8 Former "SNL" Cast Members Who Loved Their Time On The Show And 10 Who Did NOT

Fresh off the news that last season would be her final, McKinnon talked with Vulture about her 11 seasons on the show. "I hate change, and I hate goodbyes, and I love those people. … It was really hard, and I really am not good at saying goodbye to stuff," she said before adding, "Looking back on my decade at SNL, it was the greatest thing ever." And when asked what's next for her, she said, "I know that I will forever miss it, and especially the people. ... But I’m also excited to join new families and explore other parts of myself."

1. Loved it Kate McKinnon — Looking back on my decade at SNL, it was the greatest thing ever

Garofalo was a one-and-done performer on the show from 1994-1995 and told New York Magazine that it was, “the most miserable experience of my life.” Describing the work environment in the book Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, she said there was a "tangible, almost palpable — perhaps the word is 'visceral' — feeling of bad karma when you [walked] into the writers room," adding, “The prevailing comedy tastes were certainly none that I could support. I did not think we were doing a quality show, and if you mentioned that, you found you were an extremely unwelcome guest.”

2. Hated it: Janeane Garofalo — “The most miserable experience of my life.”

In a post on SNL writer Dave Sirus's Instagram, Davidson reflected on his impressive eight seasons on the show, saying, "I owe Lorne Michaels and everyone at SNL my life. I'm so grateful, and I wouldn't be here without them. I appreciate you guys always having my back and sticking up for me even when that wasn't the popular opinion." He goes on to say, "Thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical. Thank you for teaching me life values, how to grow up and for giving me memories that will last a lifetime. SNL is my home."

3. Loved it: Pete Davidson — "SNL is my home."

Zamata had a decent run on the show, spending four seasons as a cast member from 2014-2017, but it was not everything she dreamed it would be. During a 2019 panel put on by the Cut, titled "How I Get It Done," Zamata opened up about her experience at the show. “It was not what I thought it was going to be, and I don’t think anyone really thinks it’s going to be that way because it’s not like any other job." She goes on that it took “...a couple years of figuring out, ‘Am I OK with this?’ Do I want to just accept it as is and be like, ‘That’s just a job, and I guess I’ll just stay and take it like everybody else?’ Or, do I want to try something else that makes me feel really good and work with people who excite me and who are excited about me and want to create things that make us feel fulfilled?”

4. Hated it: Sasheer Zamata — "It was not what I thought it was going to be."

One of SNL's best, Shannon was on the show for seven seasons, from 1995-2001. In an interview with Variety earlier this year, she said, "Getting on the show far exceeded my expectations for life. ... I didn’t think I would ever get on SNL. So, when I finally got there, I was like, 'Oh my god, this is crazy.' ... I could stop right there and been so happy and fulfilled." And talking to USA Today about whether she saw the show as a means to bigger and better things, she said, "'A steppingstone?' I never saw it that way. I thought, 'This is the greatest job in show business!'"

5. Loved it: Molly Shannon — "This is the greatest job in show business!"

Slate was a one-and-done cast member, appearing on season 35 from 2009-2010. Rumors circulated that she was fired because she dropped an F-bomb on live TV (quite the no-no), but she addressed that story in a 2019 interview with InStyle. "Everyone always thinks I got fired for saying fuck: I didn't, that's not why I got fired. I just didn't belong there." She continues, "I didn't do a good job, I didn't click. I have no idea how Lorne felt about me. All I know is, it didn't work for me, and I got fired."

6. Hated it: Jenny Slate — "I just didn't belong there."

Meadows' tenure at Saturday Night Live lasted 10 seasons, and in an interview with the Daily Beast, he recounted what it was like to be on the show in its '90s heyday. "During that period, a lot of us had chemistry. ... There was a camaraderie, and then, once we all got to know each other after two or three seasons, we hung out with each other all the time outside of the shows and really did become best friends — and we’re still friends now." He went on to say that "it was the most fun writing-and-performing experience I think I’ve had."

7. Loved it: Tim Meadows — "It was the most fun writing-and-performing experience I think I’ve had."

Dunn described the vibe of the show as a "dysfunctional family" with a "love/hate relationship" in a 2015 interview with Salon. She added that, "SNL is a traumatic experience. ... It’s kind of something you have to survive." Having been on the show for five seasons (1985-1990), she went on to describe how things came to a close for her. "That last year I was on the show. I thought, I can’t write another sketch, I really did not want to be in another sketch. I just wanted to be on a show where somebody hands me a script."

8. Hated it: Nora Dunn — "SNL is a traumatic experience."

Bayer spent seven seasons on SNL between the years 2010 and 2017. In a recent interview with Uproxx about her new show I Love That for You (also starring SNL alum Molly Shannon), she said she "got so much out of that job," and that "it’s such a great job to get you ready for the rest of your career." Describing how it informed other jobs that came after it, she said, "It’s so funny because when I was doing [I Love That For You], they’d be like, ‘Is it okay if we call you in early?’ And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, when I was on SNL, no one even asked me.’ So, it just prepares you. It’s just good to learn that early that, like, just don’t take yourself so seriously because everybody’s working hard."

9. Loved it: Vanessa Bayer — "It’s such a great job to get you ready for the rest of your career."

On the show for an impressive six-season run (2010-2016), Pharoah talked about his experience in an interview with Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning, saying he had "...multiple people on the cast saying things like, ‘you’re so talented, you’re so able, they don’t use you and it’s unfair and it’s making us feel bad.'” He continued, “They put people into boxes. Whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do. I’m a little fiery, too. … I’m not a yes n***a.”

10. Hated it: Jay Pharoah — "They put people into boxes. Whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do."