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View Full Version : Better gig: SNL Featured Player or Daily Show Correspondent?


drastic_quench
11-12-2012, 08:53 AM
If some up-and-coming comedian somehow got the opportunity to choose between the two, which wins out in your view? To simplify the hypothetical, let's say they don't have a specific strength that makes a clear cut choice for them -- like a comic that specializes in impressions.

Stark Raven Mad
11-12-2012, 09:06 AM
I'd go for SNL for sheer numbers alone. No publicity is bad publicity right? A quick Googling suggests that SNL gets anywhere from 7 - 18 million viewers per episode and Daily Show gets 1.5 million. It's an easy choice to make.

Tapioca Dextrin
11-12-2012, 09:11 AM
Network TV vs Basic Cable. Should be an easy choice. OTOH, how many SNL alumni have had decent careers recently?

drastic_quench
11-12-2012, 09:32 AM
Network TV vs Basic Cable. Should be an easy choice. OTOH, how many SNL alumni have had decent careers recently?

Right, especially weighed against Colbert and Carell - but not so much everyone else. Also, an SNL "featured player" isn't the same as a regular cast member. They come and go frequently, and they're more often in the background than actually featured.

Then again, by all accounts, a DS correspondent has more control over their remote segments than an SNL player does over a sketch. So a writer-funnyman might have a better shot to shine on the DS vs SNL, because on SNL they'd more likely be performing someone else's sketch.

Dewey Finn
11-12-2012, 09:51 AM
Definitely The Daily Show. The quality of the writing is better. Also, the show appears more frequently throughout the year, so there are more opportunities to shine.

WordMan
11-12-2012, 10:08 AM
Right, especially weighed against Colbert and Carell - but not so much everyone else.

Ed Helms (Hangover, The Office). Olivia Munn was only on for a bit, but did okay. Ed Corddry hasn't gotten huge but is still doing well with his Children's Hospital bit and movie work. Rob Riggle is getting work, but based on that radio bit I saw during the Super Bowl, I am increasingly wondering why.

So yes, Carell and Colbert both got huge, but others are doing pretty well, too...

Right now, TDS is seen as more current and with better writing. SNL gets buzz every now and then. I don't think ratings matter as much from an inside-the-biz perspective. Heck, look at Jon Stewart - with the ratings of TDS he is still held up as the Man when it comes to his reputation...

Simplicio
11-12-2012, 10:12 AM
Network TV vs Basic Cable. Should be an easy choice. OTOH, how many SNL alumni have had decent careers recently?

Really? Just of people that have been in SNL since 2005, Tina Fey and Amy Poeler have their own TV shows, Kristen Wiig had a well received movie, Chris Parnell is on some show I've never heard of on ABC, Fred Armisen is doing Portlandia, etc.

I'd say your pretty much guaranteed a few relatively high profile projects once you leave SNL. Granted, some castmembers projects flop and they disappear, but a surprising number do well.

That's not true for the Daily Show. A few castmembers have done well, but a lot have faded into obscurity. Purely from a "future career" standpoint, I'd say there's no question SNL is the better route.

Ellis Dee
11-12-2012, 10:15 AM
In both shows, you write your own sketches and don't get on unless you write yourself something good. So it's not a matter of choosing the better writing staff to make yourself look good.

Dewey Finn
11-12-2012, 10:16 AM
I saw an article quoting an actor about doing a guest appearance on SNL. He said (paraphrasing) that when doing the show, he reminded himself that one of the cast members would in a few years be doing movies for a $20 million salary. (Think of people like Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, etc.)

drastic_quench
11-12-2012, 10:27 AM
Ed Helms (Hangover, The Office). Olivia Munn was only on for a bit, but did okay. Ed Corddry hasn't gotten huge but is still doing well with his Children's Hospital bit and movie work. Rob Riggle is getting work, but based on that radio bit I saw during the Super Bowl, I am increasingly wondering why.

So yes, Carell and Colbert both got huge, but others are doing pretty well, too...

Right now, TDS is seen as more current and with better writing. SNL gets buzz every now and then. I don't think ratings matter as much from an inside-the-biz perspective. Heck, look at Jon Stewart - with the ratings of TDS he is still held up as the Man when it comes to his reputation...

I forgot Helms! Duh. Olivia Munn, to be fair, would be doing fine without her DS stint, I'd wager -- though maybe it had something to do with her being cast on The Newsroom.

Ultimately, I think from a credibility standpoint, I'd choose The Daily Show. It's the cool one. It's the relevant one. And I'm positive it skews younger and hipper in their respective demographics.

WordMan
11-12-2012, 11:01 AM
Ultimately, I think from a credibility standpoint, I'd choose The Daily Show. It's the cool one. It's the relevant one. And I'm positive it skews younger and hipper in their respective demographics.

Yeah, that is where I was going with my post...

The Second Stone
11-12-2012, 12:22 PM
TDS. Jon Stewart is two months younger than I am, so at least I could possibly get a job. SNL has only Lorne Michaels anywhere near my age.

Cayuga
11-12-2012, 04:30 PM
Really? Just of people that have been in SNL since 2005, Tina Fey and Amy Poeler have their own TV shows, Kristen Wiig had a well received movie, Chris Parnell is on some show I've never heard of on ABC, Fred Armisen is doing Portlandia, etc.

I could be mistaken, but I don't think any of those people started as featured players. I know Fey and Wiig didn't. The OP specifically said featured player, not cast member.

(For reference, this season's FPa are Aidy Btryant, Kate McKinnon, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong.)

GrandWino
11-12-2012, 04:34 PM
I could be mistaken, but I don't think any of those people started as featured players. I know Fey and Wiig didn't. The OP specifically said featured player, not cast member.

(For reference, this season's FPa are Aidy Btryant, Kate McKinnon, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong.)

Wiig started out as a Featured Player in 2005 and was made a full cast member before the 2006 season.

Fey started out as a writer in '97 and eventually became the head writer before getting onto the Update desk and appearing in sketches in 2000. So she's kind of a unique case that's not really relevant to the Featured Player discussion.

Simplicio
11-12-2012, 04:55 PM
Hmm...I thought all the cast members started as Featured Players except for special cases like Fey. But I never really understood the system, so I'm sure I could be wrong. FWIW: the wiki entry for the 2002 says Poeler was "upgraded" to a repertory player. It doesn't say upgraded from what, but I assume it was from feature player.

Actually, checking wikipedia for the other people I mentioned:

Armisen was a featured player in season 28, Tina Fey was a featured player in season 26 and Chris Parnell was a featured player on season 25.

So I think I was right originally, most or all cast members were feature players at one point. And being a cast member on SNL is generally much likely to propel your career forward then being on the Daily Show.

tim-n-va
11-13-2012, 12:34 PM
Do the actual viewer numbers matter? A member of the general public isn't going to decide to offer a movie deal. Movie studios are likely keeping an eye on a variety of these type shows. The more frequent airing of TDS could be an advantage.

GrandWino
11-13-2012, 03:23 PM
TDS seems to be a great springboard into regular TV work either as a regular cast member on a series or as a guest star. SNL tends to put you in the movies.

Ellis Dee
11-14-2012, 01:04 AM
TDS seems to be a great springboard into regular TV work either as a regular cast member on a series or as a guest star. SNL tends to put you in the movies.This is a fair generalization, though it's worth pointing out that both Steve Carrell and Ed Helms have solid movie careers while Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler have solid tv careers.

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