13 Of The Funniest 'SNL' Sketches About Meat

Last episode's "Meatballs" sketch isn't the first time Saturday Night Live used meat for laughs.

Since first laying eyes on Saturday Night Live's "Meatballs" sketch on Sunday morning, I have rewatched the four-minute video no fewer than 20 times. It's endlessly entertaining, not just because of its complete originality—there's a zero percent chance anyone else had this idea before it aired—but because meatballs are funny.

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There's just something about meat that sets up a joke for success, and SNL has long shown this theory to be correct—often involving some kind of musical number. Here are some of the funniest meat-inspired sketches from the show to prove it.

Bass-O-Matic and Bat-O-Matic (1976)

Saturday Night Live's obsession with meats goes all the way back to the beginning. In season one, Dan Aykroyd solves the universal problem of what to do with that pesky whole bass fish laying around with the Super Bass-O-Matic '76—essentially a blender that you drop a whole fish into. He blends it on screen and Laraine Newman takes a big ole gulp of fish juice with a smile. Soon after, he returns to hawk the witchy-themed Super Bat-O-Matic '77 for potions. They're short, sweet, and set the roadmap for many hilarious meat-themed sketches to come.

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The Olympia Restaurant (1978)

This sketch will always hold a special place in the heart of Chicagoans like myself, where the Billy Goat Tavern on which the sketch is based still maintains a very strict "chips, no fries, Pepsi, no Coke" policy. While the real-life restaurant does offer more than cheeseburgers on the menu now, the cries of "cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger" still ring throughout the kitchen. And if you go there and don't get a cheeseburger with chips and a Pepsi, what are you even doing?

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Nikey Turkey (1990)

A perfect encapsulation of the 1990s vibe, Chris Rock and his fly girls introduce the Nikey (not to be confused with Nike) Turkey, the Thanksgiving dinner that you can pump up. Despite not being real meat, the inflated faux-turkey looks more appetizing with each pump, and the rap is a catchy little ear worm that'll have you wanting to "pump it up" all over the place.

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Bill Swerski’s Super Fans (1991-1997)

While not specifically about sausage, the Bill Swerski Super Fans sketches embody a lifestyle built on meat. The crew—played primarily by Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Robert Smigel, and frequently joined by guest George Wendt—chows down on all matter of carnivorous dishes, even as discussing their latest heart attacks. It's an accurate and hilarious portrait of Mike Ditka-worshipping fans of Da Bears.

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Crystal Gravy (1993)

Sure, you've heard of Crystal Pepsi (right?), but what about Crystal Gravy? This one gets points for accuracy, with everything feeling like a real commercial straight out of the 90s—from the music to the close up of Kevin Nealon splashing clear gravy on his face. And with how strange foodstuffs is getting these days, it's only a matter of time before Clear Gravy becomes a reality.

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Lunch Lady Land (1994)

This sloppy Joe-induced fever dream isn't just one of the great meat-themed sketches, but a contender for the best Saturday Night Live moment of all time. It's Adam Sandler and Chris Farley at their best, especially in the moments when they're making each other laugh. Save this one as inspo for your group Halloween costume this year.

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The Love-ahs with Barbara and Dave (2001)

Will Ferrell has admitted that the whole purpose of this sketch from the recurring "Love-ahs" series was to make Jimmy Fallon break. But it's Rachel Dratch and Ferrell himself who can't hold back their laughter while biting into either side of a spiced lamb shank. Perfect hot tub food if you ask us.

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People Getting Punched Just Before Eating (2007)

Andy Samberg's digital shorts changed the way we viewed SNL. It's not just about the format, though this era marked a definite shift to sketches as sharable YouTube videos—Samberg and his Lonely Island partners Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer let SNL be weird again, ditching traditional writing structure for doubling and tripling down on stupid premises that have no business being this funny, like punching Jason Sudekis in the face just before he's able to take a bite out of his cheeseburger.

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Jon Hamm’s John Ham (2008)

It takes a lot of guts to put a two-and-a-half minute sketch that's essentially just a pun on air, but between Jon Hamm's delivery and the pure silliness of squirting mustard from a soap dispenser onto toilet ham, it proves itself to be a risk that delivers.

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Thanksgiving Guest (2013)

If you were dating a turkey, would you give your parents a heads up before Thanksgiving dinner? In this sketch, no warning was given and Vanessa Bayer, perfectly embodying a human-sized turkey, gets a horrific surprise when she sees what's on the menu. This is a great case for switching up your holiday meal traditions.

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Diner Lobster (2018)

Those lobsters sitting in tanks at diners aren't just for show—they're buttery seafood meat just waiting to get eaten. But this John Mulaney sketch asks us to consider the lobster, as it were, as a sentient family man. Your diner dinner comes at the cost of an entire lobster family losing their patriarch (Kenan Thompson), and they have a whole Les Miserables musical number at the ready to remind you. And let's face it, it'll probably come with a side of food poisoning because, as Chris Redd says, nobody orders lobster at a diner—the whole seafood section is on the menu as a joke.

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Smokery Farms (2019)

Some of the greatest Saturday Night Live moments come when the sketches use real food as props, which in this case comes in the form of a basket full of real raw meat that's been sitting out for a while and has acquired...a smell. Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant play meat farmers who only slaughter animals who are "individually stupid and bad," and it would be funny enough as-is, but when the duo starts to get a whiff of what's in their basket, the hilarity ascends to another level.

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Meatballs (2022)

SNL is at its best when it's bizarre. In "Meatballs," Sarah "Squirm" Sherman is hiding a secret from Chris Redd, and that secret just happens to be a bunch of meatballs growing out of her flesh as skin tags with minds of their own. If the visual alone isn't enough, these meatballs harmonize for a little meatball song that you'll never be able to get out of your head. Just like the lumps growing out of Squirm's extremities, that melody is highly contagious.

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