Saturday Night Live obsessive Eli Matthewson selects the show’s finest Halloween sketches. //
It’s Halloween, and what better way to celebrate the day we get to yell “Go away, this isn’t America!” at children waiting outside our front doors than by sitting inside on the ol’ youtube.
I’ve always considered Spooks and LOLs to be close siblings, both at their best when aided by an element of surprise, but who don’t necessarily get on great when they’re together. Saturday Night Live embraces the spooky and kooky genre often, but in the cutthroat, fast-paced race to make the show they often end up absent of both spooks and LOLs.
This past weekend on SNL Jim Carrey hosted a tepid series of sketches that never really hit their mark. If you were to seek out anything I’d recommend the Sia costume sketch, but what I really recommend is to watch the videos I’ve got for you below.
I’ve assembled my Top 10 SNL Spooky sketches. By no means can this be definitive, I haven’t seen every single one of the 800 or so episodes, but I can assure you there’s enough laughs here to keep your Friday trucking along towards tonight’s Halloween party delights. (Read “Halloween Party Delights” as: watching Scream 4 alone with a bowl of cereal and going to bed at 9).
Here is a classic example of seeing what sort of impressions people can do and assembling a sketch around them. It’s a fun mess. Recently my mum called Bill Hader ugly and I’m still so angry about it. I think he looks quite dashing here, doing a perfect Vincent Price.
Garth Brooks (what?) sells his soul to the devil in order to write a hit song, but the devil can only write rubbish. Will Ferrell’s songs are so good bad, and I particularly love the ending. I imagine the script for this sketch just ended with “Out on Garth singing something pretty”.
SNL has done heaps of takes on “Ghost-finder” type shows, but this is their best. Yes, the whole thing is just a long-winded fart gag (great pun Eli!), but I challenge you not to laugh at the heat sensitive camera.
Here’s a wonderful early sketch that provides a sequel to Jaws that is about half as ridiculous as the Jaws sequels got by the time Michael Caine was involved in them. The Egg Salad gag is pure genius.
A very sweet sketch about two monster best friends and plastic surgery. This one was written by Mike O’Brian, one of the newer writers (he was also briefly a cast member) who’s writing some really funny stuff (he also dates Cecily Strong IRL which is pretty bloody cute).
These repeat Weekend Update characters were one of the first SNL sketches that I became truly obsessed with. They wore out after a while (this is already their fourth appearance) but the delight of seeing such a ridiculous improv game on television is really something.
Cecily Strong is the Selena Gomez of this new Disney show where Mom died and came back as a Korean Water Ghost. I would 100% watch this show if it was on and I could afford the Disney channel.
Christopher Walken is a Psychic who can only predict trivial things. The perfect marriage of music and comedy, and Walken is one of the great unexpectedly amazing SNL guests of all time. Also, how incredible is it that Rob Schneider, David Spade and Chris Rock were all in the cast together.
A parody that nails the Wes Anderson genre so well it actually feels like the real thing. I’m a sucker for seeing any actor impersonate someone they’ve worked with, as Edward Norton does here, and also for anything narrated by Alec Baldwin.
You look at Adam Sandler now and it’s hard to believe this could ever be possible – not only is he a borderline hotty in this clip, he’s doing original, exciting comedy that he seems to be enjoying performing. This is that perfect slice of writing and performance that captures both the real and the surreal. Sandler lists a variety of ridiculous costumes based on stuff lying around, or just using your face, but the thing I love the most is I have definitely walked around the house ten minutes before heading to a costume party trying to assemble something out of what I have lying around. I don’t have a Halloween costume yet and I am seriously considering going as “About to Sneeze Man”. Watch this and then watch ‘Blended’, and cry into the night over what went so wrong with this career.