The 15 Best "Saturday Night Live" Sketches of 2012

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The 15 Best "Saturday Night Live" Sketches of 2012

By Dustin Rowles | Station Agents | December 27, 2012 | Comments ()


You know what I've been noticing? A lot less people, of late, are leaving comments on our "SNL" recaps to the effect of: "This show hasn't been funny in years," or "Who still watches this show?" It could be because the trolls simply gave up, but I like to think that 1) 2012 has been a solid year for "Saturday Night Live," and 2) the argument that "SNL" is no longer relevant is complete bullsh*t. I mean: Look. Two of Hollywood's current biggest stars, Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler, are "SNL" alums. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are on two of the best sitcoms on television, and they are hosting the Golden Globes. Jimmy Fallon is the most relevant late-night talk show host of the moment. Jason Sudeikis is one of Hollywood's best scene stealers. Kristen Wiig starred in and co-wrote one of the funniest movies of the last several years. Andy Samberg and Kenan Thompson are developing their own shows for next fall. Bill Hader is one of the best cast members the show has ever had. The new crop of featured players -- Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Cecily Strong -- is part of the best class of new cast members in years. Jay Pharoah is one of the best impressionists the show has seen. Seth Meyers gets better every year at "Weekend Update," and Taran Killam is a huge creative mind. The show even has a decent stable of recurring characters and sketches: Stefon, The Girl You Don't Want to Talk to at a Party, What's Up with That?, Drunk Uncle and, well, The Californians.

Yes: There are still a lot of shows that miss more than they hit (Charles Barkley's ep, Daniel Craig's turn), and yes, nearly every show has a few clunkers, and of course, I bitch about it every week because that's the nature of recapping, but "SNL" matters. Hollywood's best -- Jon Hamm, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Charming Potato, Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Renner -- still turn up every year, trying to impress. "Saturday Night Live" is relevant.

These Best of "SNL" lists are popular, especially among those of us who spend all year recapping the show, and after I put my list of the 15 best skits of the season, I looked around at some others. It's fairly remarkable how many of mine didn't make their lists, and vice versa, which just shows how subjective comedy is, and how many great sketches there were this season (I was also surprised to find that my number one wasn't the number one on any other list, when I thought it was a slam dunk, and my number two wasn't on any other list, although I may be biased with regard to that one).

However, these were my 15 favorites of the season. Your mileage may vary.

15. Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party

14. Almost Pizza

13. Tech Talk

12. ESPN Classic

11. The Real Housewives of Disney

10. The Royal Doctor

9. Little Brothers

8. Homeland

7. Stefon -- Halloween Edition

6. Maya Angelou's Prank Show

5. Lazy Sunday 2

4. Mother's Day Commercial

3. Mokiki

2. Maine Justice

1. Lincoln

Bonus -- The 100th Digital Short

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Salad_Is_Murder

    There's gonna' be complainin'
    bomb droppin'
    I. JUST. GOT. TO. SAY....
    What's up with that?
    What's up with that!?

    What's up with that?
    WHAT'S up with that!?

    WHAT'S UPPPPPPpp......I SAID WHAT'S UPpppppppppppppp
    When you leave your comment try not to be a sheep and quote stupid people's opinionsssss.

  • apsutter

    I love SNL so much and it has been so good lately. And even when it's not great you can tell they're really giving it their all. I really love the new girls, they're awesome. The cast, as a whole, feels like the strongest it's been in a while. I really hope we get many more years of Taran because he is freakin hilarious and I love that he's married to Cobie Smulders. My only complaint with SNL right now is that they are completely neglecting Nasim. She is so funny but she's barely been on at all this year and it's such a shame.

  • AudioSuede

    My main problem with Maine Justice was actually the same problem as I had with the crystals sketch in the same episode: Somewhere in the last two minutes of the sketch, they decided they needed to go through the backstory of why people who sound like they're from New Orleans are in Maine. But what made the sketch funny was specifically that it didn't make sense that they were there! Trying to make sense of that premise makes the premise weaker, not stronger. In the crystals sketch, it was the reveal that they were trying to use the commercial to get free crystals. Did I need to know that? No. Did it make the sketch funnier? No. Probably the opposite, actually. It kind of bummed me out a little.

    So I would have definitely swapped that out with a Drunk Uncle (Easter edition) or, even better, Get in the Cage with either Jude Law or the real Nic Cage.

  • AudioSuede


  • Jezzer

    Finally seeing the "Real Housewives of Disney" sketch has convinced me of two things: 1) It's a completely meta slap at Lindsay Lohan for being a Disney princess who became a trainwreck, and 2) Lindsay was completely unaware of the meta joke at any level. Oh, and 3) Apparently "exhaustion" has the exact same effect on your voice as smoking crack.

  • aroorda

    Dear Dustin,
    I've been on the same "yes I know it's terrible but there's usually 3-4 sketches that make it worthwhile" bus as you for years. I agree about this season. There's been a turn around. Not drastic, but it's usually 5-6 sketches that are at least passable this year (which means like 80% of the show.) Sure the bad stuff is HORRIBLE, but the recurring characters no longer make me want to firebomb the studio (Gilly is dead!!!!) and the sketches in general seem a lot more willing to experiment with the bizarre (Mokiki and Maine Justice.) In closing, keep up the good fight. In a world of horrible reality shows, syndicated TV series that are 3 seasons old, and shrinking audience sizes, SNL is an institution worth saving.,



  • Kenny G.

    MAINE JUSTICE is great...Hands down!
    Now, let's sit back and watch SNL redo this sketch, over & over, until we HATE IT!

  • e jerry powell

    I've been watching the clips. I can't give up sleep on Saturdays anymore.

  • gnibs

    Except for Maine Justice, you're 100% accurate. A better choice from the Jamie Foxx episode would have been Dermot Mulroney or Dylan McDermott.

  • I'm just pissed they haven't given the new guy any chance whatsoever to shine. He has only gotten a single sketch where he was actually focused on at all. Other than that, he has been completely overlooked. I get why they want an overweight lady, but I think if they want to go new directions with the casting than they should try and hire their first Asian cast member...not that Aidy isn't funny, she has worked well in what she has been in but she hasn't really done much character-wise other than the desperate/weird fat friend/person yet. You could say that that isn't where her humour has come from, but...I'm pretty sure it's exactly where it's coming from. People love to laugh at fat people.

  • Samantha

    You know what blows? You can't watch these outside of the US and we don't get it on tv in the boondocks. I really want to see that Homeland skit.

  • This list is almost flawless. Except one thing. CRYSSALSS. SABOSSSKIIIIIII CRYSSALSS.

    "One time, I was with 8 guys at once, and I thought that was the pinnacle. But now it's cryssallss."

  • Dave

    Maine Justice made me like SNL again.

  • mike

    "It’s fairly remarkable how many of mine didn’t make their lists, and vice versa, which just shows how objective comedy is..."

    you meant "subjective" or your sarcasm was too subtle for me.

  • mb

    I don't get the love for Mokiki. This list needs some Jean K. Jean and Sharky crystals!

  • mb

    Also, the past three seasons of SNL have been fantastic. And with Kate and Cecily, I'm not missing Kristen much at all. My husband and I work throughout the weekend, so we never get to see the episodes actually 'live', but it's our traditional way to wind down on Monday evening, and it's probably the show we both most look forward to watching each week.

  • Cliff Torres

    Good list. I hated Royal Doctor but I've just never been a fan of Martin Short. I love Drunk Uncle and could have easily made that list.

  • apsutter

    I don't really care for Martin either but I was so won over during his monologue. So cheeky and funny!

  • Kenny G.

    BULLSHIT! Martin Short has saved SNL on more than one occasion...

  • lowercase_ryan

    Maine Justice is golden.

  • Corey

    "Maine Justice" is pure brilliance..."Mokiki" not so much.

  • Scully

    I haven't watched SNL in 15 years or more, but I've been enjoying these videos. "Maine Justice" and "The Royal Doctor" are favorites and I'm personally replacing "hoo ha" with "downtown abbey".

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