Superheroes and diversity seemed to be the trend during SNL’s 40th season. As always, the show traveled a bumpy road, but there were plenty of funnies to be had. We’ve highlighted the best sketches from SNL 40 that were topical, funny, and saw the show’s special guests at the height of hilarity. Mention your personal favorites, below.
Still waiting on Marvel’s Bus People and Fancy Ghosts.
“Herb Welch: Virginity Pledge Rally”
The sketch that reminded us how much we miss Bill Hader — and his cantankerous veteran reporter Herb Welch. One-liners like, “I don’t take orders from mannequins” and “I know you’re smooth down there” are fall-down funny.
If anyone was going to parody the absurdity and McConaughey gruffness of these ads, it had to be Jim Carrey.
“Women in the Workplace”
Two things SNL struggles with in one sketch: race and women.
A television exec’s existential nightmare. SNL might be taking a shot at its audience here, but we’re not asking for anything too crazy.
Praise for Nicki Minaj showing up James Franco during his own hosting spot in this unexpected gem full of pop culture cast-offs. Maybe it’s time to allow a few musical guests deeper into the mix?
A mashup of Martin Freeman’s Tim Canterbury in the British version of The Office and his character Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy, with a fantastic Taran Killam as Gollum.
“Asian American Doll”
Asian American Doll has no academic strengths or weaknesses. Just take her or leave her. She comes with a few harmless accessories, which went through 40 focus groups, and was made from a place of fear. Diversity issues win the biggest laughs, again.
Cecily Strong does a dead-on impression of Serial host Sarah Koenig and investigates the mysterious Kris Kringle in this clever visual version of the podcast. SNL‘s pre-recorded sketches continue to be one of the show’s greatest strengths.
“Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015″
Locals from Bushwick give in to artisanal mayo, dog sweaters, and spin class. This is what some of SNL‘s top-notch writing looks like.
“New Disney Movie”
Let’s not enjoy this sketch too much or Michael Bay will surely remake Bambi into a guns-blazing blockbuster. Thank you SNL for reminding us yet again what a sad state Hollywood is in.
“Neurotology Music Video”
The “Church of Neurotology” music video that Alex Gibney wishes he featured in his documentary Going Clear.
“Sesame Street Promo”
Double Cookie trouble. Academy Award-nominated actress and Empire favorite Taraji P. Henson was one of the most energetic guests of the season, making a case for more small-screen stars as hosts.
“Black Widow Trailer”
We started the best of SNL‘s 40th with superheroes and conclude the season the same — this time parodying romantic comedy clichés and Marvel’s Black Widow character. Does this say more about our love-hate relationship with the comic-book remake machine or SNL‘s recycled superhero joke machine?