The SNL Funny 115
Entries 69-50

69. Ellen's comeback monologue - 12/15/01 (Host: Ellen DeGeneres)

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Comments:  To appreciate this monologue, you have to realize it happened right after Ellen came out of the closet.  She was the first big TV star to admit she was gay back in the late 90's, and (a lot of people don't remember this) she was pretty much run out of pop culture because America wasn't ready to embrace an openly gay celebrity yet.  Advertisers pulled out of her show because she came out of the closet, the ratings on her sitcom dropped, her show was eventually cancelled, it was a huge fiasco.  This was a really big deal at the time, it was all over the news, and Ellen got a lot of shit (and a lot of detractors) because of the whole thing.

Now, flash forward a couple of years.

Ellen came back to TV a couple of years later, and this monologue on SNL (my #71 entry) was her triumphant return.  The big highlight of the monologue is when Ellen admits that she isn't actually gay, she just made that up because she was trying to one up somebody at a party.  Although now that it has been so long, she is thinking about actually sticking with it for a while... unlike some other people she knows. The audience goes crazy when she makes that joke since that was a dig at her former girlfriend Anne Heche (who famously turned straight again after dating Ellen wasn't trendy anymore, and who wound up hooking back up with a guy.)  And, well, if you know your history from around that time period, you will understand why this was such an awesome SNL moment.  Ellen was back, and suddenly everyone loved her again because of her SNL monologue and because of how self-deprecating she was.  She then got her talk show, and about a year and a half later she became America's favorite daytime talk show host.  And I have always believed that was specifically because of this SNL monologue.

68. Eli Manning Motion Capture - 5/5/12 (Host: Eli Manning)

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Comments: This is another one of those sketches that always shows up on compilations of "The Best SNL sports moments!" and I think it is a good choice because it always makes me laugh.  By the way, I'm still amazed that they got three great sketches out of Eli Manning in the same episode considering A) he's not even an actor, and B) his delivery is wooden as hell.  I guess you can probably thank Jason Sudeikis for that last part since this sketch only works because of Sudeikis reacting to things.  But Manning is pretty good in it too, which is why I appreciate it.  "You're a quarterback.  That's how you throw???"  "It's how I throw a grenade."

67. Feline Culinary Creations - 12/11/10 (Host: Paul Rudd)

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Comments:  I've always been amused by this modern notion that dogs and cats are people, and they should get gourmet foodie pet food.  And, well, this commercial goes right along those lines and makes the exact same point.  Note that a good "splat" sound effect can do wonders in making a joke funnier.

66. The Wishin' Boot - 1/24/15 (Host: Blake Shelton)

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Comments:  One of the things that stands out about the current cast of SNL is that nearly every one of them knows how to sing.  They have all (with the exception of maybe Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones) had some form of musical training, you can tell because nearly every single episode now features some sort of a musical sketch. 

Even though "The Wishin' Boot" wasn't one of the more popular songs they have done on the show over the past couple of years (it's probably not even in the top five), I loved it the minute I first heard it.  Why?  Well because it's more than just a clever song parody, this is actually a legitimately good song.  I actually put The Wishin' Boot on my iPod a couple of months ago, and I don't even like country music.  So I have to include it on my favorite SNL moments countdown simply because this is a song that could actually make it as a standalone single.  That's how talented the SNL musical writers and performers are on the show at the moment, sometimes the songs really aren't even all that funny.  Sometimes they are just good.

65. Seinfeld Crime Scene - 11/5/11 (Host: Charlie Day)

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Comments:  This sketch kills me.  It's just Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis having a lot of fun playing off one another, with a few random Seinfeld jokes thrown in because, hell, why not?  Why not just make it a Seinfeld sketch?  Watching this sketch makes me realize that the filming of Horrible Bosses must have been a lot of fun.  The two of them really do play off one another very well, and I'm not sure that all of it was scripted either.  Some of it looks like they are ad-libbing.

64. Mega Mart Black Friday - 11/20/10 (Host: Anne Hathaway)

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Comments:  Here's a great parody of Black Friday commercials which advertises the single most dangerous Black Friday sale of them all.  My kids love this one. 

Catch him!  Touch himWin!

63. The Shake Weight Commercial DVD - 4/17/10 (Host: Ryan Phillippe)

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Comments: "She looks like she's about to run a marathon, but first she has to... help a guy out."  I should probably point out this is another Bill Hader narrated sketch.  The guy is absolutely killing it on this countdown.

62. Wedding Singers - 3/11/00 (Host: Joshua Jackson)

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Comments:  This is one of my very favorite Will Ferrell sketches, I also highlighted it on my website "Will Ferrell's Greatest SNL Moments" that I wrote back in the early 2000's.  Will and Horatio Sanz play singers in a wedding band and they only know one song, "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight" by the Cutting Crew.  Makes me laugh every single time I watch it.

Oh yeah, and the most notable thing about this sketch?  It marks one of the four or five times Horatio Sanz actually made me laugh on Saturday Night Live.  Congratulations on making the countdown Horatio!

61. High School Musical 4 - 4/11/09 (Host: Zac Efron)

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Comments:  This is a really well-done sketch featuring Zac Efron coming back to his musical high school, and informing all the students there that nobody sings out in the real world, and you should look at people when you are speaking to them because nobody in the real world projects, or cheats out.  Oh, and also, apparently playing basketball in a musical theater league doesn't really prepare for you basketball on the outside. 

I've never been in musical theater myself, and I have never seen High School Musical, and I still loved this sketch.  So I imagine if you are actually into that stuff at all you will adore this one.  Zac Efron is surprisingly good in it.  Also, special shoutout to the random cameo by anti-semitic Walt Disney and the cheap shot dig at Lindsay Lohan.

60. Two A-Holes Buying a Christmas Tree - 12/17/05 (Host: Jack Black)

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Comments:  Like a lot of diehard SNL fans, I was never that enamored when Kristin Wiig wound up taking over the show and every single episode became all about her.  I have always felt she was a much better ensemble player than she was a breakout star. What she was great at was reacting to and interacting with the other castmembers.  And for evidence of what I am talking about, look no further than her first big character(s) on SNL, when she started off as one of the two A-Holes with Jason Sudeikis.  

This sort of a sketch was PERFECT for her, just like it was perfect for Sudeikis.  They played perfectly off one another.  In fact, I was always surprised that they stopped doing the A-Hole sketches on SNL pretty quickly, these were strong characters that I always thought they should have used more often.  You could have plugged them in anywhere.  But this is the first A-Hole sketch featuring Wiig and Sudeikis and you can definitely see why she became famous because of them. 

Even though they beat Wiig's catchphrase into the ground in the later A-Hole sketches, "You look like a rabbit" is legitimately funny here because it just randomly comes out of nowhere.  I love how they never explain why she says that.

59. Shy Ronnie - 12/5/09 (Host: Blake Lively)

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Comments:   I am a big fan of nearly all the Andy Samberg Digital Shorts (as you will see later in the countdown), and Shy Ronnie is one of those that I was heartbroken to have to cut when I originally made this list a top 100.  But now that I have expanded it to 115 entries, Shy Ronnie is back!  I even moved him up into the top 60 because I realized I had underestimated him. A ha! 

My wife is a big fan of this clip, and she argued with me vehemently that Shy Ronnie should rank higher than Dick in a Box and most of the upcoming Will Forte entries.  I don't agree with her, of course, but it is still one of the best Digital Shorts that the show ever did.  Also, here's a little FYI for you, Saturday Night Live actually won an Emmy for this clip because the song is so catchy.  Not very many people know that.  It's also one of the few songs in music history that has ever won an Emmy while including the line "he pissed himself", so way to go Shy Ronnie.

58. Grow a Guy - 12/6/14 (Host: James Franco)

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Comments:  Here's another great Mike O'Brien masterpiece.  O'Brien movies tend to have a pattern, going into them you know they are going to be equal parts creepy, sweet, awkward, funny, and sad.  It's amazing how he can squeeze so many different emotions into a four minute movie, and at the same time still tell an interesting story in there.  In fact, I can't think of a single other person in SNL history who could have come up with a film quite like "Grow a Guy."

57. Z Shirts - 3/2/13 (Host: Kevin Hart)

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Comments:  Ah, once again we come to my old friend, Tim Robinson.  One of my favorites.  Tim put together a sketch called Z Shirts, which is a cute parody of 90's sportswear commercials.  It's a fun little sketch, especially when Tim calls Kevin Hart a sociopath and claims he is dead behind those eyes.  All of that was well and good.  If the sketch had just stopped there I probably would have ranked this in the 110's somewhere on my countdown.

But then Tim decided to up the stakes.  Two sketches later, he had Kevin Hart randomly show up in the middle of a funeral sketch and he started doing Z Shirt things again.  And that, of course, is the moment that this sketch vaulted up into greatness.  That's the kind of outside the box SNL thinking that makes me appreciate a writer like Tin Robinson.

This wasn't the first time that SNL decided to continue a joke later, in a completely unrelated sketch.  Hell, Will Forte did it three years earlier in a sketch called "The Closet Organizer."  But I have to give Tim Robinson props because he was such a bizarre little bastard and because nearly every SNL sketch he has ever written features something interesting.  It's a shame he was only allowed to be a castmember for one season.  Stuff like Z Shirts is what made the Tim Robinson season (2012-2013) my favorite recent SNL season.

56. Sloths! - 2/10/07 (Host: Forest Whitaker)

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Comments:  As you can tell,  my favorite SNL sketches tend to be the ones that start off in one direction and then completely and unexpectedly veer off into something bizarre.  Well, there may be no sketch where that description applies more than this one, the infamous "Sloths!" sketch from 2007.  I can't really describe this one in writing, you just sort of have to watch it and experience it for yourself.  Although I should add that Kristin Wiig's line at the end is just perfect.  That is the perfect capper to a perfectly wonderful bizarre sketch.

P.S.  Who the hell wrote Sloths?  I want to meet that person.

55. Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals - 10/4/08 (Host: Anne Hathaway)

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Comments:  Even though it's dumb, this is one of those sketches that gets in your head and you just sort of never forget it.  Also, it's nearly impossible for me to go into a pet store or a zoo nowadays and not start imitating it in front of my kids.  I'm not proud of it, but I've asked a lot of hamsters at Petco to say hi to their mothers for me over the years. 

The thing that strikes me when I watch this sketch now is how good Andy Samberg is at not breaking character.  A lesser man like Jimmy Fallon would have cracked when he got to the chicken.

Oh yeah, and I can't end this writeup without pointing out that Mark Wahlberg apparently HATED this sketch when it first aired, and he threatened to break Andy Samberg's nose because of it.  And then Wahlberg showed up on SNL the very next week and, thankfully, he turned out to be a good sport about it.

54. Spelling Bee - 12/17/05 (Host: Jack Black)

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Comments:  SNL gets a lot of press nowadays for featuring weird, awkward, oddly written sketches that sort of make you uncomfortable, but in my mind nobody ever did that type of sketch better (or first) than Will Forte.  And Spelling Bee was definitely one of the Forte masterpieces.  If you have never seen it before, just go watch it and enjoy the Will Forte experience. 

If you have ever seen the show How I Met Your Mother, this sketch is exactly like the episode where the song "I Would Walk 500 Miles" gets stuck in Ted's tape deck.  Yeah the joke (song) gets annoying after a couple of minutes, but just wait, because it will circle around and it will become funny again.  You just have to give it time.  And yes, I actually counted the Q's this time, if you need this answer for an SNL trivia question one day, Will spells the world with twelve consecutive Q's.  Again, the answer is twelve.

By the way, this sketch is almost impossible to find anywhere on the internet, so I was lucky when I looked today and I found a bootleg copy of it on  I have no idea what is though, so hopefully that is a legit website and it isn't an Isis propaganda site and I didn't just crash your computer.  Blame NBC for not posting this sketch anywhere on Yahoo Screen.  When that happens you just sort of have to get creative.

P.S.  I would have ranked Spelling Bee much higher on the countdown, but the Tenacious D stuff at the end really doesn't need to be there.  It just feels anticlimactic to me.  They should have had this sketch end with Chris Parnell's line, "Wrong", I think it would have been a lot more effective.

53. Smash Mouth - 2/27/10 (Host: Jennifer Lopez)

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Comments:  Smash Mouth is one of those forgotten little sketches that nobody seems to remember, and there is almost no legitimate video of it available anywhere on the internet.  But I have always remembered it, because that’s just what I do.  I remember stuff like this.  Nasim Pedrad plays a little girl who is scared to go to sleep at night because the band Smash Mouth is hiding in her closet.  It's the little details that make me love a fun little sketch like this.  "Mom, they're right there! I can see their soul patches!"  This is the kind of comedy sketch I wish I had written, it's just sort of random and catchy and fun.

52. Save Broadway - 1/10/09 (Host: Neil Patrick Harris)

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Comments: This one is great.  This is one of those ensemble sketches where they manage to work in pretty much every single person in the cast, and it has long been one of my favorites because everyone is good in it.  And we even get a rare Michaela Watkins sighting!  By the way, Neil Patrick Harris is one of those guys who I am amazed has only hosted Saturday Night Live one time.  I can think of few people in show business who would be a better fit for SNL, yet inexplicably he is only a one timer.  He needs to host again in the future.

51. The Closet Organizer - 1/30/10 (Host: Jon Hamm)

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Comments:  Ah yes, the famous Closet Organizer(s) sketches.  Everyone seems to love this one.  This was where Will Forte pulled off a bizarre commercial (even by his standards) about a guy who will catch your cheese and water and dirt for you when you try to put them in your closet.  And then, a couple of sketches later, Jon Hamm sits next to Will in a bar, and he recognizes Will as the guy who plays the Closet Organizer and he tries to make friends with him. 

I know I've said this before, but I can't emphasize enough how different the stuff Will Forte was doing on SNL was from what everyone else was doing at the time.  He was sort of his own niche comedy style.  Tim Robinson would later do an idea like this with his "Z Shirts" sketch, but again, Will Forte did it first, he did it three years earlier.  Will was an SNL pioneer, he was blazing new trails.

50. 39 Cents - 10/11/14 (Host: Bill Hader)

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Comments:  Bill Hader is asking for 39 cents a day (the price of a cup of coffee) to help starving people in an African village, and the locals get mad because he's only asking for the bare minimum.  This is absolutely one of the funniest things they've done on SNL in the past few years, and my kids quote this sketch all the time.  I can't tell you the number of times my wife has told our son his homework has to be done by bedtime and my son will say "It don't though!"  And it never fails to be funny.  This is one of those SNL commercials you will be seeing in compilations for a long time, everyone is great in it.

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