A Night at the Roxbury

A Night at the Roxbury is a 1998 American comedy film based on a recurring sketch on television's long-running Saturday Night Live called "The Roxbury Guys". Saturday Night Live regulars Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, Mark McKinney and Colin Quinn star. This film expands on the original Saturday Night Live sketches where the Roxbury Guys were joined by that week's host, and bobbed their heads to Haddaway's hit song "What Is Love" while being comically rejected by women at various clubs.

Other roles include Jennifer Coolidge as a police officer, Chazz Palminteri's uncredited role as gregarious night club impresario Mr. Benny Zadir, and Colin Quinn as his bodyguard Dooey. Ex-SNLer Mark McKinney has a cameo as a priest officiating a wedding.

A Night at the Roxbury
A night at the roxbury
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Fortenberry
Produced byLorne Michaels
Amy Heckerling
Written byWill Ferrell
Chris Kattan
Steve Koren
Music byDavid Kitay
CinematographyFrancis Kenny
Edited byJay Kamen
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 1, 1998
Running time
82 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$17 million
Box office$30.3 million[2][3]


Wealthy Yemeni-American brothers Steve and Doug Butabi enjoy frequenting nightclubs, where they bob their heads in unison to Eurodance, a subgenre of dance music, and fail miserably at picking up women. Their goal is to party at the Roxbury, a fabled Los Angeles nightclub where they are continually denied entry by a hulking bouncer.

By day, the brothers work at an artificial plant store owned by their wealthy father, Kamehl. They spend most of their time goofing off, daydreaming about opening a club as cool as the Roxbury together, and Doug using credit card transactions as an excuse to flirt with a card approval associate via telephone that he calls "Credit Vixen." The store shares a wall with a lighting emporium owned by Fred Sanderson. Mr. Butabi and Mr. Sanderson hope that Steve and Emily, Sanderson's daughter, will marry, uniting the families and the businesses to form the first plant-lamp emporium.

After a day at the beach the brothers decide that night was to be the night they would finally get into the Roxbury. Returning home, Doug gets into a heated argument with their father about going out clubbing instead of staying home. Their father has planned a dinner party with Emily and her parents. The angered Mr. Butabi then refuses them access to their BMW car and their cell phones. They are given enormous cell phones by their mother, Barbara, and allowed use of the fake-plant store's delivery van, but they are immediately rejected once again by the doorman.

After discovering that they might bribe their way into the club, the brothers drive around looking for an ATM. They get into a fender-bender with Richard Grieco and, to avoid a lawsuit, Grieco uses his fame to get them into the popular club. There, they meet the owner of the Roxbury, Benny Zadir, who listens to their idea for their own nightclub. He likes them and sets up a meeting with them for the next day. The brothers also meet a pair of women at the Roxbury: Vivica and Cambi, who see them talking to Zadir and think that the brothers are rich. The women later sleep with Doug and Steve, leading the brothers to think they are in "serious relationships."

On the way to the after-party at Mr. Zadir's house, the brothers annoy his driver and bodyguard Dooey by making him stop to buy fluffy whip and making jokes about sleeping with his parents. As revenge, the next day, Dooey refuses them entry into Zadir's office for their meeting. He tells the brothers that Zadir was drunk out of his mind last night and does not know who they are. In reality, Zadir wanted to see them, but does not have their contact information.

Vivica and Cambi break up with the Butabi brothers after realizing they are not actually wealthy. Afterwards, the brothers argue over who is at fault for their sudden misfortune and Doug moves out of their shared bedroom and into the guest house. Meanwhile, Steve is forced into an engagement with Emily by his father. The wedding is held in the backyard of the Butabi residence, but is interrupted by Doug. Having gone on a fluffy whip-fueled bender, he interrupts the wedding, reconciles with his brother, and the wedding is called off, only to be restarted as Craig, the Butabi brothers' personal trainer, reveals his feelings for Emily. Afterwards, Grieco (a guest at the wedding) talks to Mr. Butabi to help him understand that Steve was not ready for marriage, and that Butabi is too hard on Doug.

After the Butabi brothers reconcile with their father and Doug moves back into their bedroom, the film ends as the brothers happen upon a hot new club. The building is unique in that the exterior is constructed to resemble the interior of a nightclub, and the interior resembles a street—this was an idea pitched by Doug and Steve to Zadir earlier in the film. Attempting to enter, they are surprised to find their names already on the VIP list. In addition, Zadir reveals that to reward their idea, he has made them part-owners of the club. Their new-found success comes full circle when they meet two women in the club: Doug's phone operator from the credit card company ("Credit Vixen") and a police officer with whom Steve flirted while getting a ticket.



A Night at the Roxbury
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1998
GenreEurodance, dance-pop, house, synthpop, disco
ProducerDavid Kitay
1."What Is Love[4]"Haddaway3:35
2."Bamboogie" (Radio Edit)Bamboo3:15
3."Make That Money" (Roxbury Remix)Robi Rob's Clubworld3:51
4."Disco Inferno"Cyndi Lauper3:18
5."Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"N-Trance featuring Rod Stewart3:25
6."Pop Muzik"3rd Party3:05
7."Insomnia" (Monster Mix)Faithless3:45
8."Be My Lover" (Club Mix)La Bouche5:35
9."This Is Your Night"Amber3:52
10."Beautiful Life"Ace of Base3:11
11."Where Do You Go" (Ocean Drive Mix)No Mercy7:21
12."A Little Bit of Ecstasy"Jocelyn Enriquez3:59
13."What Is Love" (Refreshmento Extro Radio Mix)Haddaway 
14."Careless Whisper"Tamia5:27
15."Stayin' Alive"The Bee Gees4:45
17."Rhythm Is a Dancer"Snap!4:39


A Night at the Roxbury was heavily panned by critics, earning an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus that A Night at the Roxbury "has the same problems as the worst SNL movies: one-note characters and plots unreasonably stretched to feature length runtime".[5] Anita Gates of The New York Times acknowledged the film's appeal, but reasoned that it was "a lot like the brothers themselves: undeniably pathetic but strangely lovable. Still, do you really want to spend an hour and a half with them in a dark room?"[6] Roger Ebert observed that "the sad thing about A Night at the Roxbury is that the characters are in a one-joke movie, and they're the joke... It's the first comedy I've attended where you feel that to laugh would be cruel to the characters."[7]


  1. ^ "A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY (15)". United International Pictures. British Board of Film Classification. January 7, 1999. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "'LA Times' – Studios See $$ in Less-Than-Worthy 'SNL' Film Spinoffs". Archived from the original on May 9, 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
  3. ^ "A Night at the Roxbury (1998) – Box Office Mojo". BoxOfficeMojo.com. 1998-11-13. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  4. ^ "Various—A Night At The Roxbury (Music from the Motion Picture)". Discogs. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  5. ^ "A Night at the Roxbury". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-03-07.
  6. ^ "A Night at the Roxbury - FILM REVIEW; A Lucky Break for the Terminally Uncool". The New York Times. October 2, 1998.
  7. ^ "A Night at the Roxbury". Chicago Sun-Times. October 2, 1998.

External links

Broadway Video

Broadway Video is an American multimedia entertainment studio founded by Lorne Michaels, creator of the sketch comedy TV series Saturday Night Live and producer of other television programs and movies.

Chris Kattan

Christopher Lee Kattan (; born October 19, 1970) is an American actor and comedian, best known for his work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, his role as Bob on the first four seasons of The Middle, for playing Doug Butabi in A Night at the Roxbury and Bunnicula in Bunnicula.

Colin Quinn

Colin Edward Quinn (born June 6, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. On television, he is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, where he anchored Weekend Update, on MTV's 1980s game show Remote Control, where he served as the announcer/sidekick, and as host of Comedy Central's late-night panel show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Notable film work includes his role as Dooey in A Night at the Roxbury, Dickey Bailey in the Grown Ups films and playing Amy Schumer's father in the film Trainwreck. Comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld and Dave Attell cite him as the quintessential New York comedian.

Quinn has also become known for his comedic one-man shows that offer his unique takes on history and growing up in New York City. As of 2015, he has written and starred in six shows: Irish Wake, My Two Cents, Long Story Short, Unconstitutional, The New York Story and Red State Blue State, two of which he collaborated on with Seinfeld as director. Long Story Short was filmed as an HBO special that aired on April 9, 2011, and Unconstitutional and The New York Story were released as Netflix specials.

Dan Hedaya

Daniel G. Hedaya (born July 24, 1940) is an American actor. He established himself as a supporting actor, often playing sleazy villains or wisecracking supporting characters. He has had major supporting roles in films like True Confessions (1981), Tightrope, Blood Simple (both 1984), Commando (1985), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), Rookie of the Year (1993), Clueless (1995), The First Wives Club, Daylight, Marvin's Room (all 1996), Alien Resurrection (1997), A Civil Action, A Night at the Roxbury (both 1998), The Hurricane, Dick (both 1999), Shaft, The Crew (both 2000), Swimfan (2002), Robots, and Strangers with Candy (both 2005).

Disco Inferno

"Disco Inferno" is a song by American disco band The Trammps from their 1976 fourth studio album of the same name. With two other cuts by the group it reached number-one on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in early 1977, but had limited mainstream success until 1978, after being included on the soundtrack to the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, when a re-release hit number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.It was also notably covered in 1993 by American-born singer Tina Turner on the What's Love Got to Do with It soundtrack, and in 1998 by American singer-songwriter Cyndi Lauper on the A Night at the Roxbury soundtrack.

Elisa Donovan

Elisa Donovan (born Lisa Adaline Donovan; February 3, 1971) is an American actress, writer, and producer. She is most recognized as the character Amber from the 1995 film Clueless, in which she starred opposite Alicia Silverstone. She would reprise the role for the 1996-99 TV series of the same name, with Rachel Blanchard taking over Silverstone's role. She also starred in six films in the acclaimed "The Dog Who Saved" saga.

John Fortenberry

John Fortenberry is an American film and television director.Born in Jackson, Mississippi, he graduated from the University of Mississippi, after which he went to work at Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video, serving as editor for eight years before becoming a film and television producer.

He directed the films A Night at the Roxbury, Underfunded and Jury Duty, and such television shows as Sonny with a Chance, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, Blue Mountain State, Rescue Me, Memphis Beat, and Galavant.

List of Saturday Night Live feature films

Saturday Night Live has made several efforts to develop some of the more popular sketches into feature-length films, with varying degrees of commercial and critical success. The first foray into film came with the successful Aykroyd and Belushi vehicle, The Blues Brothers (1980), which earned over $115 million on a $27 million budget.In 1990, Lorne Michaels oversaw the writing of a sketch anthology feature film titled The Saturday Night Live Movie with many of the show's then-current writing staff, including Al Franken, Tom Davis, Greg Daniels, Jim Downey, Conan O'Brien, Robert Smigel, and George Meyer, contributing. The screenplay only got as far as a Revised First Draft dated July 26, 1990 before being abandoned.However, it was the success of Wayne's World (1992) that encouraged Michaels to produce more film spin-offs, based on several popular sketch characters. Michaels revived 1970s characters for Coneheads (1993), followed by It's Pat (1994); Stuart Saves His Family (1995); A Night at the Roxbury (1998); Superstar (1999) and The Ladies Man (2000). Some did moderately well, though others did not—notably, It's Pat, which did so badly at the box office that the studio that made the film, Touchstone Pictures (owned by The Walt Disney Company, which also owns NBC's rival ABC), pulled it only one week after releasing it, and Stuart Saves His Family, which lost $14 million. Many of these films were produced by Paramount Pictures. The films based on The Blues Brothers were produced by Universal Studios, which merged with NBC in 2004 to form NBC Universal (Universal also has a joint venture with Paramount for international distribution of the two studios' films).

Lochlyn Munro

Lochlyn Munro (born Richard Laughlin Munro, February 12, 1966) is a Canadian film and television actor. For films, Munro is mostly known for his roles in A Night at the Roxbury (1998), Scary Movie (2000), Freddy vs. Jason (2003), and White Chicks (2004). For television, he is perhaps best known for his roles in the Canadian series Northwood, supernatural drama Charmed, and teen drama Riverdale.

Loni Anderson

Loni Kaye Anderson (born August 5, 1945) is an American actress. She is known for her role as receptionist Jennifer Marlowe on the CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati (1978–1982), which earned her three Golden Globe Award and two Emmy Award nominations.

Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan (December 10, 1957 – September 3, 2012) was an American actor best known for his breakout role as John Coffey in The Green Mile (1999), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and various similar honors. He also appeared in motion pictures such as Armageddon (1998), The Whole Nine Yards (2000), The Scorpion King (2002), Daredevil (2003) and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006). He also had voice roles in films such as Brother Bear (2003), Kung Fu Panda (2008) and Green Lantern (2011).

Molly Shannon

Molly Helen Shannon (born September 16, 1964) is an American actress and comedian who was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2001. In 2017 she won the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Other People.

She has appeared in supporting roles in a number of films, such as A Night at the Roxbury (1998), Never Been Kissed (1999), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), Osmosis Jones (2001), My Boss's Daughter (2003), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015). Her voice can also be heard in Igor (2008) and the Hotel Transylvania film series.

Richard Grieco

Richard John Grieco Jr. (born March 23, 1965) is an American actor and former fashion model. He is best known for his role as Detective Dennis Booker from the popular Fox series 21 Jump Street (1988–89) and its spin-off Booker (1989–90). He also starred in various movies like If Looks Could Kill and Mobsters (both 1991). Since the height of his fame, he has voiced characters in several video games and appeared as either himself or his 21 Jump Street character in several films and television shows. Since 2009, he has also been known as a painter, working in a style he calls abstract emotionalism.

SNL Studios

SNL Studios is a production company, founded in July 1997 as a joint venture between Saturday Night Live executive producer Lorne Michaels and NBC Studios (now Universal Television, the production arm of NBCUniversal a subsidiary of Comcast). While this venture also initially included Paramount Pictures, it was dissolved following NBC's merger with Universal Studios. On the television side, SNL Studios produces Saturday Night Live in association with Broadway Video. Film productions, typically offshoots of Saturday Night Live' sketches, include, among others, A Night at the Roxbury and Superstar.

Following the announcement of the creation of SNL Studios, veteran Saturday Night Live producer Marci Klein was named as the president of SNL Studios Television in December 1999, while Richard Feldman was appointed head of SNL Studios Films in June of the same year.

Saturday Night Live (season 24)

The twenty-fourth season of Saturday Night Live, an American sketch comedy series, originally aired in the United States on NBC between September 26, 1998, and May 15, 1999.

Steve Koren

Steven Wayne "Steve" Koren is an American writer/producer and screenwriter. Most notably, he has written for Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, and Veep. He also wrote or co-wrote the movies Bruce Almighty, Click, A Night at the Roxbury and Superstar.

In addition, he has contributed to Curb Your Enthusiasm. (Palestinian Chicken Episode).

Koren was born in Queens, New York, and attended Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside, Queens.

Viveca Paulin

Viveca Paulin (born April 24, 1969) is a Swedish actress and auctioneer. She is married to American comedic actor Will Ferrell, with whom she has three sons.

Will Ferrell

John William Ferrell (; born July 16, 1967) is an American actor, comedian, producer, writer, and a part-owner of Los Angeles FC. He first established himself in the mid-1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, and has subsequently starred in comedy films such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Talladega Nights (2006), Step Brothers (2008), The Other Guys (2010) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), all but one of which he co-wrote with his comedy partner Adam McKay. The two also founded the comedy website Funny or Die in 2007. Other film roles include Elf, Old School (both 2003), Blades of Glory (2007), Daddy's Home (2015), and the animated films Megamind (2010) and The Lego Movie (2014).

Ferrell is considered a member of the "Frat Pack", a generation of leading Hollywood comic actors who emerged in the late 1990s and the 2000s, including Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Vince Vaughn, and brothers Owen and Luke Wilson. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his work on Saturday Night Live, and three Golden Globe Award nominations for acting in The Producers (2005) and Stranger than Fiction (2006) and for producing Vice (2018). He was also named the best comedian of 2015 in the British GQ Men of the Year awards. Ferrell received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 24, 2015.

Related lists
Recurring characters
and sketches
and sketches
Digital Shorts
Films based
on sketches
Anniversary specials
Related topics
Films directed by John Fortenberry
Film writer
Television writer
Television producer
Television creator

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