I have never understood the appeal of actively hating something you can very well avoid. It appears that people of the internet have a consuming desire to adopt harsh convictions towards pop culture entities, and oddly, Saturday Night Live seems to be a target of many a hate tangent. Criticizing the cast of the late night staple, picking apart sketches and slamming them as “unfunny” brings joy to the faceless names on blog comments, claiming they could do a better job. Let’s be honest, you likely can’t.
The barrage of nasty sentiments extended towards Saturday Night Live in the past few years seem to glaze over the fact that SNL boasts some of the best comics in the game. The work put into a weekly episode is grueling, having to make sure each sketch is either topical or over the top, while working in the guest host. It’s a flawed show, sure, but it’s a cultural staple. Dodging most of the criticism was usually Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah, so why did NBC announce they would not be renewing either of their contracts for next season? Killam, a six-year veteran, was among the most memorable, gaining recognition for characters of his own creation. Pharoah was one of the best impressionists featured in years, making him instantly the most likable (I mean, who doesn’t like his Jay Z?).
I’m curious to see who Lorne Michaels chooses to fill their shoes, and why he decided to cut two of the most beloved players. In the meantime, here are some of Killam and Pharoah’s funniest sketches from their tenure at SNL.
Black Comedians Meeting
Pharoah takes on rapid impressions of famed comics.
Killam and Anne Hathaway sloppy swish around Manhattan to vocals by Kenan Thompson.
Secret Rappers Meeting
Another turn of impressions from Pharoah on Weekend Update, starting around the 5:00 mark.
Bikini Beach Party
A festive day on the shore with a dead whale and Killam.
andddd likely the best of the bunch (and also the most popular Google search that starts with Jeb) is anything with Killam’s Weekend Update character Jebidiah Atkinson, an 1860s newspaper critic.
We’ll miss you both, and you really fucked up this time Lorne Michaels. And to all you critics out there, just change the channel. Or try and have a laugh, it won’t kill ya.