The Funniest 'SNL' Thanksgiving Sketches

Delivering Turkey Day laughs.


When you step back and realize that many of Saturday Night Live‘s best sketches were conceived, pitched, written, rewritten, produced, and aired in the frenzy of a week-long production, you… might start feeling a little exhausted. It’s no surprise that SNL takes a good, long break during the Thanksgiving holiday-the cast and crew earned it. But we’re thankful they still found time in their busy schedules to cook up sketches that capture the chaos, celebration, and familial angst of the holiday (which may be an ideal alternative in the heat of an SNL “on” week). In anticipation of the holiday, here are the best of SNL‘s Thanksgiving-themed sketches:

“Back Home Ballers”

Season 40, 2014
Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata, Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones, Aidy Bryant, and guest Cameron Diaz all appear in this rap video about how sweet life is at your parents’ house, where you don’t have to care about a damn thing.

“Thanksgiving Song Auditions”

Season 22, 1996
Once upon a time, SNL did weird audition sketches that did not involve celebrity impressions or goofball takes on classic characters. In this bit, the National Endowment for the Arts wants to fill a void in the cultural world by commissioning a Thanksgiving song. The cast parades through the audition process with an array of bizarre caricatures.

“Thanksgiving Dinner”

Season 5, 1979
Four angsty thirty-somethings (Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, and Paul Shaffer) return home for Thanksgiving dinner only to find themselves seated at the basement kids’ table. Like the ’70s version of “Back Home Ballers,” they immediately devolve into their childhood selves.

“Thanksgiving Foods”

Season 42, 2016
In 2013, Edward Norton did a version of this sketch for Halloween candy. It was extremely weird. Wiig one-ups him with her take on Thanksgiving delicacies, which comes off a little like The Silence of the Lambs.

“Deep Thoughts: Thanksgiving Advice”

Season 17, 1992
If you hate Thanksgiving food, writer Jack Handey has a psychopathic alternative for you.

“Guy Fieri on Thanksgiving”

Season 36, 2010
We’re fans of the larger-than-life Guy Fieri and his unabashed devotion to Donkey Sauce. But Bobby Moynihan’s impression of the guy (which Fieri has acknowledged he loves) is a ridiculous joy that’s never been better than in this Weekend Update segment. Only one man can teach you how to stuff a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey inside a rabbit inside a pig inside of a baby cow inside of a big cow inside of a horse inside of a Cornish game hen.

“Crystal Gravy”

Season 19, 1993
The 1990s “Clear Craze” demanded full transparency in items like watches, TVs, Game Boys, and even Pepsi. SNL lampooned it all in a commercial for the most disgusting food to follow the trend.

“Vincent Price’s Thanksgiving Special”

Season 31, 2005
Bill Hader’s Vincent Price is one of those rare, esoteric SNL impression that clicks and clicks and clicks again. Less horror spoof than a love letter to the nadirs of golden-age Hollywood careers, this “Thanksgiving Special” is top-tier thanks to appearances by Ricky Ricardo (Fred Armisen) and Lucille Ball (Eva Longoria).

“The Californians: Thanksgiving”

Season 38, 2012
There’s no hinting at the totally tubular joys within this sketch, bro. You have to hear the gnarly jokes and hip Cali accents for yourself, bro. Thanksgiving with the Californians is for real better than driving down the 405, bro.

“Nikey Turkey”

Season 16, 1990
This is a one-joke sketch and it’s an amazing one-joke sketch. Do you remember Reebok Pump, the shoe you “pumped” up to cushion around your ankles? Now it comes in turkey form-complete with ’90s hip-hop rap.

Debbie Downer: Thanksgiving Dinner

Season 30, 2004
“Boy the traffic was a disaster coming up!” “Nothing compared to the disaster the Chinese are going through. They’re still digging out from typhoon season, just in time for the bird flu to take even more lives.” You know, we’d still take Debbie Downer at the Thanksgiving dinner over Loud Political Uncle.

A Thanksgiving Miracle

Season 41, 2015
Think back to 2015, what a time that was. A time when everyone could be united by the release of a new Adele record. Basically, this sketch consists of the cast lip syncing to “Hello,” but really that’s all you need. Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Matt Patches is the Executive Entertainment Editor of Thrillist. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, and Vulture. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.


Our Best Stories, Delivered Daily
The best decision you'll make all day.