We all love Amy Schumer, everyone knows how brilliant Key & Peele are, and you’ve watched Will Ferrell’s classic SNL 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.
When we started the Sketchy MVP column, we made it a rule to not feature current cast members of Saturday Night Live. Well, the bad news is that Taran Killam was one of the big names that got the boot from Lorne Michaels earlier this month. The good news? That means we can feature him as a Sketchy MVP!
And without a doubt, Killam deserves being named a Sketchy MVP, having been the only actor to appear on SNL, MadTV, The Amanda Show, and Wild ‘n Out as a cast member. Since joining SNL in 2010, Killam showed how diverse of an actor he could be, easily going back and forth between outlandish, bizarre characters to dialed down straight men of sketches. So basically, like Will Ferrell and Phil Hartman before him, he was the ultimate team player willing to do anything for the scene.
While we already miss his presence on SNL (and the season hasn’t even started), it won’t be much longer till we see Killam again. Not only does he have films like Brother Nature and The Rundaround coming up, but he’s also co-starring, producing, and directing a film he wrote called Why We’re Killing Gunther, starring some up and coming Austrian actor named Arnold Schwarzenegger. And as if that wasn’t enough, he’s also working on a pilot with Showtime.
But for now, relive a few of our favorite moments from Killam.
It’s hard to explain what makes Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish so hysterical… but we bet you’ll suddenly find yourself doing the Sloppy Swish after watching this again, we know we are.
Playing a brother simply overcompensating for his lack of… well everything, this is a great example of Killam’s ability to go over the top.
“The Merryville Brothers: Love Tunnel”
Killam may not say a word as an animatronic barbershop singer in an amusement ride that goes wary. But he doesn’t have to, as his expressions and movements are eerily perfect.
“A Drink at the White House”
This political sketch is made all the better when Killam, as an under the influenced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, blurts out loud what most old school Republicans have likely wanted to say during President Obama’s time in office. It turns what otherwise is an awkward moment into something simply funny.
Ah, Jebadiah Atkinson… possibly Killam’s most well-known recurring character. Initially starting off as simply the writer who gave Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address a bad review, what made Jebadiah Atkinson’s reviews on Weekend Update so beloved was that as harsh as they were, they were often dead on as well. Anyways… NEEEEXXXT!
Bonus – Daniel Craig Promo
Alright, so this isn’t an actual sketch, but part of what made watching Killam in promos with hosts so enjoyable was that you could tell he was truly having fun and was up to do anything. Case in point: the promo above with Daniel Craig (side note: Killam is a big fan of the James Bond films, ultimately inspiring his comic miniseries The Illegitimates).
Bonus – Call Your Girlfriend Reenactment
Ok, so this ALSO isn’t an actual sketch, but watching Killam reenact the video to Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” while in the SNL offices to the joy of his fellow cast members was one of the first things that made us fall deeply in love with Killam.