A Love Letter to the Women of SNL, All of Whom Have Been Extremely Hot

A collage of various SNL women players over the decades.
Photos: Getty Images // Art: Autostraddle

A few weeks ago, TikTok creator “Jahelis” made a video seeking solidarity and validation in her opinion that Saturday Night Live has never hired a female cast member that is hot before. Which, if you’re a straight woman… it’s okay to just be straight! You actually do not need to find women attractive or hot. But then she goes on to name Jimmy Fallon and Andy Sandberg as two conventionally attractive male cast members, which is exactly what a lesbian might say!

I owe a lot of what I know about myself and my queerness to the women throughout SNL history. I grew up watching the show, both seasons from before I was even born and episodes as they aired live each week. It’s how I learned to be funny and goofy and quite literally escape from the cosmetic competitions I was dealing with as a young trans kid experiencing girlhood. I learned that there are in fact ways to express yourself outside of clothes and makeup. I discovered that you can take a really shitty thing that happened to you or to the world and make it something less scary. I found out that yes, maybe my deep and passionate admiration for the women on my TV screen was less about feminism and more about me being a raging dyke. But also the feminism part.

Female comedians are already subject to so much bullshit that male comedians never have to deal with. Especially now, in an age where many comedy opportunities come from posting jokes online, they can never catch a break from incels and misogynists and even women peers. If a woman posts a clip of her set to social media, you can almost guarantee that the comments will have nothing to do with the joke writing or delivery itself but rather what she’s wearing or how she looks or whether or not the commenter wants to fuck them (hint: they ALWAYS want to fuck her. They just know that they can’t). Female comedians are seldom judged on their merit and the number of male comedians who do anything to stand up for them or use their privilege for good is abysmal. That’s why I feel responsible for setting the record straight and writing a love letter to the women of SNL, all of whom have been extremely hot.

Listen, I know that attraction is subjective and who I think is cute might not do it for you. But what we’re not going to do is sit here and pretend like SNL hasn’t been host to some of the hottest women we’ve seen on television, and not just on looks alone but also on pure talent. Because if there’s one thing I find sexy, above all else, it’s humor and I’ll be damned if I stand idly by and let someone reduce some of the funniest women in history to “hot or not” rage bait bullshit. Yes, I said rage bait. Because I am enraged! Let’s hop in my time machine and discuss what makes the women of SNL so hot without once discussing their looks.

Disclaimer: There have been 57 female cast members on SNL since 1975, which makes it incredibly hard to know what each of these women are up to politically or socially. My support of their hotness is not an endorsement of their character.

First, the Lesbians

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 6 Gallery -- Pictured: Denny Dillon --
(Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Denny Dillon (1980 – 1981)

Denny Dillon was a cast member for Season 6 and the first lesbian cast member, though she was not out at the time. Dillon is a fantastic mimic and impersonator, most notably for her impressions of Amy Carter, Betsy Maxwell, Jean Harris, Yoko Ono, and Roseanne Barr.

Danitra Vance, 1985.
(Photo by NBC/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Danitra Vance (1985 – 1986)

Danitra Vance was a Season 11 cast member who created her own solo skit called The Radical Girl’s Guide to Radical Mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990 and had undergone a mastectomy. It is so hot to turn difficult times into comedy and even hotter to show others that they can, too. May she rest in peace.

Kate McKinnon at the 96th Annual Oscars held at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Lexie Moreland/WWD via Getty Images)

Kate McKinnon (2012 – 2022)

Kate McKinnon is the first out lesbian to join the cast and is one of my favorite players of all time. Her character work is so expansive and is especially fun for cold opens and political sketches. She not only does an insanely good Elizabeth Warren and Kellyanne Conway, but an equally good Jeff Sessions and Rudy Giuliani. Not to mention her character in the recurring sketch “Close Encounters” is one of the best to ever exist. It was so meaningful to see her be openly gay on my favorite show as a kid.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Punkie Johnson attends the American Museum of Natural History Gala 2021 on November 18, 2021 in New York City.
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for American Museum of Natural History)

Punkie Johnson (2020 – present)

Punkie Johnson is the first out Black queer cast member on SNL who brings another lesbian legend to life on stage with her Queen Latifah impression. Johnson was also seen in Bottoms last year as Rhodes aka Lesbian Yoda.

Now, Everyone Else…

Portrait of American actress and comedienne Gilda Radner (1946 - 1989) as she poses against a white background, New York, New York, late 1970s.
(Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images)

Gilda Radner (1975 -1980)

Gilda Radner was one of the original seven cast members of SNL, best known for her satirical news anchor and television personality characters like Roseanne Roseannadanna and Baba Wawa, and of course her impression of Lucille Ball. She was Lorne Michaels first hire in 1975. Before passing from ovarian cancer in 1989, Radner published her autobiography wherein she discusses her struggles with her illness and wanted nothing more than to help others who suffer from cancer. Radner will go down in history as one of the best to ever do it and you bet your ass she’ll also be known for how hot she was for all the work she did on and off stage.

ST. ELSEWHERE -- "Tweety and Ralph" Episode 8 -- Pictured: Laraine Newman as Jane Zontell
(Photo by Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Laraine Newman (1975 -1980)

Another one of the original seven, Laraine Newman is best known for her playing Connie Conehead, the daughter of the family in the famous sketch Coneheads. Tell me, could someone who is “not hot” play Barbara Streisand, Carole King, Katharine Hepburn, and Olivia Newton-John? I think not. Newman was also a founding member of The Groundlings, which makes her doubly a comedy legend.

Jane Curtain does the Weekend Update in a Saturday Night Live skit.
(Photo by Owen Franken/Corbis via Getty Images)

Jane Curtin (1975 – 1980)

Jane Curtin, the third and final woman in the original seven, was the first woman to anchor Weekend Update, which was great since she was the resident straight man character. And no, I don’t mean she was a heterosexual man, I mean that she was incredibly skilled at remaining in reality all the while everyone around them in the sketch is being wacky. Plus, I think it’s hot as hell that she’s not afraid to speak out about the sexism she had to deal with on set.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 7 -- Pictured: Yvonne Hudson as Neighbor during "Apartment Building" skit on January 17, 1981 --
(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Yvonne Hudson (1980 – 1981)

Yvonne Hudson was the first ever Black woman to join the SNL cast. Her time as a cast member seems to have been quiet and not well-documented, likely due to her tenure being Season Six, one of the worst seasons in SNL history. but she does appear in a bizarre sketch called Bad Clams where she breaks while shoving prop clams into Gilda Radner’s mouth and calls Radner a “Feisty thing.” To me, that is hot.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 6 -- Pictured: Ann Risley --
(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Ann Risley (1980 – 1981)

Anne Risely is another Season Six cast member who flies under the radar. I don’t know anything about her other than that men in the year of our Lord 2024, men on Reddit are arguing about whether or not she was hired because she was friends with a producer. To me, bothering men for almost half a century is incredibly hot.

Actress Laurie Metcalf attends the 50th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 23, 1993, in Beverly Hills, California.
(Photo by Ted Dayton/WWD/Penske Media via Getty Images)

Laurie Metcalf (1981)

Beloved Laurie Metcalf was hardly an SNL cast member but rather a featured player for a performance in a 1981 episode that was pre-taped. I still want to include her, though, because I find her extremely hot because of how great of an actress she is and how much I love seeing her in everything she’s been in from her appearance on Grey’s Anatomy in Season Two to playing the dyke tour manager in Season Two of Hacks.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 6 -- Pictured: Gail Mathius
(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Gail Matthius (1981)

Gail Matthius was quite literally known as the token hot girl during her time on SNL but what makes her even hotter is that she is one of the first to ever do the “Valley Girl” character, a personality stereotype I happen to love and adore (see: Heathers). She also anchored Weekend Update for a short time and was bad at it, which I think is hilarious and therefore hot.

NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: The Edge of Night Emily Prager, actress, appears as Laurie Ann Karr in the daytime drama, The Edge of Night. Image dated January 28, 1971.  New York, NY.
(Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Emily Prager (1981)

Emily Prager was on the writing team and was brought on as a sketch player for the same episode Laurie Metcalf appeared in but her sketch was ultimately cut. I won’t say anything about her looks but you can Google her and then try to tell me she’s not hot.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "SNL News Break" Episode 4 -- Air Date 10/31/1981 --Pictured: Christine Ebersole --
(Photo by Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank)

Christine Ebersole (1981 – 1982)

Christine Ebersole was hired on SNL for Season Seven when the new producer, Dick Ebersol (no relation), wanted to bring singers onto the cast. To audition, according to Ebersole, she smoked a joint with head writer Michael O’Donoghue, and that was that. Hot! Oh, and she has two Tony Awards.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 6 -- Pictured: Robin Duke --
(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Robin Duke (1981 – 1984)

Robin Duke, who you might know as the owner of Blouse Barn from Schitt’s Creek, was a really fun cast member. Not only did she have a recurring character as Wendy Whiner (perhaps the predecessor of Debby Downer?) but she was also known for her character Mrs. T. Yes, you read that right. Picture Mr. T except a white woman. Good luck convincing me that’s not hot.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 4 -- Air Date 10/31/1981 -- Pictured: Mary Gross during "SNL Newsbreak" on October 31, 1981 --
(Photo by Alan Singer/NBCU Photo Bank)

Mary Gross (1981 – 1985)

Mary Gross played some of history’s most iconic women including Brook Shields, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Mariyln Monroe, Mary Tyler Moore, Nancy Reagan, and yeah, sure, Pee-Wee Herman, too. Versatile QUEEN.

SEINFELD -- Pictured: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes
(Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982 – 1985)

If Julia Louis-Dreyfus isn’t hot, give me a lobotomy. She is the blueprint. She is the moment, always. Louis-Dreyfus is one of the most well-decorated female comedians of all time. Remember when she won six back-to-back Emmy Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series? And the only reason it was seven consecutive years is because she took one year off to battle literal breast cancer? She was the youngest woman to become a cast member at 21 years old. During her time at SNL, she had many iconic characters and impressions. One of the best and most notable would be the sketch “Inside Out” where Louis-Dreyfus plays the host of a women’s talk show and does spit takes in her guests’ faces when they say anything remotely progressive about women or otherwise surprising. For this reason, and literally thousands more, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the hottest women to ever be on SNL.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 10 -- Pictured: Pamela Stephenson --
(Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Pamela Stephenson (1984 – 1985)

Though Pamela Stephenson’s short time on SNL can be reduced to a kinda fat-shaming sketch called “Madonna Navel Accessories,” Stephenson redeems herself by leaving the industry altogether, becoming a psychiatrist and speaking on the physiological effects of fame. Making a mistake, correcting it, and dedicating your career to helping others… that’s hot!

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode -- Pictured: Joan Cusack as Linda Jensen during 'The Limits Of The Imagination' skit on February 8, 1986
(Photo by NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Joan Cusack (1985 – 1986)

Joan Cusack, the woman you are. Her time on SNL is often overlooked due to her extreme stardom in film and television after her exit. Something really hot about Cusack is how weird she is, or rather, how good she is at playing weird. Most of her sketch roles were that of the sidekick or the best friend or awkward teenager, but then she was delivering impressions of certified hotties like Jane Fonda, Brooke Shields, and Queen Elizabeth. What can’t this woman do?!

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 20 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jan Hooks as Candy Sweeney, Nora Dunn as Liz Sweeney during the 'Sweeney Sisters' skit on May 23, 1987 --
(Photo by Reggie Lewis/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

Nora Dunn (1985 – 1990) and Jan Hooks (1986 – 1991)

Together, Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks play one of the best duos in SNL history: The Sweeney Sisters. The two played lounge singers, Candy and Liz Sweeney, who sang mashups of popular songs that always ended in random scatting. Dunn and Hooks played these characters during a particularly rough time for SNL and maybe they weren’t entirely responsible for keeping the lights on, they brought in a ton of viewership. HOT!

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 14 -- Pictured: (l-r) Dennis Miller, Victoria Jackson during the 'Weekend Update' skit on February 25, 1989
(Photo by Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Victoria Jackson (1986 – 1992)

Victoria Jackson was best known for her appearances on “Weekend Update” where she would play herself and bust out gymnastic moves on the desk while reading a segment or a poem or singing a song! Ultimately she did leave the show after becoming ultra religious and political but remember when I said she did handstands on the Update desk in a dress?

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 8:   Actress Julia Sweeney autographs copies of her new book "It's Pat!: My Life Exposed" on September 8, 1992 at Book Soup in West Hollywood, California.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Julia Sweeney (1990 – 1994)

Okay, is Julia Sweeney responsible for the genderless character “Pat” that later got its own movie and maybe most definitely had weird messaging about gender and how we interact with trans people? Sure. But she works through some of that regret and misstepping when she reprises the character on Work in Progress. It shows how someone can reflect and adjust accordingly to the times and I think that’s not only rad, but pretty hot, too!

Actress Siobhan Fallon attends the screening of 'Greedy' on February 22, 1994 at Mann Bruin Theater in Westwood, California.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Siobhan Fallon Hogan (1991 – 1992)

Ahh, character actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan. While maybe not known for her short time on SNL, she’s certainly known for her characters across projects like Men in Black, Forrest Gump, The Golden Girls, Seinfeld, Baby Mama, 30 Rock, and more. Something hot about Siobhan is that she’s an incredible actress, but not a stand up. She didn’t get a whole lot of stage/screen time on SNL and she seemed to be totally fine with that and honestly, her lack of care is really hot. Especially since she goes on to be in so many impressive roles.

Beth Cahill performing a sketch in a tiara on Saturday Night Live

Beth Cahill (1991 – 1992)

Beth Cahill’s time on SNL was not only brief but also took place during the Adam Sandler and Chris Farley era, which was a hard time to stand out. While she was on, she played “Pam” in the very popular sorority girl in the series of sketches “Delta Delta Delta,” but otherwise played supporting roles. After her one season, you really didn’t see her much in anything. Instead, she started teaching sewing and edible landscaping (remind me to Google that later). A girlboss who knows her strengths and shares them with others? Say it with me: Hot!

NEW YORK CITY - OCTOBER 23:  Actress Melanie Hutsell attends the taping of "Saturday Night Live" on October 23, 1993 at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Melanie Hutsell (1991 – 1994)

Melanie Hutsell brought her Jan Brady impression to SNL for season 17 but is perhaps better known for her Mayim Bialik impression in which she wore a prosthetic nose. That? Not hot. What is hot is that she has since reflected and not only apologized but said if she could go back in time and right history, she would refuse to wear it. She had been told she’d be fired if she refused at the time. I know it’s a little too late and all of that but there are a ton of people who have larger platforms today who do not offer an apology for their past behavior. We learn and we do better and honey, that’s hot!

NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 6:  Ellen Cleghorne attends 45th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards on March 6, 1993 at RJ Colors Restaurant in New York City.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Ellen Cleghorne (1991 – 1995)

Ellen Gleghorne was the first Black woman to stay on SNL for more than one season. She was on for a total of four seasons and had an impressive tenure with a slew of impressions including Anita Baker, Anita Hill, Debbie Allen, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Tina Turner, and Whoopi Goldberg. However, what I think is most hot about Gleghorne is that she got her PhD from NYU Tisch and wrote her doctoral thesis on African American humor in a social context. She also teaches acting and comedy. I would have such a crush if I was a student. Hot!

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Sarah Silverman" Episode 1664 -- Pictured: Sarah Silverman during the opening monologue on October 4, 2014 --
(Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Sarah Silverman (1993 – 1994)

I’ve always been drawn to Sarah Silverman’s boyish charm and attitude. She’s one of the first comics I ever watched and taught me that there are other ways to be a girl. Her fame is of course attributed more to her own show and her film credits than it is to her stint on SNL, and that’s because most of her time there was (technically) a failure. As a writer, her sketches never made it to air. She only lasted a season, but everything that came after is why she’s as successful as she is now. I think it’s wicked hot to be like “Fine. You’re not going to make my sketches? Then I will.” Of course, I also find it incredibly unhot to make excuses for an ongoing genocide and blame it on getting high, which is disappointing to say the least. I’d like to be able to come back to this piece one day and say how hot it was for her to run back her words and say “Free Palestine” with her whole chest, but until then, FREE PALESTINE!

LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN -- Episode 652 -- Air Date 09/12/1996 -- Pictured: Comedian Laura Kightlinger performs on September 12, 1996 --
(Photo by Lesly Weiner/NBCU Photo Bank)

Laura Kightlinger (1994 – 1995)

Kightlinger played Marcia Clark during the OJ Simpson trials during the twentieth season. That’s right, lesbians, someone played Marcia Clark before Sarah Paulson! Kightlinger is a great standup and has an impressive acting resume. However, something hot about her that I think this audience in particular will enjoy, is that Kightlinger played a bartender at a gay bar in an episode of Roseanne where, you guessed it, Roseanne goes to a gay bar for the first time. She also wrote on Will & Grace! Ultimately, it’s her hustle as a stand up that makes her hot to me.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 2:  Janeane Garofalo attends 17th Annual Cable ACE Awards on December 2, 1995 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Janeane Garofalo (1994 – 1995)

Janeane Garofalo is another woman from SNL that made me feel better about being different as a young girl. My real frame of reference for Garofalo was her role on Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion as it is one of my favorite movies ever, but I do remember learning about her leaving the show mid-season because of the bro culture and sexism she had to deal with. I remember thinking that was so badass, especially when getting cast on SNL is such a life-long dream for people. She chose her peace and we all know that’s hot.

Morwenna Banks Arrives At The Premiere Of Infidel Held At The Hammersmith Apollo In West London.
(Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

Morwenna Banks (1995)

Morwenna Banks holds the record for shortest tenure on SNL at just four episodes. After her season concluded, she returned to the U.K. and had an incredible comedy career as a performer, actor, writer, and producer. The fact that SNL is the smallest and least interesting part of her career is HOT. So many people fizzle out after their time at 30 rock, but for her it was just a year in New York.

Actor Steve Carrell and Nancy Carrell arrive at the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California on March 07, 2010. AFP PHOTO Robyn BECK
(Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Nancy Walls Carrell (1995 – 1996)

There’s not a ton to say about Nancy Walls’ short time on SNL, so instead I’ll point to her performance on The Office as real estate agent Carol who was way out of Michael Scott’s league. The best part is, they’re married in real life! Also, Google is free. You can see how hot she is there.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 3 -- Pictured: Cheri Oteri during "Weekend Update" skit on October 21, 1995 -
– (Photo by: Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Cheri Oteri (1995 – 2000)

Cheri Oteri is partly responsible for bringing life back to SNL after a really rough (bad) season in 1994. Oteri is one of the few really excellent physical comedians and perhaps best known for her “Spartan Cheerleaders” duo with Will Ferrell. I think it’s really hot of Oteri to help make SNL good again just in time for me to be born.

Molly Shannon during The 52nd Annual Emmy Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States.
(Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

Molly Shannon (1995 – 2001)

Molly Shannon is a fucking star. Correction: Molly Shannon is a fucking Superstar. As someone who grew up an Irish Catholic School girl, Mary Katherine Gallagher was huge. Shannon was the second female cast member to have a character get its own movie after Julia Sweeney’s It’s Pat. Shannon will go down in history as one of the best cast members on SNL and it’s due to not only her talent but her extremely high energy, which made each of her performances electric. She’s one of the reasons I fell in love with comedy in the first place because her love for the game was so clear and so natural. Her time on SNL and her absurdly impressive career after has surely inspired generations of comedians to come and that is some hot girl shit.

NEW YORK CITY - FEBRUARY 28:  Ana Gasteyer attends the screening of "Blow Dry" on February 28, 2001 at the Paris Theater in New York City.
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Ana Gasetyer (1996 – 2002)

Mommy? I’m sorry, I mean Ana Gasetyer. The woman is a master impersonator, one of her best roles being Margaret Jo Cullen, the co-host of an NPR cooking show. I grew up on “Schweddy Balls” and let me tell you, the disconnect between what Gasetyer looks like and the shit that comes out of her mouth never disappoints. You expect her to play a polite, prude character but time and time again she delivers such a good dirty girl. That is certified hot.

Rachel Dratch
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Rachel Dratch (1999 – 2006)

Rachel Dratch, the star that you are! Dratch has a comedy career that I’m incredibly envious of and plays one of my favorite characters of all time, “Debbie Downer.” Just a few weeks ago, word made its way around the internet that Dratch’s character is what coined the term, not the other way around. Creating a character so good that the name enters public lexicon is extreme hot girl behavior.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 6 -- Air Date 11/17/2001 -- Pictured: Tina Fey during "Weekend Update" on Novemeber 17, 2001
(Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Tina Fey (2000 – 2006)

Tina Fey is a huge influence for me both as a lesbian and as a comedian. I know she’s not a lesbian, but can’t she still be my lesbian role model? I mean, I say all of the time that her 30 Rock character Liz Lemon is non-binary (and no, you cannot change my mind). There’s just something so interesting about Tina Fey and the way she experiences womanhood. I texted that to my girlfriend the other day after watching a couple episodes of Girls5Eva, because I feel like anything she’s ever created has really interesting portrayals of women and what it is to be a woman. She’s incredibly talented and created one of the best TV shows ever, so it comes at no surprise that she was SNL’s first female head writer. She’s also the first female player to join the Five-Timers Club, an exclusive group of former players to come back and host five times. Fey and Amy Poehler were also the first female duo to anchor Weekend Update. Again, one of the hottest SNL women ever.

Maya Rudolph arrives at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) held at the Royal Opera House in London
. (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)

Maya Rudolph (2000 – 2007)

One of my favorite things about Maya Rudolph is that she keeps coming back! Not only did she have a perfect seven-year run but she has over 20 cameos spanning from 2008 to 2023. She impersonated over 47 different celebrities and played 14 different characters. She is a gift that keeps on giving AND she can sing.

Amy Poehler during "Mean Girls" Los Angeles Premiere at Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California, United States.
(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Amy Poehler (2001 – 2008)

It’s really hard, for me at least, to think of SNL without thinking of Amy Poehler. She had big shoes to fill when she took Jimmy Fallon’s six-year-long co-anchor spot on “Weekend Update,” but god damn it did she deliver! She was the only player other than Eddie Murphy to be promoted from featured to repertory in the middle of a season, of course due to her insane improv skills and killer impressions. You can’t talk about Poehler on SNL without talking about her impression of Hillary Clinton or her and Fey on “Weekend Update” or tens of other characters she brought to life. I think that, outside of SNL, one of the hottest things Poehler has done is create such a fantastic, satirical TV show that people less intelligent than her, to this day, cannot understand. Parks and Recreation has recently entered internet discourse, deemed a “Quintessential Obama-era TV show,” with critics completely missing the darker side of her humor and writing her off as some happy-go-lucky liberal. Both Poehler and Leslie Knope are extremely hot women.

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 13:  Actress Kristen Wiig arrives to the"Whip It" premiere during the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival held at Ryerson Theatre on September 13, 2009 in Toronto, Canada.
(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Kristen Wiig (2005 – 2012)

Kristen Wiig is a really huge player for me. And not just because I’ve mostly assumed she was queer for, like, ever. Did we all just make up that she was gay? Anyway, her Target Lady character is one of my all-time favorite characters and guess what! She just revived it for a Target commercial in the year 2024! See, she is so hot that a character she created two decades ago is still earning her a paycheck. One of my favorite characters of Wiig’s is Dooneese from the “The Lawrence Welk Show” sketch where she dons tiny hands, a receding hairline, and a snaggle tooth. Proving that yes, even the purposefully “ugly” women are, indeed, the hottest.

Actress/Comedian Casey Wilson arrives at the 4th Annual Stella by Starlight Gala Benefit Honoring Martin Sheen at Chipriani 23rd st on March 17, 2008 in New York City.
(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Casey Wilson (2008 – 2009)

Casey Wilson is a really fun one. She was only on SNL for one season but she was good (and hot) enough for me to follow her over to Happy Endings in 2011, which was one of my favorite shows in high school. Wilson has some really great television and film credits and it’s always a treat to see her pop up in something I didn’t know she was in.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Michaela Watkins attends the Kate Somerville Emmy Gifting Suite Event - Day 2 at Kate Somerville on September 18, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage)

Michaela Watkins (2008 – 2009)

I’m a fan of Michaela Watkins but I gotta be honest, I had no idea she was on SNL. That’s probably because she was only on for one season and as a featured player. Turns out, at the time, she was the oldest female cast member to be hired at the age of 37. Say it with me now, “THAT’S HOT!”

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16:  From SNL Abby Elliott attend the Barneys New York unveiling of the 2009 Holiday Window Celebrating 35 Years of SNL at Barneys New York on November 16, 2009 in New York City.
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Barneys)

Abby Elliott (2008 – 2012)

Let’s make some noise for Abby Elliott’s incredible comeback on The Bear! With all due respect, I really didn’t know what happened to Elliott after she exited the show in 2012, and it was really fun to see her on screen for such a successful project. Elliott is the third generation of SNL Elliotts, the first being her grandfather, who appeared in one season four episode, and the second being her father, Chris Elliott. I think it’s ridiculously hot that Abby out-lasted her father, who was a player for only one season.

NEW YORK - MAY 02:  Actress Jenny Slate attends the "Saturday Night" after party during the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival at Forty Eight on May 2, 2010 in New York City.
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Jenny Slate (2009 – 2010)

I have a lot to say about Jenny Slate as an author, actress, and human being but I would like to focus this bit on her super short time on SNL. Slate was fired from the gig after her first season, which a lot of fans of the show could have predicted when she dropped the f-bomb in her very first performance (truly, iconic), but she was ultimately grateful to not be renewed. The job wasn’t for her! And so she moved on and created an incredible list of film and TV credits for herself. But I will never forget one of my favorite SNL sketches and performances of all time, “Doorbells and More.” It’s not even one of the historically great sketches, but to this day I still quote it. Slate’s ability to take what you could call a broken dream and turn it into a thriving career is super duper hot.

NEW YORK - MAY 17:  Actress Nasim Pedrad attends the 2010 NBC Upfront presentation at The Hilton Hotel on May 17, 2010 in New York City.
(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Nasim Pedrad (2009 – 2014)

While maybe not being a breakout player, per se, Nasim Pedrad brought excellent original characters to SNL, many of which were children. You know what happens when you cast a hot girl on a sketch show? She’s going to play a teenage boy. Okay, fine, and she does a flawless Kim Kardashian. Whatever.

ATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1586 "Jeff Bridges" -- Pictured: (l-r) Vanessa Bayer as Miley Cyrus
(Photo by Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Vanessa Bayer (2010 – 2017)

Speaking of playing teenage boys, Vanessa Bayer cemented herself as one of the greats with her portrayal of “Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy.” Some of her other memorable performances include Miley Cyrus, Rachel from Friends, and meteorologist Dawn Lazarus. The hottest thing she, or really anyone, has done is play Kristen Stewart’s wet lesbian lover in a sketch about Totino’s pizza rolls.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22:  Cecily Strong attends the "The Glint" Benefit Play Reading at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 22, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

Cecily Strong (2012 – 2022)

Cecily Strong is another cast member that has been frequently brought up in response to the TikTok in question here. So many people are furiously pointing at photos of Strong advocating for her hotness. That’s incredible. I’ll shed some light on her talent here to help make the case. To begin, Strong is the longest-tenured female cast member in SNL history with a whopping 11 seasons. Her impressions and characters lists are extensive including Jeanine Pirro, Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party, Malono Blahnik promoter, and sooo many more. Strong is especially hot to me because her time on SNL directly correlates with the years in which I worked on coming out as gay.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 324 -- Pictured: Comedian Aidy Bryant during an interview on February 9, 2016 --
(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Aidy Bryant (2012 – 2022)

Lil Baby Aidy. My girl. A treasure. Bryant’s characters list is just as long as her impressions, and she was such a staple on the show during my formative years and is responsible for musical hits like “Back Home Ballers” and “Aidy B and Cardi B,” as well as her duo with Bowen Yang “Trend Setters.” She also somehow managed to do both a flawless Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Ted Cruz. Dynamic queen! Towards the end of her tenure, she was also co-writing and starring in her Hulu show, Shrill, which was so so so good. Bryant is a HUSTLER and it shows by how successful she is. When she left SNL, it was a clear loss, often referred to as being part of a “mass exodus.” Being so fucking good at your job that your leaving is compared to a catastrophe of biblical proportions is h o t.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  Actress Noel Wells arrives at the "Forev" premiere during the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 15, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo by Jonathan Leibson/WireImage)

Noël Wells (2013 – 2014)

Noël Wells is a good example of what happens when the show does treat a cast member like “the cute girl.” She earned her spot on the show, a lifelong dream of hers, and then spent the better part of her single season on the sidelines, not quite given a chance to thrive like her male cast mates or other favored cast members. She speaks really openly about this, and about how much work it takes to pivot after you’re crushed, and I think that makes her a hottie.

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27:  SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata attends an exclusive Screening Of "Detroiters," starring Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson, hosted by Comedy Central & Entertainment Weekly at Time Inc. Studios on February 27, 2017 in New York City.
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)

Sasheer Zamata (2014 – 2017)

Sasheer Zamata joined the cast as a repertory player for season 41 after spending season 40 as a featured player. Zamata was the fifth Black woman to ever be hired as a cast member, but also the first to have been hired in a six year period. And when she was hired, so were two Black female writers, Leslie Jones and LaKendra Tookes. Man, was that a time for her to come on. Scandal was in the middle of its series run with Kerry Washington leading, The Obamas were in their second term, Beyoncé released Lemonade, Taraji P. Henson was on everyone’s TVs in Empire, and so many more cultural moments for Black women. There was a noticeable shift in what kind of characters and impersonations were happening on SNL during Zamata’s tenure, and who was being represented. Aside from her impressions, her original characters were a blast! But truly, what makes Zamata really hot to me is the skill at which she plays a lesbian on Home Economics.

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 205 -- Pictured: Leslie Jones, SNL cast member, during an interview on May 12, 2015 --
(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Leslie Jones (2014 – 2019)

At age 47, Leslie Jones became the oldest person to be hired as a cast member. That’s already hot. Like, I could stop there if I didn’t have more to say. Jones played a ton of unexpected roles like Donald Trump and Annie, but my favorite thing about Jones is when she would break character. There’s something really cool and hot about getting away with breaking, which Jones did frequently.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30:  Melissa Villasenor attends The 2017 Museum Gala at American Museum of Natural History on November 30, 2017 in New York City.
(Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Melissa Villaseñor (2016 – 2022)

The one exception to my rule about not mentioning anyone’s physical appearances is so that I can say I think the silver/gray streaks in Melissa Villasẽnor’s hair are a thing of God. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Moving on to her talent. That woman is a voice! Actor! She does brilliant impressions of Britney Spears, Christina Aguelera, Björk, Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Wiig, Lady GaGa, and so many others. She makes it look so effortless and fun and hot.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season:43 -- Pictured: Heidi Gardner --
(Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Heidi Gardner (2017 – present)

Heidi Gardner was specifically named by the original poster, stating that Gardner often plays the hot girl roles, but only because we’ve been trained to believe her to be hot. Have we ever stopped to consider that she is simply… hot? And funny? And really good at her job?

US actress Ego Nwodim attends the The Museum Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 18, 2021 in New York City.
(Photo by KENA BETANCUR / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Ego Nwodim (2018 – present)

America’s sweetheart Ego Nwodim. A gift to SNL. There are so many reasons why Ego is hot. For one, her Dionne Warnock impression is so good that Dionne Warnock herself came onto the show. She’s also not just a player but also a writer on the show, and has written some of the best sketches in the last five years. But what’s really won me, and the rest of the world, over is her character Lisa from Temecula. All of this came after not having much of a break out in her first couple of seasons, when big names like Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, and Melissa Villasẽnor were still on the show. Ego’s ability to fill in the gaps after those iconic women left is so incredibly hot. She really stepped up to the plate and will go down in history for it.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Chloe Fineman attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon Of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue )

Chloe Fineman (2019 – present)

Chloe Fineman is a huge asset to the current SNL cast for her impressions alone. In response to the “SNL women aren’t hot” video, many people are naming Fineman as an example of a conventionally attractive cast member. Sure! That’s great. But what’s hotter than her looks is her ability to play literally every white woman to ever exist. Her list of impersonations is almost as long and as impressive as Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, and Cecily Strong, all four of whom are hot women.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season: 46 -- Pictured: Lauren Holt --
(Photo By: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Lauren Holt (2020 – 2021)

Regretfully, I must have missed Holt’s time on SNL, probably because I kind of avoided the show during the pandemic. But I gotta say, pretty hot to have your only year on the show be during a global pandemic and time of political unrest and come out unscathed.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 47 Cast Headshots -- Pictured: Sarah Sherman --
(Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Sarah Sherman (2021 – present)

Sarah Sherman was such a fun addition to the cast in 2021 and brings something so unique and exciting to SNL. Known most for her body horror and funky outfits, she’s really made a lot of fans from her appearances on Weekend Update where she torments Colin Jost. To my knowledge, she’s the first player to bring truly grotesque humor to sketches, and viewers love it. She somehow turned her very niche interest into something digestible by the masses, and I think that’s because of how skilled she is and how passionate she is about her craft. Sick! And Hot!

Chloe Troast in a blue sweater

Chloe Troast (2023 – present)

Chloe Troast is the newest female cast member of SNL, currently in its 49th season. She’s had an incredible freshman year and is a standout with her beautiful singing voice. What makes her hot is perhaps the TikTok response she had to the very video that inspired me to write this piece.

Well, here we are, 5,000 words on how hot the women of SNL are later. Have we learned anything? Have we fixed sexism in the comedy world? No? Well, you can’t say that I didn’t try! SNL has a ton of flaws and is missing a lot of representation, but hot women? Not one of them.

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Motti (they/he) is a New York born and raised sorority girl turned writer, comedian, and content creator (whatever that means these days). Motti has been featured on We're Having Gay Sex Live, The Lesbian Agenda Show, Reductress Haha Wow! Live, the GayJoy Digest, and even played the role of "Real Life Lesbian" on Billy on the Street. In 2022, they wrote about how clit sucker toys are a scam, sweet gay revenge, chasing their dreams, and getting run over by a pick up truck in their now-abandoned newsletter Motti is An Attention Whore. Motti has a Masters in Public Administration and Local Government Management, you'd never know it from the shit they post online (see previous sentence), but occasionally he'll surprise you with his knowledge of civic engagement and electoral processes. They live in Brooklyn with their tuxedo cat, Bo, and their 20 houseplants.

Motti has written 21 articles for us.


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