The Best of SNL Season 46

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CREDIT: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Oh my god, Saturday Night Live Season 46 is already complete?! It’s already late May 2021?! Okay then, I guess it’s time to let you know what I liked the most about the past year of Studio 8H’s offerings in various categories. If you want to know my absolute favorite hosts, musical guests, episodes, etc., then get with it and keep reading! The number of entrants varies by category, because that’s just what I felt like doing, lol.
(My favorite ketches get their own post, which can be found here.)

Most Valuable Cast Member
I don’t think I’ve ever picked Pete Davidson as the MVCM of a season, so I’m going to go ahead and do that now. Why not! After all, he appeared in several of my favorite sketches this year. Can you believe he just finished his seventh season?
Pete Davidson
Kenan Thompson
Kate McKinnon


Best Sketches of SNL Season 46

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

What makes a good comedy sketch? Oh jeez, there are so many ways to answer that, but one thing’s for sure: we’d better be laughing! So with that in mind, I decided to discuss my favorite sketches of SNL Season 46 by describing how they made me LAUGH.
(As per usual, both sketches that aired live and cut-for-time sketches that were posted online were deemed eligible.)

15. New Choreographers: I laughed WHILE ACKNOWLEDGING THAT I WAS IN THE PRESENCE OF GREATNESS because legends were talking to each other.


The Best of SNL Season 45

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CREDIT: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

At the end of Season 45, we’ve got some seasoned veterans in this here SNL cast. Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Aidy Bryant have all just completed their eighth full seasons, while Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney aren’t too far behind at seven each. Those are some healthy runs, and under normal circumstances, I would be encouraging them to look towards a future beyond Studio 8H. (Kenan Thompson, meanwhile, continues to defy all SNL tenure logic as he creeps ever closer to a previously-unheard of 20 seasons.)

But these aren’t normal circumstances, of course, as the last three episodes of this season weren’t exactly live. So if those veterans want to return for at least part of Season 46 for a proper send-off, they’d be justified in doing so. As for what they and their castmates accomplished in the past year, I would like to celebrate that, as I usually do. So here’s what happened on SNL between September 2019 and May 2020 that made me go, “Good, good.” (My thoughts on the best sketches of the season can be found here.)

Most Valuable Cast Member
The veterans delivered veteran-quality work. Cecily stands out on the very top for her consistently capable canine corralling.
Cecily Strong
Kenan Thompson
Kate McKinnon


Best Sketches of SNL Season 45


CREDIT: NBC/YouTube Screenshots

If you are a human being who watched every minute of Saturday Night Live Season 45 and didn’t laugh at least 15 times, I would be surprised. HERE ARE MY RANKINGS OF THE BEST SKETCHES OF THE SEASON! (All sketches from the 2019-20 season were eligible, whether they were from regular episodes, or from stay-at-home episodes, or posted online after being cut for time. New cut-for-time sketches have continued to steadily trickle in since the season finale; with that in mind, this list will be regularly updated accordingly if necessary.)

15. Food Dudes: Ingenuity can take people far if they’re sufficiently motivated.


The Best of SNL Season 44

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CREDIT: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Saturday Night Live Season 44 is over, and somehow we survived! I’ve got my rundown below of what I thought was the best in various categories. As for the top sketches, my in-depth ranking can be found here. If you have your own rankings or other SNL-related thoughts and concerns, please let me know!

Most Valuable Cast Member
The longest-tenured cast member of all time felt perhaps the most essential he ever has, and a trio of ladies consistently delivered lived-in character work.
Kenan Thompson
Cecily Strong
Heidi Gardner
Kate McKinnon

Best Hosts
What took so long for the Sandman to return? And for Dame Emma to debut for that matter?
1. Adam Sandler
2. Liev Schreiber
3. John Mulaney
4. Kit Harington
5. Emma Thompson

Best Monologues
SNL has almost completely given up on the monologue, so thank the comedy gods that stand-ups still sometimes stop by.
1. John Mulaney
2. Paul Rudd
3. Seth Meyers
4. Jonah Hill

Best Musical Guests
Guitar skills go a long way.
1. Gary Clark Jr.
2. Tame Impala
3. Paul Simon
4. Maggie Rogers

Best Weekend Update Segments
Drug culture never went away at SNL, it just got weirder.
1. Terry Fink
2. Colin and Michael Swap Jokes
3. Elizabeth Warren

Best Episodes
Early May is often a sweet spot.
1. Adam Sandler/Shawn Mendes
2. Kit Harington/Sara Bareilles
3. Liev Schreiber/Lil Wayne
4. John Mulaney/Thomas Rhett

Best Quotes
Both courtesy of Heidi Gardner.
1. “Pikachu can get it.”
2. “I’m so horny I could cry.”

Best Sketches of SNL Season 44

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CREDIT (Clockwise from Top Left): Rosalind O’Connor/NBC; Will Heath/NBC; Steve Molina Contreras/NBC; Rosalind O’Connor/NBC)

Was 2018-19 a great, or even good, SNL season? I’m inclined to say “not particularly,” but there’s almost always at least one moment per episode that really tickles my funny bone. Thus, it’s not hard to curate a list of the ten, or even twenty, best sketches of the season. So that’s what I’ve done below, with thoughts included on the top ten. (Note: sketches that were cut after dress rehearsal and then posted online were eligible, since they’re posted so frequently and quickly nowadays.)

20. Weezer Argument
19. Frank Sinatra Impersonator
18. A Frightening Tale
17. Colorectal Exam
16. Discover Card
15. Teacher Fell Down
14. Wedding Reception
13. What’s Wrong With This Picture?
12. The Unknown Caller
11. Retirement Party

10. Toilet Death Ejector

Passing away on the commode really speeds up the “Tragedy + Time = Comedy” equation.


The Best of SNL Season 43

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CREDIT: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Best Sketches
(For my detailed thoughts on the best sketches, click here.)
10. Za
9. Diner Lobster
8. Cookout
7. Undercover Office Potty
6. Hollywood Update
5. The Race
4. Jurassic World Trial
3. Raz P. Berry
2. Beers
1. Barbie Instagram

Most Valuable Cast Member
Cecily Strong
Kate McKinnon
Kenan Thompson

Rookie of the Year
Heidi Gardner (Best Debut Season Since Cecily’s)

Best Hosts
1. Donald Glover
2. John Mulaney
3. Will Ferrell

Best Monologues
1. Will Ferrell
2. John Mulaney
3. Kumail Nanjiani

Best Musical Guests
1. Childish Gambino
2. Troye Sivan
3. Jack White

Best Weekend Update Segments
1. Angel, Every Boxer’s Girlfriend From Every Movie Ever
2. Stefon
3. Jacob Silj
4. Kyle Mooney on the Oscars

Best Episodes
1. Donald Glover/Childish Gambino
2. John Mulaney/Jack White
3. Will Ferrell/Chris Stapleton

Best Sketches of SNL Season 43

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This post was originally published on News Cult in May 2018.

A lot of websites post their lists of the best SNL sketches of the season. What is unique about this particular list is that it is not the same as any of those other lists. If you love SNL, and you love reading about SNL, chances are this is not the only best sketch list you have read and are going to read, because you just love consuming a full range of opinions about a show that always inspires a full range of opinions. So without further ado, here is a thoughtful, passionate, well-researched ranking of the 10 best sketches of SNL Season 43, with honorable mentions of 20-11 as well. (Please note: dress rehearsal cuts that were posted online were considered alongside sketches that made it to air, in consideration of how much online viewing plays a part in this current SNL era.)

20. Family Dinner
19. The Dolphin Who Learned to Speak
18. New Wife
17. Fighter Pilots
16. Dying Mrs. Gomez
15. Ad Council Awards Dinner
14. James Madison High School Graduation
13. Black Jeopardy!
12. Office Break Room
11. The Last Fry

10. Za

A lawyer’s (James Franco) argument rests upon his insistence that nicknames are based on pronunciation, not spelling, and he has never been more convinced of anything in the world. The writing on this one is actually paper-thin, but Franco propels it to classic territory with his ferocious delivery of “lasagna: za, pizza: suh.”


The Best of SNL Season 42


So I’ve got the essential categories covered here. You can also head on over to NewsCult for my in-depth analysis of the best sketches. Enjoy!


The Best of SNL Season 41

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Most Valuable Cast Member
Kate McKinnon
Runner-Up: Cecily Strong
Honorable Mention: Larry David

Best Sketches
For my full thoughts on the best sketches, click here.
1. Yo, Where Jackie Chan At Right Now?
2. Mafia Meeting
3. FBI Simulator
4. bern your enthusiasm
5. Dead Bopz
6. Chad and Mrs. Douglas Show
7. Oprah Winfrey: A Life of Love
8. Screen Guild Awards
9. Close Encounter
10. Farewell, Mr. Bunting

Best Dress Rehearsal Cuts (AKA The “Kyle ‘Cut for Time’ Mooney” Award)
For my full thoughts on the best dress rehearsal cuts, click here.
1. Establishment Shuffle
2. New Studio
3. Not Scared
4. March Madness
5. Bieber Concert

Best 10-to-1 Sketches
1. Dead Bopz
2. Oprah Winfrey: A Life of Love
3. Miley Wedding Tape

Best Hosts
1. Larry David
2. Fred Armisen
3. Ariana Grande

Best Monologues
1. Fred Armisen
2. Elizabeth Banks
3. Tracy Morgan

Best Musical Guests
1. Disclosure
2. Courtney Barnett
3. The 1975

Best Weekend Update Segments
1. Drunk Uncle
2. One-Dimensional Female Character From a Male-Driven Comedy
3. Bruce Chandling

Best Episodes
1. Tracy Morgan/Demi Lovato
2. Fred Armisen/Courtney Barnett
3. Larry David/The 1975
4. Ariana Grande
5. Brie Larson/Alicia Keys

Best Lines
For my full thoughts on the best lines, click here.
13. “Why do we have to labia everything?” – The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party (Cecily Strong), on Weekend Update
12. “Happy Birthday to Mitt Romney who today turns 69. Which for Mormons is a sin.” – Colin Jost, on Weekend Update
11. “We’re at the point where we’re-” “finishing each other’s sente-” “pedes. Human” ““centipedes. Favorite Christmas movie!”” – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, in their monologue
10. “Am I dating a girl, or am I dating … a pop quiz?” – Bruce Chandling (Kyle Mooney), on Weekend Update
9. “How far along are you, Theresa? You look like you’re about to pop.” “We think 2 months, we haven’t been keeping count.” “What?” “We don’t really know how it works, and we don’t believe in doctors. We’re just kinda winging it.” – Baby shower guest (Sasheer Zamata) and Theresa (Vanessa Bayer), in Baby Shower
8. “Jackie Chan was in movies as well as karate.” – Kenan Thompson, in Yo, Where Jackie Chan At Right Now?
7. “My tongue’s not as long as Gene Simmons, but my penis is even shorter.” – Ace Chuggins (Larry David), in Last Call
6. “All of you knuckleheads are getting cars.” – Oprah (Mike O’Brien), in Oprah Winfrey: A Life of Love
5. “God bless you.” “He never has and he never will.” – Colin Jost and Olya Povlatsky (Kate McKinnon), on Weekend Update
4. “Quick, somebody give that hologram a Holo-Grammy. Not my joke, guys, I’m just laser beams.” –Bing Crosby hologram (Beck Bennett), in Dead Bopz
3. “Paul Robeson of Porgy and Bess fame was one of the great singers and civil rights leaders of his day. We used a computer to make him sing ‘Trap Queen.’” –Bing Crosby hologram (Beck Bennett), in Dead Bopz
2. “Poetry should not be fun. It should be oppressive and the reader should hate it. Poems are from a hundred years ago. They were written by a bunch of dead men to punish children. The arts in general are for women and homosexuals. When you read a poem you should never feel emotion. In summary, poems stink.” – Mr. Kellogg (Beck Bennett), in Farewell, Mr. Bunting
1. “Can a bitch get a donut?!” – Kevin Roberts (Larry David), in FBI Simulator

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