by Brendan Wahl
(Season 37, Episode 22)
1. Cold Opening: The Lawrence Welk Show (5:01)
It’s time once again for Lawrence Welk (Armisen) to introduce another musical number from the sisters hailing from the Fingerlakes (Elliott, Pedrad, & Bayer) and their deformed sibling Dooneese (Wiig) as they attempt to seduce an Italian lothario (Jon Hamm!).
- A good choice for a cold open on Kristen Wiig’s final SNL. Everything worked here from Fred’s dependable Lawrence Welk, Jon Hamm’s surprise cameo and hilarious Italian accent, Kate McKinnon’s quick role, and of course Kristen as the gross deformed sister.
- I really liked Fred’s fingering joke at the beginning.
- The ending was perfect with Wiig finally finding her true love in Hamm’s character. I laughed a whole lot at Hamm sucking on her strange, disgusting hands. I think it almost made Kristen crack up as well.
Rating: *** 1/2
2. Monologue (3:10)
- Jagger proved right away that he would be a fun host with his laid-back demeanour and funny delivery. His charisma really helped carry this otherwise-alright monologue.
- My favourite question that he answered was regarding the “I can’t hear you!” line that rock singers typically yell out at concerts.
3. Secret Word (4:57)
- Pretty strong Secret Word sketch for Kristen to finish off her amazing tenure on the show. Kristen had lots of great moments here (I particularly loved the canal/anal mix-up) but I thought Mick Jagger’s performance was very strong as well. Loved the voice he chose for the character.
- Hader’s birth control line was hilarious.
- The “soft” secret word part was predictable but hilarious because of Jagger’s performance and Killam’s reactions.
Rating: *** 1/2
4. Karaoke Night (5:00)
A number of bar patrons (Jagger, Armisen, Moynihan, Wiig, Bayer, & Killam) witness each other attempt their best Jagger impressions while performing some of his hits, while one of them (Jagger) doesn’t feel that the over-the-top characterizations are that accurate.
- Funny sketch with another very fun performance from Jagger and a really, really good Mick Jagger impression from Fred Armisen in particular. This was a very good example of a simple premise executed really well
- The patrons thinking that Bobby Moynihan sleeping on the microphone was part of the impression was hilarious.
- Moynihan actually singing “Sympathy for the Devil” as part of the lyrics was great as well.
- I liked the ending with Mick’s soft singing.
Rating: *** 1/2
5. Digital Short: Lazy Sunday 2 (2:06)
- Much like last week, I was blown away by the digital short. It was so fucking awesome that they did a sequel to the original hit as a way to say goodbye to one of the most beloved features of SNL for the last seven years.
- The best part about this sequel is that they didn’t repeat the first one but rather brought a new spin to this thing and the bit with Andy and Chris doing the new rap segment was terrific.
- “On these New York streets, I honed my fake rap penmanship; that’s how it began and that’s how I’m-a finish it!” was an absolutely perfect way for the digital shorts to come to an end. Absolutely brilliant.
6. Politics Nation (4:16)
Al Sharpton (Thompson) brings on J.P. Morgan representative Colin McKechnie (Jagger), New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (Armisen), and Peter Panache (Sudeikis) to discuss a huge financial loss for J.P. Morgan and job availability in the US.
- I was in the minority of really enjoying the first one of these sketches back on the Katy Perry episode and I enjoyed this one as well just as much as the first one. It was one of the highlights of the night actually.
- Mick looked like he was on the verge of cracking up at the end of his segment.
- Armisen announcing the available jobs for New Yorkers was a funny bit.
- The “salmon canary” mix-up was hilarious.
- This was an awesome performance. Simply fantastic. Mick and Arcade Fire were a really unexpectedly great combination.
8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (8:43)
- Not much to say about the fantastic segment of Update this week. Stefon was the only guest and he was great like usual. Of course, he cracked up at one point and recovered somewhat and then continued on with his insane commentary. The highlights this time were the D-Bag Chopra, build-a-bear, roaming draggers, and human R2D2 comments.
Rating: **** 1/2
9. So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival (4:01)
Dave Matthews (Hader) hosts a series in which people attempt to dance to songs at an outdoor music festival while guest judges Carlos Santana (Armisen), Jewel (Elliott), and Steven Tyler (Jagger) look on.
- Funny sketch. I love the music and the dancing was fairly accurate but Moynihan was easily the highlight. Then again, Killam’s segment was quite funny as well.
- I love Hader’s Dave Matthews impression. I also really enjoyed the appearances by Abby as Jewel, Fred as Santana, and Mick as Steven Tyler.
- The crowd seemed to REALLY like this sketch.
- Another fantastic musical performance, this time of a medley involving two great Stones songs.
- Jagger is clearly the best musical guest of the season and there has been a lot of good ones this year.
11. The Californians (5:49)
- Much like Politics Nation, I was happy to see this come back and I know barely anyone else felt the same way.
- My favourite moments in this sketch came from Mick’s strange and slow-paced Californian accent, Kristen nearly coming to laughs when questioning Fred having a father, and the great appearance by Steve Martin as an amnesiac.
- Steve Martin’s cameo was hilarious and totally unexpected. He got a great reaction upon his entrance as well.
- A wicked original song written about the 2012 election. Something tells me that if Jagger could vote, he probably wouldn’t cast one for Mitt Romney.
- Jagger dropped an S-bomb.
13. She’s a Rainbow (4:20)
Mick introduces Kristen Wiig as a “graduating” castmember while “She’s a Rainbow” and “Ruby Tuesday” play to honour her legacy on the show. All the castmembers dance with Kristen as well as she waves to everyone in the audience and the goodnights immediately follow.
- This was one of the classiest send-offs that any castmember has ever received on the show and a hell of a way to end the season. Say what you want about Kristen but she left a legacy that will be hard to follow and she was one of the best female castmembers of all time.
- The Lorne Michaels dance almost made me cry. That was an extremely nice gesture on Lorne’s part and it was a sweet moment.
- Hader, Moynihan, and Sudeikis looked particularly upset at the departure of Kristen Wiig.
- It was awesome to have Martin, Parnell and Hamm come back and that Chris Kattan, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Will Forte came back to send off Kristen.
OVERALL: What a season finale. Mick Jagger was a terrific host & musical guest and Arcade Fire and the Foo Fighters were excellent accompaniment as well. To say that I will miss Kristen Wiig is putting it lightly and I can’t state enough how much of a wonderful contribution she has made to the program over the last seven years. Excellent season-closer. I will have my year-end statistics posted tomorrow.
HOST: MICK JAGGER – 7 segments (Monologue; Secret Word; Karaoke Night; Politics Nation; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
CAMEOS: RACHEL DRATCH – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
WILL FORTE – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
JON HAMM – 2 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; She’s a Rainbow)
CHRIS KATTAN – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
STEVE MARTIN – 2 segments (The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
CHRIS PARNELL – 2 segments (Lazy Sunday 2; She’s a Rainbow)
AMY POEHLER – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
FRED ARMISEN – 6 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; Karaoke Night; Politics Nation; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 4 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
BILL HADER – 5 segments (Secret Word; Weekend Update; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
SETH MEYERS – 2 segments (Weekend Update; She’s a Rainbow)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 3 segments (Karaoke Night; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; She’s a Rainbow)
NASIM PEDRAD – 2 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; She’s a Rainbow)
ANDY SAMBERG – 3 segments (Lazy Sunday 2; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 2 segments (Politics Nation; She’s a Rainbow)
KENAN THOMPSON – 3 segments (Politics Nation; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
KRISTEN WIIG – 6 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; Secret Word; Karaoke Night; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
VANESSA BAYER – 5 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; Secret Word; Karaoke Night; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
TARAN KILLAM – 4 segments (Secret Word; Karaoke Night; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; She’s a Rainbow)
KATE MCKINNON – 2 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; She’s a Rainbow)
JAY PHAROAH – 1 segments (She’s a Rainbow)
EPISODE MVPs: Mick Jagger/Kristen Wiig/Andy Samberg