"Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!"
Saturday Night Live is a sketch comedy show that, despite its near-constant changing of cast members and writers and occasional dips in quality, has remained on NBC for well past 30 years (as of this writing, the show is on its 39th season). And it stayed around because of its ability to turn out funny sketches and moments (some funnier than others).
Lorne Michaels trying to bribe The Beatles to come on the show...with $3,000. "You can split up the money however you want. If you want to give Ringo less, that's fine."
Turned into a really lost opportunity when you find out that Paul McCartney and John Lennon were in Lennon's New York apartment that night watching the show, and seriously considered taking a taxi down to Rockerfeller Plaza and taking Lorne up on his offer.
In a second-season episode, Paul Simon opened the show by performing "Still Crazy After All These Years" in a turkey costume, but stopped mid-song and left the stage because it was too silly. As he walks backstage, the camera catches Lorne Michaels talking to musical guest George Harrison, explaining that the money was for all 4 of the Beatles, and that he wouldn't be able to cash in alone.
Sixteen years later, during an episode hosted by Alec Baldwin, this brief exchange between Lorne and that night's musical guest:
Lorne Michaels: I just assumed George would have given you the money..
From 1978, it's the new live entertainment sensation — Elvis Presley's Coat! See his coat live on stage and hear the legendary songs! You may have seen those imitation coat shows but this is the real deal! (This Parody Commercial is also Hilarious in Hindsight; in addition to the Elvis merchandising, tribute shows, and so on that persist to this day, the Los Angeles Times's review of Michael Jackson The IMMORTAL World Tour compared its approach to this skit's premise.)
From season two: in an episode aired in January, 1977 (hosted by Fran Tarkentonnote The first sports star ever to host the show; Tarkenton was a football player for the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants), "Weekend Update" opens with Jane Curtin reading a letter from a female viewer who complains that Curtain doesn't have the sex appeal of her predecessor, Chevy Chase. Curtin replies that she thought viewers were interested in good journalism, rather than sex and lowest common denominator entertainment, but that she was evidently wrong. She closes her reply with, "All I can say is, try these for size Connie Chung!", ripping open her blouse and showing her bra. As the audience roars, she adds, "If it's raw thrills you want, it's raw thrills you're going to get!" And she spends the rest of the segment throwing suggestive glances at the camera between stories.
From Season four: in an episode aired in November, 1978, host Buck Henry gives his monologue, talking about how much he appreciates being asked back to host and how the people on the show appreciate him. While he's talking, a roller caption informs the audience that Buck's wrong. Actually, the writers were exhausted after working hard on the previous show, hosted by Steve Martin. By comparison, Buck is so low key that his show is like having a week off. Then, the caption notes that Carrie Fisher would host next week's show and that the writers had seen Star Wars several times in preparation. They then start running the gunport sequence from the movie, followed by a list of a few ideas they're working on (like "Star Whores" and "Car Wars"). All the while, Buck continues his monologue without a break. This was the second time they'd run captions over Buck's monologue, and they'd do a variation of the gag when he returned for the season's finale.
From season two: John Belushi doing an editorial on "the luck of the Irish". He quickly turns it into a speech about the "bad luck of the Irish", which then turns into an extended rant about his friend Dan Sullivan, a "drunken, Irish junkie", with Jane Curtin trying in vain to calm him down. As with his other editorials, it escalates until he collapses in apoplexy.
From season 4, The Pepsi Syndrome Despite running 14(!!!) minutes long, it's one of the, if not the only, long sketches to have a hilarious pay-off.
"Samurai Hotel", the first Samurai Sketch, featuring John Belushi and Richard Pryor as feuding hotel-clerk samurai. two words: YO MAMA-SAN!
From the 1979 episode hosted by Michael Palin. "The Adventures of Miles Cowperthwaite" A sketch similar to an episode of Palin's Ripping Yarns series. It is purportedly based on a 19th century novel about a British orphan(Palin) who becomes a cabin boy on a ship "The Raging Queen".
Dan Ackroyd as "Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute".
Garrett Morris as frequent Weekend Update commentator Dominican baseball player Chico Esquela when he tried to go back to spring training with his old team the Mets despite being 41 and having written a tell-all book about them. And when he says his Catch Phrase. "Basa-ball been berry, berry good to me."
From the season 12 premiere hosted by Sigourney Weaver: Dana Carvey as a hack British rock piano ballader improvising the song "Choppin' Broccoli" on the piano in front of his record execs.
Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat singing his "Greatest Hits".
Tom Hanks showing Deleted Scenes from his movie Big where he plays a 13 year old whose wish to become a 30 year old man comes true. The cut scenes show his character deciding to stay and attend school where he bullies the other kids. In one scene where they place baseball Hanks runs toward home plate and shoves the catcher so hard he flies off the ground and grabs his leg in pain but Hanks is nonplussed. In another take he knocks him unconscious. In another take the catcher runs away and Hanks chases after him and tackles him!
Hanks in voiceover: "Not very professional. We had to fire him."
A site devoted to transcribing SNL sketches notes that the "Wake Up and Smile" sketch in Season 21 defined how the show was recovering from season 20 (which, had its moments, but was really suffering from Seasonal Rot in the same way the show was in its 6th and 11th seasons), and indeed it did — the audience response to the revelation of the winner in the battle between the host (Will Ferrell) and the weatherman is one of true, and truly shocked, laughter. Four words: "The weatherman is DEAD!"
From a 1993 episode, Christopher Walken as "Ed Glosser, Trivial Psychic" a spoof of his movie The Dead Zone where Walken is an office worker who can foretell events whenever he makes contact with people but they're all insignificant:
New Employee: (played by Rob Schneider) Nice to meet you! (shakes Ed's hand and suddenly he and Ed act like a shock of electricity goes between them) Ed Glosser: (falls into his trance) Tomorrow... on the way to work... you're gonna buy a cup of coffee... New Employee: (anxious) Yeah? Ed Glosser: Then you're gonna hail a cab... New Employee: Uh huh! Does the cab crash?! Ed Glosser: No.. you're gonna leave the coffee in the cab! New Employee: Okay.. I guess I'll just have to get another cup when I get here. Ed Glosser: (grabs him by the shoulders) Look! you don't get it! You're wasting coffee!
The real Janet Reno appearing in the final "Janet Reno's Dance Party" sketch. "It's Reno time!"
During the 1993 World Series, the opening skit was that poking fun at the Blue Jays/Phillies series. It showed the Phillies in their dugout while "O Canada" was being sung, but each and every one of the Phillies were A) not standing at attention, B) had their caps or helmets on, and C) were chewing Chewin' Tobacco and occasionally spitting on the ground — all spot-on representations of the at-the-time Phillies. Extra points go to Chris Farley, whose impersonation of John Kruk was dead on.
Chris Farley, David Spade and Adam Sandler as teenaged girls hanging out at a mall food court. Aside from three grown men trying their best to imitate a teenaged girl's voice, one of Farley's reactions is legendary:
Spade's character: Aren't you trying to cut back? Farley's Character:(Farley briefly dropping the teenaged girl routine) LAY OFF ME, I'M STARVING!
One of the few times Phil Hartman ever corpsed during his tenure. By the end of this skit, he's quite visibly having difficulty keeping it together.
Apparently Hartman was thinking about the absurdity of the situation, and how Frankenstein's Monster would deal with it, and then he thought about how the Monster would sound laughing. It just got worse from there.
The first McLaughlin Group sketch with Dana Carvey as host and moderator John McLaughlin who always yells "WRONG!" interrupting a member of the group when they try to give an answer and gives his answer which is usually insane.
The Halloween edition of that skit, which had McLaughlin himself showing up and taking over the discussion.
Knorben Knussen: Mr. Huff, how do feel about your experience on hidden camera?
Mr. Huff: An-gry...
The Sinatra Group is an all-time classic which premise is basically Frank Sinatra (Phil Hartman) hosting a roundtable of music discussions which featured Sinead O'Connor (Jan Hooks), Billy Idol (Sting), Luther Campbell (Chris Rock), Steve Lawrence (Mike Myers) and Eydie Gorme (Victoria Jackson). This sketch's hilarity ranges from Sinatra insisting that Campbell has talent, Sting's pretty dead-on Billy Idol impression, and the numerous Sinead O'Connor nicknames( "Sinbad", "Uncle Fester", "Sign Aid") but the capper is what may be one of the single greatest lines ever uttered on SNL.
Sinatra: You don't scare me, I got CHUNKS of guys like you in my STOOL!
The Old Glory Robot Insurance commercial wouldn't work in most normal cases, but with Sam Waterston in the sketch as the spokesman, it's one of the greatest commercials in SNL history.
Compulsion, a spoof of the self-important Calvin Klein perfume ads. Just a hilarious all around performance from everybody involved.
From the first time Charles Barkley hosted (in 1993), there was the monologue where he challenges Barney the Dinosaur to a game of basketball— and Barney gets his ass handed to him (to the point that stuffing is coming out of tears in the costume and his fake eye is hanging out). Made all the funnier when the two becomes friends in the end and walk off the court to the end theme of Barney & Friends.
In a fantastic parody of Planet of the Apes, the first fifteen minutes of the episode hosted by Charlton Heston from season 19 (he hosted before in season 12, but that episode never had this sketch), he oversleeps in his dressing room for a very long time and wakes up the show is taken over by apes (really people in ape masks, of course)! The people in the opening credits were all replaced by apes — their names referencing actual characters from the movie series — and even the audience during the monologue were apes!
During the cold open Heston finds the regular human cast all locked up in a cage all dirty with long hair and dressed in rags. He goes to talk to Phil but he has a blank look on his face and sees a big scar on the side of his head:
Charlton Heston: Oh damn you! Damn you all to hell! You cut out his brain!(goes to Chris Farley next oh him) Chris! Chris what about you? Talk to me! Are you okay? (sees Chris has a dumb smile on his face like he's been lobotomized like Phil)
Heston: Oh my god you've cut out his brain too!
Tim Meadows: No, Mr. Heston Chris is fine, he's always like this.
From a 1995 "Hollywood Minute" segment of "Weekend Update", David Spade says "Look, kids, a falling star! Make a wish!" as he mocks Eddie Murphy's (then-)lackluster career. Even though this reallypissed Murphy off (and it was met with shocked groans from the audience), it's hilariously scathing.
Chris Farley: Can we STOP THIS CRUEL GAME, AND ALLOW THE BOY TO KEEP A SHRED OF DIGNITY?! FOR GOD'S SAKE, I CAN'T STAND SEEING HIM IN SUCH PAIN! YOU! VICIOUS! BASTARDS!
A sketch from a 1993 Jeff Goldblum episode where a street guitarist(Rob Schneider) in a subway station who gets angry when a rider played by Goldblum tries to give him money. The guitarist keeps insisting he's not a beggar even though everything he sings suggests otherwise:
"Please give me money I'm very hungry. Please give me money So I can eat. I don't have another job This is what I do for a living. Please give me money So I won't starve.
Later, Adam Sandler asks if he can join him on harmonica. Schneider enthusiastically agrees, only for his next verse to command Sandler to go away because he'd rather play alone. Sandler says he'll go, but Schneider insists he stay, and then sings the following:
You didn't go away So now I have to kill you When you are not looking I'll push you into the next train.
Chris Farley's impersonation of New York City mayor's Rudy Giuliani's hyperactive young son.
On October 23 1993, during Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon, Chris Farley appeared as Philadelphia Phillies player John Kruk for a commentary. This was also the same night Game 6 of the World Series took place between the Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays, the latter leading three games to two at the time. Nealon asks him why he’s not in Toronto at the game. Realizing there was a game that same night, Kruk becomes speechless and embarrassed. Kruk then asks dejectedly what happened at the game, to which Nealon replied "Toronto won 8-6," which also meant the Blue Jays won the World Series. This lead Kruk to get even more flustered. What also makes this skit funnier is that Weekend Update occurred right after the game was over.
Space: The Infinite Universe with Harry Caray, with Ferrell's impersonation of the memorably eccentric Cubs announcer going down as one of his iconic moments. Jeff Goldblum, the only other actor in the skit, has a really tough time not corpsing at Ferrell!Caray's nonsensical babble ("It's a simple question, would you eat the moon if it was made out of barbecued spare ribs?! Just say yes and we'll move on!") and at one point, completely breaks down to the point where the camera stays on Ferrell while Goldblum works it out with the crowd going wild. Also delivers a fantastic Brick Joke that's so good, Ferrell almost corpses himself before delivering it ("That's why my friends call me 'Whiskers'!"). And never once is it brought up why Harry Caray is hosting a science show in the first place.
The Nicotrel skit, where The Rock is a live-in smoking habit breaker:
Husband: (pulls out a pack of cigarettes) Now, whenever I want a cigarette—(get snatched out of his seat by The Rock from behind) OH GOD NO... Nick O. Trell: STOP SMOKING! (punches the husband a few times) Here's how it works...(punch) Nick lives with you...(punch) Nick sees you smoking...(punch) Nick gets angry—Nick gets angry, you don't smoke, period. (wails on the husband before chucking him out the front window)
This also has a run-in by other wrestler friends, with Triple H, The Big Show and Mick Foley trying to stop the Rock...only to beat him up harder. Mick even drops a People's Elbow!
From the 1999 episode hosted by Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld after being sent to prison in the Seinfeld finale is transferred to the one seen on the prison series Oz. The fastidious Jerry blithely goes through his daily routine while interacting with that shows characters like white supremacist Schillinger and his bitch/nemesis Tobias Beecher. Things like Prison Rape are talked about like about the mundane minutia on his own show:
"'Jerry Seinfeld: '''You missed out on the make-up sodomy?
Tobias Beecher: I missed out on the sodomy!
Jerry: The make-up sodomy's the best part of being nailed to a gym floor!
Beecher: Missed out, baby!
And in a nod to Seinfeld's most famous episode:
Jerry:(To Schillinger, O'Reilly and Augustus) Whoever goes the longest without committing male rape wins the Contest.
Dana Carvey returning to host in 1996 and playing NBC anchor Tom Brokaw being coaxed by offscreen producer(Robert Smigel) into recording various contingency announcements of the death of former President Gerald Ford. It includes unlikely scenarios as Ford overdosing on crack cocaine and eaten by wolves.
From the 1996 Robert Downey, Jr. episode, a spoof of West Side Story with Norm Mac Donald as a gang leader wondering why and how his friends are suddenly able to spontaneously go into a choreographed song and dance.
Barbra Streisanddropping in on an episode of "Coffee Talk with Linda Richman". Note that Streisand wasn't even a guest that week—she dropped in entirely by surprise after a nearby performance and Mike Myers, Madonna and Roseanne Barr just rolled with it.
There's plenty of times during these skits where you wonder how anyone managed to keep a straight face. The banter between Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery is the stuff of legends. The skit from Norm MacDonald's hosting gig also brings back Norm's hilarious take on Burt Reynolds (who insists on being called "Turd Ferguson" and dons a big foam cowboy hat, which is "funny 'cause it's bigger than a normal hat") and opens with a Noodle Incident:
Trebek: Welcome back to Celebrity Jeopardy!. Before we begin the Double Jeopardy round, I'd like to ask our contestants, once again, please refrain from using ethnic slurs. That said, let's take a look at the scores. Sean Connery has set a new Jeopardy record with -$230,000. Connery: You think you're pretty smart, don't ya, Trebek? What with your dago mustache and your greasy hair! Trebek: Look, what did I just say about ethnic slurs?!
Will Ferrell as the ultimate Bad Boss "Mr. Tarkanian" who goes from calmly interviewing a nebbish job applicant(Pierce Brosnan) to enraged, screaming and abusing his employees:
(to male employee played by Chris Kattan): "You do NOT hand in CRAP like THIS!! This looks like you took a CRAP or a DUMP in the PRINTER!! You are SCUM!! I should FIRE you and BURN down your FRIGGIN' HOUSE!! I am THIS close to RAPING YOU!!"
A parody of The Scarlet Letter where a 17th century Puritan town led by the reverend(Chris Parnel) prepare to shun Hester Prynne(Ana Gasteyer) and make her wear a scarlet letter "A" for adultery. Then a woman(Lara Flynn Boyle) from exiled from another town arrives. She removes her cloak to reveal a scarlet "BJ"(for Blow Job) and suddenly the men all welcome her openly!
BJ: I am so grateful for your kindness. But I must be honest. I am no mere traveler. I have been shunned.
Reverend: What? Shunned? I mean, do people do that anymore?
Hester Prynne: Ahem! Hellooo?!
The very first Debbie Downersketch is so funny, even the entire cast in the sketch starts cracking up.
An early 2001 sketch based on the Real Life captured US spy plane and it's crew held prisoner by the Chinese. Among the Americans a tough, grizzled old Sergeant Rock type from the Marines played by Alec Baldwin who tries to get the others to join him in a dangerous escape attempt but the other soldiers are just noncombat techies who just want to stay put and wait for the US government to negotiate their release. The Marine's Rousing Speech to them is hilarious:
Oh, I get the picture. I know how you all feel. [ patriotic music plays over him ] War was a rough business. Women and college boys need not apply! When we signed on for this gig, we knew it wasn't gonna be a cakewalk! We also knew we were signing up on the winning team - OUR TEAM!! Now, I don't pretend to know who these Chinese people are - I know they're small, maybe 1 or 2 feet high! I know they sound funny when they talk, I know the womenfolk have sideways vaginas! But underneath their scales, they're just like you and me. Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I can't take on a billion of them..
"The Barry Gibb Talk Show" skits with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake as brothers Barry and Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees who host a roundtable political discussion show. The highlight of each is Barry flying into a rage at his guests over the littlest thing, shouting "I AM BARRY EFFING GIBB!"
Along with Justin Timberlake visibly struggling not to crack up (he's usually quite unflappable) at his antics.
Anything that comes out of Will Forte's mouth as Zell Miller in the Hardballsketches.PISTOLS AT DAAAAWN, MATTHEWS!
Not to mention the way he's able to turn his face red, even borderline purple, on live television.
Will Ferrell as George W. Bush explaining the conditions under which China would return a U.S. spy plane. These include a guarantee that America would get all their top-secret documents back; the Chinese would have photocopies. China also agreed not to share those photocopies with other nations; however, photocopies of photocopies are still allowed...provided they are readable. "I fought hard for that one."
The first George Bush / Al Gore debate, where Will Ferrell cements his Bush character by summing up his presidential plan in one word — "Strategery".
Any time Bill Hader shows up as Stefon on Weekend Update. Seth Meyers, Hader (despite his best efforts to hide it and not be like Jimmy Fallonnote though, unlike Jimmy Fallon, Hader's cracking up stems from the writers — specifically John Mulaney — changing what Stefon says and keeping it from Bill Hader until the dress rehearsal...and then doing the same thing again on the live show — the most recent time on the second time Jonah Hill hosted, he actually kept it together until he had to describe what a "human Roomba" was), and the entire audience begins cracking up. For good reason.
Kermit: Some day we'll find it, the rainbow connection. The lovers, the douchebag, and me.
The skit with The Rock as Superman. The idea that the entire staff of The Daily Planet already knows Clark is Superman and just plays along to screw with him is hilarious
Jimmy Olsen: Uh, y— Hey, yeah and it's also weird that that guy, uh, Superman is a full-on, out-of-the-closet homosexual. Clark Kent: Well, that's what they say— Oh, wha—? What? Huh? Wa - wait a minute. [chuckles] Superman isn't gay! Lois: Oh, sure he is. Jimmy: Real gay. Clark: No, no. Now, wait. I always heard he was pretty manly. Perry White: Oh, ho ho! No way! You get Superman in a truck stop men's room, you won't need kryptonite to bring him to his knees! Clark: Hey, hey, hey! Come on! Really! Superman isn't gay! Sure, he experimented a little back in Smallville ... [Lois, Jimmy and Perry try to suppress their laughter.] Jimmy Olsen: [to Lois and Perry] I was just makin' that up, I swear!
Also from an episode hosted by The Rock (from season 34), the sketch where two hula-dancing brothers from Hawaii (played by The Rock and Fred Armisen) keep insulting the tourists by bashing Hawaii and the cliched idea of taking a Hawaiian vacation. It was pretty funny, despite that the state of Hawaii actually protested against it a week after the sketch aired.
The 2005 sketch set in Santa's workshop where Alec Baldwin appears as "Winter's Breath", an "elf from the home office" and recreates his famous "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Glen Garry Glen Ross almost word for word to a group of elves to motivate them to work faster building toys for Christmas.
Winter's Breath: You got tools. Santa paid good money for those tools. You can't build with the tools you have? You can't build garbage? You ARE garbage, hit the bricks, pal, and beat it, 'cause you are going out!
Not to mention the point where Alec Baldwin slips up and say "Always be closing", rather than "cobbling". The audience cracks up, and for a split second, so does the usually unflappable Baldwin.
Kanye West walking out of his dressing room to do his musical performance. . .and running smack dab into none other than Mike Myers, a few weeks after West's and Myers' appearance on a telethon during which the former harshly criticized then-President Bush for the administration's poor handling of Hurricane Katrina. To say Myers looked like a deer caught in headlights—much as he did the night of the telethon—is an understatement.
Norm MacDonald making a surprise cameo as Burt Reynolds for Celebrity Jeopardy! and Tom Hanks playing a moronic version of himself on the last episode of Season 34 (hosted by Will Ferrell with musical guest Green Day).
Betty White, unsurprisingly, was funny all over the place when she (finally) hosted in 2010, starting from her opening monologue in which she called Facebook, on which the petition to have her host had started, a "huge waste of time," to the "Scared Straight" sketch where she played MacIntosh's badass grandma:
Host: Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz—who's on top? Contestant: Oprah Winfrey.
The Merryville Brothers. Also doubles as Nightmare Fuel due to the Uncanny Valley looks of Taran Killam, Jim Carrey, and Bill Hader and the gruesome ending (which was originally supposed to have Kenan's character beheaded onscreen, but it was changed at the very last minute for being too violent. Still, the implication that Kenan's character was going to be turned into one of the Merryville robots by being murdered was there).
Seth Meyers' installment of "Really?!" (about Congress declaring pizza as a vegetable in public schools) with Kermit the Frog.
The SNL Digital Short from the Steve Buscemi episode (season 37, not season 23) with Batman (Andy Samberg) stalking Commissioner Gordon (Buscemi). Parts of note:
Batman (and Aquaman [played by Paul Brittain]) in Commissioner Gordon's shower (with Gordon telling Batman and Aquaman to put some pants on).
Batman taking a picture of Commissioner Gordon's prostate exam (and the doctor posing for it)
The end with Batman poorly disguised as a supervillain called "The Squirrel," followed by Batman snarling, "I always loved you!"
"Michael Buble's Christmas Duets" on the season 37 Christmas episode hosted by Jimmy Fallon. Highlights include: Fallon's dead-on impressions of Justin Beiber (which actually put Fallon's notorious mugging to good use) and Russell Brand (not only in appearance, but his voice is spot-on and the rambling about a man named Angel who's high is exactly what you'd expect to come out of Brand's mouth), M.I.A (Nasim Pedrad) blasting holes in the ceiling with her gun during "Up On The Rooftop," Ke$ha's (Abby Elliott) take on "The 12 Days of Christmas," and Kanye West (Jay Pharoah) upstaging Michael Buble and claiming that he's better than Jesus right in the baby Jesus doll's face in autotune.
Also in the Jimmy Fallon Christmas episode: The monologue in which Fallon finally admits that his cracking up ruined a lot of the sketches he was in that were already established to be crowning moments of funny (like The Cowbell Sketch and the Debbie Downer in Disneyland sketch).
Also also from the Jimmy Fallon episode, but not featuring Fallon was "Tommy Palmese, Half-Jewish, Half-Italian, All Neurotic." Basically Fred Armisen portraying a very bizarre one-man stage show where he acts out the very weird story of his life, with the narrator reading excerpts from various reviews of the show such as "The whole thing just stressed me out from beginning to end" and "It's a show that can only be described as...four hours".
Heck, the entire Fallon episode was basically a Funny Moment, so it's not surprising it's the highest rated episode of the season.
The Channing Tatum episode (with musical guest Bon Iver) has three:
The cold opening of Newt Gingrich (Bobby Moynihan) as President of the Moon, played out like a B-grade sci-fi flick from the 1950s.
The monolgue, in which Channing Tatum mentions that he was a stripper before he became an actor — and points out the former customers he had in the audience, one of which is a man named Leslie, who denies ever seeing him. Tatum tries to refresh Leslie's memory by doing his stripper moves — and Leslie ends up dying happy. The kicker: Tatum also recognizes the doctor (played by Andy Samberg) who pronounced Leslie dead as one of his customers.
Kristen Wiig appearing as Lana Del Rey on Weekend Update, defending the claims that her SNL performance on the Daniel Radcliffe episode was a disaster because her horrible singing and lack of movement, while, at the same time, admitting that she's terrible and no different from other flavor-of-the-moment singers and singers who change their names to be more marketable (like Lady Gaga, Sting, Bob Dylan, and every rapper since rap became a mainstream genre).
The "High School Musical 4" sketch from the season 34 episode hosted by Zac Efron. All of it.
(Rapunzel, Jasmine, Belle and Snow White all laugh)
Cinderella: (laughing)We didn't forget! We didn't forget!
The "Scared Straight" bit from the same ep (with Lindsay Lohan playing herself as a convict) was pretty funny as well ("Every kiss begins with rape!")
From the same episode, during the monologue: Kenan Thompson admitting that he's been stoned since Good Burger.
Also, Lindsay Lohan getting "patted down" by Kirsten Wiig whilst hugging and Wiig trying to cover it up by saying that "I'm a lesbian now" to which Lindsay responds "Been there done that."
Also from the Lindsay Lohan/Jack White episode: "Rude Buddha," a one-shot sketch depicting Buddha as a Jerk Ass who cracks jokes about his disciples, has a part where the title character (played by Andy Samberg) uses the lyrics to The Facts of Life as sage advice.
James Carville's (Bill Hader) story of how he dressed in drag and tricked Newt Gingrich into dating him, especially the line, "Now, it doesn't matter why, but I am friends with some alligators." note The alligators of which were swimming in the Potomac River and sent to attack Gingrich when Carville revealed that he was a man
The delightfully insane 2-episode wonder note so called because Paul Brittain — the actor who plays the character — left the show in the middle of the season known as Lord Wyndemere. Basically it's an 18th-century scamp in modern times who charms the hell out of a girl and her father (played by Jason Sudeikis). Along with his creepy assistant Turlington (with a tiny harpsichord), hilarity ensues.
Host Sofia Vergara in a sketch where she's playing herself and Penelope Cruz (played by new feature player Kate McKinnon) shoot a Pantene shampoo commercial. They both have to say their lines to a camera and move sexily on a couch while a wind machine blows. Penelope becomes increasingly annoyed that her lines are complicated like "Follicular development" and "Arteriovenous Plexus" which are hard to understand with her thick Spanish accent. Meanwhile Sofia gets easy words like "glossy" and "Yaaay!" The director (Jason Sudekis) tries to teach Penelope how to say "Phytomorphogenesis" but what comes out of her is "refrigerator" and "Jeff Bridges."
From the Josh Brolin episode (the second time he hosted with musical guest Gotye): a teacher (Bill Hader) shows a new student (Vanessa Bayer) around the high school and the most popular couple, a blonde jock (Taran Killam) and cheerleader (Nasim Pedrad) walk in slow motion down the hall as "We Got More Bounce in California" plays. As the sketch goes on, it's revealed that the whole sketch is parodying the "slow motion power walk" cliche used in many a high school teen movie (or TV show) by revealing that the hallway is either some sort of scientific anomaly or it's been cursed by a witch. The end reveals that the slow-motion hallway is the work of a witch's curse.
From the Eli Manning episode: a fake commercial for Amazon.com showing men getting Mother's Day gifts for their wives and elderly mothers, only to find them jerking off to the book "Fifty Shades of Grey." Two standout moments: the little girl singing into her mom's (Kristen Wiig) vibrator like a microphone and an adult son (Taran Killam) finding his elderly mom (Nasim Pedrad) with her crotch pressed against a vibrating washing machine with a picture of Joel McHale on top and the mom telling her son that it's his father.
Also from the Eli Manning episode: The "Little Brothers" mentor program fake commercial (it is similar to the Peyton Manning one, but only in the fact that both sketches have a Manning brother as a member of a mentor program for kids who don't have any strong role models in their lives and that said Manning brother abuses kids for laughs), where little brothers can hire Eli Manning himself to beat up their older brothers. Funniest parts are: Eli Manning giving an older brother a wedgie while playing video games, Eli tackling an older brother (Andy Samberg) to the ground, a couple of scenes later where the same boy is locked in the trunk of a car and Eli calls him "Peyton" (with Samberg's character pleading that he's not Peyton before getting the trunk door slammed on him), and the maniacal laughter of Eli Manning and all the kids.
Most of the Melissa McCarthy episode but especially two sketches. The first, where she plays "Arlene" who comes on very strongly to office co-worker Tim played by Jason Sudeikis. (Inspecting underside of horse balloon sent to office) "Is this you Tim? Are you my Italian Stallion?"
Second is where she's one of three people asked by Hidden Valley Ranch company to sample and give their opinion on their new salad dressing.
From the 2012 season premiere hosted by Seth MacFarlane, a sketch set in a puppeteering class. One of the students (Bill Hader) is a Shell-Shocked Veteran discharged in 1983. His puppet "Tony" looks like him with a long grey mullet, wearing sunglasses, and a camouflage army jacket, speaking in a raspy voice and smoking a cigarette. He keeps recalling horrible things from the invasion of Grenada. Bonnie(Vanessa Bayer) is a student whose puppet Nicki has a Valley Girl persona:
"Nicki": I'm like so into my phone! I'm always like texting, texting, texting! LOL!
"Tony": Nobody was laughing out loud that day in Grenada. Many people were saying "OMG." Me, I was saying TTYL to my innocence!"
From the same episode, Mac Farlane's imitation of Ryan Lochte was spot-on.
Ryan Lochte: I played... America? In... Olympics...
From the 2012 Joseph Gordon-Levitt episode, Ann Romney (Kate McKinnon) defending her husband Republican candidate Mitt Romney and revealing she's a Beyoncé fan.
Speaking of Kate McKinnon, the Daniel Craig episode shows that she's shaping up to be the new Kristen Wiig, as seen in the parody of Long Island Medium and her spot-on impressions of Jodie Foster and Ellen DeGeneres
In the 2012 Christina Applegate episode, a spoof of The Odyssey where Odysseus (Jason Sudekis) has his men put beeswax in their ears and tie him to the mast to resist the Sirens (Applegate, Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong) whose singing enchants sailors to crash against the rocks of their island. However they sing songs by female artists from The Nineties like Lisa Loeb, Paula Cole, Shania Twain, Sheryl Crow and TLC which Odysseus can't help but love and sing along to:
Odysseus: (singing) ...I want to know right now what will it be! Oh my god, how do I know the words?! I only know manly sea-chants!"
The "Tech Talk" sketch where three gadget reviewers get insulted by the Chinese sweatshop workers who created the new iPhone.
From the Bruno Mars episode:
Stefon (Bill Hader) recounting his daily routine: waking up (at 7 o'clock at night), going home (which is revealed to be a trash can next to a Radio Shack at 23rd and 7th), taking a shower (from where, we don't know), and feeding his dog, Bark Ruffalo.
Tom Hanks as one of the murderous Merryville Brother robots.
Lincoln: "The only thing I'm really tired of is arguing with slave owners as if they'e not just (bleep)ing (bleep) holes. They're like Oh but I like owning people! 'I get it. I totally get it.' You gotta act like you're totally cool with it. 'Naw if I could own a couple of dudes, I'd love to own a couple of dudes. I totally get it.' You gotta act like it's a 50/50 issue. You know... I kind of think...that owning a person is NOT COOL YOU STUPID DICK."
Captain America: There are a hundred thousand aliens attacking!
Hawkeye: And I killed eleven of them! You're welcome.
From the same episode the short film that exaggerated and parodied the Mexican Standoff trope. In it, Renner, Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan are criminals in the middle of a deal, pointing guns at each other and not relenting until one of them gives up a very valuable hard drive. It starts off in a parking garage, but Renner is late picking up his daughter from ballet practice so they all take a cab, their guns pointing at each other. They pick up the daughter, read her a bed time story, sleep in the same bed, take a shower, go to Thanksgiving dinner at Renner's family, go ice skating, give directions to Adam Levine, all while still pointing their guns at each other. The three return to the parking garage, and Moynihan's character remarks that he had a good time with Killam and Renner. He's then shot, and it's just Killam and Renner left, and the whole thing starts all over again. It is just as ridiculous and hilarious as it sounds.
From the Jamie Foxx/Ne-Yo episode:
Jamie Foxx as a Ding-Dong (one of Hostess's many snack cakes) speaking out against Hostess going out of business and how the Twinkie has replaced him as the company's flagship snack cake.
The "Alex Cross 2" trailer with Tyler Perry (Jamie Foxx) as both Alex Cross and Madea (as in, one half of him is Alex Cross and the other is Madea). Foxx's vocal impression of Madea is spot-on.
A bizarre courtroom reality show called Maine Justice, where a Southern judge and several stereotypically Southern characters (including a cameo appearance from Charlie Day as a redneck senator) run a court in Bangor, Maine.
From the Martin Short Christmas episode: The fake commercial for the Broadway show, You're A Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown with Bill Hader's Al Pacino as Charlie Brown, Kate McKinnon Lucy Van Pelt as played by Edie Falco and Martin Short as Linus Van Pet as played by Larry David (who, coincidentally, was a writer on SNL around the time Martin Short was a cast membernote the tenth season from October 1984 to April 1985 — this season was cut short due to budget issues and a Writer's Guild strike).
Also, the sketch with Bill Hader as the newly selected OB-GYN for the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge and Martin Short as "Rupert Smythe-Pennington", a representative from Buckingham Palace who briefs the doctor on the appropriate protocol examining the mother of the future King or Queen of England. Hader tries to keep from laughing at Short's Stuffy Brit character (an impression of British comic Terry-Thomas, complete with gap in his teeth) as he goes into detail on how to react when first seeing the Duchess' vagina or "Royal Ahem".
Doctor: Must we call it the 'Royal Ahem'?
Rupert Smythe-Pennington: (Reading through book) Well the other acceptable terms that I know of is "The Governess", "The Kingmaker" Her "Downton Abbey", "The Chunnel", "Dame Judy Dench"note which, in a Brick Joe, is what the Queen (played by Fred Armisen) refers to her nether-regions, "Picadilly Cervix" and "Thomas' English Muffin".
The YOLO music video, especially the part with Adam Levine as a homeless man and the entire Lonely Island crew (former cast member Andy Samberg and occasional SNL writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer) holing themselves up in a boarded-up house.
On the Justin Bieber episode, there's a sketch where a security guard (Jason Sudeikis) introduces Justin Bieber to an army of body doubles he can use to throw off his insane fans — some of which are women, and some of which are black. When Bieber points out that the black doubles of him aren't fooling anyone, his security guard quips, "Yeah, well, neither are you, homie."
The "Take That Me" on "The Miley Cyrus Show" with Justin Bieber as president of Miley Cyrus' (Vanessa Bayer) fan club who bad-mouths Bieber as "looking like a lesbian" and being a douchebag.
The Super Bowl report cold opening, especially the messed-up local commercial with Bill Hader as a Russian(?) man named Dmitiri.
Djesus: Uncrossed from the Christoph Waltz episode was wildly hilarious, despite some viewer complaints of being blasphemousnote It doesn't help that it aired on the same week that Pope Benedict announced that he was leaving the Papacy, and that, prior to that, they had a fake commercial with Christoph Waltz as Pope Benedict signing up for a financial consulting company that specializes in helping retired popes, which is extremely rare, as the only other time a Pope retired was in the year 1415. It's Django Unchained but with Jesus as the one out for revenge. Also spoofs other movies by Quentin Tarantino like Inglorious Basterds (the part with Brad Pitt [played by Taran Killam] as St. Peter recruiting 11 apostles to kill Roman soldiers), Kill Bill (the beginning sword fight scene in the trailer), and Pulp Fiction (the appearance of Samuel L. Jacksonnote as played by Jay Pharoah as Judas Iscariot). Also a Crowning Moment of Awesome, as it proves that SNL, in its 38 years on the air with many peaks and valleys, can still do a wildly outrageous sketch that gets people talking the day after the show aired (whether it's good or bad).
Kate McKinnon on Weekend Update as "Olya Povlatsky" a Russian peasant woman from the Ural Mountains who wished the recent meteor that landed there would have killed her, then proceeds to detail her miserable existence, which includes standing in line for five hours for recreation, living in a frozen house with a bear, and being eighteen years old, despite looking and sounding like someone's Russian grandmother. She's the living embodiment of the trope Russian Girl Suffers Most.
''I saw it comink and I said 'Meteor! Come to Olya! Take me away from this barren wasteland!"
The "Stranded Carnival Cruise" cold opening had a rather darkFunny Moment when Dan the Animal Man (played by Bobby Moynihan) comes out, wailing that someone ate his pet monkey (as depicted by the monkey skeleton he has in his hands) — despite that the stranded cruise still had food.
From the 2013 Justin Timberlake episode:
The filmed commercial parody featuring Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, and Cecily Strong for "NuvaBling" a diamond encrusted female birth control ring that's inserted into the vagina(The face Vanessa Bayer makes as she does so below the camera is hilarious)
(voice over):"NuvaBling provides a low dose of hormones and a megadose of FABOOSH"
Cecily: "It's pizazz that slides right up into my choch!"
(V.O.): NuvaBling is 70% effective at preventing pregnancy and 100% effective at getting dat swag on!
(The commercial also states that you can reuse NuvaBling as other jewelry)
Aidy Bryant: Did you get those earrings at Tiffany's?
Cecily: "Close. I got them from my vagina!"
Kate: "So wow up that womb.."
Cecily: "glam up that clam..."
Vanessa: "and shine up that 'gine..."
(all three) "...with NuvaBling!"
Even better was the appearance of Bill Hader's Stefon character on the episode's Weekend Update. Just about everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious.
"The hottest club in New York is YOUR MOTHER AND I ARE SEPARATING."
"You can dance the night away to the sounds of Donald Duck having a Vietnam nightmare."
"The hottest club in New York is SELFIE!!!!!" (Pause for Stefon pantomiming him taking a selfie, complete with duckface) "Based on the novel Push by Sapphire..."
Special mention also goes to the Moet & Chandon sketch, in which two former porn stars advertise a champagne that they repeatedly mispronounce as "Moey Chambon."
"You'll feel like you're balancing on the skates of luxury..."
"You'll think you just graduated magna cum loudly."
From Melissa McCarthy's second show, a spoof of the Rutgers University basketball coach recently fired for being caught on tape abusing and yelling slurs at his players. McCarthy plays Sheila Kelly, head coach of the women's basketball team at "Middle Delaware State" and is being investigated by a sports news program for similar charges of abuse. They show footage of Kelly yelling and terrorizing her players in outrageous ways like throwing basketballs, bricks and toasters at them, forcing players to do free throws while on roller skates, shooting a T-shirt gun at them, forcing them to serve her meals during practice (and pelting them with bread), trying to run them down while driving a golf cart, and attacking them (and the professor) during class.
From that episode's Weekend Update: Peter Dinklage makes a surprise appearance as the brother-in-law of "Drunk Uncle" (Bobby Moynihan), "Peter Drunklage", who has the same grey hair and wears a similar beige "Members Only" jacket while holding a glass of liquor and being completely intoxicated.
(slurring speech)"Y'know, kids today don't wear garters anymore. They just skateboard from Nintendo to Nintendo. It's like a bunch of Taylor Swifts! All they care about is 'Tumblr me! Tumblr me! Tumblr me!' You know what's in my Tumblr? Regret."
From Vince Vaughn's second time hosting: Kate McKinnon as a Colombian woman said to be raised by monkeys.
From the Zach Galifianakis episode:
A sketch where Galifianakis plays a racist man in an M&M costume who apologizes to everyone he offended (and ends up getting fired anyway).
The "Jennifer Aniston Lookalike" contest, where Zach Galifianakis' character loses out to two guys played by guest stars Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms.
From the Kristen Wiig/Vampire Weekend episode:
The fake commercial for the Disney Channel's latest kidcom about a brother and sister whose mom dies during a trip to Korea and now returns as a Korean water ghost (think Samara from The Ring).
Other One: One time I got banged through a glass ceiling. I changed everything for women. Turns out I'm a feminist. Thanks Herman's!
From the Tina Fey/ Arcade Fire season premiere.
The "New Cast Member or Arcade Fire" sketch, Tina Fey is the contestant on a game show hosted by Kenan Thompson where she has to figure out which of the people featured is a new SNL cast member (Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Brooks Wheelan, Michael Patrick O'Briennote though Michael Patrick O'Brien has been a writer on the show for a long time and only appeared in bit roles prior to being hired as a cast member. He's not considered "new" unless you haven't noticed him before, and Noel Wells) or a member of Arcade Fire (William "Win" Butler, Regine Chassagne, Sarah Neufeld, Richard Parry, Jeremy Gara, and Tim Kingsburynote all of which do sound like the names of up-and-coming sketch comedians who have been hired as SNL feature players). At a particular difficult choice (Win Butler and Michael Patrick O'Brien), Tina Fey brings out Lorne Michaels to help her decide. After considering the option for a bit, Lorne asks "Is it the black one?" (referring to Kenan Thompsonnote who's been on the show for ten years and is now the longest-running black cast member, surpassing Tim Meadows, in a running joke about how the black cast members on the show are usually marginalized or ignored).
The e-meth commercial, a new electronic cigarette for meth addicts. Highlights include a woman (Kate McKinnon) enjoying crack in a rusty bathtub in the middle of the road, a man (Kenan Thompson) dragging a half-naked smoker (new cast member Brooks Wheelan) out of his living room, and an appearance by Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman.
The old-timey used car commercial, where a Model-T salesman (Michael Patrick O'Brien) brings out his wife, who is crazy (as in "mentally unstable and a threat to herself and others").
Also, the salesman, who talks like a modern-day used car salesman but is selling the first car ever on the road, at one point says, sounding like he's starting a list, "We have every model out there, Model T's..." (stops). Later he does it again: "And these babies are fully loaded. They got seats..." (stops).
The spoof of HBO's Girls with new cast member Noel Wells doing a dead on impression of lead character Hannah(Lena Dunham) and Tina as "Blerta" an immigrant from Albania. Blerta's tales of suffering in her homeland make Hannah and her friends' problems seem trivial:
Hannah: I just don't know how anything is going to turn out!
The cold opening where two survivors of a post-apocalyptic America (Noel Wells and Kenan Thompson) reveal that America's downfall wasn't because of the government shutdown or Obamacare; it was because no one thought to stop Miley Cyrus's infamous performance at the 2013 VMAs (not even Miley's past self [as played by Vanessa Bayer]).
The parody of Miley Cyrus' "We Won't Stop" music video, parodying the Republican party shutting down the government. Also a Moment of Awesome as the video was a spot-on parody (and an excellent example of Parody Assistance), and included the kind of pointed political satire that most viewers feel is missing from Saturday Night Live these days (or is only seen during election years).
Kate McKinnon as a suburban mom from Connecticut who comes on Weekend Update to review Grand Theft Auto V, which has become one of the most best-selling video games, despite claims that the video game (like all of the other installments of GTA) are violent and misogynistic. Rather than be offended by the violence and misogyny, she loves it to the point of obsession and thanks it for freeing her from being repressed.
From the Bruce Willis/Katy Perry episode:
Brooks Wheelan's commentary on getting embarrassing tattoos (three of which Wheelan actually got in real life: a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribal tattoo on his left upper arm, a red nautical star on his right bicep, and a weird seascape tattoo on his right side, which doesn't make sense as Wheelan was born in Iowa and has never seen the ocean).
The commercial for "24 Hour Energy Drink For Dating Actresses," a new energy drink for men who date wannabe actresses (and also includes one for women who date hack stand-up comedians).
The cold open parodying the movie Gravity with the astronauts (Taran Killam and Cecily Strong) trying to call mission control, only to find that, because of the government shutdown, the only people at work in the NASA station are the janitors.
"Boys Dance Party", showing - in an ironic twist - a bunch of guys who have a wild dance party while their girlfriends are away, all under the pretense that they're watching a football game on TV. It's particularly amusing watching the 58-year-old Willis throwing his all into reciting the phrase "It's a Boy Dance Party".
Kate Mc Kinnon as Kathleen Sibelius, looking like she'd rather be anywhere else, explaining how to register at the notoriously glitchy healthcare.gov website. After unsuccessfully navigating through a few screens, she then explains that if all else fails, you can use the "lite" version. The screen then switches to a website that looks like something from the early 90's meant to attract children that says, in big candy letters, "U WANT DOCTER??"
From the Ed Norton episode, a fake trailer for The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders ("A Tale of Handmade Horror"), an Affectionate Parody of Wes Anderson films mixing the director's signature style with a home-invasion Slasher Movie. Ed Norton (who was in Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom) does a spot-on impression of Anderson's regular collaborator Owen Wilson as the trailer features many of Anderson's touches like centered, symmetrical shots, quirky production design and costumes, vintage pop songs, a Binocular Shot, montage editing, precocious kids, yellow font titles, lists of objects shot from directly above, and a Production Posse that includes Jason Schwartzman (played by Kyle Mooney), Adrien Brody (played by former SNL writer and current cast member Michael Patrick O'Brien), Gwyneth Paltrow (played by Noël Wells), and a StopMotion mouse. The real Alec Baldwin appears as "The Narrator" as he was in The Royal Tenenbaums.
Narrator: The New York Times calls it: "You had me at Wes Anderson." And Fangoria magazine says: "Da Fuh?"
From the Kerry Washington episode, there's "My Girl", a spoof of the memetic "What Does the Fox Say" video, with Kerry Washington and Jay Pharoah as a couple who sing about each other after Washington's character finds out Pharoah has been sexting other girls.
The cold opening which goes from yet another political/current events sketch to a fourth-wall-leaning sketch that addresses the show's current casting crisis (the fact that they haven't had a black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007, and that they didn't hire any black female cast members for the new season. Most of the new cast members they currently have are white males [Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Michael Patrick O'Brien, and Brooks Wheelan] and Noël Wells looks white, but is actually part-Mexican and half-Tunisian) and forces Kerry Washington to play Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Beyonce Knowles to make up for it.
Announcer: The producers at "Saturday Night Live" would like to apologize to Kerry Washington for the number of black women she will be asked to play tonight. We made these requests both because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent and also because SNL does not currently have a black woman in the cast. As for the latter reason, we agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the near future...unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first.
The "Good Neighbor" video where an ice cream shop worker (Kyle Mooney) zones out after two customers (Beck Bennett and Vanessa Bayer) joke that they're going to need an ambulance after ordering a large amount of ice cream, particularly the scenes of the ice cream shop worker in a library and a high school chemistry class trying to find the right way to respond to the joke. It's all so bizarre and funny, much like the actual "Good Neighbor" videos (which have been described as a more surreal version of The Lonely Island).
Another sketch has people complaining to President Obama about their Obamacare problems, only for Ted Cruz to show up.