Top 5 Molly Shannon Movies To Watch

Molly Shannon is one of the most gifted comedic actresses we have. Her lovable vibrance and humor are infectious. She is best known for her Saturday Night Live character Mary Katherine Gallagher, a Catholic school girl with a penchant for flailing and armpit sniffing. She also played a retro Courtney Love in a sketch with Ana Gasteyer.

1. Superstar (1999)

Awkward Roman Catholic high school girl Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon) dreams of being passionately kissed. To make it happen, she decides that she will win the affection of popular cheerleader Sky Corrigan (Will Ferrell). To do so, she enters a talent contest and begins practicing on anything within reach — including her grandmother’s head and a stop sign.

This movie is a bit of a stinker, but it allows Shannon to shine as her quirky, nutty character. Even when the movie isn’t funny, her facial expressions and head-on close-ups are always worth watching. Shannon’s performance was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. She followed it up with an outstanding turn in the HBO series Enlightened and the comedy television series Divorce. She also starred in the repelisplus film Year of the Dog and the TV show Other People.

2. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation (2013)

Even monsters need to take a vacation now and then. The third film in the franchise brings Mavis and Drac to the ocean for some family fun. Kids will likely enjoy the dad-daughter track and a new side to Blobby, while older audiences might laugh at the flatulence humor or Drac’s attempts to use a spell to reverse his own vampirism.

Genndy Tartakovsky continues to create visual delights in this animated flick, but whatever sense of discovery or surprise the franchise initially had seems long gone. Like its visibly jaded vampire protagonist, Hotel Transylvania 3 feels tired and stale.

Molly Shannon gives her finest performance in Other People, a semi-autobiographical drama about a gay struggling comedian who moves back home to Sacramento and takes care of her mother Joanne as she slowly dies from cancer. It’s a role that only Shannon could play with such grace and nuance.

3. Year of the Dog (2013)

Often playing a character who is both heartbreaking and funny, Shannon has a rare ability to pull off dramatic turns with equal aplomb. In this gnula film, she plays the mother of Carey Mulligan’s Cassie who, in a scene that could have gone any number of ways, encourages her daughter to give up her quest for revenge.

Shannon has made a habit of branching out of the realm of slapstick physical comedy since her SNL days, appearing in dramas like Enlightened and Divorce while also taking on roles such as Princess Victoire of France and Emily Dickinson on television. Most recently, she starred in the Showtime series I Love That For You.

See Shannon’s fearless comedy antics in a collection of her best SNL sketches, including brazen schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher and Joyologist Helen Madden. She was an immediate sensation.

4. Horse Girl (2013)

Known for her twinkling blue eyes and elfin grin, Shannon blazed into SNL’s repertory company in 1995 and spent six seasons as one of the program’s most versatile players. She brought a unique brand of dorkiness to roles like Mary Katherine Gallagher and Sally O’Malley, but it was her turn as the catty Helen Madden in Licensed Joyologist that really showed Shannon’s comedic range.

Marie Antoinette was an unexpectedly cool role for Shannon, playing the gossipy Aunt Victoire to Kirsten Dunst’s ill-fated queen. It’s a sharp departure from her usual fare, but it also showcased Shannon’s ability to switch between cold-hearted and sweet. Her arc on HBO’s Enlightened was equally impressive.

5. The Little Hours (2013)

In The Little Hours, Shannon joins a talented cast of funny actors—including GLOW star Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci, John C Reilly, Girls’ Jemima Kirke, Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman, and Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen—to create a film that balances a lighthearted irreverence with a biting anachronistic lambasting of time-honored institutions.

The story centers around three medieval nuns, Sister Alessandra (Shannon), Fernanda (Brie), and Ginerva (Plazulli), who spend their days jockeying for attention from their elder Sister Marea, whining to the bumbling Father Tommasso, and lusting after hired hand Massetto (Dave Franco). Jeff Baena takes sexual repression seriously while still managing to turn out a film that isn’t afraid of being gleefully offensive. It’s a rare feat. And Shannon pulls it off with aplomb. Whether she’s passionately kissing a tree or eviscerating her own sins in a confession booth, Shannon is nothing short of remarkable.