Because I came of age during the ’90s era of Saturday Night Live, I consider it the best in the entire show’s history. People who grew up watching it in the ’70s or even ’00s might disagree, but it’s hard to argue against a cast that included veterans like Phil Hartman and Chris Farley, not to mention future powerhouses like Will Ferrell and Tracy Morgan. I still remember certain characters and skits like the back of my hand, but what really stand out years later are the commercial parodies. It was in these two-minute increments that SNL’s true comedic genius shone through most.
Watching this commercial always puts me in a good mood. I crack up at all of Chris Farley’s expressions, especially when he raises the lenses on his sunglasses. He didn’t have to crash through tables or wear ill-fitting suits to get a laugh (though he was great at that, too).
Uncle Jemima’s Pure Mash Liquor
Tracy Morgan was never featured on SNL enough for my liking. He played some of the funniest and oddest characters on the show, like Brian Fellows and Astronaut Jones, and Uncle Jemima is no exception.
Oops! I Crapped My Pants
The image of lemon wedge–filled iced tea splashing against the inside of a diaper has (unfortunately) stayed with me for years, as has the line “I’m wearing them, and I just did.”
With new extra-adhesive pine-tar wings, Big Brawn’s wood-pulp feminine napkins are irresistible.
Old Glory Insurance
I don’t know about you, but one of my main worries in life is robots attacking my feeble, vulnerable body when I get old. Thanks to Old Glory Insurance and the soothing, wise words of Sam Waterson, none of us have to anticipate robots eating our old-person medicine for fuel.
The combination of Will Ferrell and dogs in a commercial parody is instant comedy gold. (Remember “Dissing Your Dog” and Wade Blasingame, the Dog Attorney, from the ’00s?) Ferrell is just as hilarious here, creating a “hearty poison gravy” that, though made for rats, can attract and kill animals much bigger and cuter.
Bad Idea Jeans
I’m not sure which idea is worse: any of the ones mentioned in this commercial (“Now that I have kids, I feel a lot better having a gun in the house”) or actually wearing these terrible jeans in public.
Shirt in a Can
Nobody wears Shirt in a Can better than Tim Meadows; the super-fancy tuxedo version is particularly fetching on him, but the red long-sleeve landed him the job and a hot make-out session with his new boss, so both styles are winners.
Thank goodness for the Internet, which lets us seek out the nostalgic parts of our pasts and enjoy them once again. Unfortunately, the results aren’t always successful; I tried in vain to find one of my all-time-favorite commercial parodies from that time, Cookie Dough Sport, but was rebuked by NBC’s stringent copyright laws. But at least we can still find a few gems from that period online and laugh all over again. And luckily for me, the image of Will Ferrell wiping chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough from his sweaty face, much like that of the iced tea–filled diaper, is one I’m not soon to forget.