(Season 38, Episode 21: Season Finale)
Bumper

 

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

BEN AFFLECK: “To the Wonder”

KANYE WEST: “Yeezus” (album)

COLD OPENING: Politics Nation (4:25)
Politics Nation

–      I’ve always kinda liked this sketch despite the jokes being the same type of thing every time. However, I like Kenan’s Al Sharpton impression and he does a pretty good job of carrying it.

–      Sudeikis made for yet another great straight man character.

–      Hader’s insane-looking Tea Party supporter was pretty funny. I like how despite him looking ridiculous, he still appeared to be the straight man to Sharpton’s lunacy.

–      Loved the clip of “Senator McConnell” on Jimmy Fallon’s show.

–      The bar graph bit was also pretty great especially how it compared white people in 20 years to black people yesterday.

RATING: *** ½

MONOLOGUE: Ben Affleck (4:11)
Monologue

–      Cute monologue. This wasn’t anything amazing but it was still pretty fun and Affleck, of course, had good chemistry with his wife, Mrs. Garner.

–      The best part of the monologue was Bobby Moynihan with the “5” shirt, telling Ben that all the celebrities were here for Timberlake’s show, and then asking Ben if he wants to hear the Five-Timers Club theme song before retracting because it doesn’t exist.

–      I always thought Garner made a good host. I hope she comes back to do it again some day.

RATING: *** ½

SHOW: HBO First Look – Bengo Fuck Yourself (3:23)
Bengo Fuck Yourself

–      Very clever way of doing an Argo-inspired sketch. At first I was surprised to see a simple address by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Armisen) but it evolved into a very funny piece.

–      The parts I really liked was Hader’s “Ha ha ha! I am a Hollywood executive,” Armisen’s constant “park the car in Harvard Yard” line to get the correct accent, Affleck saying that he took the role as the sound man so that he could do a worse film than Gigli, and the Oscar speech at the end in which Fred thanks the elders of Zion.

–      They also kept this whole thing fairly short, which made it pretty tight and concise.

RATING: ****

COMMERCIAL: Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings (1:53)
Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings

–      Very funny commercial piece. Reminded me of that Homocil commercial from years back.

–      The best parts were Hader trying to participate in a choreographed dance, Bayer sneaking her present onto the table, and Hader’s grandma calling Obama the n-word “in her toast.”

–      The lesbian summer weddings bit at the end was amusing.

RATING: ****

SKETCH: The Great Depression (3:01)
The Great Depression

–      Hader’s old-timey voice was tremendous and Affleck did a pretty good job as well. I also loved Kate McKinnon’s look as her character and the twist involving her being a 40-year old prostitute was also great.

–      The ending with Kate trying to give Hader a BJ was also a pretty funny subtle ending.

RATING: *** ½

SKETCH: Straight Camp (4:06)
Straight Camp

–      Pretty funny little sketch with a fine performance by Affleck at its center. He really held the whole thing together and I really liked the moment with he and Taran coming VERY close to each other.

–      Speaking of Taran, he was fantastic here. I liked his musical performance in the middle of the sketch.

–      Jay Pharoah’s silent role was also quite funny.

RATING: *** ½

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Black Skinhead” (3:25)
Kanye West1

–      I wasn’t a big fan of whatever Kanye was doing with his voice but the overall performance was hella intense and I really loved the backdrop with the barking dogs.

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler (12:22)

Guests: Stefon (including: Anderson Cooper and Ben Affleck), the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party, Arianna Huffington, Jean K. Jean, David Paterson, Ann Romney, Jacob, Drunk Uncle, and the Devil
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7 update8 update9 update10 update11 update12

–      Best Jokes: Biden/whoopie cushion; Disney redesigned; in Vitro meat; Bacon Bacon; Take-a-Wish Foundation; Beckham’s retirement; cicada sushi

–      Really!?! featuring Amy Poehler was a lot of fun as is any time they bring Amy back for a little cameo. She really needs to come back and host again. I liked the Entourage reference, Obama getting all his information from TV, and Amy’s “Weed 420” license plate.

–      Stefon’s commentary was pretty damn funny, especially Hader’s reaction to Amy Poehler (“… who’s this?”) and the weird descriptions he always goes into were terrific like usual.

–      What more can be said about Stefon’s wedding?! It was an awesome segment and it was terrific to see all the random one-off characters that Stefon describes that were in attendance for the wedding. Hader and Seth were perfect here and the flashbacks actually made me a bit emotional. Anderson’s Cooper cameo was also great! You could also tell that Seth and Bill were getting teary-eyed by the end of Update. Then just to top off the whole thing, the show busted out tons of recurring Update characters to send them off in a beautiful farewell.

RATING: *****

SKETCH: Greg’s Funeral (5:54)
Greg's Funeral

–      Another sketch where Affleck’s performance perfectly centered the whole thing and he held it all together very well. His Mexican accent was hilarious and I like how upset he got when some of the speakers talked about how much they disliked him.

–      At first I thought this was going to be another one of those speech interruption sketches but I quickly realized that this was going to be something else more original.

–      My favourite stories were Robinson’s bit about Affleck going around the neighbourhood taking down missing children posters, Cecily’s bit about Affleck stealing dog food (as well as Affleck’s defense of the situation), and Kate’s bit was the best part. I also gotta give props to Taran (THE MAN!) for his performance in this sketch.

RATING: ****

COMMERCIAL: Hermes Handbags (5:04)
Hermes Handbags

–      I still really like these characters from Vanessa and Cecily. They haven’t gotten old yet and I can’t put my finger on why they continue to be hilarious. It’s definitely mostly attributed to their performances.

–      Affleck has been my favourite of the three hosts to take part in these sketches. He had plenty of great material with his scene at the end and his delivery was excellent.

–      I loved Vanessa’s insult to Charo, the line about “spinning on a golden wiener,” “Christopher Cumbus,” and Cecily’s line about being banged through a glass ceiling and becoming a feminist.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “New Slaves” (2:40)
Kanye West2

–      I LOVED this performance! Kanye didn’t do that stupid voice thing this time and thus it made me like this one a lot more! Another gritty intense performance.

SKETCH: Cop Family (4:16)
Cop Family

–      Decent piece although it was basically the same joke over and over again. I enjoyed everyone’s cop performances though, especially Taran doing his funny crying/stammering thing. I also liked the fact that Sudeikis was in uniform.

–      Tim and Nasim were pretty good as the straight players in the sketch.

RATING: ***

MUSICAL SKETCH: It’s a Lovely Day (3:47)
It's a Lovely Day

–      Beautiful way to end the season and it also doubled as a fantastic send-off for Hader and especially Fred Armisen. It wasn’t played for laughs really at all but I can feel like I can still rate it.

–      Loved all the musical cameos too.

–      I am really going to miss Fred Armisen despite the harsh critics he gets these past couple seasons. Bill Hader, of course, will be GREATLY missed and I agree with most people regarding him being one of the best castmembers of all time.

–      “It’s been alright, I’ve had a lovely time with you!” What a great way to go out.

RATING: *****

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Bill Hader/Ben Affleck/Fred Armisen

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Terrific episode and a great way to top off the season. Affleck was an awesome host as per usual while Kanye West was once again a great musical guest. As far as the farewells go, I don’t think they could’ve been any better here. Bill Hader received a wonderful exit as Stefon and Fred Armisen leaving with his Ian Rubbish character was a lovely way to leave as well. It’ll be interesting to see what the new cast looks like next season!

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****

 

I’ll be posting my year-end thoughts sometime over the summer as well.

But for now…

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