1. 'Black Jeopardy' (Featuring Tom Hanks)
This go-to game show premise had already been showing slight signs of wear by the time it was brought back for Tom Hanks' ninth go-round as host. But what the creators of this sketch did here by switching the usual focus from how black America is different from white America to how the idea that there's no class system in America is a fallacy is, frankly, a stroke of genius. Not that it gets rid of race at all – the bit still underlines the point that a cultural perspective on everyday life is not a one-skin-color-fits-all prospect, and watch what happens when Kenan Thompson goes to shake the hand of the guy in the red ballcap.
But the more it gives Tom Hanks' rural Trump supporter and the African-American contestants and host common ground – scratch-off lottery tickets, distrust of the government and the voting process, a mutual love of Tyler Perry movies – the more you realize how this skit has been deployed to get at something deep in our national soil. We're really not that different after all, it suggests ... before deploying a killer final punchline that sadly returns us back to the country's insurmountable reality.
We'd rank this among the top 10 best written sketches ever in the show's history. There's not a false moment. There's not a bum joke. It's both painfully funny and painful. There's enough optimism to suggest that if we just talked to each other, we could actually bridge the gap. And there's enough wisdom here in this smart bomb of a sketch to know that even that is still not enough.
Watch the best 'Saturday Night Live' political sketches.