Best Of

We asked the folks behind the scenes at SNL to tell us what they feel are the most influential sketches in the show’s history. Here are their top 10. -- Jessica Jones


Title: “Beatles Offer”
Season/episode: Season 1, episode 18
Original airdate: 4/24/1976
Stars: Lorne Michaels
Summary: Michaels offers John, Paul, George, and Ringo a whopping $3,000 to reunite the Beatles for a performance on the show.


Title: “Star Trek”
Season/episode: Season 1, episode 22
Original airdate: 4/24/1976
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Elliott Gould, Garrett Morris
Summary: The Starship Enterprise is invaded by NBC executives who inform the Star Trek crew of the show’s cancellation. William Shatner (played by Belushi) has an especially tough time coming to grips with the news.


Title: “Coneheads”
Season/episode: Season 2, episode 11
Original airdate: 1/15/1977
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman
Summary: We first meet this lovable alien family as daughter Connie (played by Newman) prepares to go on a date. But the Coneheads eventually take their consumption of mass quantities all the way to the big screen, in a 1993 spin-off film.


Title: “Julia Child”
Season/episode: Season 4, episode 8
Original airdate: 12/9/1978
Stars: Dan Aykroyd
Summary: What starts out as a lesson on deboning a chicken quickly devolves into a first-aid tutorial, as Julia Child (played by Aykroyd) cuts her finger and begins bleeding profusely.


Title: “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party”
Season/episode: Season 9, episode 4
Original airdate: 11/5/1983
Stars: Eddie Murphy
Summary: The Godfather of Soul (played by Murphy) dances and sings his way into a hot tub that’s “too hot!”


Title: “Chippendales”
Season/episode: Season 16, episode 4
Original airdate: 10/27/1990
Stars: Chris Farley, Patrick Swayze, Mike Myers, Kevin Nealon, Jan Hooks
Summary: Two dancers (Swayze and Farley) audition for Chippendales. The only thing more impressive than Farley’s moves is the ability of Myers, Nealon, and Hooks to keep straight faces.


Title: “The Chanukah Song”
Season/episode: Season 20, episode 7
Original airdate: 12/3/1994
Stars: Adam Sandler
Summary: Sandler spotlights some of his favorite Jewish people, including “Bowser from Sha Na Na” and “all three Stooges.”


Title: “Recording Session”
Season/episode: Season 25, episode 16
Original airdate: 4/8/2000
Stars: Will Ferrell, Chris Parnell, Christopher Walken
Summary: Never has the cowbell been so celebrated as in this sketch, a Behind the Music episode that shows Blue Oyster Cult recording their hit “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper.”


Title: “Gore/Bush Debate Cold Open”
Season/episode: Season 26, episode 1
Original airdate: 10/7/2000
Stars: Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Chris Parnell
Summary: Al Gore (played by Hammond) reveals his plan to put tax money in a lockbox. George W. Bush (played by Ferrell) sums up his campaign in one word: “Strategery.”


Title: “VP Debate Cold Open”
Season/episode: Season 34, episode 4
Original airdate: 10/4/2008
Stars: Tina Fey, Jason Sudeikis, Queen Latifah
Summary: Joe Biden (played by Sudeikis) trashes his “genetic cesspool” of a hometown, while Fey nails Sarah Palin’s hockey-mom demeanor and plays the flute for the “talent portion.”