There is generally a 3:1 ratio of live sketches to pre-taped ones in any given episode of Saturday Night Live, with somewhere around 130 live sketches—conceived, written, rewritten and produced in just a few sleep-deprived days every week—spread out through the entire 21 episode season. Suffice it to say, there are always a lot of live sketches to go through. Not all of them land, but if you look past the cold opens, you'll find a grab bag of great material this season—I would actually say that this season, the live sketches were generally superior to the pre-taped ones.

Below, check out our top 20 favorite live sketches, along with the best Weekend Update guests and best monologues. And if we left something off, let us know in the comments. (And ICYMI: here are The Best Pre-Taped Segments Of 'Saturday Night Live' Season 44.)

The 20 Best Live Sketches Of The Season

20. I have no doubt that Teacher Fell Down (Host Jonah Hill) is one the more polarizing sketches on the list. You either loved the absurdity of this very specific premise/character—Kate McKinnon's teacher has fallen down in class... and she is going to be VERY dramatic about it—or you really hated it. I fell into the former camp, mostly because of McKinnon's melodramatic line readings of things like, "Teacher's on the ground. Everything's different. Are we okay?"

19. Friends-Giving (Host Steve Carell) revolves around a nonsensical Thanksgiving song. It started out confusing but had one of the funniest endings of any recent SNL sketch (the fact the made-up song was set to ABBA's classic "When All Is Said And Done" was just the icing on the cake).

18. Kate McKinnon does what she does best in Louise's Birthday (Host Sandra Oh) as a sly octogenarian with a very particular fetish, making a one-note joke really, really funny. Some men just want to watch the world burn, and some 85-year-olds just want to make their coworkers kiss.

17. Speaking of making out: as long as Kate McKinnon has been on the show, she's been having gross make-out sessions with various hosts as Kenan Thompson's bartender looks on in horror. That character Sheila Sovage returned in Last Call with Adam Sandler (Host Adam Sandler), which paired McKinnon, Sandler and Kristen Wiig (who made two inexplicable cameos that episode). The best part of these sketches is now the cartoonish escalation of Thompson's reaction to all the kissing.

16. Yes, there really was a sketch about people arguing over whether Weezer (Host Matt Damon) suck now or not, which is as good an encapsulation of Internet arguments as anything I've ever seen.

15. Nephew Pageant (Host Kit Harington), a hyper-specific sketch about a pageant that nephews put on for their loving aunts, was a good premise on its own. But Aidy Bryant's performance was truly incredible.

14. In Space Station Broadcast (Host Steve Carell), Carell's astronaut answered questions from children in classrooms across the country live from a space station, only for everything to go horribly wrong ("There is a cat with no face floating around?!"). The frozen monkeys were perfect, Carell's reactions to the escalating situation appropriate, and Kate McKinnon almost stole the entire thing just by banging her head on a window.

13. His Philly accent is all sorts of bizarre, but James McAvoy's charmingly casual way of reciting increasingly disturbing pitches for toilet paper ads killed in Charmin (Host James McAvoy). "He's got no idea his lady just deuced it because the booty is clean... Charmin."

12. I'm not super familiar with Nailed It!, but that didn't affect my ability to enjoy the hilarious Extreme Baking Championship (Host Don Cheadle) sketch. Cheadle's puking Cookie Monster monstrosity, voiced by Kenan Thompson, made me legitimately bust a gut.

11. Westminster Daddy Show (Host Matt Damon) had a lot of funny things going on (dog show parody, daddy commentary, play-by-play weirdness, funny trots), but the thing that puts it over the top is Kenan Thompson repeating, "Tweedy daddy come here, Tweedy daddy right here." He belongs in a comedy hall of fame just for that.

10. The Boomers are the butt of the joke (god bless Cecily Strong’s Jimmy Buffet fan and Aidy Bryant's Boomer song), but the Millennials are filled with righteous anger in Millennial Millions (Host Rachel Brosnahan), which made for one of the most unusual sketches—and tones—for SNL. It caught me off-guard initially, but I've come around to it now.

9. I was dreading SNL taking on the Brett Kavanaugh hearings to start the season... but this was actually as funny as such a thing could have been—especially because it focused its comedy solely on Kavanaugh's self-pitying rage and the Republican senators' coddling of him. A lot of credit goes to Matt Damon, who perfectly inhabited Kavanaugh's sniffling, angry frat bro persona to a tee. If you're going to bring a famous outside actor to play a major character on the show, and take screen time—and comedic opportunities—from the regular cast, you better nail it. And with Damon as Kavanaugh, they actually did; this is probably the best outside casting the show has done since Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. Kavanaugh Hearing Cold Open (Host Adam Driver) remains the only cold open I enjoyed this season.

8. PowerPoint (Host Idris Elba) was a slam dunk that utilized the killer tag team of Kate McKinnon & Aidy Bryant as a pair of clueless receptionists who have a meltdown over some hilarious graphic design failures.

7. Game show sketches are a dime a dozen at Studio 8H, but when they're done as perfectly as the surreal What's Wrong With This Picture? (Host Paul Rudd), they can be pretty great. Everybody in this sketch was fantastic, almost every line is hilarious, nobody breaks, and Thompson's character's name is Mr. Pants.

6. The most emotionally satisfying moment of the episode came in the 10-to-1 spot, with Sandler singing his unabashedly sentimental and affecting Chris Farley Song (Host Adam Sandler) tribute to his old SNL friend (which he also performed on tour in recent years). If you haven't seen him perform it, and you have any love for Farley's larger-than-life comedy, this is something worth seeing—it's like Sandler's version of a Mark Kozelek song.

5. The War In Words (Host Claire Foy) takes a PBS World War I documentary about letters written between separated military couple James (Mikey Day) and Margaret (Claire Foy), and ramps up the surreal details ("Wish me luck, my trial is today. Love, Margaret. PS how is World War I going?") until it reaches sublime comic places.

4. Bill Hader made an unforgettable cameo in What's That Name? (Host John Mulaney), in which Mulaney and Cecily Strong were contestants who could easily remember D-list celebrity names, but can't remember the names of people in their lives. Everybody was great in this sketch, but Hader was incredible, especially when Mulaney asked him what he wants, and he responded, "In a word... chaos."

3. In Romano Tours (Host Adam Sandler), Sandler wonderfully underplays his role as the owner of the tour company who patiently clarifies what his tours of Italy can and cannot do for customers. "Here at Romano Tours, we always remind our customers: if you're sad now you might feel sad there. Okay? Does that make sense?"

2. Bodega Bathroom (Host John Mulaney), a sequel to last season's Mulaney masterpiece Diner Lobster. Like its predecessor, it's a completely surreal, ever-expanding musical sketch, with tons of music from and references to the likes of Cats, Rent, Little Shop Of Horrors and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Mulaney owes it to all of us to write his own musical comedy.

1. In the very first episode of the season, we got Career Day (Host Adam Driver), the very best sketch of the season. Driver plays Pete Davidson's dad here, a very, very old oil baron named Abraham H. Parnassus. This was the comedic highlight of the year, Driver's best ever SNL performance, and an instant all-timer. Always remember to crush your enemies, kids.

Honorable Mentions: There were incest puns galore rolled out for the Invest Twins. Jonah Hill picked an awkward time for a proposal in KCR News. Khal Drogo came back to host his own Dothraki show in Khal Drogo's Ghost Dojo. Jason Momoa also played an elf dealing with an awkward teenager in Elf On The Shelf. Don Cheadle couldn't quite get the right mood music in Bar Fight. Sandra Oh really went for it as the polarizing Tishi in Future Self. Leslie Jones used dog training techniques on men in Tabitha. John Mulaney showed off some dance moves in the Cha Cha Slide. Mulaney and Kate McKinnon also faced off in the classic film To Have and Have Not. And Emma Thompson turned into an evil Mary Poppins in Etiquette Lesson.

The 10 Best Weekend Update Guests

10. Kate McKinnon's Elizabeth Warren is so precise and so good at detecting the underlying frustration such a policy wonk might feel amidst a crowded clown car of Democratic candidates. "I'm over here working round the clock to give you free college—but oh, looky there, Beto O'Dork did parkour in a Starbucks, wow!"

9. Beck Bennett unveiled his new character Jules Who Sees Things A Little Differently in the Claire Foy-hosted episode—Jules has some different ideas about things (and apparently doesn't believe babies have bones). Jost hates him, you probably hate him too, and I can only imagine what kind of sparks would fly if he ever got to meet the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With At A Party. (He also returned in Don Cheadle's episode as well.)

8. Alex Moffat got to unveil a hilarious new character during Idris Elba's episode: Film Critic Terry Fink, whose spring movie reviews get increasingly trippy due to his macro-dosing of LSD.

7. Leslie ‘Dracarys That Bitch’ Jones came out in a Handmaid's Tale outfit in the season finale to talk about the Alabama abortion ban. It was sincere, angry, hilarious, scathing, heartfelt and serious—it was one of the best Jones segments ever.

6. Heidi Gardner has become my favorite new cast member in the past two seasons largely thanks to her endless stream of fantastic Weekend Update characters. Goop Staffer Baskin Johns has made two appearances (including once with Gwyneth Paltrow). There's teen movie critic Bailey Gismert, who thinks Pikachu could totally get it. Then there's Angel, Every Boxer's Girlfriend From Every Movie About Boxing Ever, who may be her best individual character so far.

5. Mikey Day also joined her to play Nico Slobkin and Brie Bacarditwice this season, an Instagram couple on the verge of a breakdown/breakup twice this season.

4. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cecily Strong doesn't get enough credit for her range on SNL. She gets to totally let loose with her incredible Jeanine Pirro impression, which included tons of physical comedy—in Sandra Oh's episode, she experienced multiple Trump-inspired explosive reactions that ejected her from her chair. The second time, she had a sublime spit take all over Colin Jessica Jost.

3. Adam Sandler brought Opera Man back to Weekend Update for the first time in 24 years to sing about headlines including Game of Thrones, the 2020 presidential election, Seth Rogen, and Donald Trump's presidency. Sandler had a lot of old characters he could have dug up, and I'm glad it was this one—it was much better political humor than the usual SNL cold opens.

2. I've been pretty critical of Weekend Update hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost since they took over the desk, but even I can admit that they've gotten into a much better rhythm with each other this season, and have started throwing in some new comedy bits that go beyond just reading jokes off cue cards. The best thing they do is when they Swap Jokes in an attempt to embarrass each other on live television. Even for a Jost/Che hater like me, this is pretty great.

1. The best thing on Weekend Update all season happened when John Mulaney joined Pete Davidson for a hilarious, esoteric discussion of Clint Eastwood's insane movie The Mule. The two then got into the absurd (but somewhat true!) plot of The Mule, in which Clint Eastwood ferries drugs for Andy Garcia's cartel leader, and also has multiple threesomes. Mulaney and Davidson's comic timing and chemistry was exceptional, especially when Davidson noted Clintwood's character got a party for being the cartel's best driver ever: "Fulfilling another elderly grandpa fantasy that a 90-year-old white man can do any job better than a Mexican, even when the job is Mexican drug trafficking," Mulaney responded.

The 4 Best Monologues

4. Paul Rudd! What can I say? He taught me it was okay to be charming. His monologue was a best man's speech that captured his je ne sais Rudd, like when he reminisced about his days as a "vomit boy" at Studio 54 and first hosting SNL in 2008: "You were doing sketches about some guy named Barack, and I hadn't done a Marvel movie yet so I was still treating people pretty well."

3. Emma Thompson is the best! She thanked her beloved husband of 16 years Kenan Thompson, then had Tina Fey and Amy Poehler join her to explain Mother Speak 101. "When you British mom says, 'splendid,' what she means is: 'I'm sad, I'm happy, how are you, you embarrass me, I'm crazy, you're drunk.' Splendid is sort of our Aloha."

2. Adam Sandler broke out the guitar to perform "I Was Fired," in which he explains his SNL absence alongside Chris Rock and Pete Davidson, who I guess is the Sandler of the current cast (if Sandler only appeared in the background of one sketch a week). It could have been smug, it could have been lazy, but Sandler's undeniable charm worked for me: "Then I made over $4 billion at the box office, so I guess you could say I won."

1. The best monologues are always those done by actual standup comedians, and none were better than John Mulaney. He stuffed his monologue with tons of incredibly specific NYC references, including a story about his wife seeing Woody Allen while pushing their dog in a stroller, and a reflection on subway announcements.