SNL Season 49: Which Cast Members Got the Most (and Least) Screen Time?

Saturday Night Live’s 49th season cast consisted of 12 repertory performers and five featured players who were each seen on screen for an average of one hour, 20 minutes and 19 seconds. Some successfully or very nearly clocked in beyond two hours, while others fell short of reaching the one-hour mark. Scroll down to see how all 17 regulars (plus the three members of Please Don’t Destroy) stack up against each other.

A reminder: LateNighter’s screen time data is calculated using a method that prioritizes face time, meaning that any contiguous (off-screen but in-scene) moments and practically all partial body appearances do not count. Screen time in opening credits, bumpers and goodnights are not included, nor do those portions factor into our assessment of each episode’s running time. 

Colin Jost – 2:06:31 / 10.01%

By the end of his record 11th year as a “Weekend Update” anchor, Jost stood as this season’s only cast member to hit the two-hour and 10% screen time marks. This season’s “Weekend Update” segments comprised 19.2% of the show’s overall running time, and Jost’s on-camera average during them came to 52%.

Bowen Yang Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 5

Bowen Yang – 1:57:25 / 9.29%

Although he fell just short of two hours after getting there last season, Yang still holds the distinction of finishing in second place for the second year in a row. During his fifth season onm SNL (and third as a repertory player), he was most heavily utilized on November 18, when he appeared in both the cold open (as Tian Tian the panda) and “Weekend Update” (as George Santos).

Mikey Day Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 2

Mikey Day – 1:56:15 / 9.20%

Day finished his eighth season in third place after having landed in fifth two consecutive seasons. Along with Yang, he was one of two male cast members to reach a higher screen time than the rest in three of this season’s episodes, having come out on top on October 21, October 28 and May 11.

Heidi Gardner Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 13

Heidi Gardner – 1:54:13 / 9.03%

The only cast member to outpace all of the others four times this season, Gardner ranks above every female player by at least 25 minutes. She hit her screen time peak (11:33) on March 2, when she made her third of four “Weekend Update” visits of the season and impersonated CNN anchor Dana Bash in the cold open.

Kenan Thompson Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 1

Kenan Thompson – 1:40:08 / 7.92%

Instead of topping this ranking for a third consecutive season, Thompson fell well below his most recent two-year average of 122 minutes. He began his landmark 21st season in the Pete Davidson-hosted premiere with 10 minutes and 18 seconds of screen time, but consistently landed under nine minutes in each subsequent episode.

James Austin Johnson Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 15

James Austin Johnson – 1:35:03 / 7.52%

Johnson reached his highest full season screen time yet during his first year as a repertory player. The largest portion of his time was spent playing presidential candidate Donald Trump in seven sketches (including six cold opens) that collectively comprised 3.1% of the entire season.

Ego Nwodim Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 13

Ego Nwodim – 1:29:00 / 7.04%

Although her Season 49 screen time is relatively impressive, Nwodim is one of five repertory members whose presence decreased compared to last season. She is also the highest ranking person on this list to have never been the most utilized cast member in a Season 49 episode, as she was outshined in her top installment (March 2) by Gardner.

Andrew Dismukes Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 5

Andrew Dismukes – 1:25:08 / 6.73%

Among the repertory cast, Dismukes experienced the biggest screen time jump (almost 21 minutes) between Seasons 48 and 49, with only featured player Marcello Hernandez (24 minutes) outpacing him in general. He was most frequently seen on November 18 and hit the five-minute mark eight different times.

Sarah Sherman Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 3

Sarah Sherman – 1:24:53 / 6.71%

Sherman turned out to be the most improved female cast member in terms of screen time between the latest two seasons, partly because all others but Gardner fell below their previous totals. She also tied with Gardner for most “Weekend Update” appearances by a female performer this season (four).

Chloe Fineman Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 9

Chloe Fineman – 1:23:56 / 6.64%

Fineman’s Season 49 screen time was bolstered by three “Weekend Update” visits, the first of which involved her performing choreography from Save the Last Dance alongside Julia Stiles herself. Her talents were employed fairly consistently throughout the season, as evidenced by her maximum single episode screen time being 7:44 (January 20).

Michael Che Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 17

Michael Che – 1:21:06 / 6.42%

The gap between Che and Jost’s Season 49 screen time totals is over eight minutes larger than last season. Both “Weekend Update” anchors finished first among the cast in two episodes this time, but Jost generally pulled far ahead due to his solo interactions with 60% of the news segment’s Season 49 guests.

Marcello Hernandez Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 2

Marcello Hernandez – 1:17:24 / 6.12%

Hernandez’s screen time jump between his first and second years was made very noticeable by his record five “Weekend Update” guest spots this season. He outpaced all four of his fellow featured players in 11 episodes and even topped the general cast ranking once, on February 24.

Devon Walker Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 10

Devon Walker – 49:35 / 3.92%

Although he experienced a slight screen time drop between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Walker’s second place position among the featured cast is a major improvement, since he finished last a year ago. He ranked as the most prominent featured player four times between October and January.

Chloe Troast Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 6

Chloe Troast – 44:08 / 3.49%

As this season’s only new cast member, Troast achieved a screen time total that almost aligns with the average of Season 48’s four newcomers (47:42). Her top episode aired on December 2 and involved her demonstrating her vocal talent as “Make Your Own Kind of Music” singer Cass Elliot.

Michael Longfellow Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 6

Michael Longfellow – 39:17 / 3.11%

Like every Season 48-49 featured player besides Hernandez, Longfellow was given a bit less to do this season, although he did hit the five-minute mark twice. As was the case with Troast two weeks later, he was totally absent from the April 6 episode hosted by Kristen Wiig.

Punkie Johnson Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 14

Punkie Johnson – 37:13 / 2.94%

Johnson has now finished both of her first two seasons as a repertory member with less than 45 minutes of screen time. While she was utilized to some extent in each of this season’s episodes, she ended up on the bottom of the overall cast ranking three times and among repertory cast members another eight times.

Molly Kearney Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 8

Molly Kearney – 24:07 / 1.91%

Kenan Thompson would have held the record for biggest screen time drop between Seasons 48 and 49 if not for Kearney, whose screen time this season was nearly halved. After hitting their season peak (3:01) on December 16, they landed at the very bottom five times, including on March 30 when they sat out of every segment.

John Higgins Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 13

John Higgins – 15:40 / 1.24%

Higgins created a five-minute screen time gap between himself and the other two Please Don’t Destroy members by taking on the role of Florida governor Ron DeSantis in the November 11 cold open, which featured Johnson as Trump and Gardner, Kearney, Nwodim and Walker as other GOP candidates.

Martin Herlihy Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 19

Martin Herlihy – 10:12 / 0.81%

Viewers saw a total of 10 Please Don’t Destroy shorts this season, bringing the group’s all-time total of aired sketches to 28 (with six more cut for time). Herlihy is the only member of his trio who was seen in an 11th episode this season, having appeared for 15 seconds in the live February 3 sketch “Bad Couples.”

Ben Marshall Saturday Night Live season 49 episode 19

Ben Marshall – 9:39 / 0.76%

Aside from the Mother’s Day cold open in which all three Please Don’t Destroy members appeared alongside actors playing their dads, Marshall was not seen in any live segments this season. He is also the only Please Don’t Destroy member to have less than 25 seconds of screen time in any of their Season 49 videos, as he was only seen for 12 seconds in December 2’s “AI.”

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