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Where Will Ferrell Sits In SNL Creator Lorne Michael's Top Cast Members

Will Ferrell as Marty in The Shrink Next Door
(Image credit: Bloomberg Media)

Saturday Night Live has launched the careers of countless comedy stars, including Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Eddie Murphy, and Bill Murray. Since the show first premiered in 1975, creator and producer Lorne Michaels has typically refrained from publicly choosing favorite cast members - unless, of course, he’s talking about Saturday Night Live legend Will Ferrell. 

Few could argue that Will Ferrell hasn’t made his mark on the comedy world, starting with Lorne Michaels casting him for Saturday Night Live. After seven seasons of SNL, the California native went on to star in blockbuster films like Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Lorne Michaels, the brains behind the entire Saturday Night Live operation since its inception, doesn’t usually reveal his preferred stars, but Will Ferrell seems to be the exception. The producer told The Hollywood Reporter

I never rank, but Will’s definitely in the top two or three that have ever done the show. There’s no question.

That’s high praise coming from the man who has worked with the likes of Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. And with Saturday Night Live having employed over 100 cast members in its four and a half decades of existence, Will Ferrell must have made quite the impression on Lorne Michaels. Although, with the sheer number of home runs Will Ferrell hit on SNL, it’s no surprise that Michaels took particular notice. 

Will Ferrell rose to fame on Saturday Night Live in sketches like "The Love-ahs" with Rachel Dratch and ‘‘The Roxbury Guys" with Jim Carrey and Chris Kattan. Some of his most iconic work on the show came from recurring bits like "Spartan Cheerleaders" with Cheri Oteri and his long-suffering version of Alex Trebek on "Celebrity Jeopardy." 

Will Ferrell also participated in some of the most famous SNL sketches of all time, including the unforgettable "More Cowbell." He’s furthermore one of the members of the exclusive Five-Timers Club, consisting of entertainers who have hosted SNL more than five times. With that kind of track record, it’s only natural that Lorne Michaels would name Will Ferrell as one of the all time greats. 

Will Ferrell is next set to appear alongside fellow funnyman Paul Rudd in The Shrink Next Door for Apple TV+. Based on the podcast of the same name, the dark comedy series will follow psychiatrist Dr. Isaac "Ike" Herschkopf (Paul Rudd) and his patient Martin "Marty" Markowitz (Will Ferrell). The Shrink Next Door will premiere on November 12, 2021. Until then, you can catch up on Will Ferrell’s greatest moments from Saturday Night Live on Hulu and Peacock. He earned an Emmy nomination and huge fanbase for his work on the sketch comedy series, and his legacy clearly isn't fading away any time soon. 

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.