Life isn’t always so kind to those who choose to depart late night sketch show “Saturday Night Live.” Some, like Bill Murray, end up leading a comic revolution with movies like Caddyshack, Ghost Busters and Rushmore. Others, no matter how talented on the small screen, just can’t seem to land a role that fits. Remember Jimmy Fallon’s starring roles in Taxi and Fever Pitch?
Whatever the obstacles or challenges, “SNL” alums continually attempt to stretch their comedic chops beyond 30 Rockefeller Plaza. As Baby Mama hits theaters, MM takes a look at what the future holds for “SNL” graduates and their devoted audiences.
April 25, 2008
It’s a true “SNL” reunion for leads Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and their writer-director Michael McCullers (who spent a season as a writer on the Saturday night comedy series). And just in time. Fey is on a streak with recent Golden Globe, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild Award wins for her sitcom spoof of the show that made her a star. Add to that the recent buzz surrounding Poehler’s performances as presidential contender Senator Hillary Clinton and you’ve got quite a recipe to conquer the weekend box office.
Don’t Mess With the Zohan
June 6, 2008
It has been a few years since Adam Sandler had a hit comedy at the box office. Could it have been 1999’s Big Daddy? The movie brought in $234 million internationally before Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds disappointed audiences and turned Sandler over to the darker side with dramas like Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me. This summer he’s back to what made him a star: An unlikely hero in an even unlikelier situation. As Zohan, an Israeli Mossad agent who “hides” in New York City as a hairdresser, Sandler is teaming with writers Robert Smigel and Judd Apatow. In case that’s not enough to make a summer hit, reuniting with Big Daddy director Dennis Dugan should do the trick.
The Love Guru
June 20, 2008
After “SNL,” Mike “Coffee Talk” Myers nursed the 1960s super spy Austin Powers and the animated green ogre Shrek through three feature films apiece (a fourth movie in the modern children’s fairytale series is scheduled for a 2010 release). His latest, The Love Guru, is already making waves for the actor’s stereotypical depiction of the Hindu way of life. But knowing Myers’ previous work (see So I Married An Axe Murderer and The Cat in the Hat), we have a feeling this is meant to be anything but an accurate, straightforward portrayal.
July 25, 2008
If ever there were an “SNL” alum who made audiences cringe with unforgettable characters, it would be Will Ferrell. From Anchorman to Talladega Nights and Blades of Glory, Ferrell is an expert at making the difficult look downright easy—hell, if Ricky Bobby can drive a racecar, anyone can. While his basketball comedy Semi-Pro wasn’t well-received by critics or at the box office earlier this year, the July comedy Step Brothers looks promising—as one of two childlike older men still living at home (the other played by his Talladega co-star John C. Reilly) and coping with forced adulthood and his new step-family.
September 26, 2008
It was back in the 1980s that Eddie Murphy made himself a known name with movies like Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America. Voted most popular in high school, he didn’t fare so well through the 1990s when audiences suffered through multiple remakes of The Nutty Professor and Dr. Dolittle, with Murphy playing every character but the family dog. The strategy didn’t work out too well—some might say it even backfired when he employed it to the extreme in 2007’s Norbit (Richard Roeper called the movie “offensively bad”). After a short break to play the Oscar-nominated role of James “Thunder” Early in 2006’s Dreamgirls, Murphy is back to his comedy roots with Nowhereland, the story of an executive who finds all his problems solved with a little imagination.