Saturday Night Live’s 40th season is currently airing, and I think we can all agree that through their first 40 years, all their most memorable moments have involved either dogs or Joe Piscopo. Alright, maybe I’m narrowing my view of the late-night TV institution, but it turns out that yes, dogs were either the subject or stars of some of SNL’s most memorable moments.
Probably goes without saying, but SNL skits are not suitable for small humans!
Featuring: Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon
Few really remember, but late-90s SNL was a specific brand of insane. In the one corner, you had Jim Breuer pretending to be a goatboy; in another, you had Chris Kattan doing his feral monkey routine; embodying it all, however, were Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon. Obviously, Will Ferrell is one of the biggest comedy stars working today, but Molly Shannon’s own brand of off-the-wall antics helped define those years at SNL as well. It’s hard to explain Dog Show, and I can’t imagine how it was pitched: Shannon and Ferrell host a show with dogs, each edition usually features a new guest and their dog. Beyond that, the characters are very odd, the dialogue very stilted, and all of it has a delightful sense of “why are we doing this?” Regardless, always remember: Mr. Bojangles is really a girl.
Blue River Dog Food
Featuring: Cecily Strong, Seth Rogan
The process of buying dog food can reveal a lot of truths about us and our relationships. This commercial parody leads down a messy path for Cecily Strong and Seth Rogan, but for us, it’s hilarious or too, too real.
Mostly Garbage Dog Food
Featuring: Jason Sudeikis
Blue River Dog Food seem too upscale for ya? Then maybe this is more your speed.
Top Dog Chef
Featuring: Jennifer Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, Nasim Pedrad
Okay, so you know when you’re really tired and you try to come up with something, and it seems hilarious at the time… but before you know it, Jennifer Lawrence and Jason Sudeikis are dressed up as dog people, and they’re pretending to cook and hate cats, and the cold light of day hits and you’re just left alone thinking “Oh God, what have I done!?” Congrats, you wrote this sketch!
Dissing Your Dog
Featuring: Will Ferrell
As far as I’ve heard from my more mentally unstable dog owner chums, this system works!
Massive Headwound Harry
(Probably don’t want to watch this one if you’re squeamish.)
Featuring: Dana Carvey, Linda Hamilton, Kevin Nealon
This one’s a little under-the-radar, but included for the, shall we say, on-air improvisations of the canine costar. “He must smell my dog” indeed.
Featuring: Tracey Morgan, Andy Samberg, Rocket Dog
For my money, there are fewer forms of entertainment that delight me more than RocketDog. If this had been the final SNL sketch ever, I would have been fine with that. Sure, we would have missed out on some Californians and What’s Up With That?, but I think we would have survived. Houston, we have a dog!
Featuring: Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Cecily Strong.
Okay, so there aren’t any actual dogs in this one…it’s more an “impression parade”…but still, wouldn’t you see that movie? Look at those adorable lawyer dogs!
Casey Anthony’s Dog on Weekend Update
Featuring: Daniel Radcliffe
In this Weekend Update piece, Radcliffe gives a voice to Casey Anthony’s poor pooch in another exceedingly creepy makeup job from the SNL crew. No matter what role he takes on, Daniel Radcliffe can’t escape his association with one character – Casey Anthony’s dog.
Featuring: Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman
It was the seventies! That’s the best explanation I can give if you find yourself offended by this sketch. However, I’m pretty sure they make this product today, it’s just called something way less obvious. Either way, don’t be mad at me for putting this on, you guys, promise?!
Canis Cologne For Dogs
I’ll just leave this here without comment.
Did I miss any? Is there a Gilly sketch where she walks a dog or something I forgot about?