The 8 Weirdest ‘SNL’ Movies Most People Forget Existed

The Ladies Man

From “Schwing!” to “We’re on a mission from God,” SNL-inspired movies like Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers have secured a permanent place in the popular consciousness. But what about those movies you forgot came from SNL? There are plenty of weird SNL movies that worked well as late-night comedy skits but didn’t really translate to the big screen. These strange SNL films outnumber the few, culture-defining megahits of Wayne and Garth and Jake and Elwood. But if nothing else, all of those not-great, far-from-memorable SNL movies illustrate just how difficult it is to stretch an eight-minute sketch into a 90-minute feature film. 

Fans have largely forgotten about SNL‘s most bizarre films. That means characters like Stuart Smalley, Pat Riley, Leon Phelps, and Mary Katherine Gallagher are at risk of becoming virtually unknown.

1. Stuart Saves His Family

Stuart Saves His Family

Stuart Smalley, portrayed by Al Franken, is a self-improvement guru with a sibilant S and not much in the way of self-confidence. The SNL character‘s feature-length film flopped at the box office. In the film Smalley loses everything and must race to salvage his career and family.

One of the reasons it came off so weird, according to Franken and producer Trevor Albert, is that it was marketed as “an SNL movie.” Albert told Vanity Fair, “We should have been advertising at, you know, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.”

Franken agrees: “There’s a lot of people in recovery, and a lot of organizations that are tied to recovery, and I think that if they’d seen [the movie] first, it might not have had that rookie-soldier-in-an-ambush thing… This was kind of not in [Paramount’s] wheelhouse. I’m not quite sure they knew who to sell this movie to at all, frankly.”

  • Actors: Phil Hartman, Al Franken, Vincent D’Onofrio, Julia Sweeney, Laura San Giacomo
  • Released: 1995

2. It’s Pat

It's Pat

In her post-SNL years, Julia Sweeney has carved out an impressive career as a monologist and writer. She’s most associated with her acclaimed one-woman shows, like God Said Ha! and Letting Go of God. But for several years in the 1990s, Sweeney was known as Pat.

The androgynous character got the big-screen treatment in It’s Pat, which grossed $60,000 in the US. Pat is a character of indeterminable gender who constantly confuses people – needless to say, the idea hasn’t aged well.

  • Actors: Kathy Griffin, Tim Meadows, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Najimy, Dave Foley
  • Released: 1995

3. The Ladies Man

The Ladies Man

His name is Leon Phelps, and he is the smooth-talking Casanova of the film’s title. Played by Tim Meadows, Phelps looks and dresses like he’s stuck in the 1970s but he’s really living in modern-day, big-city America. He gives advice to listeners on his call-in talk show, despite the fact that his guidance is dubious at best. His whole shtick is that he’s pretty much willing to get with any woman.

The Ladies Man was a cringe-worthy SNL skit before it became a feature film that both audiences and critics disliked. 

  • Actors: Tim Meadows, Karyn Parsons, Billy Dee Williams, Will Ferrell, Lee Evans
  • Released: 2000

4. MacGruber


MacGruber is an equally resourceful but far less successful special ops agent than his much more famous counterpart, MacGyver. Will Forte and Kristen Wiig reprised their SNL roles in the movie version of MacGruber, which proved to be just as strange as the skits. Just like in the small-screen version, MacGruber and his companion Vicki get involved in a series of ridiculous scenarios that they somehow manage to survive.

During its brief time in theaters, MacGruber was a box office dud

  • Actors: Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe
  • Released: 2010

5. Blues Brothers 2000

Blues Brothers 2000

Blues Brothers 2000 is the sequel to The Blues Brothers, and this was an unusual movie right from the beginning. Despite an impressive supporting cast of big-name blues musicians, this sequel was an attempt at a family-friendly makeover of the dark and edgy comedy on display in the original film.

The legendary Blues Brothers band that premiered on SNL in 1978 inspired the original production. The remake, however, was a much less impressive “update” on the beloved characters that even the fans couldn’t get behind.  

  • Actors: Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, Joe Morton, J. Evan Bonifant, Nia Peeples
  • Released: 1998

6. Superstar


Superstar remains true to Mary Katherine Gallagher’s fundamental personality for her feature film makeover. She’s still the klutziest, most bizarre Catholic schoolgirl you’ve ever seen, and she still enjoys breaking into dances and made-for-TV-movie monologues at a moment’s notice.  

Superstar gave Molly Shannon a chance to flesh out the character, and the movie was a box office success. However, critics weren’t fans – Roger Ebert called Mary Katherine “plain and hostile, a homely little bundle of resentment.”

  • Actors: Molly Shannon, Will Ferrell, Elaine Hendrix, Harland Williams, Mark McKinney
  • Released: 1999

7. A Night At The Roxbury

A Night At The Roxbury

This Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan movie attempted to turn a one-note sketch into a feature-length film. The sketch is two minutes of Ferrell and Kattan bopping their heads to “What Is Love” while performing everyday tasks. In the film, Ferrell and Kattan play Steve and Doug Butabi, nightclub-hopping, weirdo brothers who try – and fail – to pick up women while moving their heads in unison to dance music.

Trevor Lewis of Empire wrote, “Even at just 82 minutes, A Night at the Roxbury seems like an hour-and-a-half too long.” Still, this SNL-inspired movie grossed over $30 million.

  • Actors: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Dan Hedaya, Loni Anderson
  • Released: 1998

8. Coneheads


It took well over a decade for the Coneheads to make the transition from small screen SNL bit to feature film. Beldar and Prymaat Conehead are an alien couple plunked down into middle-American life. The movie is filled with all sorts of oddities, including alienspeak, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a massive consumption of edible and nonedible food – Beldar eats soap and toilet paper, for instance.

It made a little money at the box office, but critics labeled the film a dud. In recent years, Coneheads has been reevaluated by some as a savvy and insightful metaphor for the immigrant experience in America.

  • Actors: Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Michelle Burke, Michael McKean, David Spade
  • Released: 1993