4Hans 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.
3Mary 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.
2The 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).
1The 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.