13 ‘SNL’ sketches that were so hysterical they caused cast members and hosts to break character

13 ‘SNL’ sketches that were so hysterical they caused cast members and hosts to break character

  • “Saturday Night Live” cast members and hosts play a variety of roles in the comedy sketch series. 
  • They rarely break character on the show, but it can be contagious when they do. 
  • Below are 13 times “SNL” cast members and hosts have struggled to contain their laughter. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Regardless of how long “Saturday Night Live” cast members have been on the show or how much hosts rehearse leading up to their appearances, no one can control what happens on live television. 

While many “SNL” stars and celebrity guests are well-practiced at maintaining their composure during absurd sketches on the long-running NBC series, some of them still slip up and break character from time to time. 

Here are 13 hysterical moments on “SNL” that made either a cast member or host crack up.

Kate McKinnon broke down and said she was ‘obviously not’ OK during a ‘Weekend Update’ segment 

After President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020, McKinnon appeared as “Dr. Wayne Wenowdis” — complete with a gray wig, white coat, and tie — on a “Weekend Update” segment with Colin Jost

The “SNL” cast member weighed in on Trump’s diagnosis before she insisted on taking Jost’s blood pressure, cracking up as she squeaked the machine.

The head writer eventually asked McKinnon if she was OK, and she responded: “Obviously, I’m not.”

Then, she dropped Wenowdis’ voice and directly addressed the audience.

“It’s such a crazy time and this is something I started doing to cope,” McKinnon said. “I have a lot of wigs and mustaches at my disposal, and it’s refreshing to play a character who ‘know this.'”

An on-set mishap caused Aidy Bryant to crack up during a political sketch

The “SNL” cast member wasn’t supposed to be the person making the audience laugh while playing the host of a political talk show called “Inside the Beltway” in 2019.

However, she lost her composure when they flashed back to a former clip of a crew member erroneously entering the stage during a live sketch. 

Bryant later called it the “worst break of my lifetime” on an episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

She said that fellow cast members Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson knew she was already “struggling” with the closing line during rehearsals, which only made them laugh harder.

Adele couldn’t keep it together during a sketch about the ‘Tourism Board of Africa’

During her “SNL” hosting debut in 2020, the “Rolling in the Deep” singer pretended to be a divorcée raving about her time in Africa.

Flanked by cast members McKinnon and Heidi Gardner, who both stayed in character during the sketch, Adele burst into laughter while gushing about the “tribesmen” and the “lush, dangling foliage.”

While it was entertaining to watch the singer crack up throughout the scene, many people criticized the “SNL” writers for “fetishizing” African men in the sketch. 

Rachel Dratch’s role as ‘Debbie Downer’ caused an entire table to erupt with laughter 

Debbie Downer (Dratch) was a recurring “SNL” character that had an unfortunate habit of bringing up depressing topics in inappropriate settings. In a 2004 sketch about Debbie, she joined her family on a trip to Disney World. 

As her relatives — played by Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, host Lindsay Lohan, and Horatio Sanz — expressed their excitement about the vacation, Debby chimed into each conversation with grim facts about subjects like mad cow disease, train explosions, and infertility. 

Dratch’s deadpan delivery caused everyone at the table, including her, to break.

Vanessa Bayer couldn’t help but giggle in the middle of a sketch called ‘New Girlfriend’

When Michael (Jason Sudeikis) introduced his snobby girlfriend Regine (Armisen) to his friends, he made the rest of the party uncomfortable by constantly touching her. 

Bayer, who rarely breaks character, played one of Michael’s friends at the gathering. In the middle of the sketch, she unsuccessfully tried to suppress a laugh at the over-the-top antics going on between Armisen and Sudeikis.


‘SNL’ duo Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph caused Bill Hader to break character

In a 2012 game of “Super Showcase” on “SNL,” Hader took on the role of the show’s host and guided the contestant (Bayer) through the game. Wiig and Rudolph were the models that presented the prizes the contestant didn’t win. 

As the comedy duo touted the goods — which included luggage, golf clubs, and a lifetime supply of frozen chicken — both Wiig and Hader struggled to stay in character.

Hader also lost his composure during another sketch with Wiig called ‘The Californians’

The 2012 sketch was part of a recurring soap opera-style saga making fun of Californians’ fixation on driving directions.

When Stuart (Armisen) walks in on his partner Karina (Wiig) with Devin (Hader), he tells him to “get back on San Vicente, take it to the 10, then switch over to the 405 North, and let it dump you into Mulholland where you belong.”

Wiig kept a straight face, but Hader failed to stifle his laughter. 

Ryan Gosling had to cover his mouth during a sketch about alien abduction

Strong, McKinnon, and Gosling, who hosted the “SNL” episode in 2015, played three “small town buds” that recently returned from an alien abduction. The trio answered several questions administered by two National Security Agency officers.

Strong called her interaction with extraterrestrial beings “beautiful,” and Gosling reiterated her sentiments, remarking that it was “amazing.”

McKinnon, however, said it was “a little different” for her. 

As the “SNL” cast member described peeing in a metal bowl and having her “knockers” batted by a line of aliens, Gosling smirked.

It wasn’t until McKinnon said that the abduction wasn’t her “worst Wednesday night” that the actor’s body shook with laughter. 

Larry David had a hard time reciting his lines toward the end of a sketch called ‘New Wife’

The “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comedian is no stranger to being in the middle of humorous situations, so it’s rare that he breaks character.

He did, however, lose his composure while hosting “SNL” in 2017.

David pretended to be a man named Vincent who was introducing his friends — Beck Bennett, McKinnon, and Chris Redd — to his new wife, a performer played by Strong. 

After McKinnon asks David if everything is alright, he started cracking up as he attempted to make his way through the rest of the dialogue. 

After one of the cats on set acted up, Tiffany Haddish’s instincts took over

Haddish, who hosted “SNL” in 2017, joined McKinnon in a sketch called “Whiskers R We,” which focused on a Fall Cat Giveaway. They played characters named Claudia and Barbara, respectively.

Early on, the pair struggled to control their laughter as Haddish wrestled to keep a pair of kittens inside a bin.

Then, in the middle of the sketch, McKinnon lifted up a hairless cat and remarked that people “wouldn’t have to worry about shedding.”

Shortly after, Haddish joked that the feline “shaved everything off for a gay circuit party,” and the animal pounced at her. 

The host instinctively raised a fist to the cat and then turned to the camera, frowning at the audience. 

All four actors in ‘The Love-ahs’ broke character

A 2001 sketch called “The Love-ahs” proved to be a test for some of the most experienced “SNL” comedians. 

Set in the Welshly Arms Hotel hot tub, the scene focused on Roger (Will Ferrell) and Virginia Klarvin (Dratch), a loved-up couple.

They struck up a conversation with a man named Dave (Jimmy Fallon) and tried to set him up with their friend Barbara (Drew Barrymore).

As Roger and Virginia described their sexual escapades, all four of the actors found themselves succumbing to their laughter.   

Dave Chappelle and Pete Davidson had to pause to keep from laughing during a sketch

In a sketch about Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, the “Allstate guy,” and Count Chocula defending their jobs, numerous comedians struggled to stifle their laughter

The segment began when Alec Baldwin fires Aunt Jemima (Maya Rudolph), who replied, “But I’m Aunt Jemima!” Rudolph paused to regain her composure amid the audience’s enthusiastic response. 

Rudolph’s Jemima suggested that they fire Uncle Ben (Kenan Thompson) too. “If I’m going down, you’re coming with me,” she told him. 

The attention then turns to the “Allstate guy,” played by the evening’s host, Chappelle. He slammed his hands on the desk to argue for his job but had to turn away from the camera as he broke character. 

Chappelle’s “Allstate guy” proceeded to call out Count Chocula (Davidson) for keeping his job, leading Davidson to spit out his fangs and promptly shove the mouthpiece back in.

Julia Sweeney said the cameraperson had to cut her out of a sketch because she was laughing too much

Sweeney and Phil Hartman played parents that hire a motivational speaker to convince their children not to do drugs in a 1993 “SNL” sketch called “Matt Foley: Van Down By The River.”

As the speaker, Matt Foley (Chris Farley), began his impassioned monologue, the frame switched between Sweeney and Hartman and the two children, portrayed by David Spade and Christina Applegate. It turns out that there’s a reason the camera steered clear of Sweeney at certain parts of the sketch.  

“They had to cut around me because I was laughing. Because it was like I had the best seat in the house for the funniest friggin’ thing that was happening on the planet,” she said during a “Women of ‘SNL'” panel according to Entertainment Weekly, adding, “Spade was laughing too, but they were mad at me.”

Sweeney continued, “They had to change camera angles and that’s terrible. That is terrible. I just feel awful about it actually.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.