One of the most underrated parts of the Christmas season is the last episode of Saturday Night Live episode before the New Year. Not only are these usually a big deal, they also often yield some of the best sketches each year. The Saturday Night Live Christmas Special compiles the best holiday sketches in the series long run into a single viewing.
I came of age during the late 90s, which was also my first true exposure to Saturday Night Live. This was a great time, because the cast that included Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Kattan, Molly Shannon, and Cheri Oteri; while the others may not have ever reached the post-SNL heights Ferrell has reached, on SNL, they were all fantastic. From this era, two specific sketches from holiday episodes come to mind. The first is Molly Shannon’s Mary Catherine Gallagher and a sing-off against host Whitney Houston, while the second is Delicious Dish and Alec Baldwin’s Schweddy Balls. These two are some of the most well-known sketches of the era and some of the best holiday sketches ever.
The special has something from each era: from Consumer Probe and Steve Martin’s Christmas Wish to “Dick in a Box” and Darlene Love’s “Christmastime for the Jews” (an underrated Saturday TV Funhouse), it’s a fantastic special.