We all love Amy Schumer, everyone knows how brilliant Key & Peele are, and you’ve watched Will Ferrell’s classic Saturday Night Live sketches countless of times. But in this weekly column Sketchy MVPs, The Laugh Button shines a light on comedians from our favorites shows and troupes who don’t often get rightful credit for their contributions to sketch comedy.
It’s been about a week since Bobby Moynihan’s departure from Saturday Night Live was made official…and we’re still a little emotional over it (and don’t even get us started about Vanessa Bayer…we’ll rave about her in her own Sketchy MVP tribute soon).
Part of why we’re so verklempt is because for nine seasons, Moynihan was able to make even the most mediocre premises into something special, whether through ace delivery of any given punch line or a simple look he’d throw at the camera. What possibly made him such a beloved staple of the show, though, was his obvious joy of simply being on SNL. Whether he was appearing in a sketch as the main character or was literally on the screen for just a few seconds with no lines, you could tell that Moynihan was giving it his all and was having a blast while doing it.
So while we’re still coming to terms of SNL moving forward without him, we took a look back at a few of our favorite moments from Moynihan’s time on the show…but first, a disclaimer:
Because it was hard to limit the amount of sketches to highlight, we decided not to include any of Moynihan’s classic Weekend Update bits. That means no Drunk Uncle, Riblet, Anthony Crispino or even Snookie…trust us, it was a hard decision to make given how much great content he produced on Weekend Update alone. However, we wanted to make sure we had a chance to recognize Moynihan’s work in actual sketches, so sacrifices must be made.
Anyways, check out a few of our favorite moments from Moynihan’s time on Saturday Night Live.
WWE Promo Shoot
It was great to see Moynihan and Dwayne Johnson bring this sketch back during this season’s finale (especially during Moynihan’s final episode). But while Johnson’s Koko WatchOut might get the biggest laughs for getting a little too personal with his trash-talk during a WWE promo, it’s the stunned reactions from Moynihan’s Trashyard Mutt that add even more layers to this premise.
Moynihan’s most famous political impersonation is hands down Governor Chris Christie, yet his take on the late Mayor of Toronto is too often overlooked. Granted, Rob Ford’s craziness and public antics pretty much wrote themselves. Yet Moynihan gave a performance reminiscent to the likes of Chris Farley, displaying physicality while maintaining his own unique style of delivery.
Thrilla Killa Klownz’ “Magical Mysteries”
After popping up in numerous Under-Underground festival commercial parodies, we finally get to hear Ass Dan rap about the magical mysteries of the world … like, where does the sun hide at night? And why are pants different than shirts? This music video parody is even funnier, though, once you see the actual Insane Clown Posse video it’s parodying.
12 Years a Slave Auditions
It’s not hard to believe that casting the Southern slave owners in 12 Years A Slave was probably awkward in real life. But would anyone be surprised if there was one guy who was a little too comfortable while auditioning? As an added bonus, watch some bonus footage of Moynihan’s “Terry the Janitor” showing how comfortable he is with playing the role (watching everyone crack up at the end is priceless).
Barnes And Noble Firing
Moynihan and Cecily Strong’s characters Niff and Dana are essentially who everyone wishes they had the balls to be if they were in the midst of being fired from their job … unfortunately for Niff and Dana, they don’t actually get fired (reminding us why we should never strive to be like Niff and Dana in real life).
A Sexy Valentine’s Day Message from Justin Bieber
Moynihan would often be SNL’s go to cast member to play bizarre characters who didn’t have to say much to prove they were crazy. Case in point: meet Justin Bieber’s friend, Taco.
At the time this aired, Burger King was touting a commercial where people (“Whopper Virgins,” they were called) were seen enjoying their very first whopper burger. In this commercial parody, SNL envisions how people from Romania (who’ve definitely never had a whopper) would react in a similar scenario. Simply put, there’s something magical about watching Moynihan joyfully attempt to where a burger on his head like a hat.
I Didn’t Ask for This
A sketch where you get to see Moynihan punch a computer screen AND laugh at Jon Hamm’s expense…what more could you ask for?
The Lost Ending to “Of Mice And Men”
One of Moynihan’s first sketches, this retelling of the John Steinbeck novella asks the question “What would happen if Lenny suddenly realized what was actually going on?” Side note: Moynihan proves he’d be great as Lenny in an actual Of Mice and Men stage production.
Seeing Moynihan switch back and forth between enthusiastic and grumpy morning newscaster perfectly captures how great of a comedic performer he is. Hearing him say “And I’m BF” after announcing ridiculous “top news” stories is just icing on the cake.
One Magical Night
This often forgotten sketch’s premise is simple: two lonely souls meet at a piano bar, and discover they both have everything in common (literally everything). It’s simply a delight to see Moynihan and Katy Perry play off of each other, creating genuinely sweet moments (despite it’s sad ending…hey, at least Bobby got to kiss the girl!).
American Ninja Warrior
And now here’s video of Moynihan essentially displaying how the average person would actually fair on American Ninja Warrior. It’s another example of Moynihan’s ability to deliver physical comedy without sacrificing his own unique charm.