Saturday Night Live is one of television’s most iconic comedy franchises. Their ventures into film, however, have been far less impressive.
The first movie based on Saturday Night Live characters would be 1980’s The Blues Brothers, an unquestioned classic. But including it in a list of SNL films is kind of cheating. While Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi did debut Joliet and Elwood Blues – along with their black suits and sunglasses – on the late-night show, the characters only delivered musical numbers. As such, the film would be the first time a true script was written for the Blues Brothers.
A more traditional movie adaptation – where characters made popular on SNL were brought to the silver screen – would be 1992’s Wayne’s World. Once again, the comedy magic worked. The film became an instant hit with audiences with Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey leading the way as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, respectively. Wayne’s World earned $183 million against a budget of just $20 million, setting a mark that no other SNL film has come close to matching.
Since Wayne’s World, however, things have gone downhill. Coneheads (1993), Wayne’s World 2 (1993), It’s Pat (1994), Stuart Saves His Family (1995), Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), A Night at the Roxbury (1998), Superstar (1999), The Ladies Man (2000) and MacGruber (2010) have all ranged somewhere between disappointing dud to outright box-office disaster.
Still, those films managed to get made. Along the way, there have been plenty of Saturday Night Live movie ideas that never reached the big screen. Check out some of the most notable examples in the gallery below.