The SNL Funny 115
Entries 89-70

89. Lazy Sunday - 12/17/05 (Host: Jack Black)

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Comments:  Lazy Sunday is the first SNL Digital Short that ever went viral, and it raised the bar for pretty much anything that was going to be on Saturday Night Live starting in the year 2006.  It was THAT big of a deal.  However, that being said, I don't know if it really holds up as being all that amazing anymore, and there were other Digital Shorts that came later that I thought were a lot funnier.  So in the interest of keeping my countdown from just being a bunch of Digital Shorts at the top, I dropped Lazy Sunday down to #89 just to balance out the list a little.  It's definitely better than the 89th best moment of the past fifteen years though.  I mean, Michael Scott even dedicated an entire training video to Lazy Sunday in an episode of The Office. This was one of those rare SNL moments that had big time crossover appeal and made it into the popular lexicon for a while.

88. The Hypnotist - 9/22/12 (Host: Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

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Comments:  Nothing really special about this sketch, it's just two really good performers (Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Taran Killam) pulling off a great scene.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of those people who was just sort of born to be an SNL host, and Taran Killam can get a laugh doing pretty much anything, so to see the two of them at the top of their game is always fun.  Throw in the unexpectedly dark turn that this sketch suddenly takes at 4:14 and you have a fun random little sketch that I have always enjoyed.

87. Almost Pizza - 4/7/12 (Host: Sofia Vergara)

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Comments:  Nothing all that complicated about this one, it's just a funny commercial parody that makes me laugh.  Especially the part when Bill Hader drops the f-bomb, which just comes out of nowhere and gets a big audience pop.

86. The Undecided Voters - 9/22/12 (Host: Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

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Comments: I tried very hard not to have many political sketches on my countdown, because in my opinion political stuff on Saturday Night Live is pretty much a dime a dozen.  It's funny, sure, but it's always the same.  I mean, try picking one funny George W. Bush sketch over any other.  But this is one of the rare instances where I put a political commercial on my countdown, just because it goes in some weird directions and it makes me laugh.  Also, where's my power cord?

85. Celebrity Family Feud - 10/3/09 (Host: Ryan Reynolds)

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Comments:  Have you ever seen an SNL sketch where you just sit there and think, wow, it took a lot of balls to put this one on the air?  Well look no further than this infamous sketch from 2009, which came out right after the story that John Phillips (of the Mamas and the Papas) had had an incestuous affair with his daughter MacKenzie.  SNL wasted no time, they went right for the jugular by jumping right in with the incest stuff.  Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader are both especially great in this one, by the way.  Oh, and I should also add that this sketch was protested up and down the internet by the "I was offended by that!" police pretty much the second after it aired.  People were furious about it.  

84. The Census Taker - 4/8/00 (Host: Christopher Walken)

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Comments:  For years people have argued that Christopher Walken is one of the best SNL hosts out there, but I have always argued just the opposite.  I have always argued he is one of the worst.  Sketches tend to work on Saturday Night Live in spite of Christopher Walken, not because of him.  But this sketch (The Census Taker) is one of the few that he actually makes funnier, despite (or maybe because of) how horrible he is at delivering a line.  I don't know.  The whole Christopher Walken debate is an interesting one, is he funny because he is so terrible, or is how terrible and unfunny he is what makes him so awesome?  I don't think we will ever know.  But this sketch is definitely one of the Christoper Walken SNL masterpieces.  And it kills me that they just ripped it off and repeated it a decade later when Betty White hosted, and everyone seems to remember that census sketch, and they forget this one.  The Walken census taker sketch was the original.

83. Chris Parnell's Britney Spears rap - 5/13/00 (Host: Britney Spears)

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Comments:  One of my favorite things about SNL over the years is the moment where a new castmember bursts out of obscurity and they suddenly make "the leap."  When they suddenly become a big deal.  All of the Saturday Night Live greats over the years have had a moment like that, and even though he probably would never be considered a "great", one of my favorite breaking out moments of all time was the one Chris Parnell had on Weekend Update back in 2000.  Yes, this is his hardcore rap song about dating Britney Spears and participating in a drive-by shooting, which comes completely out of nowhere because it comes out of the mouth of a guy who looks like he is your high school biology teacher.

I will always remember this Chris Parnell moment, and how unexpected it was, and I will always remember the big ovation he got at the end of it.  Because he had suddenly made it.  NOW he was an official SNL cast member.  And I will never forget how pissed I was when Lorne Michaels decided to fire Chris Parnell a year later, which was completely ridiculous because Parns was one of the most well rounded performers in the entire cast.  Because of that ridiculous Chris Parnell firing (which still pisses me off, even a decade and a half later), I have questioned Lorne Michaels' judgement on retaining or firing castmembers ever since.

In any case, here is the famous Chris Parnell rap song about Britney Spears.  His big breakout moment.  And I must point out that we never would have had a Lazy Sunday six years later if we didn't have this Britney Spears moment first.  Lazy Sunday only happened because Amdy Samberg knew he had somebody else in the cast he would be able to do a rap song with.  Let's finally give Parns some of the credit for that.

82. Tell Him - 10/15/11 (Host: Anna Faris)

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Comments: Vanessa Bayer wonders what she has to go to get a guy to like her, and her friends sing her an instructional song about all the lies you have to tell a guy to trick him to fall in love with you.  This is a great ensemble song sketch that a lot of people don't seem to remember, which is surprising because in general if there is ever a good all-female sketch on SNL it will be the top story on every single entertainment page on the internet for the next two weeks.  Yet for some reason this one sort of gets forgotten about.  I don't know why, it is really funny.

81. Flirty - 4/5/14 (Host: Anna Kendrick)

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Comments:  Kyle Mooney and Vanessa Bayer play the world's most adorably awkward couple, who keep trying to hook up but they always fail.  Until the one time where they finally do hook up, in this film that's sweet and innocent and then all of a sudden not.  This is one of those weird awkward short films that Mooney seems to excel at over the past few years.  While most of Kyle Mooney's stuff is generally too weird to ever be universally loved, this is one of those films that people (including me) seemed to really like because of how gosh darn sweet it was. 

By the way, I have always been a big Vanessa Bayer fan, and sketches like this are the main reason why.  She can play adorable and awkward as well as just about anyone I have ever seen on Saturday Night Live.  This film was just a perfect vehicle for her.

80. Game Time with Dave and Greg - 3/7/09 (Host: The Rock)

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Comments:  The Rock is one of the most natural hosts that SNL has ever had, and Bill Hader can play a weirdo right up there with the best of them.  Combine the two of them in this bizarre sketch about a sports talk show with aliens and you get one of the great Bill Hader SNL masterpieces.  P.S. Greg is not an alien.

79. Rick's Model T cars - 9/28/13 (Host: Tina Fey)

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Comments:  Oh Mike O'Brien, what could have been.  Even though he is one of the most famous SNL writers of the past decade, they actually gave Mike a chance to be in the cast for one season, and this was the first big sketch he ever did.  He plays the owner of a car dealership in the 1920's who is filming the first ever "used car commercial."

As a comedy writer myself, this is one of those sketches that I immediately loved because, like Conan O'Brien before him, Mike O'Brien loves awkwardness and he loves stilted old timey early 20th century dialogue.  Between that, and Tina Fey playing his batshit crazy wife who drowned all her babies in a well, this was one of those instant classic sketches that always makes me wish they had kept Mike O'Brien in the cast.   

78. Embarrassing Text Messages - 5/5/12 (Host: Eli Manning)

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Comments:  Look, we already have our second Eli Manning sketch!  This is one of those sketches that is impossible not to laugh at.  Just watch it for yourself and enjoy.  Oh, and special kudos to the interplay between Jason Sudeikis as the lawyer and Bill Hader as the judge, they add a lot to the sketch and I am pretty sure they are just ad-libbing most of the time.

77. Les Jeunes de Paris - 3/5/11 (Host: Miley Cyrus)

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Comments:  Les Jeunes de Paris has always been one of the weirder things that has ever become a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live, and I don't know how you can write about it and try to explain it to somebody who has never seen it before.  It's just a bunch of people dancing and doing stereotypical French things set to the beat of the music.  There, that is the synopsis of Les Jeunes in a nutshell.

What's funny about Les Jeunes is that it's clear the audience never has any idea what to make of it.  And, to be honest, I'm not even sure I even like Les Jeunes all that much myself.  However, THIS particular version of Les Jeunes, featuring Taran Killam at his hyperactive best, and Miley Cyrus at her most charming, is one of those randomly weird SNL sketches that has always just sort of stuck with me.  I'm not sure I have ever seen a moment on Saturday Night Live quite like Taran Killam stuffing an entire crepe in his mouth to the beat of a French pop song.  Only Killam (one of the best overall SNL castmembers of the past decade) could have made this sketch work, and yet in some weird way, because of his energy, it actually sort of does.  I don't know why. 

I completely understand that Les Jeunes de Paris is not for everyone.  But for a show like Saturday Night Live that relies on templates, and is known for recycling the exact same ideas and characters and catchphrases over and over and over, I just find the fact that something as different and creative as Les Jeunes made it past the table read and actually made it onto the air to be nothing short of amazing.  At the very least, you have to admire whoever fought for this one.

76. Sign Language Press Conference - 11/3/12 (Host: Louis C.K.)

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Comments:  Great work from Cecily Strong and Nasim Pedrad here as a couple of over-excited sign language interpreters.  It's funny, when I look at my countdown, I can't get over how many times Nasim shows up in my favorite SNL sketches.  She was really good in the little amount of stuff she was ever allowed to be in on the show.  It bugs me that a lot of "SNL commentators" consider her time on SNL to be a failure, personally I think she had a great Saturday Night Live career.  Remember, Jan Hooks was rarely the star of anything either, you just had to start looking for her.  

75. Djesus Uncrossed - 2/16/13 (Host: Christoph Waltz)

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Comments:  If Quentin Tarantino made a Bible movie, this would be it. 

I think it's safe to say that not everyone was very happy when this parody showed up on SNL. 

Also, the J is silent.

74. Visiting the Queen - 11/20/10 (Host: Anne Hathaway)

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Comments: Anne Hathaway has been the host of some of the best SNL episodes of the past ten years, and this sketch is one of her best.  She plays Kate Middleton being introduced to Royal Family for the first time, and, um, they turn out to be not quite what she expected them to be. 

By the way, this sketch is another great Bill Hader showcase, which is fitting because he is completely running away with this stretch of the countdown.  Fred Armisen is of course really good here too.  But then again he is always good.

73. Homeland Security Refresher Course - 9/30/06 (Host: Dane Cook)

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Comments:  This is one of those random little sketches that always makes me laugh, especially when Will Forte says he can produce three ounces of gel anytime he wants to and Kenan gets a complete look of horror on his face in the background.  Watch for it at 3:46, it's one of my favorite SNL moments of the 2000's.  I know that SNL fans get tired of the old cliche of "Kenan reacts to things", but god damnit he is just so good at it.  It's no wonder they always use him for the reaction shots.  If I were an SNL writer I would use him a lot too.

72. Wooden Spoon Warehouse - 9/15/12 (Host: Seth MacFarlane)

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Comments:  This might be the shortest sketch on my entire countdown, it's just 56 seconds of awesome Tim Robinson weirdness.  He and Seth MacFarlane play Amish (?) owners of the Wooden Spoon Warehouse, and they try to spell out the address of their brand new website in Amish rebus symbols.  Listen for the audience's reaction to S being "the river what took my son", and watch Tim Robinson hold his stare at the camera for a beat as he valiantly tries to sell that joke.  That moment only could have happened in a 12:50 AM sketch just like this one.  I can't imagine there is a comedy writer alive who wouldn't appreciate this sketch.

71. Dear Sister
- 4/14/08 (Host: Shia LeBoeuf)

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Comments:  This is one of the most bizarre things that Saturday Night Live has ever done, but it was a big hit when it first aired in 2008.  It was also the inspiration for dozens of popular late 2000's memes, for about two years there you would run into them all over the internet.  This is also one of those clips that is nearly impossible to describe to a person who has never seen it before.  Um, okay, so a bunch of people get shot? 

“Dear Sister” is apparently a parody of a scene from the show "The O.C.", but I've never seen The O.C. before and I still thought it was hilarious, so I'm guessing you probably will too. 

Little known trivia fact, NBC actually yanked "Dear Sister" off its website and the show stopped including it in reruns for a while because people complained it aired too soon after the Virginia Tech shootings.  It's back up on the internet now, of course, but for a while there this was one of the more controversial films that SNL has ever done.  I'm really glad that I included it on my countdown now that I watch it again.  It's really funny.

70. Whites - 10/4/14 (Host: Sarah Silverman)

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Comments:  "Whites" is one of the great SNL masterpieces of the past two years, and I am thrilled that I get to include it on my countdown.   Especially because I don't think many non-SNL diehards ever would have seen it if they didn't stumble across it on this list.  I'm pleased that I get a chance to introduce weird shit like this to a wider audience.

The premise of this commercial?  Well it's time to take that one last trot around the bases, white people.  And then it's all yours, Mexicans.   But not yet.

It's no surprise at all that Mike O'Brien has a featured role in this clip, this is totally the type of sketch that he likes to write.  Oh and the little details going on in the background of this commercial are just glorious.  In fact I think I'm gonna go camp and hike.

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