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Our Favorite ‘SNL’ Sketches of All Time

We've rounded up our absolute favorite 'SNL' sketches of all time. From Turd Ferguson to Stefon, these are the characters we'll never forget.
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We all have that favorite “Saturday Night Live” sketch or character who we can’t stop quoting, referencing, or simply thinking about obsessively to this very day. So, we rounded up our writers and closest confidantes to tell us what makes their favorite “SNL” moment so special.

‘Celebrity Jeopardy!’

Season 25 (1999)

Starring: Norm Macdonald, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Jimmy Fallon

Selected by: Norm fans and Stans everywhere

In the wake of Norm Macdonald’s passing this week, the world is in mourning, and tributes to his unique, understated genius are plentiful. We would be remiss not to highlight one of his most absurd and beloved characters, Burt Reynolds on “Celebrity Jeopardy!”

“Celebrity Jeopardy!” is one of SNL’s most iconic and long-running parodies. The first one aired on December 7, 1996, starring Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery, Martin Short as Jerry Lewis, and Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek. Norm plays American icon and sex symbol of the ‘70s, Burt Reynolds, with a too-cool-for-school attitude.

The sketch above took place in 1999, and marks the first time that Burt, played by Norm, insists that Trebek call him by a different name.

It’s difficult to imagine anyone pulling off Burt Reynolds refusing to be called anything other than “Turd Ferguson” better than Norm. The oversized cowboy hat, the giant hunk of gum in his mouth, and the overall disregard for Will Ferrell’s exhausted Alex Trebek is funny to this day.

Norm starred as Burt–I’m sorry, Turd Ferguson–in the first three “Celebrity Jeopardy!” sketches before he departed SNL. He reprised the role a couple times in the following years, most notably on the SNL 40th Anniversary Special in February of 2015.

‘Punk Band Reunion At The Wedding’

Season 35 (2010)

Starring: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Ashton Kutcher, Dave Grohl

Selected by: Johnny

There was a popular meme a few years back that went: “Punk’s not dead, it just goes to bed at a reasonable hour.” I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out it was said by Fred Armisen first.

I love “Punk Band Reunion At The Wedding” because I grew up around guys like these. I’m in my 40s now; I’ve seen my punk-rock friends turn into loving dads, successful businessmen, talented artists and even the occasional Republican. The skit plays on a ridiculous concept while throwing a solid jab at what it means to be a middle-aged Gen Xer, but it’s clearly done with love rather than vitriol.

Another reason I love this skit is how legitimately it represents the music scene. “Fist Fight in the Parking Lot” was written by Armisen as the fictional band in the sketch – Crisis of Conformity – but it could have just as easily been written by Circle Jerks or Suicidal Tendencies. The song and Armisen’s posturing are spot on. Even a technical problem in the skit turned into its own punk-rock moment when a quick-thinking Ashton Kutcher stepped in to mic Dave Grohl after an equipment failure.

I love everything about this skit, and it’s the best representation of why I think Fred Armisen is a comic genius. Whether it’s “Punk Band Reunion At The Wedding” or any number of other skits that feature Armisen riffing on musicians, the guy simply exists on my wavelength.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go dig up my Crisis of Conformity 7-inch that Armisen released. Because of course he did.

‘RBG Workout’

Season 45 (2020)

Starring: Kate McKinnon

Selected by: Molly

My favorite SNL Character is Kate McKinnon playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

RBG was seen as such a serious woman even though she had a good sense of humor. I love how McKinnon gave Ginsburg not only a whimsical attitude, but she also made jokes that only a true RBG fan would understand.

My favorite sketch is actually one of the last ones McKinnon got to do while RBG was alive, which is “RBG Workout.” A close second would be the RBG Rap from 2018!

Kate McKinnon is one of those “SNL” women who makes me actually laugh out loud during her sketches. She plays her characters so well, and she’s a really great comedian. I also want to add that McKinnon got to meet RBG in 2019, and RBG did indeed like McKinnon’s portrayal of her.

‘Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer’

Season 17 (1991)

Starring: Phil Hartman

Selected by: Drew

“Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer” is so specific and absurd. How can you not love a suave, smart caveman lawyer who pretends to be simple and confused to trick modern juries? And the intro theme song is so funny.  Everything about it delights me. 

I like every sketch this character is in, but I’ll go with this one from Season 17, because it’s one of the few on YouTube.

Phil Hartman is a legend, and everything he touched turned to gold. RIP! 

‘Stefon’

Season 38 (2013)

Starring: Bill Hader, Seth Meyers

Selected by: Megan

My favorite “SNL” character is Stefon, who is played by Bill Hader. John Mulaney was the main writer for this character, and he wouldn’t show Hader the script before he had to read the lines live. That led to Hader covering his face in almost every sketch to keep from laughing, which turned into the character’s signature gesture. There’s not one Stefon sketch where Hader doesn’t break character.

The character description alone gets me: Stefon recommends unusual clubs and parties with bizarre characters and very specific tastes, described as “visions a dying gay man would have if he was under too many blankets,” “nightmares of a crystal meth addict,” or a “coked-up gay Candyland.

Stefon’s tagline, “It has everything,” has become a popular line in my home.

‘The Real Intros of Reality Hills’

Season 43 (2018)

Starring: John Mulaney, Mikey Day, Cecily Strong, Leslie Jones, Melissa Villaseñor, Heidi Gardner, Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson

Selected by: Catie

“The Real Intros of Reality Hills” is one of many of my favorite “SNL” reality-show parodies. “Floribama Shore” and the “The Kim Kardashian Fairytale Divorce Special on E!” were neck-in-neck with this one. But something about the pacing of this particular sketch is just so incredible, I don’t think I can get through a viewing without crying of laughter.

To piggyback on Megan’s mention of John Mulaney’s writing, I can talk all day about how his stand-up comedy is la crème de la crème – but his sketch writing may be even better.

This parody is so close to what these reality shows (that I adore, mind you) are actually like, but the absurd details Mulaney throws into the mix absolutely kill me.

The way Leslie Jones asks, “Is this wine kosher?” deserved an Emmy, in my book.

‘Matt Foley: Van Down By The River’

Season 18 (1993)

Starring: Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Julia Sweeney, David Spade, Christina Applegate

Selected by: Jordan

I think Matt Foley, the motivational speaker, has to be it for me. On top of that, Chris Farley is probably my favorite cast member ever.

My favorite Matt Foley moment is definitely “Van Down By The River.” It’s the one “SNL” sketch I probably quote more than any other.

Chris Farley is so good that everyone in the scene starts breaking character the second he shows up. It’s the best. I’m a huge fan of any sketch that gets them to break. And in terms of geeking out about Chris Farley, it’s hard not to. He’s truly one of the funniest people of all time. If we were to run through all of my favorite “SNL” sketches, he’d be in most of them. Everything he touched was gold.

‘Chippendales Audition’

Season 16 (1990)

Starring: Chris Farley, Patrick Swayze

Selected by: Samantha

The “Chippendales Audition” sketch with Patrick Swayze is my favorite. I think physical comedy seems so challenging, and Farley makes it look easy. 

No one has made me laugh harder than Farley, so any one of his characters is good in my book. 

‘Mango’

Season 26 (2001)

Starring: Chris Kattan

Selected by: Jenny

Of all the most quotable “SNL” lines over the years, “You can’t-a have-a de Mango!” is right up at the top for me.

Chris Kattan was Mango – the eccentric little exotic dancer diva whom everyone was smitten with – including the guest hosts, like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Ellen Degeneres, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Garth Brooks (who was the best one, by far).

The host (playing themselves) would usually find themselves at one of Mango’s performances with some friends. They would laugh it off, but then obsessively fantasize about him when they got home. They’d be spending time at work or with their families, and Mango would pop in over their heads in a thought bubble, dancing to “Missing” by Everything but the Girl, and it would destroy their lives.

Eventually, the smitten celeb would fight their way backstage to try and woo Mango in his little gold lamé shorts, pink gloves, and beret. He’d reject and tease them with lines like, 

“Can you know the mighty ocean? Can you lasso a star from the sky? Can you say to a rainbow… ‘Hey, stop being a rainbow for a second?’ No! Such is Mango!” Then, he’d usually smack his own a**. 

They would eventually leave his dressing room, leaving him heartbroken and saying something like, “Oh, to be Mango! Why to be me?!”

He eventually met his own match when he went up against Kiwi, a rival exotic dancer played by David Spade.

Which of these sketches is your favorite?

We all have a favorite “SNL” sketch. Did we already mention yours, or do you have a novel favorite? Let us know!