Pete Davidson has now added his name to an ever-growing legacy: Saturday Night Live cast members given the chance at a big-screen (well, on demand) vehicle to prove they’re more than a late night NBC sketch comedy show. His Judd Apatow-directed film, The King of Staten Island (our review here), tells a tale close to Davidson’s real life, giving him ample room for vulnerability and, just maybe, a chance at movie stardom.
Since the show’s inception in 1975 as an incubator not just for televised comedy, but for comedy talent of futures to come, a potential proving ground for the stars of tomorrow to work out their chops today. In celebration of Davidson’s crack at the plate, I’ve gone through the history of SNL stars being given movie vehicles to do their thing, and have given you the 30 best.
A few ground rules, to keep this list from being too unwieldy: The film had to be at least mostly classified as a comedy (ruling out phenomenal films like Dreamgirls and Uncut Gems). The film had to be live-action, so we could really see the star be themselves (ruling out phenomenal films like Shrek, Inside Out, and The Willoughbys). And with the exception of ensemble films and two-handers, I tried to keep the list limited to one vehicle per cast member, to avoid certain prolific film stars from running away with the thing.
With all that being said, please enjoy the best SNL cast member movies. For more on the long-running sketch show, here’s Davidson and Adam Sandler performing our quarantine anthem.