Over the course of Saturday Night Live’s long and illustrious history, we have seen innumerable characters grace the stage of Studio 8H. From the wonderful to the uncomfortable, the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” have always tried to create characters whom you would gladly stay in on a Saturday night to watch. Sometimes, those characters would be so successful, you would see them back next week. And other times, you would think, “Is that Chris Kattan covered in gold paint?” Here are 10 of SNL’s best recurring characters, in no particular ranking.


New York’s hottest recurring character is Stefon, Weekend Update’s city correspondent. Always on trend, and always out to get Seth Meyers to “expand his horizons,” Stefon lets viewers know that there is so much more that New York City has to offer beyond the bright lights of Times Square. Each week, the club names and the positively alluring perks of each club get more and more absurd, to the point where even Bill Hader can’t make it through the sketch without breaking.

Ever heard of a human parking cone? It’s that thing where two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them. Ever heard of human bathmats? It’s… maybe Stefon should explain that one to you.

Mary Katherine Gallagher


Mary is just an ordinary Catholic schoolgirl who was born to be a superstar, and she’ll be damned if the whole world doesn’t know it. Played with enthusiasm by Molly Shannon, Mary didn’t really fit in with the other kids at her school, if only because she was usually expressing her feelings via monologues from Lifetime Original Movies and bursting into song. As if anything would ever stop her from following her dreams.

Sometimes, though, when she would get nervous, she would stick her hands under her arms and just smell her fingers. Mary also had a penchant for practicing her kissing technique on trees and losing her balance while dancing.

Alex Trebek and Sean Connery


One of these dashing men could not be included on the list without the other, for it is their rivalry that makes the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches some of the best content to come out of SNL. Will Ferrell as the perpetually annoyed Alex Trebek has to deal with the vapidity of his famous guests, always including Mr. Sean Connery, masterfully played by Darrell Hammond.

The reason behind Connery’s hatred for Trebek is never revealed, but it seems to have something to do with sleeping with his mother. Trebek, bless his heart, keeps inviting Connery back on the show in the hopes that he may finally answer a question correctly. In one beautiful sketch, Trebek implores his contestants to just write down a number, any number, during Final Jeopardy, and they’ll win money. Connery writes down “V” and Trebek rejoices at the Roman numeral.

How much did he wager? That “V” is actually a detailed picture of Connery pooping on Trebek’s grave.

Wayne and Garth


Wayne and Garth (played by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey) never failed to bring the party to your living room through their public access show, Wayne’s World. They remain living proof that you can be successful while operating out of your parents’ basement. The most metal dudes in the Midwest just wanted to party, and some famous faces took note. In a moment that lives on in SNL infamy, Aerosmith stopped by one fateful day to help Wayne and Garth sing their theme song. What could be more excellent than that? The antics of this duo spawned not one, but two movies.

The Blues Brothers


Jake and Elwood Blues may have been on a mission from Gawd, but their start on the small screen was a bit more subdued. As SNL characters, the Blues Brothers only appeared three times, but each appearance created such a lasting impact that it in turn launched an empire. Anchored by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, the brothers recorded several successful blues albums, headlined two major films, and have toured the world meeting their fans. They’ve got soul, man.

Nuni and Nuni Schoener, Art Dealers


Yes, his name is Nuni. Yes, her name is Nuni. No, they do not have the same name; they are pronounced very differently, don’t you see? Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph played this futuristic couple who just loved having guests over to their very confusing flat, filled with complicated furniture (a chair made entirely of toast is prominently displayed, as is an arm chair made from “actual bear arms”) and even more puzzling social cues.

When their daughter, also named Nuni (Natalie Portman), brought boyfriend Jeff home to meet the parents (“Blarf, like the Nascar driver Blarf Gordblon?”), they drank melted ice cream from tubes, and ultimately drove him away.

Samurai Futaba


Another classic from John Belushi came in SNL’s early days. Futaba was a clumsy-but-dedicated samurai who wielded a katana and spoke a particular brand of mock Japanese that only he seemed to understand. He often showed up in places where a samurai really should have never been, offering his services and causing mayhem. In one episode, Belushi memorably struck host Buck Henry in the head with his katana, drawing visible blood; the rest of the cast wore band-aids for solidarity. Belushi played Futaba a staggering 16 times before leaving the show.

The Roxbury Guys


Doug and Steve Butabi (Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell) are into three things: rayon suits, clubbing, and ladies. The duo was infamous for their signature move, bobbing their heads along to Haddaway’s “What is Love.” They would then try their luck grinding on unsuspecting women, who would never go home with them. The sketches often featured a third member, usually played by the host, who tried to help the guys out, with just as little luck. As least they’ve got each other. And they’ve always got the Roxbury!

Debbie Downer


Debbie Downer (Rachel Dratch) wasn’t actively trying to ruin your day; she just couldn’t help it when real issues like feline AIDS existed. Debbie strolled into a room and added her own commentary to everyone else’s conversations. You got a promotion at work? Well, high-stress positions mean increased risk of heart disease. Debbie’s proclamations were followed by a sad trombone “wah-wah,” which never failed to break the cast, including Dratch herself. Good thing she met Bob Bummer.

Roseanne Rosannadanna


Gilda Radner was a master of comedy, and Roseanne and her triangular hair was just one of her fantastic characters. Like Stefon, Roseanne was a spunky Weekend Update correspondent who gave editorial replies to current event issues. She was also the bane of anchor Jane Curtin’s existence. Roseanne would read a letter from the fictional Richard Fader, who would always have a question about the current events issue at hand, but it would digress into a story about the celebrities that Roseanne had met, or literally anything else besides what Jane wanted to talk about. That’s what you get when you keep asking her back!