Perhaps Semisonic said it best: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
This weekend marked the 38th season finale of Saturday Night Live, arguably one of the best runs the NBC variety show has seen in recent years. This is thanks in large part to fresh featured members like Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon as well as the new repertory cast of Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan, and Nasim Pedrad. These relatively young comedians were able to fill the hole made last season by the departures of heavy-hitters Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Abby Elliott, and gave the show, in the words of Bill Hader, “a new sensibility.”
“There’s a joy in seeing a new move from somebody and going, ‘Oh, she can do that,'” Mr. Hader told The New York Times last week.
But the Ben Affleck/Kanye West-hosted finale was also bittersweet, with several major players–including Fred Armisen, Weekend Update’s Seth Meyers (who was also the show’s head writer) and Bill Hader–taking their final bows, leaving the cast virtually unrecognizable from two years ago. (This will especially be true if Jason Sudeikis just makes up his mind already and leaves during the summer.)
Despite the fact that SNL doesn’t usually make a big deal about a player leaving the cast, last year’s tribute to Wiig seems to have upped the ante for their own farewells. Here is how each member said goodbye.
Seth Meyers and Bill Hader: Stefon and Seth Get Married
The perfect end: Fan favorite Stefon finally consumated his love with the Weekend Update anchor in a scene straight out of The Graduate: If The Graduate had featured Anderson Cooper, Gay Urkel, DJ Baby Bok Choy and human traffic cones.
Fred Armisen: Top of the Pops
The Portlandia star got a little help from his musical buddies, including his IFC show’s co-creator Carrie Brownstein, Kim Gordon, Steve Jones, Aimee Mann, J. Mascis and Michael Penn.
Though the sketch wasn’t the funniest of the night, it was, like Wiig’s, a heartfelt goodbye in song, with Armisen ending on the lines, “It’s been all right / I’ve had a lovely night with you.”