Saturday Night Live: 8 Halloween Sketches (Because Christmas Sketches Would Be Silly)

It's the most wonderful time of the year…

It's Halloween-ish, people! Which means during the season when visions of ghouls, goblins, "baby deer" in NYC's Penn Station at 2 am (some of you will get that), and odd selections of "sexy BLANK" costumes dance in our heads, it only helps the spirit of the holidays (and the hit counts of many-a-websites) to look back on how pop culture has embraced All Hallow's Eve. What better place to start than with NBC's long-running sketch comedy/music series Saturday Night Live, which has had its fair share of Halloween-themed sketches throughout its 163 year run (Lorne Michaels looks great for his age. Apparently Paul Simon music make you immortal. Who knew?)

saturday night live halloween sketches
NBC/Broadway Video

So after running a number of nominees past our very select selection committee – so select in fact that the sole member of the committee also counted votes, served as "tie-breaker" in case of dispute, and is currently writing this post (and being way too amused with his own words than he probably should be) – what follows is a run down (in no particular order because…why?) of eight Halloween sketches that deserve your eyeballs' attention (Spoiler: we're gonna let David S. Pumpkins (Tom Hanks) sit out this round):

Saturday Night Live: 8 Halloween Sketches (Because Christmas Sketches Would Be Silly)

They say the spirit of Adam Sandler's sense of humor still haunts Studio 8H – destined to walk those halls for all of eternity:

Adam Sandler encourages kids to forego over-priced halloween costumes and use their faces to go as Squishy Man, shirts and arms to go as Crazy No-Arms Woman, a plant to go as Crazy Plant Head or a spoon to go as Crazy Spoon Head. [Season 17, 1991]

There's patience and understanding – and then there's Richard Pryor, who represents all of us when it comes to how we'd react if a possessed little girl talked smack about our moms and their ability to sew appropriate footwear:

In this racially-charged parody of The Exorcist, two priests (Richard Pryor, Thalmus Rasulala) confront a little girl (Laraine Newman) who's possessed by the devil, says vile things and insults their mothers. [Season 1, 1975]

Proving that politics is still one of the scariest practices out there, Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler kill it with their Bill and Hillary Clinton impersonations – with a guest appearance by some guy:

Senator Barack Obama and the other Democratic candidates (Fred Armisen, Will Forte, Bill Hader, Simon Rich, Jason Sudeikis) stop by Bill and Hillary Clinton's (Darrell Hammond, Amy Poehler) Halloween party. [Season 33, 2007]

Did anyone ever consider that Chris Farley's Matt Foley lived in a van down by the river – not an uncommon practice among serial killers  – and yet parents still let them into their homes to "tough love" their 38-year-old teenagers? Weird…

After his kids (Christian Slater, David Spade, Melanie Hutsell) get caught egging houses on Halloween, a father (Phil Hartman) hires Matt Foley (Chris Farley) to tell them the scary story of how he ended up living in a van down by the river. [Season 19, 1993]

Dan Aykroyd as Irwin Mainway peddling righteously unsafe and deadly costumes for kids like Johnny Space Commander mask (plastic bag and a rubber band that kids put around their heads); Invisible Pedestrian (a solid-black outfit with a black head covering); and Johnny Human Torch (oily rags, safety pins and a lighter) to a justifiably outraged Jane Curtain. A classic worth tracking down online:

Saturday Night Live: 8 Halloween Sketches (Because Christmas Sketches Would Be Silly)
Broadway Video

While Bill Hader's Vincent Price was as dead-on as you'd expect, it was Jon Hamm's scary-good turn as James Mason that stole the sketch – and proved the Mad Men lead has some serious comedy skills:

On this Halloween Special, Vincent (Bill Hader) welcomes Judy Garland (Kristen Wiig), James Mason (Jon Hamm) and Liberace (Fred Armisen) who do questionable things with pumpkins. [Season 36, 2010]

Is it essentially the "Bass-o-matic" sketch shoe-horned into a Halloween-themed sketch? Of course – but since it's Aykroyd and it gave me an excuse to praise the greatness that is the "Bass-o-matic" sketch, it made the cut:

A spokesperson (Dan Aykroyd) advertises the Bat-O-Matic, the new blender that quickly mixes all the ingredients needed for a Witch's potion, including an entire bat. [Season 2, 1976]

On this edition of Weekend Update, film critic Raheem Abdul Muhammed (Eddie Murphy) offers an editorial comment on the state of horror movie audiences – and it's an eye-opener, rich white people:

Film critic Raheem Abdul Muhammed (Eddie Murphy) reveals that black people love horror movies because it's funny to see rich white people get killed. [Season 7, 1981]

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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