Best Movies Produced by Lorne Michaels, Ranked – MovieWeb

From Mean Girls to Wayne’s World, here are the best movies produced by SNL creator Lorne Michaels.
Lorne Michaels is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, film and TV producer, and the creator of the long-standing comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live. While Michaels' career began with him acting alongside Hart Pomerantz in The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour, he soon broke out into the mainstream media with Saturday Night Live. Among his vast array of work, he has produced the Late Night series, The Kids in the Hall, and The Tonight Show since 2014. Michaels has truly made a name for himself in Hollywood, earning a total of 21 Primetime Emmy Awards among a staggering 98 nominations.
Michaels has been active in the film industry since the 1970s. He has continued to produce content that is bound to tickle your funny bone. Throughout his years producing SNL, he has managed to produce a number of TV shows including 30 Rock and Up All Night. That being said, Michaels' filmography is not limited to television as he quickly branched off to produce films like Lassie and MacGruber. Here are the best movies produced by Lorne Michaels, ranked.
Based on the 1997 Loomis Fargo Bank robbery, the 2016 film Masterminds revolves around David Ghanatt, a guard at an armored car company who is convinced to participate in the bank robbery by his work crush. Starring Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis, Masterminds is a one-of-a-kind comedy that is based on one of the biggest bank robberies in American history. The film was met with mixed reviews, with many feeling that the cast and the true story did not make up for the plot and comedy, which didn't suit the overall story. While Roger Ebert gave Masterminds a whopping 3 out of 4 stars, several other critics felt that the entire film was just a mess with little to no direction.
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Coneheads revolves around Remulakian aliens Beldar (Dan Aykroyd) and Prymaat (Jane Curtin), who end up in New Jersey after their recon mission goes wrong. Due to their situation, the aliens are forced to live out their lives as normal humans do until they come under investigation from the INS. Based on SNL sketches about aliens stranded on Earth, Coneheads was met with mostly negative reviews from critics, with many feeling the film to be a stretch both in its plot and in the overall comedy behind the film. The consensus seemed to be that basing an entire film around an SNL sketch to make it into a longer sketch was not a good idea in the first place. That being said, upon reevaluation of the film, modern critics pointed out the satirical take on the experience of immigrant families in the United States.
Starring Andy Samberg before his time on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Hot Rod tells the story of stuntman Rod Kimball, who struggles to gain respect from anyone, particularly his stepfather Frank. When Frank falls ill and requires an operation to get well again, Rod comes up with a plan to perform his most rambunctious stunt yet in order to raise money for Frank's operation. Hot Rod was met with mixed reviews, with the majority of the criticism stemming from the formulaic and predictable script and humor. Michaels predicted that, despite the film's criticism, Hot Rod would eventually find its audience in the future.
Starring the iconic duo Chris Farley and David Spade, Tommy Boy follows Tommy Callahan, who inherits a nearly-bankrupt auto part factory in Ohio, and despite prodding from his stepmother to sell the factory and cash in, he is determined not to close. In order to save the factory, Tommy sets off with his father's assistant Richard to grab some new clients for the business. Upon its release, Tommy Boy was met with mixed reviews as many critics thought that the film served as a good laugh, while Roger Ebert so graciously added Tommy Boy to the "Most Hated" list.
When cowboy silent film stars Lucky, Dusty and Ned are fired after one of their films flops, they take up Carmen on her offer for a high-paying gig in Mexico. Expecting to do their usual routine, the trio are surprised when Carmen asks them to get rid of the village bully El Guapo. Three Amigos stars comedic legends Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short. While the premise and the cast are strong, having three strong comedic leads seems to have brought about some confusion as critics felt that the comedy was a bit too much. Since its release, Three Amigos has received status as a cult classic and even ranked 79th on Bravo's list of 100 Funniest Movies.
Related: SNL Creator Lorne Michaels Eyes His Retirement with the Show's 50th Anniversary
Based on the memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot revolves around news producer Kim Barker (Tina Fey), who travels to Kabul to take up a new assignment and finds herself in the middle of a warzone. She eventually meets fellow journalist Tanya Vanderpoel (Margot Robbie), who takes Kim under her wing to teach her how to navigate Kabul to get the best story possible. The film was met with mixed reviews, with many praising the performances from the cast while criticizing the overall stability of the film.
In what is arguably one of the best comedies of all time, Wayne and Garth, hosts of their public-access show Wayne's World, find themselves in the public eye when a big-time producer wants to bring their show to commercial television. But they are in for more than they bargained for when said producer wants to change everything about their show and make it his own. It's up to Garth and Wayne to save their show from commercialization. Wayne's World is based on the SNL skit of the same name and was both a critical and commercial success, debuting at number one at the box office.
Unlike many of Michaels' other films, Mean Girls is not a goofball comedy in the typical sense, and appeals to a whole new audience. When teenager Cady Heron arrives in the suburbs of Illinois, she finds herself somewhat out of place until she gets into the good graces of The Plastics, a group of girls consisting of Karen, Gretchen, and Queen-Bee Regina. The film was praised for its approach to bullying and the effects of social cliques on a teen's overall behavior. Mean Girls has become an iconic film with a cult following and earned several accolades, including three Teen Choice Awards and three MTV Movie & TV Awards. Of all of Michaels' productions, Mean Girls is by far the most quotable and the most iconic.
Started at MovieWeb in November of 2021.


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