Television

The Best 180 Seconds On TV

It's not often that Saturday Night Live makes us weep with laughter. While we loved the opener (a Nightline segment about Janet Jackson's boob), it was the Feb. 7 ''Oprah's Favorite Things'' sketch that had us wiping away tears. Led by Maya Rudolph -- who has Oprah's aura of Zen superiority nailed -- the skit spoofed Winfrey's annual celebration of conspicuous consumption, in which she gives away everything from DVD camcorders to designer sweaters to turkeys while histrionic housewives in the audience shriek with joy. SNL played it as a surreal orgy of greed: A group of sensibly dressed suburbanites (including Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, and host Megan Mullally) cheered, passed out, made out, went into labor, dismembered each other, wet themselves, and exploded from sheer excitement. By the time the camera cut to a crazed Tina Fey crouched on a chair devouring her free smoked turkey like a rabid squirrel, we had completely ruined our mascara.

Originally posted Feb 20, 2004 Published in issue #752 Feb 20, 2004 Order article reprints