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Top 10 Saturday Night Live Sketches

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Since October 11th, 1975, Lorne Michaels’ creation “Saturday Night Live” has been cracking us up with its hilarious original characters, spot-on impersonations and hysterical sketches. Wait, since 1975? And we’re picking 10? In honor of Andy Samberg’s birthday on August 18th, 1978 and Kristin Wiig’s birthday on August 22nd, 1973, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 “Saturday Night Live” sketches of all time. Special thanks to our users theenlightenedone, Moise Joassaint, Drew Pennington, BenTK, Malcolm Lim and derekallen for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page!
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Top 10 Saturday Night Live Sketches


Live from New York, they’re the skits that crack us up most. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 “Saturday Night Live” sketches.

#10 – Total Bastard Airlines (Debuted: March 19, 1994)

Sarcastic? Clearly. Obnoxious? Absolutely. Memorable? Oddly, yes. Though this recurring skit only ran a couple of times, it was enough to implant this catchphrase into our brains for good. Sure, these bitter flight attendants were hated in their time, but “Total Bastard Airlines” has staying power – we bet you’ve said “buh-bye” at least once, and for that you can thank David Spade and “SNL.”

#9 – James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party (Debuted: November 5, 1983)

If a skit’s success is measured by its quotability, then this one’s a winner. As the lone star in the “SNL” dark ages, Eddie Murphy was given ample opportunity to shine – and shine he did, in a gold speedo. What’s most impressive about this one is it’s basically just Eddie mumble-squealing and dancing wildly. We still can’t get in a hot tub without picturing James Brown. That’s weird, right?

#8 – Olympia Café (Debuted: January 28, 1978->)

You may know this skit better as… Starting a trend that would continue for decades, this was one of the first truly quotable and quoted sketches “SNL” produced. Playing in perfect harmony beside Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi displays his uncanny ability to gibberish his way through a sketch, as a Greek restaurateur in a greasy-spoon diner. Just don’t try to order a Coke.

#7 – Colonel Angus (Debuted: February 22, 2003)

All it takes is a southern accent and a knowing wink for this skit to hit its climax. Written by head writer Tina Fey and brought to life by Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Chris Parnell and the host to end all “SNL” hosts, Christopher Walken, “Colonel Angus” is one sly innuendo after another. FYI if you don’t get the joke, try Google – we are not explaining it here.

#6 – Super Bass-O-Matic ‘76 (Debuted: April 17, 1976)

During “SNL”’s inaugural season, writers and cast members were still trying to find their niche. Along comes Dan Aykroyd with one of the strangest, most surreal, and bizarre sketches you ever did see. Parodying hyperactive, fast-talking infomercial pitchmen, Aykroyd introduces a tool that will let you use the whole bass, with no waste. We’d complain that he should’ve drunk the bass himself, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry.

#5 – Celebrity Jeopardy (Debuted: December 7, 1996->)

Inexplicably stupid celebs, antagonistic repartees and ridiculous categories make this recurring sketch perfection. With Will Ferrell leading the charge as mustachioed Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, a revolving cast of characters offers up spot-on impressions of random celebrities. Some show up more than others, with Norm Macdonald’s cocky Burt Reynolds and Darrell Hammond’s surly Sean Connery squaring off against Trebek on multiple occasions. We couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, so we won’t even try. But remember: mothers are fair game.

#4 – Digital Shorts (Debuted: December 3, 2005->)

Did you ever expect to hear a rap about the Chronicles of Narnia? Us either. But Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island pals know how to take the ordinary and turn it into a digital piece of hilarity for our viewing pleasure. Take your pick from: Jizz in My Pants, I’m on a Boat, Like a Boss, I Just Had Sex, Jack Sparrow, etc. But we have to say, when “SNL” host extraordinaire Justin Timberlake gets in on the action, that’s the greatest gift.

#3 – Chippendales Auditions (Debuted: October 27, 1990)

Believe it or not: this was one of Chris Farley’s first episodes, and already he loomed large as a cast member. In this classic sketch, we see how agile the big guy really is, ‘cause he keeps up with the Dirty Dancer and then some. We still can’t decide which is more distracting: Swayze’s mullet or Farley’s ass-crack. Either way, this sketch wormed its way into our hearts.

#2 – The Delicious Dish with Pete Schweddy (Debuted: December 12, 1998)

In the off-chance you’ve never seen this sketch, we’ll set the mood: it’s the holidays, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon are monotonous NPR radio hosts, and joining them is Alec Baldwin as Pete Schweddy, chef and proprietor of Season’s Eatings. Together, they discuss their favorite Christmas nibblies. What follows are enough double-entendres to last you until New Year’s. We’ve never been more impressed to see “SNL”ers not break character.

#1 – More Cowbell (Debuted: April 8, 2000)

If a skit spawns a catchphrase beloved by an entire generation, it’s a hit. Will Ferrell is one of the biggest stars ever to grace the “SNL” stage, and we’ve established that Chris Walken is a killer host. Tack on porno ‘staches, Ferrell’s tiny shirt, Fallon’s incessant giggling, Walken’s deadpan dialogue and – of course – the cowbell itself, and you get fireworks – or at least a temperature of some kind.

Do you agree with our list? Which “SNL” sketch is your favorite? If you didn’t see what you’re looking for, be sure to check out our Top 10 “Saturday Night Live” characters list, and subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more great top 10s.
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