Comedy Films from the ‘Saturday Night Live’ Class of the Late ’80s/Early ’90s

Mike Myers has been having a tough decade when it comes to comedies that are not animated adventures of a green ogre. On the other hand, Adam Sandler, one of Myers’ cast mates from the late 80s/early 90s version of “Saturday Night Live” somehow managed to become one of the biggest box office draws in comedy film history. The deaths of Phil Hartman and Chris Farley certainly put a dent on the movie careers of that “Saturday Night Life” class but you can still find a few decent comedies.

Trapped in Paradise

This comedy features two alumni of that class “Saturday Night Live,” but in this case Dana Carvey is funnier than Jon Lovitz. Carvey should probably have had a bigger movie career than Adam Sandler since he is much more versatile. That versatility is put on full display in “Trapped in Paradise” in which Dana Carvey’s characterization is essentially boiled down to a Mickey Rourke imitation. Carvey perfectly captures Rourke’s purrish growl and facial gymnastics.

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

In between her legendary performances on “Tush” and her rise to the big time on Saturday Night Live, Jan Hooks managed to almost steal the entire movie out from under the bicycle of Pee Wee Herman. All roads in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” lead to the Alamo where Jan Hooks delivers a deadly comic performance as a tour guide. Can you say adobe?

Almost Heroes

“Almost Heroes” is that rare move directed by Christopher Guest that is not a mockumentary. This comedy that purports to tell the unknown story of a team that competed with Lewis and Clark to reach the Pacific proves Matthew Perry can actually be funny. “Saturday Night Live” star Chris Farley appears alongside “SCTV” veteran Eugene Levy and a wealth of character actors to bring off a surprisingly funny tale in this unfairly overlooked comedy. Farley once again proves himself to be a latter day master of physical comedy and watching his last movie only serves to point out what might have been.

The Emperor’s New Groove

David Spade is a cast member from the eighties to nineties “Saturday Night Live” that has enjoyed far more success on the small screen than the big screen. His live action movies have been forgettable mainly because he lost the partner of his best attempts at the medium, Chris Farley. “The Emperor’s New Groove” is David Spade’s best theatrical performance mainly because he steps right into the kind of role which he perfected on “Saturday Night Live.” Kuzco is self centered and caustically disinclined to empathy and the result is that “The Emperor’s New Groove” stands as one of the last great traditionally animated movies from Disney.

Chris Rock

Chris Rock always seemed to want to be the next Richard Pryor and he certainly seems to have achieved that. Richard Pryor was always very much hit or miss in his theatrical films. While Rock has yet to make a big hit based on his name, he has appeared in supporting roles in a number of big time moneymaking comedies. Rock has a great voice that most people know from the “Madagascar” series, but if you really want to get a feeling for his voice talent, check out “Osmosis Jones.” This mixture of live action and animation pairs the cast member of “Saturday Night Live” from the 80s and 90s with one of the show’s icons, Bill Murray. “Osmosis Jones” is the name of the white blood cell who invades Murray’s body to help save him sickness. Sounds crazy, but it’s funny.

For more articles by Timothy Sexton, check out:

Tush: A Brilliant Sketch Comedy Show

Christopher Guest’s Comedies That Aren’t Mockumentaries

Why Did Jon Lovitz Beat up Andy Dick?

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