"Saturday Night Live" has proven to be an one of the most respected places to cultivate and discover new talent, both on and off camera. Plenty of famous comedians, writers, actors, producers and even composers have been part of the "SNL" team over the years.
But for every famous alum like Eddie Murphy or Adam Sandler, there are plenty of other talented individuals who aren't widely known for their association with the show.
Check out these 21 famous people who got their start at "Saturday Night Live." Who's the most surprising person to come out of studio 8H?
Louis CK has collaborated with Robert Smigel on many "TV Funhouse" segments on "SNL," dating back to 1997.
The stand-up and star of "The Sarah Silverman Program" was a writer on the 19th season of "SNL."
Robert Downey Jr.
Downey Jr. joined "SNL" as a cast member in 1985 at age 20, but left the show in 1986 after a cast overhaul. His uncle is longtime "SNL" writer Jim Downey.
The "Seinfeld" creator and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" star was a writer on the 10th season of "SNL."
Shearer, best known for starring in "This Is Spinal Tap" and voicing many characters on "The Simpsons," was a cast member and writer on "SNL" for two non-consecutive seasons in 1979 and 1984.
One of the better known "SNL" alumni, Conan was an "SNL" writer from 1987 to 1991 before he left the show to join the writing staff of "The Simpsons."
Gottfried briefly joined the "SNL" cast in 1980 and had a 12-episode stint with the show.
Colbert worked briefly as a freelance writer for "SNL" in the 1990s, writing <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEAYcR8w_tE" target="_hplink">"The Ambiguously Gay Duo"</a> animated short with Robert Smigel, for which he also voiced the part of Ace.
Cusack was an "SNL" cast member from 1985 to 1986.
The "Mr. Show" and "Breaking Bad" star was an "SNL" writer from 1987 to 1991, writing alongside Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien.
Louis-Dreyfus was an "SNL" cast member from 1982 to 1985. It was there that she would meet then-"SNL" writer Larry David, who went on to co-create "Seinfeld," in which Louis-Dreyfus starred as Elaine Benes.
Stand-up comedian Buress was a writer for the 35th season of "SNL."
Stiller made short films for "SNL" in 1989, but he left after just four episodes to pursue other projects.
Higgins, the announcer on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," is a longtime "SNL" writer and producer, having joined the show in 1995. He has also served as one of the show's head writers.
The veteran stand-up was an "SNL" writer during the 1993-94 season.
Garofalo was an "SNL" castmember during the 1994-95 season, but left the show after an unhappy six months.
Lutz, who plays "TGS" writer J.D. Lutz on "30 Rock," was an "SNL" writer for 8 seasons.
One of the most in-demand film composers working today was the show's first musical director from 1975 to 1980 and appeared in many of the musical sketches during his tenure.
The longtime "Daily Show" correspondent was an "SNL" cast member during the 2004-05 season.
Robert Smigel was a standout writer on "SNL" before he became the first head writer at "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
The composer and lyricist of numerous Broadway and film projects was an "SNL" writer from 1986 to 1987. <strong>Correction</strong>: A previous image was incorrectly cropped to display Harvey Fierstein instead of Marc Shaiman. We apologize for the error.