SNL's Martin Short Episode: 5 Best Scenes

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[SNL pulled itself out of its recent slump this week with the best episode in a while. From the inspired opening, in which the New York City Children's Chorus paid homage to those touched by the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, singing "Silent Night" by the light of a flickering candle, to the strong lineup of sketches presided over by funny-as-ever SNL alum Martin Short, the episode delivered. Kristin Wiig, Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Fallon, Samuel L. Jackson, Tina Fey, and Portlandia's Carrie Brownstein all made cameos. Musical guest Paul McCartney performed "My Valentine" and "Wonderful Christmastime," and teamed up with Nirvana to perform "Cut Me Some Slack."]

Some highlights...

Cold open—the New York City Children's Chorus.





Kate Middleton's OBGYN (Bill Hader, trying not to laugh), gets lessons from Buckingham Palace representative Martin Short on proper etiquette for examining her highness's "Downton Abbey."





On a "Christmas Spectacular" edition of What Up With That?, a breakdancing Tiny Tim, "Grinchina" the female Grinch, and classic Martin Short character Jackie Rogers Jr. drop by. Kenan Thompson is quick on his feet when guest Samuel L. Jackson starts getting profane.





In the lead-in sketch to Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," Caleb (Martin Short) won't let his triangle accompanist (McCartney) sing during their Christmas pageant audition. (I have a million-dollar voice—you don't...")





The New York Actors Studio presents a new twist on a holiday classic: You're a Rat-Bastard, Charlie Brown, with Al Pacino (Bill Hader) in the title role, Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis) as Pig-Pen, Edie Falco (Kate McKinnon) as Lucy, Larry David (Martin Short) as Linus...





Also: The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party drops by Weekend Update to discuss the holidays ("Why can't Secret Santa just be openly gay? Hello—it's 2010..."); Bar Mitzvah Boy (Vanessa Bayer) drops by Weekend Update to explain the story of Hannukah; old friends Mark and Dennis (Fred Armisen and Martin Short) catch up at the Restoration Hardware store; The monologue (not currently online)—Martin Short pays musical tribute to the most "amorous/lascivious/promiscuous" time of year (accompanied on piano by former SNL bandmember Paul Shaffer), and plants a kiss on Lorne Michaels.

NEXT, on January 19: Jennifer Lawrence, with musical guest the Lumineers.

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Sage Stossel is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and draws the cartoon feature "Sage, Ink." She is author/illustrator of the graphic novel Starling, and of the children's books  On the Loose in Boston and On the Loose in Washington, DC. More

On Election Day in 1996, TheAtlantic.com launched a weekly editorial cartoon feature drawn by Sage Stossel and named (aptly enough) "Sage, Ink." Since then, Stossel's whimsical work has been featured by the New York Times Week in Review, CNN Headline News, Cartoon Arts International/The New York Times Syndicate, The Boston Globe, Nieman Reports, Editorial Humor, The Provincetown Banner (for which she received a 2009 New England Press Association Award), and elsewhere. Her work has also been included in Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, (2005, 2006, 2009, and 2010 editions) and Attack of the Political Cartoonists. Her children's book, On the Loose in Boston, was published in June 2009.

Sage Stossel grew up in a suburb of Boston and attended Harvard University, where she majored in English and American Literature and Languages and did a weekly cartoon strip about college life, called "Jody," for the Harvard Crimson. From 2004 to 2007, she served as Books Editor of the Radcliffe Quarterly

After college she took what was intended to be a temporary summer position securing electronic rights to articles from The Atlantic's archive for use online. Intrigued by The Atlantic's rich history and the creative possibilities in helping to launch a digital edition of the magazine on the Web, she soon joined The Atlantic full time. As the site's former executive editor, she was involved in everything from contributing reviews, author interviews, and illustrations, to hosting message boards and producing a digital edition of The Atlantic for the Web.

Stossel lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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