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'SNL' nostalgia: Why I'm looking forward to '90s alumni reuniting in 'Grown Ups'

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I’m trying to figure out why I was so psyched to read this morning that Tim Meadows will be co-starring with actors like Adam Sandler, Maya Rudolph, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Rock, Norm Macdonald, and Colin Quinn in a film called Grown Ups. Part of it stems simply from my longstanding feelings regarding Meadows’ under-appreciated comic talents. There’s something special about this particular grouping of Saturday Night Live alumni, though — one that includes minor players like Macdonald and Quinn along with big-name stars. Then it hit me: I am totally nostalgic for the mid-90s years when many of those castmates overlapped on SNL.

It wasn’t the show’s finest era by a long shot. I remember staying up late to watch SNL at the time with my parents, who frequently lamented how far it had fallen from the ’70s and ’80s; they were right. But nevertheless, I spent those years watching Meadows and the rest of the gang most every Saturday night, and now I miss them. Most of all, I miss the way SNL had a full roster of straightmen/women back then to back up its more outsize comic talents. Adam Sandler and Chris Rock were and are hilarious, sure — but they’re so much funnier standing next to a perfectly deadpan Tim Meadows or Norm Macdonald. Not all of the comics who have been cast in Grown Ups are capable of carrying a movie on their own, but put them together and you’re guaranteed some extra laughs just from the reaction shots these old colleagues will give each other.

Check out a vintage clip below to see the kind of understated chemistry I’m talking about between Meadows and (in this case) Christopher Walken. Then tell me: Who else is looking forward to seeing these SNLers play, appropriately enough, a bunch of former high school friends reunited after 30 years apart in Grown Ups?