Saturday Night Live (SNL) began airing in September 1975 with a cast of "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" (above). Virtually overnight, members of the cast began appearing in movies including Chevy Chase (Foul Play, Caddyshack), John Belushi (Animal House) and Bill Murray (Meatballs, Caddyshack).
In 1980, the first film featuring SNL characters, The Blues Brothers, made lots of money at the box office. Then the TV show went into a creative slump that saw fewer movie careers for cast members with Eddie Murphy being the only breakout star during his brief stint in the early 80s.
Then in a role reversal, several established actors passed through the ranks of Saturday Night Live's cast in the mid 80s: Robert Downey Jr, Billy Crystal, Joan Cusack, Martin Short, Randy Quaid, Christopher Guest and Anthony Michael Hall can all be seen in the cast photos from 1984 (left) and 1985 (right) above.
The late 80s and early 90s saw SNL experience a renaissance with talented new players like Dana Carvey, Dennis Miller, Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Mike Myers. More creative and endearing as well as awkwardly indifferent ("Pat", "Stuart Smalley") characters found their way to the big screen with Carvey and Myers actually making two wildly successful films together in Wayne's World. Even characters from SNL's first era (1975-1980), found their way to the big screen: The Coneheads were dusted off and given a starring vehicle.
The next great era in SNL history was launched in 1995 when Will Ferrell, HERC favorite Cheri Oteri and Darrell Hammond joined the cast. Hammond would go on to be the longest serving cast member with 14 years onstage. Midway through the season, Chris Kattan began appearing in skits and sketches before becoming a featured cast member the following season. In March 1996, Ferrell, Kattan and the week's guest host, Jim Carrey, debuted a new set of characters that came to be known as the Roxbury Guys (above, below).
For the next two years, different guest hosts wore the Rayon suit (including Academy Award winners Tom Hanks and Sylvester Stallone) and bobbed their heads to the beat while accosting unsuspecting ladies (some of whom were also portrayed by show hosts like Pamela Anderson) on the dance floor. The final Roxbury Guys sketch to air saw the re-appearance of another first era SNL beloved character duo: Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd's Festrunk Brothers, those two "Wild And Crazy Guys".
Those Roxbury Guys were formally introduced on the big screen as brothers Doug and Steve Butabi in the 1998 film, A Night At The Roxbury. In addition to Chris and Will, the film featured their SNL co-stars Colin Quinn and Molly Shannon. Longtime HERC favorite Loni Anderson finally got to play the vacuous dumb blond she always wanted to as the Mom of the Butabi brothers and Richard Greico appeared as himself. Another HERC favorite, Michael Clarke Duncan, plays the bouncer at The Roxbury. The film attempted to explore the bond between the brothers and only lasted 6 short weeks in the theaters before finding a dedicated audience a few months later on home video. HERC has seen the movie at least 50 times and owns the Special Collector's Edition on DVD. He thinks its funny and he watches it sober - almost everyone else he knows that claims to like the film swears it is better viewed in a drunken state.
Dreamworks released the soundtrack album, which contained two versions of the unofficial Roxbury theme: Haddaway's "What Is Love". HERC's sister loved the soundtrack and that song in particular, played it often in her truck and, as a result, her pre-school age daughter, Chase, loved it too, often bobbing her head not quite to the beat. (Chase is part of the Class of 2014 and categorically disavows these events.) While the soundtrack contains most of the dance music from the film, it does not contain the same mixes or recordings as heard in the film for three songs. In addition, four of the songs are covers of older songs and a fifth one heavily samples a KC & the Sunshine Band classic. Still it all holds together nicely for an enjoyable listen if you're into dance music circa 1996-1998. Elliot Lurie served as the film's music supervisor and the soundtrack album's executive producer so he deserves the credit (or blame) depending on your enjoyment of (or lack thereof) the film's music.