My list of the top 25 personal favorite big screen performances by Saturday Night Live alumni brings us to the second post encompassing numbers 20-16. If you missed part one of the series, you can find it right here:
Today’s list brings us three performers that we will see again in future editions as we move up the chart as well as a versatile and twice Oscar nominated actress and a star that we lost just as his film career was blossoming.
Let’s get to it!
20. Chris Farley, Tommy Boy (1995)
The boundless energy of Mr. Farley was certainly best encapsulated in his first major starring role alongside fellow cast member David Spade. His follow-up comedies Black Sheep, Beverly Hills Ninja, and Almost Heroes didn’t nearly match the quality of what we witnessed here. Farley’s 1997 death will always leave us wondering how his cinematic trajectory would have gone.
19. Joan Cusack, School of Rock (2003)
Cusack only was on SNL for one highly forgettable season (1985-86). However, her career has been a triumph of mostly supporting roles since. She earned Oscar nods for both Working Girl and In & Out, but my personal favorite is the uptight principal trying to reign in Jack Black’s substitute teacher here.
18. Bill Murray, Ghostbusters (1984)
Murray’s first appearance on the list is from this quintessential 80s landmark feature that shows him at his smarmy and often charming best. Ghostbusters solidified his leading man status and was a preview of more amazing work to come.
17. Will Ferrell, Elf (2003)
Ferrell has perfected portraying both the lovable doofus and the arrogant doofus. His performance as Buddy the Elf is the former and probably the best example in this already beloved Christmas classic.
16. Eddie Murphy, Trading Places (1983)
It it hard to name a more amazing one-two-three start to a movie career than Murphy’s with 48 Hrs., Trading Places, and Beverly Hills Cop. I could have chosen any of them , but Places has always been my slight favorite in the trio. Spoiler alert: Eddie is not done on this list.
And there you have it! I’ll be back with numbers 15-11 in short order…