It was confirmed this week that Jason Sudeikis would not return to Saturday Night Live in the fall, after rumors about his exit began a year ago. His legacy is a solid, if not spectacular one. While not as showy as his fellow recently departed castmates, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, Sudeikis was always a sturdy, reliable, and most importantly, relatable, anchor throughout his eight-plus SNL seasons.
Over the years, Sudeikis has become one of my favorite SNL cast members, joining the ranks of Cheri Oteri, Maya Rudolph, and early-era Kristen Wiig. The unabashed joy and charisma he brought to so many of his characters complemented his underrated knack for nailing his subtle straight-man roles, of which there was an endless cavalcade. Without further ado, here are my top five favorite Sudeikis characters:
What if The Devil were one of us? This classic Weekend Update character was vehicle for Sudeikis’ everyman quality, as only a man of his talents could make The Devil so gosh darn charming.
Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte were quite a duo to be reckoned with on SNL, with such pairings as ESPN Classic broadcasters Twinkle and Stink, and the infamous “Potato Chip” sketch. But the one twosome that never failed to make me laugh was Jon Bovi: the Bon Jovi opposite band. While the concept appears lame on paper (and yes, maybe lame on-screen too), Sudeikis’ and Forte’s giddy energy is infectious. Plus I’m a sucker for wordplay, no matter how cringe-worthy.
How do you solve a problem like Obama? Fred Armisen never found footing with his Barack Obama impression, and while Jay Pharoah played a more accurate version of our president, there was never a strong comedic hook to skewering him. Luckily for the Republicans, we have Obama’s VP, Joe Biden, a big-scale bold and brash buffoon who perfectly contrasted our relatively straight-laced commander-in-chief.
Jason Sudeikis first broke out with his “Two A-Holes” sketch with Kristen Wiig. Sudeikis’ specificity of douchiness made his A-Hole all the more endearing. The entitled sneer. The constant “Babes.” The persistent gum-snapping. The character became instantly memorable and recognizable. Cheers to the a-holes in our lives!
When this sketch first appeared in December of last year, it immediately took the title of My Favorite Thing Jason Sudeikis Has Ever Done On SNL. It’s probably for the best that this sketch won’t be overdone to the point of exhaustion. “Maine Justice” is the epitome of Sudeikis: over-the-top unbridled enthusiasm, a dash of charm, and just the right amount of WTF-ery. Jason Sudeikis will be missed.