The 10 Most Obnoxious Recurring SNL Characters
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:
The 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.
"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).
Mr. Peepers (Chris Kattan)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "BAH!"
The creation of the Mr. Peepers character must have been a no-brainer. Lorne Michaels walks up to Kattan, puts his hand on his chin, and says, "Chris, you look like a monkey. Go with that."
Of course, comics live and die by the words of Lorne Michaels, so Kattan had no choice but to go shirtless with a pair of fancy red suspenders in front of millions of people.
What can be said about Mr. Peepers? He spits apple chunks. He shouts "BAH!" He often attempts to rape both male and female hosts. These sketches had a bit of novelty value before they became dreaded, and we'll give you the fact that Kattan' hamming it up as "The Missing Link" deserved a chuckle the first and possibly second time. Ah, but this is the curse of the SNL recurring character. They're like pancakes, after you've had about a half dozen of them, you can't even remember why you wanted one. With each sketch we progress through the four stages of recurring character reaction: Novelty, Boredom, Annoyance, then finally Homicidal Rage.
It could be worse; there have to be at least a dozen scripts for a Mr. Peepers feature film floating around out there and so far we have dodged that bullet.
"Total Bastard Airlines" (David Spade)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "BUH-bye!"
This one would have been much higher, if not for the fact that only two "Total Bastard Airlines" sketches were made. But this concept was so annoying, so manipulatively designed and so Spade-y, that it made the list.
The year was 1994, and America was growing tired of adding "NOT!" to the end of sarcastic utterances. "Total Bastard Airlines" sought to change this with Spade' spiteful stewardess character dismissing passengers with acidic remarks capped off with a "BUH-bye." These sketches were difficult to watch, not only for its repetitiveness, but also because it was awfully hard to hear Spade over the noise of factories churning out "BUH-bye!" T-shirts and bumper stickers, which we can only assume were burned when these sketches didn't take off.
There was no "BUH-bye" movie, and no "BUH-bye" amusement park. And, while the terminally uncool are still uttering lines from Wayne' World, it' nearly impossible to catch anyone still dismissing a hated friend or stranger with "BUH-bye." That' right, Spade actually came up with something so annoying, even the annoying people of the world had to step back and say, "No, that' taking it too far. Don't go there! SCHWING!"
Cajun Man (Adam Sandler)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "_____TION!" (imagine hilarious accent)
Adam Sandler' Cajun Man act consisted of forcing Kevin Nealon to ask him a series of set-up questions that would allow Sandler to reply with one-word answers in a cartoonish accent that no one would have recognized as Cajun, had the character not been called "Cajun Man."
We're thinking the Cajun Man character was probably invented during a commercial break. Like maybe somebody broke a crucial prop for the planned sketch and, in a panic, gave Sandler a funny hat and said, "We've got two minutes to kill! Now go out there and work your magic!" Plenty of classic Sandler characters have started this exact way: "Take this guitar and say something about Hanukkah;" "Here' a spoon and a plant. Say something about Halloween;" "Here' a wig and a cape. Sing something in Italian."
Unfortunately, not all of Sandler' spontaneous creations can be as brilliant and nuanced as the Hanukkah song, Opera Man or the Crazy-Spoon-Head Guy who wanted candy, and Cajun Man was one of Sandler' attempts that fell short.
Sorry, Adam. Put a spoon on that Cajun guy' hat and you've got yourself a three-picture deal.
"Jarret' Room" (Jimmy Fallon)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "( pot-induced snickering)"
The entertainment industry' best-kept secret is that Jimmy Fallon actually has some talent. If you take a look at his earlier work on SNL, he exhibited quite the range of impressions. Then it was realized Fallon could be the show' Tiger Beat poster boy, and that he was physically unable to keep a straight face on the air. Fallon was immediately thrust into "goof-around-and-giggle" roles, much to the frustration of cast members with any degree of professionalism. Therefore we get "Jarret' Room," a sketch designed for Fallon to goof around and giggle, making it as fun to watch as experimental eye surgery.
Set up as a parody of webcasts, "Jarret' Room" aspired to be a "Wayne' World" for the 21st Century, but it failed for one major reason: namely, Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz not having a single sinew of the comic timing present in a Mike Myers/Dana Carvey pairing. Yes, that' right. Chuckle-buddy Horatio Sanz was in the "Jarret' Room" sketches, making each one an exercise in crack-ups and cue-card flubbery for both he and Fallon. And despite how funny they thought it was, it wasn't. We can only assume that Fallon' giggling ended after the reception of Taxi, his first feature film starring Queen Latifah and a talking car.
Note: We'd rather not see Taxi and continue assuming the car talked than find out for sure.
Hans and Franz (Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "We are going to PUMP (clap) you up!"
Hans and Franz appeared on SNL as sweatsuited Arnold Schwarzenegger clones in a series of sketches that consisted entirely of insulting the masculinity of the viewer in wacky fake Austrian accents. And yet, 20 years later, you can still catch the occasional guy at your office dropping his voice and calling someone a "little girlie man." If the Hanz and Franz Go to Hollywood movie hadn't gotten scrapped, we may have had to rank this one higher. Also, we'd probably quit the comedy business altogether after the inevitable series of straight-to-DVD sequels. Just imagine having to sift through Hanz and Franz Go to France!, Hanz and Franz Save Christmas! and Hanz and Franz Meet the Harlem Globetrotters (And Save Christmas)! in the five-for-a-dollar bin at Target.
Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "Superstar!"
Yes, there was a Mary Katherine Gallagher movie. Stop pretending it didn't happen. Will Ferrell was in it. It was made and cannot be unmade.
Mary Katherine Gallagher was a clumsy Catholic school nerd played by Molly Shannon. The sketches were mostly her smelling her fingers and crashing into pieces of furniture. If you're asking why anyone would bother to make a movie out of that, you're apparently unfamiliar with the concept of Saturday Night Live movies. These are the people who made a movie out of Night at the Roxbury and the characters in that sketch didn't freaking speak. The setup of the Mary Katherine Gallagher sketches were similar to those of Chris Farley' motivational speaker-except drained of all humor. As a physical comedian, Farley was funnier standing in line at the DMV than Shannon was at full-ham.
The Richmeister (Rob Schneider)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "Makin' copies!"
Despite its high place on this list, Rob Schneider' The Richmeister character actually had a bit a genius to it. Not only did the sketch accurately simulate irritating office small-talk, it also required Rob Schneider to be annoying. This was a literal gold rush on Unfunny Mountain.
However, as the Richmeister sketches continued to reproduce, Schneider grew exponentially more abrasive. Audience reception went from "Hah, that guy is annoying!" to-well, in text, it' hard to quote people who are speaking in tongues in fits of mindless rage.
The worst aftershock of the Richmeister sketches was that every irritating office co-worker that Schneider was parodying didn't realize that they were the butt of the joke. Instead, they assumed that cleverly adding "meister" or "o-rama" was the new cool way to speak and, not wanting to seem out of the loop, they proceeded to ask "Robmeister" for his "staplermeister" every "goddamnorama daymeister." Rather than subtly mirror the annoying habits of our co-workers, Mr. Schneider, you gave them another infuriating quote to exploit for the better part of the decade. Thanks for nothing (Except of course The Animal. Thanks for that).
The Samurai (John Belushi)Catchphrase lodged in America' brain: "(rough approximation of Japanese, shouted loudly)"
Every generation has its own "fat, funny guy." And since ours was Chris Farley, some of us can't quite see the genius behind John Belushi (though this might also be due to his brother, Jim, forever linking the Belushi name to jokes about how husbands never do laundry and forget about their wives whenever "the big game" is on). Yes, the guy was gifted. We're just saying we don't spontaneously wet our pants every time he appears on TV the way our parents do.
Witness one of Belushi' more famous characters, The Samurai, from his heyday on SNL. Here' the premise for The Samurai sketch: The Samurai finds himself in a job that is inappropriate for a person with a samurai' skill set. Things are chopped, gibberish is screamed and suicide is attempted - over and over again.
Regardless of John' place in the annals of American comedy, you must admit he paved the way for a whole line of one-note recurring characters that came after him. It can be said, in fact, that every single recurring character on SNL can directly trace their origins to a specific Samurai Futaba episode. Before there was Rob Schneider' "You Like-a the Juice" Guy, there was "Samurai Delicatessen." Before Cheri Oteri put on her Judge Judy wig, there was "Samurai Divorce Court." Even The Ladies Man' seemingly inherent funkiness was in actuality handed down from "Samurai Night Fever." That' why he makes the top spot, because none of the other characters on this list would have been possible without Belushi and his cohorts on the original SNL cast...and we don't mean that in a good way.