Will ferrel on snl?

Will Ferrell
Date of Birth: July 16, 1967
Years on SNL: As Cast Member:
As Host:
May 14, 2005
May 16, 2009
May 12, 2012
January 27, 2018
November 23, 2019
February 22, 2003
October 4, 2003
October 21, 2006
October 23, 2008
December 12, 2015

John William “Will” Ferrell (born July 16, 1967) is an American comedian, impressionist, actor, and writer. Ferrell established himself in mid-1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.

With fellow friend and castmember Chris Kattan, Ferrell created Doug and Steve Butabi, two recurring characters that became popular enough to star in their own movie, A Night at the Roxbury.

Ferrell left after the May 18, 2002 episode, after seven years on the show. The final sketch of the episode featured a special farewell to Ferrell from all the other cast members. Since then he has starred in many movies, including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Step Brothers (all of which were written and directed by former SNL writer Adam Mckay).



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SNL Career Edit

“ is the Harvard of Comedy, you know. Everybody passed through it. You bump into people. I saw Randy Quaid the other day; he’s like a frat brother. I never met him before, but we’re frat brothers. I did a movie one time, it was an extra part, damn near. It was Sgt. Bilko. I had a little part, man, nothing big at all, but Dan Aykroyd let me use his trailer when he left for the day. Because I’m a frat brother.”-Chris Rock in Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, 2002

Unlike any other group of colleagues in comedy, Saturday Night Live alumni stick together. Most of the show’s former cast members have continued to work together in various projects after leaving the show with plenty of comedies featuring multiple generations of SNL vets. This loyalty is never more evident than in last weekend’s critically-maligned movie Grown Ups 2, which featured a whopping 15 SNL cast members from the past and present, not to mention cameos from a couple writers and a screenplay that Adam Sandler penned with two former members of the show’s writing staff.

But believe it or not, with 15, Grown Ups 2 still doesn’t feature the most SNL cast members out of any movie ever. To find out what’s the SNLiest movie ever, we’ve compiled a list of 10 movies with the highest number of alums (most of them are Sandler vehicles), including projects starring Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, and Christopher Guest.

Semi-Pro (2008): 6 cast members

Starring Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Tim Meadows, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig, Jerry Minor

Will Ferrell’s forgettable umpteenth sports comedy featured David Koechner and Tim Meadows in supporting parts and blink-and-you-miss-it appearances from Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig, who were newish at the time.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984): 6 cast members

Starring Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Paul Shaffer

Although most of them hadn’t been on SNL yet at the time, This Is Spinal Tap has a surprisingly dense level of SNL cast members. Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, and Billy Crystal wound up joining the show for one season the fall after Spinal Tap’s release, while Dana Carvey and Michael McKean became cast members years later.

That’s My Boy (2012): 6 cast members

Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Colin Quinn

Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, two SNL stars from different generations with similar names, joined forces to play father and son in the critical and commercial failure That’s My Boy. A few SNL alums popped up in minor roles.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007): 6 cast members

Starring Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd, Rachel Dratch, Robert Smigel, David Spade, Rob Schneider

Who could forget Rob Schneider’s character “Asian Minister?”

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004): 7 cast members

Starring Will Ferrell, David Koechner, Chris Parnell, Fred Armisen, Jerry Minor, Laura Kightlinger, Ben Stiller

When Will Ferrell and former SNL head writer Adam McKay went into production on the first movie they wrote together, they cast a bunch of their SNL co-workers and predecessors. Anchorman would have been higher up on this list if Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph hadn’t been cut out when a subplot about a militant group of bank robbers was scrapped.

Wayne’s World 2 (1993): 7 cast members

Starring Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Robert Smigel, Harry Shearer, Tim Meadows, Jim Downey

The only sequel to an SNL-based movie ever, Lorne Michaels-produced Wayne’s World 2 featured way more cameos from alumni than the original movie.

Grown Ups (2010): 8 cast members

Starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Norm MacDonald

Adam Sandler pulled Kevin James and SNL alums Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider together to play the five leads in 2010’s highest-grossing and laziest comedy. Sandler gave smaller roles to SNL cast members from his generation (Tim Meadows, Norm Macdonald) and the one after (Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn).

Little Nicky (2000): 9 cast members

Starring Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Michael McKean, Rob Schneider, Ellen Cleghorne, Fred Wolf

Adam Sandler’s first attempt to put a ton of Saturday Night Live alums into one movie. For this one, he grabbed entirely SNLers who were on during his tenure on the show.

Grown Ups 2 (2013): 15 cast members

Starring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Maya Rudolph, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, Cheri Oteri, Ellen Cleghorne, Melanie Hutsell, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Paul Brittain

Thanks to a scene that featured cameos from Andy Samberg, Bobby Moynigan, Taran Killam, and Paul Brittain (not to mention SNL writers Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone) as a group of male cheerleaders running a carwash, the Grown Ups sequel features the second most SNL cast members of any movie ever.

Coneheads (1993): 16 cast members

Starring Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Michael McKean, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon, Jan Hooks, Julia Sweeney, Garrett Morris, Tom Davis, Peter Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz

Dan Aykroyd pulled from the then-current crop of Saturday Night Live cast members to fill smaller roles in Lorne Michaels-produced movie Coneheads, based on the popular SNL sketch. Adam Sandler may have come close with Grown Ups 2, but no movie has ever featured more alums from the long-running sketch show than Coneheads, and it’s doubtful that one will unless Sandler’s able to wrangle together 17 or more alums for the inevitable Grown Ups 3 or Will Ferrell has Anchorman 2 more cameo-laden than its predecessor.

Chris Parnell
Date of Birth: Februray 5, 1967
Years on SNL: 1998-2001, 2002-2006

Chris Parnell (born February 5, 1967) was an SNL castmember.

Chris joined the show in 1998, with Horatio Sanz and Jimmy Fallon, but was fired in the year 2001 due to budget cuts. However, Chris was rehired in March of the next year, making him one of the only 2 people to be rehired after being fired (the other being Jim Belushi.) He was later fired again in 2006 again due to budget cuts.

In 2005 Chris shot a pilot episode for a sitcom called Thick and Thin of which he was going to be the star with former SNL writer Paula Pell. But the show was not picked up.

Currently, Chris voices the character Cyril Figgis on the animated series Archer. Chris was a regular cast member on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory where he played Fred Shay (opposite Ana Gasteyer), and on the Comedy Central series Big Lake (with Horatio Sanz). He also had a recurring role on Tina Fey’s sitcom 30 Rock as Dr. Spaceman.

Impressions/Characters Edit

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Characters Edit

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So you’ve been fired from ‘SNL’: Here’s what to do next

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Brooks Wheelan, we hardly knew ye… and now we may never get the chance to. The blue-eyed comedian revealed Monday night that he won’t be returning for a second year at Saturday Night Live this fall—and that the decision wasn’t his to make. In a fairly delightful tweet, Wheelan said that he’d been let go. (His exact words: “Fired from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” Which is funny enough to make me wish things hadn’t ended this way.)

Clearly, getting canned from television’s most august comedy institution must be a bit of a bummer. But at least there’s a silver lining: Plenty of former SNL cast members have found major success after undistinguished tenures on the series that ended with pink slips. So Brooks, if you’re listening, buck up: Follow one of these post-Saturday Night blueprints, and you’ll be just fine.

1. Make a viral video

Jenny Slate had the misfortune of being cast on SNL alongside Nasim Pedrad, who may as well be her fraternal twin—their resemblance made it difficult for either one to stand out that year, especially in an era when SNL refused to give screen time to any woman not named Kristen Wiig. (The f-bomb loosed during Slate’s first big appearance as an original character didn’t help matters, either.)

But as it turns out, getting fired after one season was a blessing in disguise. It freed Slate to nurture her absurdist streak, which is fully on display in her massively popular YouTube short “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (which has been viewed nearly 23 million times in the past four years). “Marcel” put Slate back in the public eye—or got her there for the first time—and helped establish her as a unique comic voice. Since then, she’s become a valuable utility player with scene-stealing roles on everything from Parks and Rec to House of Lies—and a starring part in the R-rated rom-com Obvious Child.

2. Snag a sitcom role

Casey Wilson is the first to admit that her brand of alt-comedy wasn’t a great fit for SNL, where she muddled along for a year and a half before getting the ax. Two years after her time on the sketch show ended, she was cast on ABC’s Happy Endings, which quickly became a quirky critical darling—and the most vociferous praise was reserved for Wilson herself, whose idiosyncratic, happy sad sack Penny was the sitcom’s breakout character. (It may have helped that she was also the only one with a catchphrase.)

Happy Endings was too beautiful for this world, but its cult success opened the door for Wilson; she’ll star in another rom-sitcom this fall (NBC’s Marry Me, created by her now-husband David Caspe), and can currently be seen on Hulu’s Hotwives of Orlando, a Burning Love-esque Real Housewives spoof. (Another fired castmember who followed this route, and would have found success with it, if there were any justice in the world: Michaela Watkins, one of the best things about ABC’s dearly departed Trophy Wife.)

3. Submerge yourself in standup

Talk about adding insult to injury: After spending one year as a little-seen writer/performer on SNL, Sarah Silverman was unceremoniously fired via fax. Of course, she got the last laugh by embracing the very quality that got her canned in the first place. Silverman’s strong personality, which prevented her from ever disappearing fully into a character on SNL, made it much easier for her to carve out her own niche in the standup community. After getting the boot from NBC, Silverman appeared in several onscreen roles but mostly returned to the stage, making a name for herself with her signature caustic, foul-mouthed, surprisingly sweet brand of comedy. Nowadays, she’s one of the most successful standups out there. This route may be especially appealing to Wheelan, who also got his start in standup.

4. Create your own sketch show

Damon Wayans clearly believes it’s better to burn out than fade away. Twelve weeks into his unsatisfying SNL tenure, he decided to sabotage a sketch by playing a straight cop as flamboyantly gay—and improvising his lines as well. Lorne Michaels was not impressed, and Wayans was let go after the live show aired. Four years later, Wayans teamed up with his brother Keenen to create In Living Color, an SNL-esque sketch show that approached comedy from a predominantly black perspective. The series was hugely influential, launching the careers of performers including Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and Jennifer Lopez—and establishing the Wayans family as comedic dynasty.

5. Be Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. joined Saturday Night Live during its notoriously troubled 11th season, which featured a crazy hodgepodge of randos (a sampling: Randy Quaid, Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall). All but a handful of them were fired before season 12 began in 1986—including Downey, who went on to do absolutely nothing of note. (Kidding.)

6. Hold out hope for Lorne Michaels to change his mind

If all else fails, maybe Wheelan can hope to emulate Chris Parnell—fired after three seasons in 2001, then re-hired in the middle of 2002. Yes, Parnell was subsequently fired again due to budget cuts before season 32 began in the fall of 2006—but between 30 Rock, Suburgatory, Archer, Rick and Morty, and numerous (presumably lucrative) commercial voiceovers, he hasn’t exactly been hurting for work since then. See? Silver lining, people.

Episode Recaps

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Will Ferrell is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic cast members of Saturday Night Live ever, which is why it’s such a huge deal that he’s coming back to host the show this weekend for the fifth time.

When Will first joined the cast in 1995, SNL was in trouble. The comedy sketch series had reportedly one of the worst seasons ever — New York Magazine went as far as to call the program that year “a grim joke,” and NBC allegedly threatened to fire producer Lorne Michaels, according to Vanity Fair. But through Will’s cowbell-clanging and unforgettable impressions of former President George. W. Bush, he helped SNL rebound and, over the course of seven years, became integral to the show’s success.

So, then why did Will Ferrell leave SNL?

Like so many other SNL legends, Will, too, bid farewell to the series. According to Will’s 2002 interview with the Chicago Tribune, the comedian told Lorne an analogy that he “hated hearing” before parting ways: Will “didn’t want to become the guy who had graduated high school but still hung out in his van in the parking lot, picking up seniors.”

Unlike Chris Farley and Adam Sandler’s departures, where the two were actually fired from the show, it appears Will left after deciding that seven years was enough for him — “it’s kind of like dog years,” he told the newspaper at the time.

Besides, while on SNL he was already scoring movie roles, making appearances in the Austin Powers franchise, Zoolander, and Superstar. After he departed from the show, the movie parts continued to roll in, including for the now-iconic Christmas movie Elf. In 2005, Forbes reported that Will had made an estimated $40 million from his various projects. In other words, his decision to walk away really worked out for him.

Plus, his leaving made room for hilarious additions to the cast in 2002, including Will Forte, Fred Armisen, and Chris Parnell.

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Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

A return of Saturday Night Live‘s most popular former cast members as hosts usually drive strong ratings, and last night was no exception.

The Nov. 23 edition of Saturday Night Live, with alum Will Ferrell in his fifth turn as host and musical guest King Princess, delivered a 4.3 Live+Same Day household rating in the 44 local metered markets and a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters. That was up from last week’s episode, which had Harry Styles as host and musical guest (3.9, 1.6).

Last time Ferrell hosted SNL in January 2018, he lifted the venerable program to season high ratings. He likely did it again but we won’t be able to tell for sure. That is because Nielsen changed its methodology in the beginning of October, between the season premiere and Episode 2 of SNL‘s current 45th season. Since then, last night’s show ranks #1 in both metered-market households and in 18-49 in the local people meters.

Versus primetime programming on the Big 4 networks Saturday night, SNL was the #1 show of the night in metered-market households and in 18-49 in the local people meters.

SNL adds significant viewership via time-shifting. To date, the Sept. 28 season premiere has increased by +180% in 18-49 rating with digital and linear delayed viewing, and by +5.7 million persons in total viewers.

Additionally, SNL gets very strong online viewing of its individual segments. While not a strong Live+Same Day linear performer, last week’s episode hosted by Styles posted the show’s best weekend online viewing in more than a year, since the Season 44 premiere in September 2018, amassing more than 18.4 million YouTube views in the Saturday-Monday window. The episode’s Cold Open and Weekend Update outperformed their season averages by wide margins, Harry Style’s “Watermelon Sugar” debut earned more than 1 million views, second highest of any SNL musical performance this season, Harry’s Monologue was the most-viewed of the season and three original sketches / videos topped the 1 million views mark – the most for any one episode this season.

Besides the Presidential Debate and the Cold Open, here are the most watched SNL videos from last night’s episode on YouTube as of Sunday morning, Ferrell’s Monologue, featuring Ryan Reynolds, and the opening segment of Weekend Update:

Watch All of the Best Bits from Will Ferrell’s Perfect Return to ‘SNL’

It’s often true that an episode of Saturday Night Live is only as funny as its host, which means any episode hosted by Will Ferrell is a damn laugh riot. The actor and SNL legend made his triumphant return to the show, almost two years after his last hosting gig and 17 (!) since he left the cast to become a bona fide movie star.

After a Trump-centric cold open that was a little too ripped from the headlines, Ferrell came out in a black suit and very pink shirt. Everything went smoothly until he spotted Ryan Reynolds in the crowd. After some purposefully cringey jokes, non-sequiturs (“TSA Precheck,” “Backstreet’s back allright!”), and another cameo from Tracy Morgan, the show was off to a strong start.


Next up was a parody of last week’s Democratic presidential debate that, like that debate, felt overstuffed. Ferrell played a deeply weird Tom Steyer, and he was joined by former SNL colleagues Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph, particularly strong as a meme-obsessed Kamala Harris. Woody Harrelson and Larry David also popped in to reprise their roles as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, respectively.

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“The First Thanksgiving” brought new life to Thanksgiving tropes with Ferrell as Pochahontas’s grandfather, a hardliner against “pale-faced” immigrants who wants to build a wall to keep them out.

As is often the case, the funniest sketch of the episode was a digital short. With their parents out of town, two kids throw a huge party that turns into a standard pop music video until their increasingly sad AP English teacher crashes. Just watch it.


That brings us to “Pizza Ad,” in which a family wins a contest to be in a commercial for their favorite pizza place. Kate McKinnon as the increasingly unhinged suburban mother delivering lines like “I’m a skanky skunk” and Ferrell’s reveal of the dark weirdness under his suburban dad exterior—a career speciality of his—are not to be missed.

Ryan Reynolds returned to be the funniest part of Weekend Update before the show closed with two deeply strange sketches. First, an “alternate ending” to Wizard of Oz in which Dorothy has to tell the folks on the farm that she thinks of them as Munchkins and flying monkeys.


And finally, Ferrell closed out the show as a ventriloquist who seemed to be torturing his dummy. It’s hard to explain, but again the draw is a seemingly mild-mannered character revealing something completely dark and hilarious.

You can watch the entire episode on NBC.com.

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Actor and comedian Will Ferrell is set to return to Saturday Night Live as a host for the fifth time on November 23rd, in a little under two weeks. Previously, Ferrell was a member of the main cast from 1995 to 2002. Ferrell is arguably one of Saturday Night Live’s biggest stars from the modern era. Thanks to his many memorable characters, Ferrell became a major breakout star. He went on to appear in comedy films such as Elf, Old School, Anchorman, and Step Brothers.

By hosting the show for the fifth time, Ferrell will be joining a group of esteemed recurring hosts, the “five-timers club.” Ferrel will join the likes of Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman, and fellow SNL alumni like Chevy Chase and Tina Fey. In previous episodes where Ferrell returned as host, he reprised famous sketches such as “Celebrity Jeopardy,” and fans are eager to see what the comedian will bring to the table for his fifth appearance as host.

The news of Ferrell hosting Saturday Night Live again was originally broken by Deadline, and it has since been confirmed by the show’s official Twitter account. According to Deadline, Ferrell last hosted Saturday Night Live in January 2018. He also hosted the show in 2005, 2009, and 2012, and has made additional guest appearances over the years. He will occasionally make surprise guest appearances reprising his impression of former President George W. Bush and Alex Trebek in the show’s recurring “Celebrity Jeopardy” series of sketches. The musical guest accompanying Ferrell for this episode will be King Princess.

Ferrell is one of the most popular and acclaimed performers in the history of Saturday Night Live. He starred in some of the show’s most popular sketches, including the aforementioned “Celebrity Jeopardy” series and the iconic “More Cowbell” sketch. In addition to impersonating President Bush and Trebek, Ferrell also impersonated figures such as the late baseball announcer Harry Caray and Inside the Actor’s Studio host James Lipton. After leaving Saturday Night Live, Ferrell was able to transition to a highly-successful film career. Some of his more recent notable film appearances include playing himself in the Netflix film Between Two Ferns: The Movie, based on a series from the website Funny Or Die, which Ferrell co-founded, as well as a voice acting role in the Lego Movie franchise.

It does not appear that Ferrell will be promoting any particular film with his upcoming appearance on Saturday Night Live, but of course, anytime the show can bring aboard a beloved former cast member and comedic talent of Ferrell’s caliber is a delight. Although there are a number of iconic impressions that he could reprise in his upcoming appearance, a return to the role of Trebek in a “Celebrity Jeopardy” sketch would be especially heart-warming given the real-life host’s current battle with pancreatic cancer. In any case, there is less than two weeks to go to see what Ferrell and Saturday Night Live’s writers come up with.

Source: Deadline

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We totally anticipated a great episode with Will Ferrell returning to host “Saturday Night Live,” but we didn’t expect him to bring all of his friends with him.

This was easily the most guest stars the show has had all season, and in quite some time, as we got a full roster of them for the latest Democratic debate, with a couple of them sticking around for yet another sketch.

Tracy Morgan and Ryan Reynolds totally derailed — beautifully — Will’s monologue, with Ryan returning to Weekend Update to salvage one of the show’s more tired recurring characters as best he could.

They were joined by Larry David, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Fred Armisen and Woody Harrelson for a star-studded debate that only makes us more excited for how “SNL” will approach their coverage of the upcoming elections.

From top to bottom, this was a rock-solid episode. And with all those guest stars and audience applause moments — plus how long it took Will to list off all of his friends at the end — there were three sketches that didn’t make the live broadcast, meaning we’ve got even more show here than they did there.

Remarkably, there were very few weak sketches, and it wasn’t the guests that salvaged it. It always helps to bring a veteran back as they tend to elevate the cast and that certainly happened here. Will is a legend on this stage and he proved why, committing fully to every character, be they self-righteous or buffoonish … or a bit of both.

As usual, we’re ranking all the sketches from worst to first, including the Monologue, Cold Open, “Weekend Update” and any sketches that were cut for time but made their way online. We’ll skip the musical guests, because they’re not usually funny – unless Ashlee Simpson shows up. We wrap up with a look at the cast-member who had the strongest week.

CUT FOR TIME: Jeans for Men

Who knew we needed men’s jeans with “tasteful rear cleavage”? Oh wait, we don’t? Yeah, well we’ve got it, thanks to this cut-for-time ad that showed off some of that cleavage on Will Ferrell, Bowen Yang, Alex Moffat and Kyle Mooney. It really was that simple, with the visual joke being all there was to it. Was it funny or more shock value? We’re going to go with the latter.


So… this went in an unexpected direction as Will Ferrell’s dummy started to plead with the audience to save him from having Will’s “whole hand” up his butt. Yeah, he said they were all complicit in this crime. It was easily the most ridiculous premise of the night, thus it’s spot at the end, but it still managed to work because of Will’s commitment to both roles of being the puppeteer and his “victim,” the puppet. Talk about off-color humor, the big vat of lube at the end didn’t help us feel any more comfortable than Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong. Were we supposed to laugh or cringe? We guess it was successful subterfuge, because we feel sorry for Chippy now, too.

COLD OPEN: Chopper Talk

We can’t believe it took so long for “SNL” to mock Trump’s “chopper talk” reporter sessions, we only wish the chopper sounds had been so loud you could barely hear them. At least that might have better covered up whatever snafu happened when Will Ferrell came out and he and Alec Baldwin didn’t even look like they were in the same script. It was a rare appearance by the host in the cold open, and after that awkward open it was clear Will was having fun riffing off of Alec. But while the setting was perfect, it didn’t quite stick the landing in the jokes department.

CUT FOR TIME: Date in Mexico

This one had us worried right away as the very alone Will Ferrell started talking about how excited he was to meet his Moldovan girlfriend he met online and already spent way too much money on. Yeah, this was not going to go well. “My mom says I make bad choices,” he said, moments before getting a call from Sabina and having all his hopes and dreams shattered and getting to play the other side of exhilaration. And then things went even darker as he revealed he was into the mob for the trip and found out he was allergic to lobster. This was probably the most obvious sketch, which could explain why it was ultimately cut, but Will definitely hammed it up and had fun with it.

Pizza Ad

Kate McKinnon, as the mom of a pizza-loving family, did not like being chastised for her “sex sells” approach to making a local commercial and immediately became sullen and withdrawn. It was such a melodramatic response, she almost came across like a 1940s starlet really laying it on thick. Then, they added another layer to parental stereotypes with Will Ferrell’s dad having no idea how to relate to his kids without mom there. This was just playing on expectations, and yet Kate and Will really made it work with their commitment to each feeling and moment, including their bonkers reconciliation. This was a whirlwind of over-the-top emotion that actually found a satisfying conclusion as well.

Heinz Relax

First it was poor Sara Lee last week, now it looks like Heinz may be in for some craziness after “SNL” introduced Heinz Relax, the ketchup bottle that replaces those embarrassing fart noises with relaxing sighs that sound an awful lot like sex noises. Is “SNL” targeting random food products on purpose now for the extra publicity? That said, we loved the earnestness of Will Ferrell’s dad early on convinced everyone believed he’d let one rip. Sometimes a one-joke premise is all you need.

Party Song

Parents leave and kids have parties; it’s a tale as old as time. But how often does your A.P. English teacher show up? This killer rap vibe was definitely thrown by the presence of Will Ferrell as the party crashing instructor who’s going through some stuff. We love that we never find out exactly what is going on, which makes perfect sense as kids would only be peripherally aware anyway. But the awkwardness incorporated into the lyrics was just flawlessly executed by “teens” Cecily Strong and Mikey Day, with Chris Redd on the very-confused chorus.

Weekend Update

We’re not gonna lie, we can’t unsee Colin Jost’s extensive comparison of Devin Nunes to Spongebob Squarepants. He also brought receipts against Trump’s claims of great hearing in a solid breakdown of the week’s events in the impeachment hearings, desperately hoping that Trump and Giuliani would both testify. “It would be like the Super Bowl with worse brain damage.”

We thought we were over Alex Moffat’s “Guy Who Just Bought a Boat” and his small penis jokes, but we’re definitely here for Ryan Reynolds, though we weren’t into his penis jokes, either. Honestly, the sexual wordplay is much better than the constant penis references; we’d prefer the character(s) without all of that. It was so bad we were grateful when it was over.

Beyond politics, Jost and Che moved on to other pop culture items like the story that a studio exec wanted Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman, while Jost went with a Nazi salute joke that actually went well. And they didn’t even need to really write jokes for South Dakota’s real “Meth. We’re on it.” anti-drug campaign, but they tried. How did that get approved?!

Cinema Classics

We didn’t know if we were going to see Kenan Thompson at all this week, until he showed up again as Reese De’What, presenting the never-before-seen ending of “The Wizard of Oz.” This ending revealed that the Munchkins were based on actual little people Dorothy (Kate McKinnon) knew and their silly outfits on dolls she had on a shelf. In other words, it was culturally insensitive and for some reason they filmed an ending to expose this. Yeah, it makes no sense, but it was pretty funny, and like much good comedy, it also had something to say that might be worth considering about our past and how we’ve treated and considered marginalized groups in our society. Plus, Kate’s Judy Garland was spot-on!

First Thanksgiving

Beck Bennett’s John Smith joins Pocahontas (Melissa Villasenor) and her family for the first Thanksgiving and he’s so worried he’s blowing it. Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen returned as not-Mr. and Mrs. Hontas, while Will Ferrell was her grandfather who did not approve. In his defense, “SNL’ went with the more historically accurate reality that Pocahontas was 12 years old while John was nearing 30. Even sharper was the twist that Ferrell represented Trump’s America speaking as a Native American disgusted by these immigrants and wanting a wall. This is brilliant political satire at its finest, coming straight from “the fox.” And then their common ground … we don’t want to spoil it, but it’s brilliant. And then Will’s PSA at the end acknowledged all the problematic elements of the sketch itself, so it was self-aware on top of its timely commentary.


Madcap chaos from top to bottom as a gaggle of students await a casting list for the school’s play by the theater teacher, Will Ferrell at his smarmy, twisted best. The whole thing was him playing mind games with these teenagers, and the cast had an absolute blast bringing ridiculous levels of angst to their characters. This piece was ultimately a lot of fun and the only cut segment that would have made a nice addition to the show proper.


No one is having more fun with their political impression than Kate McKinnon doing Elizabeth Warren, and we loved her reluctant Native American food-drop this week. She was part of a star-studded reunion with Maya Rudolph returning as Kamala Harris, trying to go viral, and Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar. Meanwhile Larry David’s Bernie Sanders doesn’t care about trends at all, but he did offer some cool ’80s music references. They even got Woody Harrelson back as Joe Biden who continued to deliver great nonsensical material. Even Fred Armisen dropped in as Mayor Bloomberg crashing the party. There were so many faces and such good material, we’re already sad to think that these candidates will soon be whittled down to one and we’ll lose all these fun impressions.

MONOLOGUE: Will Ferrell

This bizarre premise for a monologue worked absolutely brilliantly. The entire conceit was that Will Ferrell, as host, was completely starstruck by Ryan Reynolds in the audience. And it only got worse when he found out Ryan was a fan of his. Will played someone whose nerves were getting the best of him to the hilt. He was giddy and awkward and we lost it when he crouched down to see if Ryan would laugh at one of his jokes. Honestly, only Will (or perhaps Chris Farley) could have pulled off this characterization so well. Then, we learned that nervous Will slips into Tracy Morgan, which of course prompted this former fellow cast-member to join him up there.


With so many faces and Will dominating the night, the cast really did take a backseat to his star power. That doesn’t mean they weren’t noticed, though.

Bowen Yang continues to make a strong statement in his freshman run, while both Cecily and Mikey had busy and strong nights. But the edge this week has to go to Kate McKinnon (we know) because she continues to master her Elizabeth Warren and transported us right into Judy Garland in the brilliant “Oz” sketch.

But it was her emotionally tumultuous mom in the pizza ad sketch that solidified this one for her, giving her a solid night from top to bottom. She’s the veteran woman of this cast for a reason and it shows. When she goes, they will have huge shoes to fill!

“Saturday Night Live” returns December 7 with host Jennifer Lopez and musical guest DaBaby.