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The Cast of 'Saturday Night Live' Gets Paid Wildly Different Amounts

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So How Much $$$ Does the Cast of 'SNL' Make?NBC - Getty Images

Gather 'round @ everyone feeling nosy about what celebrities have lurking in their bank accounts: It's time to discuss how much money the cast of SNL makes because it's sort of complicated.

You'd think Saturday Night Live's cast would make legit millions for working tirelessly every damn weekend, but it's not quite that simple. While some comedians are definitely making a ton of money, the size of your SNL paycheck depends on how ~seasoned~ you are, like, season-wise. Quick breakdown, incoming!

How Much Does the Cast Make on SNL?

First-Year Cast Members

According to Celebrity Net Worth, first-year cast members make just (sorry, "just") $7,000 per episode...which, considering there are typically around 21 episodes per season, ends up being $147,000. A ton of money, but it's only going up from there. 👀

Second-Year Cast Members

Celebrity Net Worth reports that cast members who make it to their second season get a $1,000 per episode raise, which amounts to an extra $21,000 if the season is 21 episodes for a total of $168,000 per season.

Fifth-Year Cast Members

Not sure what goes on between years two and five, but Celebrity Net Worth reports that if a Saturday Night Live cast member has been on the show for five years, they get a hugeeeee raise. Specifically, their per-episode salary shoots up to $15,000 per episode, which ends up being $315,000 for a 21-episode season (pssst: this is what Michael Che is thought to be making). And keep in mind that after five seasons of being on TV every Saturday night, these cast members tend to be household names—which means they're supplementing their SNL income with movies and spon-con.

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NBC - Getty Images

What Is the MOST Someone Can Make on SNL?

The highest NBC is willing to go for most major cast members is apparently $25,000 per episode, which comes out to $525,000 per year based on a 21-episode season. But this salary range is pretty much only reserved for megastars. Whomst, you ask? Apparently, Colin Jost and alums Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong have each brought home this much for being on SNL.

But no one in this group has been on the show longer than Kenan Thompson (he started in 2003), and Celebrity Net Worth thinks he gets even more due to multiple years of salary negotiations. Their estimate for his total SNL salary is between $2-3 million per year.

How Much Do SNL Hosts Make?

Unlike some events that don't pay hosts (see: most awards shows), Saturday Night Live comes through. According to the Sun, Justin Timberlake once told Entertainment Tonight he made $5,000 for hosting SNL:

“This was my third time to host and obviously I’ve done some appearances here and there when I’m in town… I really do adore the cast and the writers and everyone there. And it’s… you know… it’s a great opportunity for an entertainer like myself to... it’s the best minimum… It’s the best five grand you can make on television. It’s awesome.”

Thank you JT for the intel. 🫡

Do SNL Guests Get Paid?

Short answer: yes. We know this because Alec Baldwin told the New York Times (via Deadline) that he got paid $1,400 just for his Donald Trump appearances.

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NBC - Getty Images

Obviously, this fee (and Justin Timberlake's) might seem kinda low compared to what these actors command for other roles, but hosting/appearing on SNL is considered an honor and whatnot, so guess they're fine with it!

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