The 44 Best 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches From Season 44

By
Halsey, Matt Damon and Kenan Thompson on 'Saturday Night Live' season 44
NBC

Live from New York, that was season 44 of Saturday Night Live!

SNLwrapped up its latest season over the weekend with a stellar show helmed by guest host Paul Rudd, and now ET is looking back at highlights from the last 21 episodes.

From politically charged cold opens to hilarious fake commercials, here's a breakdown of all the best sketches, funniest segments and most memorable monologues.

Note: Sketches aren't ranked, because humor is subjective. Instead, consider this something of a viewing guide to the best bits from each episode.

 

1. "Kavanaugh Hearing Cold Open" (Ep. 1)

After SNL leaned heavily into politics last season, they came out of the gate swinging in their first episode, taking aim at Brett Kavanaugh with a brilliant cameo from Matt Damon that set the cold open bar very high for the rest of the season.

 

2. "80s Party" (Ep. 1)

College parties aren't like Las Vegas -- what happens there doesn't stay there and will come back to haunt you. Here's a look at what happened to all the party animals in every '80s college comedy when they grew up.

 

3. "Neo-Confederate Meeting" (Ep.1)

Adam Driver delivers a brilliant deadpan performance as a "neo-Confederate" who has to break some bad news to his fellow racists about their plan for creating the ideal all-white utopia.

 

4. "Awkwafina Monologue" (Ep. 2)

In the Crazy Rich Asians star's heartfelt and endearing monologue, she reflects on her memory of lining up to see SNL back in 2000 when Lucy Liu hosted the show, and how, 18 years later, she became the first Asian-American woman to host the show since Liu. This ended up being a better season than ever for Asian representation on SNL with Sandra Oh serving as a host later in the year.

 

5. "Kanye West - Donald Trump Cold Open" (Ep. 3)

While even this SNL sketch couldn't out-crazy the actual meeting between West and Trump in the Oval Office, Chris Redd's performance as the manic rapper is flawless and worthy of praise.

 

6. "Seth Meyers Monologue" (Ep. 3)

Aside from it being generally nice to see Meyers back in Studio 8H, his amazing Kanye West anecdote elevates the entire monologue to the next level.

 

7. "Jail Cellmate" (Ep. 3)

For anyone who wants a look at what prison life has been like for Bill Cosby, here's a glimpse inside his jail cell.

 

8. "HuckaPM" (Ep. 4)

HuckaPM, the only sleep aid designed to ease the conscience of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

 

9. "Invest Twins" (Ep. 5)

This is just a truly solid, dirty, hilarious sketch based on a solid premise that doesn't overstay its welcome. In a season filled with some truly baffling sketches that felt almost like avant-garde surrealism or rough drafts that somehow made their way into the final rundown, this one stands out as a solid bit of concise comedy. Invest Twins -- fueled by the undeniable and awkward chemistry of Mikey Day, Alex Moffat and Heidi Gardner, and the pitch-perfect deadpan of Cecily Strong -- is a solid contender for Sketch of the Season.

 

10. "RGB Rap" (Ep. 6)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg deserves all the tribute songs we can write for her, and this one nails all the things that make her an icon.

 

11. "Steve Carell Returns to SNL Monologue" (Ep. 6)

Any kind of an Office reunion works for us, even if it simultaneously shoots down our hopes for an Office revival.

 

12. "Netflix Commercial" (Ep. 7)

Honestly, Kennymeade Depot and Leslie Jones in a Van Getting Batteries need to be real shows.

 

13. "Them Trumps" (Ep. 8)

Crossing Empire with the current political administration, Kenan Thompson brilliantly answers the question, "What if President Donald Trump were black?"

 

14. "First Impression" (Ep. 8)

If Jason Momoa was your significant other's father, you'd want to make a memorable first impression too! But maybe with less body grease.

 

15. "Weezer" (Ep. 9)

"No offense Tammy, but drink my blood!" Matt Damon in a screaming fight with Leslie Jones over the nuances of Weezer's discography never gets old.

 

16. "The Raunchiest Miss Rita" (Ep. 10)

This pitch-perfect recreation of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel -- starring Rachel Brosnahan herself-- reveals what it would sound like if Leslie Jones were a stand-up comic in the 1960s.


17. "Millennial Millions" (Ep. 10)

Every time someone badmouths Millennials for being lazy or entitled, they should be legally obligated to watch this sketch and learn something.

 

18. "Weekend Update: Pete Davidson & John Mulaney Review Clint Eastwood's The Mule" (Ep. 10)

While this isn't really a sketch as much as it is just Davidson and Mulaney reviewing Eastwood's insane movie, it's still really fun to see two hilarious comics dissect the logic of a man in his late-80s having two threesomes in one film.

 

19. "Virgin Hunk" (Ep. 11)

While SNL has lampooned The Bachelor before, host James McAvoy's awkwardness and the parade of suitors' manic energy elevate this parody of Colton Underwood's recent bonkers season.

 

20. "Valentine's Song" (Ep. 12)

Valentine's Day has rules, and one of them is very simple: It's for lovers only!

 

21. "Roach-Ex" (Ep. 13)

If Don Cheadle doesn't win an Emmy for this amazing, soul-crushingly dark parody commercial, there is no justice in the world of Hollywood awards shows.

 

22. "Bar Fight" (Ep. 13)

Even rough and tumble biker bar patrons appreciate the music of MIKA.

 

23. "Chad Horror Movie" (Ep. 14)

A serial killer wants to play a Scream-like game with Pete Davidson's laid-back Chad, but Chad isn't really interested.

 

24. "What's That Name" (Ep. 14)

This revival of "What's That Name" not only brings back one of SNL's best fake game shows, but also reunited John Mulaney with Bill Hader (in a cameo).

 

25. "Bodega Bathroom" (Ep. 14)

While it might not have been as bizarrely original as "Diner Lobster" from John Mulaney's first time as host, this tribute to Broadway and New York city's bodegas is a visual feast.

 

26. "R. Kelly Interview Cold Open" (Ep. 15)

Incredible performances from Leslie Jones and the always dependable Kenan Thompson give this cold open a timeless quality. Also, we'll take any chance we can get to poke fun at Kelly's bizzaro-masterpiece Trapped in the Closet.

 

27. "Supportive Friend" (Ep. 15)

Any actor in the world can relate to this sketch about that one friend who loves the grind and supports his friends -- until one of them actually succeeds.

 

28. "Weekend Update: Baskin Johns Shares More Goop Products" (Ep. 15)

Everybody loves a fun celebrity cameo, and it's even better when that celeb shows up to make fun of themselves. It was legitimately surprising that Gwyneth Paltrow was game to do it, but she sells the segment beautifully.

 

29. "Network Meeting" (Ep. 16)

Will Jussie Smollett sketches still be funny in five years when people have finally forgotten that whole PR disaster? Who knows! But watching Chris Redd's Smollett frantically explain the details of his most recent questionable assault incident is a stellar comedy performance.

 

30. "Future Self" (Ep. 16)

"Wait, your arm is still broken?!" Sandra Oh goes all in as Tishee, and it might be a career highlight for her and Mikey Day.

 

31. "Cheques" (Ep. 16)

Paying for things with checks is very old-fashioned. Somehow, they not only made a sketch around this fact, but it's also amazing.

 

32. "New HBO Shows" (Ep. 17)

Game of Thrones may have come to an end, but if we get a Daria-style animated comedy about Arya finishing her hit list in high school, we're not sure if anybody would even miss GoT.

 

33. "Weekend Update: Film Critic Terry Fink's Spring Movie Review" (Ep. 17)

"Oh, Colin. You still believe in time?" Alex Moffat is flawless as a "macro dosing" movie reviewer who watches Captain Marvel and Dumbo while super high on LSD, and it's one of the best "Weekend Update" characters in seasons.

 

34. "Kit Harington Monologue" (Ep. 17)

With Harington at the helm as host, it wasn't too surprising to see a few of his Game of Thrones co-stars stop by for cameos, but it was still fun to see his interactions with Emilia Clarke and his wife, Rose Leslie. Also, Clarke has easily the funniest line from the episode, while Pete Davidson got the chance to get into full White Walker makeup, and everything really just soared in this star-studded monologue.

 

35. "Jail Cell Cold Open" (Ep. 18)

Will Lori Loughlin (Kate McKinnon) join the Muslim Brotherhood in jail? Only time will tell, but this jam-packed cold open gives us a glimpse inside her possible time in lockup. It also features a great A-list cameo that really brings the whole sketch together.

 

36. "The Actress" (Ep. 18) 

There's a reason Emma Stone won an Oscar and was nominated for two others -- she's just amazing and can bring real gravitas to any situation.

 

37.  "Adam Sandler's 'I Was Fired' Monologue" (Ep. 19)

When Sandler returned to SNL this season, it marked the longest gap between a person serving as a cast member and then coming back to host the show. Sandler didn't waste any time addressing the elephant in the room with his song, revealing why he left in the first place, and got a little help from his former SNL co-star (and real-life friend), Chris Rock, in his musical monologue.

 

38. "Romano Tours" (Ep. 19)

"Remember, you're still gonna be you on vacation. If you are sad where you are and then you get on a plane to Italy, the you in Italy will be the same sad you from before, just in a new place." This is a very important thing to remember and would save a lot of people a lot of time and money spent running away from their problems.

 

39. "Rectix" (Ep. 19)

Fake SNL commercials don't get much dirtier than this, but Beck Bennett's reactions and Adam Sandler's perfect deadpan sell what otherwise might have just been a filthy one-note joke.

 

40. "Weekend Update: Opera Man Returns" (Ep. 19)

The title really explains it all. In his return to SNL, Sandler brought Opera Man back to "Weekend Update" and we never realized how much we'd missed the singing news reporter.

 

41. "Emma Thompson Monologue" (Ep. 20)

For a first-time host, there's always a lot of nervous energy -- unless you're Thompson, and then you just command the stage like a boss. The acclaimed British actress brought her gravitas and talent to her hosting debut, and got some help from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for this Mother's Day monologue that's fun from start to finish.

 

42. "Etiquette Lesson" (Ep. 20) 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Mary Poppins had a cockney gangster's temper? Leslie Jones plays the perfect foil to Emma Thompson's insane etiquette coach in this bizarre yet brilliant sketch.

 

43. "What's Wrong With This Picture?" (Ep. 21)

Another simple, solid game show sketch premise that is solidified by some excellent and bonkers performances from host Paul Rudd, Pete Davidson and Aidy Bryant. Also, no one plays an exasperated and increasingly irritated game show host quite as well as Kenan Thompson.

 

44. "GoT Tribute" (Ep. 21)

While the sketch technically claims to be about Game of Thrones, it turns out that Pete Davidson and Paul Rudd have a different favorite show they just can't help but rap about, along with some help from DJ Khaled.

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