The Trump era has already given the world its share of hard-to-believe events. Among them: Saturday Night Live‘s highest viewership in 22 years.

While the current White House has certainly provided the necessary fodder to help NBC’s sketch show earn can’t-miss-TV status, even the nonpolitical sketches seem to have upped their game. In celebration of SNL‘s return to relevancy, we’re ranking the best sketches of 2017 with the below list, one we’ll continue to update in the months to come.


12. “Movie Interview”

Episode date: January 14
“Now more than ever, artists must speak truth to power.” That’s what the team behind Hot Robot 3: Journey to Boob Mountain set out to do… so they claim. You can judge whether they were successful.

11. “Welcome Video”

Episode date: February 4
What would Trump’s problematic travel ban mean for US Customs welcome videos? Let Beck Bennett’s strident video editor explain.

10. “Totino’s with Kristen Stewart”

Episode date: February 4
Best part about this year’s Super Bowl? No, it wasn’t the comeback win that turned every Boston fan into The Worst. Aside from Gisele Bündchen’s phone, it was definitely this Totino’s masterpiece.

9. “Olive Garden”

Episode date: March 11
Fact: People in Olive Garden commercials act like they’ve never seen food before. Scarlett Johansson, Mikey Day, Leslie Jones, and Kenan Thompson take the idea to the next level in this long, but deliciously silly, behind-the-scenes parody.

8. “Jeff Sessions Gump”

Episode date: March 4
Whether playing Kellyanne Conway, Angela Merkel, or Betsy DeVos, Kate McKinnon has been damn near perfect this year. Thankfully, she’s also had a few chances to show off an inspired Jeff Sessions impression — this opener, replete with Gump-isms, deserves your appreciation.

7. “Complicit”

Episode date: March 11
SNL‘s potent perfume commercial has proven to be one of the better auxiliary Trump thrashings of 2017, holding the president’s favorite daughter accountable for her proximity to the White House madness by calling her “a feminist, an advocate, a champion for women, but, like, how?” Scarlett Johansson’s smile is the icing on the cake.

6. “La La Land Interrogation”

Episode date: January 21
Aziz Ansari’s episode quickly became a standout after airing, thanks in large part to the comedian’s funny, sincere, and critical opening monologue. The rest of the show came packed with no dearth of other highlights, including this spot-on La La Land jab, which held the host hostage for criticizing Damien Chazelle’s awards-season powerhouse.

5. “Kellyanne Conway”

Episode date: January 21
“And when the world goes up in flames, at least for now they knew my name.” This near shot-for-shot play on Chicago‘s “Roxie,” with McKinnon prancing around as the ambitious, truth-massaging White House consigliere, mercilessly satirized its target in show-stopping fashion. Never forget.

4. “Bedroom”

Episode date: January 21
Especially crafty writing paves the way for Melissa Villaseñor’s buzzkilling dirty talk and unappealing impressions in what feels like the lost Master of None episode we don’t deserve. Also, a good reminder that Shanghai Knights exists.

3. “Trump People’s Court”

Episode date: February 11
In a perfect world, Anthony Atamanuik, king of the Trump impression, would be playing our president. Alas, we get Alec Baldwin, kind of douchey about having the gig, but also undeniably good. Many of this year’s Trump cold opens have played like lists of current events — as other popular satirists have noted, it’s understandably hard to make fun of something that’s already a caricature — but the above “People’s Court” sketch allows Baldwin to shine in a refreshingly absurd situation.

2. “Pizza Town”

Episode date: January 21
This year’s “Space Pants” is a beautifully simple, weird, and cheesy escape from the show’s recent political onslaught. Bobby Moynihan’s animatronic drumming, in particular, deserves a trophy. Or a pizza.

1. “Sean Spicer Press Conference”

Episode date: February 4
The gum. The puppets. The podium. Melissa McCarthy’s militant turn as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has been a true godsend — both times. Mark your calendars: The comedienne hosts on May 13.


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