Dead And Near-Dead SNL Cast Members Remembered (VIDEOS)

SNL’s John Belushi In Memorial. Credit: Megh Wright, Splitsider.

An old John Belushi carrying a wreath to a snowy graveyard began the memorial of dead and near-dead cast members. In the skit entitled Don’t Look Back In Anger, he walked us to the Not Ready For Prime Time Cemetery. Ironic.

Bill Murray, who introduced the segment, joined the Saturday Night Live (SNL) cast in 1977, and it meant a lot to me that Bill and SNL honored the people behind the camera to all sorts of jobs – from Don Pardo, the man with the silver tongue, to the cue card guy.

Betty White (1922- )

Oh Betty, I hope you live to be 120, you Golden Girl. This feisty woman had a wowser skit in the SNL 40 year special, and was she ever totally alive! She had a hot make-out session with Bradley Cooper. You go girl!

Betty has been acting since the 1950’s. An internet petition encouraged SNL to let her host, and did she ever. It was hysterical. Live on, Betty!

Jon Lovitz  (1957- )

Jon was also part of the memorial. There was one glitch, he isn’t dead either. I feel sorry for the guy every time I see him and not just last night.

He played Tommy Flanagan the Pathological Liar on SNL, which I attempt to mimic on an as-needed basis. He was also the Shakespeare ham Master Thespian. Jon was on SNL from 1985 to 1990

John Belushi (1949-1982)

I never knew someone like John. This original cast member exuded an energy that always scared me a little but attracted me at the same time. An icon in “The Blues Brothers,” he started something with Dan Aykroyd that lives on to this day.

And of course he was the Samuri. Jon died in the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles when he was just 33 years old of a drug overdose. He was an original cast member on SNL from 1975-1979.

Gilda Radner (1946-1989)

I always think of Gilda as a frail little sister, but she had as much energy as any cast member. Her Roseanne Roseannadanna cracked me up every time. She was one of the original cast members.

And when ovarian cancer claimed her at a too-soon 42-years-old, I felt as if someone so important had been taken from me. I cried. She was on from 1975-1980.

Chris Farley (1964-1997)

Farley idolized John Belushi, and he died at the exact same age (33). His death was also of drug-related complications and occurred in a hotel. When I heard, I wondered what his last hours were like. Did John cross his mind?

I loved him throwing his dancing semi-naked  self into Chippendale tryouts alongside Patrick Swayze. Chris was also an outstanding down-on-his-luck desperate salesman, living in a van down by the river. He was on SNL from 1990-1995.

Phil Hartman (1948-1998)

Such a funny man. Who knew that his home life was a horror? Hartman (49) was shot and killed in his sleep by his wife who committed suicide hours later at their home.

Phil could morph into nearly anyone, but one of my favorites is the now-legendary sketch of Bubba (President Bill Clinton.) He was on SNL from 1984-1994.
Jan Hooks (1957-2014)

Jan did one of my all-time favorite SNL skits. And every year around the holidays I think of it: Martha Stewart’s Topless Christmas Special.

Jan died of cancer when she was 57 years old. She was on SNL from 1986-1991.

Andy Kaufman (1949-1984) 

Andy seemed to live in a world where I had no access. He did a whole skit by himself listening to the theme song of the cartoon Mighty Mouse. Then came the moment where he lip-synced, “Here I come to save the day!”

He said so little, yet he was too funny. Andy was on 16 different SNL shows. The guy who playedForeign Man died of a rare form of lung cancer at 35. But there are still rumors he faked his death. Figures.

I miss you guys!

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About Gloria Christie

 Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She wrote for, the Kansas City Star, Where High Technology Meets Politics for London’s IDG-Connect Blog and The Best Times. Her total readership is over 5 million. Christie has an MS in radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She was a systemic problems consulting expert for Fortune 100/500 businesses here and off-shore. Christie invented and implemented the first computerized patient chart. She also worked on Howard Dean’s, John Kerry’s, and Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change. Like herFacebook page, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter. Click here to buy Gloria Christie a hot cup of Mocha Coffee.