Our favorite SNL sketches of all time. Until we change our minds.
From the debate sketch cold open with Alec Baldwin (“My mic is broken and Hillary and Obama broke it…”) to the Undecided Voter Cathy Anne, the 42nd season of “Saturday Night Live” opened with a bang last night. The episode was funny, timely, weird, and wonderful. But while we let this new bundle of beautiful sketches settle into our memory banks, and as we wait to see what actually punctures the noisy zeitgeist, we had a sudden irresistible urge to rank our top ten favorite “SNL” sketches OF ALL TIME.
OK, you’re right. That was a lie. We pretty much spend every night doing this—arranging and rearranging and debating and sweating over which sketch is truly number one. It’s like trying to rank the cutest kitten in a…basket full of kittens.
Check out our top ten favorite kittens….er….sketches of all time for the moment with the caveat that we have the prerogative to change our minds tomorrow.
10. CONSUMER PROBE
Way back in the early days of “Saturday Night Live,” Dan Aykroyd played lovable sleazebag Irwin Mainway of Mainway Toys who invented creative child enrichment products including “Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk” and our consummate favorite “Bag O’ Glass”—cuz educational.
Look, she’s not a downer. She’s just being realistic. Just kidding. She’s a downer. But honestly SOMEBODY needs to bring up the prevalence of feline leukemia at your next dinner party, right?
It’s entirely possible that many hardcore “SNL” fans don’t even remember this sketch, but to us it’s an eternal classic featuring the three essential elements: utter weirdness, Phil Hartman playing a psychopath, and Tom Hanks as host. Brachtune forevs you guys.
7. 60 MINUTES
Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest are our favorite dangerous novelty item manufacturers of all time for sure. But even greater than these two are the moments this sketch focuses on Nathan Thurm—their anxiety ridden, sweat-soaked, chain smoking lawyer who is NOT about to have a heart attack in the middle of this interview.
Wayne’s World is one of the most epic recurring sketches in “SNL” history, and picking just one sketch from this franchise is harder than making monkeys fly out of your butt. We’ve selected the episode where Barry the roadie (played by Tom Hanks) brings Aerosmith into the “studio” because we love that moment when Steven Tyler and the gang are hanging out in Wayne’s mom’s breakfast nook.
When Ana Gastayer and Molly Shannon took on the roles of softspoken NPR “Delicious Dish” hosts, they were an instant hit in our book. Mix in a healthy portion of Alec Baldwin and a bit of double entendre and you’ve got yourself a tasty holiday sketch that we love to put in our mouths.
4. MORE COWBELL
It’s our understanding that the first time this sketch was pitched it bombed hard, but when Blue Oyster Cult cowbell player Will Ferrell opted to wear an extra small velour shirt in his role, it instantly became one of the most popular sketches in the history of the show. Now, we’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is to watch this clip a hundred times in a row.
Chris Farley was the greatest, and there was no greater Chris Farley character than the flop sweat soaked espresso chugging motivational speaker, Matt Foley. Meet the guy who made it cool to live in a van down by the river.
Making fun of the perpetual train wreck that is “Celebrity Jeopardy” would have been funny enough, but when “SNL” decided that Alex Trebek and Sean Connery were mortal enemies, an epic saga was born. There are a lot of versions of this sketch but we had to select the one with Norm MacDonald playing Burt Reynolds aka Turd Ferguson as our fave.
Chris Farley is back on the list again in the number one spot. We dare you to take one look at his stripper routine in those leather pants and then tell us there’s someone who deserves it more.
Got your own ideas about how this top ten list should go? Tell us your favorite “SNL” sketch ever in the comments below.