Not every “Saturday Night Live” cast member scores a decades-long career.
Some come and go without notice, squandering their chance in the spotlight. Others work sporadically but gigs start drying up as their “SNL” fame fades.
We won’t mention any names out of common courtesy.
And then there’s Rob Schneider.
The American actor parlayed “SNL” characters like the Richmeister AKA the office worker from Hell and the Sensitive Naked Man into work in feature films. That career has stretched across four decades and shows little sign of slowing down.
He’s anchored solo vehicles, supplied supporting turns and popped up in hilarious “Rob Schneider movie cameos.”
Just know Schneider’s appearance is never the same twice. He loves donning disguises to play original characters in movies like “Sandy Wexler,” “The Wrong Missy” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry.”
“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992)
Schneider leveraged his growing “SNL” clout for a role in John Hughes’ comedy franchise. He plays a bellhop caring for Macaulay Culkin’s crafty Kevin as the lad visits New York City. Schneider recalls not telling his “SNL” bosses about the gig and sneaking in naps between scenes to catch up on his beauty sleep.
“Judge Dredd” (1995)
Schneider plays a hacker in this comic-book adaptation, the rare Sylvester Stallone vehicle that didn’t spawn a franchise. The comic actor lightens the mood of the dystopian thriller, getting to tag around with Stallone’s antihero for an extended period.
The role came at a fortuitous moment for Schneider.
“At the time, I’d just quit “Saturday Night Live,” so I was thinking, “Maybe this is it! Am I gonna have to go paint houses again?” But then Stallone called me. (Affects Stallone impression) “Hey, Joe Pesci said, ‘No,’ so you’re in. And you’re cheaper.”
“The Waterboy” (1998)
Adam Sandler and Schneider go together like peas and carrots, at least according to how many times they’ve shared the same screen over the years. This early partnership finds Sandler in the lead role while Schneider plays a “townie” who ends up snagging the film’s signature lines … “You can do eeet!”
Inspiring. Silly. Memorable.
“Big Daddy” (1999)
The Sandler/Schneider connection scores once more. Schneider plays Nazo, the main character’s buddy and a pizza delivery guy. He recreated Nazo and his broken English musings for Sandler’s “Mr. Deeds” in 2002.
Sandler wanted Schneider to play a bigger role in “Big Daddy” – the father of the child Sandler’s character quasi-adopts in the film. The studio turned that request down, opting for Jon Stewart instead. So Sandler improvised for his chum, handing him a role with just one line.
It didn’t end there.
Sandler had Schneider flown out to the set so he’d be available all week, not the planned one-day shooting schedule. The two commiserated on the part in question and massaged the production to give Schneider more screen time.
“Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo” (1999)
This sleeper smash gave Schneider his biggest screen victory to date. He plays a down-on-his-luck soul who stumbles into sex work to pay off his debts. He may not be Brad Pitt handsome, but Deuce’s way with women is both hilarious and, at times, sweet.
The tale of a fish-tank cleaner who finds a side hustle showcased Schneider’s strengths better than any movie before or since. The inappropriate comedy also had a softer side, with the titular character bonding with some of the more unusual clients.
Schneider’s biggest hit came after Sandler suggested he pen his own starring vehicle. That forced the comic actor to wonder if the 1980 Richard Gere film “American Gigolo” might work as a comedy.
“The Animal” (2001)
Schneider snagged another leading man role in this silly affair that drew a sizable crowd but not much critical love. He plays a police clerk who suffers severe injuries and receives several animal parts to save his life.
Voila, our hero takes on some animalistic behaviors.
The film opened to an impressive $19 million and may spark a belated sequel. Schneider is slated to star and direct the film for Tubi according to a 2022 report but there hasn’t been much movement on the project since then. Nor is the title on his IMDB.com page.
“The Hot Chick” (2002)
Schneider’s knack for outrageous gimmicks continued with this gender-swapping comedy.
This time, the comedian plays a crook who ends up swapping bodies with a prototypical mean girl played by Rachel McAdams. She’d play a literal “Mean Girl” four years later.
The film fell back on gender tropes, but Schneider said he wasn’t trying to score cheap points in the battle of the sexes.
“I wanted to be respectful to women. I didn’t want to be mocking them; that’s one thing I didn’t want to do because then I’d think it would defeat the purpose of what you are trying to do.”
The laughs proved big and outrageous, and while critics once again recoiled the film earned a solid $54.6 million stateside.
“The Longest Yard” (2005)
Adam Sandler tag-teamed with his favorite “SNL” alum for this reboot of the Burt Reynolds convict classic.
Briefly, that is.
Schneider shows up just long enough to share a variation of his favorite comedy line, “You can do eeet” as Punky, one of the inmates cheering on Sandler’s character.
“Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” (2005)
Lightning didn’t strike twice in this belated sequel. The second helping of Deuce fell flat with critics and audiences alike, and the franchise stalled as a result. Deuce sets off to Europe to reunite with his favorite pimp (Eddie Griffin) and find the serial killer knocking off all the local man-whores.
To do so, the male gigolo is forced to return to the world’s oldest profession.
Critics crucified the film – it has a 9 percent “rotten” rating at RottenTomatoes.com and the wannabe franchise quickly flatlined.
He may have anticipated that blowback during an interview conducted before the film hit theaters.
“Sometimes for me it’s been a blessing and a curse. A curse because if someone’s saying that you’re horrible – some of the reviews are just vicious and are personal attacks on me – it can hurt. But it also frees me up because I don’t have to try or worry about having to please these people because it’s been such a relief for me. Now I just try to make movies the way I think are funny.”
“The Benchwarmers” (2006)
Schneider shares leading man status with “SNL” alum David Spade and a post-“Napoleon Dynamite” Jon Heder. The comic actors play nerds who square off against a little league baseball team with comic results.
Once again, Schneider scored with audiences but left most critics cold.
The actor told Movie Web he trained for three months to prepare for his diamond debut and that trashing his young co-stars on the diamond didn’t feel right at first.
“Big Stan” (2007)
Schneider’s directorial debut proved disastrous. Critics sneered at the film while audiences mostly stayed away. It might have been a learning experience but it kept him in front of the camera until the 2023 kiddie romp “Daddy Daughter Trip.”
“Grown Ups” (2010)
The “SNL” crew (Sandler, Chris Rock, Spade plus Kevin James) reunited for this comic smash. Schneider plays Rob, the group’s hippie bud whose fourth wife is considerably older than him.
The chemistry between the old friends, both on and off screen, powered the film to a whopping $162 million stateside.
Schneider opted not to sign on for the sequel which also scored big at the box office. The actor suggested he wanted to focus on his CBS sitcom while hinting at a financial disagreement behind his absence.
“The Ridiculous 6” (2015)
Sandler and Schneider play half brothers in this silly western sendup, part of Sandler’s extended Netflix deal. The deep cast includes Terry Crews, Nick Nolte and Luke Wilson, Norm Macdonald and Jon Lovitz.
The film drew more attention for Sandler and co. bypassing theaters than the content itself, but it served as a de facto “SNL” reunion thanks to the main players and appearances by Spade, Chris Parnell and Will Forte.
The film earned some notoriety for a small number of Native-American crew members protesting its stereotypical content.
IndieWire skewered the film, saying “6” “marks a new low not only for the star, but for the art of cinematic comedy.”
“Daddy Daughter Trip” (2023)
This one’s personal.
Schneider directs, co-writes and stars in a film paying tribute to fathers everywhere. It helps that he’s acting on-screen with his real-life daughter, Miranda Scarlett Schneider. This time, his character is a broke inventor who will stop at nothing to give his daughter the vacation she deserves.
His spouse in the film? That’s his real-life wife Patricia Schneider.
There’s a serious message between the silliness, the actor explained to The Knockturnal.
“There’s so much in our culture about making money…what other people define success as…It’s taking the cultural expectations down and just following your heart. I hope that that’s the message. I think it’s important to hang onto your dreams, even if they’re crazy.”
BONUS: “Chip Chilla” (2023)
Schneider lent his comic gravitas, to The Daily Wire to jump start the company’s kiddie TV division. The “SNL” alum voices the family patriarch Chum Chum in the Bentkey TV series. The show’s recognizable guest stars include veteran impressionist Rich Little and comic standup Chonda Pierce, but Schneider is the biggest attraction for general audiences.