNL” co-star Ana Gasteyer (Rachel co-wrote that one too). She authored a book in 2012, “Girl Walks into a Bar…: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle,” in which she discussed her surprise pregnancy with son Eli — whose dad is her now-ex, natural food industry consultant John Wahl — at 44 in 2009. She also opened up about being recast on the hit series “30 Rock” — Rachel was the original Jenna Maroney, a role that went to Jane Krakowski.
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Jason Sudeikis was hired as a sketch writer on “Saturday Night Live” in 2003 and served as a cast member from 2005 to 2013. He played a variety of roles from a total jerk on the “Two A-H****” sketches with Kristen Wiig to one-half of the Jon Bovi “Weekend Update” music duo with Will Forte to the Adidas track suit-clad dancer on the “What Up Wit That?” sketch to politicians including Joe Biden and Mitt Romney.
Though Jason Sudeikis went on to star in successful movies like “Horrible Bosses 2” and “Angry Birds” and pop up on TV shows like “Last Man on Earth” and “Detroiters,” these days, he’s best known for his hit Apple TV+ comedy series “Ted Lasso,” which he developed, writes and stars in. The series broke records as the most nominated freshman comedy in Emmys history in 2021 with 20 nods; Jason took home a best actor in a comedy statue (he also won at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards in 2021) as well as a best comedy series Emmy as a producer. He returned to “SNL” in 2021 as a host. From 2011 to 2020, Jason was in a relationship with actress-director Olivia Wilde — they were engaged but never wed — with whom he shares two children, Otis and Daisy. In 2021, he moved on with “Ted Lasso” co-star Keeley Hazell.
Maya Rudolph ruled the “SNL” screen from 2000 to 2007 and has made several cameos throughout the ensuing years. Who can forget her as Jodi Deitz co-hosting “Bronx Beat” alongside Amy Poehler’s Betty Caruso? Or as Shonda the game show beauty in “Super Showcase Spokesmodels”? And then there’s her incredible celebrity impersonations of everyone from Beyonce (seen here, with Fred Armisen as Prince) and Donatella Versace to Paris Hilton, Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand.
Post-“SNL,” Maya Rudolph appeared in a slew of movies including the “Grown Ups” franchise and “Bridesmaids” and lent her voice to films including the “Angry Birds” movies, “Big Hero 6,” “The Lego Movie 2,” “Luca” and more. She’s done a lot of TV work too and won Emmys in 2020 and 2021 for her voiced characters on the animated sitcom “Big Mouth” and for her guest performances on “SNL” as both a host and for her portrayal of now-Vice President Kamala Harris during the last presidential campaign. She also scored three nominations for her work on “The Good Place.” Since 2001, the comedienne has been partnered with filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, with whom she has four kids: Pearl, Lucille, Jack and Ida.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the first female anchorwomen team on the “Saturday Night Live” “Weekend Update” sketch — they made us laugh behind the desk from 2004 to 2006 — but the two actually met in 1993 at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic and became BFFs. Four years after Tina landed a writing gig on “SNL” in 1997 (she went on to become the NBC show’s first female head writer), Amy came on board. They’ve since been on magazine covers together, starred in multiple movies together, hosted the Golden Globes together multiple times — and Tina even devoted an entire chapter of her book “Bossypants” to Amy called “I Don’t Care If You Like It (One in a series of love letters to Amy Poehler).” Tina left in 2006 and Amy left in 2008, though both have returned for guest spots since.
After joining NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” as small-town public servant Leslie Knope in 2009, Amy Poehler became a mainstream comedy star. She earned multiple Emmy nods for her work on the show, which wrapped in 2015, as well as nominations for writing and producing the TV series “Russian Doll” starring Natasha Lyonne and for her hosting work alongside “Parks and Rec” co-star Nick Offerman on “Making It.” Amy, who’s also starred in films including “Inside Out,” “Sisters” (with Tina Fey) and “Moxie” since leaving “SNL,” won an Emmy along with Tina in 2016 after they returned to guest host “SNL” together. Amy and first husband Will Arnett, with whom she shares sons Archie and Abel, split in 2012. She made headlines when she dated another comedy star, Nick Kroll, from 2013 to 2015.
Tina Fey left “SNL” and created “30 Rock,” on which she starred as Liz Lemon — and won multiple Emmys for her acting, writing and producing work on the hit sitcom, which ended in 2013. The comedy genius then created another successful series, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” on which she made the occasional cameo, and earned even more Emmys nods for that work. Tina’s also appeared in several films including a “Muppets” movie, “Sisters” (with bestie Amy Poehler), “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” and Pixar’s “Soul.”She created the musical adaptation of “Mean Girls” for Broadway and earned a Tony Award nomination for her efforts. Tina has been married to composer Jeff Richmond, with whom she shares daughters Alice and Penelope, since 2001.
Andy Samberg was a writer and cast member on “SNL” from 2005 to 2012. Some of his unforgettable and Internet-famous sketches include “Lazy Sunday” with Chris Parnell, “D*** in a Box” with Justin Timberlake (which won them an Emmy!) and our favorite, “I’m on a Boat” with T-Pain, which was nominated for a Grammy.
Andy Samberg won a Golden Globe for his work as detective Jake Peralta on the sitcom “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a role he played from 2013 to 2021 (he was also a producer on the show). After that series ended, he starred in the celebrated Netflix movie “Palm Springs.” Up next for Andy? A starring role in Disney’s CGI and live-action hybrid movie “Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers” and an Apple Studios film with Ben Stiller. The multi-hyphenate married musician Joanna Newsom, with whom he has a daughter, in 2013.
Will Ferrell starred on “SNL” from 1995 to 2002 and has returned several times since for cameos — he’s also hosted five times! He made his mark on the series with his incredible impersonations of stars including George W. Bush, Alex Trebek, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, Robert Goulet, James Lipton, Ted Kennedy, Ted Kaczynski and even Janet Reno! In original sketches, he was “Morning Latte” host Tom Wilkins, “Mister Ed” the horse’s twin brother, Ned, and who could forget him as cheerleader Craig Buchanan or better yet, the fictional Blue Oyster Cult member? More cowbell, please!
Will Ferrell’s career exploded after he left “SNL.” He made the world laugh in hit films like “Elf,” “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Step Brothers,” “Old School,” “Megamind,” “The Lego Movie” and its sequel and many more. He founded the comedy website Funny or Die in 2007 with writing partner Adam McKay, with whom he had a falling out in 2019. More recently, he got back together with “Anchorman” co-star Paul Rudd for 2021’s “The Shrink Next Door.” And did you know that he’s an executive producer on the hit show “Succession” as well as other series like “Dead to Me”? He’s been married to Viveca Paulin, with whom he shares sons Magnus, Mattias and Axel, since 2000.
Bill Hader (seen here with Kristen Wiig) had a long stint on “Saturday Night Live” from 2005 to 2013. While fans will always remember him as the “Weekend Update” character Stefon, the comedian also made us laugh with his myriad celebrity impressions of celebs like Tony Blair, Tim Gunn, Tim Burton, Steven Tyler, Steven Seagal, Stephen King, Robert Pattinson, Phil Spector, Prince Philip, Mark Cuban, John Mayer, Eddie Vedder, David Bowie, Daniel Radcliffe, Conan O’Brien, Clint Eastwood, Adam Levine, Al Pacino — the list goes on and on!
Since his time on “SNL,” Bill Hader has had major success with his own HBO series, “Barry,” which has been nominated for more than 30 Emmys. Bill’s won two best actor in a comedy Emmys for his work on the hilariously dark show. In 2015, he and former “SNL” co-stars Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen created the IFC series “Documentary Now!,” which parodies documentaries. He’s also starred in several films like “Trainwreck,” “It: Chapter Two,” the “Angry Birds” movies, “Toy Story 4,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and “The Addams Family 2,” among others. Bill was married to writer-director Maggie Carey from 2006 to 2017. They have three daughters: Hannah, Hayley and Harper. He made headlines when he dated actress Rachel Bilson in 2019 and 2020.
Kristen Wiig joined “Saturday Night Live” in 2005 and left in 2012 — a year after starring in and writing the hit movie “Bridesmaids,” for which she earned a best original screenplay Oscar nomination alongside frequent collaborator Annie Mumolo. While on “SNL,” Kristen made viewers laugh with her characters including Target lady, trouble-making little girl Gilly, Penelope the exaggerator and more. In 2008, she was featured on Entertainment Weekly’s list of 15 Great Performances for her myriad impersonations on the show, which included Dolly Parton, Kris Jenner, Madonna, Nancy Pelosi, Taylor Swift and Diane Sawyer, to name just a few!
Kristen Wiig went on to voice characters in the “Despicable Me” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises and act in a wide range of movies like “The Skeleton Twins” with old “SNL” co-star Bill Hader, the female-led “Ghostbusters” reboot, “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” among others. She split from the Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti the year after she left “SNL” and in 2021 revealed she’d quietly married actor Avi Rothman, with whom she welcomed twins via surrogate in 2020.
Kenan Thompson was already famous for his work on Nickelodeon’s “All That” and the sitcom “Kenan and Kel” when he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 2003. In fact, he’s still there: Kenan is the longest tenured cast member in “SNL” history. For nearly two decades, he’s had audiences in stitches with his characters including the hosts of “Black Jeopardy!” and “What Up with That?” and his uncanny impressions of celebrities like Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson. He’s been nominated for four Emmy Awards for his excellent work on the show and won once.
Kenan Thompson has been busy on and off “SNL.” He was a judge on the NBC comedy competition “Bring The Funny,” stepped into the role of executive producer on Nickelodeon’s “All That” comeback and is now the star of his own NBC sitcom, “Kenan,” on which he plays a widowed father who’s hell bent on being a super dad. In 2021, he was nominated for Emmys his work on both “SNL” and “Kenan.” The funnyman has been married to model Christina Evangeline since 2011. The couple have two daughters, Georgia and Gianna.
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