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
7. Stefon — Halloween Edition
6. Maya Angelou’s Prank Show
5. Lazy Sunday 2
4. Amazon.com Mother’s Day Commercial
2. Maine Justice
Bonus — The 100th Digital Short