I’m a bit late to the game as the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special aired on NBC this past Sunday, but watching the three-hour trip down memory lane got me thinking between the laughs. It’s amazing how much SNL has been and continues to be part of my routine. I was still in single digits when I watched the early seasons rerun on Nick@Nite, and it was during the Farley heyday when the teen version of me became a committed live watcher. The current season may be abysmal (only the absurdly funny “Wishin’ Boot” music video deserves repeat play), but the special reminded me how funny SNL can be and left me reminiscing about my favorite sketches over the years.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but more of an invitation for you, dear readers, to share your favorite SNL sketches.
As far as “one-and-done” stand-alone pieces, nothing in my mind tops “Consumer Report” where Dan Aykroyd plays a slimy toys salesman shucking new toys for the Christmas season, one of which is a literal bag of broken glass.
When it comes to the carnival of recurring bits over the years, I might be a simple caveman who doesn’t understand your ways, but the following always crack me up:
- Land Shark
- Toonces the Driving Cat
- Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer
- Debbie Downer
- What’s Up With That?
What are you favorite skits or recurring characters from SNL?
Celebrity Jeopardy is great. Turning Sean Connery of all people into a crude and insulting pervert is comedy gold.
Matt Foley. Motivational Speaker is Farleys best work.
And the Digital Shorts
I love Norm Macdonald’s impression of Burt Reynolds on Celebrity Jeopardy.
I always thought Drunk Uncle should’ve hung out with Stefon.
Dave, I missed the SNL 40th (though I feel like I didn’t, thanks to the plethora of FB updates about it while it aired), but I do have fond memories of watching it while growing up. My prime years for watching it were around 1991 to 1997 (though I saw enough reruns of the old ones to have an appreciation for those eras). I bounced back to it in 2000 and my wife (then girlfriend) and I used to end our Saturday nights watching SNL. This lasted till, I guess, 2004. I pop back in on it every so often but it doesn’t do much for me now. Anyway, some of my favorite moments over the years (in no particular order):
—The sketch where Phil Hartman, playing Clinton, almost chokes on a cheeseburger.
—Matt Foley, especially the Christmas sketch.
—Conan O’Brien as Moleculo, The Molecular Man.
—Tracy Morgan doing Cameo at the hearings on file sharing (“I have a prepared statement….WORD UP!”)
—Mike Myers as Mick Jagger and Mick Jagger as Keith Richards on a Weekend Update in ’93
—Joe Pesci as a guy trying on rings who pantomimes to himself in the mirror, ultimately leading to a fight and a cursing-out of his mirror self (and his opening monologue response to the previous week’s Sinead O’Connor incident: “I’d have given her such a smack, I’d have grabbed her by her, her eyebrows!”).
—The Odd Couple starring Al Gore and George Bush.
And oh so many others (Wayne’s World! Spartan Cheerleaders!) that I’ll leave to others to list as well.
How have I not seen (or don’t remember) Molecular Man?
My favorite has to be Jane Curtin and Gilda Radnor in Weekend Update!
Martin Short as Ed Grimley, Martin Short as the seedy guy with the cigarette on the 60 minutes type show. Eddie Murphy – undercover white guy. Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest – I hate it when that happens. Hans and Frans. Christopher Walken – the Continental. John Lovitz – Acting! Wayne’s World. Tippy Turtle. That chicken cartoon where the chicken talks about where chicken as a food comes from – hey kids, how’s the me?
Oh man I forgot about that chicken sketch and that it was SNL! That thing was hilarious!