Bill Murray joined Saturday Night Live in 1977, just as the late-night phenomenon was taking America by storm, but says the show’s greatest cast may have come more recently.
On Friday, Murray stopped by the website Reddit for an unannounced AMA (ask me anything) session with fans. One person asked what Bill thought of the current SNL cast, to which he offered a bit of a surprise.
Murray, who appeared alongside John Belushi, Gilda Radner, and Dan Aykroyd, said the previous cast of Saturday Night Live could have given the original “Not Ready For Primetime Players” a run for their money.
“I really feel like the previous cast, that was the best group since the original group, They were my favorite group. Some really talented people that were all comedians of some kind or another. You think about Dana Carvey, Will, Hartman, all these wonderful funny guys. But the last group with Kristen Wiig and those characters, they were a bunch of actors and their stuff was just different.”
Bill Murray said the cast meshed perfectly with writers, and vice versa.
“It’s all about the writing, the writing is such a challenge and you are trying to write backwards to fit 90 minutes between dress rehearsal and the airing, And sometimes the writers don’t get the whole thing figured out, it’s not like a play where you can rehearse it several times. So good actors – and those were really good actors, and there are some great actors in this current group as well I might add – they seem to be able to solve writing problems, improvisational actors, can solve them on their feet.”
Much of the most recent cast — players like Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, and Bill Hader — have left the show and staked successful Hollywood careers, a path already perfected by Bill Murray and others from his generation.