10. 28 Reasons — Because of the more diverse cast this year, some of the best sketches of 2014 were sharp takes on race. One of my favorites, in honor of Black History Month, was the 28 reasons you should hug a Black guy today. It was sharp, funny, and not inaccurate.
9. Porn Stars — Lamborghini — Along with Kate McKinnon’s “Last Cast,” the Porn Stars are the most reliably consistent recurring sketch going right now. They never fail to disappoint. Their best offering, however, was when they were asked to promote Lamborghinis in the hopes that they’d be sent free ones. Jonah Hill and Martin Porn-Cese stops by. “One time, I thought I banged SEAL Team 6, but it was just 16 seals. Thanks, America!”
8. Black Jeopardy The Louis C.K. episode is the only one this year with two representative in the top ten, and this one was another hilariously sharp take on race, which saw a clearly uncomfortable African-American studies professor (Louis C.K.) trying to hold his own against two black contestants.
7. Ooh Child — In the Lena Dunham episode (surprisingly, one of the better episodes of 2014) a car sing-along gets repeatedly interrupted by the voice of a GPS. It wasn’t just a hilarious sketch, but watching it will make you realize how much you want to see a musical starring Taran Killam and Cecily Strong.
6. Cut for Time: Ferguson — There were quite a few sketches cut for time this year that were actually better than most of the sketches that aired, but none was better than this post-Ferguson sketch that saw cheery morning show anchors trying (badly) to make the best of a terrible situation.
5. Monster Pals — Mike O’Brien — booted back to the writers room over teh summer — may have one of the more thoughtful comedic voices on the show, and like “Sad Mouse,” “Monster Pals” (and later, the fake friends sketch), there’s something equally funny and sad about his work. “Monster Pals” sees two friends get surgery to look more like humans after a bully (Seth Rogen) teases them. “Why’d you choose that face,” James Franco asks O’Brien? “It’s just a little bit cheaper,” he explains.
4. The Office: Middle Earth — Having Martin Freeman — who delivered maybe best episode of 2014 — on the show allowed them to combine the two things he’s best known for and create a spot-on, hilarious, amazing spoof of both the BBC’s The Office and The Hobbit, featuring Martin Freeman as The Hobbit/Tim.
3. Serial Parody — Cecily Strong as Sarah Koenig? My two biggest crushes in the world in one? Every single facet of this investigation into whether Kris Kringle exists nails the elements of a typical Serial podcast. Perfect send-up, no details spared, and Cecily Strong has got that Sarah Koenig impression nailed, right down to the intonation.
2. Dyke & Fats — Kate McKinnon is always good, but this was peak Aidy Bryant, right before the show began using her almost exclusively as the obnoxious fat woman.
1. Beygency — A shadow-y organization that tracks down and eliminates anyone who dares speak ill of Beyonce. It was also the most zeitgeistian SNL sketch of 2014.