The 39th season of 'Saturday Night Live' is over. From the beginning, it was a strange season -- gone were so many of the show's powerful voices: Hader, Samberg, Wiig, Sudeikis, Armisen -- yet this allowed new voices to be heard. And that's the thing about being new on 'SNL': not everything is going to hit. But, in compiling this list of the ten best sketches from the 2013-2014 season, there were some tough choices to be made (sorry, 'Bugs'). And, sadly, for inclusion, the sketch had to have actually appeared on the live show (sorry, 'Wing').
And, yes, this list is heavy with prerecorded material as opposed to live performances. (Perhaps it's not completely fair to compare, but, this is a testament of just how strong the prerecorded sketches are in a post-'Digital Short' world.) And it's also notable that none of the best sketches were recurring sketches (though, I could see at least one of these coming back next season). So, behold: The ten best sketches from this past season of 'Saturday Night Live.'
Last summer, ‘Saturday Night Live’ hired five new cast members to replace the large shoes left by the departures of veterans Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen – plus Tim Robinson, whose quirky style was, after just one season, reassigned to the writing staff. Those five new hires were Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, Brooks Wheelan, Kyle Mooney and John Milhiser. In January, the show added Sasheer Zamata. Then, in February, after the departure of 'SNL's' most tenured cast member, Seth Meyers, co-head writer Colin Jost joined the cast.
So, in a season filled with new faces – and a now whopping 17 cast members – competing for that ever-precious airtime, it’s notable that the new cast member who, at the very least, has had the most artistic impact on the show – and is certainly the boldest cast member this season – was introduced to the world by a nearly asterisked “promoted from the writing staff” designation...a 37-year-old actor/writer/comedian who used to go by the name Pat O’Brien.
Cut from the Andrew Garfield-hosted ‘SNL’ this past weekend is one of the oddest creations from the Beck Bennett-Kyle Mooney team so far this season, a sketch titled ‘Wing.’
The only reason I’m giving this sketch special consideration is because I cannot remember the last time I felt this uncomfortable while watching a ‘SNL’ sketch while also laughing as many times as I did at details like the out-of-place, perfect '90s-style guitar riffs and non sequitur cutaways to people whitewater rafting or lions.
Anna Kendrick is the perfect type of ‘SNL’ host – to the point that, as a performer, she could easily be a member of the cast. (I have no idea what her sketch writing ability is like.) Kendrick blends in with the rest of the cast so easily, it allows the show to be about the sketches and not about the host. Not to mention, she’s quite talented, which allows for a lot of singing and dancing – and there was a lot of singing and dancing last night (and a lot of Disney references). This was by far the most consistent show of the season, which makes it the best show of the season (even though I'm hesitant to use the word "best"). So much, in fact, that I wish I could set today’s Scorecard to the music of ‘Treasure Planet.’
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