- The Wire (2002-2008, 60 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by David Simon
- The Simpsons (1989-Present, 601 episodes over 28 seasons) FOX Created by Matt Groening
- Seinfeld (1989-1998, 180 episodes over 9 seasons) NBC Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld
- Breaking Bad (2008-2013, 62 episodes over 5 seasons) AMC Created by Vince Gilligan
- The Daily Show (1996-Present, 3000+ episodes) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Madeleine Smithberg and Lizz Winstead
- Game of Thrones (2011-Present, 60 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
- The Sopranos (1999-2007, 86 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by David Chase
- Mad Men (2007-2015, 92 episodes over 7 seasons) AMC Created by Matthew Weiner
- South Park (1997-Present, 267 episodes over 19 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- The Larry Sanders Show (1992-1998, 89 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by Garry Shandling and Dennis Klein.
- The Colbert Report (2005-2014, 1447 episodes over 10 seasons. COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Stephen Colbert, Ben Karlin, and Jon Stewart
- Family Guy (1999-Present, 273 episodes over 15 seasons) FOX Created by Seth McFarlane
- Law and Order (1990-2010, 496 episodes over 20 seasons) NBC Created by Dick Wolf
- The West Wing (1999-2006) NBC Created by Aaron Sorkin
- Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present, 80 episodes over 8 seasons) HBO Created by Larry David
- Arrested Development (2003-Present, 68 episodes over 4 seasons) FOX/NETFLIX Created by Mitchell Hurwitz
- Louie (2010-Present, 61 episodes over 5 seasons) FX Created by Louie CK
- Friends (1994-2004, 236 episodes over 10 seasons) NBC Created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman
- Chappelle's Show (2003-2006, 28 episodes over 3 seasons) Comedy Central. Created by Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan.
- 30 Rock (2006-2013, 138 episodes over 7 seasons) NBC Created by Tina Fey
- Lost (2004-2010, 121 episodes over 6 seasons) ABC Created by JJ Abrams
- NYPD Blue (1993-2005, 261 episodes over 12 seasons) ABC Created by Steven Bochco and David Milch
- The X-Files (1993-2002, 208 episodes over 10 seasons) FOX Created by Chris Carter
- Deadwood (2004-2006, 36 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Created by David Milch
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-Present, 124 episodes over 11 seasons) FX Created by Rob McElhenney
- The Shield (2002-2008, 88 episodes over 7 seasons) FX Created by Shawn Ryan
- Friday Night Lights (2006-2011, 76 episodes over 5 seasons) NBC Based on the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger
- Key and Peele (2012-2015, 53 episodes over 5 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele
- Six Feet Under (2001-2005, 63 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by Alan Ball
- SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-Present, 205 episodes over 10 seasons) NICKELODEON Created by Stephen Hillenburg
- (1997-2003, 56 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by Tom Fontana Oz
- Twin Peaks (1990-1991, 30 episodes over 2 seasons) ABC Created by Mark Frost and David Lynch
- Frasier (1993-2004, 264 episodes over 11 seasons) NBC Created by David Angell, Peter Casey, and David Lee
- Black Mirror (2011-Present, 13 episodes over 3 seasons) CHANNEL 4/NETFLIX Created by Charlie Brooker
- Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999, 122 episodes over 7 seasons) NBC Created by Paul Attanasio and based on the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon
- 24 (2001-2014, 204 episodes over 9 seasons) FOX Created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran
- ER (1994-2009, 331 episodes over 15 seasons) NBC Created by Michael Crichton
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993-2009, 2,725 episodes over 14 seasons) NBC Created by Conan O'Brien
- Fargo (2014-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) FX Created by Noah Hawley
- Atlanta (2016-Present, 10 episodes over 1 season) FX Created by Donald Glover
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003, 144 episodes over 7 seasons) THE WB/UPN Created by Joss Whedon
- The Office (British) (2001-2003, 12 episodes over 2 seasons) BBC Created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009, 75 episodes over 4 seasons) SCI-FI Based on TV series Battlestar Galactica by Glen A. Larson and developed by Ronald D. Moore
- Real Time with Bill Maher (2003-Present, 400+ episodes over 14 seasons HBO Presented by Bill Maher
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996, 148 episodes over 6 seasons) NBC Created by Andy and Susan Borowitz
- Mr. Robot (2015-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) USA Created by Sam Esmail
- The Leftovers (2014-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) HBO Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta and based on the novel The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
- Sex and the City (1998-2004, 94 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO Created by Darren Star
- 30 for 30 (2009-Present, 91 episodes) ESPN Created by Bill Simmons and Connor Schell
- The Americans (2013-Present, 52 episodes over 4 seasons) FX Created by Joe Weisberg
- Parks and Recreation (2009-2015, 125 episodes over 7 seasons) NBC Created by Greg Daniels and Michael Shur
- American Crime Story (2015-Present, 10 episodes over 1 season) FX Developed by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
- Sherlock (2010-present, 10 episodes over 3 seasons) BBC Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat
- Pardon the Interruption (2001-Present, 3500+ episodes) ESPN Starring Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon.
- The Office (American) (2005-2013, 201 episodes over 9 seasons) NBC Developed by Greg Daniels and based on The Office by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant
- Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000, 293 episodes over 10 seasons) FOX Created by Darren Star, Aaron Spelling, and E. Duke Vincent
- The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (1992-2014, 4,610 episodes over 22 seasons) NBC Presented by Jay Leno
- Justified (2010-2015, 78 episodes over 6 seasons) FX Developed by Graham Yost and based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by Elmore Leonard
- Modern Family (2009-Present, 171 episodes over 8 seasons) ABC Created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-2015, 337 episodes over 15 seasons) CBS Created by Anthony E. Zulker
- In Living Color (1990-1994, 127 episodes over 5 seasons) FOX Created by Keenan Ivory Wayans
- Beavis and Butthead (1993-1997, 2011, 222 episodes over 8 seasons. MTV Created by Mike Judge
- Hannibal (2013-2015, 39 episodes over 3 seasons) NBC Developed by Bryant Fuller
- Chicago Hope (1994-2000, 141 episodes over 6 seasons) CBS Created by David E. Kelley
- Dexter (2006-2013, 96 episodes over 8 seasons) SHOWTIME Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay an developed by James Manos Jr.
- The Knick (2014-2015, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) CINEMAX Created by Jack Ariel and Michael Begler
- The Real World (1992-Present, 591 episodes over 32 seasons) MTV Created by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray
- Northern Exposure (1990-1995, 110 episodes over 6 seasons) CBS Created by Joshua Brand and John Falsey
- Veep (2012-Present, 46 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by Armando Iannucci
- Orange is the New Black (2013-Present, 52 episodes over 4 seasons) NETFLIX Created by Jenji Kohan
- Broad City (2014-Present, 30 episodes over 3 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Illana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson
- Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006, 151 episodes over 7 seasons) FOX Created by Linwood Boomer
- Better Call Saul (2015-Present, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) AMC Created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould
- Vice (2013-Present) 58 episodes over 4 seasons HBO Created by Shane Smith
- Rick and Morty (2013-Present, 21 episodes over 2 seasons) ADULT SWIM Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon
- Transparent (2014-Present, 30 episodes over 3 seasons) AMAZON Created by Jill Soloway
- The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014-Present, 560+ episodes over 3 seasons Presented by Jimmy Fallon
- That 70's Show (1998-2006, 200 episodes over 8 seasons) FOX Created by Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner, and Mark Brazill.
- Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014, 56 episodes over 5 seasons) HBO Created by Terence Winter
- Community (2009-2015, 110 episodes over 6 seasons) HBO/YAHOO Created by Dan Harmon
- The Walking Dead (2010-Present, 85 episodes over 7 seasons) AMC Developed by Frank Darabont and based on the comic book series The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
- Everybody Loves Raymond (1996-2005, 210 episodes over 9 seasons) CBS Created by Phillip Rosenthal
- King of the Hill (1997-2010, 259 episodes over 13 seasons) FOX Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-Present, 73 episodes over 4 seasons) FOX Created by Dan Goor and Michael Shur
- Futurama (1999-2013, 140 episodes over 7 seasons) FOX/COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Matt Groening
- Homeland (2011-Present, 60 episodes over 5 seasons) SHOWTIME Based on the Israeli drama Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff and developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa
- House of Cards (2013-Present, 52 episodes over 4 seasons) NETFLIX Created by Beau Willimon and based on British series and novel of same name
- In Treatment (2008-2010, 106 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Developed by Rodrigo Garcia and based on the Israeli series BeTipul
- Last Week Tonight (2014-Present, 87 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Presented by John Oliver
- Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014, 92 episodes over 7 seasons) FX Created by Kurt Sutter
- Jackass (2000-2002, 25 episodes over 3 seasons) MTV Created by Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jonze, and Jeff Tremaine
- Silicon Valley (2014-Present, 28 episodes over 3 seasons) HBO Created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky
- Newsradio (1995-1999, 98 episodes over 5 seasons) NBC Created by Paul Simms
- Picket Fences (1992-1996, 88 episodes over 4 seasons) CBS Created by David E Kelley
- Animaniacs (1993-1998, 99 episodes over 5 seasons) FOX/THE WB Created by Tom Reugger
- The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991-1995, 52 episodes over 5 seasons) NICKELODEON Created by John Kricfalusi
- Eastbound & Down (2009-2013, 29 episodes over 4 seasons) HBO Created by Ben Best, Jody Hill, and Danny McBride
- Party Down (2009-2010, 20 episodes over 2 seasons) HBO Created by John Enborn, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, and Paul Rudd.
- How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014, 208 episodes over 9 seasons) CBS Created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas
- Inside Amy Schumer (2013-Present, 39 episodes over 4 seasons) COMEDY CENTRAL Created by Amy Schumer and Daniel Powell
--Must have at least 2 professional teams of the big four sports. (Sorry San Antonio)
--Both past and present performance is considered, with greater weight given to the present.
--Though championships and sustained competitiveness are the greatest indicators used, fan dedication is also a factor. For instance, though the Cubs never win squat, Chicago is a far greater baseball city than, say, Tampa Bay, which has had some recent success but still can't get fans in the stadium.
--For all intents and purposes, Toronto is being included as an "American" city.
--Boston still gets the Pats even though they're technically from New England. Dido for the Minneapolis and the Wild and Dallas and the Rangers. And the whole Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim thing--just no. If you say you're of Anaheim, you're of Anaheim.
--Four teams is better than three, and five is better than four. Still, having less teams isn't a deal breaker.
--Overall championships reflect all championships enjoyed by respective cities, including both current, defunct, and relocated teams. For instance, LA claims eleven of the Lakers' championships, while Minneapolis, their city of origin, claims five. New York gets the Dodgers' one World Series in Brooklyn, and five for the Giants of the Polo Grounds. Baltimore compiled four championships before they were robbed of the Colts, while Philly bolsters its overall tally with five World Series from the early 20th century Philadelphia Athletics. Other considerations include the Boston Braves, Cleveland Rams, LA Rams, Chicago Cardinals, Cleveland Bulldogs, Washington Senators, Boston Redskins, Milwaukee Braves, St Louis Hawks, Seattle Supersonics, and Philadelphia Warriors.
- Boston (Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins) -- 10 championships since 2000 and 35 overall
- New York City (Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers, Mets, Jets, Islanders, Nets) -- 4 championships since 2000 and 54 overall
- Chicago (Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls, Bears, White Sox) -- 5 championships since 2000 and 29 overall
- Pittsburgh (Steelers, Pirates, Penguins) -- 4 championships since 2000 and 15 overall
- Los Angeles (Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, Kings) -- 7 championships since 2000 and 20 overall
- Detroit (Tigers, Pistons, Lions, Red Wings) -- 3 championships since 2000 and 22 overall
- St. Louis (Cardinals, Rams, Blues) -- 2 championships since 2000 and 13 overall
- Cleveland (Browns, Cavaliers, Indians) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 13 overall
- Philadelphia (Phillies, Eagles, 76ers, Flyers) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 15 overall
- San Francisco (49ers, Giants) -- 3 championships since 2000 and 8 overall
- Dallas (Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, Stars) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 7 overall
- Miami (Dolphins, Heat, Marlins) -- 4 championships since 2000 and 7 overall
- Denver (Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanche) -- 2 championships since 2000 and 5 overall
- Baltimore (Orioles, Ravens) -- 2 championships since 2000 and 9 overall
- Washington DC (Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, Wizards) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 6 overall
- Seattle (Seahawks, Mariners) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 2 overall
- Oakland (Warriors, Raiders, A's) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 8 overall
- Atlanta (Braves, Falcons, Hawks) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 1 overall
- Kansas City (Chiefs, Royals) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 3 overall
- Minneapolis (Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, Wild) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 7 overall
- Phoenix (Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Suns, Coyotes) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 1 overall
- Toronto (Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, Raptors) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 15 overall
- Anaheim (Angels, Ducks) -- 2 championships since 2000 and 2 overall
- New Orleans (Saints, Pelicans) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 1 overall
- Indianapolis (Colts, Pacers) -- 1 championship since 2000 and 1 overall
- Tampa Bay (Rays, Lightning, Buccaneers) -- 2 championships since 2000 and 2 overall
- Cincinnati (Reds, Bengals) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 5 overall
- Houston (Texans, Rockets, Astros) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 2 overall
- Milwaukee (Bucks, Brewers) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 2 overall
- Charlotte (Panthers, Bobcats) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 0 overall
- Buffalo (Bills, Sabres) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 0 overall
- San Diego (Chargers, Padres) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 0 overall
- Nashville (Titans, Predators) -- 0 championships since 2000 and 0 overall
- Superman (first appearance: 1938) Created by Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster for Action Comics #1 (DC Comics).
- Mickey Mouse (1928) Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iworks for Steamboat Willie.
- James Bond (1953) Created by Ian Fleming for novel Casino Royale.
- Bugs Bunny (1940) Created by Warner Bros and originally voiced by Mel Blanc.
- Batman (1939) Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane for Detective Comics #27 (DC Comics).
- Dorothy Gale (1900) Created by L. Frank Baum for novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Later portrayed by Judy Garland in the 1939 film adaptation.
- Darth Vader (1977) Created by George Lucas for Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
- The Tramp (1914) Created and portrayed by Charlie Chaplin for Kid Auto Races at Venice.
- Peter Pan (1902) Created by J.M. Barrie for novel The Little White Bird.
- Indiana Jones (1981) Created by George Lucas for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Portrayed by Harrison Ford.
- Rocky Balboa (1976) Created and portrayed by Sylvester Stallone for Rocky.
- Vito Corleone (1969) Created by Mario Puzo for novel The Godfather. Later portrayed by Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro in Coppola's film adaptation.
- Han Solo (1977) Created by George Lucas for Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Portrayed most famously by Harrison Ford.
- Homer Simpson (1987) Created by Matt Groening for The Tracey Ullman Show, later The Simpsons as voiced by Dan Castellaneta.
- Archie Bunker (1971) Created by Norman Lear for All in the Family. Portrayed by Carroll O'Connor.
- Norman Bates (1959) Created by Robert Bloch for novel Psycho. Later portrayed by Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock's film adaptation.
- King Kong (1933) Created by Edgar Wallace and Merian C Cooper for the film King Kong.
- Lucy Ricardo (1951) Portrayed by Lucille Ball for I Love Lucy.
- Spiderman (1962) Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics).
- Spock (1964) Created by Gene Roddenberry for Star Trek. Portrayed most famously by Leonard Nimoy.
- Godzilla (1954) Created by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, and Eiji Tsubaraya for the film Godzilla.
- Winnie-the-Pooh (1924) Created by A.A. Milne for verse book When We Were Young.
- Popeye (1929) Created by E.C. Segar for comic strip Thimble Theater (King Features).
- Forrest Gump (1986) Created by Winston Groom for novel Forrest Gump. Later portrayed by Tom Hanks in Zemeckis' film adaptation.
- Hannibal Lector (1981) Created by Thomas Harris for the novel Red Dragon. Portrayed most famously by Anthony Hopkins in the 1991 Jonathan Demme film The Silence of the Lambs.
- Big Bird (1969) Created by Jim Henson and portrayed by Carroll Spinney for Sesame Street.
- Tony Montana (1983) Created by Oliver Stone for film Scarface. Portrayed by Al Pacino.
- Tony Soprano (1999) Created by David Chase for The Sopranos. Portrayed by James Gandolfini.
- The Terminator (1984) Created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd for The Terminator. Portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Charles Foster Kane (1941) Created and portrayed by Orson Welles for Citizen Kane.
- Scarlett O'Hara (1936) Created by Margaret Mitchell for the novel Gone With the Wind. Portrayed most famously by Vivien Leigh for the 1939 Victor Fleming film adaptation.
- Marty McFly (1985) Created by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale for Back to the Future. Portrayed by Michael J. Fox.
- Rick Blaine (1940) Created by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison for the unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick's. Later portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in Michael Curtiz's film adaptation Casablanca.
- Man With No Name (1964) Created by Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars, which was adapted from a ronin character in Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). Portrayed by Clint Eastwood.
- Charlie Brown (1948) Created by Charles M. Shultz for the comic strip L'il Folks; popularized two years later in Peanuts.
- E.T. (1982) Created by Melissa Mathison for the film E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial.
- Arthur Fonzarelli (1974) Created by Bob Brunner for the show Happy Days. Portrayed by Henry Winkler.
- Holden Caulfield (1945) Created by J.D. Salinger for the Collier's story "I'm Crazy." Reworked into the novel The Catcher in the Rye in 1951.
- Phillip Marlowe (1939) Created by Raymond Chandler for the novel The Big Sleep.
- Jay Gatsby (1925) Created by F. Scott Fitzgerald for the novel The Great Gatsby.
- Lassie (1938) Created by Eric Knight for a Saturday Evening Post story, later turned into the novel Lassie Come-Home in 1940, film adaptation in 1943, and long-running television show in 1954. Most famously portrayed by the dog Pal.
- Fred Flintstone (1959) Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for The Flintstones. Voiced most notably by Alan Reed.
- Rooster Cogburn (1968) Created by Charles Portis for the novel True Grit. Most famously portrayed by John Wayne in the 196
9 film adaptation.
- Atticus Finch (1960) Created by Harper Lee for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. (Appeared in the earlier work Go Set A Watchman, though this was not published until 2015) Portrayed most famously by Gregory Peck in the Robert Mulligan film adaptation.
- Kermit the Frog (1955) Created and performed by Jim Henson for the show Sam and Friends. Later popularized in Sesame Street (1969) and The Muppet Show (1976)
- George Bailey (1943) Created by Phillip Van Doren Stern (then as George Pratt) for the short story The Greatest Gift. Later adapted into Capra's It's A Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart as the renamed George Bailey.
- Yoda (1980) Created by George Lucas for The Empire Strikes Back.
- Sam Malone (1982) Created by Glen and Les Charles for the show Cheers. Portrayed by Ted Danson.
- Harry Callahan (1971) Created by Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink for the movie Dirty Harry. Portrayed by Clint Eastwood.
- Tarzan (1912) Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for the novel Tarzan of the Apes.
- Zorro (1919) Created by Johnston McCulley for the All-Story Weekly pulp magazine story The Curse of Capistrano. Later adapted to the Douglas Fairbanks' film The Mark of Zorro (1920).
- Moe, Larry, and Curly (1928) Created by Ted Healy for the vaudeville act Ted Healy and his Stooges.
- Mary Poppins (1934) Created by P.L. Travers for the children's book Mary Poppins.
- Ron Burgundy (2004) Created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay for the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. Portrayed by Will Ferrell.
- Mario (1981) Created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the video game Donkey Kong.
- The Dude (1998) Created by Ethan and Joel Coen for the film The Big Lebowski. Portrayed by Jeff Bridges.
- Gandalf (1937) Created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the novel The Hobbit.
- The Joker (1940) Created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane for Batman #1 (DC Comics)
- The Grinch (1957) Created by Dr. Seuss for the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
- Willy Wonka (1964) Created by Roald Dahl for the children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- The Hulk (1962) Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Scooby-Doo (1969) Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears for the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
- George Costanza (1989) Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld for the show Seinfeld. Portrayed by Jason Alexander.
- Jules Winfield (1994) Created by Quentin Tarantino for the film Pulp Fiction. Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.
- Harry Potter (1997) Created by J.K. Rowling for the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
- Travis Bickle (1976) Created by Paul Schrader for the film Taxi Driver. Portrayed by Robert De Niro.
- John McClane (1988) Based on the character Detective Joe Leland, who was created by Roderick Thorp for the novel Nothing Lasts Forever. Later adapted into the John McTernan film Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis as McClane.
- Ellen Ripley (1979) Created by Don O'cannon and Ronald Shusett for the film Alien. Portrayed by Sigourney Weaver.
- Ralph Kramden (1951) Created and portrayed by Jackie Gleason for "The Honeymooners," which became its own show in 1955.
- Edward Scissorhands (1990) Created by Tim Burton for the film Edward Scissorhands. Portrayed by Johnny Depp.
- Eric Cartman (1992) Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the animated short Jesus vs Frosty. Later developed into the show South Park, which premiered in 1997. Voiced by Trey Parker.
- Walter White (2008) Created by Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad. Portrayed by Bryan Cranston.
- Cosmo Kramer (1989) Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld for Seinfeld. Portrayed by Michael Richards.
- Freddy Krueger (1984) Created by Wes Craven for the film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Most famously portrayed by Robert Englund.
- Shrek (1990) Created by William Steig for the children's book Shrek! Later adapted into the 2001 film starring Mike Myers as the titular character.
- Captain America (1941) Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Captain America Comics #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Bambi (1923) Created by Felix Salten for the children's book Bambi, a Life in the Woods. Later adapted into the Disney film Bambi in 1942.
- Ronald McDonald (1963) Created by Williard Scott for a series of television spots.
- Waldo/Wally (1987) Created by Martin Hanford for the children's book Where's Wally? (Waldo in US edition)
- Frasier Crane (1984) Created by Glen and Les Charles for Cheers. Portrayed by Kelsey Grammar.
- Omar Little (2002) Created by David Simon for The Wire. Portrayed by Michael K. Williams.
- Cliff Huxtable (1984) Created and portrayed by Bill Cosby for The Cosby Show.
- Wolverine (1974) Created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr for The Incredible Hulk #180 (Marvel Comics)
- Jason Voorhees (1980) Created by Victor Miller for the film Friday the 13th.
- Betty Boop (1930) Created by Max Fleischer and the Grim Network for the cartoon Dizzy Dishes.
- Bilbo Baggins (1937) Created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the novel The Hobbit.
- Tom Joad (1939) Created by John Steinbeck for the novel The Grapes of Wrath. Later adapted into the 1940 John Ford film and portrayed by Henry Fonda.
- Tony Stark (Iron Man) (1963) Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby for Tales of Suspense #39 (Marvel Comics)
- Porky Pig (1935) Created by Friz Freleng for the animated short film I Haven't Got a Hat. Voiced most famously by Mel Blanc.
- Hawkeye Pierce (1968) Created by Richard Hooker for the novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. Famously portrayed by both Alan Alda and Donald Sutherland.
- Don Draper (2007) Created by Matthew Weiner for the show Mad Men. Portrayed by Jon Hamm.
- Jack Torrance (1977) Created by Stephen King for the novel The Shining. Later adapted into the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film and portrayed by Jack Nicholson.
- Terry Malloy (1954) Created by Budd Schulberg for the film On the Waterfront. Portrayed by Marlon Brando.
- Axel Foley (1984) Created by Danilo Bach for the film Beverly Hills Cop. Portrayed by Eddie Murphy.
- Tyler Durden (1996) Created by Chuck Palahniuk for the novel Fight Club. Later adapted into the David Fincher film and portrayed by Brad Pitt.
- Holly Golightly (1958) Created by Truman Capote for the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's. Later adapted into the 1961 Blake Edwards films starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly.
- Patrick Bateman (1987) Created by Bret Easton Ellis for the novel The Rules of Attraction. Most famously portrayed by Christian Bale in the 2000 film adaption of American Psycho.
- J.R. Ewing (1978) Created by David Jacobs for the show Dallas. Portrayed by Larry Hagman.
- Optimus Prime (1984) Created by Dennis O'Neil for the Transformers toy line.
- Keyser Soze (1995) Created by Christopher McQuarrie for the film The Usual Suspects.
- Michael Jackson- They don't call him the King of Pop for nothing. Michael is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for three different acts spanning three generations. Also, he made Thriller. Thriller.
- Elvis Presley- Mike might be the King of Pop, but Elvis is just the straight up King. If rock and roll has a birthdate, it probably has a something to do with this guy's hips.
- Babe Ruth- The man, the myth, the legend. Even all these years later, no one even comes close to the Sultan of Swat.
- John Lennon-Tough to pick between Paul and John for the higher spot, but Lennon's activism and early death earn enough icon points to be the difference.
- Muhammad Ali-So much more than just a boxer, Ali just epitomizes the word icon.
- Bob Dylan- The voice of a generation and perhaps the greatest songwriter to ever pick up a guitar.
- Marilyn Monroe-Maybe the most beloved movie star ever, Monroe bedded the top athlete, playwright and politicians of her era. Not too shabby.
- Michael Jordan-His Airness, the undisputed greatest sports marketing icon of all time.
- Paul McCartney-May be too low on this list. Paul McCartney is pop music.
- Charlie Chaplin-For a solid twenty-year stretch, there was no more famous person on the entire planet than Charlie Chaplin. Film classics like City Lights and The Gold Rush still hold up today.
- Marlon Brando-Brando basically invented acting as we know it today.
- Frank Sinatra-The dopest crooner that ever lived.
- Alfred Hitchcock-Arguably the greatest director of all time, Hitchcock was also a larger than life figure that brought the cameo to new heights.
- Johnny Carson-The guy for thirty years of late night television.
- Jackie Robinson-A true sports icon and a damn good second baseman to boot.
- David Bowie-If every one of Bowie's personas could have it's own vote, he'd probably be up here five times.
- Martin Scorsese-Hitchcock and Kubrick may be the two most important directors ever, but when it comes to modern film, no one's made more classics than Scorsese.
- Mickey Mantle-If you were a seven-year-old boy during the fifties and sixties, there was no one you dreamed about being more than The Mick.
- Bing Crosby-No recording artist more sold more than Bing in the 20th Century.
- Joe Dimaggio-The Yankee Clipper, his 56-game hit streak is one of the most iconic records in any sport.
- Steven Spielberg-He invented the blockbuster with Jaws, perfected it with E.T. and Jurassic Park, and ascended to new heights with Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.
- James Brown-The ultimate frontman and the all-time hardest working dude in show biz.
- Robert DeNiro-The Godfather. Goodfellas. Raging Bull. Taxi Driver. A movie resume to rival any in history.
- Mary Pickford-The OG of pop culture icons, Pickford was the original movie star and possibly the first true celebrity.
- Mick Jagger-The most prolific frontman to ever rock an arena.
- Al Pacino-Before he started drifting into caricature mode in the late 90's, Pacino played some of the most iconic roles in history. Michael Corleone and Tony Montana are the quintessential gangster roles of modern day.
- Harrison Ford-Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Does it get any more iconic?
- Prince-When you can change your name to a symbol and the world just goes along with it, you know you've reached a whole other level of celebrity.
- Paul Newman-From playing Fast Eddie Felson to Cool Hand Luke to Butch Cassidy, there was no cooler star in sixies America than Paul Newman.
- Tom Hanks-Is there anyone more beloved in Hollywood right now than Tom Hanks?
- Stevie Wonder-Stevie signed with Motown at the age of 11 and has been killing it ever since.
- Joe Namath-The first true face of football, Namath's marketability was instrumental to the early success of the NFL.
- Humphrey Bogart-The ultimate leading man during Hollywood's golden age.
- Lucille Ball
- Louis Armstrong
- John Wayne
- Oprah Winfrey-Oprah isn't just a talk show host. She's a media empire.
- Shirley Temple
- Eddie Murphy-Arguably the most important star in SNL history, Eddie single-handedly saved the show from extinction following the original cast exodus.
- Miles Davis-Miles birthed the cool in more ways than one. No modern jazz artist looms larger.
- Richard Pryor-The father of modern stand-up, Pryor transformed his tragic upbringing into comedy gold.
- Bob Marley-10 million dorm room posters can't be wrong.
- David Letterman-A titan of late night, Letterman reinvented what was possible in comedy.
- Meryl Streep-Meryl Streep is to all other actresses what Tiger Woods is to all other black golfers.
- Mel Brooks-The rare five-tool comedian, Mel's writing, directing, and acting talents have earned him the grand slam of entertainment awards (Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony).
- Walt Disney
- Bruce Lee-As synonymous with the Kung-Fu flick as any one man could be with a genre of movies.
- Bill Murray
- Elton John
- Denzel Washington
- Liz Taylor
- Bruce Springsteen
- Lorne Michaels
- Tony Bennett
- James Stewart
- Buddy Holly
- Hugh Hefner
- Andy Warhol
- Jayne Mansfield
- Tom Cruise
- Sammy Davis Jr
- Audrey Hepburn
- O.J. Simpson
- Groucho Marx
- Jack Nicklaus
- Jim Brown
- Kathryn Hepburn
- Jon Stewart
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Tiger Woods
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Ray Charles
- Bill Cosby
- Eric Clapton
- LeBron James
- Woody Allen
- Robert Redford
- Magic Johnson
- Jack Nicholson
- Joe Louis
- James Dean
- Sean Connery
- Ernest Hemingway
- Jerry Garcia
- Clark Gable
- Jimi Hendrix
- Johnny Cash
- Clint Eastwood
- Jim Morisson
- Whitney Houston
- Christopher Walken
- Will Ferrell
- Dr. Dre
- Joan Rivers
- Will Smith
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Justin Timberlake
- John Belushi
- Dick Clark
- William Shatner
- Jerry Lewis
- Michael J. Fox
- Notorious BIG
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Rudolph Valentino
- Bo Jackson
- Christopher Reeve
- Kurt Cobain
- Taylor Swift
- Derek Jeter
- Arnold Palmer
- Larry David
- Jay Leno
- Stephen King
- Pamela Anderson
- Grace Kelly
- Evil Kinevil
- Bob Hope
- Hulk Hogan
- Carol Burnett
- Ted Danson
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus
- Cindy Crawford
- Mike Tyson
- Morgan Freeman
- Louis C.K.
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Brad Pitt
- George Clooney
- Dean Martin
- Judy Garland
- Wayne Gretzky
- Julia Roberts
- Stanley Kubrick
- Steve Martin
- Orson Welles
- Diana Ross
- Kanye West
- Sylvester Stallone
- Britney Spears
- Joe Montana
- Shaquille O'Neal
- Alex Trebek
- George Carlin
Marlin Brando once said "To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication." Just a short generation later, Jim Carrey would observe "Until Ace Ventura, no actor had considered talking through his ass." Yes, there is no recipe for what makes great acting and no surefire way to distinguish it from the talking asses of the world, perhaps in no small part because when it's at it's best, it doesn't seem like acting at all. Ranking artistry is never easy, if not downright impossible. It's undeniably subjective, contentious, and almost sure to offend. Of course, that's never stopped us before.
Rankings were made taking into account overall ability and range, strength of the roles taken, longevity, influence, and awards won. Listed alongside are each actor's best works, also loosely ranked according to how each exemplifies their talents. Actors must have appeared in at least one 21st century feature film for consideration as "modern."
- Robert De Niro: The Godfather II, The Deer Hunter, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Jackie Brown, Once Upon a Time in America, Mean Streets, Heat, Cape Fear, Casino, The King of Comedy, Brazil, The Mission, Silver Linings Playbook.
- Al Pacino: The Godfather II, The Godfather, Scarface, Heat, Scent of a Woman, Carlito's Way, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Donnie Brasco, The Insider.
- Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood, Lincoln, Gangs of New York, My Left Foot, The Last of the Mohicans, In the Name of the Father, The Age of Innocence, The Crucible, The Boxer, Nine.
- Jack Nicholson: The Departed, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Shining, Easy Rider, Chinatown, Batman, A Few Good Men, As Good As It Gets, Terms of Endearment, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Pledge.
- Peter O'Toole (D): Lawrence of Arabia, Beckett, The Ruling Class, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Stunt Man.
- Tom Hanks: Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Road to Perdition, Cast Away, A League of Their Own, Big, Philadelphia, Apollo 13, Captain Phillips.
- Dustin Hoffman: Rain Man, Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, Lenny, Marathon Man, All the President's Men, Papillon, Sleepers.
- Paul Newman (D): Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, Hud, The Sting, The Hustler, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Color of Money, Road To Perdition, The Verdict, Nobody's Fool.
- Robert Duvall: The Godfather, The Apostle, Apocalypse Now, Network, Tender Mercies, The Great Santini, Get Low, To Kill a Mockingbird, M*A*S*H, The Natural.
- Anthony Hopkins: Silence of the Lambs, The Remains of the Day, Shadowlands, Nixon, Amistad.
- Denzel Washington: Malcolm X, Training Day, Glory, American Gangster, Inside Man, Remember The Titans, Courage Under Fire, Philadelphia, The Hurricane, Crimson Tide, Flight, Fences, The Bone Collector, The Manchurian Candidate, The Siege, Antwone Fisher.
- Gene Hackman: The French Connection, Bonnie and Clyde, Unforgiven, The Conversation, Mississippi Burning, Hoosiers, Superman, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Poseidon Adventure, Get Shorty.
- Phillip Seymour Hoffman (D): Capote, The Master, Synecdoche New York, Magnolia, Doubt, Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Charlie Wilson's War, The Talented Mr. Ripley.
- Leonardo DiCaprio: The Departed, The Revenant, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Basketball Diaries, Django Unchained, Shutter Island, Gangs of New York, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Blood Diamond, Inception, The Aviator, Catch Me If You Can, Titanic, Revolutionary Road.
- Clint Eastwood: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Dirty Harry, Gran Torino, Escape from Alcatraz, In the Line of Fire, The Bridges of Madison Country, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Hang Em High.
- Morgan Freeman: The Shawshank Redemption, Unforgiven, Se7en, Million Dollar Baby, Glory, The Dark Knight, Gone Baby Gone, Driving Miss Daisy, Street Smart, The Sum of All Fears, Batman Begins, Outbreak, Amistad, Along Came a Spider, High Crimes.
- Robert Redford: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Jeremiah Johnson, All is Lost, The Sting, Out of Africa, The Natural, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, The Candidate, Tell Them Willie Boy is Here.
- Sean Penn: Mystic River, 21 Grams, Milk, Dead Man Walking, Carlito's Way, The Thin Red Line, I Am Sam, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Colors, Sweet and Lowdown.
- Michael Caine: Sleuth, Alfie, The Dark Knight, The Cider House Rules, Educating Rita, Hannah and Her Sisters, Little Voice, The Quiet American, The Italian Job, Harry Brown.
- Ben Kingsley: Gandhi, Schindler's List, House of Sand and Fog, Sexy Beast, Shutter Island.
- Gary Oldman: Leon, JFK, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter, Sid and Nancy.
- Harrison Ford: Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fugitive, Blade Runner, Witness.
- Geoffrey Rush: Shine, The King's Speech, Quills, Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Kevin Spacey: Se7en, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, LA Confidential, The Negotiator, A Time to Kill, Glengarry Glen Ross, Outbreak, Superman Returns, The United States of Leland.
- Russell Crowe: LA Confidential, Gladiator, The Insider, Cinderella Man, A Beautiful Mind, Romper Stomper, 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, Master and Commander, Blood Oath.
- Willem Defoe: Platoon, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Boondock Saints, Shadow of the Vampire, To Live and Die in L.A.
- Dennis Hopper (D): Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, Hoosiers, Speed, Apocalypse Now.
- Jon Voight: Coming Home, Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance, Runaway Train, Ali.
- Martin Sheen: Apocalypse Now, The Departed, Badlands, The American President, Wall Street.
- Richard Dreyfus: Jaws, American Graffiti, The Goodbye Girl, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland's Opus.
- Matt Damon: Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, Rounders, The Martian, The Bourne Identity, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ocean's 11, Syriana, School Ties.
- Brad Pitt: Se7en, Fight Club, The Assassination of Jessie James, Twelve Monkeys, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, Sleepers, Ocean's Eleven, Babel, Inglourious Basterds, Snatch, True Romance, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Legends of the Fall, Interview with the Vampire.
- Christian Bale: The Machinist, American Hustle, The Prestige, The Fighter, The Dark Knight, American Psycho, Batman Begins, 3:10 to Yuma, Empire of the Sun, Rescue Dawn.
- Joaquin Pheonix: The Master, Gladiator, Walk the Line, Her, Inherent Vice.
- Ian McKellan: Gods and Monsters, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Richard III, X-Men, Apt Pupil.
- Johnny Depp: Edward Scissorhands, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Blow, Finding Neverland, Donnie Brasco, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Platoon, Sleepy Hollow, Ed Wood.
- Sean Connery: James Bond films, The Untouchables, The Hunt For Red October, Murder on the Orient Express, The Rock.
- Ralph Fiennes: Schindler's List, Harry Potter Franchise, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- Edward Norton: Fight Club, American History X, Rounders, The Illusionist, 25th Hour, Primal Fear, Birdman, Keeping the Faith, The Italian Job, Red Dragon.
- Liam Neeson: Schindler's List, Kinsey, Batman Begins, Taken, Michael Collins.
- Tom Cruise: Magnolia, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, Born on the Fourth of July, Minority Report, Risky Business, The Color of Money, Jerry Maguire, The Last Samurai, The Firm, Mission Impossible, Tropic Thunder, Top Gun, Vanilla Sky, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicle.
- Christopher Walken: The Deer Hunter, Catch Me If You Can, A View to Kill, The Dead Zone, At Close Range.
- Tommy Lee Jones: The Fugitive, No Country For Old Men, Lincoln, JFK, In the Valley of Elah.
- Harvey Keitel: Mean Streets, Bugsy, Reservoir Dogs, Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction.
- Samuel L. Jackson: Pulp Fiction, A Time to Kill, Django Unchained, Jackie Brown, The Negotiator.
- John Malkovich: Places in the Heart, The Killing Fields, In the Line of Fire, Of Mice and Men, Being John Malkovich.
- James Earl Jones: The Great White Hope, Field of Dreams, Jack Ryan Franchise, Coming to America, Star Wars.
- Jeff Bridges: The Big Lebowski, Crazy Heart, True Grit, Hell or High Water, Starman.
- Ed Harris: Pollock, Apollo 13, The Truman Show, A Beautiful Mind, The Hours, Gone Baby Gone, A History of Violence, Empire Falls, The Rock, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Abyss.
- William Hurt: Kiss of the Spider Woman, Children of a Lesser God, Broadcast News, A History of Violence, Too Big to Fail.
- Benicio Del Toro: The Usual Suspects, Traffic, 21 Grams, Che, Sicario, Sin City, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Snatch, Guerrilla, The Argentine, The Pledge.
- Michael Fassbender: Steve Jobs, 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Hunger, A Dangerous Method.
- Warren Beatty: Bonnie and Clyde, Heaven Can Wait, Reds, Bugsy, Bulworth.
- Javier Bardem: No Country For Old Men, Biutiful, Before Night Falls, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Mondays in the Sun.
- James Caan: The Godfather, Misery, Thief, A Bridge Too Far, Brian's Song.
- Alan Arkin: Wait Until Dark, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, Little Miss Sunshine, Argo.
- Mel Gibson: Braveheart, The Patriot, Lethal Weapon, Ransom, Mad Max.
- Christopher Plummer: The Sound of Music, The Insider, Malcolm X, Beginners, The Last Station.
- Nick Nolte: Affliction, The Thin Red Line, Warrior, The Prince of Tides, Cape Fear.
- Christoph Waltz: Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, Carnage.
- Jake Gyllenhaal: Nightcrawler, Donnie Darko, Prisoners, Brokeback Mountain, Zodiac, Southpaw.
- Mark Ruffalo: Spotlight, Foxcatcher, The Kids are Alright, The Normal Heart, Infinitely Polar Bear, Shutter Island, Zodiac, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, You Can Count On Me, Avengers.
- Casey Affleck: Manchester by the Sea, Gone Baby Gone, The Assassination of Jesse James, Good Will Hunting, Out of the Furnace.
- Will Smith: The Pursuit Of Happiness, Ali, Six Degrees of Separation.
- Robin Williams (D): Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam, One Hour Photo, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire.
- Don Cheadle: Hotel Rwanda, Traffic, Crash, Devil in a Blue Dress, Ocean's Eleven.
- Kevin Costner: Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams, JFK, The Untouchables, Bull Durham.
- Michael Douglas: Wall Street, Traffic, Wonder Boys, The American President, Basic Instinct.
- John Hurt: The Elephant Man, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Alien, Scandal, The Hit.
- Bruce Willis: The Sixth Sense, Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, Sin City.
- Kevin Bacon: The Woodsman, Sleepers, Apollo 13, Mystic River, Animal House.
- Robert Downey Jr.: Chaplin, Tropic Thunder, Less than Zero, Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes.
- Max von Sydow: The Seventh Seal, The Exorcist, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Three Days of the Condor, Never Say Never Again.
- Paul Giamatti: Sideways, Cinderella Man, American Splendor, The Illusionist, Cold Souls.
- Billy Bob Thorton: Monster's Ball, Sling Blade, A Simple Plan, The Man Who Wasn't There, Friday Night Lights.
- George Clooney: O Brother Where Art Thou?, Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck, Michael Clayton, Up in the Air.
- James Woods: Salvador, Once Upon a Time in America, Ghosts of Mississippi, Casino, Contact.
- Bill Murray: Lost in Translation, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Rushmore, Ghostbusters.
- Joe Pesci: Goodfellas, Raging Bull, My Cousin Vinny, Casino, Lethal Weapon, Home Alone.
- Kenneth Branagh: Henry V, My Week with Marilyn, Hamlet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing.
- Heath Ledger: (D) The Dark Knight, Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot, 10 Things I Hate About You, Candy.
- Woody Allen: Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Deconstructing Harry.
- Nicholas Cage: Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation, The Rock, Raising Arizona, Face/Off.
- Josh Brolin: No Country for Old Men, W., Milk, True Grit, Sicario.
- Tim Robbins: The Shawshank Redemption, Mystic River, The Player, Bull Durham, Bob Roberts.
- Forest Whitaker: The Last King of Scotland, Good Morning Vietnam, Bird, Panic Room, American Gun.
- Donald Sutherland: M*A*S*H, JFK, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Ordinary People, The Dirty Dozen.
- Colin Firth: The King's Speech, A Single Man, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
- Martin Landau: Ed Wood, North By Northwest, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Rounders.
- Viggo Mortenson: Lord of the Rings, A History of Violence, The Road, Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic.
- Steve Buschemi: Fargo, Reservoir Dogs, Ghost World, Living in Oblivion, The Big Lebowski.
- Albert Finney: Murder on the Orient Express, Tom Jones, The Dresser, Under the Volcano, Erin Brockovich.
- Gary Sinise: Forrest Gump, Of Mice and Men, Ransom.
- Laurence Fishbourne: The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, What's Love Got to Do with It.
- Ryan Gosling: Half-Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl, Blue Valentine, Drive, The Ides of March.
- John Turturro: Barton Fink, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Quiz Show, The Big Lebowski, Miller's Crossing.
- Tom Hardy: Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises, Bronson, Max Max: Fury Road, Locke, The Drop, Inception.
- William H. Macy: Fargo, Seabiscuit, Boogie Nights.
- Daniel Craig: Skyfall, Casino Royale, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Road to Perdition, Defiance.
- Jim Carrey: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Man on the Moon, The Truman Show, Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber.
*Best Actor/Supporting Actor Academy Award winning performances appear in italics
Signature sketches: Celebrity Jeopardy, More Cowbell, W. Bush, James Lipton, Harry Carry, Robert Goulet, The Lovers. SNL Rating: 10
Extracurriculars: Anchorman, Old School, Funny or Die. Post SNL Rating: 9.5
Total Score: 19.5
Signature sketches: Samurai Futaba, Blues Brothers, Olympia Restaurant, Joe Cocker, The Singing Bee. SNL Rating: 9.2
Extracurriculars: Animal House, Blues Brothers. Post SNL Rating: 7.2
Total Score: 16.4
4) Phil Hartman (1986 - 1994)
Signature sketches: Bill Clinton, The Anal Retentive Chef, The Sinatra Group, Ronald Reagan, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. SNL Rating: 9.7
Extracurriculars: NewsRadio, The Simpsons. Post SNL Rating: 6.6
Total Score: 16.3
5) Bill Murray (1977 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Nick the Lounge Singer. SNL Rating: 7.4
Extracurriculars: Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation. Post SNL Rating: 8.5
Total Score: 15.9
6) Chris Farley (1990 - 1995)
Signature sketches: The Chris Farley Show, Matt Foley Motivational Speaker, The Chippendales Audition, Bill Swerkski's Super Fans, Bennett Brauer, El Niño, Schmitts Gay Beer. SNL Rating: 9.6
Extracurriculars: Tommy Boy, Black Sheep. Post SNL Rating: 6.2
Total Score: 15.8
Signature sketches: Blues Brothers, Irwin Mainway, Beldar Conehead, Fred Garvin, Bass-O-Matic, Julia Child, and One Wild and Crazy Guy. SNL Rating: 8.3
Extracurriculars: Ghostbusters, Coneheads, Blues Brothers. Post SNL Rating: 7.3
Total Score: 15.6
8) Adam Sandler (1991 - 1995)
Signature sketches: Opera Man, The Hanukkah Song, Canteen Boy, Schmitts Gay Beer. SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Happy Madison Films. Post SNL Rating: 8.4
Total Score: 15.4
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Gerald Ford, Land Shark. SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: National Lampoon, Caddyshack, Fletch, Community. Post SNL Rating: 8
Total Score: 15
10) Tina Fey (2000 - 2006)
Signature sketches: Head Writer, Sarah Palin, Weekend Update. SNL Rating: 7
Extracurriculars: 30 Rock, Mean Girls. Post SNL Rating: 7.7
Total Score: 14.7
11) Dana Carvey (1986 - 1993)
Signature sketches: Church Lady, Garth Alger, Hanz, The Grumpy Old Man, Chopping Broccili, Bush I. SNL Rating: 8.3
Extracurriculars: The Dana Carvey Show, Wayne's World. Post SNL Rating: 5.8
Total Score: 14.1
12) Seth Meyers (2001 - 2014)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Head Writer. SNL Rating: 7.8
Extracurriculars: Late Night With Seth Myers, The Awesomes. Post SNL Rating: 6
Total Score: 13.8
Signature sketches: Wayne Campbell, Sprockets, Coffee Talk. SNL Rating: 6
Extracurriculars: Austin Powers Trilogy, Shrek Quadrilogy, Wayne's World. Post SNL Rating: 7.7
Total Score: 13.7
14) Kristen Wiig (2005-2012)
Signature sketches: The Target Lady, Kat, Penelope, Michele Bachmann. SNL Rating: 8
Extracurriculars: Bridesmaids, MacGruber. Post SNL Rating: 5.6
Total Score: 13.6
15) Chris Rock (1990 - 1993)
Signature sketches: The Dark Side With Nat X, I'm Chillin'. SNL Rating: 4.4
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Everybody Hates Chris, The Chris Rock Show. Post SNL Rating: 9.1
Total Score: 13.5
16) Jane Curtin (1975 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Pymaat Conehead. SNL Rating: 6.7
Extracurriculars: Kate & Alley, 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Coneheads. Post SNL Rating: 6.6
Total Score: 13.3
17) Amy Poehler (2001 - 2008)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update. SNL Rating: 6.8
Extracurriculars: Parks and Rec, Baby Mama. Post SNL Rating: 6.4
Total Score: 13.2
18) Al Franken (1977 - 1980, 1985 – 1986, 1988 – 1995)
Signature sketches: Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley, Prolific writer. SNL Rating: 6
Extracurriculars: US Senator, Author, Radio commentator. Post SNL Rating: 7
Total Score: 13
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Barry Gibb, Sully and Denise. SNL Rating: 4.6
Extracurriculars: The Tonight Show, The Jimmy Fallon Show. Post SNL Rating: 8.2
Total Score: 12.8
Signature sketches: Lazy Sunday, Dick in a Box, Mother Lover, I'm On a Boat, Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals. SNL Rating: 7.5
Extracurriculars: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Post SNL Rating: 5
Signature sketches: Brian Fellow's Safari Planet, Uncle Jemima, Star Jones, Woodrow the Homeless Man. SNL Rating: 6.6
Extracurriculars: 30 Rock, Stand-up, The Tracy Morgan Show. Post SNL Rating: 5.5
Total Score: 12.1
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Burt Reynolds, Bob Dole, Stan Hooper. SNL Rating: 6.7
Extracurriculars: Stand-up, Dirty Work, The Norm Show. Post SNL Rating: 5
Total Score: 11.7
23) Darrell Hammond (1995 - 2009) His fourteen seasons is by far the longest running tenure in the history of the show.
Signature sketches: Sean Connery, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Al Gore, John McCain, Dick Cheney. SNL Rating: 9
Extracurriculars: Assorted bit roles Post SNL Rating: 1
Total Score: 10
24) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (1982 - 1985)
Extracurriculars: Seinfeld, Veep, The New Adventures of Old Christine. Post SNL Rating: 8.2
Total Score: 9.7
25) Molly Shannon (1995 - 2001)
Signature sketches: Mary Katherine Gallagher, Schweddy Balls, Sally O'Malley. SNL Rating: 6.9
Extracurriculars: Superstar!, Assorted bit roles. Post SNL Rating: 2.2
Total Score: 9.1
26) Gilda Radner (1975 - 1980)
Extracurriculars: Gilda Radner - Live From New York. Post SNL Rating: 1.5
27) Kevin Nealon (1986 - 1995)
Signature sketches: Weekend Update, Franz, Mr. Subliminal. SNL Rating: 6.2
Extracurriculars: Weeds, Adam Sandler movies. Post SNL Rating: 2.3
Total Score: 8.5
28) Jon Lovitz (1985 - 1990)
Signature sketches: Tommy Flanagan the Pathological Liar, Harvey Fierstein, Master Thespian, Hanukkah Harry. SNL Rating: 4.7
Extracurriculars: The Client, Newsradio, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. Post SNL Rating: 3.7
Total Score: 8.4
29) David Spade (1990 - 1996)
Signature sketches: Hollywood Minute, Buh-bye guy. SNL Rating: 4
Extracurriculars: Just Shoot Me!, Tommy Boy, Rules of Engagement. Post SNL Rating: 4.3
Total Score: 8.3
30) Garrett Morris (1975 - 1980)
Signature sketches: Chico Escuela, News For the Hard of Hearing Translator. SNL Rating: 4.5
Extracurriculars: The Jamie Foxx Show, 2 Broke Girls, The Downtown Comedy Club. Post SNL Rating: 2.8
Total Score: 7.3
Honorable Mentions: Tim Meadows (1991 - 2000), Ana Gasteyer (1996 - 2002), Jim Breuer (1995 - 1998), Chris Kattan (1996 - 2003), Joe Piscopo (1980 - 1984), Jason Sudeikis (2005 - 2013), Martin Short (1984 - 1985), Fred Armisen (2002 - 2013), Harry Shearer (1979 - 1980, 1984 - 1985), Chris Parnell (1998 - 2006), Rachel Dratch (1999 - 2006), Cheri Oteri (1995 - 2000), Dennis Miller (1985 - 1991), Horatio Sanz (1998 - 2006), Will Forte (2002 - 2010), Bill Hader (2005 - 2013), Jan Hooks (1986 - 1991), and Kenan Thompson (2003 - present).
Host Hall of Fame: Steve Martin (15 appearances), Alec Baldwin (16), John Goodman (12), Buck Henry (10), Tom Hanks (8), Christopher Walken (7) and Justin Timberlake (5).
Flashes in the Pan Who Went On To Bigger Things: Conan O'Brien (writer, 1987-1991), Robert Downey Jr (1985–1986), Billy Crystal (1984-1985), Steven Colbert (writer, voice in Ace in the Ambiguously Gay Duo), Steve Carell (voice of Gary in The Ambiguously Gay Duo), Christopher Guest (1984-1985), Michael McKean (1994-1995), Sarah Silverman (1993-1994), Chris Elliott (1994-1995), Joan Cusack (1985-1986), Gilbert Gottfried (1980-1981), Randy Quaid (1985-1986).
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