On the air since 1975, Saturday night live It is one of the longest running sketch comedy shows on television! And across its 48 seasons, the longest-running and most popular sketch is Weekend Update, in which one or two comedians deliver quick, factual news headlines alongside funny jokes. It is a format guaranteed to make you laugh, as it is agile and topical.
Viewers love to hear current affairs jokes, as a little humor can soften the blows of tumultuous news. Then, in recent seasons, the snl the cast mixed things up with guest stars to provide deeper commentary on topics that deserved a bit more time, like Pete Davidson, Bill Hader, Jennifer Aniston, and even Nicholas Cage.
Here’s a list of the ten most beloved moments of snl Weekend update as found on YouTube.
Related: The 10 Most Important Things We’ve Learned From Watching Comedy Shows
10 Adam Sandler in Hanukkah
Our first entry takes us to the mid-1990s when Norm Macdonald was still on the show. In this clip, we get to enjoy comedian Adam Sandler as he tells us how he felt left out as a Jewish kid because there were so many Christmas songs and so few Hannukah songs.
In response, Sandler wrote a catchy new Hannukah song that lists many well-known people whose Jewish heritage is less well known. Yes, it’s a silly song, but it must have been at least a little uplifting to hear for all the Jewish kids who feel the way Sandler felt.
I enjoy the clever rhymes he comes up with, like “Scrooge is” with “Stooges.” And of course we all love it when Sandler sings to us.
9 Will Smith and Chris Rock slap attack
In ninth place is the hottest of topics: a recap of the infamous 2022 Oscars slap! During this week’s weekend update, the sketch begins as usual, with normal (if not scary) headlines. But then, boom! The punchline cuts into Will Smith’s behavior at the Oscars, and suddenly most of the sketch is a roast of that weird and wild moment. (Even we couldn’t stop talking about it!)
The newscasters return to normal headlines (sort of) towards the end, and my favorite joke is about a certain politician and his claim that he was invited to a coke-fueled orgy.
8 Enter the cage with Nicolas Cage and Nicolas Cage
Featuring Nicolas Cage and Nicolas Cage (actually, I think it might be Andy Samberg in a bald cap), they join Seth Meyers in breaking the news that there are now two of them. Apparently old Nick couldn’t meet his goal of appearing in every movie ever made, so he cloned himself to mitigate the job. But… what is the clone?
My favorite part is how the original Cage (I think?) subtly criticizes his clone’s terrible impression of him and how the clone seems genuinely hurt by those words. In retaliation, the clone flatters Nick with flowery and slightly backhanded compliments, such as how he describes her “Eyes that shine and pierce the hearts of women both older and middle-aged.”
7 Pete Davidson and John Mulaney review Clint Eastwood’s The Mule
Seventh, this clip features my personal favorite comedian, John Mulaney! He joins Pete Davidson, excited to bring their new shared fixation to the show. His descriptions of what they must look like when they hang out—a crazy man and his lawyer or a basketball coach and his most rebellious trainee—are spot on.
Anyway, the way they describe the madness of this movie that they were so in love with watching, The muleIt convinced me to put it on my must-have list.
Mulaney tells us it’s “a superhero movie for older people.” The ultimate power fantasy for nonagenarians? And Clint Eastwood reportedly wrote and directed himself in two sex scenes I have to know what the rest of this crazy movie about the oldest drug dealer in the world is like. No?
6 Pete Davidson in Staten Island
Sixth, Pete Davidson and Colin Jost share the same Staten Island hometown, but apparently treat Davidson differently there. For that reason, he tells us how he really feels about the place, like whether or not a hurricane should destroy it, and the comparisons to Jost add to the fun.
“You represent what they could be,” Davidson tells Jost, “you know, the guy who dated… I represent what they are, you know, a mentally ill college dropout who got a game of Thrones tattoo before watching the show.” To Davidson’s credit, he’s right: dire wolves look pretty silly, even in tattoo form!
5 Colin Jost and Michael Che exchange jokes
This clip features no special guests or one-offs, just classic top news headlines along with jokes. But there is still a twist!
To close out the season (as they have in all recent seasons), Colin Jost and Michael Che give each other the gift of pranks, which is to say, they roast each other by forcing them to read unrehearsed jokes. , all on live TV!
With each hit, they can make each other look really bad, with hilarious results! I love how Jost reacts to the graphic in one of his stories: he knows it’s going to be racist. However, don’t ask me why his clothes are wet. I couldn’t tell you.
4 Pete Davidson on Kanye West
Ooh, this one probably aged well.
snl it opens with a bit of deliberation as to why they cast Pete Davidson for this part instead of Michael Che. “Because Che is black, but I am crazy,” explains Davidson, “and we both know whose side Kanye is behind the wheel right now!” I can’t argue with that.
The funniest part is when they review the tape to see Davidson’s reaction to Kanye’s alarming speech from last week’s show. “’I want a race!’ So I’m leaving. The rest of the video is a brutal roast of Kanye’s behavior, with some good self-deprecating jokes too, and it’s a riot.
My favorite joke of all is when Davidson asks, “Can you imagine that shirt was the second stupidest thing I was wearing?”
3 Stefon on the best fall tips
To prepare New York City tourists for summer, the hosts hire Bill Hader as City Correspondent Stefon, a brooding man who knows the city’s hottest hangouts. The places he brings to the table have strange descriptions, such as “the atmosphere and the view are strange but familiar, like when you see billboards for Seinfeld reruns in a Puerto Rican neighborhood”.
These descriptions get so outlandish that they often cause Hader to break character. Good thing Stefon always hides his face behind his hands. Stefon is also unabashedly open about his sexuality, leading to some awkward hosts and big laughs for both the audience and Stefon.
2 Rachel from Friends in ’90s Nostalgia
People love this clip of Vanessa Bayer’s fantastic portrayal of Jennifer Aniston’s character Rachel from Friends. His “uhs” and “ohs” really sell me the character. Then, in the middle of her stuttering, the REAL Rachel shows up to put Vanessa in her place.
Things then go meta when Aniston does an impression of Bayer’s Rachel impression, and Bayer responds by continuing the chain, and everything goes off the rails. The best thing is when Aniston sighs in defeat when she realizes…it sounds like that.
1 Rebecca Larue, the flirting expert
And finally, first up is the sketch with Rebecca Larue, played by Kristen Wiig, who immediately demonstrates the experience she was brought into the studio for: no advice, all action. The best part is the thumbnail of the video, when she spreads her legs and slides into Seth Meyers to leave no room for doubt.
My favorite part is when she breaks down and cries for sympathy after Meyers continually denies her advances, and then returns to that giddy high school girl persona. There were times where I really thought this character was romantically interested in Meyers!
+ Honorable Mention: The Late Great Norm Macdonald
Before Jost and Che, Seth Meyers, and even Tina Fey, Norm Macdonald was probably the best host Weekend Update has ever had. Even Chevy Chase has said that he is “the only other guy that made the segment funny.” His timing and delivery were impeccable, and he rarely, if ever, lost his composure, almost to the point where jokes were as much a part of the news as the news!
Macdonald’s favorite thing to do as a presenter was include jabs at OJ Simpson as often as possible, even for stories that had nothing to do with that chapter of American crime history. I think my favorite moment on this compilation is at 6:22, where the audience is never sure if the jokes are sexist or not. “Now you don’t know what the hell to do, do you?”
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