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:
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.
Reserve a copy of:
- Bridesmaids (at redbox on DVD and Blu-ray October 18)
- Paul, on DVD and Blu-ray
- MacGruber, on DVD and Blu-ray
- All Good Things
- How To Train Your Dragon, on DVD and Blu-ray
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!
Reserve a copy of:
- Everything Must Go
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
- Megamind (Ferrell voices the lead character, and fellow SNL alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s pipes can be heard as well)
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…).
Reserve a copy of:
- Just Go With It, on DVD and Blu-ray
- Big Daddy
- Grown Ups, on DVD and Blu-ray (and co-starring a lot of other SNL alums)
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!