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The Best of ‘S.N.L.’: Trump Trolling, ‘Dune’ Buckets and Beavis Breakdowns

Season 49 of “Saturday Night Live” is barely in the history books, and everyone seems ready to turn the page to next season, when this long-running NBC sketch comedy series will tackle the 2024 presidential election and celebrate its golden anniversary.

But “S.N.L.” did much more than simply mark the time in its 49th season: It gave us some memorable monologues, catchy comic songs and preposterous commercial parodies; it found the best argument in favor of nepotism; and it tried, yet again, to find someone to impersonate President Joseph R. Biden on a regular basis. And, when no one was expecting it, it served up a sketch so silly that its own cast members profoundly lost it.

Join us now as we look back the best of the past season of “S.NL.”

Cold open of the season

With its premiere delayed by the Writers Guild of America strike, “S.N.L.” started its season only a few days after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel — a topic that seemed far too fraught and tragic for the program to comment on, and surely not in the wheelhouse of its host, Pete Davidson, who is no one’s idea of an astute political comedian.

Yet “S.N.L.” and Davidson rose unexpectedly to the occasion, and the host addressed the topic at the start of the show, even before the customary monologue segment. Reminding the audience that his father, a firefighter, had been killed in the 9/11 attack on New York, Davidson said:

“I saw so many terrible pictures this week of children suffering, Israeli children and Palestinian children. And it took me back to a really horrible, horrible place. No one in this world deserves to suffer like that, especially not kids.”

Davidson added, “I’m going to do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy, and that’s try to be funny. Remember, I said ‘try.’”

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