14 ‘SNL’ Classic Sketches That Would Be Cut in 2024

They can’t all be winners
14 ‘SNL’ Classic Sketches That Would Be Cut in 2024

To stick around nearly 50 years, SNL has had to change and adapt with the times. It has adapted too slowly for some, and changed too quickly for others, but there’s no denying the show is wildly different from its first inauspicious episode. Here are a few sketches that would’ve likely wound up on the cutting room floor had they been pitched today…

John Belushi’s Samurai

It’s hard to see a character whose whole thing is speaking vaguely Japanese-sounding gibberish and violently wrecking up the joint hitting the airwaves today.

Canteen Boy Meets Alec Baldwin

This Adam Sandler recurring character is kind of a proto-Waterboy manchild who dresses in a scout uniform and misunderstands social cues. One episode was scrubbed in which Alec Baldwin plays a scoutmaster who makes sexual advances on Canteen Boy. Defenders of the sketch explain that Canteen Boy is actually a legal adult, and that no sex act occurred between the two, which is already an uphill battle.

Jimmy Fallon as Chris Rock

Fallon did an impression of Chris Rock in full blackface. Fallon, for his part, has apologized, saying, “There is no excuse for this. I am very sorry for making this unquestionably offensive decision, and thank all of you for holding me accountable.” Meanwhile, Rock said it’s simply “bad comedy,” and that Fallon “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”


A recurring character who’s funny simply because their gender is ambiguous would alienate much of the show’s LGBTQ+ fanbase today.

Dana Carvey as Ching Chang

MadTV catches a lot of flack for Ms. Swan, but SNL had its own cartoonish Asian-American stereotype played by a white actor — and one who went on to stardom with relatively little backlash. 

Jimmy Fallon as Scrooge

Damon Wayans was fired for making a police character needlessly gay, back in 1986. Now, sure, he went off script to do it, but in some ways, it’s worse that Fallon’s lisping, lilting gay stereotype was carefully choreographed 27 years later.

Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase’s Word Association Game

A job interview devolves into a shouting match of increasingly incendiary racial slurs, culminating in the big punchline: Chevy Chase confidently articulating the n-word. Needlessly offensive, sure, but at this point, Chase being racist contains absolutely no element of surprise.

7/num]Buck Henry as Uncle Roy

Roy was a creepy uncle who should never have been left alone to babysit his nieces. Henry has said that he added a button in hopes of shining a light on a pervasive problem — the girls’ parents say, “Roy, there’s no one like you,” to which Roy responds “Oh, I’m sure there’s an Uncle Roy in every family.” However well-intentioned, that’s a level of nuance that wouldn’t outweigh the bad vibes conjured over the course of the sketch today.

‘The History of Vaudeville’

Norm Macdonald introduces two fictional Vaudeville stars, saying, “Remember, they were the first to do the ethnic stuff.” Nathan Lane and Chris Kattan start out by lampooning Italians, and get even more “ethnic” from there. They make a point not to do blackface, but the dialogue is about as offensive as you can get. 

Marrying ‘Half a Woman’

A husband finds out that his wife has breast cancer and requires a partial mastectomy. They then explore the psychological trauma a man suffers when his wife has fewer boobies than he was promised.

Wayne and Garth Get a Little Personal with a President’s Child

In an episode of “Wayne’s World,” Wayne says “adolescence has been thus far unkind” to a 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton, but that she’s “going to be a future fox.” That part is conspicuously missing from YouTube and from future airings and releases.

Some of Stefon’s Lines

We love Bill Hader. We love Stefon. We can’t imagine the word “midget” would make it to the final draft quite as often in 2024. 

‘Dick in a Box’

This episode reportedly got more viewer complaints than almost any other in the show’s history. It was one of the most viral sketches of all time, and frankly, not that offensive by most metrics. Even still, it’s evidently not worth the headache, as the sketch wasn’t reprised when Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake were on the show recently.

Martin Lawrence’s Monologue

About four minutes in, Lawrence goes on a rant about women’s hygiene, eliciting audible discomfort from the crowd. In reruns, that part is replaced with a voiceover saying that Lawrence almost cost everyone on the show their jobs.

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