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Memorable SNL moments from the past 20 years

Alexandra Kilpatrick | Monday, September 15, 2008

“Saturday Night Live” has had a slew of memorable moments in its history. The quotable sketches have often worked their way into the pop-culture lexicon of America. When did the cowbell become cool? When Bruce Dickinson said it was. Here, we count down the top 10 most memorable moments in the past 20 years of “SNL” history.

10. Five-Timers Club (1990-present): Ever since Tom Hanks referenced the exclusive club while hosting SNL for the fifth time, it has been known as home to some of the most notable celebrities and musical guests, including Steve Martin, Tom Petty and Drew Barrymore.

9. Lazy Sunday (2005): Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg appear in this two-and-a-half minute digital short, rapping about their exciting afternoon trip to see “The Chronicles of Narnia” movie and teaching us that “Mr. Pibb plus Red Vines equals crazy delicious” and “Google maps is the best!”

8. Iran So Far (2007): Following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia University last fall, Andy Samberg, along with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, serenades the Iranian President in a clever attempt to mock his denial of the existence of homosexuality and the Holocaust.

7. Barry Gibb Talk Show (2003-2006): This talk show stars Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake as Bee Gees Barry and Robin Gibb. While Robin Gibb is portrayed as mostly silent with occasional bland answers, Barry Gibb tends to verbally attack the guest politicians in a humorous falsetto, prompting an amusing call and response with Robin.

6. Brian Fellows’ “Safari Planet” (1999-2003): This recurring talk show features Tracy Morgan as Brian Fellows, a man with a sixth-grade education and no license in zoology, asking nonsensical questions of wildlife center and zoo representatives, such as “Why do seals like to go clubbing?”

5. Celebrity Jeopardy with Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds, and Jerry Lewis (1996): This Celebrity Jeopardy parodies categories like “Potent Potables” and “‘S’ Words,” misread by the contestants as “swords.” The contestants’ incompetence becomes more apparent as the show progresses, prompting the final clue: “This body of water gives Salt Lake City its name.”

4. Harry Caray’s “Space: The Infinite Frontier” (1997): Will Ferrell portrays the Cubs announcer as an astronomy talk show host, who asks a guest scientist if he would eat the moon if it were made of spare ribs and whether he would rather be the top scientist in his field or contract Mad-Cow Disease.

3. “The Hanukkah Song” (1994): Adam Sandler writes this song about Hanukkah “for all those nice little Jewish kids who don’t get to hear any Chanukah songs” and teaches us much about who in the celebrity world is Jewish and who is not.

2. Wayne’s World with Aerosmith and Tom Hanks (1990): In this classic sketch, Wayne Campbell and his best friend, Garth, play the “Wayne’s World” theme song with Aerosmith on their TV talk show, broadcast from the basement of Wayne’s parent’s house. Tom Hanks plays Garth’s cousin Barry, who is an Aerosmith roadie.

1. More Cowbells (2000): Parodied at the Sept. 6 Notre Dame half-time show, producer Bruce Dickinson requests “a little more cowbell” from a sweaty Will Ferrell during the recording of Blue Öyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Dickinson sums up the cowbell’s importance with the classic line, “Guess what? I’ve got a fever and the only prescription – is more cowbell!”