February 16, 2015 – There’s no doubt the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special delivered huge ratings for NBC last night. Too bad you can’t say the same for many of the movies that came from short skits first performed on the show.
There were 11 movies in all, but I thought there were more. I must be thinking of the great movies cast members went on to create separate from SNL, like Fletch, Stripes, Bridesmaids and Anchorman, to name a few.
Here is a look at the 11 based on SNL skits in order of their release:
1. The Blues Brothers (1980) – The first to come out of the SNL arsenal is still the best. The Blues Brothers was a fun movie, filled with comedy and music. The story worked because it wasn’t based on an actual skit; when Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi appeared as the Blues Brothers on the show, they performed musical numbers only. While the movie was good, Aykroyd’s best will always be Ghostbusters, and Belushi’s best, Animal House.
2. Wayne’s World (1993) — Wayne’s World is likely the second best movie on the list, and the second to be released. The characters created by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey could pull off a feature-length film, and if nothing else, it breathed a second life into Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Still, my favorite Myer’s film is So, I Married An Axe Murderer, a classic I can watch over and over again. Although he’s extremely funny, I can’t think of a favorite movie starring Carvey. Still, even after all these years, he has singing “Chopping broccoli” while making dinner. That has to count for something.
3. Wayne’s World 2 (1993) – One was definitely enough for Wayne and Garth. I saw it, but it was more of the same, and I could have easily done without it.
4. The Coneheads (1993) — I adored this skit on SNL, and referred to my parents for years as parental units in its honor. However, it was one of those skits that was funny for five minutes, and should never have been made into a feature-length film. Aykroyd, along with Jane Curtain and Laraine Newman were too good for that.
5. It’s Pat: The Movie (1994) – Even Julia Sweeney’s short skit about the androgynous character Pat was creepy. Why was this ever made into a movie?
6. Stuart Saves His Family (1995) – I have no words for this Al Franken scripted feature. That’s because I never saw it and never wanted to.
7. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) – Like Wayne’s World, one was enough, especially with Belushi gone.
8. A Night at the Roxbury (1998) – No. Just no.
9. Superstar (1999) – Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher character was fine, but not special enough to make me want to see 90 minutes of the spirited and klutzy Catholic school girl. Besides, how many times can she sniff her armpits in one movie?
10. The Ladies’ Man (2000) – Tim Meadows is somewhat appealing, but his Ladies’ Man character did nothing for me. Another skip for me.
11. MacGruber (2010) – I admit I got a kick out of Will Forte’s MacGruber character poking fun of the television show MacGyver, but not enough to pay $10 bucks to see it on the big screen. This was the last of the SNL skits made into movies. Perhaps, movie executives finally learned that what’s funny in small increments can be a disaster when made into a long feature.