For the last episode of “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, we had a show that really could not be more hot-and-cold if it was done all over again. There were moments we genuinely laughed for minutes, and then moments that we were bored. Also, there was those strange performances from Kanye West, who has basically became the ultimate rap hipster that Hannah Horvath would love.
We’re going to do things a little out of order this time, and start with what may be our favorite send-off to an “SNL” character ever: Seth Meyers running into Stefon at the altar. We love the character, but we almost hope that we never see him again after this lovely, surprisingly moving way to say goodbye to him in Bill Hader’s last show. There was plenty of humor, but at the same time, also representations of so many of the outrageous characters that we’ve heard about over the years. It was a nice send-off to everything that we’ve come to know and love in this sketch, and a real gift to longtime fans who even remember his first sketch with Ben Affleck years ago.
Ben Go F*** Yourself – We knew at some point the show was going to spoof “Argo,” but it could have been a lot worse than this. Basically, watching an Iranian President, played by Fred Armisen, play Ben Affleck. Meanwhile, Ben Affleck played a sound guy, and said he found a movie worse than “Gigli.” It was the perfect length, and the perfect amount of laughs.
Xanax for gay summer weddings – Yes, this was a little bit stereotypical when it comes to how gay men throw weddings. But seeing the “stress” that is caused by them, and a drug to fix it, was worth a few laughs.
1930s sketch – Completely absurd. We have no idea at all why this worked, and why listening to Bill Hader as a “dreamer” with questionable values was funny. Maybe it was Affleck obviously being Jimmy Stewart. Anyhow, this was proof that sometimes, “SNL” doesn’t need to poke fun at any one particular thing to be funny.
Amy Poehler’s return – Even before Stefon’s return to “Weekend Update,” it was nice to see Amy back in action here with a “Really?” segment, and then stick around. Basically, Amy should be allowed to appear any sketch she wants.
Hermes handbag – These sales sketches with Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer have been great additions late in many shows this season. Heck, Strong herself has easily been the best new player of the season, and if she isn’t upgraded beyond featured over the summer, we will seriously roll our eyes.
Fred Armisen’s farewell – What a nice little way to say goodbye to Fred. We didn’t like all of his characters over the years, but we like how he went somewhat genuine and sincere in saying farewell while also showing his musical talents that we never really saw utilized enough on the show. For those wondering, Jason Sudeikis may leave, but it is not confirmed; meanwhile, Meyers will stay through the fall half of next season.
What Didn’t Work
Politics Nation – This was the last episode of “SNL” this season, and you choose to start things off with this? We can’t imagine anything more disappointing than having another lame cable news sketch, starring Kenan Thompson doing half an impression of Al Sharpton. We love this show far too much not to feel disappointed with how the show started.
Ben Affleck monologue – It didn’t really get much better from there, mostly because we didn’t really want to see a whole monologue about him getting shafted from Steve Martin showing up, and explaining that he loves his wife. Seeing Jennifer Garner was cool, but it was too sappy for an “SNL” opener and lacked any bite at all.
Camp sketch – What is with all of the gay jokes tonight? There were some moments in here, but after getting the Xanax commercial, this almost felt a little bit like creative overkill on the same joke over and over again.
The funeral sketch – Consider this a perfect storm: A one-note joke that was not particularly funny, and then lasted far longer than it needed to. We get it: Affleck’s character was not really dead, and was just trying to blackmail everyone.
What was your take on the “Saturday Night Live” finale as a whole? In case you didn’t hear what Hader said recently about the possibility of a Stefon movie, you can do so over here.