The Best Episodes of Saturday Night Live

Last Updated: Dec 6, 2018

"Saturday Night Live," NBC's Emmy Award-winning late-night comedy showcase, brings yet another year of laughs, surprises and great performances. Since its inception in 1975, "SNL" has launched the careers of many of the brightest comedy performers of their generation. As The New York Times noted on the occasion of the show's Emmy-winning 25th Anniversary special in 1999, "in defiance of both time and show business convention, 'SNL' is still the most pervasive influence on the art of comedy in contemporary culture." At the close of the century, "Saturday Night Live" placed seventh on Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top 100 Entertainers of the past fifty years.

Dana Carvey/The Wallflowers

#1 - Dana Carvey/The Wallflowers

Season 26 - Episode 3

Live From New York, it's...Dana Carvey Sketches include: ""The Third Presidental Debate"", ""Magic Mouth"", ""Delicious Dish"", ""Church Chat"", ""Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Go Hunting"", ""VH-1 Vogue Fashion Awards"", and ""Ching Chang's Chicken Play"" The Wallflowers perform: ""Sleepwalker"" and ""Hand Me Down"" (a third performance is done by guest Baha Men)

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Bill Russell/Chicago

#2 - Bill Russell/Chicago

Season 5 - Episode 3

Sketches include ""Kennedy in '80,"" ""Banshee,"" ""The Black Shadow,"" ""The Landers Files,"" ""Mr. Bill at Home,"" ""Nick in the Arctic,"" ""Eleanor Roosevelt,"" ""Sports Hot Line,"" and ""Big n' Tall That's All."" Chicago performs their 1970 hit ""I'm a Man"" and their then-current single ""Street Player.""

star 10.00
1 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Helen Hunt/Snoop Doggy Dogg

#3 - Helen Hunt/Snoop Doggy Dogg

Season 19 - Episode 16

Sketches include ""Rockers Explain Whitewater,"" ""Total Bastard Airlines,"" ""Sexist Director,"" ""Office Space,"" and ""Rob Schneider's Girlfriend Theater."" Snoop Dogg performed ""Gin & Juice.""

star 10.00
1 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Alec Baldwin/Coldplay

#4 - Alec Baldwin/Coldplay

Season 26 - Episode 16

Sketches include ""George W. Bush,"" ""Delicious Dish,"" ""Military Soldier,"" ""Inside the Actor's Studio,"" ""Robert Goulet,"" ""Democrats.""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Ray Charles/Franklyn Ajaye

#5 - Ray Charles/Franklyn Ajaye

Season 3 - Episode 5

Live From New York, It's...John Belushi Sketches include-- "Don Corleone", "A Message From the President of the United States", "Mamorex", "Howdy Doody's Widow", "Tomorrow", "The Young Caucasians", "Ray Charles Medley", "Franklyn Ajaye", "Evelyn Woodski Slow Reading Course", "Blackout Burglary", "Buck Henry Announcement".

star 10.00
1 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Jon Stewart/India.Arie

#6 - Jon Stewart/India.Arie

Season 27 - Episode 14

Live From New York, It's...Darrell Hammond Sketches include: Cheney's Concerns, The Cheese Game, MTV's Total Request Live, The Bloder Brothers, TV Funhouse: MTV Forum (Fun With Real Audio), Talkin' To The Stars, News Media, Jazzvisions, We Were Soldiers Who Knew What Women Want, and My Big Thick Novel India.Arie performs: ""Video"" and ""Ready For Love""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Mena Suvari/Lenny Kravitz

#7 - Mena Suvari/Lenny Kravitz

Season 26 - Episode 10

Sketches include ""Bill Clinton,"" ""Airport Metal Detector,"" ""Janet Reno's Dance Party, ""Rap Street,"" ""Veronica & Co.,"" and ""The DeMarco Brothers.""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Steve Forbes/Rage Against the Machine

#8 - Steve Forbes/Rage Against the Machine

Season 21 - Episode 17

Sketches include ""Class Reunion,"" ""Nightline,"" ""House Workers,"" ""Entering Penn State,"" ""Seattle Today,"" ""Greyson-Moore,"" ""Gibberish Sergeant,"" ""Fuzzy Memories,"" ""Steve Forbes and the Flies""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World

#9 - Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World

Season 27 - Episode 16

Live From New York, It's...Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer! Sketches include ""The Culps In Lamaze Class,"" ""17th Annual Auto Show Spokeman Awards,"" ""MTV Spring Break 2002,"" ""SNL 530,"" ""Astronaut Jones,"" ""Celine Dion on CBS,"" ""Gorgeous Living,"" ""The First Female Peepers,"" ""MTV 4"", and ""My Big, Thick Novel."" Jimmy Eat World performed ""The Middle"" and ""Sweetness.""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Val Kilmer/U2

#10 - Val Kilmer/U2

Season 26 - Episode 7

Live From New York, it's...Chris Parnell Sketches include: Gore's Lawsuit, Wade Blasingame: Dog Lawyer, Behind The Music, Palm Beach, Veronica and Co., Seasons Greetings From SNL, Doing Voices, The Tyson Bros., and Corn Chip Nails (from the Rob Lowe/Eminem and Dido episode) U2 performs: ""Beautiful Day"" and ""Elevation""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Sean William Scott/Sum 41

#11 - Sean William Scott/Sum 41

Season 27 - Episode 2

Live From New York, It's...Will Ferrell Sketches include: Bush Warns bin Laden, Law and Order: Parking Violations Movement, Snotty Department Store Guys, Emmy Awards Pre-Show, Jarrett's Room, The Patriotic Co-Worker, The ""How Do You Say? Ah, Yes"" Show, The Approval Center, and The Porn Star Blind Date Sum 41 performs: ""Fat Lip"" and ""In Too Deep""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Alec Baldwin/P.O.D.

#12 - Alec Baldwin/P.O.D.

Season 27 - Episode 18

Live From New York, It's...The Parrot From ""Barretta"" Sketckes include ""FOX News: Robert Blake Murder,"" ""Kotex Classic"" (rerun from the Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue episode), ""Gay Voice Mail,"" ""When White Men Date Old Black Women,"" ""Ozzy Osbourne's Problems,"" ""Let's All Hate France"", ""TV Funhouse: The Anatominals"", ""The Cardinals"", ""Lovers' Birthday Party,"" and ""The Tony Bennett Show."" P.O.D performs: ""Alive"" and ""Youth of the Nation""

star 10.00
1 votes
Writers:
Forest Whitaker/Keith Urban

#13 - Forest Whitaker/Keith Urban

Season 32 - Episode 13

Live from New York, it's... Darrell Hammond!Sketches include "Valentine's Day with the Cheneys," "Bronx Beat," "Andy Everywhere" (film), "Assagio's," "Urigro," "Man Versus Beast: The Road to the Final Four," "Love Whitney," "Am I a Crazy Street Person?," and "A Message from the Staten Island Zoo."Keith Urban performed "Stupid Boy" and "Once in a Lifetime."

star 9.67
3 votes
Directors: Don Roy King
Writers:
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey/G-Unit with 50 Cent

#14 - Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey/G-Unit with 50 Cent

Season 29 - Episode 10

Live from New York, it's... Jeff Richards Sketches were: ""Howard Dean HQ,"" ""Tylenol Extreme,"" ""Joey Mack,"" ""El Cantador Restaurant,"" ""American Idol,"" ""MTV Future,"" ""American Beef Council,"" ""The Sharon Osbourne Show,"" ""Panty Shopping,"" ""Bubba Sparxxx Ad Jingles,"" and ""Tuna of the Dirt."" G-Unit performed ""Stunt 101.""

star 9.50
2 votes
Writers:
Danny DeVito & Rhea Perlman/Eddy Grant

#15 - Danny DeVito & Rhea Perlman/Eddy Grant

Season 9 - Episode 2

Sketches are ""Calvin Klein Cream Pies,"" ""Mister Robinson's Neighborhood,"" ""Crazy Edelman,"" ""Book Beat,"" ""What Would Frank Do?"" ""Amos n' Andy,"" and ""Spanish Class."" Eddy Grant performs ""I Don't Wanna Dance,"" ""Electric Avenue,"" and ""Living on the Front Line.""

star 9.50
2 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Drew Barrymore/Squeeze

#16 - Drew Barrymore/Squeeze

Season 8 - Episode 7

Sketches include ""Dressing Room Opening,"" ""Gertie Kills E.T.,"" ""The Whiners,"" ""Mr. Blunt,"" ""Tim Kazurinsky Babysits Drew,"" ""My Friend Zeus,"" ""Robin Duke's Biological Clock""

star 9.50
2 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Rosie O'Donnell/Whitney Houston

#17 - Rosie O'Donnell/Whitney Houston

Season 22 - Episode 9

Sketches include ""Bill Clinton and Bob Dole,"" ""Spartan Cheerleaders,"" ""Mary Katherine Gallagher,"" ""Delicious Dish,"" ""Goat Boy,"" ""Rita Delvecchio,"" and ""The Local News with Joe Blow.""

star 9.50
2 votes
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Sharon Stone/Pearl Jam

#18 - Sharon Stone/Pearl Jam

Season 17 - Episode 17

Live from New York, it's... Mike Myers and Dana Carvey! Sketches include "Wayne's World," "Jiffy Pop Airbag," "Hitting on a Women," "Sex Games," "Flippy, The Flipping Chihuahua," "Lung Brush," "Pat's Interrogation," "Airport Security Check," "Ernie's," "Tayster's Choice Spermicidal Jelly," "Phil Hartman Creations," and "Pornographic Romance." Pearl Jam performed "Alive" and "Porch."

star 9.50
2 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Conan O'Brien/Don Henley

#19 - Conan O'Brien/Don Henley

Season 26 - Episode 14

Live from New York, it's...Will Ferrell Sketches include: Bush's Good Health, Subshack, The Boston Teens At The Liquor Store, Moleculo: The Molecular Man, Napster Testimony, Taint-less Ted, Find The Black People At The Knicks Game, VH-1 Diva-Thon, Democratic National Committee, and Sports Century: The White Boxer Don Henley performs: ""Everything is Different Now"" and ""Heart of the Matter"" (the second performance was cut on the NBC rerun and replaced with a DeMarco Bros. sketch where Chris Parnell, Chris Kattan, and Conan O'Brien audition for Don Henley)

star 9.33
3 votes
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Chris Farley/The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

#20 - Chris Farley/The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Season 23 - Episode 4

Sketches include ""Farley Gets Permission to Host,"" ""Morning Latte,"" ""Mary Katherine Gallagher,"" ""Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker,"" ""Goth Talk,"" ""The Sally Show,"" ""Monday Night Football Song,"" ""Superfans,"" and ""El Niño.""

star 9.33
3 votes
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Colin Firth/Norah Jones

#21 - Colin Firth/Norah Jones

Season 29 - Episode 14

Sketches include; Nightline, Bad Southern Accent, Show Biz Grande Explosion, TV Funhouse: FCC-Approved Cartoons, Tim Calhoun In Court, The Horny Bellhop, Meet the Press, The Sopranos, and Hollywood vs. History: Jesus Christ.

star 9.33
3 votes
Writers:
Catherine Zeta-Jones / Franz Ferdinand

#22 - Catherine Zeta-Jones / Franz Ferdinand

Season 31 - Episode 3

Live from New York, it's... Darrell Hammond! Sketches include "Bush's Spontaneous Chat," "Butt Cancer Treatment Center," "Newsnight with Aaron Brown," "Dancers Party," "The Italians," "Access Hollywood," "Creighton Boys School," "Glen and Gina's Wedding," "MorganStanley," and "The Scheinwalds." Franz Ferdinand performed "Do You Want To" and "Take Me Out."

star 9.25
4 votes
Writers:
Tracy Morgan/Kelly Clarkson

#23 - Tracy Morgan/Kelly Clarkson

Season 34 - Episode 18

star 9.20
5 votes
Bruce Willis/Neil Young

#24 - Bruce Willis/Neil Young

Season 15 - Episode 1

Sketches include ""George Bush,"" ""thirtysomething Cereal,"" ""Wayne's World,"" ""Phil Donahue,"" ""Anal-Retentive Carpenter,"" ""Johnny O'Connor,"" ""Sprockets,"" and ""Bruce Willis' Bluesy Commercial Jingles""

star 9.17
6 votes
Directors: Dave Wilson
Writers:
Buy on iTunes
Maya Rudolph/Sleigh Bells

#25 - Maya Rudolph/Sleigh Bells

Season 37 - Episode 15

Host Maya Rudolph; Sleigh Bells perform "Comeback Kid" and "End of the Line". Sketches include Linsanity Postgame Cold Open, Maya Angelou Prank Show, Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Baby, Sleigh Bells: Comeback Kid, Really? with Seth and Amy, What Up With That: President’s Day Special, Super Showcase, Cosby Obama, Sleigh Bells: End Of The Line and How’s He Doing?.

star 9.02
53 votes
Directors: Don Roy King
Writers: