MacGruber and the History of SNL Movies

snl_moviesDepending on who you listen to, the most recent Saturday Night Live movie, “MacGruber”, is either the best SNL movie since the indisputably awesome “Wayne’s World”, or just another sad and mediocre attempt by Lorne Michaels at transforming Saturday Night sketch humor into box office success, ala “It’s Pat”.

But let’s admit this much. Every SNL movie began with a good idea; a funny sketch that found success on the small screen. ”Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” was a great and simple sketch. And who didn’t love Tim Meadow’s Ladies Man, or Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher character when you first saw them on Saturday night? Before all of these sketches became bad movies, they began as something already great.

This got me thinking. I wanted to compile a history of SNL movies- not as a way to take knocks at Lorne Michaels’s failures- but to remember the colorful characters and sketches that Lorne Michael’s failures (and successes) originated from.

WAYNE’S WORLD (1990)

The masterpiece of all SNL movies before it went to the big screen. In this sketch, Garth’s cousin, Tom Hanks, plays a roadie for Aerosmith who arranges for the band to appear on the local cable access show. Schwing!    

SUPERSTAR (1999)

Molly Shannon’s memorable Mary Katherine Gallagher character in all its armpit-sniffing, violently awkward insanity. Gotta love that dive into the pile of folding chairs.


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