Can MacGruber Bear Fruit from Saturday Night Live Tree It Grew From?
With Peacock releasing the TV series adaptation of MacGruber, it manages to be on a path unlike any other skit on Saturday Night Live in its full circle. There have been several theatrical adaptations of sketches most famously in Wayne's World, The Blues Brothers, Night at the Roxbury, Pat, Coneheads, and of course, MacGruber. The first two actually managed sequels. The streaming series actually picks up about 10 years following the 2010 film, which actually bombed at the box office, but developed a cult following.
The original premise of the sketches featured Will Forte's character, conceived as a MacGyver-knockoff trying to diffuse a bomb with simple household objects, generally accompanied by a female lead and a random male, usually played by the SNL host. MacGruber's tangents and distractions often result in the characters being blown up with the announcer shouting his name. The first female companion, Casey, was played by Maya Rudolph, who ended up as Mac's first wife before dying at the hands of Cunth (Val Kilmer) as revealed in the Jorma Taccone film. The next companion is Vicki St. Elmo, played by Wiig, who became the mainstay on the sketches and also carried over into the film. The third in the party ended up being filled by Ryan Phillippe's Dixon Piper in the film and also manages to reprise his role for the Peacock series.
For those aware of the mini franchise's subversive and crude humor, it's obviously unapologetic how balls-to-the-wall Forte is willing to go almost quite literally. The 2010 film felt at times like it could easily come from South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who also developed Team America: World Police with its brand of excessiveness and scatological hijinks. Now that we're in the era of streaming and services are constantly starving for new content, MacGruber has an opportunity to thrive like its SNL predecessors never did: succeed on TV with its second chance. The series is available to stream on Peacock. Check out our interview with Phillippe here.