When your show has had 159 cast members over nearly fifty years, you can’t expect them all to be happy.  No one knows that better than producer Lorne Michaels.  “Some people, their whole lives, are just injustice collectors,” he says. “They’re going to find new injustices every day. That’s what they do, and that’s what they are.” 

Yes, they were wronged!  (According to them.) Here’s ComedyNerd’s power ranking of the 12 most freaking miserable cast members of all time. 

Jon Lovitz

These days, Lovitz loves nothing more than showing up on podcasts to talk about his SNL glory days.  But he’s still griping about Lorne not giving him time off to do movies. “I was supposed to do a Liar movie and it didn’t work out,” says Lovitz. “So
I would say stuff about (Lorne) and it would get back to him … so it would get tougher for me to get pieces on. And then, you know, he was mad at me.”

Sony Pictures Television

Julia Sweeney

”My last year was just like one of the worst years of my life,” says Sweeney. “I think that Lorne was feeling a pressure to concentrate more on the younger talent. I think I got one sketch out of my whole fourth year. I complained. I felt like I would have scrubbed toilets with a toothbrush rather than come back to that show.”

Garrett Morris

People suppose that if you are in a cast, that means you automatically go everywhere together twenty-four hours a day,” remembers Morris.  “I have always been an a**hole
with any cast I’ve been with. I was gone as soon as I could be.”  

NBC

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

It wasn’t a particularly happy experience for me. I thought it was going to be a congenial experience; I wasn’t aware of the politicking one had to do, and I think there were a lot of drugs going on at the time,” says the Notorious JLD. “All the work was done between eleven o’clock at night and six o’clock in the morning. And that wasn’t, in my view, conducive to comedy.”

NBC

Leslie Jones

Does Leslie regret leaving SNL?

Pete Davidson

“I have a weird feeling in that building where I don’t know whose team they’re playing for, really—if I’m the joke or I’m in on the joke,” Pete said a few years back. “They think I’m f***ing dumb. I’m literally painted out to be this big dumb idiot.”

NBC

Damon Wayans

Wayans was so frustrated with his lack of airtime that he took over a live sketch, changing a one-line cop role into a dumb-note gay-bashing character he’d later do on In Living Color. “I just got angry,” confesses Wayans. “Because I didn’t think the sketch was funny. I had a bunch of straight-man lines. And it would’ve been funny if I had not done it with such anger.
I was so angry, I basically wanted them to fire me.”

Nora Dunn

Dunn, who refused to perform the week Andrew Dice Clay was host, was unhappy that her sketches weren’t featured more on SNL’s 40th-anniversary show. "SNL is

Jim Belushi

”I supposedly threw a fire extinguisher at (producer Dick) Ebersol,” says John’s l’il brother Jimmy. “I don’t remember throwing it at him. I remember going down the hall and getting really pissed and grabbing the fire extinguisher off the wall and heaving it toward his office. Those two years of Saturday Night Live were
the toughest years I’ve ever spent in show business.”

Laff

Janeane Garafalo

Garafalo wanted out “after the first week.”  When she eventually quit at mid-season, “it was the first time Lorne ever respected me, to be quite honest. He despised me and was pleased that I quit— pleased that I was leaving and pleased that I had shown some kind of backbone.”

Touchstone

Harry Shearer

The Spinal Tap star is the only
SNLer who quit or got himself canned from two different casts.  “I was pretty f***ing miserable for virtually the entire season,” he says of his first go-round, describing the environment as living hell.

“The evidence pretty much shows that Lorne’s approach to the cast was to try to infantilize them,” says Shearer. “He wanted them to be like children; he’d be the daddy. That was his preferred way of relating to people. And I didn’t particularly want to relate that way.”

Embassy Pictures

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