Here it is! The season 42 finale of Saturday Night Live. This season brought a bunch of stylistic changes even if it wasn’t particularly noted in front of the camera. The show on-boarded a bunch of new writers during the off season, tackled the 2016 election head on, and went with an intensive schedule at the top of the season to accommodate. The result were stellar ratings and a show that continued to be on the top of zeitgeist, even if they spent a little too much time on politics. If there were one defining characteristic of of season 42 it would be star power. Much of the cast taking a back seat to celebs like Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy taking up a lot of screen time with portrayals of Trump and Spicer. Roles that would mean serious screen time for a cast member but instead allowed for the celebs to grab the headlines over staff. In fact save for Kate McKinnon, the show isn’t currently experiencing many breakaway cast members. And as of the time of the screening, the show has three cast members are departing. Bobby Moynihan’s departure was announced a few days before the show, Vanessa Bayer’s just a day before, as we learned as the show was happening that it was also Shasheer Zamata’s final go-round with the show. The show gave Moynihan and Bayer a send-off by including at least one of them in pretty much every sketch of the evening. With Zamata, it was a bit of a different story.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is back to host SNL for the fifth time. Making him the latest host to get the (we’re sure custom tailored) smoking jacket and giving Melissa McCarthy the shortest possible tenure as the newest member. It took 17 years for Johnson to host the show 5 times leading us to wonder how and really has The Rock been this popular for this long? Let’s run down the show.
In a moment that was a spoof of a moment earlier this season, the entire cast of Trump Characters returned to send up the final cold open of the season. When we first saw Hillary Clinton performing it the weekend after Donald Trump won the election, it was both to reflect on her loss and to honor the great Leonard Cohen’s passing in the same week – many saw it as a bit heavy-handed. This opening, in a way kinda brings balance back to the force. It also might allude to Alec Baldwin hanging up the Trump impersonation after this season.
Dwayne Johnson is here to host for the 5th time. This means that some form of the other Five Timers will show up to induct Johnson. With an interview this week circulating that The Rock would be a popular choice for a President, they take that angle. After the election, Michael Moore once asked why don’t we run Tom Hanks for President? Well, now we have two wildly popular running mates that can take a run for 2020.
Fidget Spinners are everywhere these days, give that
annoying special person in your life the bling they need.
WWE Promo 2
This is the type of sketch that will make us miss Bobby Moynihan. Watching him move between trying to be aggressive, then watching the turn on his face as his opponent takes it too far. Then, the big laugh comes at the completely unexpected cutaway where he’s fully committed to the Katy Perry dancing. We don’t yet completely know the impact of losing him will be until next season when he’s not there, but it’s sketches like this we’ll miss him the most.
Ever think your favorite rap song had too many people on it? Well this sketch is the embodiment of that idea. Except, David S. Pumpkins is the last guy on the track. It becomes fire all over again.
While he might have superhero looks, Scorpio’s true passion might be in making the superhero outfits.
Gemma w/Dwayne Johnson 2
The Gemma sketches are funny for two reasons 1) her singing/raps are always tight and 2) Vanessa Bayer sells her silliness really well. So, when a dinosaur literally spews water on your head for an extended period of time, you become the MVP in our book.
Xentrex works… Hail Satan.
Katy Perry “Swish Swish”
Katy Perry is back with song that’s an apparent diss on Taylor Swift – pop music beefs are so cute! None of this matters because there’s a kid with a backpack swinging his arms like a champ. Update: that dude’s an internet celebrity.
The update desk has handled the escalation of our political news like champs, having to one-up things every week. As fully expected though, the guests at the desk were Moynihan and Bayer dropping their best impressions of their most solid characters. These two honed a lot of their greatness from the Update desk and it’s only fitting to send them off from there. Was it as elaborate as Seth Meyers was? No. But it had 100% more Drunk Uncle.
Dawn Lazarus drops in to talk about Memorial Day. Goodbye Weekend Update’s new mush mouthed meteorologist, we hardly knew ye. Judging by the audience applause you will be missed.
Drunk Uncle stops by the Update desk for the first time in a long time. We’ve wanted Bobby Moynihan back at the desk for a long time in this character. It’s bittersweet knowing it’s the first time in a long time we’ll see him and quite possibly the last time.
RKO Movie Set
Again the Bobby Moynihan cutaway adds just a bit extra to this sketch. Which, when you think about it is just a big fart joke. And who doesn’t love a good fart joke?
World’s Most Evil Invention
This sketch was funny in a really sinister kinda way. Like we’re not really sure how it made it to air. It was the funniest and darkest sketch of the night. We’re sure someone will complain, but who cares. Really, the only people that are probably have the right to be upset with this sketch are White Castle who are in a branded sketch no client would sign off on normally. Maybe that was the intention of the writers? They don’t like the branded sketch idea so they blow it up in the most public way possible and prevent them from happening next season?
Katy Perry “Bon Appetit”
Once again woke Katy Perry.
“Relax, I got this.” Is most definitely a phrase you do not want to hear from someone like the bar guy before he goes and helps you out. Maybe its just use, but we’ve
When this sketch begins you get the feeling that this might be a sendoff sketch for Moynihan and Bayer ala when Kristen Wiig departed, but very quickly it turns into a live act out of popular pop culture memes of the last year. While not a bad sketch, you’d think with two longtime players departing, there might’ve been a stronger way to honor them on their way out besides just having them in the sketch.
While their sendoffs on air might not be nearly as large as the ones for Kristen Wiig or Fred Armisen were, after curtain call, Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer and Shasheer Zamata were carried off stage by castmates, their host, Alec Baldwin, and Tom Hanks. Social media was there to tell the story.
When I was a kid would tape the audio of SNL off the TV and listen to it on the bus. At the 40th I was the Land Shark. I remember watching the Mothers Day Special and seeing Chris Farley and his Mom and saying to my Mom "Maybe one day we will do that?". Two years ago she stood next to Reese Witherspoon and I on home base. 9 years and 193 episodes ago I met Lorne Michaels and some of the most amazingly kind and talented people in the world. Last night, Kenan Thompson, Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin and Pete Davidson carried me off that stage for the last time as a cast member. The fifth longest running cast member of all time. I'm very proud of that and my time there. I am a huge fan of SNL. Always have been. Always will be. Endless thanks to the best and most hard working cast and crew in television. I love them so much it's stupid. So glad I got to share a final episode with friends @vanessabayer and @thesheertruth Thanks to @ucbtny Without you I would not feel like the luckiest boy in the world today. Thanks @nbcsnl I will miss you more than you know. Thank you for all the kind words. I'm gonna live forev…..