Since a new season of Saturday Night Live is kicking off this weekend with host Miley Cyrus on October 3rd, and yours truly will be reviewing every new episode, there’s no better time to take a look back at all the movies that have been spawned from the iconic late-night sketch series and rank them from worst to best.
This wasn’t too monumental an undertaking since there’s only 11 total movies produced that were based on Saturday Night Live sketches, but there’s bound to be some dissension when it comes to where they fall on the list. So without further adieu, let’s get to ranking Saturday Night Live movies.
#11. Blues Brothers 2000
Why did anyone ever think that making a Blues Brothers sequel without John Belushi would be a good idea? Sure, John Goodman is probably the best possible replacement to take over for the late, great comedian alongside Dan Aykroyd, but this sequel was never going to shake a stick at the original, even if Belushi was back from the dead. While it does offer a fantastic soundtrack, as expected, there’s also some smart ass little kid brought into play, and it just doesn’t work.
#10. The Ladies Man
One of the easiest criticisms of movies that are adapted from Saturday Night Live sketches is that the characters going to the big screen just don’t have enough depth to lead a feature film, and that’s very clear with The Ladies Man. But even despite a colorful cavalcade of characters to surround Tim Meadows as Leon Phelps, including Billy Dee Williams and Saturday Night Live star Will Ferrell before he really made it big, this movie is all over the place with musical numbers, an attempt at romance, and some strange and unsatisfying tangents.
#9. It’s Pat
Your enjoyment of this movie wholly depends on whether or not you actually like Julia Sweeney as the androgynous misfit who confuses people everywhere the character goes. And since I think she’s fantastic as Pat, that’s why this film isn’t at the bottom. Also helping things is the presence of Kids in the Hall star Dave Foley as Pat’s newly found, equally gender-perplexing partner Chris. However, everything about this film is pretty bad, and this truly lives up to the criticism of an SNL movie that feels like a sketch idea being stretched very thin for a feature film. Even the production quality is pretty poor, looking more like a made-for-TV movie than a real studio film.
#8. A Night at the Roxbury
Full disclosure: I actually love A Night at the Roxbury. But at the same time, I also recognize that it’s not a very good movie. Much of my enjoyment of this movie comes from my love of this sketch from Saturday Night Live at a time when I truly became obsessed with the late night sketch show, but a quality comedy is not what A Night at the Roxbury delivers. It’s downright dumb and never lets up the stupidity, much like the Butabi brothers (Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell) themselves. The movie is so bad that the only celebrity cameo they could get was from Richard Grieco. Yeesh.
#7. Stuart Saves His Family
This is the one Saturday Night Live movie that you’ve either never heard of or have completely forgotten about. Al Franken, who is now a United States senator, plays self-help TV personality Stuart Smalley, who is good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him. The movie is much sweeter than you would expect a Saturday Night Live movie to be, even if Smalley is probably the strangest decision for an SNL character to leap to the big screen, but it’s not nearly as funny as it should be.
Here’s where our countdown takes a pretty decent turn towards the good movies that SNL has made over the years. While Molly Shannon‘s Sister Mary Katherine Gallagher feels like the kind of character that couldn’t sustain a feature film, she actually ends up being up weirdly fascinating, and when we start to learn about her childhood and life outside of smelling her armpits by way of her hands, she turns out to be rather charming too. She’s almost like a Napoleon Dynamite companion. It also helps that we get Will Ferrell in two roles, including a very cool Jesus Christ.