by Julian Spivey
Will Ferrell is arguably the greatest cast member in the legendary 43-year history of “Saturday Night Live” with numerous sketches one can think of off the top of their head that stand out as classics. Ferrell is returning to his comedy alma mater this weekend to host ‘SNL’ for his fourth time since leaving the show as a cast member in 2002 (it’s hard to believe it’s been 16 years).
Here are Ferrell’s 10 greatest ‘SNL’ sketches:
10. Celebrity Jeopardy
Celebrity Jeopardy is probably my favorite recurring sketch in the history of “Saturday Night Live” and Will Ferrell did a mighty job off playing the game show host Alex Trebek as a man at wit’s end dealing with the dumbest celebrities Hollywood had to offer, but I’ve ranked it at No. 10 on Ferrell’s greatest sketches list because I always got the greatest laughs from the buffoonery of Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery and Norm Macdonald’s Burt Reynolds mercilessly picking on Trebek.
9. Old Prospector
This is the greatest sketch to never appear on ‘SNL.’ It was cut for time initially and my guess was it never appeared on the show because Will Ferrell’s performance as an Old Prospector willing to help the U.S. military in the Middle East was so wild and hilarious that his own co-cast members couldn’t keep a straight face to save their lives. It made an appearance on Ferrell’s “Best Of” DVD release and has become a hit among fans ever since.
8. Sculpture Class
Will Ferrell proved he would do just about anything for a laugh during his tenure on ‘SNL.’ This included stripping down to nothing as a Terrence Maddox, a seemingly homeless man, needing to earn a little cash as a model for a sculpting class. Maddox gets awful crass with the class, including giving a new position called “The Stinker” for the students to take in. You can tell Ferrell loves every bit of it.
7. Bill Brasky’s Buddies
Bill Brasky’s Buddies was a true ensemble piece with David Koechner, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman and others, but it’s hard to imagine it without Will Ferrell. The sketch revolves around Ferrell and his buddies sitting at a bar, or elsewhere, chatting about a man they all know named Bill Brasky, who’s a Paul Bunyan type fellow. The one-liners about Brasky that each of the members of the sketch pass out are among the funniest lines in the history of the show.
6. The Devil Can’t Write No Love Song
Garth Brooks plays a struggling singer-songwriter trying to write a hit song but struggling mightily. Claiming he’d sell his soul to write a hit song he conjures up the devil, Will Ferrell in some of the best makeup work we’ve ever seen from ‘SNL.’ The devil offers to give the struggling musician hits he refers to as “fiendish masterpieces from the bowels of hell” like “Fred’s Slacks” and “Love Bat.” They aren’t exactly hits.
5. President George W. Bush
There have been some truly stellar impressions of Presidents over the long run of “Saturday Night Live,” and honestly Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush wasn’t really among them. That’s because Ferrell isn’t an impressionist. He’s a character actor. And that has a lot to do with why his Bush impression turned into maybe the best Presidential impression in ‘SNL’ history. Ferrell took some of Bush’s mannerisms and issues with the English language and played them up a bit into something that was almost a lovable figure.
4. Patriotic Shorts
After 9/11 this country was really reeling. Nobody seemed to want to laugh, even though laughter is the best way to overcome heartbreak and sadness. Shortly after the tragedy ‘SNL’ returned to television and Will Ferrell gave us a reason to cry tears of laughter instead of ones of sadness with his over-patriotic Dale McGrew, who takes advantage of his work’s patriotic dress day with a USA half shirt and a pair of flag short shorts that ride up his butt crack. We saw with Terrance Maddox that Ferrell would strip down for a laugh, but this proved just how far he’d really take it.
3. Robert Goulet’s Coconut Banger’s Ball: It’s a Rap
One of my favorite Will Ferrell impressions was of lounge singer Robert Goulet and there was never a better use of Goulet than his album of rap covers like Notorious BIG’s “Big Poppa” and Sisqo’s “Thong Song.” Hearing Ferrell sing lyrics to these songs as Goulet is worthy of happy tears but believe it or not it’s not even the funniest thing of the sketch. That comes when Goulet gets into a staring contest with an undefeated Mountain Goat.
2. Get Off the Shed!
This is one of the most simplistic ideas for a sketch ever, because you can probably see it at any backyard BBQ in real life every summer. It revolves around a father growing more and more angry at his children for messing around in the backyard at a cook out. It wouldn’t seem that funny, but Will Ferrell’s climbing intensity as a father going from “be a buddy and get off the shed” to “GET OFF THE DAMN SHED!” makes it one of the funniest things to ever appear on ‘SNL.’ It’s something Ferrell had in his repertoire for a long time as he auditioned with it and it appeared in his very first episode as a ‘SNL’ cast member. With this a star was born.
1. More Cowbell!
This isn’t only the greatest Will Ferrell sketch of all-time, but the greatest sketch in the 43-year history of “Saturday Night Live.” The idea of going behind the music on the classic Blue Oyster Cult song “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and getting the cowbell sound down just right in the studio was terrific. But, this could’ve been a drab sketch without Ferrell’s crazy man antics that upped the intensity and hilarity of the entire bit and made every single cast member in the sketch lose it with laughter. And yes, a shirt probably two sizes too small for Ferrell, added to the humor. It doesn’t get any better than this. Gotta have more cowbell, baby!
Watch sketch HERE
What's your favorite Will Ferrell 'SNL' sketch?
by Julian Spivey
It was announced this week that two of Shonda Rhimes’ ABC dramas “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” would be doing a crossover episode sometime after each show returns from its winter break.
This is a bad idea.
If ever a crossover were to work it would likely be this crossover teaming two of the strongest women characters on television in Viola Davis’ Emmy-winning Annalise Keating on “How to Get Away with Murder” and Kerry Washington’s powerful Olivia Pope on “Scandal,” but crossovers are just too gimmicky and should’ve been retired long ago. It seemed like we were done with crossovers a few years ago, but then they came back roaring. Some make since like this one or any crossover among like-minded series like the “NCIS” trilogy on CBS or the ‘Chicago’ trilogy on NBC, but then you get some like the dumbfounding “Bones”/”Sleepy Hollow” crossover a few years ago that led me to having to watch an episode of “Bones,” which I’d never seen before, just to know what was happening on “Sleepy Hollow.”
And, that’s a big problem with crossovers. They are essentially marketing ploys. They can be fun for viewers that watch both shows, but a pain in the butt for those who don’t. They can also be a pain for viewers like me who watch both “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Scandal,” but don’t always watch them in the same week. For instance, I watch “Scandal” on a weekly basis, but don’t keep up with ‘HTGAWM’ weekly, because it’s just not as good. The first half of the ‘HTGAWM’ season ended almost two months ago, and I still have two episodes sitting on my DVR unwatched. Networks use these crossovers to help boost the ratings for each or one of the shows involved and there’s no doubt ABC is hoping the final season of “Scandal” will boost the ratings of the fourth season series ‘HTGAWM.’
The biggest reason I’m not a fan of this crossover is because it’ll come in the second half of the final season of “Scandal” and will likely waste an important episode that could’ve been used getting us to a conclusion of the series. I would like to see “Scandal” go out on top, not trying to figure up neat ways for Pope and Keating to interact, no matter how much fun it may end up being to see.