The SNL Funny 115
69. Ellen's comeback monologue - 12/15/01 (Host: Ellen DeGeneres)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/01/01imono.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/jq74m9u
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
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.
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
made that up because she was trying to one up somebody at a
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
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)
Transcript: None Video: https://video.yahoo.com/motion-capture-000000259.html
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
reacting to things. But Manning is pretty good in it too, which
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/10/10ifeline.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/zex6rnt
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
good "splat" sound effect can do wonders in making a joke funnier.
66. The Wishin' Boot - 1/24/15 (Host: Blake Shelton)
Transcript: None Video: https://video.yahoo.com/wishin-boot-084618747.html
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/11/11ecrime.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/zy9pelt
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
64. Mega Mart Black Friday - 11/20/10 (Host: Anne Hathaway)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/10/10gmegamart.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/jx9sv9l
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
Catch him! Touch him! Win!
63. The Shake Weight Commercial DVD - 4/17/10 (Host: Ryan Phillippe)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/09/09sshake.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/jj4tq5f
"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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/99/99nsingers.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/gosyom2
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
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
61. High School Musical 4 - 4/11/09 (Host: Zac Efron)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/08/08thigh.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/hk8gtsv
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/05/05iaholes.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/h8t8gng
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.
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,
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.
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
59. Shy Ronnie - 12/5/09 (Host: Blake Lively)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/09/09hshort.phtml Video: http://www.hulu.com/watch/113207
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
58. Grow a Guy - 12/6/14 (Host: James Franco)
Transcript: None Video: https://video.yahoo.com/grow-guy-085157033.html
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
history who could have come up with a film quite like
"Grow a Guy."
57. Z Shirts - 3/2/13 (Host: Kevin Hart)
Transcript #1: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/12/12ozshirt.phtml
Transcript #2: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/12/12ofuneral.phtml
Video #1: https://video.yahoo.com/z-shirt-000000661.html
Video #2: https://video.yahoo.com/90s-funeral-000000212.html
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.
then Tim decided to up the stakes. Two sketches
later, he had Kevin Hart randomly show up in the middle of a
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.
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/06/06msloths.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/z8cfx9n
As you can tell, my favorite SNL sketches tend to be the ones
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
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/08/08dmark.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/zpl3yhw
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.
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/05/05ibee.phtml Video: https://vk.com/video10641114_168562380
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
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
have to give it time. And yes, I actually counted the Q's this
you need this answer for an SNL trivia question one day, Will spells
with twelve consecutive Q's. Again, the answer is twelve.
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
vk.com. I have no idea what vk.com 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
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)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/09/09osmashmouth.phtml Video: http://vk.com/video31024664_142036455
Smash Mouth is one of those forgotten little sketches that nobody seems
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
52. Save Broadway - 1/10/09 (Host: Neil Patrick Harris)
Transcript: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/08/08lbroadway.phtml Video: http://tinyurl.com/zns874t
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
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)
Transcript #1: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/09/09mcloset.phtml
Transcript #2: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/09/09mbar.phtml
Video #1: https://video.yahoo.com/closet-organizer-000000612.html
Video #2: https://video.yahoo.com/bar-000000414.html
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
know I've said this before, but I can't emphasize enough how different
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
earlier. Will was an SNL pioneer, he was blazing new trails.
50. 39 Cents - 10/11/14 (Host: Bill Hader)
Transcript: None Video: http://tinyurl.com/zg7dtw2
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.
Back to the SNL Funny 115