10 Best TV Shows Made By SNL Alumni

When Saturday Night Live began airing in 1975, no one suspected that the series would run for 47 seasons and become the launching pad for several comedians and writers. But that’s exactly what happened and continues to happen as the sketch show continues to air.

RELATED: The 10 Best SNL Alumni Performances Of All Time

While everyone knows about the shows that SNL alumni star, not everyone knows about the shows that SNL alumni have created by writing or performing themselves. From traditional family and professional sitcoms to hilarious dark comedies and even animated shows, SNL alumni are a talented bunch.


30 Rock (2006-2013) – Tina Fey

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in 30 Rock

Tina Fey spent nine seasons on Saturday Night Live where she was first hired as a writer before becoming a cast member where she was best known for her co-presentation Weekend update. Her stint on the sketch show gave her tons of inspiration to create the sitcom 30 Rock.

created by herself, 30 Rock is a satirical sitcom that focuses on the behind-the-scenes antics of a live fictional sketch show. While the series hasn’t aged well in recent years, it was a powerhouse upon release thanks to the star power behind it.

AP Bio (2018-2021) – Mike O’Brien

Mike O'Brien talks about AP Bio

Mike O’Brien may not be the most familiar Saturday Night Live name, but it should be. After training at Second City in Chicago, O’Brien joined the SNL as a writer in 2009 and was one of the featured cast members of the show’s 39th season. He spent most of his time writing sketches of short films for the show.

After his departure, O’Brien continued his comedy activities and in 2018 he wrote and premiered the comedy series AP Organic for NBC. The series centers on a disgraced college professor who accepts an AP Bio teaching position in his hometown to stay afloat. Instead of teaching his students, he uses them to get revenge on his rival who stole his dream job.

Barry (2018-) – Bill Hader

Bill Hader as Barry talking on the phone

Bill Hader made his debut Saturday Night Live where he spent eight years as a cast member. He was nominated four times for a Primetime Emmy Award and was best known for his recurring character in updated weekend Stefan.

Several years after his departure SNL, Hader channeled his comedy into a darker space and created the HBO dark comedy/crime show Barry. The show centers on Barry Berkman (Hader), a hitman who originally goes to Los Angeles for a hit job but ends up enrolling in an acting class that makes him question his profession. .

Duncanville (2020-) – Amy Poehler

Duncanville cast of characters in the car

While Amy Poehler made her debut at Chicago’s “The Second City,” she landed a spot on Saturday night live cast in 2001. She spent seven years on the show before leaving to star in the NBC hit Parks and recreation. Although known for Leslie Knope, Poehler has created several amazing TV shows.

The Fox Animated Show Duncanville is Poehler’s last show to air. The series centers on Duncan, the 15-year-old teenager of the Harris family. While Duncan often finds himself making bad decisions, his goofy family is there to save the day.

Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009) – Chris Rock

The cast of Everybody Hates Chris takes a promotional photo

Chris Rock didn’t start Saturday Night Live but appearing on the show for three seasons certainly helped the comedian’s star power. Unfortunately, Rock was fired from the show in one of the most talked about casting changes. Yet after he left, he went on to create the hit family sitcom Everyone hates Chris.

RELATED: 10 Things You Never Knew About Chris Rock

Inspired by teenage rock, Everybody Hates Chris chronicles his teenage years in 1980s Brooklyn. Rock not only wrote the show, but also narrated it while Tyler James Williams had the privilege of playing Chris.

Parks and Recreation (2009-2015) – Greg Daniels

Greg Daniels

While everyone remembers the actors of SNL, not everyone remembers the writers, despite being a big part of the show’s success. Greg Daniels served as a writer for the series from 1987 to 1990 and won an Emmy for his time. He went on to write and create several iconic shows, including Parks and recreation.

The mockumentary series, which featured another SNL Alumnus Amy Poehler aired on NBC for seven seasons and was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards during that run. The show centered on Leslie Knope and his motley Indiana government parks department.

Portlandia (2011-2018) – Fred Armisen

Fred Arminsen in Portlandia

Fred Armisen was an integral part of Saturday Night Live from 2002 to 2013. In fact, when he left, he made history as one of the longest serving actors on the show and the one who had the second most sketch appearances of all the time.

After leaving Armisen, he created his own comedy sketch titled Portlandia. Set in Portland, Oregon, the series regularly poked fun at the city’s hipster persona. It ran for eight seasons and won a Peabody Award.

Shrill (2019-2021) – Aidy Bryant

Aidy Bryant wearing a purple dress at the pool bar as Annie on Shrill

Season 38 of Saturday Night Live was a huge gamble for the sketch show as it saw the majority of its season 37 cast replaced by newcomers. One of these newcomers was Aidy Bryant. She is still a cast member today and has been nominated for an Emmy twice due to her performance.

RELATED: 5 Times Shrill’s Annie Should Have Been Proud (& 5 Times She Should Have Had A Humble Piece Of Pie)

By appearing on SNL, she began to develop the comedy series Acute based on a non-fiction book. Bryant created, wrote, and starred in the series playing Annie, a young woman who tries to make herself a journalist.

The Good Place (2016-2020) – Michael Schur

michael schur cameo the good place

TV fans who pay attention to the credits might recognize Michael Schur’s, but what they might not know is that the iconic TV showrunner has made his debut. Saturday Night Live. He wrote on the show from 1997 to 2004 and was also the producer of Weekend update.

After he left, he went on to write and create some of the most influential comedy shows of the 2000s and 2010s. One of his most recent shows was NBC’s The right place. The series centers on Eleanor, a woman who, after her death, finds herself in the “right place” despite being a terrible human while she was alive.

The Last Man on Earth (2015-2018) – Will Forte

The character of the last man on earth sitting in his own filth

Will Forte was another cast member of SNL who helped define the show’s comedy style in the 2000s. Forte spent eight years on the show where he rose to fame for his absurd sketches that usually closed the show each week.

After his departure, Forte continued to work as an actor and in 2015 he created the post-apocalyptic comedy series The Last Man on Earth. The series centers on Phil (Forte), a man who spent the last year searching for all other human life after a deadly virus wiped out the world’s population.

NEXT: The 10 Best SNL Seasons, According To IMDb

Coach Beard and Ted Lasso in Ted Lasso season 2

Ted Lasso Season 3 likely to be delayed

About the Author