I know it sounds bizarre, but SNL is actually funny this season, and from my dive down a YouTube hole, it looks like it’s been decent for a while now. I chalk this up to the fine females on the show.
Saturday Night Live tends to be good in waves. I think most people will agree that the original cast was great for the first few seasons, then there was a bit of a down period until the show picked up again in the late ’80s/early ’90s, with performers like Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Nora Dunn, Jan Hooks, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey…. It stayed pretty good until about the time that David Spade, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, and Chris Farley became the focus of the show (although Farley was actually funny), then seemed to go into a down period again. There have been times with decent casts since then (the Will Ferrell/Molly Shannon/Ana Gasteyer/Cheri Oteri casts, and more recent casts with guys that were said to be funny, since they got their own TV shows and movies), but from what I’d seen, the writing wasn’t as sharp and/or there was too much of a reliance on recurring characters.
So, I started watching this fall because of the Trump/Hillary sketches, and they were certainly amusing, but watching different sketches, I saw how good the cast was otherwise, particularly the very strong, very funny female cast. It’s undoubtedly helped by the co-head writer being a woman (Sarah Schneider, formerly of College Humor, apparently), as well as several new female writers (thanks for the info, Wikipedia!). There have been a number of good hosts this fall as well, including (but not limited to) Tom Hanks, Dave Chappelle, Emma Stone, Margot Robbie.
So here’s a sampling of some of my favorite SNL sketches from this fall (and before).
This one features three of the SNL ladies (Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, and the oh so lovely Vanessa Bayer) in a Halloween sketch, where things don’t go as planned. Hilarious stuff.
This one is a great takeoff on ’90s female groups and Christmas songs and stupid presents that everyone gives. Emma Stone looks absolutely gorgeous here, not unlike a crush I had in the ’90s (the girl I talked about before, actually), Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant sing nicely (with Bryant doing a great breakdown about not adding anything to the gift, as it diminishes the candle), and all of the SNL females (I think) are spotlighted here.
Cecily Strong is hilarious in this one, because all of her asides are insane, and insanely funny. She’s a crazy lady going on about all sorts of shit, and an entirely believable actual human being that I swear I have seen before.
This one is the start, apparently, of a recurring sketch that SNL just did another one of this past week. While it’s getting diminishing returns, it’s still pretty damn funny because Kate McKinnon is hilarious as this lady who keeps getting the short end of the stick with otherworldly encounters. This one in particular is great fun because EVERYONE busts up laughing, even McKinnon herself. Ryan Gosling trying to keep it together is damn funny.
And one of the strongest sketches I’ve seen in ages, not just on SNL, is this Black Jeopardy sketch with Tom Hanks as the white contestant on Black Jeopardy, showing that no matter who we are, we have more in common than we don’t. Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones, and Kenan Thompson are all great as well.
Hope you enjoyed this trip down the YouTube rabbit hole of SNL clips! I sure lost plenty of time this past weekend because of it!