‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Larry David’s Bernie Sanders, Farewell Mr. Bunting, more in Fred Armisen finale (videos)

SNL -Tonight, “Saturday Night Live” returned with its season finale, and clearly the show felt it necessary in order to bring back probably the most popular guest of the entire season: Bernie Sanders. Larry David returned for his last appearance this season as the Presidential candidate, and it was a particularly biting take on the the subject matter as a whole, whether it be Bernie’s errors to Hillary taking most of the delegates in Wyoming, despite Bernie getting most of the votes.

This entire cold open was all sorts of absurd, but also funny since it got the Kate McKinnon version of the former First Lady out of her typical position on the show. Rather than putting these two in a debate or an interview show, they interacted more with each other. If we never the Bernie character again again, this was a worthy send-off. Hilariously, though, part of the point of this sketch was that Hillary was writing Bernie off too early … so who knows?

Also, the dance at the end was completely random, but it was nice to get a little tour of the studio. It’s been a while since we’ve had that.

We’re going to have some more updates from this episode as the show goes on, so be sure to check back here and refresh LIVE. We should have some videos up not long after the show airs.

Fred Armisen monologue – The best monologue of the season. It was a brilliant performance piece with wonderful one-man show satire, great voice work, a tribute to some of his past characters, crowd-work, and also a little bit of heart and reflection. At times, the audience didn’t know where to laugh, but that’s because he had them so on edge.

Lewis & Clark – We have no idea who came up with the idea for there to be a gay Lewis actively pursuing Clark in a classroom full of kids, but we found it funny. We figured the show was probably going to be weird and polarizing with Fred as a host, but we’re fine with weird if it’s funny. We enjoyed this.

F— Bin Laden – Andy Samberg brought his new Lonely Island creation Connor4Real character to the show for a Digital Short, which we really haven’t seen in ages. The hook was actually catchy, and while we’re not going to say this was up there with some other songs over the years, it did at least prove interesting.

Regine – Remember this character? Well, Jason Sudeikis returned with his “new girlfriend,” who did an amazing job making everyone remarkably uncomfortable in so many ways. It’s basically a sketch-by-the-numbers, but the physical comedy made this worthwhile.

Farewell Mr. Bunting – “SNL” really went a LONG way for this “Dead Poets Society” parody, but we gotta say that in the end, it really did prove to be worthwhile just for the sake of seeing someone’s head be cut off my a fan and thrown around the room. Easily one of our favorites this season.

Weekend Update – Maya Rudolph’s back! Also, Willie. We’re probably more of a Willie apologist than most critics, but this one felt especially rushed for some reason that is largely unclear to us. Some of the jokes tonight at least were especially biting, and we laughed much harder than we thought we would going into it.

Shuttle escape – The first real miss of the night. The whole joke here was that Armisen’s character escaped on a pod from the spaceship, only to be given a wide array of entertainment options while his friends were about to die. After the first instance of the joke, there was nothing else.

School performance – Yep, we’re doing this odd “theater production” again with the odd hipster statements. This has never been funny to us, so we don’t understand why we needed it in the finale of all places.

Summertime in Fayetteville – Remember when Armisen left the show last time with “It’s a Lovely Day”? For some reason, he likes to do these weird character pieces that aren’t really funny, but just a lot of people singing and playing together, at the end of notable episodes for him. It was nice to see Carrie Brownstein, but not really the best send-off to a show that really feel apart after “Weekend Update” but was great before that. Episode Grade: B+.

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