My top 25 personal favorite cinematic performances by the alumni of Saturday Night Live continues with part 3 covering numbers 15-11! If you missed the first two posts, you can find them right here:
Let’s get to it!
15. Dan Aykroyd & John Belushi, The Blues Brothers (1980)
This is the first spin-off movie from the show and it’s certainly one of the best. Aykroyd and Belushi sold out stadiums with their musical act and their car chase friendly comedy was a major box office success as they embarked on their mission from God.
14. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (2019)
Now is the time to address what many might consider to be oversights on the list. This is the only Sandler entry. That’s right – no Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore or The Wedding Singer or any of his other blockbusters. While I certainly admire some of his work in those features, my Sandler preferences lie with his rare dramatic work. I could have given the nod to 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love, but last year’s Gems absolutely floored me and I believe it represents his best performance yet on the big screen.
13. Bill Murray, Lost in Translation (2003)
Speaking of comedic actors doing less humorous work, Murray nabbed his only Oscar nomination here. The Sofia Coppola directed critically acclaimed pic perfectly pairs its star with Scarlett Johansson and is further evidence of just how versatile Murray is. And he’s not done on this list…
12. Chevy Chase, Caddyshack (1980)
Be the ball.
At his best, no one pulls off smarmy charm better than Mr. Chase. I could have gone with Fletch as the selection, but he’s at his smarmy peak in this now revered classic.
11. Christopher Guest, Waiting for Guffman (1997)
Guest was only on SNL for one season alongside Billy Crystal and Martin Short. He had already starred in the fantastic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, which set the standard for that type of film. Guest would go on to direct his own treasured pics in the genre including Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. As far as his own performances, my favorite is his dedicated community theater director Corky St. Clair.
We’ll get to the top ten in short order! Until then…