There is a condition that strikes countless young performers, turning them from creative comedians into catchphrase-belching husks of their former selves. It' recurring Saturday Night Live character syndrome. Here are some of the most tragic cases:
10The Ladies Man (Tim Meadows)
Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "I got my Courvoisier right here."
Tim Meadows remained trapped on SNL for 10 years, we think because Lorne Michaels possessed the last copy of an underground porno Meadows starred in during the '80s. Meadows was never offensive and mainly stuck to parts like "utility black guy" when a sketch called for someone to wear a hilarious afro. But somewhere along the line, a writer or producer on the show saw Tim-possibly on the phone with Chris Rock, asking him how he escaped-and thought, "Hey, you haven't been annoying yet!" And, so Leon Phelps, aka The Ladies Man, was created, bringing pimp jokes and, yes, hilarious afros to a TV-watching public that was already sick of 1970s nostalgia.
In a move straight out of the Make-A-Wish Foundation rulebook, The Ladies Man was also made into a feature-length film. But, this cloud has two distinct silver linings: The movie performed so poorly that no SNL-based films have been made since, and Tim Meadows did not die from terminal brain cancer.
9"The Joe Pesci Show" (Jim Breuer)
Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "Do I amuse you?" (America: "No.")
What Saturday Night Live does best is prey on popular culture. What it does worst is take a single familiar, mildly funny line or premise and stretch it like spandex in a desperate attempt to fill air time. Thus, we have Jim Breuer and "The Joe Pesci Show."
If you don't remember Jim Breuer, he was the guy who made a living pretending to look high all the time. Jim also had a very, very small handful of impressions, the lifeblood of SNL. And since Joe Pesci happened to be one of these impressions, Breuer was given the chance to rehash jokes from Goodfellas dozens or possibly hundreds of times during his reign of terror as a cast member. Sure, he sounded the part, but on the Celebrity Impersonation Difficulty Index, the Joe Pesci is ranked pretty close to the bottom (right above Marlon Brando in The Godfather and just below Jack Nicholson).