The Best Saturday Night Live Sketches of the 80s

The best 'Saturday Night Live' sketches of the 80s featured some of the funniest and most memorable characters ever created for the show. At the center of it all: Eddie Murphy (at least for several years). Murphy's funniest characters included Buckwheat, Gumby and Mr. Robinson (from the parody 'Mister Robinson's Neighborhood'). Martin Short's Ed Grimley, a character he originally portrayed on 'SCTV,' is another phenomenal sketch worth noting. Other great 'SNL' 1980s sketches include Jon Lovitz's "Master Thespian," "Fernando's Hideaway" featuring Billy Crystal ("You look mahvelous!") and of course "Pumping Up with Hans & Franz," starring Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey, some of SNL's best cast members.

List of SNL sketches from the 80s includes some real gems like 'SNL' fan favorites "Jackie Rogers, Jr.'s $100,000 Jackpot Wad" and Phil Hartman's hilarious "Anal Retentive Chef." If you haven't seen this one in forever, now's the time to watch. This list is vote ranked, which means you get to vote for your personal favorite 'Saturday Night Live' sketches from the 1980s (and vote down the skits you didn't like).

What are the best SNL skits from the 1980s? This funniest 'Saturday Night Live' sketches from the 80s list includes all your favorites (including the ones you might have forgotten about). Enjoy!
Ranked by
  • Mister Robinson's Neighborhood

    Mister Robinson's Neighborhood

    399 votes

    Season 7, Episode 3

    'Mister Robinson's Neighborhood' first debuted in October of 1981. In this hilarious parody sketch of PBS's 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' Eddie Murphy invites us into his dysfunctional home, where his wife has just left him ("I'm so glad that b*tch is gone!") and entertains visitors ("Who is it?!"), including a landlord who gives him an eviction notice. The word for today, kids, is "scum bucket."

  • Buh Weet Sings

    Buh Weet Sings

    333 votes

    Season 7, Episode 2

    Eddie Murphy's portrayal of an adult Buckwheat (from 'The Little Rascals') made for some of the best SNL sketches of the early-1980s. The first Buckwheat skit debuted on October 10, 1981. The commercial parody for the 'Buh Weet Sings' album featured such songs as "Wookin' Pa Nub" and "Fee Times a Mady."

  • Buckwheat Buys the Farm

    Buckwheat Buys the Farm

    247 votes

    Season 8, Episode 15

    Ted Koppel opens this sketch, informing everyone that "Buckwheat has been shot" as he was leaving 30 Rock after an appearance on SNL. Video of the shooting is shown repeatedly, and friends of Buckwheat, including Alfalfa, are shown commenting on the tragedy (after watching the video, again and again). Ted Koppel's crew then takes the camera into Buckwheat's operating room, to show his surgeon the video too.

    It gets worse: Don't think I'm spoiling anything here by telling you that poor Buckwheat doesn't make it. Who killed him? Koppel's on the case. After a moving tribute to Buckwheat of course.

  • James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party

    James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party

    248 votes

    Season 9, Episode 4

    The James Brown Hot Tub sketch gets better with age. Yes, it was funny when it first aired during SNL's ninth season, but it's still very, very funny now. Classic Murphy humor.

  • Gumby


    233 votes

    Season 10, Episode 9

    If anyone could take a sweet, adorable children's character and turn it into a monstrous, generally mean-spirited one, it was Eddie Murphy - and Gumby is it! This particular skit, entitled 'Broadway Gumby Rose,' originally aired on December 15, 1984.

  • Pumping Up with Hans & Franz

    Pumping Up with Hans & Franz

    255 votes

    Season 13, Episode 1

    Who could forget Hans & Franz? Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon's first 'Pumping Up with Hans & Franz' first debuted during 'Saturday Night Live's' 13th season in October of 1987. Hans & Franz' Austrian jocks hope to follow in the footsteps of their famous cousin, bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, with their own training program. Unfortunately, no one can live up to their strength. Ever.