I was so sad to read the news yesterday morning that Bill Hader would be leaving Saturday Night Live at the end of the current season, which just happens to be this coming Saturday. He is one of my favorite cast members as of late, mainly due to his portrayal of Stefon, the Weekend Update correspondent that knows everything there is to know about the hot NYC club scene. Hader first introduced us to Stefon Zolesky in a sketch with then host, Ben Affleck, where the two played the Zolesky brothers and pitched coming-of-age movie ideas. But it was on April 24, 2010, that Stefon first took his seat next to Seth Meyers on the Weekend Update set to give his report: “If you’re looking for a good time, look no further: New York’s hottest club is Crease. Club promoter Tranny Oakley has gone all out, and inside it’s just everything: lights, psychos, Furbies, screaming babies in Mozart wigs, sunburnt drifters with soapsuds beards…It’s that thing where a hobo becomes a rich man, so they take the big bubble bath.” WHAT?! Whether you understood it, didn’t understand it, loved it or hated it, you have to admit that every report by Stefon invoked hearty belly laughs, instant replays and watercooler discussions. I, for one, hope that Hader, and Stefon’s co-creator John Mulaney, decide to bring the character to the big screen, as many former SNL characters have done before. Let’s talk about our favorites, shall we?
The Blues Brothers - This 1980 flick starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd has been dubbed the best of the SNL-inspired films by many a critic. The characters, Jake and Elwood Blues, had not only received fame on TV but via a hit album and touring act, making the movie a sure bet. Things got a little complicated, however, during filming (Belushi’s drug problem didn’t help matters) and the movie became one of the most expensive comedies ever made. But, with guest stars including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and James Brown, the film was able to walk away with a cool $115 million in worldwide ticket sales.
Wayne’s World – Based on the SNL characters Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, 1992’s Wayne’s World made Mike Myers and Dana Carvey household names and introduced a new generation to the Queen song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The movie, which basically centered around a bunch of one-liners from the comedy duo, also launched the career of Tia Carrere and made Rob Lowe cool again. The movie spawned a sequel in 1993. While it has its fans – myself included, SCHWING! – critics claimed that following two people around in their mother’s basement does not a good movie make.
A Night at the Roxbury – Will Ferrell can do no wrong in my eyes which is why this film, even though it lacks a certain level of maturity, still counts as an SNL inspired favorite for me. In the 1998 flick, Ferrell and Chris Kattan play two creepy, pushy guys whose sole purposes in life is to get girls to dance with them in nightclubs. Funny in a 3 minute sketch on TV? Yes. Funny in a 90-minute movie? Not so much, but it still makes me giggle to imagine them bumping unsuspecting women back and forth between then and then not understanding why said women choose to find company elsewhere. Roxbury marked Ferrell’s first starring role in a movie and, as we all know, the actor has achieved much box office success since. Kattan, however, hasn’t been as lucky.
Superstar – Thinking of Mary Katherine Gallagher, star of numerous SNL skits and 1999’s Superstar just makes me laugh. Molly Shannon played to perfection the Catholic high-school girl who tried to fit in, but always fell – literally fell – short. Gallagher was notorious for making uncomfortable situations even worse by smelling her armpits, or falling through a table, all while trying to win the affections of Sky Corrigan (Will Ferrell’s high-school character). Critics blasted the movie for its cringe-worthiness, but at least Shannon can take credit for being the first, before the likes of Sacha Baron Cohen, to make you cringe in your seat while watching.
Here’s hoping Stefon is seen on the big screen soon, telling us about the latest hot spot, like he did on the December 10, 2011 episode of SNL: “If you’re ordinary or love salt, I’ve got just the spot for you. New York’s hottest holiday club is BAAAAAAA-BAANAM. Opened and condemned in 1904, this seasonal psycho ward is the creation of Hanukkah cartoon character Menorah the Explorer, and this place has everything: Kiwis, Spud Webb, Clio Awards, some guy’s mom, plus a special showing of the African holiday classic A Fish Called Kwanza.”
Which of these movies based on SNL skits is your favorite?
The Blues Brothers
A Night at the Roxbury