Review: Saturday Night Live’s Halloween Special

By Analeigh Hughes

Instead of airing a live show this week, Saturday Night Live decided to air a Halloween special. The episode, which strayed from the show’s typical format, did not have a host, a musical guest or even the typical opening credits. Instead, it was a compilation of Halloween-themed sketches performed over the past 10 years.

The episode opened with “Clinton Halloween Party.” The sketch, which originally aired in 2007, featured Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton and a surprise cameo from Barack Obama. Obama and Poehler nail the frenemy relationship he was reported to have with the Clintons at the time. With Obama announcing “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night,” the episode kicked off on an upbeat, nostalgic note.

“Walking Dead Chappelle’s Show” originally aired in November of 2016. In the sketch, “The Walking Dead” villain Negan (Dave Chappelle) is deciding which character from the “Chappelle’s Show” (all played by Chappelle) to kill off. The sketch can be confusing to follow if you are not familiar with either of the shows. At the end, the severed head of Negan’s victim delivers a speech about unifying our country in the wake of the impending Trump presidency. Chappelle was able to perfectly balance humor and current events to share an important message. In the wake of what is happening today, this message needed to be shared again, so this sketch was a perfect addition to the special.

The “Kellywise” skit from the Oct. 14 episode was also included. This satirical take on the horror movie “It” features Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon) as Kellywise trying to lure Anderson Cooper (Alex Moffat) into a storm drain because he doesn’t want to interview her on his show. The sketch has received a lot of positive reviews and has over seven million views on YouTube. While there is no doubt this sketch will become one of the classics, it seemed premature to air it in a “best of … ” compilation two weeks after it originally premiered.  

“Firelight”, a parody of “Twilight” that aired in 2009, featured Taylor Swift as a Bella Swan-type girl who falls in love with a Frankenstein monster. Swift’s impression of Kristen Stewart’s “Twilight” character was extremely accurate. Out of all the sketches that originally aired more than two years ago, this one had the most recognizable references for college students, and anyone who experienced Twilight-fever in the late 2000’s will appreciate it.

In place of a current “Weekend Update,” they chose to replay a segment from 2012, where host Seth Meyers talks with Stefon (Bill Hader) about how to celebrate Halloween. Hader breaks character on multiple occasions while describing strange night clubs to celebrate Halloween at. Many times, the references to current events make SNL sketches so great. However, “Stefon’s Halloween Clubs,” which doesn’t have any current events references, proves timeless sketches can be just as funny.

The episode ended with a 2008 sketch called “Jeff Montgomery: Trick-or-Treating Sex Offender.” Jeff Montgomery (Will Forte) uses Halloween as the perfect way to fulfill his legal obligation of informing everyone in his new neighborhood that he is a sex offender. The sketch was light and funny, and did a great job of ending the episode on a high note.

Overall, the special was very enjoyable. The producers picked a good mix of sketches from the past 10 years that either bring you right back to the time when the sketch first aired or are timelessly funny. If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit but scary movies aren’t your thing, “SNL Presents: Halloween” is the perfect way to do so.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Saturday Night Live’s Facebook page.

Analeigh Hughes is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at

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