Few SNL hosts are asked to host as often and greeted with as much enthusiasm from the show’s fan base as John Goodman. Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin may have a couple of hosting gigs over him, but there’s a long stretch between Goodman’s 13 gigs and Justin Timberlake’s 5.
John Goodman celebrates his 61st birthday today, and instead of doing a tribute of “Dan Connor’s 10 Best Tough Love Moments” I decided to roundup my favorite John Goodman SNL sketches. Obviously, not all the sketches from his 13 SNL gigs are online, but of those that are, these are the best.
1. Wilford Brimley for Liberty Medical (Season 27, 2001)
Wilford Brimely’s Liberty Medical commercials were humorous enough by themselves — even if it was just because of the word “diabeetus” — but they were always missing were metaphor’s like “food boner.” Goodman’s description of how he gets off his horse is just the cherry on top.
2. Adult School Badass (Season 24, 1999)
This is probably my favorite John Goodman SNL sketch from my favorite SNL episode, and I say that in complete confidence. Goodman’s portrays the classroom jackass that we’ve all known at one time or another. Only they were probably a teenager and not a 50-year-old man.
3. Dog Park (Season 20, 1995)
If this hadn’t already been done 20 years ago, it’s almost certain some YouTube prankster would have attempted the idea. You never know what kind of weirdos you’re going to run into at the dog park. I’ve heard that Lorne Michaels always ask potential cast members questions about what they’re willing to do on the air, but I doubt mounting a dog is one of them.
4. Lewinsky-Tripp Phone Chat (Season 23, 1998)
Its political sting might have waned some over the last 16 years, but Goodman’s Linda Tripp impression was one of the reasons Lorne Michaels asked him for 5 cameos during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.
5. Happy Smile Patrol (Season 24, 1999)
I believe this sketch was one of the final to air on Goodman’s 1999 hosting gig with Tom Petty. It’s pretty dark as far as SNL sketches go, but the children’s show gone off the rails won me over in the end.
6.Too Hot (Season 39, 2013)
Goodman’s most recent SNL hosting spot was a bright spot in an an otherwise spotty season. And like our own Josh Kurp said, “John Goodman in drag will always be its own punchline.”
7. Neil Diamond Storytellers (Season 23, 1998)
The “Shaun Mondavi Vineyards” sketch is not only one of Goodman’s best SNL moments, but a strong standout of Will Ferrell’s, too. Unfortunately, the internet gods did not smile upon me and I couldn’t find it anywhere. The “Neil Diamond Storytellers” sketch is a close second, though Ferrell completely steals the show here.