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Mining comedy gold at Hulu

The other day, the ever-entertaining Bill Simmons from ESPN told his readers about a list from Nerve.com and IFC for the Top 50 Comedy Sketches of all time. Now, I can’t really dispute the list, because I really enjoyed watching any of these. Except for some of the British ones. Not sure what some of them are all about.

But, as I was going through them, I realized that my own list would probably contain most of these, with a few exceptions. At the same time, I’ve been plumbing the depths of hulu.com, a newish site that allows you to watch TV and movies for free (with some advertising thrown in). It’s a great way to burn some time, so check it out.

Anyway, what I realized from my Hulu watching is that most of the Saturday Night Live clips I was watching were in the bottom third of the clips if you sorted them by popularity. The cheese stands alone… whatever that means.

So, in the spirit of meaningless lists, here are my TOP 10 Saturday Night Live Sketches You May Have Forgotten But Are Still Pretty Funny. As a marketing guy, I’m all too aware that you need to have a catchy title for stuff. Boy, did I ever knock this one out of the park.

10. Chris Kattan talks gibberish as a Southern lawyer. Not sure why this one gets me, but when Kattan throws down “Missy Barnay… itta day true that you gotta sittadee drinkee papa?” instead of anything that would sound like normal English, I get tickled every time. This character actually showed up a few times, but I thought this was my favorite. Must be the John Goodman cameo and the fairly decent Deep South accents.

9. Appalachian Emergency Room and “There’s a jart right here in this general area.” The AER never disappoints. This one kills me, especially the jart guys at the very beginning. I’ve never heard a lot of buzz about this running gag, but I dig it every time. But, I’m an idiot. Maybe that’s the reason.

8. Lance Armstrong can’t run. When Lance hosted, he did this sketch about him trying to do a triathlon, but not being able to run. This is even funnier since Lance ran the Boston Marathon in under three hours a few weeks ago. I love celebrities who will completely mock themselves while hosting SNL. We all remember the great skits from Michael Jordan and Joe Montana. This is one that just sneaks under the radar.

7. Steve Martin sets the bar for cold opening by not phoning it in. OK, this might be a little more well-known than many of my other choices, but it’s worth mentioning here. Martin starts out talking about how he can just phone-in this episode since he’s hosted so many times before. But, in a rousing number, he figures out he should shoot for the perfect show. It’s also bittersweet because of the parts played by Phil Hartman and Chris Farley. Hartman sings a lament that nobody knows the real him, while Farley brags that he’s “not gonna get liquored up tonight.” For different reasons, these are hard to watch in light of their tragic deaths.

On the brighter side, watch the uncomfortable song-and-dance skills of Kevin Nealon, David Spade and especially Chris Rock. If someone was phoning it in, it’s Rock.

6. Mike Myers as Simon. A lot of Myers’ characters are SNL legends: Wayne Campbell, Linda Richmond… but I always thought that Simon didn’t get enough love. The sketches always featured Simon in his bath, talking with good humor (or humour, since he’s British) about his ever dysfunctional life. Maybe it’s me, but I thought this really showed off everything in Myers’ repertoire. Good character development, a solid knack for accents, good timing. Good stuff.

I’ll have numbers 5-1 soon.

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Categories: TV

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