Top 20 Funniest SNL Dance Sketches

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Top 20 Funniest SNL Dance Sketches

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Taryn Crankshaw
The funniest "SNL" dance sketches still have us laughing and tapping our toes. For this list, we'll be looking at the most hilarious and side-splitting dance scenes that “Saturday Night Live” has ever produced. Our countdown includes the Roxbury Guys, "Blues Brothers: Soul Man," "Lunch Lady Land," and more!
Transcript

Top 20 Funniest SNL Dance Sketches


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Funniest SNL Dance Sketches.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most hilarious and side-splitting dance scenes that “Saturday Night Live” has ever produced.

In the comments, let us know which sketch is your favorite.

#20: “Late Night Battle”


In this 2018 sketch, host Awkwafina took the opportunity to show off her dance moves. She plays a member of a dance crew who meets for a dance-off against a rival crew. When it’s her team's turn to show them up, their choice of music is… surprising. Using the “Price is Right” theme song, the sketch receives an uproarious laugh from the studio audience, which is amplified by the choreography. The scene ends with musical guest Travis Scott serving up his own moves along to the “Jeopardy!” theme, making this sketch a definite winner.

#19: “What Up With That?”


If you have tuned in to the first season of “Ted Lasso,” you know that “SNL” alumni Jason Sudeikis is an expert at doing the running man. Before he co-created the series, he perfected the dance on “Live” in the recurring sketch: “What Up With That?”. The skit is set up as a BET talk show hosted by Diondre Cole, aka Kenan Thompson, who’s a little obsessed with his own theme song. In the background, Jason can be seen doing the dance that was popularized in the 1980s and created by MC Hammer. There’s a lot going on in the sketch but in the midst of the chaos, Sudeikis’ moves stand out.

#18: “Peyton Manning Locker Room”


For sports fans, Peyton Manning is a god amongst men. The athletic titan has achieved greatness on the field and when he came to host “Saturday Night Live,” he also proved himself worthy of comedy gold. During one of the night’s best sketches, Peyton plays a basketball captain whose team is down in the dumps after a disastrous first half. His coach, Will Forte, does everything he can to pep up his team including getting them up on their feet to dance. Forte’s ridiculous moves cause his co-stars to break character. Eventually, the former Denver Broncos player joins in on the fun, making this sketch a certified touchdown.

#17: “Halloween Party”


In 2014, radio stations were blasting Sia’s hit “Chandelier” on repeat. The popular tune ended up finding its way to “SNL” in a sketch that mashed up the music video’s signature bodysuit, angular dance moves, and the Halloween season. Starring host Jim Carrey and player Kate McKinnon, the two have a dance-off when both of them attend a work party dressed in costume as the girl from the music video. Both experts of physical comedy dance their way into the live studio audience and even Lorne Michaels can’t help but get in on the action.

#16: “Jillian Chizz Helps Students Find Their Fosse”


Before she assumed hosting “SNL” duties, Christina Applegate was learning how to master the Fosse technique during her run in the 2005 revival of Broadway’s “Sweet Charity.” Years later in 2012, she used her skills in Studio 8H. Playing a dance teacher by the name of Jillian Chizz, she teaches a class on the legendary choreographer’s challenging moves. However, she uses some interesting terminology such as “ka-konks” and “zuh-zaz” much to the bewilderment of her students. It's a fun sketch, especially for any theatre lovers who will appreciate all the musical theatre references.

#15: “Black Swan”


In early 2011, one of the most topical films of the moment was Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller, “Black Swan.” The future Academy Award-winning film is a deep dive into the dark side of the ballet industry and “SNL” doesn’t hold back from having some fun with that. Featuring host Jim Carrey as Mila Kunis’ character Lily, aka the Black Swan, the comedian takes all the elegance of ballet and turns it upside down. The contrast evokes some hilarious results and showcases Carrey’s signature physical comedy style which is a crowd pleaser.

#14: “Ann Margaret”


Following the success of a 2012 bit, Kristen Wiig revisited the same premise a year later with this sketch. Playing 60s screen icon, Ann Margaret, Wiig shimmies and flails around in the retro-inspired skit. Co-starring host Ed Helms, her long-lasting attempt at disposing of the garbage is side-splitting and some of Kristen’s best physical comedy. While it’s super niche, the concept works well and although it might not live up to the same popularity of its predecessor, the scene holds its own.

#13: “James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party”


As one of “SNL’s” most legendary cast members, Eddie Murphy became well known for his spot-on impressions. He covered everyone from Stevie Wonder to Mr. T, but perhaps his best impersonation was James Brown. In “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party,” Murphy plays up the “Godfather of Soul’s” iconic dance moves. More focused on his choreography than actually getting into the tub, this sketch is peak physical comedy. Plus, we can’t help but suspect that a later sketch featuring Kristen Wiig was inspired by this memorable moment.

#12: “King Tut”


Arguably Steve Martin’s most famous “Saturday Night Live” performance, “King Tut’s” success didn’t end after cameras stopped rolling. The song actually reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the whole sketch quite a sensation. Composed by Martin himself, the song parodies the Egyptian pharaoh’s popular roving exhibit that toured the USA in the late 70s. Throughout the sketch, Steve dances and sings his way through the funk-inspired number. In recent years, the performance has come under fire and even sparked a protest at a college in Portland, Oregon for cultural appropriation. Nevertheless, audiences went wild for the sketch at the time, and it remains unforgettable.

#11: “Blues Brothers: Soul Man”


Conceived by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, The Blues Brothers got their start when they made their on-screen debut in 1978. During a performance with Art Garfunkel, the comedians dressed in their now infamous suit and tie combos and accompanied Garfunkel and his band. The shtick paid off and before they knew it, they were musical guests themselves. Performing the song “Soul Man,” which would go on to become a chart-topper, they move and groove to the bluesy sax and harmonica-driven track. Not only is it a great moment, but it goes down as one of the most famous acts in “SNL’s” history.

#10: “Cha Cha Slide”


In 2019, ex-SNL writer and returning host John Mulaney got an opportunity to show off his dancing skills in this sketch, along with cast member, Ego Nwodim. The two play a couple attending a wedding and Mulaney is riddled with nerves about meeting his girlfriend's family. Shaking off his worries on the dancefloor, the pair partakes in the wedding staple of dancing to DJ Casper’s 2000 hit “Cha Cha Slide”, but this time, it features a bunch of new moves. Turns out this plus one knows everyone better than he thought and proves to be a pretty good dancer, too.

#9: “Cobras & Panthers”


It’s been said that imitation is the highest form of flattery and if that’s true, then this sketch is one heck of a compliment. Parodying music theatre legend Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece, “West Side Story”, this sketch features host Robert Downey Jr. and a gang of singing and dancing gang members à la Sharks and the Jets. The choreography features “West Side's” signature snap and ballet inspired moves made famous by Jerome Robbins. The sketch is a funny and lighthearted poke at not only the musical but also the entire musical genre for its spontaneous nature of breaking into song and dance.

#8: “Dancing in the Dark”


When it comes to comedy, sometimes the most simple idea is the most effective. During this skit, Steve Martin and Gilda Radner play googly-eyed strangers who meet each other’s gaze in the middle of a crowded restaurant. The lights dim and time stops as they begin to dance across the famous 8H studio and around the live audience. They’re not the most graceful or skilled dancers, but it’s their commitment to playing it straight while simultaneously looking absolutely ridiculous that makes this sketch comedy gold.

#7: “Single Ladies”


In 2008, Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” took the world by storm. Not only did the song, music video and signature choreography become a sensation, but so did this sketch. Featuring Queen Bee herself, Justin Timberlake and cast members Andy Samberg and Bobby Moynihan, the scene asks: what if these guys were her backup dancers? Outfitted in the famous black leotards and heels, the guys put their own spin on the dance - which is less than stellar. However, when it comes to comedy, the badder the better, making this dance absolute perfection.

#6: The Spartan Cheerleaders


It’s hard to name a more dynamic duo than cheerleading hopefuls, Craig and Arianna. These characters, created and performed by Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri, are full of school spirit, high kicks and a willing attitude in their recurring sketches. The Practice one sees them sneaking into the gym to rehearse for tryouts, where they pull out all of their best moves. Unfortunately, for this pair, their enthusiasm gets the better of them. Between their ridiculous chants and messy high kicks, their dreams of joining the Spartan cheerleading squad might never come true, but their commitment and dedication are certainly admirable.

#5: The Roxbury Guys


Inviting viewers into a ‘90s club, Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell offer up two of the most memorable characters of their era on “SNL”. Known as The Roxbury Guys, they’re two club dwellers who can't dance, can’t flirt and have zero game, often joined by a third person. When that person is host Jim Carrey, the trio bounce around from party to party, bobbing and bouncing along to Haddaway’s “What Is Love”. The recurring sketch became such a hit that it successfully head bobbed its way right to the big screen when the characters received a big screen adaptation in 1998’s “A Night at the Roxbury”.

#4: “Haunted Elevator” (ft. David S. Pumpkins)


In 2016, “Saturday Night Live” introduced viewers to one of its most talked about characters of all time. Featuring host Tom Hanks, this sketch starts off with a couple visiting a haunted attraction. There, they are introduced to David S. Pumpkins, a man dressed head-to-toe in a Jack-o-lantern patterned suit, accompanied by two dancing skeletons. The sketch, from the costumes to the dancing, is truly bizarre and even the characters themselves can’t quite figure out who or what is happening. Despite all this, the character became so popular he even received his own animated special a year later.

#3: “Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp”



National treasure, Liza Minnelli, is a triple threat. She can do it all: sing, dance and act - but can she turn off a lamp? It's a question for the ages and thanks to “SNL”, we have an answer. Starring Kristen Wigg and Jonah Hill, in this sketch they play Minnelli and her unnamed friend as they prepare to leave her apartment to watch the opening night of the Broadway musical, “Cats”. Before they go, Liza has to turn off a lamp, but instead turns the simple task into a dance. Wigg makes a meal out of her Fosse-inspired gestures and earns every laugh in what has to be one of her funniest moments on the series.

#2: “Lunch Lady Land”


As an “SNL” cast member, Adam Sandler gained notoriety for his original musical comedy. Armed with his guitar, Sandler blessed viewers with this song told through the perspective of a high school lunch lady. The unsung, played by fellow cast member, Chris Farley, dazzles with his graceful turns, spins and commitment to the sketch. The two are even joined onstage by a cast of foods like garlic bread and a Sloppy Joe sandwich. From the get-go, Farley goes the extra mile to try and make Sandler laugh, which he successfully pulls off several times throughout the performance. What makes this sketch stand out is that not only is it hilarious, but also a special moment between two friends.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Omeletteville”
Justin Timberlake Plays a Dancing & Highly Competitive Restaurant Mascot

“Boy Dance Party”
With Bruce Willis, This Sketch Features a Move Called "Shake That Sack"

“Disco Booty Junction”
Sigourney Weaver & Kristen Wiig Perform a Disco-Inspired Number

"Samurai Night Fever"
Jim Belushi Dances to Disco in this "Saturday Night Fever" Parody

#1: “Chippendales Audition”


In this sketch, Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley play aspiring Chippendale dancers who make it to the final round of auditions. Both Swazye and Farley are totally committed to the outrageous choreography that includes lots of thrusting, jumps and even The Worm. In the 21st century, the sketch from 1990 has received criticism for its portrayal of body image. It's an important reflection, especially considering that the sketch still continues to gain a lot of attention today. Farley’s athleticism, energy and fuel are the driving forces of the piece and prove that no matter how much time passes, he’ll always be one of the best and brightest in the history of the show.
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