Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 2010–2011
- 1 The Miley Cyrus Show
- 2 Les Jeunes de Paris
- 3 "Sex" Ed Vincent
- 4 Laura Parsons
- 5 The Essentials with Robert Osborne
- 6 Visiting the Queen
- 7 Herb Welch
- 8 Julian Assange
- 9 Principal Daniel Frye
- 10 What's That Name?
- 11 Merryville Carnival Ride
- 12 Triangle Sally
- 13 Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy
- 14 The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy
- 15 Get in the Cage!
- 16 The Best of Both Worlds
- 17 Bongo's Clown Room
- 18 Dictator's Two Best Friends From Growing Up
- 19 References
The Miley Cyrus Show
Vanessa Bayer plays teen Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus as the exuberant host of her own talk show. (Theme song: "I've got guests, and a show, and I'm ready to go! So I guess that's pretty cool! It's pretty cool!") Bryan Cranston played her father and house band leader Billy Ray Cyrus in the sketch's debut; he was replaced by Jason Sudeikis in later installments.
Bayer performed her impression of Cyrus during her auditions for SNL. She said in a 2011 interview that when fans recognize her, Cyrus is the character they most often mention.
Cyrus asking her guests extremely long, compounded questions is a recurring element of the sketch. (For example, to Katie Holmes (Anne Hathaway): "Like, how did you transition into doing more adult roles, and, like, what's the sexiest role you've ever done, and, like, how many boys have you kissed on screen, and, like, who's your best friend, and, like, who's Tom Cruise's best friend, and why does your baby wear high heels, and what does Jesus think of Scientology?") According to Bayer, the questions tend to change throughout the process from writing through rehearsal to the live performance. "That run is one of those things that is always changing up until the show. We'll take out one of the questions that didn't get a laugh and put a new one in."
Bayer and Cyrus first met in person when Cyrus hosted the March 5, 2011, episode of SNL. Cyrus described their meeting:
I said, "You play me on TV!" And she said, "Yeah, I do." And I was like, "Oh, well that’s pretty cool." And she goes, "What?" And I was like, "Oh my God, I sound like you doing me!" 
|36||October 2, 2010||Bryan Cranston||Cranston appears as Billy Ray Cyrus. Paul Brittain appears as Johnny Depp. Miley shows a clip from her "really dramatic" movie, Goodbye, Jeff (featuring Andy Samberg).|
|36||November 20, 2010||Anne Hathaway||Hathaway appears as Katie Holmes. Miley announces she's sexy now, and shows her screen test to play Batman's girlfriend in the next Batman film (featuring Samberg).|
|36||December 18, 2010||Jeff Bridges||Bridges appears as Nick Nolte.|
|36||March 5, 2011||Miley Cyrus||The real Miley Cyrus appears as Justin Bieber. Miley shows a home video of herself as an "already super talented" infant.|
|37||December 3, 2011||Steve Buscemi||Buscemi appears as Jeff, whom Miley met at Burning Man. Maya Rudolph makes a cameo as Whitney Houston.|
|38||February 9, 2013||Justin Bieber||Justin Bieber plays the president of the Miley Cyrus fan club.|
Les Jeunes de Paris
A French TV series about angry teens who break into dance to express their emotions and act out melodramatic plotlines. Taran Killam stars as François.
Killam co-wrote the first version of the sketch while working with The Groundlings, after being inspired by the Camille song "Ta Douleur": "We just were looking for a reason to dance around, really...It’s sort of just our exaggerated portrayal of our American interpretation of French youth culture, inspired by the song." He credits Emma Stone's support for making the sketch Killam's first written work to be performed on SNL.
SNL writer Rob Klein helped Killam with the "structure" needed to make "Les Jeunes de Paris" a recurring sketch. Following its second appearance, Killam said:
The action of the sketch is whatever the tone of the song I chose inspires. "Tékitoi?" [the Rachid Taha song used in the second sketch] has got some of that combative energy because of the two voices going back and forth, so I wanted to involve some sort of love triangle in the plot. But it just becomes about how many times people can throw water in my face. It’s just really fun to do, to get as much of the cast involved to jump around and look like idiots.
|36||October 23, 2010||Emma Stone||"Ta Douleur" by Camille||François flirts with a French girl (Stone).|
|36||March 5, 2011||Miley Cyrus||"Tekitoi" by Rachid Taha||Two girls (Cyrus and Nasim Pedrad) fight over François' affections.|
|37||November 12, 2011||Emma Stone||"A cause des garçons" by Yelle||As François' lover Juliette (Stone) prepares to leave him, he convinces her, with a heartfelt dance, to reconsider; in the course of the dance, they are married (by Napoleon) and Juliette gives birth. The Tour de France and The Hunchback of Notre Dame also make appearances.|
|37||February 11, 2012||Zooey Deschanel||"Peppy and George" by The Brussels Philharmonic & The Orchestra of Flanders||François competes with Jean Dujardin for the love of a girl (Deschanel), in a black-and-white spoof of The Artist.|
|39||April 5, 2014||Anna Kendrick||"Louxor J'adore" by Katerine||François meets a new girl (Kendrick).|
"Sex" Ed Vincent
|36||October 23, 2010||Emma Stone|||
|37||December 3, 2011||Steve Buscemi|||
Vanessa Bayer plays impassioned child actress Laura Parsons, who may have more energy and volume than actual talent.
|36||November 13, 2010||Scarlett Johansson||Laura and rival actress Amanda Starr (Johansson) perform monologues from films such as Brokeback Mountain.|
|39||November 16, 2013||Lady Gaga||In a commercial for Spotlightz Camp for Serious Child Actors, Laura and other child actors perform scenes from Academy Award-winning films such as Forrest Gump.|
|39||March 1, 2014||Jim Parsons||In a commercial for Spotlightz!, Laura and other child actors perform scenes from 2014 Academy Award-nominated films such as Dallas Buyers Club.|
|41||November 21, 2015||Matthew McConaughey|
|41||January 16, 2016||Adam Driver|
|41||May 7, 2016||Brie Larson|
|42||October 16, 2016||Emily Blunt||Laura dishes on Donald Trump and Billy Bush's 2005 Access Hollywood backstage conversation.|
|42||March 4, 2017||Octavia Spencer|
The Essentials with Robert Osborne
|36||November 20, 2010||Anne Hathaway||Deleted scenes from The Wizard of Oz featuring a new character, The Weather Vane (Armisen). Hathaway appears as Dorothy Gale.|
|36||January 29, 2011||Jesse Eisenberg||Scenes from the blaxploitation horror film "The Bride of Blackenstein". Eisenberg appears as Igor. Musical guest Nicki Minaj appears as the titular Bride.|
|36||March 5, 2011||Miley Cyrus||Deleted scenes from The Sound of Music featuring an excised character played by Hispanic comedian Richie Inez Jr. (Fred Armisen). Cyrus appears as Liesl Von Trapp.|
|37||October 1, 2011||Melissa McCarthy||McCarthy appears in a series of clips as 1930s actress Lulu Diamonds, an extremely klutzy version of Mae West.|
|37||May 5, 2012||Eli Manning||Manning appears in a series of clips as Richard Armstrong, an uptight nerd starring alongside the titular heroes of the Cheech & Chong films.|
Visiting the Queen
|36||November 20, 2010||Anne Hathaway||Following the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton, the Queen and Prince threaten Kate (Hathaway) that she'd better follow their rules if she wants to be part of the royal family.|
|36||April 2, 2011||Elton John||The Queen and Prince pressure John (as himself) to play at William's upcoming wedding.|
|37||December 10, 2011||Katy Perry||The Queen and Prince harangue Kate (Abby Elliott) for not being pregnant yet, but they take a liking to her more reckless younger sister Pippa (Perry).|
Bill Hader plays an elderly, cantankerous news reporter who spews prejudice and insults while hitting his interview subjects in the face with his microphone. Nasim Pedrad and Jason Sudeikis play anchors Wanda Ramirez and Jack Rizzoli, while the episode's host appears as one of Welch's interviewees. Towards the end of each installment, Rizzoli announces to viewers that Welch has died; when they cut back to Welch, he's suddenly revived.
The Herb Welch character has been interpreted as a satirical take on former Good Day New York reporter Dick Oliver. However, Hader has said the character stemmed from a sketch with Emma Stone where he played a different reporter, Peter de Santos; during rehearsal, he "kept pretending to hit Kristen and Emma in the face with a microphone. And that's how we came up with Herb Welch. So we wrote Herb Welch into it the next week."
|36||November 20, 2010||Anne Hathaway|||
|36||January 29, 2011||Jesse Eisenberg|||
|36||May 21, 2011||Justin Timberlake|||
|37||November 12, 2011||Emma Stone|||
|37||May 5, 2012||Eli Manning|||
|40||October 11, 2014||Bill Hader|||
The Julian Assange sketches were written by Seth Meyers and Christine Nangle. Nangle said in an interview that the sketches "were super fun to work on, because we were allowed to play with it. Like, we would start other sketches and interrupt them with Julian Assange ... it was fun to mix up what the normal SNL way of doing things is."
|36||December 4, 2010||Robert De Niro||Assange hijacks an address by President Obama to present new, more sordid information leaked from the government, in the format of TMZ on TV.|
|36||December 11, 2010||Paul Rudd||The arrested Assange hijacks an announcement from MasterCard to make a series of threats about what will happen if he's not released from prison.|
|36||December 18, 2010||Jeff Bridges||Assange, now released, hijacks a message from Mark Zuckerberg to outline why Assange, and not Zuckerberg, deserved to be named Time Person of the Year.|
Principal Daniel Frye
Daniel Frye (Jay Pharoah) is the wheezing, frustrated, stuttering, fast-speaking high school principal of Booker T. Washington High School who makes announcements during school dances and events where he starts off his announcements by quoting "Attention teachers and students." The announcements would revolve around the various antics that are happening at the school dances and events. Principal Frye refers to the mischievous students as "Jive Time Turkeys" and also insert the words "our beloved" before the name of the staff member (with their occupation being said before the staff member's name) when talking about what had happened to them. Other character that appear in this sketch include the unnamed vice-principal (Vanessa Bayer) who opens up the dance and/or event announcements and the gym teacher Mr. Steve Kane (Kenan Thompson) who keeps the students in line when they start booing at the speaker (played by the Host).
|36||December 11, 2010||Paul Rudd||The math teacher Mr. Griggs (Paul Rudd) hosts Booker T. Washington High School's End of the Year Holiday Jam where the activities include dodgeball and pop-a-shot in the gymnasium, a holiday dance party in the library annex, and the appearance of the rapping rabbi Dr. Dreidel for those who celebrate Hannukah. The announcements from Principal Frye range from:
|37||April 14, 2012||Josh Brolin||Booker T. Washington High School has its Hunger Games-themed dance in the banquet hall of the Ramada Inn. There are announcements from Principal Frye ranging from:
Josh Brolin appears as Teacher Liaison to the Prom Committee Mr. Harold who ended up drinking the spiked punch and mentions his affair with a student named Sharika (played by Nasim Pedrad).
|38||October 13, 2012||Christina Applegate||Booker T. Washington High School has its Halloween party called the Hell-O-Ween Ball (the misspelling of Halloween on the banner was considered a bad start by the vice-principal) in the tent located in the Walmart parking lot to help promote "literacy." There are announcements from Principal Frye ranging from:
Christina Applegate appears as the school librarian Miss Schrader who is dressed as the Ghost from the Haunted Library (with the costume being mistaken as the KKK Fairy by some students and referred to by Mr. Kane as a slutty Jedi) and is accepting donations to the School Library.
|38||February 9, 2013||Justin Bieber||Booker T. Washington High School has its Valentine's Day dance revolving around abstinence in the gymnasium. There are announcements from Principal Frye ranging from:
Justin Bieber appears as a student named Bryce Dunham (who is the Head of the Social Committee) where he and his girlfriend Mary (played by Nasim Pedrad) had come up with the abstinence theme at the Dance Planning Meeting. While Bryce seems cheerfully committed to abstinence, Mary appears to be teetering on the brink of insanity from abstaining. Mr. Kane even mentions about a venereal disease back in his day during the 1970s called "Montezuma's Grenade" where "you have sex, you explode."
|39||November 2, 2013||Kerry Washington||Booker T. Washington High School hosts the town's Fall Carnival where the $400 that were raised will be split between the PTA and the winner of the Students' Choice Charity called "Bail for Chris Brown." There are announcements from Principal Frye ranging from:
Kerry Washington plays 1st Year Teacher Miss Terry who works as the carnival's dunk tank clown (though Mr. Kane claims that she was tricked into volunteering for the job) and has a hard time with the students that are angry at her for failing them in their mid-term exams and calling their parents.
|39||April 5, 2014||Anna Kendrick||Booker T. Washington High School goes on a field trip to the Norfolk Zoo after they sold a record number of candy bars which made this field trip possible where one student sold so many, it was suspicious. There are announcements from Principal Frye ranging from:
Anna Kendrick plays zookeeper Sarah Didrichsen who gives a presentation about the elephant that will be arriving at the zoo named "Ashy Larry" (a name chosen by one of the students after Booker T. Washing High School won the zoo's "Name an Animal" contest) and shows off the rescue iguana named Four Loko (who was named after the drink that it was fed) that was rescued from Booker T. Washington High School who had just gotten out of animal rehab. Then she gets infuriated with the students when Four Loko is stolen by one of them who has replaced Four Loko with a Shrek toy.
What's That Name?
A game show hosted by Vince Blight (Bill Hader).
|36||December 11, 2010||Paul Rudd||Contestants Jake (Rudd) and Carolyn (Vanessa Bayer) successfully identify Subway spokesman Jared Fogle and actor Steve Zahn, but Jake can't remember the name of his doorman, Norman (Kenan Thompson), and Carolyn fails to provide the name of her office cleaning lady Mary (Kristen Wiig). Jake successfully guesses that at least one of his summer interns is named Josh, but loses his winnings when he still can't remember the doorman's name.|
|36||May 21, 2011||Justin Timberlake||Timberlake and musical guest Lady Gaga play themselves as contestants on the show. They have no trouble identifying animated character MC Skat Kat and actor Wallace Shawn, but Timberlake fails to come up with the names of Katie (Abby Elliott), a girl he slept with two weeks earlier; and his former N Sync bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick (Taran Killam). By contrast, Lady Gaga not only identifies a fan (Fred Armisen) she met briefly after a concert, but also remembers his sister, and shows up Timberlake by knowing Kirkpatrick's name and the purpose of the charity Timberlake is representing.|
Merryville Carnival Ride
A couple is enjoying a carnival ride featuring singing animatronic robots (played by the host, Taran Killam, and Bill Hader), when the ride suddenly breaks down. As the couple waits to start moving again (with updates from a repairman (Bobby Moynihan)), the robots continue to repeat their routine; however, one of the riders notices that the routine is changing so as to imply an ominous threat to the couple.
|36||January 8, 2011||Jim Carrey||Kenan Thompson and Kristen Wiig ride the Merryville Trolley Ride, where Thompson is attacked by the robots.|
|36||May 21, 2011||Justin Timberlake||On the Merryville Love Tunnel ride, Jason Sudeikis is alarmed when the robots hit on his girlfriend Nasim Pedrad.|
|38||October 20, 2012||Bruno Mars||On the Merryville Haunted Castle ride, Vanessa Bayer is much more concerned about the robots than Jay Pharoah is, but after Pharoah is dragged off, she finds she cannot resist a fourth robot played by guest Tom Hanks.|
Kristen Wiig portrays a 1980s-era "musician" whose act consists entirely of dancing and occasionally tapping a triangle.
|36||January 8, 2011||Jim Carrey||In an ad for the Time–Life DVD collection "The Worst of Soul Train", Sally appears performing "her only recorded song", "I Have a Triangle". The host notes that "Triangle Sally died halfway through that song."|
|37||November 19, 2011||Jason Segel||Sally appears in an ad for the holiday compilation album, A New Jack Thanksgiving.|
|37||December 17, 2011||Jimmy Fallon||Ludwig van Beethoven (Fallon) introduces Sally as part of the orchestra performing the 1824 premiere of his Ninth Symphony.|
Triangle Sally also appeared in an installment of The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy that was scheduled to air on May 19, 2012, as part of Wiig's final episode as an SNL cast member. The sketch was cut from the episode before airing, but was released online.
Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy
13-year-old Jacob (Vanessa Bayer) was introduced in a sketch featuring his bar mitzvah, which his father (Fred Armisen) had insisted on turning into a star-studded extravaganza despite Jacob's protests that a "modest luncheon" would have been fine.
Jacob has subsequently been featured on Weekend Update, to tell the stories of Hanukkah and Passover. In each of these appearances, he reads from a prepared speech peppered with corny jokes (usually repeating a punchline on a later joke, even if it doesn't make sense); after each joke, he looks up at the audience with a grin. When Seth Meyers or Michael Che tells him he doesn't need to read from a script, or tries to engage him in dialogue, Jacob just smiles and then resumes his speech. Jacob is also incredibly shy when talking to Cecily Strong and most likely girls in general.
Bayer had told one of the SNL writers about the Jacob character, which she had originated in her stand-up, but didn't write the first bar mitzvah sketch herself. About the character, she said: "When I was in seventh grade, we had bar and bat mitzvahs every weekend, so I had a lot of experience with that kind of boy. I was bat mitzvahed, and there were so many awkward boys running around."
|36||January 15, 2011||Gwyneth Paltrow||Jacob's lavish bar mitzvah features a slew of celebrity musicians singing Jewish-themed versions of their hit songs. Paltrow plays Taylor Swift. Jay Pharoah plays Jay-Z. Nasim Pedrad plays Alicia Keys. Abby Elliott plays Katy Perry. Musical guest Cee Lo Green appears as himself.|
|38||December 15, 2012||Martin Short||Jacob tells the story of Hanukkah.|
|38||April 6, 2013||Melissa McCarthy||Jacob tells the story of Passover.|
|38||May 18, 2013||Ben Affleck||Appears with other characters in the background of Stefon sketch.|
|39||October 5, 2013||Miley Cyrus||Jacob explains traditions of Shabbat.|
|39||December 7, 2013||Paul Rudd||Jacob once again explains the story of Hanukkah.|
|39||April 12, 2014||Seth Rogen||Jacob once again tells the story of Passover.|
|40||December 13, 2014||Martin Freeman||Jacob once again talks about Hanukkah.|
|40||April 11, 2015||Taraji P. Henson||Jacob once again talks about Passover. Billy Crystal appears as Jacob's father.|
|42||April 15, 2017||Jimmy Fallon||Jacob once again talks about Passover.|
The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy
A parody of The Original Kings of Comedy, showcasing hacky stand-up comedians who rely on strange catchphrases, gestures, and nicknames for a laugh, in the same vein as Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall.
According to SNL writer Christine Nangle, the Kings of Catchphrase Comedy sketches "are so fun, because the whole cast gets involved and you give them a catchphrase and then they improvise – some of them improvise their own catchphrases. And you just get to see everybody come through that day - because it takes a while to film it all – and just kind of be hilarious. You just kind of let them go and you're reminded of how talented our cast really is."
|36||March 12, 2011||Zach Galifianakis|||
|37||November 5, 2011||Charlie Day|||
An installment of the sketch was scheduled to air on May 19, 2012, but was cut. It was later released online.
Get in the Cage!
Actor Nicolas Cage (Andy Samberg) sits down with a fellow thespian (appearing as himself) to discuss their craft. However, the only question Cage ever seems to ask is why he doesn't appear in a movie that his interviewee is trying to promote. In a re-occurring gag and catch phrase, in each sketch, the interviewee will insult Cage, and after a brief thinking pause, Samberg (as Cage) will misinterpret the insult as a compliment, exclaiming, "That's high praise!" In the interview where Nicolas Cage interviewed Nicolas Cage, the real Cage delivered the "That's high praise!" line.
|36||April 2, 2011||Elton John||Cage interviews Jake Gyllenhaal.|
|36||May 21, 2011||Justin Timberlake||Cage interviews Bradley Cooper.|
|37||December 17, 2011||Jimmy Fallon||Cage interviews Jude Law.|
|37||February 11, 2012||Zooey Deschanel||Cage interviews his own clone, played by the real Nicolas Cage.|
|37||May 12, 2012||Will Ferrell||Cage interviews Liam Neeson.|
|39||May 17, 2014||Andy Samberg||Cage interviews Paul Rudd.|
The Best of Both Worlds
|36||April 9, 2011||Helen Mirren||Mirren appears as Julie Andrews. Kenan Thompson appears as Ice Cube.|
|37||October 8, 2011||Ben Stiller||Stiller appears as Mandy Patinkin. Bill Hader appears as Clint Eastwood. Abby Elliott appears as Nancy Grace. Hugh Jackman makes a special appearance as Daniel Radcliffe.|
Bongo's Clown Room
Jason Sudeikis plays MC Tommy, the host of a seedy strip club.
|36||April 9, 2011||Helen Mirren|||
|37||February 4, 2012||Channing Tatum|||
Dictator's Two Best Friends From Growing Up
Bayer and Armisen appear on Weekend Update to discuss the many great qualities of their friend (a ruthless dictator), while going into hushed asides about his breaches of etiquette.
|36||May 7, 2011||Tina Fey||Muammar Gaddafi|
|37||October 1, 2011||Melissa McCarthy||Muammar Gaddafi|
|37||January 14, 2012||Daniel Radcliffe||Kim Jong-Un|
|38||September 22, 2012||Joseph Gordon-Levitt||Bashar al-Assad|
|38||February 9, 2013||Justin Bieber||King Richard III|
|39||March 8, 2014||Lena Dunham||Vladimir Putin|
|42||December 17, 2016||Casey Affleck||Vladimir Putin|
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