Saturday Night Live’s 25 Most Repeated Characters


There is nothing Saturday Night Live loves as much as a character it can bring back again and again, with the hopes that it may someday be the thing that greeting card lines and movies are made of. Vulture just scientifically calculated the most original and repetitive seasons of SNL, and it reveals that if you averaged out the sketches from all 36 complete seasons you would discover that about half of the life of the show has involved recurring characters. A big chunk of the recidivists didn't last that long: The Gap Girls folded up their shirts and went home after seven outings, Gilly has only popped up five times, and Rob Schneider’s Orgasm Man? Two episodes and done. In fact, according to our stringent analysis of every SNL episode and sketch, there have only been 25 characters whose catchphrases and costumes have enraptured the audience (or at least Lorne Michaels) to the degree that they get more than a dozen appearances. (Methodology note: We did not include impressions*, as they would greatly skew the results. Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton, for example, popped up in a groan-inducing 77 episodes. We get it, Clinton likes women.) Time will tell if any of the current cast members’ characters will nudge their way onto this list, but Bill Hader might want to know that he’s just three Stefons away from cracking the list.

Related: A Vulture Study: Which SNL Season Reused the Most Characters?

* This post has been corrected to clarify that no impressions were included, whether of celebrities or of politicians.