Kristen Wiig got an emotional send-off as she made her final curtain call during the season finale of Saturday Night Live. It’s just too bad that the episode as a whole didn’t provide a funnier last impression for the fabulous comedienne, Oscar-nominated earlier this year for her excellent Bridesmaids screenplay.
It didn’t help, of course, that host Mick Jagger struggled mightily from tepid opening monologue to a final sketch, where his attempt to pull off a “California” accent was so strained, the Rolling Stones frontman appeared to be on the brink of an aneyurism. And Jagger didn’t fare much better with his other impressions: A ’60s movie tough guy with a garishly fey center, a musically inhibited insurance salesman, and (least successful of all) Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.
Also curious: If, as rumored, the Season 37 finale was the swan song for Wiig’s comrades Jason Sudeikis and Andy Samberg, how come no special sendoff for them? Ah well, we’ll always have “Lazy Sunday: 2.”
Below, my picks for best and worst sketches:
Best: Lazy Sunday 2
Let me not give away too much about this genius rap collaboration/sequel starring Samberg and Chris Parnell. I’ll just say I was howling from start to finish at this digital short, with doubly big guffaws at references to John Wilkes Booth, Raven Symone, and Channing Tatum. An instant classic? Yes!
Best: Lawrence Welk Cold Open
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Wiig’s creepy, babydoll-handed singing sister, but I’ll admit I got some hearty giggles watching her interact (hideously) with a urinating statue, then win the heart of Jon Hamm’s Gianni Prosciutto.
Honorable Mention: Stefon
Not Stefon’s finest Weekend Update appearance, but Bill Hader’s absurdly gay city correspondent definitely wins the award for the night’s best line: “For the kids, a special workshop where you can build a bear…but not the kind you think.”
Just in Case You Missed It: Kristen Wiig’s Emotional Sendoff
Worst: Politics Nation With Al Sharpton
Either Kenan Thompson’s impersonation of the Rev. Al needs sharpening, or those punch lines involving teleprompter misreadings and mispronunciations need a total overhaul. Because hearing Thompson introduce himself as “Al Sharpton lettuce,” then correcting himself to say “let us talk about what’s goin’ on on Wall Street” just isn’t gonna cut it.
Worst: So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival
This sketch had its moments — particularly Taran Killam as a guy on mushrooms, “dancing with a garbage bag he found,” but mostly it felt like a failed opportunity to capitalize on a very clever idea. Why not let one of the female cast members break out a Cat Deeley or Mary Murphy impression, thus making the sketch as much a commentary on the SYTYCD mothership as it was on scrubby festival hoofers? And oh how Jagger’s Steven Tyler brought this one to a screeching halt every time he spoke.
What did you think of this week’s SNL? How did Jagger fare as host? And what did you think of Wiig’s sendoff? Will you miss her? Sound off in the comments!