Earlier this week, we posted a video of the “Media-Conspiracy TV Funhouse Segment SNL Banned in 1998.” It’s media-opoly, it’s a media-opoly, goes the song that’s still suck in my head. Why was it cut? According to Lorne Michaels, it “wasn’t funny.” More likely than not, however, it’s because the Robert Smigel-written sketch bashed GE, who just happen to own NBC, who just happen to air SNL. So, yeah.
It’s a rare case of a segment being simply banned after its initial airing. More likely, a sketch will be cut during dress rehearsal and not make the show entirely. Which is reason #48,409 why the Internet is wonderful. Recently, tons of unaired SNL clips have been uploaded to NBC.com and Hulu.com, but that’s just the official way of doing things; sketches have been put online for years, including one of my favorite SNL things EVER. Below are 10 such very funny sketches that were cut for time.
Chris Farley IS Jerry Sozio, who begins telling a story on Weekend Update about how he was standing in the grocery check-out line, possibly waiting to buy some cigarettes and a copy of Wayne’s World 2, when out of nowhere, a guy cuts in front of him. So, he says to the guy, he says, to the guy standing in front of him, who just cut the line, he says…
“Will Ferrell Sings with Shaq,” 1998
Though Kelsey Grammar hosted the October 3, 1998 episode of SNL, Shaquille O’Neal, or as his friends call him, Kazaam Steel, guest starred in two aired sketches: “Big Bernard,” with the memorable sight of Tracy Morgan spanking the 7’$2 1” basketball player/part-time rapper, and another where he talks to Cass and Tom on Morning Latte. There was another segment, too, but it got cut — even though it’s the best of three. All I’ve got to say is: Shaq cradles Will Ferrell while they sing a song together.
My favorite unaired SNL clip ever. What can I say? I love prospector humor, and I hate whoever cut this sketch.
“Angel of Death,” 2000
Christopher Walken has played the Angel of Death multiple times in his career, including for a Madonna video (“Bad Girl”) and in two separate films, Click and The Prophecy. He also came to whisk Ana Gasteyer away to Heaven in an unaired sketch from 2000…OR DID HE? Well, watch.
“Neil Diamond and Christina Aguilera,” 2000
Will Ferrell’s Neil Diamond is one of my favorite SNL impressions, so I was super excited to find an unaired sketch featuring I Am, I Said himself. It’s from 2000, when Kate Hudson, who appears as Christina Aguilera, was still a thing. Almost famous, indeed. She’s a little stiff as a comedic actress and the clip’s a bit too long (and there’s a relatively risqué blowjob joke in there, too), but it’s all worth to hear “Neil Diamond” scream, “Neil Diamond, you shut your damn mouth!” Yeah, that’s right.
“iPhone, Great for Meth Heads,” 2007
In 2007, shortly after the first iPhone was released, Jason Sudeikis starred in a sketch extolling the virtues of the Apple device, including finding an effective escape route using Google Maps after punching a cop and having the ability to store tons of music via iTunes, which is great when you’re coming down from a meth high. Walter White approved.
“Netflix Apology,” 2011
When online DVD distributor Netflix inexplicably raised their prices and split into another, terribly named company called Qwikster last year, people got really mad. ALL CAPS MAD. To explain the price increase, CEO Reed Hastings and Head of DVD Services Andy Rendich recorded videos apologizing for what they did and explaining why they did it. Basically, they had no idea what the fuck they were doing, giving SNL some prime fodder for mockery. Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen were cast as Hastings and Rendich, respectively, to further elaborate on their decisions and announce more name changes. Say hello to Nutflix.
“Mozart the Actor,” 2011
Back when I was learning the dance moves to ‘N Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye” in 2000, I would have literally given all my money in the world to have seen Justin Timberlake play Mozart on SNL. Because I was 12 at the time, though, that means I would have had to pony up $4.87. Eleven years later, JT did appear on SNL as the famous composer, to mock those JERK musicians who try their hand acting. Those guys are the worst. Right, JC Chavez? He also makes fun of Justin Bieber, who was six when JT’s strings became attached.
“RIP Steve Jobs,” 2011
Steve Jobs passed away on October 15, 2011. Ten days later, while Anna Faris was hosting, SNL was set to run a sketch featuring the titans of online industry, including Mark Zuckerberg (played by Andy Samberg) and Arianna Huffington (Nasim Pedrad), explaining to Charlie Rose on his show what they learned from the Apple founder. It was cut in dress rehearsal, but was added to Hulu the following week. It’s worth a watch, just to see Fred Armisen’s terrifying and accurate Rupert Murdoch impression.
“Great Women Writers Throughout History,” 2011
“You know who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Any homeboy with a pair of eyeballs.”
Josh Kurp would pay more than $4.87 for a DVD box set of unaired SNL sketches.