Featured Posts

Jun 12, 2008

Fletch's, er, Gaylord's Favored Five: SNL Movie Stars

On Tuesday, guest poster Gaylord dropped by with a delivery: a special version of Favored Five on SNL Movie Stars. He was even kind enough to give an Unfavored Five as well; that post can be seen here. Today, I give you his Favoreds.

For some of Gay's previous work, check out this post.


Gaylord's Favored Five SNL Movie Stars

5. Bill Murray – Murray is a polarizing character - most people love or hate him and his movies. For me, he sneaks into the Top 5 because of Groundhog Day (and of course the fact 99% of SNL alums suck doesn’t hurt either). I love Groundhog Day; Murray killed that movie, and if you can carry a great flick you’re a decent actor and you’ve got my respect. On top of that, Murray has been relevant since he's left SNL - he had the Ghostbusters series (everyone can agree those were enjoyable flicks), he stayed relevant with a decent villain play in Kingpin, then he acted in nerd sensations Rushmore, and Lost in Translation. Scarlett Johannson’s side boob even got him an Oscar nom in Lost in Translation; after that he voice-acted Garfield…but c’mon, in SNL Alum bad career decisions that’s not even Top 50.

4. Chevy Chase – Ummm...apparently Fletch isn’t just a great web site administrator, it was also the title of a good movie. Yes, Chevy was funny when he said he was 6’9" with the afro and stuff, haha. All right, obviously, sucking up doesn’t suit me - admittedly, the Fletch movies are before my time - I'll give them props 'cause old people seem to like them, but the Vacation movies are timeless. It'll be Christmas Day 2020 and we and all our kids will be laughing with Ralphie Parker and Clark Griswald…that’s a certainty. One of the good things about Chevy is that he hasn’t buried everything he worked for under a desperate desire to stay relevant (see Murphy, Eddie) - even his last stab at fame (Vegas Vacation) was pretty good.

3. Adam Sandler – Sandler really isn’t that great of an actor, and really was always a beneficiary of his likability while the audience was laughing AT him (he wrote himself roles in Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and even The Waterboy). Like most lovable actors (see Carrey, Jim), he wasn’t satisfied making his fans happy and tried to be a real actor with disastrous results (Punch Drunk Love, Spanglish, Reign Over Me). After getting laughed out of the drama milieu, Sandler returned to comedy but with a massive ego, where his characters were only Sandler-esque jerks (his character in Chuck and Larry was a ladies’ man who routinely had orgies with Playboy Playmates and ended up “settling” for Jessica Biel, and apparently Zohan is the greatest fighter who’s ever lived?). Nevertheless, Sandler movies always make money, partially because he is coasting on reputation and partially because he is a pretty funny guy (Happy Gilmore will never get old…).

2. Will Ferrell – Ferrell is just really, really good. He has that comedic timing that can’t be taught, and on top of that he’s proven himself a funny guy by writing some of the scripts that have made him famous (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) and no doubt ad-libbing many of his hilarious lines that have made him great. He really hasn’t had a stumble other than playing the same character (happens) and working too often with the “frat pack.” It was kind of funny for a minute when they showed up in each other’s movies (notably when Ferrell was in Wedding Crashers), but how far do you have to go to repay Stiller for the third lead in Zoolander (great flick by the way).

1. Chris Farley – When you leave SNL as the best cast member ever, and you actually live up to the lofty expectations (though admittedly for too short a time), you get the top spot. The guy was the best physical comedian that ever was, and we can all agree Tommy Boy is a masterpiece. Even in Black Sheep and Beverly Hills Ninja, Farley kills me. We all wish the guy hadn’t gone out at the height of his talent, but unfortunately Farley couldn’t give us decades of hilarious comedies. Let us not judge, for we know not what it is like to be fat, insanely talented, and hopelessly wealthy. Perhaps if I was 200 pounds heavier, I’d feel the unquenching desire to party and do enough heroin to split all 4 of Big Brown’s hooves…

Honorable mentions:
Dan Aykroyd - In nearly 30 years on the golden screen, the only true embarrassment was Blues Brothers 2000...Some might claim My Stepmother is an Alien as a misstep, but for the chance to get down with a 1987 Kim Basinger, I’d probably make a flop or two, too.

Mike Myers - He wrote Austin Powers and Wayne’s World...Obviously a funny a guy...Tragically, his idea of being funny lately is putting on a lot of makeup, and his idea of following up a good script is accepting a large bag of cash and recycling the previous script with more makeup and more bodysuits…

Not eligible (appeared in less than 5 SNLs): Ben Stiller, Damon Wayans

Thanks again to Gaylord for his double-duty guest action. If you'd like to contribute a guest post to Blog Cabins, just email me your thoughts on a topic and we'll go from there.

19 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's, er, Gaylord's Favored Five: SNL Movie Stars"

WaywardJam said...

Bill Murray is a comedy god! "Back off man, I'm a scientist."

I love Will Ferrell, but Ugh! to Zoolander. Bowie is one of the few good things about that film. If it wasn't for Juicebox, I'd add Kicking and Screaming onto my boo-hiss list too.

All in all though, no complaints on the Favored Five or the runner ups. I just hope that Tina Fey and her upcoming projects will make her Favored Five worthy in the next couple of years.

Pat said...

Both Robert Downey Jr. and Joan Cusack were on SNL for one season, not sure if that makes them eligible for the Favored Five, though. So was Christopher Guest, whose film career I think I'd rate much higher than Farley's. (And I do think Farley is hilarious.)

Fletch said...

@ Wayne - how can you not love Zoolander? It took me awhile to cotton to it, but that movie's great.

@ Pat - I think Gaylord was going for regular (long term) cast members. Otherwise, perennial guest Steve Martin and honorary cast member Alec Baldwin might have made the conversation.

As for Gaylord's picks, I think it's ludicrous to place Farley anywhere near as high as he did. Then again, Gay was probably just as high as Farley was when he wrote this, so I'm not too surprised.

Farley's film career was atrocious. One decent movie (Tommy Boy) and a few embarrasments does not a successful movie career make. I'll give you that he was great on SNL (in spurts), but any one of the other people listed here deserves to be ahead of Farley.

Nick said...

I have to disagree with Fletch on this and say that Farley deserved the top spot. I loved all of his movies, and he and Spade made a great duo.

The whole time I was reading this, I started to get worried because Farley hadn't been mentioned yet. And then I started wondering why Dan Aykroyd or Mike Myers hadn't been mentioned, but then I saw them all at the end.

Will Ferrell bugs me, though. He has some funny movies, but they're just starting to get really old now. He's playing the same exact type of character in every movie. And now he's dragging John C. Reilly down with him. Though I have to say, to date, Stranger than Fiction is Ferrell's best movie... and it's not his typical role.

Also... Groundhog Day rocks.

Daniel G. said...

You Don't Mess With the Farley. Every role, every scene, every movie - he's hilarious.

How about Phil Hartman? He didn't lead any movies, but he showed up in a number of decent ones.

WaywardJam said...

I've only seen Zoolander once. The wife's never seen it so I have an excuse for a second viewing. Not much of a Stiller fan, Something About Mary and Dodgeball not withstanding. He can be funny in small doses but mostly just annoying.

Fletch said...

You guys are killing me with this Farley love. Let's take a trip down memory lane and look at his film work:

* Wayne's World: bit part. Funny, but he's in it for about 10 seconds.

* Coneheads: never saw it, but I'm going to safely assume it sucked.

* Wayne's World 2: I've seen this a number of times, and can't even recall his role. Must've been great...

* Airheads: Gawdawful movie.

* Billy Madison: A glorified bit part. Again funny, but maybe 2 minutes of screen time here.

* Tommy Boy: Good, funny movie, but probably not in the top 10 of 90s comedies even.

* Black Sheep: Didn't we just see this movie?

* Beverly Hills Ninja: Ugh. Again, ugh.

* Almost Heroes: Did anyone see this? Honestly? I didn't - I obviously must be missing out on a comedy classic...

* Dirty Work (uncredited): Again, saw this and don't remember him. The uncredited crediting is a big clue why, as he was probably there for 10 seconds again.

Now...you're gonna tell me that THAT career is better than Murray or Chase or Sandler or Ferrell or Murphy??!?!? If so, I don't know if I can be friends with you anymore. Hell, Spade and Schneider have probably had better film careers than Farley....

Don't let his death cloud your feelings [/Yoda]. The guy was a great sketch player (evidenced by his 10 seconds of gold in a few movies), but couldn't sustain a whole movie for sh*t.

WaywardJam said...

I agree, his bit parts were always fun(and his Swayze Chippendale skit) but greatest SNL star - now way.

Also, Coneheads was decent and he played a redeemable type of Joe in it. Love the chewing gum.

Nick said...

He's not my favorite actor in the world or anything, but I do love his roles. Tommy Boy was excellent, and I thought Beverly Hills Ninjas was funny, too :P

I agree with wayward that he had a pretty decent role in Coneheads, too.

And I do remember his role in Wayne's World 2. He was a try-too-hard security guard. Funny stuff.

And Black Sheep has nothing in common with Tommy Boy except the Farley/Spade duo.

Michael J. Mendez said...

Uhhh, am I the only one who remember Eddie Murphy was on SNL? Say what you want about his movies lately, but like Chase, he used to be funny and unlike Sandler, he actually made good movies. 48 Hours? Beverly Hills Cop? Trading Places? Shrek? Coming to America? BOWFINGER?!?!

Moviezzz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fletch said...

@ Mike Mendez - Gaylord remembered Eddie Murphy...he just placed him in the Unfavored Five, mostly for his film output over the last 15 years or so. He certainly had some classics (Coming to America is one of my all-time favorite comedies), but overall, his ratio of bad:good is not good at all.

@ Moviezzz - I too would place Belushi above Farley, but not above any of the others in this Favored portion - sad as it may be, his career was just too short.

Anonymous said...

Farley rules, you guys are insane, he could make you laugh just with a look, plus since he died after a few hits it adds a little something to his legacy, if Eddie Murphy had died in 1985 he'd probably have a case for the #1 spot, instead of one of the 5 worst, still looking to take over the all time worst with yet another trainwreck coming out this summer (he shrinks himself down and lives in some guys head or something?!?! Like Inner Space only I'm sure much much less funny, and I'm aware Inner Space wasn't even a comedy)


Nick said...


Inner Space wasn't a comedy? Are you sure?

Joseph said...

Bill Murray > all

NFL Adam said...

Wasn't Bill Murray in Caddyshack? Come on, this rockets him to the top along with Chase.

BTW, Anthony Michael Hall as a cast member for a year, too.

J.D. said...

Yeah, Bill Murray is THE man. He's one of the few old school SNLers to still be relevant and have a decent career. The smartest thing he did in the last 10 years was hook up with Wes Anderson. But I still love much of his '80s output - STRIPES, GHOSTBUSTERS (I coulda done without the sequel)... But I think that Chevy Chase is one of the SNLers who's fallen the farthest from the heights of FLETCH to... COPS & ROBBERSONS? Dear Lord...

Chris Farley is OK but his film career was pretty bad - TOMMY BOY and BLACK SHEEP accepted. He and David Spade made a great team and it's not surprising that Spade hasn't done anything decent since Farley died.

I will always dig Adam Sandler for HAPPY GILMORE which is still my fave film of his, hands down. Altho, I DO like his forays into more serious stuff - I thought he was great in both PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE and SPANGLISH.

Fletch said...

As you might've guessed, I'd take Chase's best over anyone else, but he obviously doesn't have a track record like Murray, so count me in with the folks that place Murray at the top of the "SNL Movie Stars" chart. At the bottom? Julia Sweeney or Al Franken.

NFL Adam said...

Murray and then Chase? Hmm, both have Caddyshack. Groundhog's Day vs. Vegas Vacation? I don't know. The main reason I love VV is because of Nick Pappagorgio and Sid Caesar.