10. ''Men's Synchronized Swimming''
Originally aired on: Oct. 6, 1984 (season 10)
A deadpan mockumenary made, naturally, by one-season cast member Christopher Guest (and starring his comrades Harry Shearer and Martin Short). Just consider it a blueprint for Waiting for Guffman.
9. ''Wayne's World''
Originally aired on: Feb. 17, 1990 (season 15)
Mike Myers was one of SNL‘s most original minds, and his most beloved creation was Wayne Campbell. There’s a reason Wayne’s World made more than twice as much money at the box office as The Blues Brothers—the combination of Myers’ goofy enthusiasm and Dana Carvey’s spacey cluelessness can’t be beat.
8. ''Stefon's Halloween Tips''
Originally aired on: Oct. 21, 2012 (season 38)
This bit has everything: hobo-cops, Bark Ruffalo, the Human Piñata, an old gay man people called Slimer, even Jewish Dracula (real name: Sidney Appelbaum).
7. ''Debbie Downer''
Originally aired on: May 1, 2004 (season 29)
It’s famous mostly for being one of the worst examples of corpsing (that is, unintentionally breaking character by laughing) on live TV—but even without that element, Rachel Dratch’s gloomy performance and that goofy sad trombone noise are wonders to behold. Add in the accidental laughter, though, and you’ve got a sketch for the ages—just watch what happens when Dratch finally manages to spit out that Debbie can’t have children.
6. ''Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton Address the Nation''
Originally aired on: Sept. 14, 2008 (season 34)
The sketch that gave us Tina Fey’s historic Sarah Palin impression—and the line ”I can see Russia from my house!”
5. ''D--k in a Box''
Originally aired on: Dec. 16, 2006 (season 32)
Step 1: Watch a hole in this video
Step 2: Put your junk in…this video?
Wait, that’s not right….
4. ''NPR's 'Delicious Dish' with Pete Schweddy''
Originally aired on: Dec. 12, 1998 (season 24)
A delectable mix of highbrow setting and lowbrow wordplay, all wrapped up in one delicious Schweddy Ball.
3. ''Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker''
Originally aired on: May 8, 1993 (season 18)
Say it with us now: ”You’ll have plenty of time to live in a van down by the river when you’re?living in a van down by the river!”
2. ''Chippendales Auditions''
Originally aired on: Oct. 27, 1990 (season 16)
Patrick Swayze’s rock-hard abs and pelvic thrusts are totally on point, while Chris Farley exhibits surprising grace as the poor guy competing with Johnny Castle for a spot as a Chippendales dancer. Sure, it’s an extended fat joke—but what a fat joke!
1. ''Behind the Music: Blue Oyster Cult''
Originally aired on: April 8, 2000 (season 25)
You may know this gem by another name: ”More Cowbell.”
NEXT: Your favorite write-in sketches…
Nearly 40 years of sketches meant that a lot of beloved bits and characters were left off our list. Readers were most vocal about Phil Hartman as the Chairman of the Board (left) in ”The Sinatra Group,” season 40’s SNL emcee Darrell Hammond as a mischievous Sean Connery (right) prone to goading Will Ferrell’s exasperated Alex Trebek in ”Celebrity Jeopardy,” and a passel of other favorites, including Chevy Chase’s Landshark, Ferrell and Cheri Oteri’s Spartan Cheerleaders, and John Belushi’s Samurai.