Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Ten more ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketches for finals week

A good laugh for finals season
Courtesy of IMDb.

It’s that time of year again. Finals are right around the corner, and stress levels on campus are rising rapidly. As someone who has watched a lot of “Saturday Night Live,” I have a good list of sketches that always give me a good laugh.

Since finals are incredibly stressful, and I often don’t have time to sit down and watch a full episode of a show, I always turn to “SNL” when I want to watch something light and fun. Here are 10 sketches to watch during finals week to relieve academic stress and have a good laugh.

Almost Pizza” – [ Season 37, 2012]

This sketch is pure absurdity. Kristen Wiig attempts to serve Almost Pizza to her husband (Bill Hader) and their daughter (Nasim Pedrad). Hader quickly becomes confused as to what the product in front of them actually is. Wiig’s attempts to sell the product become ridiculous as the sketch goes on. Wiig and Hader are “SNL” legends, and their chemistry carries this sketch.

Etiquette Lesson” – [Season 44, 2019]

This sketch is slow at the beginning, but when the joke hits, it hits (pun intended). Leslie Jones plays a woman who is attending the christening of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby. To attend however, she must take etiquette lessons from royal etiquette coach Vivian Hargrave (Emma Thompson). They get off to a good start, but when Leslie Jones makes one mistake, she learns how intense royal events are. This is a very physical sketch, and Thompson fully embodies her character. The complete change in Jones’ expression from Thompson’s first attempt to discipline her always makes me laugh, and Jones’ facial expressions are hilarious.

Take Me Back” – [Season 46, 2020]

If you like word play, you will enjoy this sketch. The sketch follows a conversation between exes Sarah (Ego Nwodim) and Keith (Beck Bennett). Filled with word play, double entendres and several misunderstandings, this sketch is sure to elicit a laugh. The pace of the conversation keeps the sketch moving along, and the word play barely gives you a second to breathe. Bennett and Nwodim perfectly embodied the dumb boyfriend and annoyed girlfriend perfectly, and Bennett even said it was one of his favorite sketches and characters to play.

Outside the Lines” – [Season 38, 2013]

Melissa McCarthy is a natural born comedian, so it’s no surprise that when she hosts “SNL,” she steals the show. Every sketch from her shows are incredibly funny, and she is the type of performer I aspire to be like. In this sketch, McCarthy plays a basketball coach who has a unique style of coaching. She physically torments her players, chasing them around, driving a golf cart through practice and throwing a toaster at one of them. She scares everyone around her, including one of her assistant coaches (Jay Pharoah) and her player’s professor (Bobby Moynihan). When she sits down for an interview with Bill Hader, she refuses to answer questions and ends up tormenting him. Melissa McCarthy absolutely delivers as a mean coach, and her physicality steals the scene.

Bidet” – [Season 35, 2010]

The plot of this sketch centers around exactly what you would expect. A couple at a hotel (Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifianakis) are particularly enamored with the bidet in their bathroom. They ask Andy Samberg’s character questions about how and how well the bidet works. They also inquired about whether they could get the bidet fixed and if there was a guest bidet. Despite his attempts to pivot the conversation, Wiig and Galifianakis bring it back to the bidet. The plot of this sketch is, like many, absurd. The real mystery is what Wiig and Galifianakis were using the bidet for.

80’s Music Video” – [Season 43, 2018]

This sketch has a unique style, parodying a music video from the 80’s while still centering around the interactions between characters. Donald Glover plays musician Raz P. Berry, who follows his girlfriend Jade as she goes around town with another man. He sings her a song about all the things he has done as revenge. After his song, he comes to realize that the person he is singing to is not his girlfriend Jade and has the realization that he did some horrible things for no reason. Glover fully embodies his character, and his ability to maintain a straight face while singing some absurd things elevates the humor of the sketch. One of my favorite parts is when Glover exits while singing “Dr. Reginald Saunders.”

Theater Donor” – [Season 42, 2017]

I only stumbled on this sketch recently, but it always makes me laugh. The sketch is a great example of physical comedy. Mikey Day plays a 106-year-old man watching a play at a theater he donated a great deal of money to. When the play starts, he has trouble following. This is only exacerbated when his nurse (Felicity Jones) must perform her duties in the middle of the play. The contrast between the seriousness of the play and the physical struggle between Day and Jones adds a level of humor to the sketch.
Mirrored Workout” – [Season 46, 2021]

Of course I couldn’t get through this list without including a Kate McKinnon sketch. This sketch centers around a character named Shannon Delgado (Kate McKinnon) who finds herself stuck inside a workout mirror. While working out, Mikey Day and Chris Redd are confronted with Shannon Delgado, who is just as confused as they are.

McKinnon shines throughout this sketch and perfectly conveys the horror and confusion of her character as she finds herself stuck in a dark void. The appearances of Pete Davidson as Azuzal also add to the absurdity of the sketch.

The War In Words” – [Season 44, 2018]

This is one of my favorite recurring sketches from recent years. The basis for this sketch is a misunderstanding that gradually becomes crazier. Private James Merchant (Mikey Day) writes his wife Margaret (Claire Foy) from his base in World War I. The couple has trouble communicating through letters, leading to many comedic misunderstandings. Day becomes increasingly concerned as he discovers there is a man living in his house, and his wife is going on trial, especially when he can’t seem to figure out what she is on trial for. I always enjoy sketches with comedic misunderstanding, and Day always gives an excellent performance in these “War In Words” sketches.

The Science Room” – [Season 45, 2020]

Adam Driver does an amazing job whenever he hosts “SNL,” showing audience members that he is not just a serious actor. Though this is a recurring sketch and Driver’s episode is not the first where this sketch appears, it is my favorite. Driver plays the host of a science show, “Science Room,” who tries to teach two junior volunteers (Cecily Strong and Mikey Day) about air. He soon realizes that the students are not particularly smart. The growing frustration of Driver is evident, as the students continue to provide him with incorrect answers, making you wonder how they have made it this far in life. The facial expressions of all three fit their characters perfectly, and the contrast between Driver’s frustration and Day and Strong’s stupidity make this one of SNL’s best.

Asha Baron can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @ashajbaron.

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