Saturday Night Live turns 40 on Saturday, and will air a 3+ hour secial on Sunday (blasphemy!) to mark the occasion. We want to celebrate too, but we don’t want to get into an argument about who the best cast members or sketches were. Instead, we present to you our top, favorite, and most outrageous menswear moments, in no particular order. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments.
Wild And Crazy Guys
Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd’s George and Yortuk Festrunk were “Two Wild And Crazy Guys” from Czechoslovakia who were single and ready to mingle. In the late 70s, these two pulled out all the stops to entice “foxes” to join them in their swinging pad. But whether due to their tacky leisure wear or just their pathetic pick-up lines, they failed, and were left at the end of each sketch wondering whether America’s promise of easy women and hot, combustible polyester was just an illusion.
The Blues Brothers
Classic cool and good music. That’s what the Blues Brothers, played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, represented, and that’s the kind of music they played. Everything they did had swagger and they always killed it when they performed live on stage, especially their rendition of “Soul Man” in 1978. We here at Wingtip love a good suit and they both rocked good suits in solid, solemn, no-nonsense funereal black.
White Like Me
Bravo to Mr. Eddie Murphy for sitting down in that chair and getting that make-up done for god-knows-how-long; and big props to the costume department for putting together that three-piece with the button-down collar. One of the funniest and most controversial sketches of all time, Eddie Murphy does a fantastic job showing us what it’s like to be a white guy in America, while looking like Ned Flanders from “The Simpsons.”
What Up With That?
This sketch has everything going for it in the funny and costume department. We have Fred Armisen doing a spot-on Kenny G impersonation, we have Jason Sudeikis in an awesome Adidas tracksuit, and we have the main man, Kenan Thompson, in a ridiculous brick-colored three-piece suit. By the amount Kenan sweats during this sketch, if we didn’t know any better, we would think he’s doing his best Katt Williams impression.
Bill Swerski’s Super Fans
Is it possible to wear too many sports-themed articles of clothing at one time? If Bill Swerski’s super fans are any indication, the rule is: The more the merrier. The Chicago sports fans, played by George Wendt, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, and Robert Smigel, accessorized their orange-and-navy hued Chicago Bears gear with thick mustaches, aviator shades, and a smorgasbord of Polish sausage, deep-fried-what-have-you, and mugs of beer. “Da beers.”
His phone caromed between miniature and gigantic. His bangs were fussy. And, when he couldn’t be bothered to walk, he rode a Rascal. That’s Will Ferrell as the owner of “Jeffrey’s,” a boutique that was so hip, no one but its workers could feasibly shop there (especially before they installed their front door).
Weekend Update’s New York Correspondent Stefon is easily the city’s hottest person. If anything is happening in the Big Apple, Stefon knows about it. The only thing more magnificent than Stefon’s highlights and signature olive Ed Hardy shirt are his choices in New York’s hottest night clubs, like Taste, which has everything: “Ice sculptures, winos, Germfs–German smurfs–a Teddy Ruxpin wearing mascara, an old lady wearing Kid ‘N Play hair, and none other than DJ Baby Bok Choy.”
There’s no way Bowie misses a list like this. Bowie brought Berlin back to New York for this December 1979 performance. The outsized costume was inspired by Klaus Nomi (to Bowie’s immediate right) who lived the cabaret lifestyle in Berlin before taking his act to New York. When Bowie saw him performing, he knew he had to have Nomi and Nomi’s black-tie-meets-Sprockets suit in his show. The ensemble was so binding that as the opening chords of “The Man Who Sold The World” were struck, Nomi and backup singer Joey Arias had to hand-carry Bowie to the front of the stage.
Easily one of Will Ferrell’s most recognizable sketches, never has rock-n-roll been more expertly portrayed (except for, perhaps, “This Is Spinal Tap,” also a product of the greater SNL braintrust) than in this instance. The best thing about this sketch is the attention to detail. From Ferrell’s unzipped sweater to the masterfully exposed midriff, the looks here scream 70s rock.
“It’s Pat” was a sitcom-styled sketch staring Julia Sweeney. It’s not really fair to call this a menswear moment, since the whole sketch was predicated upon Pat’s ambiguous gender. But we give Pat points for putting curves in places we didn’t know were possible, and for sticking to a signature style (khakis, button down cowboy shirt, thick frames, and perm).
With additional reporting by Tim Niven