The late-night comedy show known as Saturday Night Live (SNL) first appeared on the air back in 1975 and is still producing content to this day. After 44 seasons and over 850 episodes, SNL has had a number of hosts and musical guests, some of which created memorable characters that reappeared in several episodes.
Characters like Matt Foley, Stefon, Operaman, and Gene Frenkle have become notable additions to the show, but some characters have even gotten their own movies thanks to their popularity.
Some of these movies weren’t very well received so some people simply forgot about them, but others are so popular that many people probably forgot they were originally based on SNL skits.
Here are 11 movies you forgot were based on classic SNL skits.
11 The Blues Brothers
One of the most popular SNL films just so happened to be the first film based on SNL characters. Released in 1980, The Blues Brothers starred Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as Elwood and Jake Blues. The film is based on The Blues Brothers characters from SNL, who first appeared in a musical performance back in 1978.
The film revolved around the iconic duo putting on a concert to save an orphanage from being shut down. Most reviews for the film were positive upon the movie’s release, with people praising John Landis’ directing, Aykroyd and Belushi’s charm, as well as the catchy musical numbers.
10 Wayne’s World
With The Blues Brothers doing well for Universal Pictures, it was understandable that Paramount Pictures wanted to try their luck with another duo based on Saturday Night Live characters. The next SNL movie was an adaptation of the “Wayne’s World” skit which premiered on the show in 1989. SNL produced about twenty skits featuring Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as their now iconic characters, Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar.
The skits involved Garth and Wayne talking about music and movies on their public-access cable show, with the film revolving around them raising money for their TV show. Wayne's World was well received at the box office and even managed to make more money than The Blues Brothers.
By 1993, Dan Aykroyd was a popular and successful actor, but even he couldn’t save Coneheads. The film was based on an SNL skit from 1977, which sees an alien family with cone-shaped heads trying to adjust to life on Earth. While Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers both saw success at the box office, the same can’t be said for Coneheads.
The film was panned by fans and critics, with the overall plot of the film being subject to criticism. Coneheads was the first film that proved not just any SNL skit could be turned into a film and have success.
8 Wayne’s World 2
With Wayne’s World influencing pop culture and proving successful at the box office, a sequel was inevitable. After the eponymous rocker is visited by Jim Morrison in his dreams, Wayne and Garth try to raise money for a rock concert called “Waynestock."
While the film still got positive reviews, most people didn’t like the sequel as much as the first, which shows when you look at the box office numbers for both films. In Wayne’s World 2’s defense, it did have competition from Mrs. Doubtfire, so it’s possible people were just more interested in seeing a new Robin Williams movie over Wayne’s World 2.
7 It’s Pat
While NBC had some hits with movies based on SNL skits, things took a turn for the worse when It’s Pat was released in 1994. The film was based on the character of Pat, who was played by Julia Sweeney on Saturday Night Live and It’s Pat.
The film and comedy sketches mainly relied on a gag about other people not being able to tell if Pat was male or female. People didn’t think Pat’s androgyny was funny in the ‘90s, and the film certainly hasn’t aged well. The film even has a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it isn’t hard to see why.
6 Stuart Saves His Family
Stuart Saves His Family was released in 1995 and follows Stuart Smalley (Al Franken) as he tries to aid his dysfunctional family. Smalley was a recurring character on SNL who would host a self-help show called “Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley” on public-access television.
While Stuart Smalley had some funny bits on SNL, it wasn't enough to warrant a film, which Paramount quickly found out upon Stuart Saves His Family's release. The movie didn’t do very well with critics and flopped at the box office, but the film's failure did lead to a funny SNL skit revolving around Smalley talking about its failure.
5 Blues Brothers 2000
Nearly 20 years after the original film was released, Universal Pictures decided to give The Blues Brothers a sequel. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the sequel didn’t do nearly as well as the first.
Much like the original, Blues Brothers 2000 starred Dan Aykroyd and had appearances from several musical guests, but one thing was missing: John Belushi. Belushi had passed away in 1982 at the age of 33. John Goodman co-starred in Blues Brothers 2000 and while he is a fine actor, The Blues Brothers just aren’t the same if one of the brothers isn’t around anymore.
4 A Night At The Roxbury
Will Ferrell is known today for films like Step Brothers and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but he was also an SNL cast member from 1995 to 2002. In the midst of his Saturday Night Live career, he starred in a film called A Night at the Roxbury alongside his SNL co-star Chris Kattan.
The actors play two brothers named Steve and Doug who want to get into a night club called The Roxbury. The characters originated on Saturday Night Live as idiots who went to clubs and got rejected by women, but Paramount Pictures really should have been the ones to reject the idea for this movie.
From 1995 to 2001, Molly Shannon was one of the main cast members on Saturday Night Live. She was involved with many skits during, but one of her most famous characters was Mary Katherine Gallagher. The character was a Catholic schoolgirl who was always nervous but hyper at the same time.
The character has appeared almost 20 times on the show, but in 1999 she was given her own film. Unfortunately, the movie received almost all negative reviews, with it quickly becoming clear that there wasn’t enough material to give Mary Katherine Gallagher a full-length film.
2 The Ladies Man
The Ladies Man was released in 2000 and was yet another SNL film that did horribly at the box office. The movie is about the SNL character Leon Phelps, who was portrayed by Tim Meadows. Phelps was a radio talk-show host who would often give advice on sex.
The plot of the film is pretty straight forward, with Phelps getting fired and trying to track down an old love interest, while also being hunted by numerous boyfriends and husbands. The film had some talented cast members, including Karyn Parsons and Billy Dee Williams, but nothing was able to save the film. The Ladies Man not only failed at the box office but was also panned by critics.
The last SNL film to be released is now 9 years old. MacGruber came out in 2010, starring Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, and Ryan Phillippe. The character originated from SNL skits, which parodied the ‘80s television series MacGyver. The skits usually involved MacGruber trying to diffuse a bomb, only to panic under the pressure and blow up.
The film follows MacGruber as he comes out of retirement to battle his arch-enemy named Dieter Von Cunth. Despite now being considered somewhat of a cult classic, the film flopped hard at the box office and got mixed reviews upon its release.