SNL Monologues: The Best of the Past


You know when you first meet someone and the first five minutes of the conversation set the precedent of this relationship? Saturday Night Live monologues are a little like that, whether you want to fast forward to the parts you like, pause and come back to it later, or just delete the recording to save space on your DVR. SNL monologues give you a first impression of how the host is going to handle the show for the night. So, in honor of Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) kicking off SNL’s 40th season on September 27 with musical guest Ariana Grande tonight, let’s rewind back to the best monologues that graced our screens. (That being said, the fact that there are 39 seasons made it a bit hard to choose “the best,” since this show has been on even before Steve Martin was in Cheaper by the Dozen.) 1. Amy Poehler

I love a good SNL homecoming, and with Amy Poehler hosting, she definitely lived up to the hype. What’s better than a monologue featuring Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey (aka. the Holy Trinity of modern-day SNL), scaring Seth Meyers — “they’re back!” — and bullying Poehler about Weekend Update? Not even a McDonalds happy meal. To top it off, Poehler’s epic monologue even included an appearance by Rachel Dratch (Debbie Downer), and Justin Timberlake (not an SNL alum, but he’s been on the show enough times — and he gave me his dick in a box for Chanukkah — so I’ll let it slide).

2. Zach Galifiankis

Zach Galifiankis (checked the spelling twice for that one) has done everything from comedy to drama — major kudos. Despite his range of ability, this monologue definitely shows off his comedic chops, and yes, he’s definitely a genuine funny guy, even off the script. His jokes were so on point, keeping the monologue consistently funny while switching it up at the same time. And obviously his impersonations kill it.

3. Seth Rogen

Definitely an SNL fan favorite. Nothing is funnier than accurate self-depreciation — exactly why Mindy Kahling’s show is a riot. Rogen does it perfectly, from mocking his own laugh, to poking fun at his acclaimed reputation as a pothead. And can we just talk about how hilarious his James Franco bit was, especially since this aired just a few days after the Instagram “incident” happened. Then Franco comes on and takes a jab at himself, joking, “Just wanted to say great prank buddy, I’ve been waiting at the Ace Hotel for like 3 days.” Cameos from Zooey Deschanel and James Franco further helped Rogen’s cause, not that he needed it at all.

4. Melissa McCarthy

Oh you just get me, Melissa. I could not relate anymore to her portrayal of walking in heels — “ooooh my quads are seizing.” We’ve all been there. Remember the long stretch freshman year stretch from DJ’s to The Mount? I wish I didn’t.

5. Seth MacFarlane

Although I would normally classify someone as mentally unstable for talking to themselves — “Obviously voices in my head are a legitimate psychological problem” — during Seth’s sketch, I was too busy laughing to even give a shit. This also was the longest I’ve seen a host stay on that spot of the stage, which made the band members seem relevant.

6. Jesse Eisenberg

Fun fact: Andy Samberg makes everything better. Between Jessie Eisenberg and Mark Zuckerberg’s personalities, I could feel the awkwardness protruding through my screen. I’m not sure if I was laughing at them or with them, but regardless it’s hilarious. Note to self: Stop eating Chipotle and save up for an iPhone 6.

7. Betty White

Betty White is the coolest old woman ever. While my Grandma denies her age, Betty White embraces it loud and proud: “I don’t know anything about technology card.” Thank you for being a friend, Betty White (or should I say Rose Nylund?)

So how will Chris Pratt stack up in comparison to his monologue predecessors? Comment below and let us know what you think of his performance after the show tonight.

CultureHannah FruchtmanComment