50 Greatest 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of All Time

From Bass-O-Matic to Buckwheat, Garth Algar to Garth & Kat, the best of SNL's (almost) 40 years

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34. The Nerds: Broken Fridge

Original Airdate: October 7th, 1978

"The censor said, 'Don't put that pencil in there,'" Dan Aykroyd says in Live From New York, recalling a sketch that racily revealed some male posterior on network TV years before David Caruso. "I was checking this fridge and I had put the pencil somewhere. 'Don't put the pencil there!' And of course I said I wouldn't, but then on the air, I did. And you know – massive laugh." In the bit, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner's noogie-loving "nerds" – electric characters that writer Anne Beatts says were inspired by Elvis Costello – couldn't keep their eyes on their homework because Aykroyd was showing off his pencil holder. ("The moon came out surprisingly early," exclaims Murray as Todd.) "Todd and Lisa ended up mirroring [Murray and Radner’s] relationship in a sick way," said Beatts in the book American Nerd. "Billy had this girlfriend who he ended up marrying… and when Gilda would laugh louder at all of his sketches when they were being read, you knew that they were together. But I think that mild sadism of Todd toward Lisa was a reflection of the dynamic of their relationship."

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