From Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy to more recent alumni like Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live serves as the launching pad for an endless conveyor belt of comedy superstars. Regardless of the long-running sketch comedy show’s variable quality, its ability to provide a platform for up-and-coming talent is largely unparalleled in the world of entertainment.
Ironically, the show’s numerous attempts to transition fan-favorite characters from the space of a five-minute sketch into a 90-minute feature involve much more inconsistent results. Thus far, almost a dozen films based on SNL characters have been produced (including sequels). Here, we take a look at the best and worst films that Saturday Night Live has to offer.
Best: The Blues Brothers (1980)
The very first film ever based on Saturday Night Live, this musical comedy adventure follows the titular Jake and Elwood (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) on a “mission from God” to save the orphanage where they grew up.
Renowned for its epic car chase sequence and memorable musical numbers, the film stands as one of the only SNL films to receive critical acclaim and became a monster hit at the box office, bringing in $115 million worldwide against a reported production budget of just $27 million. Nearly two decades later, it spawned a sequel (more on that later).