Given its 45 year run, and the fact that it emanates “Live from New York”, it’s a given that Saturday Night Live has featured a sketch or two about pizza. Here are eight of the best, ranked in completely subjective order:
8. Pogie Pepperoni’s (Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Leslie Jones, Pete Davidson)
Before SNL, cast members Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett and writer Nick Rutherford were known as the trio behind YouTube sketch comedy group Good Neighbor. After they joined SNL in 2013, they would often get sketches towards the end of each show to showcase some of the surreal and non-sequitur humor that made them internet-famous.
Pogie Pepperoni’s is one such sketch, showing two extremely enthusiastic new employees of a Chuck E. Cheese-adjacent pizza restaurant.
7. Pizza Place (Host J.J. Watt w/ Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, and Cecily Strong) and Porn Pizza Delivery (Host Chance the Rapper w/ Heidi Gardner and Aidy Bryan)
These two skits share one spot because the core concept is essentially the same – what would happen if the pizza delivery guy scenario in adult movies was real?
The first of the two skits (with J.J. Watt and Kenan Thompson) ponders the economic aspect,, i.e. “What would happen to a business where the delivery guy is trading sexual favors for the product, instead of actually getting paid for it?”
In the second sketch, sparks fly between the delivery guy (Chance the Rapper) and the babysitter, until the inquisitive and naive kid gets in the way.
6. Za (Host James Franco w/ Pete Davidson and Kenan Thompson)
Why is the abbreviation for pizza “‘za”, when it’s actually pronounced “peet-SUH”? Thankfully, prosecutor, James Franco is here to get to the bottom of the mystery.
5. Pizza Town (Host Aziz Ansari w/ Kenan Thompson, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant, Bobby Moynihan, Mikey Day)
Nothing says “child’s birthday party” like arcade games , pizza, and a creepy animatronic band doing song and dance numbers. The Pizza Town skit, led by host Aziz Ansari, answers the clearly much-pondered scenario of “What if a criminal was cornered while hiding out in a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, and then the animatronic band was turned on?”
4. Almost Pizza (Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Nasim Pedrad)
SNL does commercial parodies so, so, so well. By now, most major brands have been pastiched on the show in some way or another. In this one, the gang from Studio 8H set its sights on a certain well-known pizza brand
3. Pizza Business (Host Melissa McCarthy w/ Jason Sudeikis)
Melissa McCarthy is this decade’s Justin Timberlake when it comes to SNL appearances. What I mean by that is that she has hosted and cameoed so many times, and feels like such a natural addition to the show, that you have to remind yourself she’s not actually a full time cast member.
This skit, from McCarthy’s second time hosting the show, features her as a woman convincing a bank manager (played by Jason Sudeikis) to help fund her pizza eating business.
2. Bertucci’s Pizza Ad (Kate McKinnon w/ Host Will Ferrell)
Kate McKinnon must have back pain from how much she has absolutely carried the show throughout the last few seasons. This skit — where she plays a mother with a uniquely… sexual… approach to starring in a commercial for Bertucci’s — is yet another example of her brilliance. It’s an instant classic worthy of the No. 2 spot on this all-time SNL list.
1. Totino’s Pizza Rolls (Vanessa Bayer w/ Hosts JK Simmons, Larry David, Kristen Stewart)
This recurring gold mine was one of our favorite pizza moments of the last decade and a shoe-in for No. 1 on this list. Although each host adds their own value to this series of skits — especially Kristen Stewart — Vanessa Bayer is the real star of these parody commercials, perpetually feeding her hungry guys.