Saturday Night Live returns Oct. 1, and the show announced Wednesday it would add seven new writers to the staff, following the announcement that they added three new cast members, and promoted two head writers for its 42nd season.
On a show pulled off as rapidly as Saturday Night Live, even funny sketches can get the axe on show night. Still, that doesn't mean you don't deserve to see Drake get really weird with his voice as the new guy at Kinko's. Last season, that one never aired—and the show has recently released other "cut for time" sketches you should see. Here, from "Bad News Bears" starring Russell Crowe as a very inappropriate coach to Kate McKinnon at her best as an off the rails lady, watch the best sketches that never made it to air before the show returns for its 42nd season.
Bad News Bears
The politically incorrect school coach is a premise that’s always worked well for the show. And Russell Crowe proves he can play a leader who thinks you give down-on-their-luck underdogs a pep talk by reminding them what massive failures they are. It takes a weird turn when Crowe's coach subtly reveals he’s hooking up with all of the kids’ relatives, but there’s an impressive laugh-per-minute ratio.
The rapper plays the new Kinko's employee desperate to get in on the staff's inside jokes, and it’s a solid ensemble sketch. No one should be denied the pleasure of watching everyone sing “I creamed a creamed of cream gone by,” about coffee, and if you’ve never seen Drake get wonderfully weird, this is your chance.
The premise here—a talent-free guy who starts an ill-advised music career with a painfully cringey song about a woman’s gigantic smile—wasn't too strong to begin with, and the writing doesn’t capitalize on the agony of listening to this song. But there's plenty of clever dialogue and Taran Killam can elevate lukewarm material. It will be a less professional show without him.
This smart sketch had Chris Hemsworth-sized ambitions, but ultimately it was just too dark to really shine in an episode wallpapered with awkward moments. Still, what's better than watching Chris Hemsworth prove he doesn’t know how to use a phone in the Ghostbusters reboot? Watching him bring a real sense of heartbreak as this birthday-ruiner. Don’t rule out funny Thor.
The sight gags of Miley Cyrus and Aidy Bryant as fierce businesswomen in shoulderpads deserve your attention, if nothing else—and moment to moment, the joke, that female underlings can take down their sexist male bosses with stereotypically female things, works. For a show, too, that struggles to find a high point to end on, this sketch had a great one. (The ultimate victory to achieving gender equality is turning men into salad, their favorite food.) No one’s ever had this much fun with the actual sound of a glass ceiling being broken.
Aidy Bryant and Brie Larson do a mother-daughter sexy dance at a father’s gravesite, and it’s ridiculous. Kate McKinnon does her freaked out face, and it proved the show can absolutely count on Larson, a woman who can commit to a character who loves her mom's sexual fantasy with real emotional conviction.
Paul Ryan Ad
Sure, Killam's Paul Ryan could have been more Paul Ryan-y. But this historically accurate sendup is a must-watch for the subtle jabs at his opponent and an excellent pitch: "long muscular fingers, fingers that know what they're doing, fingers that have been there." Unfortunately, it was cut because guys with interesting hairlines never get the respect they deserve.
This didn't deserve a shot because it gave Ariana Grande another stage to effectively demonstrate just how well she arranges her features into something resembling concern when everyone around her is nuts. The best thing the sketch has going for it: a deep dive into the twisted world of Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney. Their sincerity when they promise to bring their own nails (so the loose garbage at the party doesn’t fly away) would have been one of the delights of the episode.
Christmas at Nana's
Mooney’s bumblecore comedy is truly sublime, and opposite Amy Poehler, this sketch is magnified magic that should have had a shot. Kate McKinnon as a real piece of work mom who taunts her kids about their dying grandma is unmissable gold. All she has to do is fill her eyes with rage and it’s funny.
Donald Trump's Hair
As far as sketches the night Trump hosted go, this one was actually tightly written. It explored the threat of wind as a national emergency under Trump. The government shrinks an elite team of Navy Seals down so they can descend on Donald’s head for a dicey mission: tamp down his hairdo so he doesn’t shame America. This is worthwhile because it’s a clever take on one of the most tired jokes ever: the guy’s bad hair.