Watching a film packed with “Saturday Night Live” cast members and produced by Lorne Michaels can be a dangerous move. For every “Wayne’s World” or “Blues Brothers” there are dozens more flicks like “It’s Pat,” “Ladies Man” or “Taxi” (really, Jimmy Fallon?).
That is why I approached the latest Broadway Video production, “Staten Island Summer,” with low expectations and a ton of trepidation. Thankfully, the film, which stars Cecily Strong, Fred Armisen, Jim Gaffigan, Gina Gershon, Kate Walsh and Will Forte, is a laugh-out-loud take on the classic 1980s summer sex comedies. And the highlight of the hilarity is SNL’s Bobby Moynihan as the lovable stoner lifeguard Skootch.
Mr. Moynihan checked in to discuss prepping for the role, the obvious comparisons of him to John Belushi and Chris Farley, his future with “Saturday Night Live” and the age-old question about ice cream trucks. You know the one.
Question: What made you want to do the film?
Answer: Colin Jost, one of the writers from SNL, [and] also the host of Weekend Update, is a good friend of mine, and he wrote the script. Then I had heard that a bunch of my SNL friends would be in it. So I was already on board no matter what. Then I read the script and saw it was all about lifeguards. I was a lifeguard for many years myself, so it was fun to go back and spend time in a pool complex area.
Q: How much like your lifeguard style was the stoner character Skootch you played in the film?
A: Kind of the same towards the end. [laughs] It’s the easiest job in the world and the best job for a kid to have. You get to wear sunglasses all day at work. I think I made more money when I was lifeguarding at 15 years old than I did on my first year at SNL.
Q: On SNL you play a character, but only for a few minutes, but in the film you play Skootch for a lot of scenes. Was that a challenge?
A: It is always fun to do that. Although I don’t think I get that much into character. At least I hope not. It was fun to get to sit down and do the scenes, then improvise with these people I have been working with for a while. [It’s] nice to be in a different environment where you have much more time to sit with it than when you’re on SNL.
Q: Your character is the party animal in the mold of Belushi and Chris Farley. Were they influences?
A: No matter what, the comparisons to those guys happen because of SNL. I love those guys. Are far as influences on the character go, it was more the attitude of people I used to work with when I was a lifeguard. Just trying to exaggerate that attitude.
Q: Is there pressure on SNL since people compare you to those legends?
A: I just try to do my best. The legends on that show are so vast and so many. It is an honor to be on the show in the first place. I just try to be as funny as possible and not worry about it, I guess.
Q: The film is very reminiscent of classic 1980s teen sex comedies like “Porky’s” and “Meatballs.” What were your favorite movies of that genre growing up?
A: I remember sneaking a look at films like “DC Cab” and “Doctor Detroit” when my parents weren’t watching. “One Crazy Summer” with John Cusack was one of my favorites.
Q: Skootch smokes a lot in the movie. Are you a smoker?
A: I just quit cigarettes recently.
Q: Was it a challenge to have to smoke that much?
A: I was a smoker when we shot the first summer. Then for the reshoots I had quit. If you look closely, there are a lot of scenes where I’m just holding a lit cigarette.
Q: My favorite line from the film is “All ice cream trucks sell weed.” Do all ice cream trucks really sell weed?
A: I would like to hope so. [laughs] I don’t have any solid proof. But I truly wish that was the truth.
Q: Will you be back on SNL in the fall?
A: Yeah, I guess. Hopefully. [laughs]
Q: How far in advance do you know if you are coming back?
A: It varies. I have found out a week before. One time a month before. Now I’ve been on the show so long I just hope for the best. The panic of the summer has set in now. I hope they won’t fire me. I just sit and wait for the call.
Q: What else are you working on?
A: I’m doing a new cartoon called “We Bare Bears” on the Cartoon Network. Going to be in “Sisters” with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in December. Lots of good stuff.
“Staten Island Summer” is now available from Netflix and other premium streaming services.