Saturday Night Live has been goofing on Christmas since it began in 1975, turning out new classic Christmas sketches (and many not-so-classic) every December. Take a look at this list of the best Christmas and holiday sketches in Saturday Night Live history.
2. "Consumer Probe" (Season 2/1978)The great Dan Aykroyd (who along with Jane Curtain is an unsung hero of SNL's earliest years) debuts his Irwin Mainway character, proprietor of horrible and dangerous children's toys (with names like Johnny Switchblade: Adventure Punk, Bag O' Glass and Teddy Chainsaw Bear) being rolled out just in time for the holidays. Few people could do obnoxious sleaze quite like Aykroyd, and guest host Candice Bergen's straight-faced disgust is a funny counterpoint to Aykroyd's schtick.
5. "Dysfunctional Family Christmas" (Season 16/1990)Another sketch from the second Golden Age of SNL advertises a new Christmas album for the family that can't stand one another. Songs like "Let's Pretend We Like Each Other (This Christmas)," "Ballad of the Co-Dependent," and my favorite, "Runny Funny Daddy" ("The only words I can understand are 'god' and 'damn' and 'Christmas..."), are all inspired, and the sight of Dana Carvey leading the "Carol of Intimacy" will always make me laugh. The sketch is short and packed to the edges with jokes; later incarnations of SNL could learn a thing or two from this example. A true Christmas classic.
Adam Sandler basically became a star with this song performed on "Weekend Update." Billed as an alternative to the glut of Christmas songs around the holidays, Sandler's song is basically just a list of celebrities who are Jewish. The song quickly became a staple of Sandler's albums and live act (updated three times to include new celebrities) and established him as the "funny acoustic song guy" on Saturday Night Live. Who knew that this goofy guy singing about Jewish celebrities ("David Lee Roth lights the menorah...") would go on to become one of the biggest movie stars in the world?
Often repeated but never equaled, this first performance of "Seasons Greetings" is a classic for its sheer silliness. Horatio Sanz sings about the joys of Christmas ("I don't care what your Grandma says, Christmas time is here..."), accompanied by Jimmy Fallon on keyboard, Chris Kattan doing a funny back-and-forth dance and Tracy Morgan doing whatever it is that Tracy Morgan does. You could tell it was something special when it first aired -- a fact that was later confirmed when SNL tried to recapture the odd magic several more times without any luck. By the time Sanz was performing the song with the Muppets (because everyone else involved had left the show), the sketch had long since jumped the shark.