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Saturday Night Live (SNL) has now celebrated its 40th anniversary, yet many were disappointed by the big bash. Citing a lack of originality and more reliance on remembering “the good old days” than staying fresh and relevant, many have forsaken SNL in favor of other comedy sources, such as YouTube comedy channels Make 'Em Laugh: 10 Original YouTube Comedy Channels Make 'Em Laugh: 10 Original YouTube Comedy Channels Life can be depressing at times. I don't care who you are or how good your life is, there is always the chance that something or someone can knock you off your happy pedestal and... Read More .

While SNL used to be edgy and smartly satirical Faking It: 8 Of The Best Spoof News Websites Faking It: 8 Of The Best Spoof News Websites Keeping up with the news of the day, whether it be local, national, or international, is important. It's never good to bury your head in the sand, unaware of what is happening around you. However,... Read More , lately it seems to be more about which celebrity or politician is being spoofed and not about how well it’s done. To help you re-discover the show’s past appeal, here are 10 great clips from various years of SNL. Note that these are nigh-impossible to find on YouTube, so we’ll be utilizing Hulu to enjoy these skits.

[Content Warning: Some of these clips contain strong language and suggestive content.]

Celebrity Jeopardy!: Stewart, Reynolds, and Connery (1998)

This recurring skit features Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek hosting the popular TV game show Jeopardy! The real-life celebrity edition features stars playing for charity 7 Apps and Websites to Help You Give Money to Charity 7 Apps and Websites to Help You Give Money to Charity Give more money to charity and become a more engaged human citizen by using these 7 apps and websites. Read More with considerably easier questions than usual; SNL makes fun of this by featuring categories such as “Colors that end in –urple.” Despite the low difficulty, the contests are miserably inept, failing to answer anything while also pestering Trebek to breaking point.

This particular episode features Jimmy Fallon as French Stewart, Norm Macdonald as Burt Reynolds, and Darrell Hammond in his recurring Sean Connery role. Many more “celebrities” appeared across the fifteen episodes, such as Tom Cruise, Bill Cosby, and Keanu Reeves. It’s a winner due to the excellent celebrity parodies, the constant hassling of Trebek by Connery, and the hilarious categories and questions.

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Total Bastard Airlines (1994)

Anyone who’s had a bad experience on a flight will appreciate this one. David Spade and Helen Hunt star as flight attendants who usher everyone off the plane with a quick “Buh-bye!” It’s a perfect caricature of the typical airplane experience.

Other SNL members are among the passengers, and give the stewards various levels of grief over their behavior – but they aren’t having any of it. Everyone gets a “Buh-bye!” Hopefully you don’t run into these two on your next plane after getting cheap airline tickets Get the Cheapest Airline Tickets with These Apps Get the Cheapest Airline Tickets with These Apps Looking for cheap flights? Then you definitely need to download at least one of these apps! Read More !

Debbie Downer: Birthday Party (2004)

Debbie Downer is always there to ruin the fun. Another recurring skit, this one features friends trying to enjoy situations like being at Disney World or a birthday party. However, Debbie is always reminding them about the latest natural disaster or infectious disease.

Everyone knows a Debbie Downer in real life, which makes this sketch all the more amusing. It’s a humorous look, but it really shows you how being negative can ruin the mood for everyone else instantly. Be happy How To Be Happy In Five Minutes A Day How To Be Happy In Five Minutes A Day Psychology has started to shed light on how to make yourself happier. New products and apps are using these findings. One of these promises to make you happier in just five minutes a day. Read More and see what a difference it makes!

Harry Caray: Space, The Infinite Frontier (1997)

Harry Caray, the legendary baseball announcer, had a unique style that was begging to be parodied Beyond Parody: 5 Internet Jokes That Grew Into Something Bigger Beyond Parody: 5 Internet Jokes That Grew Into Something Bigger Read More . SNL happily obliged, and gave us this skit starring Will Ferrell and Jeff Goldblum. Harry Caray hosts a goofy show about space and brings on an expert to discuss recent developments in the field, but quickly derails to less esteemed topics.

It amazes me that Goldblum didn’t laugh out loud during this skit; Ferrell’s Caray impression is genius and he just gets more ridiculous as the sketch continues. Would you eat the moon if it was made of spare ribs?

The Sinatra Group (1991)

Phil Hartman was one of the greatest impressionists on SNL, and his role in the fictional Sinatra Group was certainly a highlight. Joining him are various other musicians who together hold an “unrehearsed discussion of current issues in the recording industry.”

Taking a satirical look at the state of music, Sinatra insults the more modern artists while raising increasingly inappropriate questions. Another genius set of impersonations, held together by Hartman, makes this a classic.

Fun fact: Phil Hartman starred as the little-known game mascot 4 Failed Video Game Mascots You've Probably Never Heard Of 4 Failed Video Game Mascots You've Probably Never Heard Of Everyone knows about Mario and Sonic, but there have been plenty of weird mascots that didn't catch on. Let's talk about a few and see why they failed. Read More Captain Blasto in the 1998 eponymous game. As his life was tragically cut short just a few weeks after the game’s release, a sequel never saw the light of day.

More Cowbell (2000)

Perhaps the most-loved SNL skit of all time, More Cowbell is a parody of VH1’s Behind the Music. It features the band Blue Öyster Cult recording their hit “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” with the assistance of music producer The Bruce Dickinson. Will Ferrell plays Gene Frenkle, a fictional cowbell-playing band member.

The other members are distracted by Frenkle’s vigorous cowbell playing, and frequently stop the take over it. However, Dickinson is focused only on the goofy instrument, urging the band to give it “more cowbell.” This iconic phrase, combined with Christopher Walken’s stoic performance, cemented this sketch as a smash hit.

It’s interesting to note the differences between this sketch and reality; while the final track does feature a cowbell, it’s only slightly audible. Also, the name Bruce Dickinson is not factually accurate; an intern at SNL accidentally used a Greatest Hits CD instead of the original to find the song’s producer.

Penelope: Wedding (2009)

The most recent clip on our list, the Penelope set of skits stars Kristen Wiig as an annoying lady who has to one-up everyone else in the room. As events go on, Penelope’s claims become more and more ridiculous, until another character has enough and mocks her with his own claims. It’s a good thing Penelope isn’t on Twitter, but there are plenty of annoying people The Five Most Annoying Things People Do On Twitter The Five Most Annoying Things People Do On Twitter Twitter also has a darker side. It is filled with annoying idiots who seem to tweet for the sole purpose of making everyone who has the misfortune of meeting them annoyed. These are the places... Read More on there instead of her.

The end of every episode has Penelope actually doing something outlandish she claimed the ability to do, adding to the absurdity. It may be a newer sketch, but Wiig has a brilliant character here. After all, we’ve surely all wanted to slap that guy who always has a better story 5 Free Apps to Tell Creative Stories on Instagram 5 Free Apps to Tell Creative Stories on Instagram Sometimes, Instagram's built-in features aren't good enough to tell the story you want to. But there are some innovative third-party apps that let you get creative with Instagram. Read More .

Family Dinner (1998)

This dysfunctional family’s dinner is so uncomfortable for what seems like hours, until the dad breaks the silence with a lame story. Passive-aggressiveness and outright contempt abound; that’s all there is to this one.

We’ve all had a bad night at the dinner table (or maybe an argument with the family on Facebook The Pros & Cons Of Having Your Parents & Other Family As Facebook Friends [Opinion] The Pros & Cons Of Having Your Parents & Other Family As Facebook Friends [Opinion] According to Facebook, more than 800 million people now actively use the social networking giant. You don’t know most of them, of course – but some are very close to you. Even your grandmother might... Read More ), and this skit exaggerates our belief that there’s always a crazier family than ours. Just remember not to mess with a man who drives a Dodge Stratus.

Down by the River (1993)

Another SNL classic, this skit has the late Chris Farley playing fictional motivational speaker Matt Foley, who attempts to motivate two teens after their parents discover them using marijuana. However, Foley is probably the worst motivational speaker of all time.

Everything about this skit is gold. Farley ad-libbed the move of pulling his pants up with both hands, both David Spade and Christina Applegate are visibly holding back laughter the entire time, and Farley’s crashing into the table was a complete accident that became one of his signature moves. As Ryan advised, whenever someone is a jerk to you, just think of them living in a van down by the river 5 Reasons You Really Don't Have To Worry If You're Cyberbullied [Opinion] 5 Reasons You Really Don't Have To Worry If You're Cyberbullied [Opinion] A lot of cyberbully "gurus" tell kids about making online posts - that what you post online you can never take back. The thing is, that's not entirely true. I'm here to give you a... Read More .

Wayne’s World – Police Chief (1989)

A few SNL skits spawned movies, but Wayne’s World was by far the most successful. Starring Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey as two rock-loving, good-natured goofs broadcasting their independent show from a basement, the silly humor and excellent performances make this beloved by many. The “guest stars” on each episode added to the laughs.

There are many Wayne’s World skits, and if you enjoy them, be sure to check out the movie. It doesn’t get much more SNL than this!

Reliving the Classics

These are some of the best clips from Saturday Night Live to enjoy, but they’re far from the only ones worth seeing. Generally, SNL is best enjoyed by watching individual clips online instead of watching it on TV, since you can skip all the duds. Thus, you’re not missing much if this is your first foray into the show!

Looking for more laughs? Check out some so-bad-they’re-good movies Torture Yourself With the 10 Best Bad Movies on Netflix Torture Yourself With the 10 Best Bad Movies on Netflix If you're in the mood to torture yourself, start by watching the 10 best bad movies we could find on Netflix. They're so bad that they may actually be good. Or not. Read More , or listen to some hilarious song parodies 10 Of The Funniest Song Parodies Of All Time On YouTube 10 Of The Funniest Song Parodies Of All Time On YouTube Song parodies have existed for centuries in one form or another. We won't be travelling that far back through the swirling mists of time, but what follows are 10 of the funniest song parodies you... Read More .

What are your favorite Saturday Night Live clips and performers? Which era of the show do you consider to be the best? Let’s continue this list — and the conversation — in the comments below!

  1. Roger Oveur
    October 27, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I hate that NBC are such tight-fisted pains in the arse when it comes to people uploading SNL clips to YouTube (I think they're parent company of Hulu and that's why they only allow clips there, but it's annoying that they get to have the reins over what gets put up). It's damn near impossible to find some of the really old classic clips on there -- like Dana Carvey's hilarious skits where he lampooned John McLaughlin of PBS' "The McLaughlin Group" ("WRONG!!!"), sort of a predecessor to the aggressive, always-right pundits on Fox News and the like. Or Jon Lovitz's "Pathological Liar," or Eddie Murphy's Gumby, Buckwheat, and the Stevie Wonder/Frank Sinatra duet he did with Joe Piscopo... Heck, I couldn't even find any of Jimmy Fallon's great "Barry Gibb Talk Show" and that was only from a few years ago. I mean, it's not like watching a clip from 1986 is going to detract from ratings for the next new episode (especially in a couple weeks when TRUMP comes on!), so what's the big deal?

    This is why people get upset about the copyright cartels in an age of instant sharing of media. It's a futile endeavor to contact NBC and convince them to release their classic stuff from the vault. Heck, the only full seasons of SNL you can purchase on DVD are 1975-80, the "Not Ready for Primetime Players" era with Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin et. al. You can't buy the Murphy-Piscopo era of ca. '80-'82 and you can't buy the "boys' club" era of ca. '86-95. Nor can you watch them on YouTube, and I don't even see repeats airing on Comedy Central.

    It's time these media companies released their material to the free market for people to enjoy, rather than getting their lawyers to file suit against people who upload grainy VHS footage of Eddie Murphy in a Gumby costume to YouTube and issuing takedown notices of things that you can't actually find anywhere else.

    • Ben Stegner
      October 28, 2015 at 12:41 am

      Yeah, I'm really not a fan of companies restricting media online. YouTube is where you go for everything, so it sucks that you can't find much SNL on there.

      I think a classic show with such history should have well-documented collections on DVD or whatever for people to collect. It's a shame they're so focused on copyright that they keep people from watching the content.

      Thanks for weighing in!

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