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Best and Worst SNL Movies

In honor of the recent release of MacGruber, Saturday Night Live’s first film in over a decade, I decided to put together a list of the best and worst movies based on SNL skits.  SNL has had its fair share of hits and misses (mostly misses) and most of the films are critically panned.  But in SNL’s defense, these films are primarily made for the fans of the show, not the high-brow critics.  With that said, here is my list from best to worst.

1. The Blues Brothers (1980) – Rated R for language, alcohol/drug use, and frightening/intense scenes.

Turns out that SNL’s first film is also their best.  The story follows “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) as they take on a “mission from God” to save their Catholic orphanage from foreclosure by organizing a performance to raise the $5,000 needed to pay the tax assessor.  The film has everything you could ask for: incredible music, awesome car chases, and wild humor.  And some amazing performances by Belushi, Aykroyd, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin, among others. 

2, Wayne’s World (1992) – Rated PG-13 for sex-related dialogue.

Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar host “Wayne’s World” for a local cable-access channel from Wayne’s parent’s basement.  Popular with the locals, Benjamin Kane (Rob Lowe) realizes he could get it sponsored and re-invent the show.  He also has his eyes on Wayne’s girlfriend, Cassandra, and her band, Crucial Taunt.  This film’s effect on pop culture has no boundaries.  Aside from starting catchphrases like “Schwing!” and “Schyeah, right!” it also popularized “Party on!” and “That’s what she said!” as well as saying “…not!” after an affirmative sentence to state the contrary.  Mike Myers and Dana Carvey shined in their SNL character roles.  And, this film is also responsible for single-handedly bringing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” back on the Billboard Top 10 Singles chart.  Can any other SNL film say that?

3. Wayne’s World 2 (1993) – Rated PG-13 for ribald humor.

To cash in on the first film’s popularity, SNL pushed ahead with its first sequel.  And though it wasn’t as warmly received as the first, I still think it’s an excellent film.  This time around, Wayne has a dream in which Jim Morrison and a weird naked Indian tell him that it is his destiny to put on a big concert called WayneStock.  It had the same impact the first film had on pop culture and it also kept some of the same elements as the first, such as the three different endings.  And I totally quote this film as much as I quote the first.  Party on, Wayne!  Party on, Garth!

4. A Night At The Roxbury (1998) – Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language, and some drug content.

This film was universally panned but it is one of my guilty pleasures.  Every time I channel surf and come across this film, I just have to stop and watch it!  The film follows night-clubbing brothers Doug and Steve Butabi, Chris Kattan and Will Farrell, as they try to open up their own club.  Their father wants them to run the family business, a fake plant store, but they dream of one day opening up the city’s newest hot club despite not being allowed in the current hottest club.  This film has a cult following and also had some influence on pop culture with the brother’s responses of “No!…Yes!” to answer questions.  Not to mention bringing Haddaway’s “What Is Love?” to the mainstream.

5. Coneheads (1993) – Rated PG for comic nudity and some double entendre humor.

Based on the classic 70s skits, this film follows the Conehead family as they try to assimilate into American culture and pursue the immigrant’s  “American dream.”  Beldar and Prymaat, Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin, have been stranded on Earth after their ship was shot down by the New Jersey Air National Guard.  They try to fit in with the Earthlings, however, and even have a daughter, Connie.  They successfully blend in with their neighbors, despite their obvious cone heads, while being tracked down by an INS agent.  The script and storyline was bare but still had some humor.  Prymaat using her mouth as a vacuum and Beldar’s dentist appointment are some memorable scenes.  And how can you forget when they mistake condoms for chewing gum?

6. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) – Rated PG-13 for exotic dancing and some language.

SNL’s second sequel follows Elwood, 18 years after the events in the first film, as he is released from prison.  He tries to reform the band despite his brother being dead to follow another “mission from God” to raise funds for a children’s hospital.  It lacks the same heart and soul as the first, but it still has its humor and great music.

7. Superstar (1999) – Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor and language.

Mary-Katherine Gallagher, Molly Shannon, is an Irish-Catholic school girl who wants to be a superstar so she can kiss her dream guy Sky Corrigan, Will Farrell.  I mean there’s only so many scenes that she could put her hands in her armpits and then smell them but they made this film anyway.

8. The Ladies Man (2000) – Rated R for sexual humor and language.

This film follows Leon Phelps, the late-night radio advice-show host.  There is pretty much no humor here.  And the few jokes they attempted just fell flat.  I really have nothing else to say.

9. Stuart Saves His Family (1995) – Rated PG-13 for language and substance abuse.

Stuart Smalley thought he was good enough, smart enough, and that, doggone it,  people liked him.  Too bad he was wrong.

10. It’s Pat: The Movie (1994) – Rated PG-13 for bizarre gender-related humor

Julia Sweeney’s Pat Riley, an obnoxious busybody of indeterminable gender, falls in love with Dave Foley’s Chris, a sensitive, caring person also of indeterminable gender.  Oy vey, where do I even start?  The pronoun games and slightly creepy costumes got pretty old about 5 minutes into the movie, which just happens to be the average-length of a skit.  Turns out what mildly works on TV just didn’t work at all in a feature-length film.  It was so horrible, it literally got pulled from theatres after only being out for a week.  A new definition of bad. 

So where does MacGruber fit in all of this?  I said in my review here, that it was comfortably in the middle.  I guess that would put it somewhere between A Night At The Roxbury and Blues Brothers 2000.  But I’ve only seen it once so I might change my mind after a second viewing.  What do you think of my list of best and worst SNL movies?  Agree or disagree?  Comment and let me know what you think!

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  1. Beli
    May 25, 2010 at 4:50 am

    mine would be Wayne’s World. But have to say that I crank my neck to “What is Love?”

  1. May 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm

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