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24 Saturday Night Live Sketches That Are Somehow Both Terrible And Amazing At The Same Time

Sometimes the best SNL sketches are simultaneously bad and good.

There are just as many great and popular Saturday Night Live sketches as there are segments that are not remembered quite as fondly. However, there also exists a strange middle ground of sketches that seem so one-note and infantile that we should feel like our time is wasted, but we don't. This is because the bizarre nature of the bit or even just one unique key component or moment makes it all feel enjoyable and worthwhile. We actually managed to come up with many examples of SNL sketches we believe you will enjoy while not quite understanding why.

(NBC)
Angelo (Season 47)

While he only made it one season on SNL, Aristotle Athari still had an ultra-memorable recurring character whose whole premise seemed like it would get old immediately after his Season 47 debut. Yet, somehow, international lounge singer Angelo’s improvisational songs — all nearly identical ramblings of gibberish — get big laughs every time. Maybe he truly is the genius they say he is.

(NBC)
SNL Digital Short: Anger Problem (Season 32)

In their infancy, the SNL Digital Shorts were, dare we say, plagued by a shabbily random structure, like this one involving an unstable fast food manager (Fred Armisen), an exploding head mannequin, and a holiday greeting in the Lost font — supposedly in reference to host and Lost cast member Matthew Fox. Armisen’s commitment to every ludicrous threat at his employees — complete with an estimated time of attack — is what keeps this bit amusing.

(NBC)
Chandeliers (Season 31)

This sketch pokes fun at local ads for specialty shops from a few different angles — such as promoting the titular ceiling installation as the highway to a fancy lifestyle and an awkward attempt to include the store owners’ child (host Scarlett Johansson). Above all, however, the funniest part about the sketch might be Fred Armisen’s pronunciation of “chandelier” with a heavy Brooklyn accent.

(NBC)
SNL Digital Short: Daiquiri Girl (Season 33)

This Digital Short — framed as a creepy dude’s (Andy Samberg) poorly produced musical tribute to a woman who shares his love of daiquiris — kind of cheats its way onto this list. It apologetically acknowledges its own objective flaws with a cheeky text scroll explaining that musical guest Gnarls Barkley backed out of the original plan, forcing the creators to turn to alcohol for inspiration.

(NBC)
SNL Digital Short: The Date (Season 35)

The joke here initially seems to be based on the unlikelihood of a woman, like host Megan Fox, dating a guy as strange as Will Forte’s character, until she appears to like him for being a S.W.A.T. team commander and his heart-wrenching confession about selling his pet lambs’ meat. The twist that even he would refuse to marry her is a bit predictable, but Forte’s unsettling manner of speaking and his tendency to turn his emotions on a dime at least keeps your attention.

(NBC)
Fart Face (Season 34)

When you establish the main idea of a sketch — in this case, a veteran office worker begrudgingly nicknamed “Fart Face” — and the audience responds with dead silence, you know you are in trouble, especially when this playground insult is repeated enough times to play a potentially fatal drinking game with. Leave it to host Josh Brolin to give the bit a slight boost by incorporating the same level of professionalism we have seen in all his movies though to make it funny.

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Haunted Elevator (Ft. David S. Pumpkins) (Season 42)

It is easy to understand why, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Tom Hanks was initially hesitant to play the very bewildering David S. Pumpkins. However, it is equally easy to see how the incomprehensibly charismatic goof instantly became one of Hanks’ most iconic SNL characters. After our first interaction with the silly character, he would also return with his skeleton friends (Bobby Moynihan and Mikey Day) in an animated Halloween special and a Season 48 sequel sketch.

(NBC)
The Herlihy Boy House-Sitting Service (Season 19)

Sometimes, just putting Chris Farley and Adam Sandler on stage together was enough to ensure comedy gold. I think with any two other SNL cast members, this sketch — starring Sandler as a house-sitter desperate for work and Farley as his extremely supportive boss (or father or rehab sponsor, maybe?) — would have crumbled underneath its thin concept.

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SNL Digital Short: Hey! (Murray Hill) (Season 34)

In the history of SNL Digital Shorts sending up modern teen TV dramas, some have been refreshingly clever (i.e., “Dear Sister"), while others offer nothing of the sort. Like this one in which the only joke is that James Franco’s character has a “tiny ding-dong.” If not for the Gossip Girl cast member Blake Lively’s rejuvenating cameo at the end, this Murray Hill episode would have been completely lost in obscurity.

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Holes (Season 44)

This musical video in the style of a ‘90s power ballad is just a little too repetitive to earn the honor of being a classic, even with a guitar-shredding Adam Sander flashing some dirty, protrusive teeth for some reason. However, its concept about clothes technically counting as holes with the purpose of covering holes on the human anatomy is oddly fascinating.

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I'll See You In Hell (Season 21)

By the end of this sketch — in which Joe (Jim Carrey) gets addicted to saying, “I’ll see you in Hell,” after its use on a thieving colleague earns him respect in the office — you’ll never want to hear the phrase again. That being said, Carrey keeps the one-joke bit somewhat fresh with a new take on the insult almost every time, and the final punchline is not bad either.

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Joker Wedding (Season 48)

For the first half of this sketch — in which a Halloween wedding ceremony is nearly ruined by the best man (Andrew Dismukes) dressing as Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight — it seems like the only point is hearing “Joker” repeated ad nauseam. It takes a pretty fun turn, however, when the guests vote on his right to keep the costume Survivor-style, complete with a Jeff Probst cameo.

(NBC)
SNL Digital Short: Lettuce (Season 31)

While the legendary “Lazy Sunday” was The Lonely Island’s breakout SNL moment, their official, much-forgotten debut digital short was “Lettuce.” Honestly, we don’t blame anyone for subconsciously blocking out this bit — nothing more than Andy Samberg and Will Forte discussing a personal tragedy between big bites of leafy green vegetables — but if you can find it, you might find yourself unable to look away.

(NBC)
The Librarian (Season 42)

I imagine the pitch here was, “Let’s make Margot Robbie disgusting!” Well, we can’t say they didn’t nail it, and with some ideas that we truly did not see coming — eating a banana peel, “straight-up murder,” and the random appearance of Beck Bennett with a snake. Plus, setting the scenario to the iconic movie song, Yello’s “Oh Yeah,” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is an inspired choice.

(NBC)
Meatballs (Season 47)

Maybe it is not entirely fair to call this pre-taped, partially musical bit “terrible” since the concept of a woman (Sarah Sherman) with singing meatballs on her skin is pretty inventive and heightened by the participation of host Oscar Isaac and musical guest Charlie XCX. It’s just that it’s pretty gross and, therefore, not the easiest thing to sit through for the more squeamish.

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SNL Digital Short: My Testicles (Season 31)

The subject matter of this ‘90s dance music parody featuring a Right Said Fred-esque duo called Ariel (Andy Samberg) and Efrim (Tom Hanks) makes us thoroughly uncomfortable and their inability to rhyme a single lyric is cringeworthy. Yet, we cannot stop watching it and can’t help but chuckle every time.

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Rap Roundtable (Season 46)

Nunya Bizness (Ego Nwodim) hosts a panel of hip-hop artists including Queen Latifah (Punkie Johnson), Questlove (as himself), and a fresh, young duo (Pete Davidson and Timothée Chalamet) whose primary contribution to the conversation is the sounds “yeet” and “skirt.” Admittedly, some of their mindless ramblings earn a chuckle or two, but Questlove slapping Davidson and then striking Chalamet’s character with his hair pick are the most satisfying moments.

(NBC)
Ratatouille (Season 46)

In our opinion, the night John Krasinski hosted SNL for the first time was what we might call a “terrible, yet amazing” episode, especially with this sketch. It’s a far less kid-friendly take on the Pixar movie, Ratatouille, and instead of a rat helping a man with his performance in the kitchen, this rat helps Krasinski’s character with his performance in bed.

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SNL Digital Short: Roy Rules! (Season 32)

Early on, it’s easy to write off this musical short in which Andy Samberg professes his unhealthy attraction toward his sister’s husband, Roy, as an egregiously raunchy one-joke throwaway bit. However, you start to see the clip in a whole new light when Andy reveals the segment is a prank on his actual brother-in-law, as he confirmed in an IGN interview in 2012.

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Potato Chip (Season 35)

When choosing SNL sketches we believed were both terrible and amazing, the first one we thought of was this thoroughly peculiar bit in which an aspiring astronaut (Jason Sudeikis) blows his chance when he steals a potato chip from a NASA recruiter’s (Will Forte) desk. For one, everyone's commitment to this asinine concept — especially host Blake Lively — is legendary, but what really takes it over the edge is when Sudeikis physically returns the chip he ate.

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Short Term Memory Loss Theater (Season 38)

This is one of those sketches that is actually enhanced — dare we say, saved — by someone who couldn't stop laughing during a sketch. In this case, it was Bill Hader as a doctor who must constantly assist his patients afflicted with short-term memory loss with their lines in a play. Otherwise, the joke might have gotten too old and too fast, leaving no bearing on our memory.

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Spelling Bee (Season 31)

Will Forte plays a young spelling bee contestant so nervous that he spends well over a minute spouting random letters (mostly “q’s”) while attempting to spell the word “business.” It’s a very simple premise, but Forte’s stone-cold, deadpan delivery actually keeps it afloat, and the Tenacious D cameo is a perfect way to end it.

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Suitcase Boy (Season 11)

In an otherwise forgettable moment from one of SNL’s most infamous seasons, Robert Downey Jr. performs a “confrontational monologue” while housed in a suitcase for no discernible reason. The one incoherent ramble we found unintentionally interesting was when the future MCU star mentioned that he learned why whales beach themselves from Spider-Man.

(NBC)
Technology Hump: Emma Stone (Season 37)

This sketch featuring Andy Samberg and host Emma Stone is actually just one edition of a recurring bit in which smartphones, cameras, and other forms of technology are used to simulate intimate romance scenarios. Why? We have no idea. Why do we find it entertaining? Still totally stumped.

(NBC)

Sometimes the best SNL sketches are simultaneously bad and good.