If there’s one thing Saturday Night Live is good at, it’s leveraging holidays for a constant stream of sketches that will be repurposed for primetime specials for however long network TV continues to exist. Take Christmas: Lord knows the show certainly does. SNL has been pumping out Christmas-themed bits stretching back into the 1970s. Some of them are very good. Some of them are popular today due to repetition and nostalgia. A lot of them have been posted to SNL’s YouTube page (here’s a direct link to its Christmas playlist). Here are some of the good ones!
This isn’t every good SNL sketch about Christmas. For some reason the legitimate 1986 classic It’s a Wonderful Life: The Lost Ending isn’t on YouTube. (Whoever manages SNL’s YouTube page seems to think it is, though—the 2010 sketch This You Call a Wonderful Life? is listed as The Lost Ending on YouTube, along with a caption that describes the 1986 sketch and not the one actually on the site.) 1976’s Consumer Probe: Irwin Mainway isn’t on YouTube, but can be found at NBC’s site. There are other classics that can be tracked down at NBC.com, or Hulu, or on streaming sites like Daily Motion. Have fun trying to find them!
There are some gems among the 100 sketches included on that YouTube playlist. Of course Schweddy Balls is there, and here. Eddie Murphy’s Christmas installment of Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood is still a classic. We will always stand up for any version of Bill Hader’s Vincent Price TV specials. And a few years ago a Christmas episode of SNL brought the best of the show’s post-Lonely Island music videos, with the first video in this list. Here, in no particular order, are the 10 best SNL Christmas sketches on YouTube.
St. Joseph’s Christmas Mass Spectacular
Steve Martin’s Christmas Wish
NPR’s Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls
Vincent Price’s Christmas Special
Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood: Christmas
TV Funhouse: Christmastime for the Jews