This weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live was both the season finale and Kristen Wiig’s final episode, and man, it was great! All killer no filler, except for the weird blues song about Mitt Romney or whatever that Mick Jagger performed with Jeff Beck, which I thought was a sketch at first but turned out to be not a sketch at all. That was so weird! But other than that the episode was great. Kristen Wiig got to bring out a few of her old pals one last time (Lawrence Welk, The Californians, Secret Word), and they were all funnier than they have been in recent history. (Secret Word especially.) Mick Jagger was a surprisingly great host. Jon Hamm was there, obviously, as was Steve Martin. The musical performances with The Arcade Fire and Foo Fighters acting as Mick Jagger’s backup bands were all exciting to see. Overall it was great, just wonderful. Enjoyable from cold open to goodbye waving. There wasn’t really a sketch I’d point out as particularly not great, so let’s review some of the ones that were particularly SO great.
The “Lawrence Welk” cold open was very good, no duh, as every “Lawrence Welk” sketch has ever been. One of those sketches you just get excited about at the moment you realize what the sketch is going to be. (Like “Gilly” sketches.) (Everyone agrees!) The immediate Jon Hamm cameo was funny just because OF COURSE there was an immediate Jon Hamm cameo. Can’t wait for next season when the entire cast is replaced by Jon Hamm and Justin Timberlake. That’s gonna be a blast. Goodbye, “Lawrence Welk” girl with tiny hands! We’ll miss you!
The Mick Jagger karaoke sketch was so good. Mick Jagger reminded me of Neil from the Young Ones a lot during it, if you understand what that means, though it is totally fine if you do not. He was so great! Who knew Mick Jagger knew how to play a funny, upset, shy guy in a comedy sketch! That guy. Full of surprises.
“Secret Word” is a sketch that is almost never that good. Mostly, I think, because you know what the joke is going to be right away and then it never really goes anywhere from there. BUT! This edition of “Secret Word” was actually very enjoyable! And I think, again, it’s due in big part to Mick Jagger being an apt host, and a good sport. Though Kristin Wiig’s actress character did not disappoint, either. Great gal.
“Lazy Sunday 2″ was great, obviously. I hope no one is going to complain about how it’s disappointing that in order to do a great Digital Short lately it seems that they just have to recycle old Digital Short ideas, because even if that is maybe true, which I think it maybe is, and is probably worth complaining about at some other point, this was a VERY GOOD recycling of an old Digital Short idea. And it’s the season finale! NO COMPLAINING ALLOWED!
And, finally, the big Kristen Wiig goodbye. So sad. When she hugged Bill Hader for a long time and WE ALL started crying? Give me a break. This video is actually maybe NSFW, unless your work is ok with you crying about a person you’ll never meet leaving a weekly sketch comedy show while Mick Jagger and the Arcade Fire sing at her. If your work is cool with that though then go ahead!
You can watch the musical clips — as well as a clip of the weird blues song that we already spoke about — over at Stereogum.