On Saturday, Alec Baldwin will effectively extend his “Saturday Night Live” hosting record. When Baldwin steps on the stage of Studio 8H for the show’s 37th season premiere, it will be his 16th time. The new honor allows him to outpace frequent “SNL” hosts such as Steve Martin, John Goodman and Tom Hanks.
There’s a pretty good reason why executive producer Lorne Michaels keeps going back to Baldwin; the guy’s pretty darned funny. And, like Martin, Hanks and Goodman, he integrates so well he almost feels like he’s a member of the cast.
Picking our favorite Baldwin sketches and monologues was a tough thing to do, given how much good work he’s done over the last twenty-plus years on the show, but the list below represents some of Baldwin’s best — and funniest — work:
Canteen Boy and the Scoutmaster (Season 19)
Even though Baldwin had hosted a few times before this classic sketch, this was the one that really established that he could go beyond being a handsome movie star and be a guy who comedically commits with the best of them. Playing a lonely scoutmaster, Baldwin somehow manages to upstage Adam Sandler, who’s playing the frightened Canteen Boy – an adult Scout who’s the object of the scoutmaster’s affections. Notice how Sandler can barely stifle a laugh, especially as Baldwin is lovingly sucking his fingers.
NPR Delicious Dish: Schweddy Balls (Season 24)
There aren’t many hosts who can claim that a sketch they did was made into an ice cream flavor, but Baldwin can. This classic sketch, part of the Delicious Dish series that basically disguised disgusting single entendres in the form of innocent baked goods, has Baldwin playing Pete Schweddy, who was peddling his spherical confections on the show. Put the shape and the name Schweddy together and you have comic gold! What most people don’t remember from this sketch is that we hear two minutes of Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon’s schtick for two full minutes before the Schweddy Balls-fest begins.
Glengary Glen-Christmas (Season 31)
An ingenious take-off on Baldwin’s brief but memorable role in “Glengary Glen Ross,” Baldwin is sent in to shake up and motivate Santa’s elves. Instead of “ABC” meaning “Always Be Closing,” it stood for “Always Be Cobbling” (Though Baldwin’s had the speech in his head for so long, he kept saying the original meaning).
Ghosts of “SNL” Monologue (Season 24)
From the same episode as “Schweddy Balls” comes this recently dug-up monologue, where the ghosts of “SNL” present (Goodman) and future (Jimmy Fallon) visit Alec during his monologue. This turned into a classic when NBC realized that Fallon, who is hosting the show in December, mentions during the sketch that he’ll be hosting the show in — you guessed it — December, 2011.
Alec alone with his thoughts (Season 16)
In this monologue from his second hosting appearance (boy, he looks so young there, doesn’t he?), Baldwin wonders to himself if the Emmy the show won for his first appearance was a fluke. Also joining in the wondering game are Victoria Jackson, Jon Lovitz and… the boom operator?
Fourth Jonas (Season 34)
The name of the sketch is pretty self-explanatory: Baldwin plays the much older and puffier fourth Jonas Brother, whom the other three decide to boot out of the group in order to keep their teeny-bopper street cred intact.
The Tony Bennett Show (Season 32)
One of Baldwin’s regular impressions was Tony Bennett. On this edition of The Tony Bennett Show, Alec’s Tony welcomes on a little-known singer — Anthony Benedetto (in other words, the real Tony Bennett, going by his given name).
Genital Herpes (Season 32)
From the same episode, Baldwin and Amy Poehler team up to do a mock ad for a very real drug, Valtrex, which is used to treat genital herpes. In it, Poehler is a dutiful wife who wonders how she got herpes if they’ve been monogamous for their whole marriage. Baldwin is her husband, who explains it away while telling her not to overthink things.