NBC trotted out a "Saturday Night Live" holiday special Thursday, collecting bits from past seasons and wrapping it in a new package called "A Very Gilly Christmas."
Just why "SNL" chose to put one of the more annoying recurring characters among the current cast (we love Kristen Wiig, but the troublemaking Gilly is far from her best) front and center is a little bit baffling, but the special itself was a pretty solid effort.
The classics -- Dan Aykroyd's sleazy toy salesman, Eddie Murphy's "A Gumby Christmas," Alec Baldwin's "Schweddy Balls," Steve Martin's holiday wish -- were there, and like watching "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or "A Christmas Story" for the 105th time, those sketches don't really get old. But among the more recent holiday sketches "SNL" has done, it's hard to top Robert Smigel's animation piece "Christmas for the Jews." (OK, "D*ck in a Box" is better, but "Christmas for the Jews" isn't far behind.)
A more-than-passable approximation of the Motown sound, giggle-inducing lyrics and animation that evokes "Rudolph" and other classic Christmas specials adds up to two-plus minutes of fine comedy. Have a look.