12 Stars Who Actually Got Bigger After Leaving 'Saturday Night Live'

SNL has been a launching pad for comedy stars like Mike Myers, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey -- but failing on the show can also lead to mindblowing success. 

12

SARAH SILVERMAN TRENDSETTER/BEDWETTER NUMBER OF SILVERMAN SKETCHES THAT MADE IT TO AIR DURING HER YEAR AS AN SNL WRITER/ ACTOR? ZERO. NUMBER OF TIMES SHE WAS FIRED VIA FAX? ONE. NUMBER OF SUBSEQUENT WINS SHE'S HAD AS A COMICIAUTHORIPLAYWRIGHTI ACTOR/PODCASTER? A HELLA LOT.

Uproxx

11

ROBERT DOWNEYJR. MOVIE MARVEL CRACKED.COM SNL CHARACTERS LIKE 'SUITCASE BOY' DIDN'T EXACTLY TAKE OFF. BUT AFTER FAMOUS BOUTS WITH DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION, DOWNEY GOT HIS ACT TOGETHER TO BECOME ONE OF THE BIGGEST MOVIE STARS OF THE CENTURY.

Rolling Stone

10

LAURIE METCALF TWO-TIME TONY WINNER CRACKED.COM METCALF DESCRIBES HER SNL TENURE AS A WHIRLWIND FIVE DAYS. SHE NEVER MADE IT TO AIR AND DESPITE HER SUCCESS ON STAGE, 'ROSEANNE,' AND 'LADYBIRD,' SHE'S NEVER HOSTED. I WOULD HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT IT BEFORE AND AFTER.

Vulture

9

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS SITCOM ROYALTY STUCK WITH STRAIGHT-WOMAN ROLES ON 'SEXIST' SNL, LOUIS-DREYFUS BECAME ONE OF THE MOST SUCESSFUL SITCOM STARS OF ALL TIME, NABBING A MINDBLOWING 27 EMMY NOMS FOR WORK ON SEINFELD, OLD CHRISTINE, AND VEEP.

USA Today

8

JOAN CUSACK WAY MORE OSCAR NOMS THAN JOHN CUSACK LASTED ONE SEASON ON SNL BEFORE COLLECTING OSCAR NOMINATIONS FOR 'WORKING GIRL' AND 'IN & OUT.' DECADES LATER, ABBY ELLIOTT (ALSO UNDERAPPRECIATED) BROUGHT HER CUSACK IMPRESSION TO THE SHOW.

Vulture

7

JENNY SLATE WROTE 'MARCEL THE SHELL' S TARDOFECO 02 9 WNILLINI CRAGKEDCOM RUMOR WAS SNL DROPPED SLATE FOR HURLING AN F-BOMB. NOT TRUE: I JUST DIDN'T BELONG THERE, SAYS SLATE. SHE WENT ON TO KILL IT ON 'PARKS AND REC' AND THE WELL-RECEIVED INDIE 'OBVIOUS CHILD.'

Cinema Blend

6

HARRY SHEARER EXCELLENT NO ONE HATES SNL LIKE SHEARER. AFTER LEAVING THE SHOW (A LIVING HELL) IN 1980, HE MADE 'THIS IS SPINAL TAP.' HE REJOINED THE CAST IN 1985, ONLY TO LEAVE ONCE MORE TO BECOME A DISGRUNTLED CAST MEMBER OF 'THE SIMPONS.'

Grantland

5

GILBERT GOTTFRIED ROASTER WITH THE MOST GRAGKEDCOM THE HIGHLIGHT OF GOTTFRIED'S 12-EPISODE SNL RUN WAS PLAYING A LIFELESS CORPSE. HE BECAME MORE ANIMATED AS IAGO IN 'ALADDIN' AND THE AFLAC DUCK. COMEDY NERDS GIVE HIM PROPS AS THE FUNNIEST DUDE IN 'THE ARISTOCRATS.'

Vulture

4

DAMON WAYANS IN LIVING COLOR STAR WITH LIMITED SNL STAGE TIME, WAYANS GOT HIMSELF FIRED BY TURNING A BACKGROUND CHARACTER INTO A FLAMBOYANT FOP. HE BLEW UP ON 'IN LIVING COLOR,' WITH FOUR EMMY NOMS LEADING TO A STRING OF SUCCESSFUL MOVIE COMEDIES.

Hollywood Reporter

3

CHRIS ROCK STANDUP SUPERSTAR SNL NEVER QUITE KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH ROCK, SO HE DID IT HIMSELF. FROM KILLING IT ON THE STAND-UP STAGE TO CREATING SHOWS LIKE 'EVERYBODY HATES CHRIS' HE SNAGGED FOUR EMMYS AND THREE GRAMMYS FOR HIS TROUBLE.

Time