The SNL Funny 115
Entries 115-90

115.  Match'd - 11/15/14 (Host: Woody Harrelson)

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Comments:  Match'd was the absolute hardest decision on my entire countdown.  As my 115th and last entry, I wasn't sure if I wanted to include this sketch (Match'd) or if I wanted to include a sketch with Christopher Walken where he plays a gardener who is scared of his plants.  Or, alternately, if I wanted to include my favorite Falconer sketch with Will Forte.  All three of them would have made solid entries and perfect 115th and final entries on my countdown. 

In the end, I went with Match'd specifically because of one line.  I mean, yeah, the abrupt shift in tone in this sketch is awesome, and yeah the performances are all great, and I especially love the way that Kyle Mooney wants to learn more about the game show industry, sir.  But in the end it is one line by Cecily Strong that I love because it is so unexpectedly dark and it just comes completely out of nowhere.  "Can't shake hands with a ghost!"  I mean, where the hell did THAT line come from?  The comedy writer in me loved that THAT line showed up in THIS sketch, and for that reason and that reason alone I snubbed the googly eyes gardener and I included Match'd as my 115th entry instead.  Sorry, googly eyes gardener fans.

114.  Rabun to Shuri - 10/14/00 (Host: Kate Hudson)

Transcript:    Video:  None available

Comments:  Rabun to Shuri is a bizarre parody of Laverne and Shirley that Maya Rudolph did as one of her very first sketches on SNL.  The reason it is so bizarre is because it was written entirely in Japanese, so you have no idea what any of the characters are saying throughout the entire sketch.  But still, even if you have no idea what anyone is saying, it is still awesome because Maya and Kate Hudon completely nail the tone of what a Japanese Laverne and Shirley episode would probably look like, right down to the very last detail. 

Rabun to Shuri is one of those weird end-of-the-night sketches that you very rarely ever see re-run on cable, and it is nearly impossible to find a video of it on the internet.  And that’s a shame, because this is the sketch that made me realize that this new Maya Rudolph person who had just joined SNL might actually be kind of interesting.  I mean, who the hell starts their SNL career off with THIS?  Oh yeah, Rabun to Shuri also features a completely WTF commercial in the middle of the sketch for a candy bar that is made out of cockroaches, which is 100% Japanese oddness, and which absolutely fits the strangeness of the rest of the sketch.

Rabun to Shuri isn't the funniest sketch that SNL has ever done, or anywhere near the most memorable, but the comedy writer in me has always loved it just because it is so different.  So I'm putting it on my list just because it is impossible to find, and because I wanted to document that it actually existed on SNL once.  If you ever run across the Kate Hudson episode in a rerun on TV one day, see if you can find a version where they actually include it.

113.  Taylor's Musical Monologue - 11/7/09 (Host: Taylor Swift)

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Comments:  This monologue happened right after the whole Kanye West-Taylor Swift thing happened at the VMAs in September of 2009, and the first time I saw it, what struck me was what a natural Taylor Swift was when she was joking about it on a live TV show.  I had actually never heard of Taylor Swift before this particular SNL episode, so I had no idea who she was.  I just knew she was some teenage singer who got shit on by Kanye on national TV.  So I remember watching this episode for the first time and thinking, "Wow this girl is a natural on SNL.  I bet she has some sketch comedy experience in her background."  So I looked it up and, sure enough, she did.  Taylor Swift had been in a sketch comedy troupe back when she was younger. 

Between her sketch comedy background, and the fact that you actually get to hear Taylor Swift say the word "douchebags" on live TV, I think this is one of the more interesting SNL monologues of the past decade or so.  You can see that she is an absolute natural on stage, even if in this case it is a comedy stage.  And I can't get over the fact that she was basically just a kid when she did this.  It's very rare to see anyone this young come out and be this charming and this confident on SNL right off the bat like that.

Because I have always used SNL as a litmus test to determine whether I like a celebrity or not, I have been a fan of Taylor Swift ever since she came on the show and she introduced herself to the world with this monologue.  It's just one of those random little SNL debuts that has always stuck with me.

112. We're Going To Make Technology Hump - 11/12/11 (Host: Emma Stone)

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Comments:  Yes it's juvenile, and yeah it's stupid, so what.  SNL has always been juvenile and stupid.  You know you laughed at it.

111. Justin Bieber's Body Doubles - 2/9/13 (Host: Justin Bieber)

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Comments:  It's easy to make fun of Justin Bieber, but you have to give it up for a guy who was a good enough sport to allow Saturday Night Live to do a sketch like this.  Bieber:  "Some of them are black, they're not fooling anybody."  Sudeikis:  "Well neither are you, homie."  Come on, you have to love the Biebs a little just for that line.  The Ellen cameo at the end was also hilarious.  And I guess it would be irresponsible of me not to point out the obvious:  lol Justin Bieber is a terrible actor.

110. Charades! - 5/13/06 (Host: Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

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Comments:  This is an old 1970's game show where Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus act out charades and celebrity guests have to guess what they are doing.  Except it is complicated by the fact that every single one of the charades looks like some kind of a perverted Tijuana sex act. 

I wouldn't have included this sketch on my countdown except for the part at the end where Charo (Maya Rudolph) sees Julia Louis-Dreyfus appear to be blowing four guys at once and she happily screams out "Ah, you are me, Charo!"  Sneaky cheap shot jokes like that are why I love SNL.

109. Rosetta Stone - 1/26/13 (Host: Adam Levine)

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Comments:  This commercial didn't really resonate with me the first time I saw it, but the more times I have watched it since then, the harder it makes me laugh.  I love when they let the SNL guys play creepy sex perverts, for some reason they are always all so good at it.  In fact, I wonder if Lorne Michaels specifically casts people just for that reason, because he knows they will be able to play a pedophile one day.  I am actually shocked they didn't bring back Will Forte just to do a cameo in this one, that guy was the Sir John Gielgud of playing a pedophile.

Trivia:  The Thai government hates this sketch and they have asked for it to be removed from the internet.  Yeah good luck with that.

108.  Andre the Giant Chooses an Ice Cream Flavor - 11/19/11 (Host: Jason Segel)

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Comments:  There’s nothing really much to say about this one, it's just Jason Segel doing his dead-on Andre the Giant impression.  Since I have never actually seen an Andre the Giant impression before, I'm including it on my countdown just for its sheer stupid bizarre simplicity.  I also can’t believe this sketch actually made it through table reads and run-throughs and dress rehearsal and that Lorne Michaels actually put it on the air.  There’s something impressive about the tenacity Jason Segel must have shown to get this thing on the show over another goddamn Kristin Wiig recurring character sketch.  Even his smile at the end looks like "Ha ha fuckers, look what sketch I just got on the air.  I'm Jason Segel, I just did an Andre the Giant ice cream sketch on Saturday Night Live.  Bow down before me!"

107.  Hunger Games Postgame Press Conference - 1/19/13 (Host: Jennifer Lawrence)

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Comments:  This sketch is awesome just for the moment when Jay Pharoah (as a reporter) asks Peeta if he took any Performance Reducing Drugs.  Great idea for a sketch.

106. Sad Mouse - 10/20/12 (Host:  Bruno Mars)

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Comments: This is one of those films that everyone was talking about when it first aired on TV, because it's not the type of thing you normally ever see on SNL.  It's more sad and poignant than it is funny, which makes a lot sense since it was written by Mike O'Brien, who later made a name for himself as the most sad/poignant/unique/deep of all the SNL writers. 

I debated leaving Sad Mouse out of my countdown since (unlike the other entries) it really doesn't have any actual laughs in it, but in terms of it being something different that you don’t normally see on SNL, at the last minute I decided I had to include it because of how unique it was.  I should also add that my kids absolutely love this film, they watch SNL all the time and Sad Mouse is one of their very favorites.  

105.  Jesus Visits the Locker Room - 12/17/11 (Host:  Jimmy Fallon)

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Comments:  I love Jason Sudeikis.  He is without question one of my top five most underrated SNL castmembers ever, and this sketch is pretty much just a showcase for Sudeikis to come in and do his stuff.  He plays Jesus visiting the locker room of the Denver Broncos after a big win over the Chicago Bears.  He is there to tell Tim Tebow to stop relying on him to win games for them in the fourth quarter, and for the Broncos to at least meet him halfway since helping them is getting to be too much work.  Again, nothing particularly distinct about this sketch, it's just an excuse for Sudeikis (and the always great Taran Killam) to do their thing and play off one another and get a bunch of laughs.

104. Ooh Child - 3/8/14 (Host: Lena Dunham)

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Comments:  I love clips like this.  You think it's going one direction, and it's good for a couple of laughs, and then it suddenly takes a quick dark detour at the end that you didn't see coming.  And then it ends with a bang. 

Nobody ever talks about Ooh Child, I don't think I have ever seen it listed on any list of "great recent SNL moments", so I would probably consider it one of the more underrated SNL clips of recent memory.  

Remember kids, dark sketches are always better.

103. Jon Heder's monologue - 10/8/05 (Host: Jon Heder)

Transcript:    Video:  None

Comments:  This is one of my favorite SNL monologues of the past 20 years, and it kills me that there isn't any video out there of it anywhere on the internet.  Jon Heder (the star of Napoleon Dynamite) is up on stage giving his monologue, and he denies that the character of Napoleon Dynamite is actually based on anyone he knows.  Then his friend Leopold Samsonite (Jason Sudeikis - doing a perfect Napoleon Dynamite impression) stands up in the audience and he argues that Napoleon is actually based on him.  Then Leopold's friends Jose (Fred Armisen) and Kip (Will Forte) stand up, and they are such dead ringers for Pedro and Kip from the movie that it just kills me every time.  Seriously, you have to find a copy of this moment if you like Napoleon Dynamite.  The impressions of Leopold, Jose, and Kip are all just perfect.  Will Forte was born to play Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, slap a mustahce on him and he looks just like him.

102. Anne Hathaway's Monologue - "One Day More" - 11/10/12 (Host: Anne Hathaway)

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Comments:  Oh now this clip is great.  Anne Hathaway pulls off an epic homage to Les Miserables in her opening monologue, as she sings the song "One Day More" and is joined by pretty much everyone in the SNL cast.  It is sketches like this that make you realize what an awesome SNL host Anne Hathaway really is, and the stuff that she brings to the table that hardly any other host does.  She is really talented.   It is also a good reminder of how many good singers SNL actually has in its cast at the moment.  Oh yeah, and Tim Robinson is in there too.  

By the way, I just watched this clip again one last time right before I posted this page.  It's amazing.  That is one epic SNL opening.

101. Jacob The Bar Mitzvah Boy - 12/15/12 (Host: Martin Short)

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Comments:  This entry is a guilty pleasure of mine, and it is mostly because of a comment that Seth Meyers once made in an interview about who he likes to work with and who he doesn't like to work with.  He said that Vanessa Bayer is one of the hardest people to work with on live TV because she has this look that she gets on her face that is pretty much the funniest thing he has ever seen.  And whenever she does it in a sketch he can't keep a straight face, so he has to avoid looking at her. 

I am pretty sure that the look he is talking about is the one right after Jacob tells a joke and he looks up at the audience to show off how proud he was of it.  That face makes me laugh every. single.  god.  damn. time I see it and for that reason and that reason alone I will always love the awkward adorableness of Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy.  I don't care how many times they keep bringing this character back, I don't care that it's the exact same shtick every single time he shows up, Vanessa Bayer no-selling Seth's lines and then getting that proud look on her face after each joke is one of the greatest things ever.  But don't tell my parents I said that.

100.  Australian Screen Legends - 11/3/12 (Host: Louis C.K.)

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Comments:  This is the absolute definition of a silly SNL sketch that just makes you laugh, even though you know it's stupid.  I have to give special props to Kate McKinnon and Bill Hader for somehow pulling off a concept that isn't even all that funny on paper.  It's just two people pulling off a love scene while speaking in a silly accent.  Anybody could have written this sketch.

This is one of those entries on my countdown that is 100% purely a performers' sketch, which is odd for me because normally I only tend to prefer the writers’ sketches.  But I can't help it, I just adore this one.  SNL threw two really funny people out there on stage with a dumb script and they just let them run with it.  I loved it.

99. Inside the Actor's Studio with Screech - 4/15/00 (Host: Tobey Maguire)

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Comments:  They did a bunch of "Inside the Actor's Studio" sketches with Will Ferrell back in the 90's and 2000's, but the one that always stood out to me as the masterpiece was this one, where Tobey Maguire plays Screech from Saved by the Bell.  There's just something funny about seeing stoic, serious Tobey Maguire playing somebody as over the top and ridiculous as Screech that always makes me smile.  You can tell he is having a lot of fun with it.   In fact, this has always been one of the most charming things about Saturday Night Live over the years - you get to see award-winning actors playing comedy roles that they normally wouldn't ever get to play.  If you want another good example of this, just look at what Justin Timberlake’s career has turned into, all because of what he first did on SNL.  Nobody ever thought that guy could be funny prior to him getting in a fist fight with Kermit the Frog on Saturday Night Live.

98.  Little Brothers - 5/5/12 (Host: Eli Manning)

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Comments:  The Manning Family sure has been great on SNL.  EVERY single time they host, they pull off some masterpiece, and this sketch featuring Eli Manning teaching kids how to take revenge against their big brothers is no exception.  Especially when Eli lets out a Freudian slip at the end and you realize his revenge service is simply him trying to work out his rage against his older brother Peyton. 

They always show this sketch on "Best SNL sports sketches" compilations, and for good reason.  It is a big audience favorite.

97. I’m, Like, on a Blind Date - 9/15/12 (Host: Seth MacFarlane)

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Comments:  Seth MacFarlane and the always underrated Nasim Pedrad are on a blind date and, well, let's just say that they both have a lot of funny little verbal quirks. 

This is one of those sketches that is easier to watch than it is to write about, so just go watch the clip and appreciate two talented performers having a lot of fun with a weird little sketch.  In particular, admire the dark turn the sketch suddenly takes at the 2:10 mark where you can hear the audience actually recoil in horror at one of Nasim’s jokes.

The 2012-2013 season (what I like to call the Tim Robinson season) had a lot of sketches with weird dark little turns like that, and the moment in this sketch with Nasim’s dead sister is one of the best examples of them all.  To me, there's nothing funnier than when an SNL audience recoils in horror at a sketch unexpectedly going dark on them.  Oh yeah, and say hi to future SNL star Aidy Bryant (above), since this was her very first sketch.

96. The Hero's Song - 3/8/08 (Host: Amy Adams)

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Comments:  This is the first musical Digital Short on my countdown, but it sure isn't going to be the last. 

Hardly anyone ever remembers this clip, this is one of those rare SNL clips that seems to have aired once in 2008 during the Amy Adams show, and then it slowly just dissolved into the ether, never to be seen again.  But I'll be honest, I have always loved it.  It cracked me up the first time I saw it, and I still love it whenever I get a chance to see it again.  And it still baffles me how few Andy Samberg fans seem to remember that this clip had even once been a Digital Short.

As you will find out later in the countdown, I have always been a sucker for the Will Forte style of comedy of "just start doing something for a while, and after about the eightieth time it starts to become funny again because the joke starts to get its second wind."  That's the idea behind this sketch in a nutshell.  In fact, it's hard to believe that Will Forte doesn't star in The Hero's Song, it is such a Will Forte idea.

95.  Geoff's Halloween Emporium - 10/25/14 (Host: Jim Carrey)

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Comments:  Jim Carrey has hosted SNL a couple of times now, and unfortunately there have been very few sketches where the producers let him loose and they actually let him go do Jim Carrey things. 

This is one of the few where they do. 

Jim Carrey plays the owner of a Halloween store who has been possessed by a demon, and who wants nothing more than for his employees to join him in the darkness and bear his spawn and to talk about his new sexy Hunger Games costumes.  This was the last sketch of the night (as you can imagine) of Carrey's 2014 episode, and it's pretty out there even by SNL end-of-the-night standards.  But it always makes me laugh because it's awesome to see Jim Carrey let loose and just go all the way with something.  This isn't the 90's, you don't get to see that often enough anymore.

P.S. "Sexy Tracker Jacker" is a great quote but the line that always kills me in this sketch is "Sexy Her Sister."  That's such a gloriously end-of-the-night SNL way of writing something, and I have always appreciated that it's in there.

94.  Omeletteville - 10/11/03 (Host: Justin Timberlake)

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Comments:  And here it is, the Justin Timberlake sketch that started it all.  The one that made people sit up and realize, holy crap, that dweeb from N Sync is actually pretty funny. 

This is something I love explaining to younger SNL viewers.  Prior to 2003, Justin Timberlake was pretty much one of the most easily mocked figures in show business.  People just bagged on him constantly.  He was more or less just the Justin Bieber of his time, only if Justin Bieber was known for being the even-less-talented boyfriend of Britney Spears.  Because that's all that Timberlake was for a couple of years there, he was just Britney Spears' annoying tag-along boyfriend who had the weird poofy hair. 

And then Justin Timberlake showed up on SNL in 2003, and he absolutely killed it in sketches like this, and then all of a sudden he's hilarious and he's beloved and he is the next national treasure.   It’s funny how some peoples’ legacies can change overnight like that.

In any case, Omeletteville is one of JT's first masterpiece sketches on Saturday Night Live, and there's a good reason they always bring it back whenever he decides to host.  Like Steve Martin and Christopher Walken and Tom Hanks before him, Justin Timberlake is so good as an SNL host that he actually has a popular recurring character.  Not many hosts gets their own recurring character.

P.S.  If you think this sketch is ranked too low, you're not alone.  But I only put it down here so the list wouldn't be dominated by Timberlake stuff in the top 50.   I have a method to my madness here, trust me, I am just trying to spread things out.

93.  Totinos Super Bowl Activity Pack for Women - 1/31/15 (Host:  JK Simmons)

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Comments:  For grown women, ages five and up. 

Nobody has ever played a role like this better than Vanessa Bayer does.  She was born for this stuff.  In fact, if you don't laugh when she throws the sticky hand against the fridge in the background, I'm just gonna come right out and say it, you don't have a soul.

92.  Get in the Cage with Nicolas Cage - 2/11/12 (Host: Zooey Deschanel)

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Comments:  Andy Samberg and SNL have been absolutely pummeling Nicolas Cage for years, he has long been one of their favorite targets.  So to see Nic Cage show up on SNL and actually be a part of the joke, well that's the sort of thing that has always been SNL's bread and butter.  This is the kind of cameo that they do better than anyone else. 

And I have to say, I love how Cage actually manages to keep a straight face through this entire thing, I don't know how he was able to do that.  Yes, that's high praise.

Remember how I said that SNL has always been my litmus test to determine whether I actually like a celebrity or not?  Well how can you not like Nicolas Cage after seeing him agree to do a sketch like this?  The guy is a good sport.

91.  Boy Dance Party - 10/12/13 (Host: Bruce Willis)

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Comments:  This is one of those clips that my wife loves, and she thinks should be way higher on my countdown.  She thinks Bruce Willis is adorable in it, which is amazing because she can't stand Bruce Willis in anything.  Also, props to Vanessa Bayer for pulling off an impressive horror movie scream at the end.  That's some Jamie Lee Curtis level shit right there.

90.  Dusty Velvet - 4/12/08 (Host: Ashton Kutcher)

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Comments:  Oh, Casey Wilson.  If only they had given you a chance on Saturday Night Live. 

Casey was one of the casualties of the great Kristin Wiig purge of the late 2000's, where if you were a female on Saturday Night Live, and if you were not named Kristin Wiig, they would never put you on the air.  And then after two years they would quietly fire you because you never did anything on the show.  I really think Casey could have done great things on SNL, and if you don't believe me, watch this sketch.  It features her signature character, a never-say-die paraplegic stripper named Dusty Velvet who is just there to dance sexy for you.

It is very rare that you see a female pull off this kind of physical slapstick on live TV, and I had huge hopes for Casey at the time since this was one of her very first SNL sketches and she showed a lot of early potential.  But alas, it was not to be.  Still, the sketch holds up, and it still makes me laugh, and of course it's the heroic fist in the air at the end that really sells it.  I wish we had been given a chance to see more of poor Dusty.

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