MacGruber and SNL’s Sketchquels

Not a sequel but certainly not original, the sketchquel is a product of Saturday Night Live’s greed, arrogance or both. 

Since Saturday Night Live debuted in 1975 there is a point in the show where you can no longer bitch about show quality.  Around the 50 minute mark , usually right after the news, SNL‘s  sketch’s  get bizarre, poorly written and mostly unfunny.  You see the sketch unfold, deliver its only joke and then clumsily stumble around the stage with no idea how to wrap it up.  Fortunately, the SNL sketches that went to the silver screen were ones that you could catch when it was truly still a Saturday night and in that first half hour of the show.  But just because a sketch could entertain for 3-5 minutes didn’t mean we wanted more of it. 

On April 22, 1978 The Blue Brothers band made its debut on Saturday Night Live and with it the dreams of something bigger.  The Blues Brothers movie debuted two years later and was a cult classic.  In 1992 Mike Myers brought the skit Wayne’s World to the big screen and a year later followed it up with a sequel.  These first three SNL endeavors (mostly the first two) on the big screen had the singing, acting, writing and comedic talents to support a 90 minute stretched out SNL sketch. 


But a little success only makes the money-hungry famished.   We were treated to the Coneheads 15 years after their hay day. We got It’s Pat and its $60,000 box office which should have not only killed the idea of a sketchquel movie but Saturday Night Live itself.  Someone should pay for that fiasco!  Stuart, Roxbury, Superstar and Ladies Man were all awful, awful movies based on mediocre at best comedy.

Well, this year we get a new sketchquel movie from SNL.  A MacGyver spoof that usually lasts about 60 seconds on the television screen will now be pulled like old taffy to an embarrassing 90 minutes.  Over three years we have been treated to MacGruber blowing up only to come back as if the viewer were having some sort of fever dream.  The sketch peaked in 2009 when MacGyver‘s Richard Dean Anderson appeared as MacGruber‘s long-lost father.   

How about we make a deal with SNL.  If the cast can make us laugh for the entire 90 minutes of an episode of  Saturday Night Live.  Then we will trust that they can make us laugh in the theaters for 90.  But no sooner.

Listed below are Saturday Night Live’s sketchquels throughout the years.  Also included are the box office receipts and the Rotten Tomatoes Freshness Rating…

  • The Blues Brothers (1980) [$57,229,890] 84%
  • Waynes World (1992) [$121,697,323] 83%
  • Wayne’s World 2 (1993) [$48,197,805] 59%
  • Coneheads (1993) [$21,274,717] 27%
  • It’s Pat! The Movie (1994) [$60,822] 0%
  • Stuart Saves His Family (1995) [$912,082] 29%
  • A Night at the Roxbury (1998) [$30,331,165] 10%
  • Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) [$14,051,384] 45%
  • Superstar (1999) [$30,636,478] 33%
  • The Ladies Man (2000) $13,626,610] 11%
  • MacGruber (2010)

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