Since the beginning of Saturday Night Live
, the show has been something of an anti-television show, turning the medium on its head with endless fake commercials
shows themselves. The most common style of their recurring sketches has been the talk show
format. However, anything from cop shows
to children's shows
has been fair game for the ever-changing cast.
Sketches with TV show themes are listed here chronologically. Some TV show sketches do not appear here, because they fit into one of the other categories listed below.
Character lists: Alphabetical and Chronological
Minute Mystery with Mike Mendoza
) is a crime scene photographer who gives the audience a list of clues and 60 seconds to solve a mystery.
The Mr. Bill Show
Mr. Bill is the clay figurine star of a series of short subjects shown from 1976 to 1980 on Saturday Night Live (SNL). The "Mr. Bill Show" was a parody of children's shows.
Mr. Bill got its start when Walter Williams sent SNL a Super-8 reel featuring the character in response to the show's request for home movies during the first season. Williams became a full-time writer for the show in 1978, writing more than 20 skits based on Mr. Bill.
Each Mr. Bill episode would start innocently enough but would quickly turn dangerous for Mr. Bill. Along with his dog, Spot, he would suffer various indignities unintentionally(?) inflicted by Mr. Hands, a man seen only as a pair of hands (played by Vance DeGeneres).
Sometimes the abuse would ostensibly come from the mean Mr. Sluggo, another clay character. (However, Mr. Hands did most of the violence himself, because Sluggo would tell him to, i.e. "Mr. Sluggo says to...") The violence would inevitably escalate, generally ending with Mr. Bill being crushed or dismembered while squealing, "Ohhhh noooooooooooooo..."
Characters: Mr. Bill, Mr. Hands, Spot, Sluggo, Miss Sally, Mr. Bill's Mom & Sluggo Clones.
The character's popularity spawned the 1986 live-action movie Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures, which did poorly at the box office.
- In the 1980s, Mr. Bill was featured in advertising spots for Pringles Butter and Herb flavored Potato Chips, where he gets run over by a can of Pringles and says "oh no". In 1988, Mr. Bill also appeared in a series of anti-drug announcements which showed him engaging in various activities such as basketball until Sluggo would bury him under a bunch of pills, in which the tagline would be "Say OH NO! to drugs".
- In the 1990s, Williams created a series of Mr. Bill-like advertising spots for Pizza Hut, featuring "Pizza Head" in the usual Mr. Bill role and a pizza cutter named "Steve" in the Sluggo role.
- In 1998, Mr. Bill was given his first television series in nearly 20 years, which was titled Ohh No!!! Mr. Bill Presents and aired on the Fox Family Channel. As well as featuring typical Mr. Bill-type skits, other sketches, most notably ones from British personality Mr. Bean, were present in the one-hour variety show. It lasted forty episodes.
- In 2004, Mr. Bill was part of a campaign aimed at teaching people, especially children, about the loss of Louisiana's coastal marshes and swamps. According to CNN, one segment predicted the effects of a hurricane on New Orleans about a year and a half before Katrina.
- In early January 2008, Mr. Bill became one of Subway's spokesmen, along with Mr. Hands.
- MasterCard has enlisted Mr. Bill for one of its "Priceless" ads, which officially began airing on June 9, 2008.
Toy maker Irwin Mainway (Dan Aykroyd
) would appear on this talk show and hopelessly defend his company's extremely dangerous products such as "Bag O' Glass", "Bag O' Vipers", "Bag O' Sulfuric Acid", "Mr. Skin Grafter", "Pretty Peggy's Ear Piercing Kit", "Doggy Dentist", "Chancellor Tron's Secret Police Confession Kit", "Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk", and "Chainsaw Teddybear". A sketch frequently aired by SNL
on their Halloween retrospective special had Mainway defending Halloween costumes such as a military outfit that included an actual working rifle ("very popular in Detroit!"), an entirely black and non-reflective uniform called "Invisible Pedestrian" (which had a warning on the package that read "NOT FOR BLIND KIDS"), an airtight plastic bag that was to be affixed over the head with a rubber band called "Johnny Space Commander Mask," and an oil-soaked costume called "Johnny Human Torch", which came complete with an oversized lighter. Each sketch would end with the host (Jane Curtin) condemning Mainway's products, while Mainway would make pathetic attempts to show how more commonplace toys/clothing were equally harmful.
E. Buzz Miller and Christie Christina
Sleazy public access host E. Buzz Miller
) made crude and lascivious remarks about otherwise commonplace subjects (such as fine art or exercise) to which his ditzy co-host Miss Christie Christina
) would giggle and make obtuse responses.
This character has been played six times by Christopher Walken
so is technically not short-lived (four appearances or less). He is a stereotypical middle-aged European playboy who refuses to be put off, after he has attracted a woman to his apartment. His approach is non-violent but also hilarously uncharming. Camera angles are always from the woman's view.
was a recurring character played by Dan Aykroyd
. Pinth-Garnell, always clad in a tuxedo and black tie, would lugubriously
introduce a short performance of "Bad Conceptual Theater," "Bad Playhouse," "Bad Cinema," "Bad Opera," "Bad Ballet," "Bad Red Chinese Ballet," or "Bad Cabaret for Children," and then exult in its sheer awfulness. Aykroyd played the character nine times from 1977 through 1979, and returned for a single appearance on November 3, 2001, introducing "Bad Conceptual Theater." (The show was hosted at least one time by Laraine Newman
as Lady Pinth-Garnell
Pinth-Garnell was loosely based on the longtime PBS Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke.
- "Stunningly bad!"
- "Monumentally ill-advised!"
- "Perfectly awful!"
- "Couldn't be worse!"
- "Exquisitely awful!"
- "Astonishingly ill-chosen!"
- "Really bit the big one!"
- "Unrelentingly bad!"
- "Rally socks!"
- "There... That wasn't so good now, was it?"
Episodes Featuring Leonard Pinth-Garnell
- March 13, 1977 host: Sissy Spacek
- April 9, 1977 host: Julian Bond
- May 14, 1977 host: Shelley Duvall
- October 8, 1977 host: Madeline Kahn
- December 10, 1977 host: Mary Kay Place
- March 18, 1978 host: Jill Clayburgh
- May 20, 1978 host: Buck Henry
- November 18, 1978 host: Carrie Fisher
- February 24, 1979 host: Kate Jackson
- November 3, 2001 host: John Goodman
Joe and his ex-partner Bob (Dan Aykroyd
and Bill Murray
) are two cops that were kicked off the force (apparently for being intrusive bigots) that harass the people that live in their apartment building for not living up to their arch-conservative standards (a man and a woman living together without being married, an allegedly lesbian
couple, etc.) with disastrous results.
The Franken and Davis Show
writing partners Al Franken
and Tom Davis
host their own fictitious variety program, on which they would appear onstage as a double act
similar to Rowan and Martin
, with Davis generally as the straight man and Franken as his self-obsessed, dimwitted sidekick
. They would also perform skits within the context of their "show". The sketch was often a late-addition to the show as a time filler if the broadcast was running short. Their best-known skit consisted of Davis appearing in normal dress, while Franken appeared in a flowing garment, with a shaved head and a pony tail and announced he was becoming a Hindu
. Davis responded by cutting off the ponytail, angering Franken who said, "Now people will think I'm a Buddhist
Aside from "The Franken and Davis Show", the two have made several appearances—either separately or as team—in many SNL sketches throughout the years. They also appear together in the film Trading Places as a pair of drunken baggage handlers. Al Franken later hosted his own talk show on which Tom Davis has made numerous appearances. Franken is probably best known for his character Stuart Smalley, and for his on-air proposal at the end of the 1970s that the 1980s be known as "The Al Franken Decade."
Woman to Woman
A talk show sendup where feminist Connie Carson (Gilda Radner
) speaks with professional women about their careers.
was a recurring sketch featuring Dan Aykroyd
as Ray, a pseudopsychic with his own TV show. For the character, Aykroyd wore a blonde wig and tinted sunglasses, and sat behind a desk with five telephones on it. By calling 555-1231, 555-1232, 555-1233, 555-1234, or 555-1235, callers (voices of other members of the cast) asked for advice about personal issues. His flippant delivery and outrageous suggestions while answering phones are indicative that he was nothing but a fraud. In response to a series of questions that involved time spans, his answer for each was, "Ohhhh...about a month."
There were two Telepsychic sketches, which opened the show both times.
Episodes Featuring Telepsychic
was a sketch from 1975-1980#1979-80 Season
. It was a spoof of The Beverly Hillbillies
, instead featuring paranoid Arabs. Only two sketches appeared, on December 8
(host: Howard Hesseman
) and February 9
(host: Chevy Chase
). As all of the cast members left the show at the end of that season, it was not continued.
It appears to have been an offshoot of Gilda Radner's "Granny" character, which had appeared in a sketch called "The Shah's Final Days" during the previous season.
What's It All About
Mister Robinson's Neighborhood
Mister Robinson's Neighborhood was a parody of the children's show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, a PBS staple where new information about the world was presented by Fred Rogers in a quiet, methodical, highly elocuted manner. In the sketch, Eddie Murphy's character "Mister Robinson" speaks in a similarly stilted manner, but lives in a considerably grittier venue, with slumlords hunting him down for rent and police after him for stealing groceries and defrauding children of toy money.
Rogers took no offense to the parody, finding it amusing and affectionate; he even took the opportunity of a promotional appearance on NBC to seek out Murphy in his SNL dressing room and tell him such.
Incidentally, the first installment of "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood" where Mr. Robinson gets a package from a drug dealer named "Mr. Speedy" [played by Gilbert Gottfried], was overshadowed by the "Who Shot Charles Rocket" recurring gag that ran through the episode and the controversy over Rocket saying, "I'd like to know who the fuck did it" during the goodnights. The book, "Saturday Night Live: The First 20 Years" has a still shot from the episode of Eddie Murphy as Mr. Robinson pointing to a sign that reads, "Bitch"
playing Fernando Lamas
who would interview various celebrities. Always during the interview he would say, "You look mahvelous." and frequently the sketch would end with, "It's better to look good than to feel good."
The Limits of the Imagination
The Limits of the Imagination was a short-lived sketch featured on the 1985–1986 season. It featured Randy Quaid as "The Floating Head", a Rod Serling
-like character who would introduce a creepy, Twilight Zone
-esque story with a weak ending (or no ending at all).
Episodes featuring Limits of the Imagination
- Madonna/Simple Minds: In a loose parody of When a Stranger Calls, Madonna plays a female motorist who is being followed by a crazy man (played by Jon Lovitz) living in the trunk of her car.
- John Lithgow/Mister Mister: Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Nora Dunn, and Terry Sweeney play restaurant patrons who are trapped at an "all-you-can-eat" fish restaurant where patrons are forced to eat everything on the menu.
- Dudley Moore/Al Green: Dudley Moore plays a bad comedian who sells his soul to the devil (played by Jon Lovitz) in order to be popular.
- Ron Reagan Jr./The Nelsons: Ron Reagan Jr. plays a man who is treated like a stranger by his wife (Joan Cusack), son (Robert Downey Jr.), and friends (John Lovitz, Damon Wayans, and Dan Vitale).
- Jerry Hall/Stevie Ray Vaughan: Jerry Hall plays "Maggie the Cat" from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, who traps and seduces a gay man (played by Terry Sweeney) in her hotel room.
- Catherine Oxenberg and Paul Simon/Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Young Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (played by Robert Downey, Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall) sell their souls to the Devil (Jon Lovitz) for success. Later, an elderly Paul Simon (who appears as himself) lives out his personal hell of listening to Muzak versions of his greatest hits while stuck in an elevator.
The Pat Stevens Show
Nora Dunn payed the host, a somewhat dim, shallow, ex-model who thought Vogue
The Further Adventures of Biff and Salena
The various mundane events in the lives of a seemingly mentally disabled couple (Jon Lovitz
and Joan Cusack
Actors on Film
Church Chat was a Christian-based, distinctly local-TV celebrity interview program, hosted by "The Church Lady" (named "Enid Strict"), a character created and performed by Dana Carvey as a spoof of on-air, holier-than-thou Christian televangelist. The SNL character was immediately recognizable and popular, spawning some catch phrases such as "Well, isn't that special?", and "Could it be...SATAN?!"
On the set of "Church Chat," with its rectory desk and bogus cellophane stained-glass, other cast members of SNL would appear as celebrities of the day, and sometimes, so would actual celebrities of the day. Church Lady would seemingly praise or soothe her guests during their time of crisis, only to blindside them with judgmental admonishments and damnation. She would always wear a high-collared purple dress, a sweater, and old fashioned glasses. Most skits would end with her telling the church organist to "Hit it, Pearl!" as she'd stand over her "sinner" guests performing her "superiority dance."
Unlike most other popular characters from SNL, though, she was never incorporated into a feature length film.
Instant Coffee with Bill Smith
Miss Connie's Fable Nook
Pumping Up with Hans & Franz
Hans & Franz were two muscle-bound jocks played by Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey mimicking Arnold Schwarzenegger with padding for fake muscles, gray sweatsuits, weight belts, and Austrian accents. They were the hosts of "Pumping Up with Hans & Franz", where they proceed to denigrate others for not being strong, and then strike bodybuilder poses. They always introduced themselves saying, (Carvey) "I am Hans." (Nealon) "...And I am Franz" (together) "...And we are here to pump [handclap] you up." In one episode, Schwarzenegger actually appears and admonishes them for being girly men.
Hanz and Franz appear in the EPCOT Center presentation Cranium Command as they make the heart beat.
Learning to Feel
Wayne's World was one of the most popular recurring sketches on Saturday Night Live, centering around a cable access show hosted by Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and his sidekick, Garth Algar (Dana Carvey). The "show" featured their various exploits, including their obsession with hard rock bands and "babes", as well as juvenile antics, such as the "Extreme Close-Up". The sketch was eventually adapted to a film, Wayne's World which was followed by a sequel, Wayne's World 2.
Cooking with the Anal Retentive Chef
This series of sketches featured Phil Hartman
as Eugene, a fastidious chef who could not bear to be in the presence of anything cluttered or dirty. After peeling some vegetables he advised throwing the peels away by wrapping them in paper toweling, then aluminum foil, then putting them in a paper bag that was then to be sealed with scotch tape. Gene never completed any of his recipes; he always became too distracted by the effects of his psychological complex, and ran out of time. The majority of these sketches featured the Eugene character as a chef, however, he also played an anal retentive sportsman and home improvement expert. The sketch was presented as a PBS
program sponsored by the Chubb Group
Episodes featuring the Anal Retentive Chef
Tales of Ribaldry
Tales of Ribaldry
was a series of sketches starring Jon Lovitz
as Victorian era dandy
Evelyn Quince, presenting supposedly "racy, randy, ribald!" tales, presented initially as "bodice rippers
" which, to the host's clear and vocal dismay, develop into rather straightforward, "not very ribald at all!" sexual encounters between consenting adults.
Saturday Night Live later featured a one-time sketch called "Tales of Irony" which used a similar premise. Jason Alexander played the host who would become clearly agitated when the scenes developed into quite bland pieces with very little irony at all.
Episodes featuring Tales of Ribaldry
Sprockets was a series of sketches starring Mike Myers as Dieter, the stereotypical German minimalist host of the fictitious West German television show "Sprockets." Effeminate or asexual, he would be dressed in tight black leotards with round wire-rimmed glasses and slicked-back hair. He had a pet monkey named Klaus who was chained to a stand between Dieter and his guests. Dieter would harass his guests by yelling, "Touch my monkey!" until the guest would (often Klaus would also shake the guest's hand).
Mike Myers played Lank Thompson in three different sketches in the early 90s. Thompson was a very handsome man who marketed a line of videos to help men look and act more handsomely. The three videos were Lank Thompson: I'm a Handsome Man
, Lank Thompson: I'm a Handsome Actor
and Lank Thompson: I'm a Handsome Black Man
is a sketch about a young British
boy played by Mike Myers
who likes to draw, and has his own BBC
television program, Simon
. The sketches always begin by showing the BBC logo with a faux British announcer back-announcing some ridiculously insipid sounding programming on right before it. The show borrows its theme song
from a British children's television series
called Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
, though, aside from the concept of a young boy who draws, the premises are completely dissimilar. Simon broadcasts his program from his bathtub, in which he appears to be nude. On the show, Simon displays his drawings (pronounced drawerings
in an exaggerated British accent), which he bends over to pick up, whereupon he scolds the audience, by yelling his catch phrases
, "Don't look at my bum!" and calling the audience "Bum Lookers!" and "Cheeky Monkeys!"
His drawings often depict scenes that are disturbing or morbidly violent, presented with a naïve and childlike innocence. From the context of his show, it can be inferred that Simon has an extremely skewed outlook on life due to his upbringing: his mother is deceased (or, as he refers to it, "with the angels"), and his father is somewhat of a reprobate who associates with nefarious figures and leaves Simon unattended for long periods of time while he gambles. Simon is seemingly oblivious to his abnormal nature, maintaining a jovial temperament, and a typically juvenile sense of humour. Simon also suffers from gigantism (an obvious explanation for having a body of a full-grown man). He sometimes has guests on his show, who appear in the bathtub with Simon, and also show their drawings (which are as equally disturbing as Simon's). Simon typically ends his show when he determines that he has been in the tub too long, as indicated by his "prune hands".
The Dark Side with Nat X
In the early 1990s, Chris Rock
portrayed "Nat X," a militant talk show
host with a huge Afro
hairstyle. He once remarked that he had only a 15-minute show because, as he explained, if he had any more, "The Man
" would regard it as welfare. Many of Rock's original stand-up comedy
bits were incorporated into Nat X's dialogue.
Nat X was cruel to all of his guests, "greeting" nearly all of them with, "Sit yo' ass down!" Perhaps the most memorable episode featured host Kevin Bacon as Vanilla Ice. Nat told Ice that he could not dance, and even persuaded his other guest, Colin Powell, to dance with him in order to show Ice how to do it.
Spike Lee made a surprise appearance as himself on another episode, donning an "X" cap that was made popular by his film Malcolm X. Not knowing this at first, Nat explained to him that he had been seeing these caps all over town but had personally not seen a dime in profits.
Chris Farley often appeared as "Sandman," a manic clown armed with a broom who swept guests away when Nat had had enough of them. Sandman was modeled after Howard "Sandman" Simms from Showtime at the Apollo, who performed the same function on that show's famed "Amateur Night" episodes, when substandard performers fell short of audience approval.
Episodes featuring Nat X
Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley
Coffee Talk with Linda Richman
Mike Myers played Linda Richman, a stereotypical Jewish middle-aged woman based on Myers' (now former) mother-in-law (Myers has said he got explicit permission from his mother-in-law before creating and playing the character). Originally, Coffee Talk was hosted by Myers as Paul Baldwin, whose favorite phrase was, "No big whoop."
Richman had an exaggerated New York Jewish accent (e.g. her pronunciation of "Cawfee tawk"). She sported big hair (which she could not go more than five seconds without adjusting); dark glasses; long, painted fake nails; and gold jewelry. She frequently went into pseudo-Yiddish rants, using terms like "verklempt" and "shpilkes in [my] geneckteckessoink", and had an obsession with Barbra Streisand. One episode featured a surprise appearance by Streisand. The other stars of the episode were Rosanne Barr and Madonna.
was an SNL skit parodying English actors. It is described by the announcer as produced by the "British-American Theatre Alliance", and centered around several English Shakespearean actors recounting acting experiences and anecdotes. However, one of the most memorable performances was Dana Carvey
as embittered former American child star Mickey Rooney
, complaining about how the film industry largely turned their back on him, and reminiscing on better times.
played the host, Kenneth Rhys-Evans (aka "Cucumber Jones"), an English actor who discovered one day that he could not control the volume of his voice (a joke Myers later used in the first Austin Powers
movie). Other characters included Steve Martin
as an elderly British actor nicknamed "Nobby", because his real name was incredibly long.
- Kenneth: That reminds me of a story that's in no way related. I was working with John Gielgud in a production of Troilus and Cressida, when I discovered I had no control OVER THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE!
- Mickey: I was the number one star... in the world, you hear me? Bang! <kissing noise> In the wooorld.
- Nobby: What a fascinating story you ghastly American! <imitating Mickey> Bang!"
Mickey: I'm just glad I like women.
Nobby: What are you getting at?
Kenneth: Yes, why don't you go off somewhere and have an American 'hot... dog'?
Sassy's Sassiest Boys
played Russell Clark, editor of Sassy Magazine
, who interviewed young, male celebrities of the day, and incessantly repeated the term "Sassy!", or variations of it ("The French have a word for it: Sassé
!" or "Looks like someone stepped in a big pile of Sassy!") after each guest's response. Guests included Joey Lawrence
(played by Mike Myers
) whose sole response to everything was the expression, "Woah
!" (his character's catchphrase
on the sitcom
The Denise Show
The Denise Show
revolved around Adam Sandler
's character (Brian), who broke up with his girlfriend Denise (played by Shannen Doherty
), and has yet to accept that the relationship is over. He would feature guests who had seen Denise, and take phone calls. Calls with his father (played by Phil Hartman
) would result in shouting matches about how disappointed he was with his son, with Brian eventually hanging up on him. The show appeared to come to an end when, later in the season, Denise's friend (played by Nicole Kidman
) appeared on the show and became Brian's new girlfriend. However, in a later broadcast, the show was restarted when Brian broke up with Denise's friend as they did not share the same interests, which mainly included stalking Denise.
It was revealed on the show's final episode that Brian had previously hosted "The Linda Show" as a teenager in the late 1970s. Though Brian claimed it was entirely different from "The Denise Show," it was in fact exactly the same, but with a different ex-girlfriend. Linda (played by Nancy Kerrigan), who had moved to Florida after breaking up with Brian, makes a surprise appearance on "The Denise Show," as she is in town visiting her aunt for two weeks. The couple reunites, with Brian saying that "The Denise Show" would go on a two-week hiatus and probably be followed upon its return by an all-new version of "The Linda Show."
Good Morning Brooklyn
Good Morning Brooklyn
is a morning talk show
hosted by Brooklynites
who spoke in Italian American
vernacular using heavy New York accents
. Its hosts were James Barone (Jay Mohr
) and Angela Tucci (played first by Sarah Jessica Parker
, then by Courteney Cox
). The two often got into shouting matches, yelling "Shut up!", "No, you
shut up!" back and forth until they cut to a "Please Stand By" graphic. Barone frequently used the expression, "Fugheddaboudit!
Also featured were traffic and weather reporter Anthony (pronounced Ant'ny, played by Michael McKean), who gave vague and uninformative reports (such as, "It's hot as a bastard!"), and field reporter Molly Fahey (Molly Shannon), who, when asked if her name was Italian, admits, "No, but it's Catholic", which James replies is "good enough".
Adam Sandler played Angelo, a guest whose entrance was always accompanied by his yelling at an off-screen antagonist ("No, you move your car!" or "No, you suck my ass!"). In one sketch, Angelo hosted a segment called "Beatin' of the Week," in which someone would receive a beating for making derogatory remarks about Italians. Chris Farley played a hot dog vendor who was discovered by Fahey, and was the unfortunate recipient of said beating for his comment that "IROC" was an acronym for "Italian Retard Out Cruising".
The character James Barone later appeared in an unrelated sketch about a Civil War documentary, in which uninformed high school dropouts commented on the American Civil War.
Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly
A fictitious talk show hosted by shaven-head Scottish soccer fans Andy Gray (Mike Myers
) and Ian Daeglish (Mark McKinney
) that aired on ESPN2
. The hosts are presumably named after real Scottish footballing legends, Andy Gray
and Kenny Dalglish
. This show was a weekly show for rowdy Scottish soccer fans, referred to as "Hooligans." McKinney often gets his nose broken by Myers, and Myers often vomits from drinking too much beer. There were several fake sponsors including "Bollocks" brand hot dogs. Meyers would often begin by saying "Let's get down to business because I'm steamin' PISS DRUNK
, and I'm gonna be SICK!
or such colorful variations as "I'm gonna honk. I'm gonna paint this room like an esophagial Jackson Pollack canvas." Memorable topics of discussion included "Effigies are they really worth the trouble? Why not burn the real people?" and "odd things i've found in me vomit after rioting". In one episode David Hyde Pierce plays a character claiming to be an American "tennis hooligan". "I choose the player I hate, and when they're about to serve I do something distracting like yawn or shift in my seat. One time i coughed really loud."
Perspectives with Lionel Osbourne
In this mid-to-late 1990s series of sketches, Lionel Osbourne (played by Tim Meadows
) hosts a television show primarily dealing with African-American
issues. However, the show is only broadcast to fulfill WNBC-TV
's public service
commitment, and airs very early on Sunday morning. Osbourne is generally clueless to the accomplishments of the guests on his show, regularly asking them stupid questions. Also, Osbourne pauses after nearly every dialogue sequence with his guest to announce the time and to re-identify the show, which would always follow the format: "It's (time) in the A.M. and you're watching Perspectives
. I'm your host, Lionel Osbourne. With me today is (guest).", followed by a gradually less informative recap of the conversation so far. In one sketch, Osbourne interviewed Dr. Emory Coleman (played by David Alan Grier
), host of the television show Viewpoint
- which was identical to Perspectives
, but with Coleman as host and Osbourne as the guest. The sketch repeatedly cut back and forth between Perspectives
, causing even the hosts to become confused as to which show they were on.
The Joe Pesci Show
This sketch starred Jim Breuer
as Pesci, the host of his own late-night talk show. The heard-but-not-seen cameraman was meant to be Pesci's brother.
Pesci's personality on the show does not so much resemble the real Joe Pesci as it does Tommy DeVito, his character from Goodfellas. While interviewing his guests, each guest would invariably, inadvertently say something that Pesci took as an insult. He would then produce a baseball bat, and proceed to beat the guest senseless.
There were a few guests who were notable exceptions to this fate. On one episode hosted by Jim Carrey, Carrey played legendary actor James Stewart, while regular cast member Mark McKinney played Carrey. Pesci and Stewart teamed up to beat up Carrey, with Stewart going on to beat up Pesci himself. Pesci also spares actors who, like him, are of Italian ancestry and who came to prominence in films about the Sicilian Mafia. Kevin Spacey appeared as Al Pacino on one episode, in which the two of them team up against Rodney Dangerfield. Alec Baldwin, John Goodman and Colin Quinn made appearances as Robert De Niro, though he is reduced to monosyllabic responses to Pesci's prompts: his lines are usually "I heard things" (a line from Oscar winner "Raging Bull," the first movie to star both De Niro and Pesci), and "Li'l bit" (a line from Goodfellas, another film starring the two actors). The real Pesci and De Niro surprisingly appeared on one episode, criticizing Breuer for playing caricatures of their film characters. Breuer's weak defense of himself insults Pesci, who asks DeNiro if they were just insulted, to which De Niro responds, "Li'l bit." The two of them then proceed to beat up Breuer and Quinn.
A cel-shaded rendering of an episode of The Joe Pesci Show appears in a scene of the movie Waking Life where the television is scanning through several channels.
The Quiet Storm
Shopping At Home Network
Will Ferrell imitates Don West, the loud, bombastic, former late-night collectibles show host on the Shop At Home Network who now serves as a professional wrestling announcer with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
" was a recurring sketch that parodied the popular game show Jeopardy!
, featuring celebrities who quite often seemed to respond incorrectly. Will Ferrell
portrayed the host, Alex Trebek
, who frequently ended up frustrated with the contestants' stupidity, and the constant taunts of Sean Connery
(portrayed by Darrell Hammond
Goth Talk was a late-night Tampa Bay cable access show recorded in the basement of two goth high school students, Azrael Abyss (Chris Kattan) and Circe Nightshade (Molly Shannon).
Leon Phelps, the Ladies Man
Tim Meadows portrayed Leon Phelps, aka "The Ladies Man," in this popular series of sketches. Phelps (who is stuck in a 1970s mentality, is obsessed with Delta Burke, and speaks with a lisp) hosts a television show ("The Ladies Man") where he takes calls and delivers sexual advice. However, Phelps's advice is always over the top, and generally out of line. Whenever he takes a call from a female caller, Phelps says, "Ooooh! It's a lady!" Phelps always has a glass of Courvoisier, a brand of fine Cognac.
This sketch became one of a handful of SNL sketches to spawn its own feature film.
- Main article on the 2000 film: The Ladies Man (2000 film)
was not set up as a TV show, but rather a radio show that appeared to be simulcast
on TV. It was hosted by the characters Margaret-Jo McCullen (portrayed by Ana Gasteyer
) and Terry Rialto (portrayed by Molly Shannon
). Both characters used rather monotonous voices with very little inflection in parody of a stereotypical National Public Radio
host. They'd often interview guests and proceed with a dialogue that would mislead radio listeners since they could not see what was going on in the studio. The most famous iteration of this sketch is likely the "Schwety Balls" skit with Alec Baldwin.
Issues with Jeffrey Kaufman
This sketch features Will Ferrell
and Cheri Oteri
playing two morning talk show
hosts. Ferrell plays Tom Wilkins, a typical vapid and smiling male TV personality, and Oteri plays his scatterbrained female co-host, Cass Van Rye. The two are depicted as being extremely chipper, and tend to be overenthusiastic about each other's mundane life stories, and about their less-than-stellar guests. This is more than likely due to the large amounts of latte
they consume during the course of a show.
The two begin the show by recounting recent events in their personal lives, (in the same vein as shows like Live with Regis and Kelly, which SNL itself has parodied after Oteri and Ferrell left the show), which are almost certainly never as exciting as their reactions to them. Cass usually tells a story about her and her husband Eli, in which she never fails to include the detail about her inability to conceive children. Tom then tells a story about a recent event involving him and his wife Gail. Cass almost immediately forgets the details of his story, prompting her to ask questions to which he has already stated the answers. There is also usually a producer off to the side who throws out random comments, which Cass inadvertently forgets over the course of the show. The producer eventually gets fed up with her absentmindedness and loses his temper, shouting obscenities (such as, "YOU STUPID BITCH!") at her. The two hosts become stunned at the reaction, until he informs them that he was "just kidding", to which they respond with incessant laughter.
They also have guests on the show, yet no matter how boring or insipid they are, the two remain extremely enthralled throughout the interview.
Morning Latte at the SNL Archive
The How Do You Say? Ah Yes, Show
This sketch was furnished as a talk show featuring Chris Kattan
as Antonio Banderas
, the show's host. Kattan portrayed Banderas as a naïve chauvinist whose only interest was to attempt to charm any female guest into sleeping with him, using his well-documented sex appeal and shaky-at-best mastery of the English language (as evidenced in the show's title). In the show, Banderas was always backed up by his three-man mariachi band, who aside from performing the musical duties on the show, constantly begged Banderas not to unbutton or remove his shirt, for it would be "too sexy". A female guest who was put off by his advances once asked him. "Aren't you married to Melanie Griffith?". His response was "Yes, but she is how do you say old and not here?".
Uncle Jemima (played by Tracy Morgan), is the creator of "Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor" in this commercial parody. He is also the husband of Aunt Jemima, "the pancake lady", and the commercial is clearly intended to be a jab at old-time racial stereotypes perpetuated by products like Aunt Jemima. Uncle Jemima comments that while his wife says "sellin' booze is degradin' to our people", "I always say that black folk ain't exactly swellin' up with pride on account of you flippin' flapjacks".
Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor has a 95% alcohol content per volume, which means, as he states, "you get fucked up for less money!" The sketch was a combination of live-action and animation in the style of the Disney movie Song of the South, featuring cartoon ducks, butterflies, and other animals (which no one can see but Uncle Jemima himself). It is implied that the Disney-esque animations were figments of his imagination brought on by the consumption of his mash liquor ("What'chu swattin' at?"). Uncle Jemima's motto is that his pure mash liquor is "more fun than pancakes!". The sketch ended with his wife Aunt Jemima (also played by Morgan) ringing a triangle and cheerfully announcing "Pancakes are ready!", to which an enraged Uncle Jemima yells "Bitch! You are not going to ruin this for me!" and pursues Aunt Jemima in anger; in effect Tracy Morgan chasing after himself.
Episodes Featuring Uncle Jemima
was a recurring sketch from 2000 to 2004. It's presented as a webcast
opened up on a Macintosh
computer as if by the viewer. The webcast is hosted by two stoner Hampshire College
students, the jovial cool guy Jarret (Jimmy Fallon
) and the chubby, well-baked Gobi (Horatio Sanz
). In the Lucy Liu/Jay-Z episode, it is revealed that the only person who watches the show is an Icelandic teenager, Jeorg (played by Ashton Kutcher
, but Kutcher didn't play Jeorg until he first hosted in Season 28). It frequently featured Seth Meyers
as DJ Jonathan Feinstein starting in season 27 (Seann William Scott/Sum-41) and ending in season 29 (Lindsay Lohan/Usher). Other Characters include Jarrets's roommates, Daniel (played by Chris Parnell
), who appeared in the episodes hosted by Lucy Liu
and Katie Holmes
; and Jeff (played by Jeff Richards
), who appeared in later sketches.
The sketch benefitted greatly from the formula of Mike Myers' Wayne's World: Jarret, the always enthusiastic and childlike host (similar to Wayne), is offset by his awkward co-host; the format is all DIY and low-budget; and the guests are all friends of the host or co-host. However, in Jarrett's Room, the humor was more drug-influenced (particularly focusing on marijuana), rather than influenced on rock and roll and pop culture the way Wayne's World is.
In the Kirsten Dunst/Eminem episode, the actress played a co-ed who hosts a similar web-cam show to Jarret, also with a co-host, played by Amy Poehler. Because of these similarities, Jarret accused her of plagiarism.
In the Al Gore/Phish episode, Al Gore played a professor who reprimanded Jarrett and Gobi for being slackers while musical guest Phish appeared as themselves, also being reprimanded by the professor, who claims that they were once students of his; he asks if they were still playing their music and tells them to "get a job, you dirty hippies".
In the Matthew McConaughey/Dixie Chicks episode, the actor reprised his Dazed and Confused role of David Wooderson, who remains at Hampshire College.
The theme music to Jarret's Room is Wilco's "I'm Always In Love".
Episodes Featuring Jarret's Room
- December 16, 2000 host: Lucy Liu as Jenna
- February 24, 2001 host: Katie Holmes as Amber
- October 6, 2001 host: Seann William Scott as Jason Stamper
- December 8, 2001 host: Hugh Jackman as Stanley Justin
- February 2, 2002 host: Britney Spears as Summer
- May 11, 2002 host: Kirsten Dunst as Janet
- November 16, 2002 host: Brittany Murphy as Holly
- December 14, 2002 host: Al Gore as Dr. Ralph Wormly Curtis and musical guest Phish as themselves
- February 8, 2003 host: Matthew McConaughey as David Wooderson
- May 3, 2003 host: Ashton Kutcher as Jeorg
- February 14, 2004 host: Drew Barrymore as Gobi's sister
- May 1, 2004 host: Lindsay Lohan as Skylar, the student taking over Jarrett's dorm after he moves out.
Wake Up Wakefield!
Wake Up Wakefield!
is the name of the morning announcement program for Wakefield Middle School fictionally set in San Jose, California
, and broadcast from the school's A/V
department, and hosted by two of its students, Megan (Maya Rudolph
) and Sheldon (Rachel Dratch
). The show begins with a voice over
by Megan, featuring the words "Wake Up Wakefield" written on a chalkboard. Megan is a typical (if somewhat vacuous) middle school girl who has a crush on another student named Randy Goldman (Jimmy Fallon
), which is borderline obsession (she wears a shirt with his likeness on it, and admits that she camps outside his house when he's sleeping). Sheldon is an awkward male nerd
who always wears a polo shirt
with a tie (apparently, in attempt to look like an anchorman
for the program) and always addresses the audience, "Hey." Sheldon is Megan's best friend, and it is implied that he has a crush on her.
In several episodes, Megan's crush changes. (In no particular order) They range from Randy Goldman, Justin Timberlake, Clay Aiken and the infamous Adrian Brody episode, in which Megan has a photo of Brody blown up onto a t-shirt that she wears under all her clothes. It is suggested that Maya Rudolph herself had a crush on the actor and during his monologue on the show, Adrian Brody (as he walks down the stairs to the stage) runs off to make-out with Maya before starting the show.
The show serves to address current events at the school, but usually sidelines into a platform for Megan to talk about her love of Randy Goldman. Megan and Sheldon are joined on the show by "Jazz x 10", a jazz group made up of Sheldon's friends from band class. Horatio Sanz often appears as Mr. Banglian, a teacher who inadvertently stumbles onto the show, and then when he realizes they're recording, proceeds to make an "important" announcement. Mr. Banglian often attempts to relate to the students by dancing, using hip hop slang, and adding an extraneous "-izz" infix to words (e.g. "hizzouse").
In one sketch, Ray Romano plays Sheldon's geeky father in a dead end job. In another, Jennifer Garner plays a geeky teen with a massive crush on Sheldon. They proceed to kiss, then Sheldon has to go because of a cello lesson. Elijah Wood also appears as the trumpet player for Jazz X 10 and one of Sheldon's best friends.
Sheldon always signs off with his trademark salute (similar to Doc Severinsen's on The Tonight Show).
Jazz x 10 opens the show with a badly-performed version of the song "Pick up the Pieces" by Average White Band.
show, similar to Fox
series, where a white trash couple (played by Amy Poehler and Chris Kattan) fist fight and police (or other authority figures) are called in to break them up.
The Ferey Muhtar Talk Show
The Ferey Muthar Talk Show
was a very short-lived sketch on SNL
, appearing only twice (season 27 on the episode hosted by Ian McKellen
and again on the season 28 episode hosted by Nia Vardalos
). It was a talk show from Turkey
, with Horatio Sanz
as the host and Darrell Hammond
as his sidekick.
Top O' the Morning
Top o' the Morning
, starring Seth Meyers
and Jimmy Fallon
, was about an Irish
morning talk show that takes place at a bar with hosts William Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzwilliam. Guests included Dan Aykroyd
as Willam's father Patrick Fitzpatrick, and Senator John McCain
as Frank McCourt
. A recurring bit is where William will say something to Patrick to make him punch the wall.
William Fitzpatrick: So, Patrick.. your sister sure is stubborn, is she not?
Patrick Fitzwilliam: And what do you mean by that?
William Fitzpatrick: I had to ask her to take off her knickers four times before she did it!
Patrick Fitzwilliam: (angry) That's my sister!! (Punches a hole in the wall)
William Fitzpatrick: (impressed) Good. Well done.
, starring Jason Sudeikis
and Kristen Wiig
as the eponymous characters whose behavior and mannerisms irritate a third party. The characters seem to be stereotypical preppies
. Unlike most other recurring sketches, the full title of the sketch is announced by Bill Hader
(although in the first three sketches, Chris Parnell
was the announcer). The two characters' names are never given, and they only refer to one another as "babe". Kristen's signature phrase in this role is "you look like a rabbit".
Episodes Featuring Two A-Holes
is a recurring sketch starring Seth Meyers
as the host of a weekly television show which shows home videos of people pulling practical jokes on relatives and friends. The show begins with Seth introducing a hidden video of a prank sent in by a viewer, with several unnecessary sound effects added. The first video is generally harmless, a younger brother hiding a fake rat in his older sister's jewelry box for example. Subsequent videos are usually more alarming, as evidenced by guest host Christopher Walken
's video of him "pranking" a coworker who always parks in his spot. The prank involved sneaking behind the coworker in the parking lot and clubbing him several times with a tire iron, ultimately leaving him unconscious.
While Seth Meyers usually found these videos reprehensible, the off camera sound effects guy usually did not, adding inappropriate noises whenever possible.
Other highlights include: Christopher Walken accusing Seth Meyers of being a Stiffly Stifferson, adding that he likes to take Stiffly Stiffersons to his basement and "prank them for hours".
Episodes featuring Pranksters
This sketch is a UK-based version of Access Hollywood where Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler play reporters who gossip about celebrities inside and outside their hometown. Meyers' character would make repeated bad puns about celebrity current events, while Poehler's character would make thinly-veiled confessions to stalking celebrities. American reporters Pat O'Brien (Jimmy Fallon) and Gene Shalit (Horatio Sanz) would make guest appearances.
A sketch on the May 1, 2004 dress rehearsal featured Lindsay Lohan as a teen beat correspondent, but was cut before broadcast.
Appalachian Emergency Room
Appalachian Emergency Room
is a recurring sketch on that debuted on January 10
(an episode hosted by Jennifer Aniston
) and draws on redneck stereotypes
- The emergency room receptionist (Seth Meyers in a blond mullet wig) has appeared in every sketch so far. He simply sits at the desk and plays the straight man to the other characters. He is also portrayed as relatively articulate and intelligent. On the Matt Dillon/Arctic Monkeys episode, the receptionist's name is revealed to be Nerod.
- Willie Tater (Fred Armisen) only appeared in two installments of Appalachian Emergency Room: on the Liam Neeson/Modest Mouse episode he comes in with an ice pack on his crotch, explaining that his penis slipped into a deep fryer while he was making breakfast; and on the Lindsay Lohan/Coldplay episode he has an ice pack on his face after playing "Star Wars" with his brother, using curling irons as lightsabers.
- Mrs. Denmont (Maya Rudolph) and her son Jake (Kenan Thompson) have appeared in the majority of the sketches. The first time Rudolph's character was shown was in the Ben Affleck/N*E*R*D episode in Season 29. In that episode, she was not called Mrs. Denmont, her son was a white boy with a mullet instead of Kenan Thompson's "Jake" character, and she came in with a tampon machine stuck to her hand (revealing that she got it stuck while trying to fish out the tampon when the machine ate her quarter). It wasn't until the episode hosted by Snoop Dogg (also in season 29) that Maya Rudolph's character was paired up with Kenan's Jake character and that she was known as Mrs. Denmont. In the Matt Dillon/Arctic Monkeys episode, Rudolph and Thompson play the same characters, but their names are changed.
- Netty Bo Dance (Amy Poehler) and Percy Bo Dance (Darrell Hammond), elderly tenants of a trailer park, appear in every sketch so far. Percy always explains an injury he sustained from his druggie son (played by Neil Young in the Jack Black/Neil Young episode, but was never shown before that episode and hasn't been shown since). Netty Bo Dance has a very slow, humorous shuffle-walk, and frequently declares that she will keep the hospital gown as a dress.
- Tyler (Chris Parnell) appears in nearly every sketch, and is greeted by the receptionist with the question, "What is it this time, Tyler?" Tyler proceeds to explain how some implausible object has wedged its way into his anus (although in the Jack Black/Neil Young episode, Tyler actually has a gift-wrapped watermelon stuck to his penis). In the Ben Affleck/N*E*R*D episode, Tyler explains that it is a canister of Axe Body Spray, and that if he moves in a certain way, he "can still make it spray."
Episodes featuring Appalachian Emergency Room
- January 10, 2004: host Jennifer Aniston as Taytay Phillips, a pregnant woman brought in after she fell on a toilet seat after jackknifing off a Big Wheel.
- March 13, 2004: host Ben Affleck as Rusty Kofich, a trucker whose ferret bit him in the crotch while he fed his ferrets naked
- May 8, 2004: host Snoop Dogg as Booker Fricky, a man who injured his arm while going down a pool slide (and, in the dress rehearsal version shown in the 60-minute rerun on E!, has a large family consisting of both black and white people following him into the emergency room)
- November 13, 2004: host Liam Neeson as Marlon Weaver, a trucker who got seven hypodermic needles in his back after he and his fellow trucker (played by Rob Riggle) crashed their truck
- May 21, 2005: host Lindsay Lohan as Jerakylnn Dubet, a high-school dropout dressed as a cheerleader searching for employment
- December 17, 2005: host Jack Black as Sandy Joey Jefferson (a man dressed as Joseph as part of a live Nativity exhibit), Neil Young as Percy and Netty Bodance's oft-mentioned druggie son, and Johnny Knoxville as himself (who comes in with a 2x4 nailed to his "ABC" or "ass-ball connection")
- March 11, 2006: host Matt Dillon as Perdy Spotly, a fast-talking con man who chats with the receptionist while his wife (who works as a stripper) steals a car in the parking lot.
- NOTE: There was supposed to be an Appalachian Emergency Room sketch on the Peyton Manning/Carrie Underwood episode in season 32 (despite that Chris Parnell isn't there to play frequent patient Tyler), where Manning interrupts the sketch to speak out against its redneck stereotyping, but it never appeared in the live show airing.
¡Show Biz Grande Explosion!
¡Show Biz Grande Explosion!
is a recurring sketch featuring Fred Armisen
and Horatio Sanz
as Manuel Pantalones, who are Latin-American
entertainers and comedians
¡Show Biz Grande Explosion! was launched as a vehicle for Armisen's Fericito character, a nightclub comedian from Venezuela, which had appeared three times on Saturday Night Live already and was quite popular. The sketch is presented as being an Spanglish show airing on the Univisión network, and is a parody of Latin American variety shows such as Sabado Gigante. This is the only sketch Fericito has appeared in, although he has also been in monologues and on Weekend Update.
Manuel introduces Fericito and the bit. Fericito plays his timbales
and asks the audience, "Did you feel it?" Fericito then goes into a monologue
with jokes. At the end of each joke, he says "¡Ay Dios Mio!" and makes an exaggerated sad face. If someone becomes offended by a joke he makes, Fericito says, "I’m jus' kidding!" while shrugging. Often Manuel or the guest of the night is the butt of these jokes.
After his monologue, Fericito interviews a special guest. Often the guest is an outsider to Latin Culture who does not understand the nature or format of Fericito's jokes, or the guest him- or herself will try to crack a joke, which Fericito and Manuel do not find funny.
Episodes featuring ¡Show Biz Grande Explosion!
The Prince Show
- See entry: The Prince Show on Saturday Night Live musical sketches.
Deep House Dish
Deep House Dish
is a recurring Saturday Night Live
sketch that showcases house music
acts. It is hosted by DJ Dynasty Handbag (Kenan Thompson
) and T'Shane (Andy Samberg
). DJ Dynasty Handbag constantly berates T'Shane for not being funny or interesting. He's also known for his catchphrase "Ooo wee T'Shane!" (formerly "Ooo wee Tiara!"). In December 2006, T'Shane replaced host Tiara (Rachel Dratch
). DJ Dynasty Handbag constantly berated Tiara for being so boring, even though from outward appearances she seems to be brain-damaged from heavy drug use.
The sketches always feature cast members and the guest host as various musical acts that are designed to parody dance music performer (and in one instance, rap) stereotypes. An example was the portrayal of Shereals Davis (Maya Rudolph), a tone-deaf but sexy diva who sang her song "It's My Duty" and then lamented that her drug dealing hairstylist was arrested.
Episodes featuring Deep House Dish
The Dakota Fanning Show
The Dakota Fanning Show
is a recurring skit that features child actress Dakota Fanning
(played by Amy Poehler
) hosting her own talk show. The skit also features Kenan Thompson
as her band leader, Reggie Hudson and Kristen Wiig
as "Catherine" (who keeps asking Dakota to call her "mom").
In the skit, Fanning is portrayed as overly intellectual, discussing things like Bill Maher and comics in The New Yorker while not being able to relate to her guests or even Reggie; for example, she states she is "not familiar" with Family Guy (despite guest starring on the episode To Love and Die in Dixie), ESPN, or the Harry Potter films. Fanning shows great disappointment that she has not yet received an Academy Award nomination and that the highest award she's won is the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. While talking with the Sprouse brothers, she states that when she hears the word "hotel", it "invokes images of Hotel Rwanda about the Rwandan Genocide"; Dylan Sprouse replies "Dakota, you're scaring us". Whenever Reggie says something that relates to the first guest or is unable to relate to what Fanning says, Fanning says a very offensive statement about Reggie (such as "if it isn't a musical about puppets, Reggie hasn't seen it" or "if it isn't in the check-out line at Wal-Mart, Reggie hasn't read it"). These phrases cause Reggie to have a very deep, angry scowl.
Guests on the sketch have been Daniel Radcliffe (played by Bill Hader), Abigail Breslin (played by Drew Barrymore), Dylan and Cole Sprouse (played by Andy Samberg and Shia LaBeouf respectively), Elle Fanning (played by Avril Lavigne), and Miley Cyrus (played by Ellen Page).
Episodes featuring The Dakota Fanning Show
were a married couple portrayed by Chris Kattan
and Cheri Oteri
. As Jim and Laura Zimmerman, they would often meet other couples in various settings. Normal dialogue between the Zimmermans would often change course suddenly, as the couple work one another into a sexual frenzy which typically ends just as abruptly. Each sketch typically ends with one or both members of the other couple finally adopting behavior similar to the Zimmermans after extensive baiting, at which point the Zimmermans become shocked and appalled by the other's display.
Episodes featuring The Zimmermans