SNL Finale Highlights: Tina Fey Spoofs Mean Girls Musical, Royal Wedding

Despite a valiant effort from returning host Tina FeySaturday Night Live‘s 43rd season went out with (mostly) a whimper.

Following a lackluster (and dated!) Sopranos-themed cold open, SNL rebounded with Fey’s star-studded monologue, which featured cameos by Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Donald Glover, Chris Rock, Benedict Cumberbatch, Fred Armisen and Tracy Morgan. The sharp, resonant bit poked fun at the show’s preference for using big-name guest stars instead of its own cast members.

Weirdly, the underwhelming episode picked up steam in the last half-hour…

BEST: SARAH PALIN ADVICE
Fey reprised her role as the former VP candidate, and was joined by current and former Trump staffers, including John Goodman’s Rex Tillerson, Fred Armisen’s Michael Wolff, Leslie Jones’ Omarosa and Kate McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway. Together, they sang “What I Did for Trump,” a humorous sendup of A Chorus Line‘s “What I Did for Love.” But funniest of all was Aidy Bryant’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who likened her White House tenure to “Saved by the Bell: The New Class, and I’m Screech, still there for some reason.”

BEST: CHICAGO IMPROV
The 12:55 am sketch introduced the latest offshoot of the #OneChicago franchise: a drama centered on an improv group in “America’s number three comedy market.” The pull quotes got funnier as the skit went on, with The Wall Street Journal asking, “Did Dick Wolf lose a bet?” and Improv Magazine lamenting that show featured “too much improv.”

HONORABLE MENTION: SOPRANOS COLD OPEN
Anyone who’s seen the iconic finale knew exactly how this occasionally amusing sketch was going to play out, right up to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” abruptly cutting out and the scene going dark. It’ll be interesting to see just how many of these characters — including Ben Stiller’s Michael Cohen — are still “employed” when SNL returns this fall.

HONORABLE MENTION: ROYAL WEDDING
Mikey Day’s Prince Harry introduced viewers to some of the reception’s most notable attendees… and then the rando table, which included Heidi Gardner as a former briefcase girl who worked with Meghan Markle on Deal or No Deal, as well as Fey’s Aunty Creepy, described as “a monster and a bit of a pedophile.”

HONORABLE MENTION: MEAN GIRLS
The most amusing part was Lin-Manuel Miranda putting Fey in his burn book after she suggested he throws himself into his musicals, for better or worse.

WORST: PERVERT HUNTERS
Why SNL would do a To Catch a Predator spoof more than 10 years after the show departed NBC’s lineup is anybody’s guess.

What were your favorite sketches this week? And what missed the mark? Grade the finale via the following poll, then hit the comments to flesh out your thoughts.