Published on May 6th, 2013 | by Clint Davis

Top 5: ‘SNL’ Movies

Last week, I was asked a great question on Twitter by one of our followers, Dan – @motown_man.   He asked:

@Overdue_Review which movie starring an SNL actor, or based off of an SNL character do you like the most?

I knew that providing a good answer to this one in just 140 measly characters wouldn’t do the job, so I decided to do our first Top Five countdown on the subject.  Dan, I hope you’ll forgive me but I’m only going to answer the second part of the question, because thinking off all the favorites from Chris Farley, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Christopher Guest, and more would fill a month of posts.

So here are my Top Five favorite movies based on a Saturday Night Live sketch.

#5: Magruber [2010]

Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, and Ryan Phillippe make for a motley crew.

The most recent SNL flick is based on Will Forte’s popular MacGyver parody.  It was by no means a good film, but when you look at most of the shitty cinema that’s been adapted from sketches (It’s Patcase closed), it leaves some slim pickins.  Forte and co-star Kristen Wiig are both funny enough to carry a film, but it’s the resurrection of both Val Kilmer and Ryan Phillippe that gets laughs.  Magruber is also a departure of typical SNL Studio films as it has a hard-R rating–meaning you get a villain named Von Cunth, a million dick jokes, and a great line like, “Hoss Bender, dead at the age of who the fuck cares?”

#4: Wayne’s World 2 (1993)

Wayne and Garth hang with Aerosmith in one of film’s many cameos.

After the original classic raked in almost $50 million globally the previous year, Lorne Michaels and company went back to the well and made this sequel which actually holds up.  Many plot elements are similar to the first outing–for instance, now instead of a slick-haired Rob Lowe playing the heavy, you’ve got a slick-haired Christopher Walken, and the film plays the ‘multiple endings’ card.  In Wayne’s World 2, the scale is bigger though, as the plot involves the two lovable heroes organizing an outdoor concert called “Wayne Stock”, leading to cameos abound.

#3: Wayne’s World (1992)

You know it’s a great scene when you can NEVER hear the song again without thinking of it.

If you grew up in the ’90s and don’t like Wayne’s World, you’ve either never seen it or are simply a sphincter boy.  Mike Myers and Dana Carvey are so perfect in their roles as Wayne and Garth that you can’t help but root for them.  Rob Lowe is well cast as the film’s villainous TV executive who tries to exploit the boys and get them to sell out, also you get a memorable one-scene turn from Chris Farley and a classic cameo from Alice Cooper, who gives you a history lesson on Milwaukee, Wisconsin (“Actually, it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land.”).

#2: Office Space (1999)

Office Space’s notorious Milton came from an SNL cartoon before being played by Stephen Root.

Okay, so this may be a cheap pick but Mike Judge’s cult comedy about 9-to-5 life was based on a series of cartoons he did for SNL called “Milton”…and that’s good enough for me!  Hands down, one of the funniest movies of the ’90s or any decade.

#1: The Blues Brothers (1980)

One of the greatest scenes in comedy history. “We got both kinds: country and western.”

In terms of SNL-based movies, the original will always be king.  Director John Landis pulled out all the stops in making this epic comedy/musical revue including wrecking about 60 police cars and destroying two buildings in the process.  To me, The Blues Brothers is a perfect film because its jokes always work, the music is a blast, the two leads have unbelievable chemistry, and everyone seemed to have a good time making it.  If you dig soul music, you’ve got cameo performances from James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles–plus, the Blues Brothers’ band features the late Donald “Duck” Dunn.  Toss in some neo-Nazis, the most insane ex-girlfriend of all-time, a hardass nun, and Steven Spielberg as the ‘Cook County Assessor’s Office Clerk’–and you’ve got one of the most ballsy films ever made.

What are your Top Five SNL Movies?  Post them on Twitter @Overdue_Review or on our Facebook page!

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About the Author

Clint Davis is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based journalist who dropped out of film school to write news! Email him at

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