10 Best Sketches of 'Saturday Night Live' Season 38
Ex-porn stars, Bill Hader's farewell, Christoph Waltz as Jesus, and more
4) The rebirth of the recurring gag
“SNL” loves to trot out sketches like the one just mentioned at #5 on this list. But more often than not, the comedy in each episode stays self-contained within each segment. This makes sense on a variety of levels, whether it be the difficulty inherent in producing a show like this on the fly each week or the way people often watch the episode later in discreet, sketch-sized chunks online. Its’ simply easier to treat each element as its own, discreet, hermetically sealed object But twice this year, “SNL” had episodes that featured unique callbacks that delivered punchlines long after the set-up had been deployed. The “Z Shirts” sketch from the Kevin Hart episode was funny on its own, but was retroactively amazing when the same characters appeared in a funeral sketch to end the episode. And the genius “Darrell’s House”, from Zach Galifiniakis’ episode, was only apparent after the edited version of the initial sketch appeared nearly thirty minutes later. This isn’t something that “SNL” can do all the time, nor should it. But it’s a fantastic reward for those that watch live, both in creating an in-show payoff as well as training audience members to be more attuned to each segment. After all, who knows if it will have impact later on?