I was watching TMZ this evening when a commercial for “MacGruber” came on. Another overrated summer comedy, I thought to myself. And then, during the obligatory one-word positive accolades from somewhat credible media sources, I saw this:
“The best SNL movie since Wayne’s World.” (I couldn’t tell where the quote came from. The print was way too small.)
Let’s break down five reasons exactly why this is a completely ridiculous statement.
One: Since, and including, “Wayne’s World,” there have been nine SNL-related movies (“Wayne’s World,” “Wayne’s World 2,” “Coneheads,” “It’s Pat,” “Stuart Saves His Family,” “A Night at the Roxbury,” “Blues Brothers 2000,” “Office Space,” “Superstar” and “The Ladies Man”). While “MacGruber” likely isn’t the worst of the set (sorry “Superstar”), I guarantee you there’s better than an 80 percent chance that there’s at least one of those movies that’s better. And it’s probably well over 90 percent in this case.
Two: Anyone who says “MacGruber” is better than “Coneheads” is on drugs. Period.
Three: Let’s look at the source material: “MacGruber” is based off a series of sketches, each one around 90 seconds, of a very bad, very obvious “MacGyver” parody. I will recognize one particular sketch when Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver, for those who don’t know) showed up to parody the parody of himself, but other than that, it’s not funny. Every time he’s in a situation, he asks for a bunch of random crap for no reason to defuse a bomb that, like Sealab, ALWAYS blows up. Does that count as a spoiler?
Four: Is there a reason why this movie even got made? Traditionally, ever since “Coneheads,” SNL movies tend to be box office bombs. I won’t even get into the fact that SNL hasn’t been funny on a consistent scale since the controversial 2000 elections.
Five: I don’t know the names of anyone in the cast, because they’re nobodies. Here’s a list of the names of some of the actors in the movies “MacGruber” claims to be better than: Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, David Spade, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd. Now, I don’t know about you, but I find every person I just listed to be more than a match for the cast of “MacGruber.”
In short, ladies and gentlemen, “MacGruber” is definitely not the best SNL movie made since “Wayne’s World.” While I haven’t (and likely will never) seen this particular film, from what I have seen on the small screen, and what I’ve come to expect from SNL in this decade and change, I can say that this is going to be a mediocre-at-best film.
Now, in “honor” of the impending release of “MacGruber,” I thought I’d make a list of the top five SNL-related movies of all time
5. “A Night at the Roxbury” — I always thought that the sketch was funny, and Haddaway made the club scene work. The movie adaptation, while falling short of the mark in many aspects, was still relatively funny. Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell as the Butabi (I always called them the Wasabis) brothers further proves that idiotic comedy, if executed correctly, can be quite amusing.
4. “The Ladies Man” — Tim Meadows is much funnier than people give him credit for. The writing for this movie was certainly not the best, but the idea of finding the ultimate smooth pimp a girl to settle down with, at the time, was clever, and the SNL supporting cast made the movie much better than it would have been, were it made now.
3. “Coneheads” — I honestly have no clue where to start. Dan Aykroyd is a genius, Jane Curtin fired up her comedic talent one more time, Chris Farley … I could gush on and on about the cast. The writing was pure gold. The music was tip top, even the special effects, for a relatively low budget film, were well done. If “Coneheads” was on TV on some random Saturday, I would watch it. In fact, this movie is the sole reason why I started listening to Andy Williams and Devo.
2. “Wayne’s World” — I have Wayne and Garth exclusively to thank for introducing me formally to Queen, and for my mom and grandmother pulling up to random cars in Canada asking for Grey Poupon. The original sketch brings back fond memories of childhood for me (especially Madonna’s interpretation of it), and the movie makes me ask just where in God’s name did all the good “funny foursome” comedy writers go?
1. “Blues Brothers” — Belushi. Aykroyd. Shades. Police interceptors. Do I even need to explain why this is the progenitor SNL movie? Do I need to explain just how good the quality of the writing, acting and production of this movie was? Do I need to remind you kiddies that this is comedy at its FINEST? In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve seen this movie, I’m going to watch it now…
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments section.
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Follow Chris Hyatt on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hyattch.