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The 10 Best ‘SNL’ Sketches This Season

By / 05.19.14
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NBC


Now that SNL has wrapped, it’s clear season 39 was a 22-episode trial period for season 40. It was a year of major transition: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Jason Sudeikis departed, as did Seth Meyers midseason, paving the way for vanilla stick Colin Jost and Cecily Strong, whose talents are better used elsewhere, to man the Weekend Update desk. The cast was huge, full of unknowns who, without many veterans around, had a chance to become “the next Andy Samberg.” Unfortunately for them, and us, none of them, with the possible exception of magnificent weirdo Kyle Mooney, really evolved beyond the “wait…is that John or Mike or Brooks?” phase. Even long-time favorite Bobby Moynihan had a bit of a lost season (the clear MVP was Kate McKinnon, who elevates every wide-eyed sketch she’s in).

Season 39 didn’t have an identity, and because of that, there’s going to be an off-season bloodbath. Seventeen cast members, including Jost, is too many, and a purge is needed. After 21 episodes, we know who’s capable of what, and when the show returns in September, the cast should be tighter and more confident in their abilities. This was always going to be a rough year; there’s no excuse for next season. That being said! There were are a whole of bunch of classic sketches, including these 10.

(Note: I didn’t include monologues or Weekend Update bits, only sketches.)

10. “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders” (Ed Norton/Janelle Monáe)

What I said then:

In this week’s episode of The Fogelnest Files, Jake Fogelnest’s “professional” podcast for Earwolf, Jake spoke to Will Ferrell’s comedy partner Adam McKay, who worked on SNL for years. One of the sketches they talked about at-length was the great “Bill Brasky,” and how the audience never laughed as loud as they should have. I’m, of course, editorializing, because “should” is an unfair concept when it comes to comedy, but no, everyone in the studio should have pissed their pants from laughter after every “Bill Brasky” description. I bring this up because that’s how I felt during “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders”: I thought it was great, a spot-on, well-timed spoof of the pristine tweeness of Wes Anderson’s films, especially The Royal Tenenbaums, but the in-studio audience barely rose above a chuckle. I bet they like The Darjeeling Limited, too, those monsters. (Via)

The Ed Norton episode wasn’t a favorite, but it did have two of my favorite sketches all season: this one, and Norton doing his best gay Vincent Price impression while discussing Halloween candy.

9. “Blockbuster” (Lady Gaga)

What I said then:

“In Loving Memory of Blockbuster.” F*ck that, but everything else: beautiful. Midway through Lady Gaga’s Love Tent Experience (you think the three fellas drew straws to see who’d get to make out with her?), I was afraid the mystical subversion wasn’t going to happen. When it did, I couldn’t have been happier. Sorry, homeless Aidy Bryant, but once you’ve banged on Blockbuster popcorn drums and dined on the forbidden Vines, there’s no going back. (Via)

Equally great: “Beer Pong” and “Bugs.” But those didn’t have the Croods.

8. “Lamborghini” (Jonah Hill/Bastille)

What I said then:

The Bangs of New York, Raging Boner, The Departed (Hymen), and The Wolf of Wall Street, obviously, but let’s not forget about The Age of Innosex, Open Her Island, and Huge-O. (Via)

By season’s end, the Ex-Pornstars were getting as tired as they looked after a seven-hour gangbang, but that’s only because they hit their climax in the Jonah Hill episode. Peak Martin Pornsese puns, too.

7. “Ooh Child” (Lena Dunham/The National)

What I said then:

“Ooh Child” could have ended with the GPS lady continually cutting off Lena and it still would have been fine, but then came the kicker of the four passengers in the car actually being five, and a fine sketch became great. Dark, funny, and a clever misdirect — the best sketch of the night. (Via)

Unless you’re a big Bibbo fan, you won’t be disappointed to learn that Lena Dunham and Girls appear on this list more than the combination of Game of Thrones and dragons, which is the first time that sentence has ever been uttered.

6. “Mornin’ Miami” (Miley Cyrus)

What I said then:

What seemed like a groaner at first turned into the best sketch of the season. Simple, flawless, and full of instantly quotable non sequiturs, like “Jeff Dunham’s puppets are in studio. Jeff Dunham is not. Let’s see how funny those puppets really are,” “He’s a helicopter, he’s a machine gun, he’s a bigot. Racist foley artist Bill Space is here to make funny sounds and some awful comments,” and “Get on your camel or significant other, ’cause it’s Hump Day.” (Never forget, or do.) Long live Bitch Fantastic. (Via)

I’ve checked into so many hotels as Bitch Fantastic since this sketch first aired.

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