The new season of “Saturday Night Live” is beginning to take shape and two favorites from the show’s man cast will not be returning in the fall. Both Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah have brought some hilarity to the sketch comedy show — both, succeeded very well with their celebrity impersonations.
Now, as “SNL” heads into another election season, it looks like Pharoah’s take on Barack Obama will no longer be necessary. And while Killam previously performed as Donald Trump on the series, it’s possible Darrell Hammond may step in front of the camera yet again as the GOP nominee.
Instead of asking why these two were dropped from Season 42, Zap2it takes a look back at some of their best contributions to NBC’s long-running comedy series.
This musical sketch came right at the height of “SNL’s” diversity issue. Explaining Black History Month is one thing, but making slavery something to laugh at is a challenge. Thankfully, this sketch brought the right tone and humor and met that challenge head-on.
Parodies on ‘Jeopardy’ has been a staple on the series for decades now and while Will Farrell isn’t here to perform his highly inaccurate Alex Trebek impression, Pharoah’s Amir and Sashia Zamata’s Keeley play wonderfully off of Louis C.K’s Mark.
‘What Does My Girl Say?’
In response to the brief — yet still awful — pop culture phenomenon, Pharoah turns the “What Does the Fox Say?” song into something funny and relatable.
‘Young Ben Carson’
Yes, Pharoah has done his fair share of Barack Obama sketches for “SNL,” but his Ben Carson is way more nuanced. In fact, we believe this take on the doctor’s younger days more than what Mr. Carson has had to say of his past.
‘Celebs Visit Jay-Z and Beyonce’
Not only is Pharoah’s Jay-Z impersonation uncanny, this sketch also features hilarious appearances by Prince (Fred Armisen) and Taylor Swift (Kate McKinnon). Oh, Taran Killam stops by for a brief visit as Brad Pitt reminding everyone that Brad Pitt is crazy.
’50 Shades of Grey Auditions’
That one time Christoph Waltz showed up to the “50 Shades of Grey” auditions and made everything super weird …
This sketch is a prime example of what encapsulated Taran Killam’s presence on “SNL.” Love him or hate him, you’ve probably used the word “Glice” in your life at one point since watching him manhandle Justin Bieber. Just admit it.
‘Matthew McConaughey on His Career’
There are celebrity impressions and then there is character work. Killam really dug deep and found what makes Matthew McConaughey tick. It’s almost as if he transforms into the Oscar-winning actor. Just close your eyes and listen.
What started as a one-off sketch in response to an actual news item, turned into a very popular character for Killam. Atkinson’s takedowns of Abraham Lincoln were so funny, Killam brought the character back five more times to present his old-timey criticisms to the “SNL” crowd.