This season of “Saturday Night Live” includes eight new cast members — the most additions since the 1995-96 season — and the relative inexperience of the current roster has led to the SNL writing team making some bold choices.
The end result? A whole host of really weird sketch ideas. While some of these have understandably fallen short, others have been among the greatest moments of the year. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights.
1. MORNIN’ MIAMI
Premise: A local Miami news team is shooting its promos for the week. Yet they all seem to hate their lives, and when the cameras aren’t rolling, the sullen faces come out. Miley Cyrus co-stars.
Best line: “Jeff Dunham’s puppets are here, Jeff Dunham is not. And we’ll find out how funny those puppets really are.”
You may have missed: Kate McKinnon briefly sings “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders during a break in shooting, before promptly being shushed by her co-anchors.
Premise: Wacky investigative reporter Winston Sam Bass wants to know where bugs are always running to, and why they’re in such a hurry. As you may have guessed, it goes poorly.
Best line: “I’m going to the supermarket!”
You may have missed: In Spanish Harlem, Bass asks a bug where he’s going in Spanish and thanks him in English; the subtitles follow suit: “One question please. Gracias.”
3. OFFICE BOSS
Premise: Beck Bennett plays a successful boss who has the body of a baby (technically the motor skills of a baby, but that’s a small gripe). The character was so popular, it’s already made a second appearance this season. Josh Hutcherson co-stars.
Best line: “What? No, I’m an adult man!”
You may have missed: Bennett’s walk is very on-point. He almost tumbles back into his desk, but catches himself at the last second.
Premise: Kyle Rooney enjoys going from an unknown dancer to world-class legend, then back to nothing, all in a span of three minutes. Beck Bennett shows up as his promoter.
Best line: “It’s practically the hottest club in town … DJs.”
You may have missed: The tabloid Bennett has at the end of the sketch includes the headlines “You’re not actually good at dancing” and “Blade Tsunami not actually a tsunami.”
Premise: Awkward tenants in the same apartment complex flirt constantly. Finally, one of them gets the courage to ask the other one out.
Best line: “Oh, no! My … I’ve got poop on my underwear.”
You may have missed: Kyle Rooney runs out of his apartment to stop Vanessa Bayer in the final scene. Which implies he was staring out the peephole to see when she’d walk by.
6. HALLOWEEN CANDY
Premise: Edward Norton plays a weird neighborhood man going through his pumpkin of Halloween candy he plans to give out to the kids.
Best line: “Now this is a peanut scotch taped to an M&M. Because that’s just how my mind works.”
You may have missed: Edward Norton’s pumpkin seems to be bottomless, doesn’t it? Well, he may have had some help. The “Cars 2” DVD doesn’t appear until after the second cutaway to Diego.
7. DARTH VADER ACTION FIGURE
Premise: Shot in the style of his show “Louie,” this sketch finds Louis C.K. at the doctor’s office with a peculiar issue: he’s worried there may be a Darth Vader action figure inserted up his rear end. As the sketch progresses, it turns out he’s not the only one.
Best line: “I noticed that you didn’t leave.”
You may have missed: Everyone’s reasons for why there wouldn’t be an action figure in their butts: Louis C.K. is married; Kenan Thompson’s Reggie doubts that he put one there; as a fellow doctor, Beck Bennett wants to be checked to make sure everything is done correctly; Aidy Bryant is “a lady,” though there may be a General Grievous in her back zone.
8. BEER PONG
Premise: Two fraternity brothers invite a couple of pledges to play beer pong. But first, they have to explain the house rules, which are a little unorthodox.
Best line: “Disregard the laws of physics and create the coaster from your wildest dreams.”
You may have missed: The entire fraternity chants “Then we’ll whistle one for you” when the pledges worry that they won’t know what song to whistle. Such unison!
9. MONSTER PALS
Premise: Fed up with being bullied, a monster decides to eventually get surgery to transform into a human. The other monster can’t find him at their usual hangout, and goes on a search to reunite with his friend. It’s almost … sweet. Seth Rogen and James Franco co-star.
Best line: “They took a lot of liberties on that one.”
You may have missed: Among the “Today Show” audience are an Oklahoma City Thunder fan and a parent of a student at Riverside Creek Elementary in Brighton, MI.
Great round-up! I haven’t watched SNL regularly this season, and I forget how funny their sketches are. You’re right about Beck Bennett being spot-on with the baby moves. Genius.
And, um, Monster Pals made me just a little bit weepy.