Yep! I’m just going to flat out state that these are indeed the best ones. No, these are not simply my favorites. They are literally the best comedy skits of all time!
No, really these are just some of my personal favorites, and I just wanna share this silliness with you today.
James Brown’s Hot Tub – Eddie Murphy – SNL
Eddie Murphy was the greatest thing to happen to SNL in the 80s. By the mid-eighties, the series had kind of hit a slump, as many of its brightest talents had moved into the film industry, and while I don’t think the show was facing cancellation, it was definitely being ignored, to a certain degree, but Eddie revitalized the series with some of the greatest and most well-loved comedy sketches in the industry. Now couple that with the return of James Brown to the top of the R&B charts due to his association with the fourth Rocky film, and it was this perfectly ridiculous combination of references, that totally elevates this sketch.
Land Shark – SNL
I remember watching this one as a kid and being thoroughly tickled by it. This particular sketch aired on the back of the popularity of Jaws, and is a spoof on the idea that people were reluctant to go swimming in the ocean after seeing that film, so Jaws had to make some special accommodations. I think about this skit about…once a week, and it has never NOT made me crack up! Most especially the stupidity of the characters. In the past I would have scoffed at the idea that anyone would be dumb enough to open the door and let a shark into their house, but I have been completely disabused of that idea, because someone, somewhere is just that stupid.
This show always aired late in the evening, when I was supposed to be in bed, so I shouldn’t have known anything about it.
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood – Eddie Murphy – SNL
If I’m not careful this entire list would be filled with all of Eddie’s skits from the SNL. This is obviously a parody of the very wholesome Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and I do wonder if Mr. Rogers ever saw these skits, and if so, what he might have thought about them.
Eddie made a lot of truly classic sketches, like the one where he masqueraded as a white businessman for a day, and the infamous Buckwheat Dies! Buckwheat isn’t actually on this list, but I’m including it anyway!
This is obviously a parody of the very wholesome Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and I do wonder if Mr. Rogers ever saw these skits, and if so, what he might have thought about them.
Invisible Spy – Black lady Sketch Show
I think I spoke about this particular skit before, when I was discussing the invisibility and erasure of fat Black women from most media. So yeah, the whole purpose of being a spy is remaining undetected, and unsuspected. So to that end, why don’t certain women of color ever get hired as spies?
Lorraine at the Beach – MadTV
Lorraine is probably one of the goofiest characters from MadTV, which is a sketch show that really doesn’t get enough love, especially considering the sheer number of crazy characters it introduced to the American public. Lorraine is one of those likable, but deeply annoying, characters that you kind of want to meet, but just like Ms. Swan, you know you’d be ready to smack her in about thirty seconds. I have watched this skit multiple times and I have never not totally lost it!
Lorraine was played by the utterly fearless Mo Collins, who I have mad respect for, and yet, haven’t seen in anything since. (It turns out that she’s been starring in Fear the Walking Dead.)
Basic Ball – Black Ladies Sketch Show
This Ball is for people like me, the totally unfabulous Basic Black bitch! Tired? Cranky? Over it? Wearing socks with sandals? There you go. No need to get glammed up, cuz we just chillin’ in the house, barbecuing on the patio, or heading over to the convenience store in pajamas and a head wrap!
Racist Zombies – Key & Peele
Now, this is a zombie apocalypse I can get behind. How ridiculous is the idea that white people still manage to be racist even after death? There’s some deep message in there somewhere, but I don’t have the energy to dig that out right now. Plus the other message here is that Black people would be completely unperturbed by the end of the world, because all we’re gonna do is have another cookout.
Substitute Teacher – Key & Peele
I remember when this skit blew up on social media. I feel so sorry for all the guys in America named Aaron or Blake, who must have caught holy hell all year long, thanks to this one comedy sketch. Keegan Michael Key is always an over the top delight, and I always enjoy watching him in anything, and he doesnt get enough work. I remember him briefly appearing in some of the final seasons of MadTV.
Basketball w/Prince & Rick James – The Chappelle Show
This particular sketch was a delight for me, but it was not a surprise. I knew about Prince’s backstory playing basketball on the streets of Minneapolis as a teenager. I saw a photo of him once in full afro, B-ball in hand, sports socks pulled up! I wouldn’t have thought he’d lost that skill, and for some reason, not a lot of people know about that, which is why when Dave and his friends got their asses kicked by Prince’s Blouses, I thought it served them right for making assumptions.
T’Challa on Jeopardy – Chadwick Boseman – SNL
For a while, SNL had this recurring sketch where different celebrities would show up to play a Jeopardy parody show. One of the more ridiculous celebrities was Norm McDonald’s Burt Reynolds, which I always found hilarious! But another great character was Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa from the movie The Black Panther.
The Continental- Christopher Walken – SNL
You probably couldn’t do either one of these sketches in today’s environment, but that doesnt mean they’re not still deeply funny. I always enjoyed when Chrstopher Wlaken was doing an episode of SNL because then I knew we’d be getting another episode of The Continental, about a horny old dude lusting after the woman of his dreams, who keeps trying to woo or entrap her in his hotel room/condo. She always manages to beat him and escape. Today this skit seems a bit”rapey”, and wouldn’t get the same laughs, but it’s Walken’s European cheesiness, his pretense of sophistication, and his mispronunciation of champagne) that make me laugh.