CREDIT: NBC

Around every Thanksgiving and Christmas (and sometimes Halloween), NBC airs SNL compilation specials consisting of some of the most memorable holiday-themed sketches in the show’s history. With the Christmas editions, there is an overabundance of sketches to choose from. But the Thanksgiving specials usually contain a few “family meal” sketches that don’t actually take place on Turkey Day. That’s fine, though, as there aren’t as many Thanksgiving as there are Christmas bits. But it’s not entirely okay, because there are some actual Thanksgiving bits that don’t make the cut but that deserve to be revisited, like the Thanksgiving Song Auditions with Phil Hartman. Let’s take a deep dive into where rectification needs to be made.
The two main problems with the SNL Thanksgiving Special are recency bias and inexplicable sketch selection. The first is understandable, as the special gets refreshed every three years or so and thus tends to get reloaded with sketches that weren’t around to make the cut the last time. But at least room is still made for some sketches from previous decades, like Paul Simon dressed as a turkeyTonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein singing; and the Nikey Turkey.
Let’s run through some quick points that SNL‘s compilation packagers simply must hear:
-The Bird Family is an acceptable inclusion, because when else are we going to see that classic?
-The Yelling Family Dinner is also acceptable, but please use the one with Sarah Michelle Gellar instead of Gwyneth Paltrow.
-The Loud Family, on the other hand, while funny, should not be included, as it is not sufficiently about food.
Right Side of the Bed is certainly about Thanksgiving, but it is not very good.
The one sketch where Vanessa Bayer plays a turkey dating Josh Hutcherson is one of the most bizarre sketches ever. I guess it’s an acceptable inclusion, but what is up with the animation at the end?
-Bring back Thanksgiving Song Auditions!

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