Saturday Night Live has been dishing out the Christmas laughs for decades now. They’ve certainly come up with the winning formula to keep the ha-has flowing throughout the holidays. The show’s festive sketches tend to take on one of three different forms. Either a recurring character is thrust into some kind of absurd holiday environment, a popular film or TV series is given a humorous Christmas-themed makeover or SNL cast members sing their own ‘unique’ Christmas carols.
Seeing as we are currently in the heart of the Christmas season – hopefully, you’ve gotten some of your shopping done by now – we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of our top 13 SNL Christmas-themed sketches. And no, these are in no particular order. You can’t rank comedic gold like this.
Be warned, these sketches are so full of holiday spirit that you’re heart very well grow by three sizes. So all you scrooges and Grinches out there, consider this your one and only warning.
Debbie Downer: Christmas Eve With Santa Claus
Rachel Dratch reprises her role as beloved buzz-kill Debbie Downer. In this sketch, she meets Santa Claus – played by host Jack Black – when she’s still a child back in 1978. Turns out, she was a major bummer even back then. Santa does his best to put up with her persistent pessimism while trying to figure out what gift she might like. The close-ups on Dratch’s face and her consistent breaking of the fourth wall makes the sketch pure comedic gold.
Glengarry Glen Christmas
This hilarious parody references the 1992 profanity-laden drama film Glengarry Glen Ross starring Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, and Jack Lemmon, It’s one of those sketches that relies heavily on the audience familiarity with it’s source material, but to those who remember the film, it’s almost impossible not to laugh.
Alec Baldwin reprises his role – well sort of – to encourage his fellow elf friends to ‘Always Be Cobbling’. He represents the elves ‘home office’. Baldwin essentially gives the same speech he gave in Glengarry Glen Ross but he replaces its real-estatey content with Christmas stuff. Rachel Dratch, Seth Meyers, and Amy Poehler all play elves that might get the boot if they don’t step up their game. On paper, it might not sound like the funniest sketch in the world but it tickles you more than you would have expected.
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood: Christmas
In this special Christmas edition of Eddie Murphy’s uproarious Mr. Rogers spoof Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood, Murphy got some good laughs in. There’s one line where Eddie helps us all get into the holiday spirit by saying ‘Christmas is a special time in Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood! It’s a time for giving, and look at what Mr. Landlorrd gave me! It’s an eviction notice!’
To top it off, there’s a clever moment when a reference to Cabbage Patch Dolls -which mind you were all the rage back in the 80s when this skit was filmed – culminates in an unforgettable scene involving a doll that actually has a cabbage for a head. Granted, this might not be the funniest Christmas sketch ever, but it is definitely a highlight from the early 80s era of SNL that’s worth a watch.
The Christmas Candle
Certain sketches bank on vibes more than jokes to propel them forward. The Christmas Candle is a perfect example of this kind of sketch. This one seems to be set somewhat ambiguously in either the early 90s or in the modern Midwest.
The sketch pokes fun at how the candle can be a unifying force in the sense that many men and women give one as a gift when they don’t have any idea about what to get someone. The concept is funny on its own, but it’s the tongue-in-cheek delivery that Aidy Bryant, Emma Stone, and Kate McKinnon execute so perfectly that makes this sketch so memorable.
Santa’s My Boyfriend
Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Kristen Wiig sing a raunchy, provocative song about the ups and downs of dating old Saint Nick himself – and the real selling point is that the song is pretty catchy. What more could you ask for?
Best Christmas Ever
In a brilliant sketch that highlights the absurdity of Christmas in contrast with how it is romanticized by the public, host Matt Damon and Cecily Strong unwind on the couch reflecting on how ‘wonderful’ their Christmas Day was over a relaxing cup of wine. The two wax sentimentally about how magical the day was as flashbacks show the audience the real story.
They both woke up at the crack of dawn to their screaming kids jumping on their bed, they have to put up with stereotypical awful in-laws and unbearable dinner guests, and all the while, their efforts are met with thanklessness. Regardless of the fact that he barely survived the day, Damon still declares it to be the ‘Best Christmas Ever”.
By the way, if you’re enjoying this video so far, make sure you give it a like and subscribe to our channel. And make sure you keep watching to find out what my personal favorite SNL Christmas sketch is. You really wouldn’t want to miss that, now would you?
I Wish It Was Christmas Today
There’s not much to this one, but its humor comes from its simplicity. Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan, and Jimmy Fallon sing a little song about how much they wish it was Christmas today – and well, every day.
The magic of this routine is hard to pin down. Maybe it’s Chris Kattan’s bizarre back and forth neck dance, or maybe it’s Tracy Morgan’s dorky little jig. Either way, the musical routine was so popular that it was rehashed several times a year from 2001 to 2004 and even climbed out of the SNL archives to be song once again in 2011.
Santa Claus might bring gifts to all the good boys and girls, but Sump’n Claus – portrayed by Kenan Thompson, brings stacks of cash to everyone that appears on Santa’s naughty list – because as Thompson makes perfectly clear as he sings all dressed up in his red velvet suit and fedora ‘everybody getting sump’n’.
Granted, nobody besides Kenan Thompson could pull this sketch off – and just describing it really doesn’t do it much justice but this one’s definitely worth checking out.
Okay, this is my personal favorite. It’s such a simple and almost obvious concept that It’s a wonder that it took until 2015 for a sketch to be made about it.
So, at a neighborhood Christmas party, a new couple that just moved to town – Vanessa Bayer and Ryan Gosling – reveal that they literally still believe in Santa regardless of the fact that they are obviously in their 30s.
At first, all the party guests think that they are just playing around -maybe they’re just really getting into the Christmas spirit or maybe they had a little too much egg nog, but eventually it becomes readily apparent that they delusionally expect to meet the ‘real’ Santa. When their request to meet the Jolly ol’ guy goes unanswered, Gosling becomes increasingly more erratic and violent in his demands. Vanessa and Ryan’s chemistry together and their relentless commitment to their characters is what makes this sketch so memorable.
(Do It On My) Twin Bed
So we’ll be brief. This musical sketch explores the idea of returning to your childhood home for the holidays with your significant other and trying to get it on in your old bedroom. The Pussycat Dolls-esque song and dance routine is catchy and exhilarating, the concept is well executed and the climax of the song features real-life adolescent pictures of all the ladies and Jimmy Fallon. There’s just one caveat. You got to make it through 30 seconds of Fallon rapping very poorly. It’s funny, but it’s also kind of like jamming icicles into your eardrums. You’ve been warned.
Christmastime for the Jews
This stop-motion little musical number was written by four exceptionally talented comedy heavyweights. Difficult Peoples’ Julie Klausner, Eric Drysdale of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, Scott Jacobson of Bob’s Burgers fame and Robert Smigel came up with the perfect ode to all things Jewish.
The premise is simple. While all the good Christians and Gentiles are at home celebrating the birth of Christ, Jewish people are free to roam about the world in peace all by themselves. Not only can they enjoy a nice meal in Chinatown and catch a movie at the theater, but Jewish people go around converting Nativity scenes into Shrines dedicated to the cast of Seinfeld, circumcising grateful squirrels in the park, getting into bar fights because they know ‘they can’t lose’ and a handful of other humorous happenings.
It would be downright offensive if it were written by anyone else, but this memorable sketch is one worth re-watching every holiday season.
If you were just to read the script for this skit you might find it to be mildly humorous but what really makes it such an astounding couple of minutes of comedic gold is Steve Martin’s delivery. The premise starts with Steve sitting in a chair in front of a Christmas tree as he declares his noble and selfless holiday wish for ‘all of the children of the world to come together, join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.’
He quickly back-peddles on his ‘one holiday wish’ by listing off his true desires which include receiving $30 million a month in a Swiss bank account, obtaining absolute power over everyone, getting sweet revenge on all of his enemies and making love to the most beautiful models in the world. The real humor here comes from Steve Martin’s velvety smooth delivery juxtaposed over the relaxing lull of Christmas music in the background.
Not only is this one of the best Christmas sketches in SNL history but it very well might be one of the funniest SNL sketches ever.
D*** In A Box
This is the comedy routine that proves that Justin Timberlake pursued the wrong career path. He and Adam Samberg have such irresistible onscreen chemistry and irrefutable comedic time. I mean, this is such a classic sketch that even 14 years later people are still dressing up as D*** in a Box for Halloween.
What better way to send Season’s Greetings and bring in the new year than a piece of your anatomy obscured by a gift-wrapped cardboard box on your groin? To keep this video relatively family-friendly, we’re not going to cover all of the jokes made in this sketch but we just got to say, it amounts to nothing less than a Christmas miracle.
Welp, that’s about all the time we have left. There are a lot of sketches that we could have included on this list. SNL’s been on the air for 45 years. That’s a whole lot of time to come up with some Christmas-themed gold. Let us know what your favorite Christmas SNL sketch is in the comments section below.
And before you go, make sure you give this video a like and subscribe to our channel. Tap the bell icon to turn on notifications so you can keep up with all of our latest videos,
And from all of us at Facts Verse, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!