Saturday Night Live Alums on the Big Screen

by | Sep 24th, 2011 | 8:30AM | Filed under: Hollywood Chatter, In My Humble Opinion, Movie Lists

The 37th season of Saturday Night Live premieres tonight, featuring Radiohead (YES) and Alec Baldwin, who will finally be able to claim the Most Times Hosting throne from his Oscar co-host Steve Martin (who many people mistakenly think was a cast member at one time because he used to make such frequent guest appearances—anyone else remember his King Tut?).

SNL is the same age as me, and as such I very much feel like I was raised alongside the show. Way before I actually ever watched an episode, I saw my aunts and uncles dressing up like the Coneheads for Halloween, I had a toy Mr. Bill (“Ohh nooooo!“), and I knew the catchphrases from several of the most popular skits of the ’70s. In high school my friends and I rented all of the old “Best Of” videos from the years before we started tuning in ourselves. Now that I live in Chicago, I make sure to bring visitors to the Billy Goat Tavern, spoofed in the famous Belushi/Akyroyd “Cheezborger, Cheezborger!” Olympia Cafe skit. And so, while the series has definitely had its ups and downs over the decades, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart, and I doubt there will ever come a time when I no longer have it on my DVR Season Pass. (Until, you know, the next recording technology comes along… but you get what I’m saying.)

Several of today’s most successful celebrities had their starts on NBC’s sketch-comedy show: Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Jimmy Fallon, and of course, Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler. Even Ben Stiller was in the cast (but only for four episodes before quitting over creative differences), as was Robert Downey Jr. (when he was just 20 years old, during the ’85-’86 season).

In honor of tonight’s premiere, I thought I’d highlight some SNL cast member’s most recent films that we now (or will soon) have at redbox:

Paul movieKristen Wiig

The cast’s most recent break-out star is everywhere these days. She wrote, produced, and starred in this summer’s smash success Bridesmaids, and also had a hilarious turn as a fundamentalist-turned-naughty-girl in Paul. But that’s not all! She had a supporting role in the wonderful All Good Things (with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst), provided the voice of Ruffnut in How To Train Your Dragon, and took her SNL “MacGruber” character to the big screen as well.

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anchorman Will Ferrell

Oh, how I loved ALL of Ferrell’s characters on SNL, but my favorites were the Spartan Cheerleader and the Dog Show guy. Ferrell returned to the boob tube with a four-episode arc on The Office last season, and also decided to take a semi-dramatic turn in this year’s well-received Everything Must Go. But it’s going to take a lot for him to ever be viewed as a truly serious actor, only because he’s so damn funny as characters like Old School‘s Frank the Tank, Anchorman‘s Ron Burgundy, Elf‘s Buddy, and Talladega Nights‘ Ricky Bobby. Shake ‘n bake!

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Adam Sandler

I have to admit that I actually thought Adam Sandler was worlds funnier back when he was on SNL, especially when he’d pop in during Weekend Update and sing random songs like “Lunchlady Land” or “Red-Hooded Sweatshirt.” But you can’t blame him for going where the money is, and he’s undeniably one of the most commercially successful comedic actors of all time at this point. He’ll next be seen on the silver screen playing double-duty in Jack and Jill (don’t get me started…).

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And finally, don’t miss SNL all-star Bill Murray in the quiet but powerful Get Low and the bizarro Passion Play, or up-and-comer Jason Sudeikis alongside Owen Wilson in Hall Pass (on DVD and Blu-ray). And if you tune into the 37th season premiere of Saturday Night Live tonight, then enjoy the show!

3 Responses to “Saturday Night Live Alums on the Big Screen”

  1. moviegoer123
    Posted on September 24, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Adam Sandler does pretty good at comedy, in my opinion but in most of his films, his funny-side turns into an embarrassing performance. To name a few, Grown Ups — he made us laugh but as the film went to its third act, the performance went down the drain. Just Go With It…he had no funny sequences at all and filled the film with uninteresting dialogue. But with Just Go With It, he gave us a hefty message with that boring dialogue.

    I’m not looking forward to Jack and Jill. He probably give us a horrendous performance that isn’t funny at all, from what I’ve seen in the trailer.

  2. Fiirvoen
    Posted on September 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I’ve never been disappointed by an Adam Sandler movie. He always makes me laugh, regardless of how stupid the movie is.

  3. Lauren Glenn
    Posted on October 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Somehow, someone forgot that Bill Murray had a better run than Adam Sandler at one point and Chevy Chase had a few good ones also…..