Tim Robinson ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketches, Ranked
Some of the best comedy sketches in recent memory are ideas that Saturday Night Live looked at and went, “Nah, thanks.” I Think You Should Leave’s Tim Robinson was an SNL cast member for exactly one season before they shuffled him off-camera into the writers’ room — and, eventually, into the street. While many of the SNL sketches he participated in are pretty terrible, others actually show us glimmers of the bizarre and awkward greatness that awaited him. So we’ve decided to rank them by their overall I Think You Should Leave-ness...
Included because of Robinson’s brief but sketch-defining performance as the affable Carl, a role he reprises in the “Barnes and Noble Firing” sequel (but not the “Best Buy Firing” one, so don’t bother watching it). Not many performers could steal a scene through some good-natured nods and two short phrases, but Robinson is one of them.
Again, Robinson’s contribution here is mostly just looking funny and delivering a few key phrases. Still, he completely nails it as an awkward, dinosaur-obsessed sixth grader who has somehow found himself on a date with a thirsty cougar (she’s a cougar from his perspective, anyway).
Real Estate Agents
This could have been an I Think You Should Leave sketch if: 1) It was shot like an actual commercial; and 2) it didn’t end just when it was getting to the good stuff. What type of wiener was Carm-Carm (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) going to draw on his dad’s face? Robinson’s solo show wouldn’t have denied us that important knowledge.
Speaking of wieners, Robinson does a splendid job as the Civil War soldier who invented the dick pic and unsuccessfully tried to get his fiancée (Jennifer Lawrence) to invent the female equivalent. This sketch also includes what has to be Robinson’s most dramatic death performance to date (“Whelp, this is my last breath…” *dies*).
Now we’re undeniably in I Think You Should Leave territory, as confirmed by the fact that someone actually does leave the sketch. The main difference is that, in Robinson’s show, the Kevin Hart character would have gone through the entire alphabet in even more annoying ways, possibly following the Z-shirt guy into other places as his frustration turns into existential despair. This is a reminder that Robinson isn’t always the insane person in his sketches; sometimes, he’s the straight guy who accuses someone else of being a sociopath with nothing behind their eyes.
What starts as a typically SNL-ish premise veers off-course with a meta-twist that foreshadows Robinson’s willingness to defy the rules of the sketch comedy format. You will never see that twist coming... unless you’ve already looked at the thumbnail up there.
This one manages to be the most Tim Robinson-esque sketch listed so far, even though Robinson doesn’t even appear in it. It’s got an absurd premise, a little weasely freak as the central character, and for once, it actually goes on for just long enough. This could easily be an I Think You Should Leave sketch as it is if it wasn’t for Jason Momoa as the pudgy grampa (something tells us he won’t be promoting Aquaman 2 by appearing in ITYSL Season Three).
Not only is this an early version of a couple of music-based sketches in I Think You Should Leave — it’s arguably the superior version of the idea and an all-time SNL classic. Now that’s what we call a slam dunk. NOTE: You will have those lyrics stuck in your head for at least six months after watching this. Apologies.
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