Since its debut in 1975 with original cast members like Laraine Newman, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi, Saturday Night Live has whipped up hundreds of timely, edgy, and flat-out hilarious sketches. Over the years, fans have been treated to a bounty of holiday-themed spectacles like Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song,” or Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer’s “Delicious Dish” with Alec Baldwin. But what about those spectacular Halloween sketches that may have flown under the radar? Here are some of the funniest and spookiest Halloween sketches from Saturday Night Live.
Haunted Elevator (ft. David S. Pumpkins)
It’s almost Halloween, which means an abundance of haunted houses, hayrides, mazes, and, well, elevators. Two brave elevator riders (Beck Bennett and Kate McKinnon) are treated to usual frights on their ride, including ghosts and severed limbs. But things get pretty bizarre when they land on a floor featuring David S. Pumpkins (Tom Hanks), a very original, very upbeat character that the haunted attraction is trying to make the next big thing. He’s accompanied by two dancing skeletons (Mikey Day and Bobby Moynihan) and is covered in pumpkins. He’s random. He’s a man of a few words. He’s David S. Pumpkins. Any questions?
A Girl’s Halloween
Halloween is a big day for parties. But you know what, these three buddies (Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, and Vanessa Bayer) are just going to wear cute and simple outfits and take it easy. At least, that was their plan. This pre-recorded sketch flip flops in time between what the girls anticipated and how their night really unfolded. It was a Halloween night they’d never forget. Actually, they’re probably too drunk to remember anything that happened.
Shana at a Halloween Party
Patrick (Andy Samberg) is throwing a party at his place for some work friends. He and the guys (Kenan Thompson, Taran Killam, and Ben Stiller) are extra-excited because rumor has it their sexy co-worker Shana (Kristen Wiig) is going to stop by. But the night takes a turn for the worse when their stylish and seductive friend starts to exhibit some bad manners and rather gross behavior. Wiig has played Shana several times in sketches with Bryan Cranston and Charles Barkley.
Matt Foley: A Scary Story on Halloween
Well, la-dee-frickin-da! There’s another bunch of misbehaving kids (Christian Slater, Melanie Hutsell, and David Spade) that need a strict talking-to. Motivational speaker Matt Foley (Chris Farley) is ready for the challenge and sweats, stumbles, and screams his way through a scary story that he’s sure will spook these kids enough to never egg a neighbor’s house again. Unfortunately, Matt just ends up making a fool of himself, and as expected, breaks a lot of furniture. This was the second of eight appearances by Matt Foley, one of Saturday Night Live’s most iconic characters. Melissa McCarthy also played him at the SNL 40th Anniversary Special.
Weekend Update: Stefon on Halloween’s Hottest Tips
If you’re looking for a sketch that’ll tell you about New York City’s hottest Halloween locations, then this is the sketch for you. Weekend Update’s city correspondent Stefon (Bill Hader) slides over to Seth Meyers at the Update desk to give some hot Halloween tips for people visiting the Big Apple. In usual Stefon fashion, he details his experiences and points out several party locations that most tourists likely will not find themselves at. This sketch has everything: a Nick Nolte reference, the Jewish Dracula, Stefon’s dog Bark Ruffalo, and Bill Hader trying to keep his giggles in check.
Vincent Price’s Halloween Special
Renowned horror actor Vincent Price (Bill Hader) welcomes you to his haunted home for a spectacular Halloween evening! In addition to the crow perched on his shoulder, he’s accompanied by his famous friends Gloria Swanson (Kristen Wiig), James Mason (Jon Hamm), and Liberace (Fred Armisen). Much to Vincent’s frustration, none of them come prepared for his party or show any interest in his festive activities.
The Exorcist 2 (ft. Richard Pryor)
In this Season 1 episode of Saturday Night Live, host Richard Pryor and guest actor Thalmus Rasulala star as two priests heeding the call to perform an exorcism. In this clever Exorcist parody sketch, Laraine Newman plays a demonically possessed little girl (her performance is freaky good, by the way) who is writhing in her bed and practically foaming at the mouth. In the middle of her growls, she hurls oddly specific and very hurtful insults to the priests about their mothers. Pryor nails this role, as he is able to reveal both horror and befuddlement with a simple lift of his eyebrows.
Wes Anderson Horror Trailer
This Wes Anderson parody trailer is eerily accurate and timely, considering his latest film The French Dispatch will hit theaters later this month. This trailer imagines what it would be like if Anderson made a horror movie, and pays homage to the many specificities and delightful oddities that are typically found in his films. Stop motion? Check. Unique color palette? Check. Short sentences? Owen Wilson (Edward Norton)? Symmetry? Deadpan delivery? An intricate caper mystery? Also check.
Weekend Update: Garth and Kat Sing Halloween Songs
All the way from Camp David, you know ‘em, you ‘love ‘em, it’s singer-songwriter duo Garth and Kat (Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig). Although they are adamant that they have practiced and prepared songs to perform on the show, the vest-clad singers seem to be making up the lyrics on the spot. Even before they start to sing, Armisen and Wiig struggle to keep their composure, making this a hilarious (hay)ride from the jump. And according to Seth Meyers, they’re the most attractive people you’ll ever see in person.
Bat-O-Matic (ft. Dan Aykroyd)
Nobody can forget the classic “Bass-O-Matic” sketch from Season 1 about a salesman (Dan Aykroyd) promoting the fantastic Super Bass-O-Matic ’76 blender that allows people to use every inch of the fish (it was so popular that Aykroyd and Newman recreated it for the SNL 40th anniversary special). Well it’s almost Halloween, and you’re probably trying to come up with a new way to prepare a bat. Look no further than the Super Bat-O-Matic ‘77, the perfect blender for all of your potion needs, as best described by everyone’s favorite fast-talking spokesman.
Trick-or-Treat (ft. Jon Hamm)
Ah, neighbors. The innocuous and inevitable driveway banter, friendly waves, and misdelivered mail. The only thing more awkward is meeting your new neighbors. Hopefully you won’t find yourself in as uncomfortable of a position as Bob Peterson (Jon Hamm) who, in the midst of handing out candy to little kids on Halloween, meets his odd neighbor Jeff Montgomery (Will Forte). Jeff seizes the opportunity to introduce himself, and, well, share some personal information that is required by law.
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