A few weeks back, Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live and for the first time in years I thought about the show. I didn’t grow up watching a ton of SNL, but the stars that came from the show obviously had an impact on me growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. Recently, I began reading David Spade’s autobiography, Almost Interesting and it really helped ignite some nostalgic memories of SNL for me.
When I think about Saturday Night Live, I think about my grandmother watching it in the early 90’s. She would watch the news and Jay Leno religiously throughout the week, and only stayed up late on weekend for SNL. I remember anytime we visited she’d watch it and that was how I was introduced to Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, and the like.
As a very young child, Ghostbusters made a huge impact on me, and was anchored by a couple of Saturday Night Live vets. Also in the 80’s, I really liked Beverly Hills Cop, and the Vacation movies.
While the most iconic movies made by SNL cast members probably occurred in the 80’s, the movies that stand out to me and really make me think of SNL are the movies from the 90’s. Some were tremendous, while others, not so much, but these are the films that I grew up with and enjoyed. Movies like: Coneheads, Waynes World, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Tommy Boy, The Wedding Singer, Black Sheep, What About Bob, City Slickers, Deuce Bigalow, A Night at the Roxbury, and Groundhog Day. It was also in the 90’s that I finally got around to seeing some 80’s classics like Caddyshack and Animal House.
But it wasn’t just movies that these SNL cast members created it was also albums and TV shows. Adam Sandler played a vital role in my comedic development in the 90’s, and two of his comedy albums really stand out: They’re All Gonna Laugh at Me and What The Hell Happened to Me? I’ll never forget walking around the track during PE class and hearing a fellow classmate recite various Sandler skits from What The Hell Happened to Me. I bought the CD that weekend and it blew me away.
As far as TV goes, the one actor who really comes to mind is David Spade in Just Shoot Me, one of my favorite 90’s comedies that no one talks about anymore. Spade portrayed Dennis, a bumbling, goofy, sexist secretary of a fashion magazine. It’s one of those shows that truly makes me chuckle. Of course, Spade was also brilliant in Tommy Boy, Black Sheep, Joe Dirt, and Lost and Found.
Phil Hartman was amazing in Newsradio. Chris Rock was wonderful in Lethal Weapon 4 and Dogma. Chris Farley was a joy to watch and Norm McDonald could always make me laugh. And to think, the actors I’ve talked about are just a handful of the 90’s cast members.
It’s fascinating to see how one sketch TV show spring boarded so many actors and actresses into superstardom. So, many iconic characters were created on the show, as well as by the actors off the show. I really doubt we will ever see so much talent spin-off from SNL ever again.
I think I’m going to spend some time watching some old SNL and maybe revisit some of my favorite movies and TV shows listed above. They always made me laugh and who couldn’t use a few more laughs in their life.