Saturday Night Live has been one of the hallmarks of American sketch comedy for over 40 years. It has jumpstarted the careers of some of the greatest comedians in history, propelling them from the show’s set and into their own storied film, television, and comedy careers (Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Dan Aykroyd, just to name a few.)
Remarkably, SNL’s format has remained the same for nearly the entirety of the show’s decades-long run (it’s one of the longest-running network television program of all time.) A celebrity guest will host, usually delivering a comedic monologue right at the top of the show, and then sketches, most of which are live and star the host in some capacity, are punctuated by a couple performances from the week’s musical guest.
The point is SNL is not just one of the best comedy sketch shows. It’s a seminal part of American life and culture. The mix of comedic talent on the show, coupled with their acute sensibility for what’s buzzing in the pop culture sphere that week, and their legendary spot-on TV programming is what has kept it on air for 42 seasons. In honor of the show, here’s a list of 25 of the best SNL skits—from commercials, digital shorts, impressions, game shows, political satires, celeb appearances—that have ever aired.