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DID YOU READ

A Definitive Ranking of Every SNL Movie From Worst to Best

Blues Brothers

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Lorne Michaels’ long-running TV empire has launched the careers of dozens of comedians, but its efforts to branch out into theaters have been… uneven, at best. Here’s the official, inarguable rundown of SNL movies, from worst to best.

11. A Night at the Roxbury

Not only is this the absolute worst of the SNL films, it lands pretty solidly on a list of the absolute worst films of all time, period. Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan star as infuriating recurring characters Steve and Doug Butabi, two Yemeni-American club kids who mug through a number of ludicrous situations involving the L.A. nightclub scene. This movie is painful to watch and thankfully murdered Chris Kattan’s career while leaving Will Ferrell relatively unscathed.


10. Blues Brothers 2000

Making a sequel to one of the greatest comedies of all time (more on that later) is generally a bad idea, especially if one of the stars of the first movie is dead. The odious Blues Brothers 2000 suffers from the absence of John Belushi, and adding a wisecracking 10-year-old orphan doesn’t help matters at all. Some solid music on the soundtrack can’t redeem this one.


9. It’s Pat

Probably the most polarizing movie in the SNL canon, you either love It’s Pat or it makes you want to kill somebody. (It scores the rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.) Julia Sweeney’s bizarrely androgynous character was tough to deal with in five minute segments, but that cringe-inducing humor actually becomes more affecting in a feature film. Fun fact: Quentin Tarantino did some uncredited work on the script.


8. The Ladies Man

The late ’90s were the nadir of Saturday Night Live spin-off movies, as Lorne Michaels desperately tried to catch lightning in a bottle again following the success of Wayne’s World. It all ended with 2000’s The Ladies Man, starring Tim Meadows as radio lothario Leon Phelps. Directed by Reginald Hudlin (who deserves much better), the end result is a chore to get through.


7. Stuart Saves His Family

Al Franken’s Stuart Smalley was a character born for TV – a relentlessly cheerful motivational speaker with a tenuous connection to reality. As the anchor for a feature film, he just doesn’t work. The box-office bomb earned under a million bucks in theaters, and was one of late director Harold Ramis’ few flops.


6. Superstar

The thing with Saturday Night Live characters is that many of them are based on annoyance or all-out revulsion, and that’s hard to hang a movie script on. One that pulled it off was 1999’s Superstar, starring Molly Shannon as armpit-huffing Catholic schoolgirl with dreams of fame Mary Katherine Gallagher. (Will Ferrell’s turn as Sky Corrigan definitely helps.) The character’s just weird enough to work, and the supporting cast (including Ferrell, Tom Green, and Mark McKinney) is pretty solid.


5. Wayne’s World 2

After the huge success of the first Wayne’s World movie, Paramount wanted to go back to the well right away with a sequel. Unfortunately, it missed a lot of the things that made the original successful and tried to make up for it with lots and lots of celebrity cameos – Heather Locklear! Jay Leno! Aerosmith! Rip Taylor?


4. Coneheads

Most of the movies based on SNL sketches have been roughly contemporaneous, but Coneheads is the bizarre exception. The first Coneheads bit aired in 1977 and the movie came out sixteen years later. That said, it’s a fairly solid take on the franchise, with alien family Beldar, Prymaat and Connie dealing with life in suburban New Jersey.


3. MacGruber

Will Forte’s TV action star character is an obvious parody of MacGyver, but it’s a broad enough concept that it works stretched out to an hour and a half. This is probably the most lowbrow of any SNL movie to date, with lots and lots of toilet humor, but it’s charming in its own way.


2. The Blues Brothers

The first film based on recurring SNL characters is still one of the greatest. Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi so perfectly inhabited the black suits of Jake and Elwood Blues that they’re inseparable from the characters, and the car chase scene is one of Hollywood’s most iconic. Throw in hot as fire performances from James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles and you’ve got a true American classic.

Click here to see all showings of The Blues Brothers on IFC.


1. Wayne’s World

Mike Myers and Dana Carvey took a classic SNL setup – two losers doing a local access TV show – and built an entire weird world around it as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar. Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization) was the perfect director to take the duo to the big screen, and it remains the highest-grossing of any of the Saturday Night Live films theatrically. A still quoted classic, it’s the gold standard that all future SNL films are held up to. Oh, and it also has Tia Carrere at the height of her smoking babeness. Schwing!

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.