Jake’s Take: My Favorite SNL Moments & Characters

SNL 40

Happy 40th Birthday, “Saturday Night Live!” The iconic NBC comedy series will celebrate its 40th anniversary this Sunday with an all-star group of alums and guest stars! (Logo property of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

This weekend, Saturday Night Live will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary.

An all-star group of alums and former hosts ranging from Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler will return to Studio 8H to honor the long-running NBC comedy series.

In honor of the show’s ruby anniversary, Jake’s Take is looking back at some of its favorite characters and memorable moments!

The Church Lady (1986-90, 1996, 2000 & 2011)

Since the late 1980s, Dana Carvey’s holier-than-thou Church Lady made audiences laugh her snarky catchphrases: “Well, isn’t that SPE-CIAL?!” and “Could it be…SATAN?!” On her show, Church Chat, the Church Lady scolded Donald Trump (the late Phil Hartman), challenged Anne Heche (Chris Kattan)’s bisexuality and tried to exorcise “Snooki.”


Coffee Talk with Linda Richman SNL

Mike Meyers, Madonna and Roseanne Barr’s iconic “Coffee Talk with Linda Richman” ended with a surprise visit from one of the greatest EGOT icons of all-time. (Photo property of NBC & Broadway Video)

Barbra Streisand drops by Coffee Talk (February 22, 1992)

Linda Richman (Mike Meyers) had one of the best nights of her Coffee Talk career when three of the biggest names in the entertainment industry joined her for one special episode of Coffee Talk! With the help of Madonna and Roseanne Barr, who portrayed a mother-daughter tag team, Linda Richman paid homage to Ms. Streisand and her latest film: The Prince of Tides. Little did they know that the EGOT icon was waiting in the wings and once she walked on stage and stated: “All this talk about food, I’m getting hungry, girls,” the entire crowd (including the Coffee Talk ladies) went nuts! Ms. Streisand’s impromptu cameo remains one of SNL’s greatest surprise visits of all-time!

Adam Sandler performs The Chanukah Song (December 3, 1994)

During December 3’s Weekend Update, fan-favorite cast member Adam Sandler debuted a new Chanukah tune that became an instant classic for Millennials everywhere!

The Spartan Cheerleaders (1995-99)

Think you got school spirit? If you answered, “Yes” to my question…you might sign up for the Spartan Cheer Squad. Made up of Arianna (Cheri Oteri) and Craig Buchanan (Will Ferrell), this outcast duo entertained fans with their hysterical routines at oddball events such as a chess tournament and summer camp for four seasons.


The Culps Saturday Night Live

Marty and Bobbi Culp (Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer) brought the house down with their hysterical medleys! (Photo property of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

The Culp Family Musical Performances (1996-2002; 2012)

In the SNL world, two Altadena Middle School music teachers reigned supreme in the mid-1990s and early 2000s. Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer’s Marty Culp and Bobbi Mohan-Culp brought audiences to their knees with their conservative takes on classic pop, R&B and rap songs that would bring down the house. From a required middle school assembly to a LGBT prom, no frown was safe from their hysterical medleys.

Schweddy Balls debut on The Delicious Dish (December 12, 1998)

One sketch that leaves me on the floor laughing is Pete Schweddy (Alec Baldwin) making his debut of his “Schweddy Balls” on The Delicious Dish! As monotone hosts Margret Jo McCullen (Gasteyer) and Teri Rialto (Molly Shannon) described the treats, many audience members were laughing at the multiple sexual innuendos that were in the sketch.


Alex Trebek and Sean Connery SNL Celebrity Jeopardy

Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond) always drove Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell) crazy when he appeared on “Celebrity Jeopardy.” (Photo property of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

Celebrity Jeopardy-Connery, Reynolds & Stewart (December 11, 1999)

Celebrity Jeopardy remains one of the greatest sketches that came out of the mid-to-late 1990s. Will Ferrell was at his best portraying the long-suffering Alex Trebek as he had his hands full with the antics of his archrival Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond) and “Turd Ferguson” aka Burt Reynolds (Norm Macdonald). Plus, Jimmy Fallon added fuel to Mr. Trebek’s rage with his incompetent portrayal of French Stewart.

Sally O’Malley auditions for the Rockettes (December 11, 1999)

Molly Shannon is known for creating larger-than-life characters! In addition to Mary Katherine Gallagher, she also known and beloved for bringing 50-year-old Sally O’Malley to life. The 50-year-old widow proved to the world that she could “kick, stretch and kick” with the best of then. At the end of the segment, Sally became the “oldest” Rockette and as she kicked along the Radio City Rockettes!

The Barry Gibb Talk Show (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 & 2013)

Created by, The Barry Gibb Show paired longtime friends Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake together as brothers Barry and Robin Gibb with their own talk show! Fallon was pitch perfect as the heated older brother, with Timberlake playing the perfect straight man. Some highlights of the sketch’s run included Drew Barrymore’s surprise cameo as Ann Coulter and Barry’s heated debate with Madonna, which featured an appearance by the real Barry Gibb.


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler perfectly portrayed Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton during the height of the Decision 2008 campaign. (Photo property of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler perfectly portrayed Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton during the height of the Decision 2008 campaign. (Photo property of NBC, Broadway Video & SNL Studios)

When Sarah met Hillary (September 13, 2008)

When Saturday Night Live returned for its 34th season, they turned to two of their biggest dynamic duos to portray the country’s most polarizing female lawmakers! Tina Fey’s spot-on impression of the former Alaska governor, along with Amy Poehler’s pouty Senator Clinton stole the show from host Michael Phelps and set the standard for the next generation of SNL political sketches.

We Are The World 3(February 27, 2010)

Critics ripped the remake of the classic “We Are The World” that featured music royalty such as Barbra Streisand, Gladys Knight, Tony Bennett and the Beach Boys with artists that did not need to be involved (I am looking directly at you: Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Jeff Bridges and the abysmal group of rappers that took Bob Dylan and Ray Charles’s iconic parts). With the assistance of guest host Jennifer Lopez, the cast impersonated artists that should have been at the recording: Adam Lambert, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Melissa Etheridge, Rihanna, Willie Nelson and Shakira!

NBC vs. CBS-Celebrity Family Feud (December 21, 2013)

Two titanic networks dueled for supremacy on Celebrity Family Feud! It was like watching a master class in comedy as Fallon, Timberlake, Kenan Thompson, Taran Killian and Kate McKenna nailed their respective impressions of Jim Parsons, Jimmy Fallon, Steve Harvey, Ashton Kutcher and Jane Lynch. In fact, Timberlake did an impeccable job impersonating his longtime friend that The Tonight Show host broke character laughing!

All clips are property of NBC, Broadway Video Productions & SNL Studios!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar