101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1975-Present

In his 2009 memoir, writer-performer Tom Davis conjures the small gang of writers standing outside Lorne Michaels' office at the inception of SNL in July of 1975. "There were Herb Sargent, Michael O'Donoghue (his friends called him Mr. Mike), Anne Beats, Alan Zweibel, Tom Schiller, Chevy Chase, and [Al] Franken and Davis. We were all checking each other out and wondering what to think," Davis writes. In its 37 years, comedy stars have been born, and the show has endured rumors of its imminent demise. What remains, for the writers, is the system every week dozens and dozens of sketches live or die from the mid-week table read to the moment the guest host says, "Live from New York " "Lorne launched into the first of a lifetime series of lectures on comic theory and the history of show business," Davis wrote of that initial writers' meeting.

Credited Writers

Doug Abeles
Leo Allen
James Anderson
Larry Arnstein
Daniel Aykroyd
Paul Barrosse
Alex Baze
Anne Beatts
Jillian Bell
John Belushi
Barry W. Blaustein
Joe Bodolai
John Bowman
A. Whitney Brown
Billy Brown
Ferris Butler
Liz Cackowski
Neil Casey
Chevy Chase
Gregory M. Daniels
Tom Davis
John De Bellis
James Michael Downey
Brian Doyle-Murray
Robin Duke
Tina Fey
Tom Flanigan
Ellen L. Fogle
Al Franken
Leslie A. Fuller
Shannon Gaughan
Shelly Gossman
Charlie Grandy
Adam D. Green
Mel Green
Brad Hall
Jack W. Handey
Phil Hartman
Nate Herman
Steve Higgins
David Hurwitz
Thomas C. Hymes
Colin K. Jost
Zach Kanin
Timothy James Kazurinsky
Chris Kelly
Joseph A. Kelly
Joseph P. Kelly
Sean Kelly
Kevin Kelton
Erik Kenward
Jessi Klein
Rob Klein
Mitchell Kriegman
Jonathan Krisel
Gary W. Kroeger
Andrew Kurtzman
Lanier Laney
Carol Leifer
Neil Levy
John Lutz
Nelson Lyon
Brian McConnachie
Douglas G. McGrath
George A. Meyer
Mike Meyers
Seth Meyers
Lorne Michaels
Marilyn Miller
David Misch
Garrett Morris
John Mulaney
Eddie Murphy
Matthew Murphy
Bill Murray
Matt Murray
M. Myers
Pamela Norris
Don Novello
Margeret Oberman
Conan O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
Robert Odenkirk
Bill Odenkirk
Mark P. O'Donnell
Michael O'Donoghue
Josh Patten
Paula Pell
Ryan Perez
Joe Piscopo
Lauren Pomerantz
Tony Rosato
Richard Rosen
Herb Sargent
Akiva Schaffer
Tom Schiller
Rob Schneider
Sara Schneider
Pete Schultz
Frank Sebastiano
T. Sean Shannon
Harry Shearer
David Sheffield
Rosie Shuster
Eric Slovin
Robert Smigel
Andrew Smith
Jb Smoove
John Solomon
Terry Southern
David Spade
Emily Spivey
Andrew Steele
Kent Sublette
Jason Sudeikis
John J. Swartzwelder
Terrence Sweeney
Jorma Taccone
Rich Talarico
Robert Tischler
Tracy Torme
Bryan Tucker
Brian Tucker
Terry Turner
Bonnie Turner
Eliot P. Wald
Walter Williams
Chris Zander
Alan Zweibel