SNL Funny 115
15. Introduction to
Puppetry - 9/15/12 (Host: Seth MacFarlane)
Here's another awesome Bill Hader showcase. He stars as
Peter Coleman, a guy with issues who is just trying to work out some
demons in an introductory puppet class. This is one of those
sketches that everyone seems to love, and I am certainly no exception
to that. This sketch was so popular that they actually
back and did it again a few seasons later, but of course nothing can
ever match the first attempt at something. Hader was
great playing memorable little psychopaths like this.
14. The Rainbow Connection
- 10/11/03 (Host: Justin Timberlake)
This is a fun little sketch from Justin Timberlake's first SNL
appearance in 2003, which goes to show he has pretty much always been a
good sport about agreeing to be in the darker stuff. It's
also one of
the great sucker punch sketches of the 21st century, because at first
you think it's just a sweet little nostalgia moment where
a song with his childhood idol Kermit the Frog. But it
turns into (what else) a dark, strange Will Forte sketch.
here we have a great example of an early Will Forte anti-humor sketch.
And it's awesome because it's clear that nobody in the
expecting the sketch to go in the direction it wound up going in,
because most people in the audience had never heard of Will Forte yet.
Oh, but they would.
By the way, my favorite part of this sketch
is the fact that Will keeps having Kermit "talk" throughout the entire
fight. Watch when Justin punches and kicks Will and Kermit
saying "ouch!" every time that Will gets hit. It's
the details like
that that make me love a good Will Forte entry.
13. Hip Hop Kids - 12/9/06 (Host: Justin Timberlake)
This sketch has long been a favorite of mine, and it's just further
proof that Justin Timberlake has always been a really
good Saturday Night Live host. Even before he was
doing the Digital Short stuff with Andy Samberg, he was
out as the lead in funny little sketches like this one. Which
have to add, is one of the single most quotable SNL sketches on my
THAT’S A STALAGTITE, JO-JESSICA! YOU GOTTA RECKONIZE YOUR
SEDIMENTARY ROCK FORMATIONS!
YO, WHO YOU CALLIN' BITCH, BITCH?!?
P.S. Here's the fun
thing, I still have three Justin Timberlake entries to go on the
countdown. This is only my FOURTH favorite SNL Justin
12. Fly High Duluth - 1/14/06 (Host: Scarlet Johansson)
If you're a Will Forte fan, you have to see this sketch at least once
in your life, because this is one of the two big Will Forte SNL
masterpieces. He sort of takes anti-humor to a new level in
one, in which he plays the lead singer of a local morning talk show
band who has inexplicable delusions of grandeur.
watch this sketch over and over and over and I love it more every
time. There is so much fun little stuff going on in
Like, I love the fact that Wally Hammerlich thought his little fluff
talk show jingle needed to have a full drum solo in the middle of
it. And why the hell does he need backup dancers?
My wife hates this sketch, by the way, so it might not be for
everyone. But hey, my list, so it's my call. You're
get a lot of Will Forte on here.
11. (Do It On My) Twin Bed
- 12/21/13 (Host: Jimmy Fallon)
Out of all the funny songs they have done on SNL over the past few
years (and believe me, they have done a lot of them), this one,
featuring the Ladies of SNL, is by far the most popular. And
good reason too, this is an amazing song. And again, I can't
past the fact that Aidy Bryant is featured so heavily in the song,
which means she was probably one of the main people behind the writing
of it. If you ask me, Aidy Bryant is actually the
hero of SNL at the moment, I just don't think she gets a lot of
recognition for it because it isn't all that obvious, and because Kate
McKinnon has a much louder cheering section. But if you watch
the musical sketches, they almost always revolve around Aidy.
is the star of all of them.
I have nothing bad to say about Twin
Bed at all, it's just pure gold from start to finish.
pay attention to the part about Aidy's mom catching a cough from Jean
and "now it's a whole thing with Jean." Remember that
Aidy Bryant has a running joke in her SNL songs about her
Jean always showing up and being a pain in the ass. And it
makes me laugh because it's just so random. My wife and I
quote "now it's a whole thing with Jean" all the time, it’s one of
those things that is applicable to nearly any situation you
ever run into. God bless your poor neighbor Jean, Aidy,
she is. She makes us laugh.
P.S. I can't possibly end this entry without
including this gif. This will never not make me laugh:
10. The Barry Gibb Talk Show
- 10/11/03 (Host: Justin Timberlake)
The first time I saw the Barry Gibb Talk Show, it was without question
one of the funniest things I had ever seen on Saturday Night
Live. I absolutely LOVED it. And then, of course,
decided to make it recurring and just absolutely beat it into the
ground, because, well, because it's SNL and because that's what they
do. But still, nothing will ever take away the original Barry
Gibb Talk Show sketch and how god damn funny it is. Between
Fallon randomly breaking into falsetto in the middle of sentence, to
Justin Timberlake harmonizing along with Barry's threat to put Cruz
Bustamante in the ground, to the line about crazy cool medallions at
the end, this is without a doubt one of my all time
they had stopped at one time and just made this a one-off sketch, this
had a very good chance at being #1 on my countdown.
Oh, and while we're on the subject, how
the hell does Jimmy Fallon not break character in any of the Barry Gibb
Justin Timberlake breaks character in EVERY SINGLE DAMN ONE OF THEM,
but I have never seen Jimmy break even once. And meanwhile
Fallon will break character in any other sketch on any other episode if
one of the other actors farts softly off in the corner. I
get how he was able to keep a straight face through all of the random
P.S. My 13 year old son is one of the
funniest people I know, and he does a drop dead perfect impression of
Jimmy Fallon doing Barry Gibb. I have to get him to record it
put it on a podcast or something, it's so fricking funny.
9. Jebidiah Atkinson
- 11/16/13 (Host: Lady Gaga)
And now we come to the guy who I would consider the best recurring
character they have on modern SNL. Which is not something I
lightly; as you might have noticed, I'm generally not a fan of when
Saturday Night Live takes a good idea for a sketch and they decide to
make it recurring and run it into the ground. Go back and
how many of my Top 115 favorites are recurring characters, there aren't
very many of them.
But Jebidiah Atkinson, we'll he's different.
Atkinson is the megabitchy 1860's newspaper critic played by Taran
Killam. He hates everything, he hates everyone, and the
is more or less just an excuse for the SNL writers to sling as much
insult comedy towards beloved works of fiction and popular culture as
they possibly can. With some gratuitous jokes about Woody
and Jesus and Michael Jackson and Abraham Lincoln thrown in for good
measure, because it's Jebidiah Atkinson and because why not?
first did Jebidiah Atkinson on the Lady Gaga show on November 16, 2013,
and he proved to be such a popular character that they brought him back
again a couple of weeks later. And I will always love that
appearance because the very first thing that came out of Jebidiah's
mouth was "run stuff into the ground much?" referring to the fact that
this is what SNL ALWAYS does with its popular recurring
characters. So at least Taran was in on the joke and he knew
he was walking into here.
Jebidiah is one of those characters
that most SNL fans seem to love. He's funny every
time he shows up on Weekend Update (6 times now, so far), and a lot of
the fun is based around Taran Killam screwing up a line or having one
of his jokes bomb, and then him having to recover. He never
actually breaks character in the traditional sense, because he doesn't
start laughing, but it's one of the few character breaks I enjoy seeing
when it happens, because Killam is so good at ad-libbing some
recovery and getting away with it. The more you see this
character, the more you appreciate how good Taran Killam
any case, Jebidiah Atkinson is my #9 favorite and if you don't believe
me, just watch Seth Meyers absolutely dying during the first two
Jebidiah appearances. He loved this character as much as I
He could barely get through some of the early Jebidiah
Because my heart is as big as all outdoors, for your viewing
pleasure I have linked to all six Jebidiah Atkinson appearances so far
on SNL. The original (above) and then the five (probably
follow ups below:
Jebidiah reviews holiday
Jebidiah reviews the
Oscar nominees: http://tinyurl.com/zw9k2oe
Jebidiah reviews the Tony
Jebidiah reviews the 2015
Grammy nominees: http://tinyurl.com/j9fcga6
Jebidiah reviews modern
TV shows: http://tinyurl.com/h96psq8
8. Pandora Internet Radio
- 10/20/12 (Host: Bruno Mars)
None Video: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82872039/
Every so often, an SNL host comes along who you're not expecting much
from going into the show. But he surprises you and, out of
nowhere, pulls an amazing performance out of his ass. Bruno
is probably my favorite example of that in recent years.
Bruno Mars episode was solid from start to finish, but the one sketch
that stands out to me from that particular night is this one, the
famous Pandora sketch. Which is notable for having like seven
different applause breaks scattered throughout the sketch,
is virtually unheard of for a Saturday Night Live sketch.
one of those entries I could watch a hundred times and I will never
ever get tired of it. It is just so much fun.
By the way,
not a lot of people know this, but before he was a famous singer, Bruno
Mars actually began his career as a singing impressionist.
back when he was a little kid, he was known for his eerily accurate
impressions of (among others) Michael Jackson and Elvis
In fact, you can even see him as a kid in the movie Honeymoon in Vegas
(1992), he is the little kid Elvis in the blue jumpsuit with
big hair (see the picture below.) Once you know THAT, it
lot of sense why he would be able to pull off a sketch like this where
he impersonates a bunch of different famous singers. And
friends, is what is known as "writing to the strengths of your
I really hope they bring Bruno Mars back to host
SNL at least one more time, so he can do a sketch like this
again. The guy just completely kills it in this one.
Young Bruno Mars in Honeymoon in Vegas
7. An Immigrant's Tale
- 5/9/09 (Host: Justin Timberlake)
Not much to say about this one. This is the awesome, and
completely underrated, sketch from 2009 where Justin Timberlake pulls
off an Irish accent and pretty much roasts every single aspect of his
entire career. This has long been one of my favorite SNL
sketches, and I was delighted when I saw that Justin Timberlake gave a
recent interview, and he named "Immigrant's Tale" as
single favorite SNL sketch he has ever been in. We also get
supporting work here from Bill Hader, Casey Wilson, Bobby Moynihan and
(of course) Will Forte, as Will's timing and inflection on the line
"Where did it go?" just absolutely always kills me.
This is a
great sketch. Anyone who says Justin Timberlake is overrated
an SNL host is crazy. He could have easily been an SNL
castmember. Oh and the revelation about Justin and Britney
how far he actually got with her when they were dating is the greatest.
Watch how embarrassed he is that he actually went through
saying that line. I love the look on his face afterwards.
Not everyone remembers this, but "Immigrant's Tale" was originally the
lead-in to the second Timberlake/Samberg Digital Short song, "Mother
Lover." That's why they are talking about collaborating on a
together at the end. But Lorne Michaels changed the order of
sketches in the syndicated reruns so "Immigrant's Tale" pretty
much just stands on its own now. But it's funny that
favorite moment and my #5 favorite moment originally ran back
back in the same episode, and one was actually the lead in to the other
6. Hamm and Buble -
1/30/10 (Host: Jon Hamm)
I defy you to watch this sketch and not laugh. And I love the
fact that neither Jon Hamm nor Michael Buble are especially known for
doing comedy. Yet Buble, in particular, is just absolute gold
this sketch. The comedy only works because of his reaction
My kids begged me to put Hamm and Buble in my top
five because this is one of their all-time favorites, and I put it
about as close as I could. But sorry, I wasn't going to put
front of Mother Lover. It's funny
but it's not as epic as Mother Lover.
5. Mother Lover -
5/9/09 (Host: Justin Timberlake)
Okay, let's get this out of the way right up front.
Lover is probably the single most tasteless thing that has ever been
shown on Saturday Night Live. It was the sequel to the smash
Dick in a Box (2006) and, in my opinion, I have always thought it was
actually BETTER than Dick in a Box. Which is pretty amazing
because how the hell do you top Dick in a Box? Yet, somehow
did. Mother Lover is dirtier, it is catchier, it is funnier,
it stars two award winning actresses in its video, which is one of my
favorite things about it. Seriously, how the hell did they
Patricia Clarkson to star in the video?? Last thing I saw her
she was dying of a brain tumor in The Green Mile, and then all of a
sudden here she is getting boned by Andy Samberg in an SNL
sketch. I'm sorry, but that's acting range.
has been one of my favorites for years (it's actually kind of sweet,
all things considered), but if there is one thing I can say to you
about it, it is this. Do NOT click on the uncensored version
this song if you are reading this list at work. I'm warning
right now. Be careful who is around if you go watch the
uncensored version of the song.
P.S. Want some fun bonus links about Mother Lover?
the story behind the making of the song and the video,
and how the Lonely Island guys were actually still editing the video
right up until minutes before it aired live on TV. It's a
read. And here
is an interview with Susan Sarandon about how her 15 year old
son actually had to convince her to star in the video.
And here's the greatest thing about the SNL Digital Shorts.
Mother Lover is one of my favorite things that has ever happened on
SNL, but there is still one Digital Short that I ranked even
higher because it was even more epic. Can you guess what it
Thank you, Mrs.
4. Behind the Music:
Blue Oyster Cult - 4/8/00 (Host: Christopher Walken)
Well you knew it was going to show up sooner or later. The
infamous More Cowbell sketch. This is pretty much considered
single greatest sketch of Will Ferrell's SNL career, and it is without
a doubt the most popular sketch to come out of the Will Ferrell and
Jimmy Fallon era(s) of the show. The minute I realized that
timeline of 2000-2015 was (barely) going to include Blue Oyster Cult,
the question I faced at that point was how the hell
write about Saturday Night Live and not rank it number one?
the way, here is something that a lot of people don't
me. My first job as an internet writer was way back in
1997. I used to write weekly episode reviews for an SNL
called saturday-night-live.com. Every week I would recap the
latest episode, and I would talk about the sketches, and eventually
because I was such a big Will Ferrell fan and because I never
up about Will Ferrell I sort of became known as "The Will Ferrell
Guy." Whenever there was a big Will Ferrell moment on
Night Live, people would always go to my review the next day to see
what I was going to say about it.
And let me tell you this,
my favorite Will Ferrell sketch BY FAR back when I was a reviewer was
the More Cowbell sketch. I remember just RAVING about this
the day after it aired. I told people just you wait, this is
going to become a classic one day. This will be one of the
sketches that Will Ferrell is going to be defined by. Which
funny because almost nobody else in the media was saying that at the
time. At the time (1996-2000), the popular opinion of
Night Live among people on the internet was... this won't surprise you
by the way... that "Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny since Chris
Farley left, and Will Ferrell and this current cast suck balls.
They aren't funny." Yes, if there is one constant
always find among SNL fans on the internet, it is that the current cast
sucks, and that SNL hasn't been funny since (insert your favorite)
left. They have been saying that about SNL since Chevy Chase
the show back around 1978.
I was one of the few people who was
pointing out how awesome Will Ferrell was back in his prime in the
90's, and when I wrote that More Cowbell was going to become a classic
one day, it was mostly met with indifference. But I was
persistent about it. Not only did I keep harping that this
was going to be a classic, I actually set up a website called "Will
Ferrell's Greatest SNL Moments", where I ranked More Cowbell as my #1
entry. My website was the first site dedicated to Will
anywhere on the entire internet back in the late 90's, and I still have
an autographed picture that Will sent me back in 2002 where he
thanked me for creating the website and for ranking Blue Oyster Cult as
my #1, because it was his favorite as well.
So anyway, that's my
history with this sketch and with SNL and with Will Ferrell and the
internet. I said "this sketch is going to become a classic!"
day after it aired, and no one believed me. I created the
Will Ferrell fan site SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE OF THIS SKETCH, and it was
the first Will Ferrell site anywhere on the internet, and this was in
the middle of an era when most people thought that Will Ferrell and
Saturday Night Live weren't funny, and it was the worst thing on
TV. And even after all that,
I'm not going to rank it at #1 on my countdown. Simply
the point of this list is to highlight some of SNL's more recent stuff
that doesn't get appreciated as much as it should, and More Cowbell has
already had enough appreciation over the years. Just like a
man once predicted, this is one of those SNL classics that everyone
And, uh, sorry Will, that's the only reason you just got beat out by
The autograph Will sent me in 2002 because of my
3. Jack Sparrow
(featuring Michael Bolton) - 5/7/11 (Host: Tina Fey)
Jack Sparrow is my all time favorite SNL Digital Short, mostly because
of how bizarre and completely random it is. I mean,
Mother Lover, but anyone could have written a song about two guys
banging each other's mom. But to come up with THIS one, man,
don't know. Who came up with the idea of a hardcore rap song
where Michael Bolton randomly interjects himself and talks
about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies? This is
those SNL moments where I love the execution, and I love the finished
product, but I love the thought process behind the writing of it even
more. Mainly because WHERE THE FUCK DID THEY DIG UP MICHAEL
For those of you who don't know the history behind
this, Michael Bolton was one of the most repeatedly mocked
of the 1990's. Everyone just made fun of the guy. I
Norm MacDonald was just MERCILESS
in the way he would make fun of Michael Bolton's long hair, and wimpy
songs, and inexplicable career. So for THAT guy (Bolton) to
on Saturday Night Live 15 years later, and be a part of something as
epic and as random as "Jack Sparrow", well that's the sort of career
coolness comeback that most celebrities can only dream of.
me, that's the thing that I love even more than I love the
sketch. The Lonely Island guys took Michael Bolton... they
Michael Fricking Bolton, who was one of the biggest pop culture
punchlines of the 1990's... and THEY MADE HIM AWESOME. This
the same guy who was a walking punchline in the movie Office Space, and
they made him awesome! Who wouldn't love that??
case, Jack Sparrow is my favorite SNL Digital Short, because it was one
of those SNL moments that just came completely out of nowhere and
everyone loved. And now everyone thinks Michael Bolton is
awesome. I mean, I haven't seen a career coolness comeback
that since, oh, I would probably say Justin Timberlake. And
says SNL doesn't pull off magic with peoples' careers every once in a
P.S. My wife's favorite part of this song is Andy
Samberg saying "nope" and "not better" in the background every time
Bolton opens his mouth. It's the fun little details like that
that make you appreciate this song the more that you listen to it.
P.P.S. Of course I'm sure
you want to hear Michael
Bolton's thoughts on the making of this video.
2. Locker Room Pep Talk
- 3/24/07 (Host: Peyton Manning)
Well, if you've gotten this far in the countdown, you knew I was
probably going to end with a Will Forte entry. And of course
couldn't possibly not show some love to this one, since it's one of the
few Will Forte crossover sketches that was actually popular with
Out of all the sketches on my countdown, this one
probably has the simplest premise. Will Forte does a silly
and everyone in the background tries not to laugh. It sounds
simple on paper. But throw in a completely random song that
no sense whatsoever (the theme to the 1967 movie Casino Royale) and of
course throw in Will Forte's traditional overdone intensity and
enthusiasm, and you have a sketch that is going to beloved for
years. I mean, Will even gets Kenan Thompson to break behind
and Kenan Thompson almost NEVER breaks.
The only sad thing about
this sketch is that it is almost impossible to find a good video of it
anywhere on the internet. Since the sketch features a well
song, NBC probably couldn't get the music rights to post it on their
website. So the only video I could find was that fastcocreate
Room Pep Talk" is the ultimate Will Forte
SNL moment, and it is everything you should love about a Forte sketch
in one clip. It's weird. It's uncomfortable.
random. It goes on slightly too long, to the point that it
actually comes around and starts to get funny again. Oh,
and it features Will in a sex predator mustache. No
sketch has ever been more Will Forte. In fact, Will has even
admitted to this in an interview. He once said about this
"Looking back, if I had to pick a favorite thing in my time there,
that's probably the one I would pick."
By the way, here's the
original song, which really was the theme song of Casino
Oh yeah, and watch Bill Hader in the background of this sketch.
He is trying his best not to look at Will dancing because he
knows he will crack up. But he has no chance. Hader
dying the minute that Will starts moving around, but he is trying to
1. Darrell's House
- 5/4/13 (Host: Zach Galifianakis)
Transcript #2: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/12/12sdarrell2.phtml
Video #1: http://tinyurl.com/jjhfktw
Video #2: http://tinyurl.com/gs8lc5t
Ha, I saved this one for last and I bet nobody thought I would even
remember it. And you thought I'd be that predictable and end
a Digital Short or a Will Forte entry.
First off, Darrell's
House is not as funny as the last few entries, and I'm sure you will
laugh harder at Locker Room Pep Talk or More Cowbell than you will at
this one. But there has NEVER been anything as creative as
Darrell's House on Saturday Night Live. And in this case I
chosen to reward innovation and creativity over just pure
It is astounding that they were able to pull off a sketch like this on
live TV, and that is why I am ranking it my #1 favorite. In
I read one particularly gushing review of Darrell's House the day after
it aired that said "sketch comedians will be studying this particular
SNL sketch for years," which sums up exactly what I think about it.
you have never seen Darrell's House before, it is an awkward sketch
starring Zach Galifianakis about a guy who is hosting his first dinner
party. He is filming the event for a public access TV show,
as he is filming his show he is barking out orders to an offscreen
editor about certain things that he wants inserted or cut out, or other
random things he wants the editor to do to add to the show.
of course, because it is Zach Galifianakis, and he specializes in this
kind of uncomfortable humor, the filming is a complete disaster because
everything that can go wrong during a TV show, does.
first time you see this sketch (clip #1 above), you don't really know
what to think of it, because you don't know where the jokes are
supposed to be. It's just some guy failing at putting
TV show, and screaming at his editor. In fact, when you watch
first clip above, pay attention to how the audience doesn't really
react to it either. They have no idea what to make of
House. The first time you watch it, it seems like a complete
of a sketch.
Ah, but that's when the magic happens.
is the part of Darrell's House that was so amazing, and this is why
like the review said, sketch comedians will be studying this sketch for
years. The Saturday Night Live editor (Oz Rodriguez) took all
edits that Darrell asked for in the sketch, and that's exactly what he
did. He edited it exactly like Darrell
wanted it to be edited.
And then they surprised everyone by airing the "finished" version of
Darrell's House as the very last sketch of the night. And
meanwhile you're sitting there thinking, holy shit, this is a live TV
show. How the hell did they get that edited and packaged so
The finished version of Darrell's House is just a
delightful mashup of bad jump cuts, split screens, awkward background
shots, intentionally bad splices, and Al Jolson. It’s bad on
purpose, but damnit if it isn't EXACTLY WHAT DARRELL ASKED HIS EDITOR
TO DO! And that's why this is my favorite thing that Saturday
Night Live has pulled off in the past fifteen years. I have
seen anything else like it. In fact, listen to the audience's
reaction when they realize this was actually a two part sketch and that
the second part is EXACTLY what Darrell was telling his editor to do in
the first part. They love it. And SNL did this all
TV. It is just an absolute masterpiece.
to the SNL Funny