There is so much to love about the legendary show Saturday Night Live and so many
skits and characters to choose from, but we have attempted to do the impossible. With over 40 years of comedy to decipher between, these are the ultimate scenes from the greatest TV sketch comedy show ever made.
There is nothing like the dynamic duo between Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery on SNL’s “Celebrity Jeopardy” skit, so we put it at the top of our list where it belongs. With hilariously inappropriate insults sent Trebek’s way, we always loved the “momma jokes” coming from Connery.
With genius game show category misreadings like “catch the semen,” (catch these men) “Jap anus relations,” ( Japan U.S. relations) “ape tit,” ( a petit dejeuner) and who could forget “the rapists” (therapists,) the cast’s impersonations of famous Hollywood celebrities are always spot on and uproarious. This ongoing skit was a major hit with the audience, and is easily one of very favorite SNL skits of all time.
With now both actors lost, the Chippendales skit with Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze was by far one of the most special SNL skits in history. If we could take a minute to stop looking at Farley’s butt crack next to Patrick’s tanned and toned buns of steel, you could see that despite his blocky and heavy stature, he could really move.
Alongside sexy and talented Swayze, Farley not only kept up but gave the dirty dancer a run for his money during the audition. As one of the first skits that Farley engaged in, he thrust his way into his cast member’s hearts with this fearless, iconic and memorable skit that will remain one of the best to ever grace SNL history. We will always miss you, you overweight comic genius.
The Delicious Dish
“No one can resist my shweddy balls.” With the absolute most hilarious Christmas word play ever, Molly Shannon, Alec Baldwin, and Ana Gasteyer innocently bring dirty talk to the radio on their show “The Delicious Dish.” Talking about different types of ballsduring the skit, Shannon ridiculously admits, “it’s been years since I have seen any balls,” while Gasteyer can’t wait to get her “mouth around them.”
As Baldwin lists off his different types of holiday ball treats, the two do their best to break the guest star but his nonchalant, monotone talk of oiling his balls individually and leaving them on a hot stove for too long fires back like a game of dirty-talk tennis. Somehow the crew is able to remain in character the entire skit, making this one of the most entertaining spoofs of the 2000s.
You knew it was coming, but before we get into it- can we get a little more cowbell? That’s better. As we were saying, the Blue Oyster Cult’s “more cowbell” skit will always be one of our favorites, as we assume it’s one of yours. We fall entranced by the disgusting glisten of Will Ferrell’s protruding hairy, sweaty muffin top while he flails about obnoxiously knocking the cowbell instrument into Kattan’s face, and then the magic starts to happen: we actually do want more cowbell.
Not only does the cast’s annoyed reactions to Ferrell’s horrible contribution to the song make this what it still is, but no one can forget or downplay the burst of laughter they let out when Christopher Walken asked for “more cowbell baby.” Just like he said, “He’s got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell.” We feel the same Chris, we feel the same.
Garth and Kat
Garth and Kat, aka Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen, are the worst Grammy Award winning, songwriting duo on the planet but they’re definitely the funniest. When the two get together on the Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, they always disappoint in their horribly styled and themed vests.
Always out of breath and pretending to have rehearsed themed songs for the holidays, their ability to horribly lip read and sing in unison drives the news host nuts but gives us a sharp pain in our gut. These two cannot keep it together, making inappropriate and meaningless songs that feature laughable and off-key noises along with hand gestures that no one else could perform. It is so painfully awkward that it is easily one of the most brilliant sketches in the show’s history.
Down By The River
With what has to be one of the best Chris Farley skits all of time, you’ll never question what it means to live in a van down by the river after 35-year-old divorcee Matt Foley speaks, well, screams. In his hilarious representation of an ironically unmotivated motivational speaker, Farley moves both “pot smoking” Spade and Applegate to tears when he throws himself onto the family’s living room table and shatters it after telling them that they won’t amount to “JACK SQUAT.”
Whenever the kids have something rude to say, Foley uses the age old phrase, “You won’t be saying that when you’re living in a van down by the river!” Always at the top of his overweight lungs, Farley’s pants-pulling energy and scary positivity from his 4-hour coffee binge in the family’s basement will have you rolling on the floor every single time.
Spastic, reject cheerleaders and best friends Craig and Arianna, played by the brilliant Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri, have resorted to cheering for the chess and swim team in the Spartan Cheerleaders skit. With actually decent cheers filled with energy and ridiculous choreography, the hysterical duo did not make the actual cheerleading squad and are constantly reminded of it, even by major chess geek Glen.
Always pretending to have passive-aggressive conversations with classmates and parents in the distance, Oteri always ends her conversations with an adorable, cheery skip that makes you smile. After seeing what Ferrell is capable of in the always hilarious Superstar, it comes as no surprise when the comedian rocks the gym along with Oteri’s killer and flexible moves. If it were up to us, we would dub them the greatest cheerleading squad in the world.
Hailing from the planet Remulak, the alien family of cast members Aykroyd, Curtin and Newman tragically crashed on planet Earth to “consume mass quantities” of beer and junk food and have severe chain-smoking habits.
Telling random visitors that they’re from a small town in the country of France, the family was sent to Earth to inform inhabitants that the aliens’ planet would be seizing control. But Aykroyd, aka Beldar, lost his instructions so they just decided to act as a normal human family to pass time. The skit was so widely liked that it eventually was turned into a movie in 1993 called Coneheads and even sparked its own merchandise empire.
Belushi and Aykroyd are the Blues Brothers and you cannot help but dance along to these funky, bluesy and talented musical skits that they put on. Real voices and real moves, Belushi and Dan took the stage with famous musical guests from the time, like famous blues star John Lee Hooker, and rocked the house.
Akroyd, who still plays with the Downchild Blues Band, has always had a love for blues and shared his passion with Belushi who initially was not familiar with the musical genre. The two rode the musical skit all the way to the cinema with the 1980 film Blues Brothers and even started their own bar, The Blues Brothers Bar.
“It’s Wayne’s World! Party on Wayne! Party on Garth!” Now be honest, how happy do you get when you hear that famous SNL quote? Hopefully as happy as it makes us! Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey depict two Canadian rock’n’roll-loving high school bros that start their own local radio station in a basement.
The two hilarious comics talk about their favorite bands, bring guests from school (even teachers) and let’s not forget how often Wayne talks about Garth’s babe of a mom, shwing! Even Aerosmith joined in on the party, appearing as guest stars that were friends with Tom Hanks, their “merch” boy. The world loved the Wayne’s World skits so much that two films were created from it and a mountainous empire of merchandise as well.
Zagat’s with Beverly and Hank Gelfand
“Heavens to Betsy!” There is no way to put into words how hilarious Farley’s chunky-necked, red-lipped facial expressions are in this skit as Adam Sandler constantly contemplates killing himself as the grumpy Jewish husband, Hank.
Throughout the skit, Beverly reads off places to eat from a New York restaurant guide called Zagat’s as Hank begs her to stop and die already and the two are more than perfect together. In the “Anniversary” episode, Farley’s attempt at rubbing Sandler’s leg cracks a smile on the comedian’s face that we have never even seen before, as he tries to keep it together.
A one-time-only skit that lasts only a minute and a half from Farley is simply so brilliant that it is made our list tenfold. Farley’s bare-chested, matador-wrestler costumed character of the great storm barks the classic line, “Yo soy el Niño but those of you who don’t habla espanol, el Niño is Spanish for the Niño,” that causes us to pee our pants every single time we watch.
The aggro, irritated storm challenges all other storms to dare test him and his wrath on The Weather Channel, which sparks a fistful debate between Farley and Ric Flair, played by Jim Breuer. The two begin to wrestle for “the title” on the station, as TV reporter played by Will Ferrell struggles to remedy the situation while simultaneously commentating on the match. If you have yet to see the wonderful sights of el Niño, do yourself a favor and YouTube it.
Now that we have discussed the most popular skits that we love so very much, let’s go over some of the greatest and most brilliant characters that SNL cast members have created over the years. First up, Buckwheat. Based on the adorable Little Rascals character, Eddie Murphy became the giant adult-sized version of the child that still talks the same way with his famous line “Otay!”
In one of the greatest Buckwheat skits, Murphy decides to “create an album” as Buckwheat’s Greatest Hits with famous songs “Lookin’ For Love (In All The Wrong Places)” that he hilariously calls “Wookin’ Pa Nub.” Watching this scene over and over, the audience dies during this take and you will too. Another hysterical take on a classic song we call “Three Times A Lady,” Buckwheat sings it as “Fee Tines A Mady” and the last of the hits is called “????” because we have no idea what he’s saying!
None can compare to Bill Hader’s gossip-loving, Seth Meyers-worshiping, Ed Hardy-wearing “city correspondent” Stefon featured on the SNL Weekend Update sketch. Stefon is the kind of guy you never want to ask for advice, especially when it comes to a social life, seeing as he lives in a garbage can near the Radio Shack on 27th Street.
The information that he offers is never helpful as he is more interested in finding abandoned nightclubs that feature midgets that hang from belt loops, Slurpees, and homeless robo cops that he refers to as “hobo cops.” There have even been wannabe Stefons over the years, like Edward Norton, but no one can do it like Hader does.
“Well isn’t that special….” Oh, who could forget the ultimate woman? As in “The Church Lady,” played by Dana Carvey. Always there to remind us that the things we love most in the world come from Satan himself, Carvey was born to play this role.
From calling Beyoncé’s Met Gala dress choice a giant condom, to interviewing politicians like Taran Killam as Ted Cruz, she always has an opinion on everyone and everything. The wig, the glasses, and the modest clothing suits Carvey more than he realizes because we actually forget that he’s a man during the skit, he’s that convincing- especially when he sings.
Will Ferrell’s innocent and vulnerable Alex Trebek character is just one of the many reasons why we love him so much. Always on Connery’s (Darrell Hammond) list for mother jokes and homosexual insults, Trebek seems to have an inevitable target on his back that he just can’t shake.
In some episodes, we see him begging and pleading for Connery to ease up, but mostly we see him in complete awe of the collective stupidity he receives from his Hollywood guests. One of the funniest parts of Ferrell’s depiction of the Jeopardy host is his genuine disappointment every time someone gets an answer wrong- which is every time. So much can be said for the genius of this character by Ferrell, so we’ll just let him do the talking.
Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood
One of Eddie’s greatest characters was his dark play on childhood favorite Mr. Rogers with Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood featured in a dirty ghetto apartment. Constantly getting served eviction notices that he plays off as “his mail,” Murphy’s smiley and somewhat creepy Mister Robinson is pure gold.
Committing to the role with the signature cardigan and tennis shoes just like Mr. Rogers did, Mister Robinson insists on teaching the children inappropriate words like in the baby episode with the word “bastard.” We hate to admit it, but if his character was not just a parody, we could have really learned some things from Mister Robinson in our youth.
A black turtleneck, live monkey, and light canoodling pretty much sums up this one. With the brilliant mind of Mike Myers combined with comedian Will Ferrell as his German lover Helmut, the Sprockets SNL skit easily came to be one of the most ridiculous and loved skits yet. Playing off of typical German art culture of the ’90s, Sprockets originally started out in the Second City Theatre until Myers brought it to the live stage.
Myers’ character Dieter is a silly, judgmental and homosexual German talk show television host that interviews celebrities and talks about American culture with little to no interest at all. The brilliance of his Toronto-based character sneaks its way into your heart one sketch at a time, but soon it will become your favorite.
The delightful a cappella sounds of Ferrell’s retired actor, Robert Goulet impression could carry us to sleep every night if this were a perfect world. Always shown in front of a tacky, fake scenery green screen, Goulet is the ultimate cheeseball, but believes that he is great.
Unlike many talented singers, Goulet’s covers featured long, drawn-out, opera-like remixes to songs like Sisqo’s “The Thong Song.” But the greatest ever has to be his Notorious B.I.G.’s “Poppa” that has us holding our bladders the whole time. Ferrell’s ability to execute every inch of this character from the creepy voice, to the signature stache and old man swag is just too perfect to even describe.
Although we love all of Wiig’s characters (like Gilly, the creepy, fake-handed Maharelle sister in the Lawrence Welk Show) Target Lady is significantly one of our favorites. Even though we assume people who work at Target dread going in to work every day, Wiig’s spin on the register employee gives us so much joy we are almost as elated as she is in every scene.
Too hyper to control, any time the Target Lady rings up a customer’s item she wants, she leaves them to stand there completely dumbfounded as she goes to get the item for herself. Considering we would never see this in our own Target shopping experiences, this brilliant depiction has us loving Wiig more, every time we watch.
Seinfeld Steals The Show
On the 40th anniversary episode of SNL, Jerry Seinfeld had an audience Q&A scene. He went through the crowd and finally landed on his Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David. David also happens to be the inspiration behind George Costanza, so this Q&A became something of a mini-reunion.
“Was I really a writer here on ‘Saturday Night Live?’” asks Larry David, who wrote for SNL for one season from 1984-1985. “Look how big we hit it after that!” The two went back and forth before David said no one could recreate what they did thanks to the media landscape. To which Seinfeld replies, “It’s like we had the last two tickets before Disneyland burnt down.”
Daily Affirmations with Michael Jordan
Having Michael Jordan on SNL back in 1991 when he was at the peak of his game is a big moment. Stuart Smalley played by Al Franken was the insecure king of daily affirmations and his big moment was his exchange with Jordan.
He had to convince Jordan to do the impossible. Smalley somehow convinced Jordan to say “I don’t have to dribble the ball fast or throw the ball in the basket,” all while looking in the mirror without laughing. As you can see in the picture above, it was tough.
The Crazy Guys!
Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd played two Czech immigrants in a hilarious skit. Their names were Yortuk and Georg. They were hoping to pick up some beautiful American ladies with all the confidence they packed and funny looking outfits.
They believed in themselves so much that Yortuk said, “there are no other pair of Czech brothers who cruise and swing so successfully in tight slacks.” A skit that had the audience slapping their knees left and right.
David S. Pumpkins
From what we know, Tom Hanks was initially hesitant to do this skit. And after reviewing it, that makes sense because the skit makes little to no sense. But in comedy, you can make things work, right?
Sure enough, Hanks made this David S. Pumpkins thing click. Pumpkins was featured on 73 of the Haunted Elevator’s 100 floors and we don’t know why. Whoever this Pumpkins character was, it was a good idea and Hanks handled it gracefully.
Pharoah Does Denzel
Jay Pharoah might have been the best impersonator SNL has ever had on their show. He would do rappers, actors, and politicians. One episode he channeled his inner Denzel Washington while working at a Macy’s. A woman wanted to return a bag and Washington pours out of him.
He begins by saying he can return the bag, but he needed to ask the customer a few questions first. The lady said the bag wasn’t the right color and Pharoah responds the best way. “You knew what color it was when you brought it home! Did it change colors?”
“I Own A Dodge Stratus!”
Will Ferrell has had some timeless skits on SNL. One we can’t forget to bring up is the dysfunctional family dinner scene. Go up to a random person and randomly yell “I Own A Dodge Stratus!” You’re sure to get a laughing response thanks to your pop culture reference.
Ferrell sets up this skit so well with his acting. When he has one of his famous “freakouts” that almost always seals the deal. In this one, it was the moments leading up to the freakout that made it so hilarious.
Live Report With Margot Robbie
The gorgeous up and coming actress Margot Robbie did a stellar job during her appearance on SNL. The one skit that stood out was the live report with Kenan Thompson and Mikey Day playing her bland husband.
The turning point was when the entire news channel became offended upon knowing that he was indeed her husband. He wore socks with Crocs and looked like he wouldn’t know how to change a tire if his life depended on it.
Couric Interviews Palin
In 2008, John McCain elected Governor of Alaska, Sara Palin to be his running mate. She had all the makings for a perfect Republican, but it all boiled down to one question. Would SNL get Tina Fey to impersonate her?
They sure did and the results were perfect. Fey was busy with 30 Rock at the time but she happily agreed to return for this skit. It received a huge applause from the audience and it helps that she looks just like her.
I’m On A Boat
You can’t go against the success of this song or skits when there are stats to back it up. The skit that was really a music video featuring T-Pain, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone. The Lonely Island song ended up going platinum and was the most watched video on YouTube the week it released.
Not only that, the I’m On A Boat song was nominated for a Grammy! They may not have won, but that’s a pretty big accomplishment for a song SNL put together to make people laugh.
Black Panther Hits The Stage
After Black Panther smashed the box office, it was only right to bring the King of Wakanda on the show for some skits. As Chadwick Boseman hosted, he channeled T’Challa and competed on “Black Jeopardy.”
The premise of the skit is to ask questions Jeopardy style, but only with questions African Americans would be most familiar with. And since T’Challa is a king and from a secret place, he isn’t really in tune with regular society. He hilariously answered the questions wrong.
The Mom Jeans
There a bunch of timeless skits and the Mom Jeans one had to be another. It was a parody of mom jeans. A pair of denim with a 9-inch zipper and some front pleats. The voiceover said, “cut generously to fit a mom’s body.”
Like some things never going out fo fashion, this skit will always be considered a classic moment. People make Halloween costumes from this skit alone, wearing mom jeans and putting a sky background behind them.
Drake Plays Urkel As Lil Wayne
Drake has hosted the show a few times, but one of his funniest moments was when he dressed up as Lil Wayne to play Steve Urkel from Family Matters. It was a quick sketch, but it still was a success.
Because he’s still a “rapper”, he carries around a gun and ends up shooting the fridge just to have it opened. Then he glances over and asks, “did I do that?” Yes, Drake, or Wayne, or Urkel; you did do that.
A Wish From Steve Martin
Isn’t Steve Martin hilarious? In one of his many skits, he had a holiday edition where he had some wishes for the new year. It included some truly touching requests like having the kids of the world hold hands and sing in spirit and harmony.
However, he had some questionable wishes as well. He started to get greedy and wished for unfathomable riches and for his enemies to feel payback. Yet, none of them compared to the 31-day “Big O” he asked for.
There’s always that one friend of the group who you can consider to be the pessimistic one. If they are anything like Rachel Dratch’s character, Debbie Downer, then maybe you should reconsider how often you are with this person.
During a Disney vacation, she told her friends how bad Mad Cow Disease can be. Apparently it “can live in your body for years, before it ravages your brain.” And don’t forget how she brought up at the last minute how she can’t have kids.
Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Song
Adam Sandler performed the Hanukkah on SNL back in 1994. According to Sandler, he wrote this song for all the Jewish kids who might feel a bit left out during the Christmas season. Hanukkah is the festival of lights! / Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights!
Sandler also ended up rhyming more words with Hanukkah then anyone thought possible (we’re letting supersonicah slide). The song was super catchy and funny and Sandler even updates the lyrics to keep it updated for those who like to listen to it.
Samuel Jackson Curses For Real!
We all know and understand one of Samuel L Jackson’s greatest acting traits is the way he uses his curse words. There’s no one like him in the industry, honestly. The way he says the MF word is classic and in one skit with Kenan Thompson, he was supposed to be cut off from saying it, but Thompson mistimed his interference.
“I’m just saying,” Jackson told Jimmy Kimmel, “I’m used to working with professionals that know their lines. Even the ones that are written on cue cards in front of you.” Some say he said “fuh” while others claim he said the whole thing. It was a hilarious moment.
Old Glory Insurance
Naturally, when you leave behind something that you spent so much time on, there is bound to be a favorite part you’re leaving. For the former SNL head writer Adam McKay, he says his Old Glory Insurance parody was his favorite contribution to the show.
Critics and fans couldn’t agree more. The 1995 commercial parody was called Old Glory Insurance. If people really needed help from robot attacks then perhaps this could really sell! Fast forward some decades and it might become a reality.
If you know Will Forte, then you know that he is at his best when he plays a melodramatic, over-the-top character. And his most precious piece of work in that role came from the Falconer.
The Falconer was a bearded survivalist that had a loyal falcon for a companion. The name of the falcon was Donald. Donald was supposed to go get some food for Forte’s character, but instead ate some lobster and slept with Forte’s ex-wife.
Trump And Kanye Lunch Date
In a more recent event and skit, SNL did their best version of Kanye West meeting with Donald Trump for a lunch and other matters. The meeting went viral after West did some questionable actions and said some interesting things. SNL capitalized like only they can.
Chriss Redd played West while Alec Baldwin filled in for Trump. “First, let me begin with the idea that time is a myth, and there’s an infinite amount of universe, Redd said as West. “And I’m a prisoner in a different dimension, have I lost anyone so far?”
The Most Evil Invention
When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is involved, you had better make sure it’s great. SNL did an amazing job at utilizing him for this World’s Most Evil Invention skit. On paper, it’s a classic comedy set-up, and it was once they performed it.
The skit is filled with great one-liners and over-the-top performances but The Rock is really what set this skit on fire. He was a really evil scientist who invented the evilest thing on Earth.