Iconic SNL moments - Will Ferrell's cowbell to Ryan Gosling's bizarre stalker

Darcy Rafter November 18, 2022
Iconic SNL moments - Will Ferrell's cowbell to Ryan Gosling's bizarre stalker


Saturday Night Live has been on the air since 1975, and in its time it has produced some of the most iconic moments. So, here are some of the best SNL skits from over the decades.

The feel-good show has had over 48 seasons on the air, and the late-night comedy series is still a fan favorite. Thankfully, it doesn’t appear the NBC show is going anywhere anytime soon as thanks to the hilarious skits – it continues to thrive.

Comedians may come and go from the show but one thing is guaranteed, it will have you in stitches…

Screenshot from Saturday Night Live YouTube, Miles Teller Monologue – SNL

Will Ferrell’s More Cowbell

There are tons of iconic Saturday Night Live skits, but the number one sketch has to go to Will Ferrell’s More Cowbell. The comedy sketch aired on Saturday Night Live on April 8, 2000, but the skit unfolds at Sunshine Studios in 1976, where Blue Oyster Cult is working on their new song Don’t Fear (the Reaper).

It stars Ferrell as Gene Frenkle and Christopher Walken as producer Bruce Dickinson along with guest appearances from Chris Kattan, Chris Parnell, Horatio Sanz, and Jimmy Fallon.

Dickinson keeps demanding that the song has more cowbell as Walken says: “I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more cowbell.”

Ferrell is dancing around with his belly hanging out banging a cowbell as Dickinson screams “a little more cowbell”, leading to it becoming an iconic pop culture catchphrase.

Initially, SNL’s executive producer Lorne Michaels wasn’t sold on the skit, and it was even submitted about seven times before it was finally approved. Thankfully, it got brought to audiences eventually.

Andy Samberg’s The Lonely Island skits

It wouldn’t be a list of iconic SNL sketches without mentioning Andy Samberg, who joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2005 and stayed on the show for seven seasons. Some of Samberg’s best SNL skits were The Lonely Island digital shorts, some of which include D**k In A Box, Motherlover, I’m On A Boat and Great Day.

The Lonely Island trio is made up of Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer but Justin Timberlake appeared in both Motherlover and D**k In A Box. He and Samberg made the perfect duo and the catchy songs were often heard hummed between 2005 and 2012 by SNL lovers.

Ryan Gosling’s Papyrus

In season 43, SNL viewers were blessed with Ryan Gosling as the host of the show and his skit Papyrus. Hilariously, Gosling’s character is overly bothered that the film Avatar used the Papyrus font for the movie title. In fact, it annoyed him so much that he had to see a therapist, who kindly informs him that the sequels are using the same font.

He even goes as far as to stalk the person who designed the poster, just to see what he looks like. What makes the sketch even more hilarious is that the future Avatar movies have changed the font of the title, maybe they saw Gosling’s sketch!

Debbie Downer’s Disney World

Rachel Dratch’s Debbie Downer is arguably one of the funniest characters to come out of Saturday Night Live. The Debbie Downer skit aired on May 1, 2004, when the show was hosted by Lindsay Lohan.

Dratch stars in the skit as the titular character, who you can always rely on to bring the mood down. Debbie tends to bring up pessimistic conversations in some of the most inappropriate settings, with the first skit seeing her ruin a family trip to Disneyworld.

What is hilarious about the Debbie Downer skit is that it sticks out in everyone’s minds because it ended with the entire cast in stitches of laughter. Everyone ended up breaking character and were unable to say their lines, whilst the audience was absolutely howling.

Kitty Cat On The Mars Mission

In 2013 whilst Daniel Craig was hosting the show, a skit called Kitty Cat On The Mars Mission aired. It remains one of the most iconic skits to this day, and interestingly it took place in the year 2023, which back then was 10 years away. In the scene, they talk about everything they miss from Earth, and Bobby Moynihan won’t stop banging on about how much he misses his kitten.

In the end, he admits to taking his kitten onto the shuttle, and in a sudden moment of regret, he starts panicking that the cat won’t survive the mission. He feels around for his cat in his bag and begins to freak out as he thinks the cat has shriveled up. Thankfully, what he thought was his cat was actually just his pillow and Moynihan then pulls out an adorable kitten who he called Fuzz Aldrin.

Haunted Elevator

Every Halloween since 2016, you have likely seen the famous Haunted Elevator skit which features the legendary Tom Hanks. The skit also involves Beck Bennett and Kate McKinnon’s characters who venture on a ‘floors of fright’ ride with Kenan Thompson’s character who is the elevator attendant.

On one of the floors, they meet Hanks who plays the character David S. Pumpkins. He isn’t the most terrifying of characters in his Pumpkin suit and the ride-goers are pretty confused as to who he even is.

David S. Pumpkins is accompanied by two skeleton dancers who hilariously prance around him, played by Bobby Moynihan and Mikey Day.

Barber Shop Talk

One skit fans absolutely love is Barber Shop Talk as it feels so relatable to what goes down when you get a fresh trim. The barbers discuss current events and the people waiting for their haircuts even join in.

The most hilarious part is when the customer sits waiting for a haircut cut when Philip is available or the facial expressions that come from the characters. The scene features Dave Chappelle, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Punkie Johnson, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker.

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.