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100 best 'SNL' episodes

  • #60. Season 2, Episode 3 - Eric Idle/Joe Cocker/Stuff

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Votes: 86
    - Air date: Oct. 2, 1976

    The season two cast included Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, and Gilda Radner. Adding Eric Idle to the mix just feels like an embarrassment of riches. In one of many memorable moments, Aykroyd and Idle dress up in drag and begin "drag racing"—running around the studio while wearing dresses.

  • #59. Season 37, Episode 21 - Will Ferrell/Usher

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Votes: 128
    - Air date: May 12, 2012

    In the season 37 finale, Will Ferrell brought back his timeless take on George W. Bush during a cold open scene that found him attempting to cheer up Joe Biden. This was the last episode for several of the core cast members at the time.

  • #58. Season 38, Episode 10 - Martin Short/Paul McCartney

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Votes: 178
    - Air date: Dec. 15, 2012

    This episode aired shortly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, during a time when America didn't feel like laughing. Rather than lean too heavily into politics, “SNL” went for a feel-good atmosphere instead with the warm and familiar comedy of host Martin Short.

  • #57. Season 45, Episode 7 - Will Ferrell/King Princess

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Votes: 208
    - Air date: Nov. 23, 2019

    This past November, former cast member Will Ferrell brought along several heavyweight friends (Alec Baldwin, Ryan Reynolds, Larry David, and Maya Rudolph to name a few), and nearly every sketch was resoundingly successful. In one, Ferrell and Kate McKinnon are parents in a take on a pizza ad, and in another Ferrell tries to sell us on “Heinz Relax,” a solution to ketchup fart sounds.

  • #56. Season 39, Episode 6 - Lady Gaga

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Votes: 228
    - Air date: Nov. 16, 2013

    Serving dually as the host and musical guest, Lady Gaga showed the world her sense of humor. In various sketches, she played an older version of herself, and slyly nodded to her unique fashion sense.

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  • #55. Season 41, Episode 9 - Tina Fey & Amy Poehler/Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

    - IMDb user rating: 7.8
    - Votes: 290
    - Air date: Dec. 19, 2015

    In this holiday special, "SNL" queens Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took on hosting duties and gave a masterclass in how guest hosts can elevate an episode. Paste Magazine reviewer Chris White called the “Meet Your Second Wife” sketch, which was a satirical game show with Fey and Poehler as hosts, the best of the season.

  • #54. Season 5, Episode 2 - Eric Idle/Bob Dylan

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 50
    - Air date: Oct. 20, 1979

    Two absolute legends headlined the second episode of the show’s fifth season: Monty Python great Eric Idle and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who performed three songs. Mix a British comedy troupe’s lead and the likes of Billy Murray and you have a hit—even after the departures of Aykroyd and Belushi following the previous season.

  • #53. Season 20, Episode 20 - David Duchovny/Rod Stewart

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 54
    - Air date: May 13, 1995

    In the popular May 1995 show, first-time host David Duchovny—at the height of “The X-Files” fame—joined a cast of Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, and Kevin Nealon for sketches like “Rock and Roll Real Estate Agent” and “The Beastman of Studio 8-H.” Rod Stewart played “Maggie May” for the icing on the cake.

  • #52. Season 20, Episode 3 - John Travolta/Seal

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 54
    - Air date: Oct. 15, 1994

    In 1994, “SNL” had a cast full of future big names, including Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Janeane Garofalo. John Travolta joined them as his big-screen hit “Pulp Fiction” was rapidly becoming a cult classic.

  • #51. Season 2, Episode 23 - Buck Henry/Jennifer Warnes/Kenny Vance

    - IMDb user rating: 7.9
    - Votes: 56
    - Air date: May 21, 1977

    Buck Henry frequently hosted the final episode of each season in the 1970s, and to close out the second run, the “Graduate” screenwriter played Charles Lindbergh in one sketch. In another, Bill Murray interviews his wife and her secret lover (Henry) from the shower.

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