The 38th season of Saturday Night Live is in the books. SNL finished its season this past weekend with host Ben Affleck and musical guest Kanye West. The season finale saw the departure of longtime cast members Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. With the season now at a close, it is time to take a look back at some of the best skits and shorts of the 2012-2013 Season.
8. Holiday Pageant
The 10th episode of the season, hosted by Martin Short, was one of the best of the year. From top to bottom, it was filled with heartfelt moments (the children’s choir singing Silent Night post-Sandy Hook) and some of the most hilarious bits. The musical guest that week was none other than Paul McCartney. In this sketch, we get Martin Short’s character auditioning for a Holiday Pageant with a very famous triangle player who seems a little put out. Keep watching until the end though, the triangle player finally gets his moment to shine.
7. The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party
Weekend Update has been a showcase for great characters since the show’s inception. This year kept that tradition alive with a character who was hilarious and, for some, maybe hit a little too close to home. Newcomer Cecily Strong masterfully played The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party. She is everything you’d imagine she’d be, not making sense, annoying, and almost taking things a little too far.
6. Outside The Lines
Melissa McCarthy is a student of the Groundlings and this has proven well for SNL in her 2 gigs as host. She is a fearless performer who stops at nothing to get a laugh but is always true to her characters. What makes this one of the best performances of the year is the conviction in which she plays Sheila Kelly, an abusive basketball coach.
Not all of SNL’s sketches were laugh out loud funny this year. One of the most captivating came off more as a short film.
Louie CK as Abraham Lincoln. That is all you need to know. Unfortunately, this video is no longer streaming on Hulu. You may be able to find it elsewhere though.
3. Puppet Class
Sketches like this truly show how much Bill Hader will be missed. What starts out as a normal puppeteering class turns dark as puppet ‘Tony’ takes on the traits of his performer. Hader has a knack of embodying these completely off the wall characters and taking them to darkly hilarious places.
2. Ian and the Bizarros
What a fitting send off for longtime cast member Fred Armisen. He originally created Ian Rubbish a few weeks ago with a sketch about Margaret Thatcher. This week he used that same character as his SNL send off bringing up some of his friends and heroes including Carrie Brownstein (his partner on Portlandia), Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Aimee Mann, and Michael Penn. Armisen has always shown reverence for the past while pushing toward the future, whether it is with his comedy or music. This was truly a special goodbye.
One of the most bizarre sketches SNL has done in a number of years also completely hit it out of the park. Done with a weird old-timey horror movie motif, but in song, we learn the legend of Mokiki. This short is as absolutely mesmerizing as the ‘sloppy-swish’ itself.