10 Best Characters From Behind The Weekend Update Desk, RANKED!

Everybody has their favorite sketch characters from Saturday Night Live but there are some characters that make as big as an impact by just being recurring guests on Weekend Update. They don’t all land, but when they do, they are unforgettable. Here is a ranking of the ten best Saturday Night Live Weekend Update side characters of all time.

10. Comedian Bruce Chandling (Kyle Mooney)

Bruce Chandling is a terrible comedian played by Kyle Mooney. Chandling helped anchor Michael Che out when he first started in comedy so Che has Chandling come onto update to give his “unique take” on various topics and usually has an emotional breakdown halfway through. Those “unique takes” turn out to be jokes about how women take too long to get ready or don’t watch sports. Kyle Mooney is at his best playing a guy who is awkward and weird and Che’s “too cool for this” straight man demeanor goes along with him perfectly.


9. Judy Grimes (Kristen Wiig)

Travel Writer Judy Grimes comes onto Weekend Update to talk about vacationing and travel news but Grimes has terrible stage fright which causes her to talk in long, fast-paced sentences. Kristen Wiig doesn’t really break eye contact with the camera which makes it even more uncomfortably funny and follows up most sentences with “just kidding”.


8. Opera Man (Adam Sandler)

There’s really not much to say about Adam Sandler’s Opera Man character. Opera Man comes onto update accompanied by an Opera score and waving his white towel and singing his news takes and adding “-ah” and “-oh” to the end of everything. Opera man is one of the few update characters who actually does stick to delivering the news with jokes and is more of a guest anchor.


7. Lenny The Lion (Colin Quinn)

The concept alone works on paper: Colin Quinn is a lion from the Bronx Zoo. Lenny would come onto Weekend Update the first time as an expert on the case of some bears who escaped from the zoo into the tristate area. Lenny would also talk about all of life’s problems being a lion and how hard it is to be in a zoo setting and “everyone is gonna try you” when you’re the lion. Lenny has father issues to work on and things took a sad turn when Lenny came back on to talk about his health problems.


6. Drunk Uncle (Bobby Moynihan)

Drunk Uncle works so well because everyone has had this experience during the holidays. Your experience may not even be an uncle, it may just be a distant older relative or family friend but Bobby Moynihan does an amazing job of portraying that person at the table slamming down drinks and complaining about everything young people these days do wrong. The character became so popular that they had Bobby come out during the 12-12-12 relief concert for Hurricane Sandy (although that didn’t go over so well). It may be even funnier to watch when thinking that Bobby has to in some way feel some of these outrageous things he’s saying.


5. Jacob Silj (Will Ferrell)

Jacob Silj has been diagnosed with ‘Voice Immodulation Syndrome’, a disease which makes him unable to control the volume or inflection of his voice. The Update team brings Silj in to talk about the news of the day but his entire appearance turns into how hard it is to live with this disease because the anchor cannot stand his voice. It’s so hard for Jacob to control his voice that sometimes he even announces his inner monologue. The character’s tone is something you will notice Will Ferell go to from time to time in his movies as well.


4. Bennett Brauer (Chris Farley)

Bennett Brauer is probably best known for Farley his “air quotes” he throws in every other word and wearing a jacket that is too small for his large frame (which we see again in one of Tommy Boy’s most memorable scenes). Kevin Nealon would bring Brauer into talk news but like most Update characters he goes off on a tangent about something else. For Brauer it is usually about how surprised he is that NBC is allowing him back onto the show. The character is classic Chris Farley and became a character people still remember to this day after only making 3 appearances.


3. Garth and Kat (Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig)

Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig played a pair of folk singers who would come on Weekend Update to perform their newest song that they don’t seem to know the words to. The main laughs come from Wiig staring at Armisen and trying to copy everything he says and his mannerisms. Wiig says that they never rehearsed these bit, it was all on the fly and that made it even more fun since everything in SNL is so precise and scripted. Other than the hilarious improv, it’s great when Seth gives them one more chance and “Kat” begs for some outrageous number or the duo makes excuses for how far they came and why they’re unprepared.


2. Stefan (Bill Hader)

Stefan is the most popular Update character in the past few years, Bill Hader played the New York City nightlife expert who gave Seth Meyers the lowdown on the strangest and most secretive clubs in the city. People love when SNL castmembers break on air and Hader himself says he never made it through an entire appearance as Stefan without laughing. This is in part because the script would get changed up until Hader went out there. The character even got a beautiful goodbye segment on Hader’s last SNL appearance.


1. Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner)

Gilder Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna is probably the most famous and beloved Weekend Update character of all time. Roseanne Roseannadanna was Weekend Updates consumer affairs reporter who came on and read letters from “Richard Feder” of New Jersey. Radner played the character almost 20 times on SNL and would continue to play the character in her one-woman shows. Roseannadanna would go way off topic while anchor Jane Curtain constantly tried to get her back on track. No matter what year you started watching SNL, everyone knows this character and at the 40th anniversary of SNL, Emma Stone brought her back to life for one night.

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