The SNL Funny 115
Entries 49-30

49. Rocket Dog - 3/14/09 (Host: Tracy Morgan)

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Comments:  I don't personally think Tracy Morgan was ever all that great on SNL, but he did do Rocket Dog, and Rocket Dog makes me laugh.  So here is one of the more bizarre SNL creations of the 2000's, Rocket Dog.  Houston, we have a dog!

48. Ben Affleck's monologue - 2/9/00 (Host: Ben Affleck)

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Comments:  I will never get tired of a good "Good Will Hunting" joke, and the one that Gwyneth Paltrow dumps on Ben Affleck in the middle of this monologue is one of my all time favorites.  I am guessing that nobody aside from me would have ranked this in their top SNL moments, but to me there are few things funnier in an SNL monologue than Gwyneth telling Ben that she knows he didn't write the show tonight "because Matt's not here."  And then the look on Ben's face after she says that.  It's just an all time great SNL monologue moment.

47. Trick or Treat - 10/25/08 (Host: Jon Hamm)

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Comments:  What I love about this sketch is the fact that if you put a mustache on Will Forte, he automatically looks like a sex offender.  So why not just write an entire sketch about that?  This is one of the great Will Forte masterpieces on SNL, and of course no one but him could have possibly played this role.  And I should also add that this isn't the only time Will Forte will show up in the top 50 on my list for playing a pedophile.  Will Forte, ladies and gentlemen.  He's the actor of the people.

46. Super Showcase - 2/18/12 (Host: Maya Rudolph)

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Comments:  I'm not really a fan of sketches where everyone breaks character and starts laughing, but the break in this one is so extreme that you just sort of have to appreciate it.  Kristin Wiig absolutely loses it on the line "a one day, no night stay at Pebble Beach" and after that, she and Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader are all just done.  Gone.  Although I should point out that the absolutely stoic Vanessa Bayer refuses to break character and she is the only person in the entire sketch who never cracks up.  Yet another reason why Bayer is one of my favorites.  The girl is a pro.

P.S.  It's really fun to say "A lifetime supply of chicken from Chicken Man" in Maya Rudolph's weird little accent.  No wonder everyone else was losing it in this sketch.   I don’t know how Vanessa Bayer was able to hold it together, this one is really funny.

45. Lincoln
- 11/3/12 (Host: Louis C.K.)

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Comments:  This is a dead on parody of the show "Louie" starring the 16th president of the United States. 

"Lincoln" is one of those sketches that was universally beloved when it first came out, and it is still universally beloved today, namely because everyone loves Louis C.K.  The only reason I dropped it down into the 40's is because I had never seen the Louie show before I saw this sketch, so I didn't really get all the references.  You could definitely make the argument that Lincoln  is one of the 10 best things that SNL has done since the year 2000, but this is a list of my favorites, not of the overall funniest sketches.  So I'll put Lincoln down here in the 40's simply because there are other SNL sketches from this era that I have loved more.  But it is definitely one of the better ones.

44. Bad Boys - 9/27/14 (Host: Chris Pratt)

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Comments:  Bad Boys is a bizarre little parody of 90's sitcoms and sitcom cliches and... um... yeah.  It's weird.  You just sort of have to watch it to appreciate it. 

I know that the Good Neighbor short film stuff isn't for everyone, but I have always appreciated what they come up with, even if I don't always love all of them.  But I don't know how anyone wouldn't appreciate the random awkward weirdness in Bad Boys.  I mean, how can you not love the increasingly inappropriate transition shots as we move from one scene to the next?  One minute we're in an apartment, the next minute we're on a train, the next minute we're in a castle in Mordor.  I love random little shit like that.  This is the best sketch that Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett have managed to pull off on SNL so far, although admittedly I probably like it more than you do.  This is definitely a writer's sketch more than anything.

43. The Curse of Sergio - 1/30/10 (Host: Jon Hamm)

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Comments:  One of the things that makes Jon Hamm such a great SNL host is that the guy will do anything.  And here we have one of the best examples of that, where he plays a sexy shirtless sax man who emerges from Kristin Wiig's nooner covered in amniotic fluid.   Find me another SNL host who will do that. 

By the way, this is the portion of my countdown where the Digital Shorts are about to start taking over, so we kick it off at #43 with one of my kids' all time favorites, Sergio.  I have no idea who thought that the Sexy Sax Man from The Lost Boys needed to have a sketch written about him, but, well, here you go.

The original sexy sax man

42. The Californians - 4/14/12 (Host: Josh Brolin)

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Comments:  The Californians is probably the most polarizing thing that has happened on SNL since the era of Adam Sandler.  People who love this sketch absolutely LOVE it, and people who hate it... well... let's just say this.  Try going on an SNL message board some time and ask what people think about the Californians.  Watch how everyone immediately loses their shit.  It is the surest way to piss off 99% of the people on any SNL message board on the internet, just say that you are one of the people who liked the Californians.

As for me, The Californians is not my favorite sketch in the world, and I really do wish they would have stopped doing it after the first time instead of running it into the ground by repeating it ten more times.  If they had only done this sketch once it probably would have been an instant classic.  But at the same time, hey, I'm a Southern Californian.  This sketch was written for people like me, and it cracks me up. There is also no SNL sketch that I quote more often than I quote the Californians.  In fact, I can't think of a SNL fan I know in Southern California who DOESN'T love and quote this sketch.  So there's that.  And as much as I generally don't like sketches where the actors break and everyone starts laughing, I have never minded it in this particular sketch because I probably would have cracked too.  Especially because... and you probably wouldn't know this unless you lived here... because all the directions they are giving in the dialogue are 100% accurate.  And that really is how people give directions around here.  That really is how you get to San Vicente.

At the end of the day, I love the Californians enough to put it in my top 100, but I don't love it enough to rank it any higher than #42.  Yeah, true, it's a sketch that is specifically designed for people in only one area of the country.  But I happen to live in that area of the country, and I love it, so bite me.  I'll give you guys all your dumb political skits that I don't like, and you need to give me the Californians.  It's only fair.

41. Potato Chip Thief - 12/5/09 (Host: Blake Lively)

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Comments:  This is one of those sketches where I don't even know what to say about it.  Um, it's weird.  Is that enough?  This is maybe the single oddest sketch that SNL has ever done, I think you could certainly make the argument.  I mean, watch this sketch a couple of times and just pick out the little details that don't make sense and don't have to be there.  Why the extreme southern accents?  Why the hemorrhoid donut?  Why the line about "undry dreams"?  Why does Sudeikis not actually look at the other actors when he is talking to them?  And why the hell did Will Forte choose to end the sketch with that artsy lined-up theater shot (see above)?

Potato Chip Thief is one of the ultimate "love or hate it" SNL sketches.  Some people absolutely love it.  Some people absolutely hate it.  It is the absolute pinnacle of what Will Forte came up with as an SNL writer, and to my dying day I will always appreciate that they were able to actually film this thing live on the air and nobody cracked up.  How the hell did Forte not break when Sudeikis spit the potato chip into his hand???

On some level, Will Forte was a genius.  But at this point, we're just not really sure what that level was, so we are presented with Potato Chip Thief.  Feel free to make what you want out of it.

P.S.  Oh yeah, here is a great excerpt from the Entertainment Weekly review of this sketch:  "Forte and Sudeikis were so ferociously committed to this material, I ended up admiring the hell out of them. I didn’t laugh, but I had to hand it to them. It was kind of like SNL’s version of There Will Be Blood."

Bonus link:  Check out this great page, which is an oral history of the Potato Chip Thief sketch and how it came about.

40. Neurotology Music Video - 4/4/15 (Host: Michael Keaton)

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Comments: This is the famous (and ballsy) video where SNL decided to take down Scientology, and it is so well done and biting that it is just a flat out masterpiece.  In fact, listen to the end of this clip.  The moment the song ends, somebody in the studio audience goes, "Wowwwwww!" which is pretty much all you can say about it. 

Like I said before, nearly everyone in the current cast of SNL has some sort of musical theater training, so we have had a lot of great musical parodies like this on SNL over the past couple of years.  The Neurotology video is definitely one of the best of them.

By the way, want to see the original Scientology video this clip is making fun of?  Well click and enjoy.

39. Maraka - 3/24/07 (Host: Peyton Manning)

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Comments:  Robert Smigel decides to take down Dora the Explorer in this wicked little cartoon masterpiece that kills me every.  single.  goddamn.  time.  I watch it.  Watch Maraka save a baby penguin while she ponders the questions of free will, if Robert Blake was guilty, if an androgynous picture is of a guy or a girl, and why her father left her. This was one of the best TV Funhouse segments that Robert Smigel ever did, it's hilarious.

38. Love Letters (tit pic)
- 1/19/13 (Host: Jennifer Lawrence)

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Comments:  And now we're back to my old friend Tim Robinson.  Tim, who some would call a poor man's Will Forte, had only one season as a castmember on SNL, but he sure gave it his all.  Including this end-of-the-night sketch from the Jennifer Lawrence episode where a Civil War soldier writes letters to his sweetheart back home asking her to send him a tit pic.  It's not the most intelligent or ambitious sketch idea in the world, but simply writing the word "tit pic" in a sentence made me laugh so there you go.  Only Tim Robinson could combine the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, old timey Ken Burns music, and the words "tit pic" into the same sketch idea.

I should also add that Jennifer Lawrence is really good in this sketch, and if she wouldn't have sold the character, the idea wouldn't have worked.  Jennifer Lawrence is another one of those people who just seems like she was born to host SNL.  The show has had a lot of those lately.

37. Peyton Manning for United Way
- 3/24/07 (Host: Peyton Manning)

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  This commercial was a huge crowd favorite at the time and you are going to see it show up on every SNL sports anthology show for the next ten years.  Please spend time with your kids, so Peyton Manning doesn't have to.  By the way, the detail I love about this sketch is that Peyton is actually pegging those kids with a toy football.  That doesn't look fake to me, he is actually blasting them.  I don't care if it is some sort of a Nerf football, that's still got to hurt.  Let's give it up for those poor stunt kids.

P.S.  This sketch showed up in the same episode as the Maraka sketch (2 entries above).  That was quite an episode.  And guess what, we haven't even gotten to the best sketch of the 2007 Peyton Manning episode yet.

36. Don't Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford - 2/4/06 (Host: Steve Martin)

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Comments:  Here's a very simple sketch from about ten years ago, when everybody in the country was in debt because they were buying too much stuff.  Leave it to SNL to bluntly say what everyone else was thinking.  Stop buying stuff you can’t afford, you idiots.

35. Disney Channel Acting School - 3/5/11 (Host: Miley Cyrus)

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Comments:  You know what I love about this sketch?  I love the fact that Miley Cyrus and Kenan Thompson are both former child actors, and they are apparently working out a lot of their demons by poking fun at their backgrounds.  When you watch this sketch it looks like it is all very cathartic for them.  I also love that it makes fun of stuff that I have hated about Disney Channel TV shows for a long time.  Also, my kids quote this sketch constantly. 

When you use Kenan Thompson right (like in this sketch), the guy is awesome.  "The funeral's Monday!!!!"

34. One-a-Day Nasaflu - 5/12/12 (Host: Will Ferrell)

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Comments:  Will Ferrell is one of the best yellers in the history of SNL, and Kristin Wiig is one of the best at reacting to what somebody else is doing.  You put the two of them together in this one commercial and it's like the Keymaster finally meeting the Gatekeeper.  Great commercial.  I love Kristin's angry f-bomb.

33. Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney - 12/8/12 (Host: Jamie Foxx)

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Comments:  This is one of those sketches that really isn't anything special on paper, but somehow because of the performances of Bill Hader, Jay Pharoah, Jamie Foxx and (especially) Kenan Thompson, it just sort of works.  Don't ask me why it works.  It just works.  Maybe we can ask Derbel McDillet.

P.S.  A few years ago I noticed this picture in an issue of Entertainment Weekly and, well, it made me laugh.  Guess which two celebrities have a birthday the same week!

32. First Got Horny 2 U - 11/14/15 (Host: Elizabeth Banks)

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Comments:  SNL has been off the charts lately with how many good song parodies they have come up with over the last couple of years, and this parody of 90's Boy Bands from right at the end of my cutoff (2015) was a classic the minute it aired.  This is another SNL parody that I actually put on my iPod (along with the Wishin' Boot) a couple of weeks ago, because not only is it a good parody, this is actually a legitimately catchy good song.  Like I have said a couple of times before, nearly every single person in SNL's current cast can actually sing, so they are just reeling off good song parodies the last couple of years one right after the other.  I have never seen as many musical parodies on SNL as I am seeing now, over the past couple of seasons.

In any case, if you have never seen it before, enjoy First Got Horny 2 U.  And, in particular, enjoy Aidy Bryant scooting across the floor to the thought of the teen son from Dinosaurs.  Aidy Bryant is without question one of the big underrated gems in the cast right now, and my guess is that she is probably the main driver behind all of the awesome recent song parodies.  If you notice, she always gets the funniest part in the song.

31. Louis C.K.'s monologue - 5/16/15 (Host: Louis C.K.)

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Comments:  Every so often a stand up comedian comes on the show and just knocks it out of the park with their opening monologue.  Chris Rock did it in the mid 90's in one of my all time favorite SNL monologues, and for years I thought he would be the pinnacle of what an SNL monologue could be and what a stand up comedian on SNL could be capable of.

And then, in May of 2015, we got Louis C.K.

All I can say about Louis C.K.'s monologue from last May, in which he discusses the middle east, why he likes one of his daughters better than the other one, how everyone in the world has some sort of mild benign racism, and... oh yeah... why molesting children must be really good because molesters keep doing it... is if you aren't used to listening to some really edgy stand up comedy, hold on to your butt.  Louis C.K. goes right up to the line of what you are allowed to say on TV, and he has a smile on his face the entire time because he knows he is edging up to that line, and he is loving every minute of it.  And I loved it too, if only because I don't have balls as big as Louis C.K. does and I have to admire that.

P.S.  Do you like Louis C.K.'s unique dark twisted brand of humor?  Want a special Louis C.K. SNL bonus link?  Well here is a sketch he wrote for the show back when he wrote for SNL in the early 2000's.  It is called Shazzang and, uh, it's pretty dark.  I was actually hoping to get Shazzang on my countdown somewhere in the 100's since nobody knows about it, but I couldn't fit it in.  So you get it here instead as a Louis C.K. bonus link.

30. Asian American Doll - 12/20/14 (Host: Amy Adams)

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Comments:  And we kick off my top 30 with a commercial that is absolutely perfect for a decade where everyone is offended by everything.  Asian American doll.   The doll that’s guaranteed not to offend anyone!  I love when stuff like this shows up on SNL, it's so perfect.

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