Comedy

Live from New York: Our Dream Saturday Night Live Cast

For almost four decades, Saturday Night Live has been America's premier sketch comedy show, spawning dozens of memorable characters, launching comedians into near-iconic status and, of course, making us laugh, cry and hurl.

SNL's presence has become a part of our national DNA, ranging from Monday morning water-cooler conversation about the latest Target lady sketch to scathing political commentary on pretty much everyone in Washington's sphere.

Tomorrow night marks the start of the show's 37th season, and it will also be a milestone for Alec Baldwin, who will host for a sixteenth time, breaking Steve Martin's record of 15 turns.

For us at Art Attack, who came of age watching the show during the Mike Myers-Phil Hartman-Dana Carvey-Julia Sweeney era (which was a helluva cast to grow up with -- it ensured our love for the show as a whole, beginning with its '70s debut and ending with, well, now), the beginning of each season is a special time for us: What new neurotic characters will we fall in love with? How will they handle rising politicians (such as Rick Perry)? Which products will be the writers' latest flaks for fake commercials?

In honor of the weekend, we wanted to do something special; something that would nod to the entire show, not just one cast or era; something that will cause fistfights and send us hate mail.

So we came up with our dream cast, limiting ourselves to only six boys and six girls over 36 years of great comedy. It wasn't easy. Would we want Chris Farley if we could have John Belushi? What about Phil Hartman over Darrell Hammond? Do we forget about the dry well that was the early '80s? (Probably).

As an extra special special, we also chose our all-time host and our all-time Weekend Update team. That was tough, too. Nealon over McDonald? Fey and Poehler over Aykroyd and Curtin?

Fortunately, we're not the casting agents for SNL, and we're pretty sure we would get nothing done if we were. But in anticipation of those seven words spoken at the beginning of each show, that even now make our hair stand on end with glee, here is our dream cast.

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Caroline Evans and Craig Hlavaty