Seth Meyers Says Every 'SNL' Episode Ever Has Had Bad Sketches — Except One

Maya Rudolph hosted the only perfect episode of Meyers's 12-year tenure

Photo: Mary Ellen Matthews / NBC

BY Alex HudsonPublished Apr 10, 2024

Everybody loves to complain that Saturday Night Live isn't as funny as it used to be, but, according to former cast member and head writer Seth Meyers, the show has always contained a mix of great sketches and total duds. While fans remember the great sketches, every single episode of the show has had bad sketches — except for one.

Appearing on the podcast Mike Birbiglia's Working It Out late last month (March 25), Meyers argued that the quality of SNL hasn't changed much over the years.

"Ultimately, three great sketches makes a great show," Meyers said. "That's enough. I was there for 12 and a half years, and [if] you said, 'What was the show that had nothing bad?' I think the first time Maya Rudolph came back and hosted, there wasn't anything bad in the show. But that also is built off the back of her being one of the most enduring, multifaceted SNL cast members of all time, so it certainly helped. But every show's got a stinker." The Rudolph-hosted episode in question was on February 18, 2012.

He went on to say that the show's short turnaround time, where each episode is written, rehearsed and filmed within a week, is the reason for its inconsistent quality.

"The Wire would not be as good of a show if they had a week to write each episode," he argued. "The shows we all go back and we binge over and over again, they took the right amount of time. And so SNL, the reason the most brilliant things come out of it is also because there was no time to say, 'Maybe this is a bad idea.' So it works, as an alchemy. There's a reason that individual sketches live on for years and years and years, more than individual episodes." 

At least a few of those terrible sketches doubtless featured cast members doing bad Will Ferrell impressions.

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