As Stefon would say: This Saturday Night Live had everything.
Kanye West, Jennifer Garner, Anderson Cooper, a musical super group, a surprise guest appearance from Amy Poehler and what looks like the departure of not one, but three cast members.
Bill Hader made it official earlier this week, but apparently he isn’t the only one moving on: Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis appear to be leaving too.
With all the stars and farewells, tonight’s SNL season finale made it hard for even a multiple Oscar winner to carve out a place to shine.
At least host Ben Affleck knew he was being upstaged at every turn and had a good sense of humour about it.
Even when he introduced Kanye West for the rapper’s first performance of the show, he knew what everybody else was thinking.
“Ladies and the gentleman,” he said. “Here he is – the man you came to see. Kanye West.”
It was that kind of night.
BEST GOODBYE: Bill Hader
Bill Hader’s departure from SNL means saying goodbye to everybody’s favourite “city correspondent” Stefon. He went out in style, with Seth Meyers leaving his Weekend Update chair to stop Stefon’s wedding to Anderson Cooper in front of a church filled with the club kid’s favourite nightlife characters like smurfs, midgets, a gremlin and of course, ALF.
GOODBYE TO FRED AND JASON TOO?:
The last sketch of the night was a performance by Fred Armisen’s punk alter-ego Ian Rubbish and his fictional band the Bizarros. The band (which included Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader) played what sounded like a sweet goodbye song called “It’s a Lovely Day” before being joined by Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Aimee Mann, J Mascis, Michael Penn, The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein. It’s a Lovely Day sure sounded like a swan song. Major cast changes ahead.
BEST SKETCH: Bengo F—k Yourself
Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (played by Fred Armisen) gets back at Ben Affleck’s “Argo” by starring as the actor in his own movie “Bengo F—k Yourself”. Oddly enough, Affleck himself is involved with Ahmadinejad’s film as a sound man because he’s “longed to be in a movie worse than Gigli.”
WORST SKETCH: Prima Donna
A lazy depression era dirt bag would rather use his prostitute to hit people over the head with a brick than wake up at 8 AM to make an honest living. Even Ben Affleck’s Jimmy Stewart-style impression didn’t have enough charm to save this one.
BEST KANYE: No Kim K
Whatever you think of the Kanye’s new songs Black Skinhead and New Slave (the former a mix of hip hop and industrial beats, the latter an intense rant against consumer culture) he did it all without Kim Kardashian. Yes, there was no Kim K Kameo on SNL last night. Thank you for that, Mr. West!
WORST KANYE: N-word gets through
Maybe New Slave wasn’t the best choice for performing live? By my count, it has 11 N-words, 6 F-bombs and a refrain with the word ‘d—k’. Kanye made a valiant attempt to self-censor via substitution (using ‘prick’ instead of ‘d—k’) and mumbling some of the curses. It worked really well – until it didn’t. At least one of those N-words got through. Song is still hot, though.
BEST CAMEO: Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler stopped by to help Seth Meyers with his Really!?!: segment – and then stayed on for the rest of “Weekend Update.” Bonus.
So that’s a wrap.
What did you think of the finale? Is SNL in trouble with all these departures? Who will you miss the most? Did Ben Affleck do a good job? Did you like Kanye’s new songs? Let me know in the comment section below.