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Thursday, June 26, 2014

30 of the Best SNL Skits Ever

Rolling Stone recently selected the top 50 Saturday Night Live (SNL) skits of all time ("50 Greatest 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of All Time"). This inspired me to pick (for now) 30 of my favorites, which appear below. There's a definite bias toward older skits since that's when I watched SNL more faithfully. Still, all of these are pretty good. Most of the titles are my own and reflect how I recall them, which may not always be entirely accurate. If you click on the pictures of the sketches, they should link you to the videos.

1. Dead Honky (1975): Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor

2. Bassomatic (1976): Dan Aykroyd

3. Conehead Family Feud (1977): Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin -- the Coneheads are great. Bill Murray is hilarious as Richard Dawson.

4. Samurai Hitman (1977): Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray -- Actually, there are several "Samurai" skits that are quite good. This is just one. Belushi was brilliant. The first of many SNL alums to die too soon.

5. Roseanne Rosannadanna (1978): Gilda Radner: One of many classic Roseane Rosannadanna commentaries on Weekend Update. This one's about smoking, but she quickly strays off on one of her tangents. A reminder of how good Radner was. Too bad she died so young. I don't think Gene Wilder (her husband) ever got over it.

6. The Perfect Circumcision (1977): Dan Aykroyd: Parody of a car advertisement extolling the virtues of its shock absorbers, which allow the cutting of a diamond while driving.

7. Baba Wawa (1978): Gilda Radner and John Belushi (as Henry Kissinger) -- Another one of Radner's great characters. 

8. No Coke, Pepsi (1978): Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner

9. King Tut (1978): Steve Martin -- A classic when Steve Martin was at the top of his game.

10. The French Chef (1978): Dan Aykroyd -- Supposedly, Julia Child loved this skt.

11. Two Wild and Crazy Guys (1978): Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner -- One of many featuring the Festrunk brothers.

12. Jane, You Ignorant, Misguided Slut (1978): Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd

13. Medieval Barber (1978): Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner

14. Killer Bees (1978): Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd, Elliot Gould, Jane Curtin, Lorne Michaels -- the Killer Bees sketches were great. I tried to track one down, "The Bad News Bees" (featuring Walter Matthau), but I couldn't find a video of just it. To see it, you have to watch the entire episode (although it's pretty funny).

15. Blues Brothers (1978): Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi -- Before the movie, before the album. Aykroyd's dancing is hilarious. Belushi's is pretty good too.

16. Buh-Weet Sings (1981): Eddie Murphy

17. Mr. Robinson's Christmas (1984): Eddie Murphy

18. Ronald Reagan (1986): Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, A. Whitney Brown, Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey, Nora Dunn -- Hartman is wonderful as Reagan. Another SNL alum who died too soon.

19. Church Lady (1988): Dana Carvey, Al Franken (Pat Robertson), Phil Hartman (Jimmy Swaggart) -- "That's so special"

20. Hans and Franz (1990): Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, and Patrick Swayze -- We're here to "pump you up!"

21. Chippendales (1990): Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze

22. Living in a Van Down by the River (1993): Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Christina Applegate, Julia Sweeney, David Spade -- Ranked #1 by Rolling Stone

23. The Chanukah Song (1994): Adam Sandler -- One of my favorite "Christmas" songs ("100 of the Best Holiday Songs")

24. Celebrity Jeopardy (1999): Norm MacDonald, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Darrell Hammond.

25. More Cowbell (2000): Will Ferrell, Christopher Walken, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz -- if I were to rank them, this would be a candidate for #1.

26. The Bush's Go Hunting (2000): Dana Carvey and Will Ferrell -- Dana Carvey's multiple portrayals of the elder Bush are wonderful, and this is just one of them. However, when you add Will Ferrell as "W," then you have a classic.

27. Katie Couric and Sarah Palin (2008): Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. An instant classic.

28. Dusty Muffin (2010): Betty White, Molly Shannon, and Ana Gasteyer -- some folks prefer "Schweddy Balls," but this is my favorite "Delicious Dish"

29: Pandora Intern (2012): Bruno Mars -- I'm not a huge Bruno Mars fan, but he's amazing in this

30. Boy Dance Party (2013): Bruce Willis, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah, Beck Bennett. I had to include at least one from the past season.

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