Revisit SNL’s Best Fourth of July-Themed Sketches

Saturday Night Live has a wealth of clips for just about every occasion in their “SNL Vintage” vault. Making July 4th a great time to revisit the show’s best sketches about patriotism, history, and summer fun. Thankfully, SNL has made that easier than ever with its Fourth of July-themed YouTube playlist.

Here are just some of the dozens of SNL moments that have evoked the American spirit over the years. 

Abraham Lincoln: The Real Story (1983)

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Joe Piscopo stars as Abraham Lincoln in this historical reenactment of a belligerent president’s ill-fated night at the theatre.

Bill Murray’s American Humor Monologue (1987)

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Bill Murray’s monologue from his third time hosting Saturday Night Live serves as a great kickoff to a playlist of USA-themed sketches. The former cast member uses Crocodile Dundee’s box office success as a jumping off point to riff on America’s status in worldwide comedy.

Lil’ General Fireworks (1991)

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Every SNL binge needs a commercial parody. This one advertises Lil’ General Fireworks—fireworks for kids that can “turn any weekend into the Fourth of July.”

Splash Zone (1995)

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“Splash Zone” brings the summer vibes with a simple sketch that finds Chris Farley on the losing end of a splash-filled whale show at a marine mammal park.

Get Off the Shed: New Friends (1995)

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Get in the backyard barbecue spirit with this classic low-concept sketch that highlights Will Ferrell’s ability to make shouting funny. It’s from Ferrell’s first-ever episode, marked his second ever live sketch, and did well enough that it came back for a sequel later that season.

Boston Teens at the Colonial Museum (2000)

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Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch star as heavily-accented Bostonians visiting a colonial museum led by tour guide Britney Spears. “The Boston Teens” were major recurring characters for the duo, appearing 14 times between 1999 and 2017.

Short Shorts for the USA (2001)

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In SNL’s second episode back after 9/11, Will Ferrell played an office worker who chose to express his patriotism with American flag-patterned short shorts and a “USA” belly shirt. Ferrell causes the cast to break into laughter here, but the sketch also marked a poignant moment of levity for SNL viewers at a trying time.

National Anthem (2006)

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In this parody of singers who try to ham it up during the National Anthem, Maya Rudolph delivers an incredible comedic performance despite only having the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at her disposal. To this day, many cast members from her era cite this sketch as an all-timer.

American Gothic (2012)

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Another SNL sketch that explores alternate origin stories of American icons, Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway play the models from Grant Wood’s painting American Gothic, depicting how they landed on their famously sour faces.

How a Bill Does Not Become a Law (2014)

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SNL parodies the Schoolhouse Rock! segment “I’m Just A Bill” with this look at executive orders, which apparently negate everything the educational series taught us about bills. While Kenan Thompson’s Bill sings about making his way through the House of Representatives and Senate, Bobby Moynihan’s Executive Order explains, “I pretty much just happen.” Jay Pharaoh portrays Barack Obama, whose 2014 executive order on illegal immigration spurred this sketch.

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