8 Best SNL Episodes Ever

Best SNL Episodes
Credit: NBC Studios

“Saturday Night Live” is the gold standard of sketch television. The show, which has been on the air for over four decades, has a celebrity presenter and a rotating cast of comedians performing live and taped sketches and a musical performance:

The best SNL episodes often become part of the cultural discourse. “SNL” has given laughter to countless elections, mocked pop culture fads, sparked significant debates, and generated some of the most memorable TV moments of all time.

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WARNING: Some of the clips below include language, opinions, views, and stereotypes that will cause offense. Watch at your own discretion.

Here is a list of the best Saturday Night Live Episodes:

8. Season 36, Episode 22: Justin Timberlake/Lady Gaga

Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Andy Samberg collaborated on a new Lonely Island song called “3-way,” which included Patricia Clarkson and Susan Sarandon. The raunchy performance cemented Timberlake’s image as an “SNL” golden boy.

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7. Season 37, Episode 10: Jimmy Fallon/Michael Bublé 

Jimmy Fallon’s first time hosting “SNL” after leaving the show brought back some huge nostalgia as well as guest stars. Chris Kattan, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jude Law were among those who made unexpected debuts.

6. Season 1, Episode 7: Richard Pryor/Gil Scott-Heron

Richard Pryor performed on “SNL” only once, but his performance was memorable. Along with Chevy Chase, he appeared in a segment called “Word Association,” in which the two men exchanged racial obscenities that would never be broadcast on television today; the scene remains one of the show’s most stunning and audacious stunts.

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5. Season 38, Episode 16: Justin Timberlake

The show’s host and the musical guest, Justin Timberlake, were inducted into the Five-Timers Club on this broadcast. Timberlake was welcomed in a skit with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Candice Bergen, and Paul Simon. Dan Aykroyd appeared as the club’s bartender, and Martin Short reprised his role as the waiter.

4. Season 39, Episode 10: Jimmy Fallon/Justin Timberlake

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s bromance-fueled episode comes in second place. As evidenced by their pitch-perfect “The Barry Gibb Talk Show” spoof, these two have a friendship that translates brilliantly to the film.

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3. Season 3, Episode 18: Steve Martin/The Blues Brothers

The renowned duo of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi made their debut as “The Blues Brothers” in this episode. The act’s cultural significance cannot be emphasized, and this is where it all began, making it an immediate “SNL” classic.

2. Season 35, Episode 21: Betty White/Jay-Z

Betty White earned a stint hosting “SNL” thanks to an internet campaign, and she made the most of every minute. More than that, the episode became a homage to the show’s iconic female cast members, both past and present, as they joined. White is celebrating her milestones one by one.

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1. Season 45, Episode 10: Eddie Murphy/Lizzo

The iconic Eddie Murphy presented the year-end 2019 show, which included Larry David as Bernie Sanders, Rachel Dratch as Amy Klobuchar, and Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg — and that was just the cold open. Murphy, Kenan Thompson, and Kyle Mooney can’t stop squabbling and interrupting their show in “Cut for Time: A Holiday Gig.” The icing on the cake for the number one episode: Lizzo singing “Truth Hurts” life from Studio 8H.