''Saturday Night Live'''s graduates -- A look at what's happened to the shows alumni, both good and bad

Chevy Chase


Peaks: Three National Lampoon Vacation hits; Fletch (1985)

Valleys: Costarred with Benji in Oh, Heavenly Dog! (1980); the dreadful Under the Rainbow (1981)

Next: Memoirs of an Invisible Man, opening this week

Dan Aykroyd


Peaks: Ghostbusters (1984); his Oscar-nominated role in Driving Miss Daisy (1989)

Valleys: Doctor Detroit (1983); Nothing but Trouble (1991), his unwatchable directing debut

Next: This Is My Life, now playing

John Belushi


Died of a drug overdose, 1982

Peaks: The unforgettable National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) and The Blues Brothers (1980)

Valleys: The forgettable 1941 (1979) and Neighbors (1981)

Jane Curtin


Peaks: Two Emmys as best comedy actress for CBS’ Kate & Allie

Valleys: 1990’s Working It Out didn’t last the season on NBC

Next: Seeking new projects

Garrett Morris


Peak: A recurring role as a stool pigeon on NBC’s Hunter

Valley: A cruise on ABC’s The Love Boat

Next: Keeping his barstool warm on Fox’s Roc

Bill Murray


Peaks: A nearly unbroken hot streak from Meatballs (1979) to Ghostbusters (1984)

Valley: Got critical noogies for the drama The Razor’s Edge (1984)

Next: Mad Dog and Glory, with Robert De Niro, due this fall

Laraine Newman


Peaks: An engagingly horny aerobics-studio chippy in Perfect

Valley: A grotesquely evil would-be stepmom in Problem Child 2 (1991)

Next: Raising her newborn daughter, Lena

Gilda Radner


Died of ovarian cancer, 1989

Peak: Gilda Live From New York, her one-woman show on Broadway

Valley: Haunted Honeymoon (1986), with her husband Gene Wilder

Denny Dillon


Peak: A permanent secretarial position of HBO’s sitcom Dream On

Valley: A brief hitch on the Fox sitcom Women in Prison

Next: Filming the third season of Dream On

Gilbert Gotfried


Peak: An uproarious cameo as an accountant in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

Valley: His masturbation monologue at the 1991 Emmys

Next: Voice of a parrot in Disney’s animated Aladdin, due by Christmas

Gail Matthius


Peak: Guest-starred on CBS’ Simon & Simon

Valley: Voice of Howie Mandel’s Mom on the Fox cartoon Bobby’s World

Next: The voice of a loon on TV’s Tiny Toon Adventures

Ann Risley


Peak: A school-teacher in Desert Bloom (1986) with Jon Voight

Valley: Got shot on an episode of ABC’s The Young Riders

Next: TNT’s Four Eyes, with Judge Reinhold, due this fall

Charles Rocket


Peak: A lieutenant in Dances With Wolves (1990)

Valley: A one-eyed amnesiac in the John Candy bomb Delirious (1991)

Next: A New Age police captain on CBS’ dog-and-cop show Tequila and Bonetti

Brian Doyle Murray


Peak: As Jack Ruby in JFK (1991), shot Lee Harvey Oswald

Valley: Chris Elliott’s landlord on Fox’s ratings cellar-dweller Get a Life

Next: Only SNL alum to appear in Wayne’s World

Christine Ebersole


Peak: Leading role in the underrated CBS sitcom The Cavanaughs

Valley: Mom in the E.T. rip-off Mac and Me (1988)

Next: Title role in CBS’ medical comedy Rachel Gunn, R.N., due this spring

Tony Rosato


Peak: Played a vicious Columbian drug lord on CBS’ Wiseguy

Valley: One of the voices for NBC’s Super Mario World cartoon

Next: A jewel thief’s sidekick in USA’s upcoming movie Diamond Fleece

Robin Duke


Peak: A sun-bathing secretary in Club Paradise (1986)

Valley: Appeared in the giant-insect movie Blue Monkey (1987)

Next: Writing projects

Brad Hall


Peak: Married fellow cast member Julia Louis Dreyfus

Valley: Costarred with her in Troll (1986)

Next: Writing more for CBS’ Brooklyn Bridge

Tim Kazurinsky


Peak: Helped turn a David Mamet play into About Last Night… (1986)

Valley: Cowrote Molly Ringwald flop For Keeps (1988)

Next: ”1st Party Dad” in Bobcat Goldthwait’s Shakes the Clown, due in March

Eddie Murphy


Peaks: Superstardom with 48 HRS. (1982), Trading Places (1983), and two Beverly Hills Cops

Valleys: Harlem Nights (1989) and Another 48 HRS. (1990)

Next: The romantic-comedy Boomerang, due in June

Joe Piscopo


Peaks: Commercials pitching light beer and fitness studios

Valleys: The criminal Johnny Dangerously (1984), Wise Guys (1986), and Dead Heat (1988)

Next: Sidekicks, with Chuck Norris, not yet scheduled

Jim Belushi


Peak: A strong dramatic role in Oliver Stone’s Salvador (1986)

Valleys: Trapped in male-buddy hell (Red Heat, Taking Care of Business, etc.)

Next: Once Upon a Crime, with John Candy, due next week

Billy Crystal


Peaks: The one-two punch of When Harry Met Sally… (1989) and City Slickers (1991)

Valley: The maudlin Memories of Me (1988)

Next: His directing debut, Mr. Saturday Night, due in September

Mary Gross


Peak: Star billing with Rebecca De Mornay in the disastrous Feds (1988)

Valley: Second fiddle to Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills (1989)

Next: The zany neighbor on ABC’s new Billy

Christopher Guest


Peak: Cranked it up to 11 as Nigel Tufnel in This Is Spinal Tap (1985)

Valley: Sucked his thumb in Robert Altman’s Beyond Therapy (1987)

Next: Tap’s comeback album Break Like the Wind, due in March

Rich Hall


Peak: His best-selling Sniglets books

Valley: Appeared in the box office bust Million Dollar Mystery (1987)

Next: Developing Up to Here, a sitcom for Fox

Gary Kroeger


Peak: Hosted Fox’s stand-up spotlight Comic Strip Live

Valley: Costarred with George Hamilton in CBS’ short-lived Spies

Next: Currently on the L.A. stage in A Couple of Guys at the Movies

Julia Louis-Dreyfus


Peak: Her three-dimensional role as Jerry’s ex on NBC’s Seinfeld

Valley: Her one-dimensional role as a yuppie on NBC’s Day by Day

Next: Jack the Bear, with Danny DeVito, due in September

Harry Shearer

1979-1980, 1984-1985

Peaks: Spinal Tap’s brooding bassist Derek Smalls; voice for Fox’s The Simpsons

Valley: An Italian tailor in the Sly Stallone fiasco Oscar (1991)

Next: Back with Spinal Tap

Martin Short


Peaks: Innerspace (1987); cameos in The Big Picture (1989) and Father of the Bride (1991)

Valleys: Almost everything else (Three Fugitives, Pure Luck, etc.)

Next: A 10-year-old brat in Clifford, not yet scheduled

Pamela Stephenson


Peak: Returned to Britain and married Scottish comic Billy Connolly

Valley: U.K. films and TV projects haven’t made it across the Atlantic

Next: Living in L.A. with Connolly and their five kids

Joan Cusack


Peak: Oscar-nominated as a Staten Island secretary in Working Girl (1988)

Valley: Fell for Rick Moranis in My Blue Heaven (1990)

Next: Supporting role in Barry Levinson’s Toys, due for Christmas

Robert Downey Jr.


Peak: Held his own with James Woods in True Believer (1989)

Valley: His insufferable turn as The Pick-Up Artist (1987)

Next: Chaplin in Sir Richard Attenborough’s Charlie, due at year’s end

Anthony Michael Hall


Peak: A convincing jock bully in Edward Scissorhands (1990) Valley: An unconvincing jock in Johnny Be Good (1988)

Next: A spoiled Hollywood star in Into the Sun, now playing

Terry Sweeney


Peak: It’s Still My Turn, his one-man/woman show as Nancy Reagan

Valley: Cowrote Shag (1989), swept under at the box office

Next: Developing a gay-themed film to star in and direct

Randy Quaid


Peaks: A redneck in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989); NBC’s LBJ: The Early Years

Valley: Reprised Last Picture Show role in the flaccid Texasville (1990)

Next: Davis Rules, now on CBS

Danitra Vance


Peaks: Played a doctor in Little Man Tate (1991)

Valley: Appeared in the failed feminist farce Sticky Fingers (1988)

Next: Jumpin’ at the Boneyard, shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January

Damon Wayans


Peaks: Fox’s In Living Color; costarred with Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout (1991)

Valley: Also worked with Willis on 1990’s Look Who’s Talking Too

Next: Mo’ Money, due in June

Nora Dunn


Peak: her one-woman show Nobody’s Rib played seven weeks in San Francisco

Valley: Nobody’s Rib book published, and nobody noticed

Next: Nobody’s Rib may open Off Broadway this spring

Jon Lovitz


Peak: Tom Hanks’ uptight coworker in Big (1988)

Valley: Dan Aykroyd’s swingin’ bro in My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)

Next: Dick and Marge Save the World, with Teri Garr, due in August

Jan Hooks


Peak: First episode as a cast member of CBS’ Designing Women got show’s highest ratings

Valley: Ratings have dropped since

Next: An image consultant to the Penguin in Batman Returns, due in June

Dennis Miller


Peak: Promising ratings for the first week of his syndicated talk show

Valley: Show’s reviews have been decidedly mixed

Next: Waiting for Johnny Carson to retire

Episode Recaps

Bowen Yang
Saturday Night Live

The original late-night comedy sketch show from the one and only Lorne Michaels.

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