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Saturday Night Live had some big episodes and big changes in 2013. Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen departed and new castmembers joined. There were standout episodes, middle-of-the-road efforts and swings and misses.
See THR‘s list of the 10 must-see moments of the year below.
10. Aaron Paul Cold Open
Less than 24 hours before Breaking Bad‘s series finale, Aaron Paul made a surprise appearance as Bad‘s Jesse Pinkman. President Obama (Jay Pharoah) brought Jesse onstage to discuss Obamacare and how his chemistry teacher could have benefited from it. Things got awkward very quickly as Jesse recounted Walter White’s descent into meth manufacturing and murder.
9. Game of Game of Thrones
Zach Galifianakis (dressed as a dragon) appeared on Game of Game of Thrones, a trivia game show about the George R. R. Martin books. Unfortunately, instead of questions about Westeros, he was given difficult real-world questions he couldn’t answer. Eventually, Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) showed up as himself, and Galifianakis could hardly contain himself, telling the actor, “We could shower together, and I wouldn’t look down, even though I wanted to.” Speaking of Game of Thrones, we’d like to give an honorable mention to Peter Dinklage‘s turn as Peter Drunklage earlier this year.
8. Adam Levine’s “YOLO”
Adam Levine teamed up with The Lonely Island and Kendrick Lamar for “YOLO,” a song urging listeners to live life with extreme caution — even if it makes you boring.
7. Timberlake/Fallon Cold Open
Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon teamed up for the final cold open of the year, performing a rap medley about wrapping Christmas presents. Timberlake, dressed as a roll of wrapping paper, continued his trend of wearing oversized costumes on SNL.
6. Kerry Washington cold open
SNL spends much of its time lampooning current events, but it’s not often that SNL itself becomes the subject of its own mockery. When Kerry Washington hosted, the show received complaints about its lack of an African-American castmember, forcing Washington to play both Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey in the same sketch. But changes are in the works. Earlier this month, THR reported SNL planned to cast an African-American woman by January.
5. Tina Fey Joins Girls
HBO’s Girls got a new member when Tina Fey played an Albanian refuge who moved in with Hannah. Girls creator Lena Dunham called the parody “a true honor.” Much credit goes to Noell Wells, who nailed her portrayal of Dunham’s Hannah (in her first SNL appearance, no less!)
4. Stefon’s Goodbye
Bill Hader and Seth Meyers gave Hader’s popular “Weekend Update” character an epic sendoff in May. The surprisingly emotional take on The Graduate saw Meyers leaving the “Weekend Update” desk to chase Stefon to a nearby church, where he interrupted Stefon’s wedding to Anderson Cooper.
3. Justin Timberlake Joins the Five-Timers Club
In March, Justin Timberlake joined the elite group of performers who have hosted SNL five times or more. Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase were among the stars who ushered him in to the club, which hilariously relegated Martin Short to work as a waiter.
2. Wes Anderson’s Horror Film
The Royal Tenenbaums and Fantastic Mr. Fox got spooky when Edward Norton played Owen Wilson as the father of a distinctly Wes Anderson-esque family being stalked by murderers. The parody got the official seal of approval from frequent Anderson collaborator Jason Schwartzman, who called it a career definer.
1. DJesus Uncrossed
Christoph Waltz went Old Testament on some Roman centurions with his parody of Django Unchained, which saw him playing a vengeful son of God. Shortly after, Waltz would go on to win an Oscar for his work in Django.
What’d we miss? What made it on your top 10 of 2013? Let us know in the comments!
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