BIGGEST STARS TO COME OUT OF SNL
If there’s one thing I’ll always be grateful to my mother for, it’s that she exposed to comedy early and often as a child… it’s just a shame it didn’t have a bigger influence on my writing – WAH, WAH!
One of my favorite times of the week growing up was Sunday morning, when my mother and I would sit down and watch the VHS recording of Saturday Night Live from the night before. A tradition I still follow. Although, thank God, I have a DVR now!
The idea for this post came when I heard some people ripping on Adam Sandler. A guy who has come a long way since his stint on SNL. Becoming, in fact, a bonafide, bankable movie star. And that got me thinking about who the most successful stars to come from the show were. Now, realize, this is not a list of the greatest performers to ever take the stage at 30 Rock as a cast member. This is a list of the most successful stars to make the transition from SNL to the big screen and beyond.
I’m limiting this to 5, in order to allow for discussion but want to give HONORABLE MENTIONS to the following: Chris Rock, Phil Hartman, Tina Fey, Dan Akroyd, Chris Farley & Adam Sandler. They did not make my Top 5. Here’s who did (in order):
5. MIKE MYERS.
I know in Hollywood, as well in the world of movie blogging, you’re only as good as what you did last. In Mike Myers case, that would be The Love Guru. How unfortunate…
Still, Mike Myers left SNL and delivered a solid film in So, I Married an Axe Murderer. He followed that up with, the most successful sketch turned movie, Wayne’s World. Which also turned in an enjoyable sequel. With seemingly nowhere to go but down from there, Myers knocked us all on our collective asses with the one and only Austin Powers. Myers has been giving us the most quotable lines for the better part of 20 years. If you can look me in the eye and say you’ve never looked at your girlfriend and uttered the phrases “Schwing” or “Do I make you horny, Baby?” then your nose probably just grew an inch. Not to mention his interesting turns and Studio 54 and Inglorious Basterds, coupled with the Shrek franchise… Myers has cemented his position as a star.
4. EDDIE MURPHY.
“Disturbing the peace?! I got thrown out of a window! What’s the fuckin’ charge for getting pushed out of a moving car, huh? Jaywalking?!”
A lot of people, especially younger people, don’t seem to remember or even know that Murphy was a cast member in the early to mid 80’s. A shame because he truly was one of the best performers SNL ever had. The fact that he made Joe Piscapoe so tolerable is proof of that alone.
True, Murphy’s career has taken a turn in recent years. Still, with a resume that boasts films like Bowfinger, Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hours & Coming to America, you have to be impressed. And props to him for realizing that his career was fledgling and wisely reinventing himself a star of PG kid films such as Imagine That and Dr. Doolittle. I realize there’s no forgetting Pluto Nash… all I can say to that is Delirious and Raw. Suck it!
3. CHEVY CHASE.
“Oh, it’s me, Dr. Rosenpenis.”
Oh Chevy, what the frack happened to you? I’ll admit it’s hard to see Chevy Chase these days. He’s just aged so poorly… I mean, he has, right?
Still, Chevy Chase has managed to hang around all these years and is still turning in good work… anybody else watching Community? Just me? Okay then… Regardless, Chevy Chase can hang his hat proudly on the body of work he has given us. A body of work that includes some of the greatest comedies ever including: Fletch, Vacation, The 3 Amigos and Caddyshack. I realize we’ll never be able to forget The Chevy Chase Show. All I can say to that is, “I’ll have a Bloody Mary and a steak sandwich and… a steak sandwich, please.”
2. WILL FARRELL.
“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…”
In the 30+ years SNL has been on the air, I don’t think anyone carried the entire show on their backs the way Will Farrell did. Even when he wasn’t doing his go-to’s like the Roxbury guy, Alec Trabek or Harry Carry, he was filling in skits with moments of pure comedic genius.
Farrell’s career got off to a slow start but when it took off, it did so with a bang. I think Anchorman alone convinced us all Will Farrell was a star but year after year he continues to deliver. I’ve even enjoyed some of his off beat movie choices like Stranger Than Fiction and Winter’s Passing. Unfortunately, from time to time, you get films from him like Land of the Lost and Step Brothers… but, admit it, you still just like to watch him do his thing. Also, he just seems like a nice guy doesn’t he?
1. BILL MURRAY.
“Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown… THROW IT!”
I wonder if I’ll get support or dissent for my #1 but who cares? I think Bill Murray is hands down the best performer to come out of SNL. He has given us some of the greatest comedies ever including: Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, Scrooged, Stripes & Groundhog Day. Murray’s biggest accomplishment though is his staying power. The fact that he’s still around and kicking is a testimony to the man’s ability. I know he’s also the man who brought us Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties. But he also got an Oscar nomination… WHAT NOW?
Here’s hoping Ghostbusters 3 is frackin’ awesome. Who’s with me?
That’s it for now, Late Night Lovers.
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Check back Wednesday for our next post. Have a great week and remember… LIVE FROM NEW YORK, IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!!!