Saturday Night Live turned 40 this week, and NBC honored the anniversary with a primetime special on Sunday night that brought out dozens of major stars who all got their big break at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. From Jim Carey to Billy Crystal, Tina Fey to Chevy Chase, nearly all living "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" gathered to celebrate four decades of comedy magic. After 779 episodes, it's nearly impossible to single out the best individual sketches, the best catchphrases, or hosts. But alas, I will to attempt to do just that! Here are my irrefutable* choices for the Best 5 SNL sketches of all time.
See the best 5 SNL sketches of all time below
5. Buh-Weet Sings
Buh-weet Sings from Chris Carmichael on Vimeo.
Original Air Date: October 10, 1981
Our Gang character Buckwheat was portrayed on Saturday Night Live as an adult by Eddie Murphy, who sang current hits in garbled speech. His first appearance, on October 10, 1981, was in a commercial parody for an album titled, Buh-Weet Sings. Right before each song, subtitles on the screen would list the name, spelled phonetically exactly as Buckwheat would say it (example: Looking for Love becameWookin' Pa Nub and Three Times a Lady became Fee Tines a Mady). One song, Bette Davis Eyes is so poorly pronounced that the superimposed title is "???". Those who wanted to purchase the album were instructed to send money to "Bah Firty Fee, New Nork, New Nork".
4. Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker
Chris Farley with David Spade, Christina Applegate, Julia Sweeney and Phil Hartman
Original Air Date: May 8, 1993
Matt Foley is a motivational speaker, and exhibits a number of characteristics that someone in that position would not typically have: for example, he is abrasive, clumsy, and down on his luck.
Matt Foley appeared in eight SNL sketches. Each sketch typically started with Foley brought into a specific situation by someone to speak to a group. In addition to his dishevelled, overweight, and unstylish appearance, he shouts, frequently loses his temper, disparages and insults his audience, wallows in cynicism and self-pity, and gives a negative motivational message. Foley's trademark line is warning his audience that they could end up, like himself, being "35 years old, eating a steady diet of government cheese, thrice divorced, and living in a van down by the river!"
3. More Cowbell
Christopher Walken and Will Farrell with Chris Parnell , Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan and Horatio Sanz
Original Air Date: April 8, 2000
Presented as an episode of VH1's Behind the Music documenting the band Blue Öyster Cult, More Cowbell begins with what is said to be film from the 1976 recording session that produced the band's biggest hit, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." A producer (Walken) walks in, introduces himself as "The Bruce Dickinson" and tells the band they have "what appears to be a dynamite sound." Will Ferrell, who wrote the sketch, is featured fictional cowbell player Gene Frenkle -- and steals the show.
2. Celebrity Jeopardy: Turd Ferguson
Will Farrell, Darrell Hammmond, Norm McDonald, and Jimmy Fallon
Original Airdate: October 23, 1999
Alex Trebek (Farrell) is the only person on stage who is interested in playing Celebrity Jeopardy. In all fourteen sketches, no contestant ever buzzes in with a correct response. Trebek makes little to no effort to hide his contempt for the celebrities' stupidity, and in return, is bombarded with sophomoric insults from Sean Connery (Hammond). In this clip, Connery is joined by fellow contestants French Stewart (Fallon), and Burt Reynolds (Norm McDonald), who insists that he be addressed as "Turd Ferguson" because, as he states, "it's a funny name."
1. The Olympia Restaurant
John Belushi with Gilda Radner, Jane Curtain, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Garrett Morris, and Laraine Newman
Original Air Date: January 28, 1978
Olympia Restaurant is a small diner managed by Greek immigrant Pete Dionasopolis, and run by his cousin's of various levels. As various guests discovered, only three items on the long menu could actually be ordered successfully: the cheeseburger (memorably pronounced "Cheezborger" by Belushi), chips (pronounced "Cheep"), and Pepsi. Attempts to order Coke were invariably met with the retort, "No Coke! Pepsi!" Likewise, those who ordered french fries got the response, "No fries! Chips!"