Maya Rudolph, Nate Bargatze, Ryan Gosling, Ego Nwodim, Pete Davidson on Saturday Night Live.

The 30 Best Sketches & Moments From Season 49 Of "Saturday Night Live"

Courtesy of NBC.

Saturday Night Live Season 49 is officially in the books!

As we've been looking back on this past season, we can't help but remember at how crazy it was that this season started in a little bit of a limbo with the uncertainty of when or how the show would return due to this past year's dual writer's and actor's strikes. Nobody knew when writers and actors would get back to work, and needless to say, we & the greater comedy community are certainly glad that we're now on the other side of this and that an agreement was made cause we wouldn't have gotten all the laughs we did from this esteemed comedy institution.

And the show doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon according to show creator Lorne Michaels. We'll be rolling into what should be a historic & triumphant year for television as SNL rolls into its 50th season on the air. Plus, we should be getting a release date for the show's biopic next year, SNL 1975.

The news team here at 800 Pound Gorilla News recently got together to reflect on the landmark sketch comedy series and all the funny sketches and moments that came from this season. From all the Weekend Update appearances, Please Don't Destory Shorts, Monologues and everything in between: we picked the best of the best from each episode to highlight on this season recap list.

Give these all a watch and enjoy. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know which ones you felt should be included that we missed (believe us when we say it was a challenge to put together a list of 30 when we originally had near 50)!

Check out the Best of Saturday Night Live's Stand-Up Monologues!

30) Bad Couples

This Valentine’s Day themed sketch follows the appropriately named New York News reporter, Danny Love (played by Bowen Yang), who’s on a mission to meet real life couples on the streets of New York who resemble the couples we know & love from some of the famous NYC rom coms (When Harry Met Sally & Maid In Manhattan to name a few). To Love’s low luck, he manages somehow to not find a regular couple on the streets of NY that doesn’t have a comically bizarre back story.

This sketch’s host Ayo Edebiri shows up twice in front of this reporter: once with a friends-with-benefits-like coworker, and twice when walking past the reporter again with her actual husband pretending like they “definitely met for the first time.” There’s even a rare live sketch appearance by Please Don’t Destroy’s Martin Herlihy. And just when you think there’s no “meet cute” scenario that happens, just wait until the very end to see who Love accidentally bumps into for an encounter that’s “organic.”

29) Posters

Chrissy Knox, the over-eager poster model played by host Emma Stone, made her return in this recurring sketch where she reprised the role from her two previous hosting stints. The role of the college student that was once taken on by Pete Davidson was succeeded by current standout castmate, Marcello Hernández. It's the sketch where the posters in the student's room each compete for his attention.


This iteration alongside Stone & Hernández featured Mikey Day as an intentionally underwhelming David Beckham, Kenan Thompson as UFC champion Troy McCoy, & Ego Nwodim as a video game character.

28) Weekend Update: Two Cicadas on the Largest Cicada Emergence

The cicadas are here for a good time, not a long time. Kenan Thompson and Marcello Hernandez play the 2007 and 2011 cicada breeds as Colin Jost interviews them on Weekend Update explaining how they’re not here to stay, they’re here to mate. Hernandez jokes, “some cicada ladies are gonna have my cicada babies.” After some callbacks to their respective eras which included a Motorola sidekick flip phone, the cicadas declare they are only living life to the fullest until, “we hit a windshield so hard our ass goes through our brain.” In this hilarious segment, Hernandez and Thompson finally give a voice to the already ear splitting species that is on the top of everyone’s mind.

27) State of the Union Cold Open

Election years on SNL tend to be filled with some notable stops being pulled off while making these event sketches and cold opens all the more memorable. Some examples of this include Alec Baldwin reprising his role as President Donald Trump, Jim Carrey playing President Joe Biden & even Ben Stiller portraying disgraced attorney Michael Cohen.

And in this State of the Union Cold Open, Scarlett Johansson made a surprise cameo as Alabama Senator, Katie Britt, who’s portion of this event garnered lots of attention on social media earlier this year. Johansson definitely rose to the occasion for this bit and nailed the senator’s portrayal to a tee from being in the kitchen, wearing the same green shirt & cross necklace, and all the way to mimicking Britt's over the top performance.

26) Please Don't Destroy - We Got Too High (ft. Travis Scott)

Ramy Youssef and Please Don’t Destroy get invited to go out with Travis Scott for, as Youseff puts it, “A twisted, rockin’ ball!” The parody rap song touches on the anxiety one feels completely sober and when too high. With their trademark wacky sense of humor, Please Don’t Destroy has Youseff trying to make napkin pants after being self conscious about wearing shorts. Of course the sketch ramps up and eventually lands the trio in the hospital with Mickey Day, as a doctor, making fun of them for their low tolerance. This self-deprecating and ludicrous sketch shows what Please Don’t Destroy does best. Not to mention Youseff only elevated the sketch by bringing his own commentary on being a nonsmoker and how it feels to be the only sober person in the room.

25) Lake Beach

Knowing that this country music trio (made up of host Nate Bargatze, Andrew Dismukes & James Austin Johnson) are each through & through Southerners makes this sketch even more fitting with Bargatze & Johnson both being from Nashville & Dismukes being from Houston. Another great musical sketch where this trio sings about their funny & quirky lake beach activities and truly nailing the Southern energy. 

24) Protective Mom 2

Watching Marcello Hernández & Bad Bunny's growing friendship on screen through SNL sketches & Bad Bunny music videos is a joy to witness. They really didn't have to go this hard on this sketch, but they did it anyway in the now recurring Protective Mom sketch bringing back Pedro Pascal as Marcello's overprotective mom & having host Bad Bunny as Marcello's overprotective aunt.


This almost reminds you of SNL's earlier family oriented sketches like the Kissing Family or Kristen Wiig's "Sue" in the Surprise Party sketches with the very extreme emotions both portray. Hilariously done & certainly looking forward to many more in this recurring series!

23) Airplane Baby

Kenan Thompson said it best when asking how old the quote "monster baby" played by host Adam Driver is. Instead of 11 months, "you mean, 11 months and like 15,000 days?"


Driver doesn't get enough credit for the low-key comedy chops he has. Then again this was his fourth time hosting & he's proven himself to be a fantastic host since then. His commitment to going ALL THE WAY into each character he plays in & outside of this show is seen evidently. He captures the cognitions of a baby's mind & behavior perfectly & physically executes it so well.


It'll be a grand time next time he hosts when he becomes a five-timers member.

22) Trump Sneakers

When Shane Gillis hosted Saturday Night Live, it was the bookend to story that started with him getting fired before ever getting on the show, due to some comments he made on a podcast. Gillis turned things around, and managed to become one of the most popular comedians working today.

For his big chance on the show, people were wondering if he’d find a way to break out his Donald Trump impression. He certainly did, in an inventive sketch that finds Gillis slowly start to morph into Donald Trump when he puts magical sneakers on, gifted to him by the former President. The image of Gillis as Trump playing basketball is hilarious in itself. The sketch is a real standout from that episode.

Check out our recap from Shane Gillis’ hosting debut on SNL!

21) Big Dumb Cups

As the Stanley cup craze began to fade out, Big Dumb Cups aired, calling out how inconvenient Stanley cups are. Dakota Johnson, Chloe Fineman, and Heidi Gardner star as three blonde women who alternate lines that describe the typical owners of Stanley cups. As the sketch goes on the cups get more and more ridiculous from a cup that will act as an urn to a pregnant cup to a cup the size of Johnson. Johnson, Fineman and Gardner hit the nail on the head or the straw on the cup with this sequel of Big Dumb Hat.

20) Please Don't Destroy: Bad Bunny Is Shrek

Seeing Bad Bunny as Shrek in his nonchalant self in front of the Please Don't Destroy guys is absolute chaos (in truly the best way possible).


Bad Bunny was the host in this skit, where she show's up in a full Skrek costume acting just kinda whatever about the whole appearance. He ends up assigning roles to all three of them with Martin playing Donkey, John playing Michael Jackson (who's apparently supposed to be the main character, and Ben playing Puss In Boots. You won't believe the reaction when Ben suggests Bad Bunny should play Puss In Boots instead, it's quite hilarious!

19) Hot Ones with Beyoncé 2

Since beginning on a show as a cast member in 2000, Maya Rudolph has portrayed a bunch of hilarious characters on SNL (one of them being her famous Beyoncé impression) and is now has a beyond exceptional career leading some of the biggest comedy movies and shows. And now having hosted the show three times, she’s indeed become one of the biggest names in comedy and an impressive name to watch.

In her third time hosting the show, Rudolph continues her reprisal of Queen Bey on Hot Ones following 2021’s viral sketch promoting her current critically acclaimed album Cowboy Carter. Whether you're a Beyoncé fan or not, we all wanna be in our seats when she makes her formal appearance on the talk show (in the very small chance she ever will) just for the sheer curiosity of how she’ll do in the very little interview appearances she does. But if we never get that interview, we can at least rest assured knowing that Rudolph’s take on the pop singer turned country star can be the best, most hilarious & entertaining take we’ll ever get in this lifetime. And for that Maya: we thank you!

18) Weekend Update: Marcello Hernández on Depression in Men

Since beginning on the show just hardly a year ago, Marcello Hernández has created his own mold that only he can fill with his charisma & charm combined with his indeed funny stand-up & sketch comedy. That’s become especially evident since he’s started appearing on the Weekend Update Desk.


In this weekend update appearance, Marcello chimes it up with Colin Jost about reasons why men are depressed in this day in age. And Marcello shares his unique & humorous takes on growing up in a house full of women, never going to a barbershop again and how that ties back into men being depressed. Colin’s reluctant script read towards this end is quite funny as well, it’s worth the watch!

17) Please Don't Destroy: Roast

Please Don’t Destroy never fails to provide. The “lonelier island,” as dubbed by Dakota Johnson in this sketch, begins roasting Johnson once she takes a jab at their sketches. Johnson calls out John Higgins and Martin Herlihy as SNL nepo-babies but ultimately they make a “nepo truce” as Johnson’s parents were successful actors too. Ben Marshall, the only non-nepo baby, tries to put his hand in but Higgins pushes him away as he, Herlihy and Johnson chant with their matching rings, “A foot in the door and so much more.” Their self-awareness and witty quips are what makes the roast one of the best sketches of this season.

16) Please Don't Destroy: The Original Princes of Comedy

One thing that comedy fans may not have known about the Please Don’t Destroy comedy trio is before they became the comedy trio they are in sketch comedy, they actually got their early start in stand-up as they share in this digital short with season 49 premiere host, Pete Davidson (and believe it or not, it was in the Def Jam comedy scene in Harlem).


The child actors they hired for this short were beyond spot on & really showcases the guys’ versatility. It also wouldn’t be a proper Pete Davidson episode if John Mulaney didn’t show up (watch for yourself).

15) Bowen's Straight

In “Bowen’s Straight,” Sydney Sweeney confides in Heidi Gardner and Ego Nwodim that she has a crush on Bowen Yang. Yang, known for his flamboyant performances, it turns out only “plays gay” for the laughs. After Yang nut taps Marcello Hernandez, Sweeney seems to only fall more in love with Yang. After an over the top love scene, Yang gets up and leaves with the apathy of a straight man. Sweeney got played by Bowen Yang. Gardner comes up and says, “Welcome to the club, mama.” Yang seems to have historically played the field of SNL women which is an insanely hilarious claim the sketch makes as Yang is openly gay.

14) Weekend Update: A Man Who Did Too Much Press

Ever have those moments where you feel like you did way too much of something? Jerry Seinfeld certainly did. And that thing was press, which he was doing to support his Netflix movie, Unfrosted.

Seinfeld was practically everywhere, to the point where he went on SNL during Weekend Update a few weeks ago to comment on it. Never giving his name, they simply refer to him as The Man Who Did Too Much Press. He even stops the segment to do an interview midway through. One of our writers actually spoke to Seinfeld for another publication last month, so this bit hits very close to home for us here.

13) Troye Sivan Sleep Demon

Timothée Chalamet’s episode goes down as one of the most memorable & standout episodes for us this season. In this sketch, Timothée plays a sleep demon who just happens to be the Australian indie pop star Troye Sivan. This demon invades this woman’s dreams played by Sarah Sherman and is coached by her doctor played by Bowen Yang, an expert on being famous versus gay famous (and how Nathan Lane is NOT in this category).


This combo of players couldn’t be more perfect. The boygenius cameo at the end is also a cherry topper!

12) Please Don't Destroy: Ramen

In an attempt to order some ramen on a casual writing night in this Please Don’t Destroy bit, Ben & Martin get disrupted by John suddenly getting a call that his girlfriend broke up with him (you won’t believe the Sophia who actually dumped him). And yet admitting that they’ll be there for him and they’re trying to actively listen, Ben & Martin still do whatever it takes to get this ramen. Hopefully this girl is not medium spicy!

11) Club Shay Shay: Extended Cut

Talk about one of the biggest publicity moments in comedy so far this year. One of the most talked about interviews online this year was comedian Katt Williams’ appearance on Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay podcast. Since its release in January, the podcast episode has now gone on to be one of the most viewed interviews on YouTube with over 69 million views. In this notable & wide ranging conversation, Williams held no bars back and didn’t hesitate to throw some shade to the comedy community including Kevin Hart, Steve Harvey & Joe Rogan.

SNL’s take on this viral moment was certainly a top notch sketch courtesy of the funny portrayals of Ego Nwodim as Williams, Devon Walker as Sharpe & Kenan Thompson with his always so consistently clever voice over appearances. They do a funny job exaggerating all the claims Williams made to poke fun at this moment, going all the way to even say there’s an 8 hour extended cut for the already nearly 3 hour long interview.

10) ABBA Christmas

In this year’s Christmas episode hosted by Kate McKinnon, they pulled out all the stops to make this a memorable one for the holiday season. Including bringing back SNL greats Maya Rudolph & Kristen Wiig for this very nostalgic Christmas sketch about ABBA’s unreleased Christmas album.


It gets progressively more outrageous as the sketch goes on. From casually singing & dancing in choreography, the quartet including Bowen Yang begin to aggressively sing in each other's faces and in lots of other different directions. And spoiler alert: no one’s holding it together, including the paid advertising host played by James Austin Johnson. Add this to the dozens of classic SNL Christmas sketches to go in the history books!

9) Kristen Wiig Five-Timers Monologue

The Five Timers monologue has become something of a tradition by this point. Having started with Tom Hanks in 1990, it serves as a chance for the show to have a cameo-heavy segment with all of the legends who have hosted numerous times. It’s a tradition that they clearly want to keep going.

This year, Kristen Wiig hosted for her fifth time. During her monologue, Paul Rudd asked when the Five Timers sketch was. When she said they weren’t doing it, it turned out that Five Timers wannabes stopped by, like Matt Damon, Fred Armisen, Jon Hamm, Ryan Gosling, and Will Forte. It was a fun twist on the old tradition.

Check out our recap of the best moments of Kristen Wiig hosting from this episode!

8) I'm Just Pete

Talk about a banger of a season premiere!


Major props to host Pete Davidson, the writers, the production team & everyone involved with this sketch for pulling it off so well; so perfectly timed, portrayed and executed. In this sketch called I’m Just Pete (riffing off of Ryan Gosling’s I’m Just Ken from the Barbie movie, heard of it hopefully?) Pete portrays Ken and does what any great comedian would do: poke fun at themselves and do it so greatly. Featuring most past lives of Pete including First Weekend Update Pete & Met Gala Pete.

7) Scooby-Doo

If you’re looking at this video thinking it’s just another Scooby Doo sketch: trust us when we say it goes off the rails and goes in a darkly hilarious direction you wouldn’t expect. This pre-tape sketch pulls off a spot on Mystery Gang with host Jake Gyllenhaal playing Fred, Sarah Sherman playing Velma, Mikey Day playing Shaggy, and musical guest Sabrina Carpenter (who’s also an actress) plays Daphne.

Just when you think the mystery has been solved, Fred asks the gang, “Who is Old Man Franklin? I mean, really? No one is who they appear to be.” He pulls off what he supposedly believes is the culprit’s second mask to what ends up being the man’s actual face. It escalates very quickly from there going from a friendly children’s afternoon programming to becoming something you would see in I Know What You Did Last Summer. It’s worth noting how entertaining it is to see Gyllenhaal really lean into the Fred character with his bright & curious facial expressions too. Overall a solid & hysterical sketch to close the season finale with!

6) Nate Bargatze's Monologue

Undeniably, Nate Bargatze’s hosting debut on Saturday Night Live was definitely one of the best episodes this season (quite possibly best episode in recent years fans have shared) and did not disappoint. The stand-up community couldn’t have been more thrilled for Nate not only when he got the opportunity, but also nailed it on the otherside.


Of course being a comedy website, we can’t not recognize Nate’s tight stand-up monologue where he riffs on how much his magician Dad LOVES having surgeries, being a dad himself & getting older (specifically being born in the 1900s).

5) Beavis and Butt-head

Perhaps the most talked about sketch of the season was this one. The premise is simple. Kenan Thompson plays someone talking about AI in an open discussion that can’t stop getting distracted by Beavis and Butt-head lookalikes in the crowd. It’s a sketch that went to read through many times and never got picked, until Mikey Day and Ryan Gosling took the sketch and turned it into gold.

Despite the basic premise, what makes it work so well is Heidi Gardner. Gardner had her back turned to the duo, so when she finally turned around, she couldn’t help but laugh at seeing Day in the Beavis get-up. It turned a funny premise into something you cannot miss, and it kept people talking for weeks! Day and Gosling even attended The Fall Guy premiere as Beavis and Butt-head.

4) Museum of Hip-Hop Panel

800 Pound Gorilla News can confirm that SmokeCheddaDaAssGetta’s smash joint “cling, cling, cling” still rips after a whole season!


This panel is quite the outstanding ensemble of castmates to portray the legendary group covering 50 Years of Hip-Hop. James Austin Johnson continues to crush it with his Rick Rubin impression, Kenan Thompson is consistently Kenan as Dr. Cornel West, Punkie Johnson as Mary J. Blige, Ego Nwodim as host Nunya Bizness & Timothée Chalamet reprising his role as the soundcloud rapper from his 2020 sketch with Pete Davidson.

3) Weekend Update: Christmas Joke Swap

For those familiar with the longstanding tradition of the Weekend Update era helmed by Colin Jost & Michael Che, every Christmas episode & season finale they do their famous Joke Swap where each of the anchors write jokes for each other to read on air, and they read it for the first time on the spot.


Normally Michael Che consistently always wins this bit (depending on what your definition of winning is). In this new installment of Joke Swap, he brought out the renowned poet, author, & activist, Dr. Hattie Davis, who apparently appeared on the show during season 3 and came back to sit in on this segment to make it interesting. They somehow manage to make these bits more risky & hysterical as they continue this bit which makes it so great!

We have since learned that Hattie Davis was indeed an actress and is not a real life activist.

2) Weekend Update: Colin Jost and Michael Che Swap Jokes for Season 49 Finale

Colin Jost and Michael Che have an annual tradition where they write jokes for each other twice a year, and it quickly delves into jokes that the other person is embarrassed to read. Back in December, however, Che took it a step further by bringing in an actress playing a rights activist to sit next to Jost as he tells racist jokes Che wrote for him. But for the season finale, he one-upped himself.

For this iteration, he had an actual Rabbi - Rabbi Jill - sit next to Jost as he makes the jokes Che wrote for him. It took things to an intense new level once Jost was presented with a rabbi puppet for the last joke. Jost also got Che pretty good with a bit about Kendrick Lamar and Drake. All in all, it was the best we’ve seen yet. 

1) Washington's Dream

This was one of the smartest & driest sketches Saturday Night Live has put together in many years.


Host Nate Bargatze plays General George Washington where he shares with his fellow soldiers the dreams he has for this country set in 1777. It starts off like a pretty standard army speech where he starts inspiring a country where we choose our own laws & choose our own leaders. And then it quickly changes pace in the best way, where he cleverly begins to point out the endless flaws in the small things our country does not have right. He goes on pointing out how silly we’ve gone with choosing our own system of weights & measures, the flaws of football, temperature and more.


His deadpan delivery & Nateland signature could not be seen more evidently here making this such an important & funny sketch to look back on (and it’s all clean & truly great comedy).

How to watch Saturday Night Live tonight.

The show airs Saturday nights at 11:30 PM ET on NBC, all episodes and more are streaming on Peacock!

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