Eight SNL Halloween sketches to watch to kick off the Spooky Season

Halloween is almost here. These eight SNL sketches are great for getting into the full swing of spooky season.

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"Saturday Night Live" is known for its iconic sketches and special guest stars that have created comedic gold since 1975.

This list compiles eight Halloween sketches to delve into all the holiday has to offer.

The Merryville Brothers: Haunted Castle (2012)

Bruno Mars, Taran Killam, Bill Hader, and Tom Hanks star as creepy animatronics at an amusement park. After one of the patrons starts throwing popcorn at them, the animatronics start behaving strangely. Every time the ride’s jingle plays, the animatronics’ creep eerily closer with weapons. The sketch is priceless because of the actors' elevated energy and creepiness. A highlight is Hader making a chainsaw roar to life by vibrating his body. The silliness and star power lands the sketch on this list.

Chad Horror Movie (2019)

Pete Davidson steps into his recurring role as Chad. Chad reenacts a phone call from “Scream” with John Mulaney as the stalking killer. The way Chad responds to common horror movie tropes is hilarious through his brutal honesty and moronic nature. Mulaney’s portrayal of the passionate murderer combined with Chad’s reactions makes the sketch engaging. This sketch is a great watch for Halloween binge-watching because of its similarity to "Scream" and the use of cliche horror tropes.

Walking Dead Chappelle’s Show (2016)

Dave Chappelle revives beloved characters from "Chappelle's Show” to be killed off by Negan (also played by Chappelle) in a reimagining of a scene from "The Walking Dead" series. Chappelle is no stranger to inciting controversy with his comedy and his representation of controversial characters — like a blind white supremacist who is actually Black. Every character is unique and there is a genuine mystery behind who will be the one to go.

Vincent Price’s Halloween Special II with John F. Kennedy (Jon Hamm)(2010)

Hader reprises his role as the old-horror film star, Vincent Price, in this spooky Halloween special. The sketch is a great fit with its creepy, vintage style. Judy Garland (Kristen Wiig), Liberace (Fred Armisen), and John F. Kennedy (Jon Hamm) guest star. Price struggles with keeping the group show appropriate. Each star dabbles in their share of inappropriate behavior, like popping pills or making perverted comments according to each stars’ lives. Their antics never fail to draw a smile at the very least.

Walking Dead: Black or Zombie? (2013)

Rick Grimes (Taran Killam) and the rest of "The Walking Dead" gang come across a Black man named Lyle (Kevin Hart) who is interested in joining the team. After a zombie bites Lyle, he is accepted into the group. Lyle starts acting zombie-like and he is faced with the challenge of convincing the gang that he is acting strange because he is Black, not a zombie. He uses the gang’s fear of being perceived as racist to his advantage to keep them from killing him. The way that the SNL cast jumps to defend themselves after Hart’s character says something absurd — such as his foot fell off because of diabetes — transforms the sketch into gold.

Matt Foley: A Scary Story on Halloween (1993)

Rebel teens are taught a lesson when Matt Foley (Chris Farley), a motivational speaker, visits their home during Halloween. The late and great Chris Farley stars in this sketch alongside the 90’s heartthrob, Christian Slater. Foley lectures the teens about their Halloween shenanigans and tells them the horrifying tale of how he ended up “in a van down by the river!” The comedic presence and absurdity of the motivational speaker’s action highlight Farley’s talent. Slater’s embodiment of a rebellious teen is a perfect match for Foley’s loud, yet nervous nature.

Exorcist II ft. Richard Pryor (1975)

Two priests visit the home of a possessed little girl to save her from the clutches of the devil. Richard Pryor, an amateur exorcist, struggles with the obstacles that come with exorcising spirits: beds slamming on feet, personality switches, and hot pea soup being thrown in your face. The brave amateur keeps his faith strong and head held high, but the line is crossed for Pryor when the little girl insults his mother. This sketch is perfect for getting in the Halloween mood because it is an amusing parody of “The Exorcist.”

Ghost Chasers (2014)

In this sketch, a skeptic (Leslie Jones) teams up with a group of paranormal investigators to determine if a haunted mansion is truly haunted. The combination of the two seems average for a ghost reality show. Yet, what happens when the skeptic becomes afraid? Jones plays her role as the skeptic-turned-believer well. Jones’ clear fear present throughout the sketch is hilarious. Her lamenting and the way she switches up her stance after a minute naturally inspire laughter. The relatability of exposed, coward-like behavior makes the sketch a great watch during the spooky season.

SNL has a wide range of Halloween sketches to select — from creepy ride animatronics to the supposedly brave, skeptic-adorning fake bravery. Halloween is the season to get silly and to enjoy yourselves with all of the spookiness it has to offer. These sketches are perfect for that.

Edited by George Frey | gfrey@themaneater.com

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