Robert Downey Jr. Becomes First SNL Cast Member to Win an Oscar

While his short tenure as a Saturday Night Live cast member may not be the first thing we think of when we think of Robert Downey Jr., he blazed a new path for the show Sunday night.

In winning Best Supporting Actor for Oppenheimer, Downey is now the first SNL cast member to take home an Oscar.

The have been other nominees. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Joan Cusack, Michael McKean, and Kristen Wiig have all been been nomimated, but none sealed the deal. Downey himself was a three-time nominee going into Sunday night’s ceremony, having lost for Chaplin in 1993 and Tropic Thunder in 2009.

Downey served just one year as a cast member on the show in 1985, in what some consider SNL’s worst season. It was one of only two seasons that began with a complete cast turnover, and more than half weren’t asked back the following the season. Downey was one of the casualties, although he did return to host ten years later in 1996.

Of his time on the show, Downey has said, “I learned so much in that year about what I wasn’t. I was not somebody who was going to come up with a catchphrase. I was not somebody who was going to do impressions. I was somebody who was very ill-suited for rapid-fire sketch comedy.”

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