Politics dominated the year, but Saturday Night Live also had a great run of sketches that ranged from an Uber Ride and Slacktivism to an Elevator. Here are the best SNL sketches of Season 42:
Enhancement Drug* – A late addition to the list, the Enhancement Drug sketch features the Rock as he seeks way too powerful erectile dysfunction medication.
Thank You, Scott – Louis C.K.’s brief digital short provided a hilarious satire of social media slacktivism. The quiet self-congratulatory vibe Louis C.K. gives off sells the piece as he sits on his couch and shares articles with his 84 Facebook friends.
Why Is Benedict Cumberbatch Hot? – Beck Bennett struggles to understand host Benedict Cumberbatch’s sex appeal in a hilarious game show sketch with Cumberbatch, Vanessa Bayer, and Aidy Bryant.
Live Report – Keenan Thompson and the Action News team are at the scene of an accident, but it does not take long before the real news becomes how the stunning Margot Robbie is married to her less-than-spectacular husband. Played by Mikey Day, the sketch nails the disbelief of the news staff as they try to figure out how the unexpected match occurred.
Christmas Miracle – SNL’s Kate McKinnon is at her best when she can immerse herself into character. A twist on a prior sketch involving alien encounters, McKinnon plays a victim of a sordid meeting with Santa Claus and Crinklemouse.
Sean Spicer Press Conference Cold Open – Tapping Melissa McCarthy as the person who would imitate White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was an unlikely yet brilliant choice. McCarthy brought her trademark physicality to the role and created a signature character for the actress. She appeared as Spicer in several sketches throughout the season, including the May 13 episode when she became a member of the SNL Five-Timers Club. Also brilliant in this sketch: Kate McKinnon as Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Posters –The after school special sketch began with Pete Davidson struggling in math. During a dream the posters on his wall try to explain to him why math is important. Emma Stone stepped in with a hot dog and things devolved from there.
Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Town Hall Debate Cold Open – Season 42 was defined by Alec Baldwin’s best Trump impressions. This debate sketch referenced Home Alone 2, mocked the ridiculousness of the town hall debate, and included Bobby Moynihan’s dancing Ken Bone. What separates this Cold Open from the other sketches is Baldwin lurking behind Kate McKinnon as she tried to talk with the debate audience.
Five Stars – Aziz Ansari and Moynihan star in this Digital Short where an Uber driver and his passenger try too hard to impress each other for something as tawdry as their Uber ratings.
Black Jeopardy – We needed Black Jeopardy in 2016. With an unusually fraught election cycle, America needed to laugh at our differences so we can realize how similar we all are. A semi-recurring sketch, Black Jeopardy may not be able to return after reaching new heights in this episode. Tom Hanks portrayed Doug, whose Make America Great Again hat at first seems like a recipe for disaster as he plays Jeopardy with African-American contests, but all involved find that they have a lot more in common than they realized. By not mocking Doug or overplaying the character Hanks and the SNL writers created a terrific sketch.
Haunted Elevator – The best sketch of the year asks the question “Who is David Pumpkins?” The answer: his own thang. The ridiculousness of Tom Hanks as a cheesy horror ride side show remains too good to be true. Complimented by a chainsaw-wielding Leslie Jones, dancing skeletons, and tour guide Keenan Thompson who says “It’s a hundred floors of frights. They’re not all gonna be winners.” David S. Pumpkins was the sketch of the year.