Lorne Michaels ranks Will Ferrell among top ‘SNL’ cast members

“What Will does is focused, and there’s always something charming and fun about it”

Lorne Michael has said that Will Ferrell is among the top three cast members to have ever appeared on Saturday Night Live.

The sketch comedy creator hired Ferrell in 1995, and the pair worked together on the show until 2002.

“I never rank, but Will’s definitely in the top two or three that have ever done the show,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s no question.”

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“There’s a phrase, ‘Some people just spill over.’  With being funny, there’s a neediness, there’s an anger, there’s a lot of other things that go with it,” he said when describing Ferrell’s very particular brand of comedy. “What Will does is focused, and there’s always something charming and fun about it.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Ferrell revealed that he turned down $29million (£21.2million) to star in a sequel to festive hit Elf because he didn’t believe in its story.

Will Ferrell in ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Credit: Alamy)

The actor described the premise of the sequel to the 2003 film, which took over $222million (£162.3million) at the box office, as being too similar to the original.

“I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place, which would’ve been, like, ‘Oh no, it’s not good. I just couldn’t turn down that much money,’” he said.

“I thought, ‘Can I actually say those words? I don’t think I can, so I guess I can’t do the movie.’”

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Saturday Night Live received a ratings bump last weekend thanks to Jason Sudeikis’ return as host.

As part of his episode, Sudeikis joked about the success of his Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso, admitting in his opening monologue that it was “truly shocking to me because it’s built around two things Americans hate: soccer and kindness”.

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