“[Saturday Night Live] is the Harvard of Comedy, you know. Everybody passed through it. You bump into people. I saw Randy Quaid the other day; he’s like a frat brother. I never met him before, but we’re frat brothers. I did a movie one time, it was an extra part, damn near. It was Sgt. Bilko. I had a little part, man, nothing big at all, but Dan Aykroyd let me use his trailer when he left for the day. Because I’m a frat brother.”-Chris Rock in Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, 2002
Unlike any other group of colleagues in comedy, Saturday Night Live alumni stick together. Most of the show’s former cast members have continued to work together in various projects after leaving the show with plenty of comedies featuring multiple generations of SNL vets. This loyalty is never more evident than in last weekend’s critically-maligned movie Grown Ups 2, which featured a whopping 15 SNL cast members from the past and present, not to mention cameos from a couple writers and a screenplay that Adam Sandler penned with two former members of the show’s writing staff.
But believe it or not, with 15, Grown Ups 2 still doesn’t feature the most SNL cast members out of any movie ever. To find out what’s the SNLiest movie ever, we’ve compiled a list of 10 movies with the highest number of alums (most of them are Sandler vehicles), including projects starring Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, and Christopher Guest.
Semi-Pro (2008): 6 cast members
Starring Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Tim Meadows, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig, Jerry Minor
Will Ferrell’s forgettable umpteenth sports comedy featured David Koechner and Tim Meadows in supporting parts and blink-and-you-miss-it appearances from Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig, who were newish at the time.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984): 6 cast members
Starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Paul Shaffer
Although most of them hadn’t been on SNL yet at the time, This Is Spinal Tap has a surprisingly dense level of SNL cast members. Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Billy Crystal wound up joining the show for one season the fall after Spinal Tap’s release, while Dana Carvey and Michael McKean became cast members years later.
That’s My Boy (2012): 6 cast members
Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Colin Quinn
Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, two SNL stars from different generations with similar names, joined forces to play father and son in the critical and commercial failure That’s My Boy. A few SNL alums popped up in minor roles.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007): 6 cast members
Starring Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd, Rachel Dratch, Robert Smigel, David Spade, Rob Schneider
Who could forget Rob Schneider’s character “Asian Minister?”
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004): 7 cast members
Starring Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Chris Parnell, Fred Armisen, Jerry Minor, Laura Kightlinger, Ben Stiller
When Will Ferrell and former SNL head writer Adam McKay went into production on the first movie they wrote together, they cast a bunch of their SNL co-workers and predecessors. Anchorman would have been higher up on this list if Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph hadn’t been cut out when a subplot about a militant group of bank robbers was scrapped.
Wayne’s World 2 (1993): 7 cast members
Starring Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Robert Smigel, Harry Shearer, Tim Meadows, Jim Downey
The only sequel to an SNL-based movie ever, Lorne Michaels-produced Wayne’s World 2 featured way more cameos from alumni than the original movie.
Grown Ups (2010): 8 cast members
Starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Norm MacDonald
Adam Sandler pulled Kevin James and SNL alums Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider together to play the five leads in 2010’s highest-grossing and laziest comedy. Sandler gave smaller roles to SNL cast members from his generation (Tim Meadows, Norm Macdonald) and the one after (Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn).
Little Nicky (2000): 9 cast members
Starring Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Michael McKean, Rob Schneider, Ellen Cleghorne, Fred Wolf
Adam Sandler’s first attempt to put a ton of Saturday Night Live alums into one movie. For this one, he grabbed entirely SNLers who were on during his tenure on the show.
Grown Ups 2 (2013): 15 cast members
Starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, Cheri Oteri, Ellen Cleghorne, Melanie Hutsell, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Paul Brittain
Thanks to a scene that featured cameos from Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynigan, Taran Killam, and Paul Brittain (not to mention SNL writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone) as a group of male cheerleaders running a carwash, the Grown Ups sequel features the second most SNL cast members of any movie ever.
Coneheads (1993): 16 cast members
Starring Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Michael McKean, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon, Jan Hooks, Julia Sweeney, Garrett Morris, Tom Davis, Peter Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz
Dan Aykroyd pulled from the then-current crop of Saturday Night Live cast members to fill smaller roles in Lorne Michaels-produced movie Coneheads, based on the popular SNL sketch. Adam Sandler may have come close with Grown Ups 2, but no movie has ever featured more alums from the long-running sketch show than Coneheads, and it’s doubtful that one will unless Sandler’s able to wrangle together 17 or more alums for the inevitable Grown Ups 3 or Will Ferrell has Anchorman 2 more cameo-laden than its predecessor.