The 10 Best ‘SNL’ Skits of 2012

Well, another year of SNL s come and gone. Unlike any other show on television, the skits of SNLhave the potential to sneak into the cultural consciousness on their own terms, becoming much more relevant than the show itself — and sometimes more relevant than whatever they’re mocking. So what were the best skits of the year? From where we’re standing, the earlier half of 2012 was much stronger, bringing us a couple of our new all-time favorites, and the hilarity trailed off a little, but maybe it’s just that the new goodies haven’t had time to sink in yet. Either way, after the jump, watch our picks for the ten best skits from this year on Saturday Night Live.

(better quality video available at source)

5. Downton Abbey on Spike TV
Air date: February 4
Host: Channing Tatum

We’ve never heard a more succinct and hilarious sum-up of our favorite show. “Like eavesdropping? Then this show is for you. Anytime anyone says anything, a third person hears it from a doorway… Watch what you say, because the Dowager is listening.”

4. Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel
Air date: February 11
Host: Zooey Deschanel

It’s always a mixed bag when the show tries to make fun of the host, but this time, they hit it out of the park. Sure, Zooey Deschanel is an easy mark, but still — Abby Elliott’s impression of her was only the first treat. Deschanel herself pulled off a hilarious Mary Kate Olsen and Taran Killam’s Michael Cera had us sniggering into our hot chocolates. There are pointless musical interludes, wide-eye-offs, and knitting (Björk’s octopus sweater has an extra hole for its dreams and ideas). Adorkabl and ildly scathing. What else could you ask for?

3. Bronx Beat
Air date: February 18
Host: Maya Rudolph

Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph fast-talk riffing as disgruntled Bronx housewives? It doesn’t get much better than that. Until Andy Samberg and a large foreheaded Justin Timberlake arrive for a sexual harassment-off.

2. Lincoln
Air date: November 3
Host: Louie C.K.

Not only was this clip, a parody o Louie f it was about Abraham Lincoln, hilarious and topical — it was also smart. This is wha SN should be doing all the time: playing to their hosts’ strengths rather than burying them in makeup and hoping for the best.

1. Maya Angelou's Prank Show

Air date: February 18
Host: Maya Rudolph

This is the only sketch that we’ve gone back to over and over again since its airing. Rudolph’s impression is incredible, and this is probably the bes SNL remise we saw all year. Then again, it’s the literary editor judging this.

Skits 6-10 featuring Lindsay Lohan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Renner at Source.

ONTD, what's your favorite comedy skits from this year?