Bringing a close to the 37th season of the long-running NBC show, Mick Jagger took over hosting duties on last weekend's finale episode of "Saturday Night Live" until Fall. The show was a spectacular success, but also a bittersweet sendoff for Kristen Wiig, a cornerstone comedic fixture on the show for seven years.
There are places you can watch the entire episode – I've crossed over into full belief that a writer holding your hand through each and every skit, explaining what worked and what didn't simply for the sake of giving you something to agree with or fuel for a negative comment-section rant, is akin to your parents standing in the bathroom to make sure you wiped correctly, giving a power-point presentation on proper technique.
So let's discuss what's really important. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones hosted, and put on a new hat as frontman for Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, Jeff Beck and The Strokes’ Nikolai Fraiture for a series of excellent performances that wiped the floor with the majority of acts that’ve graced the stage in this 37th season of SNL. Check out those performances right here.
During the course of the show, skits included a hilarious Fred Armisen – Mick Jagger impression in “Karaoke,” Stefon’s summertime picks on Weekend Update, a cameo by Steve Martin in “The Californians,” and Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell in “Lazy Sunday 2.” Check out the hilarious "Karaoke" skit, in which Mick watches others brutalize his own songs before trying to butcher his own take on "Satisfaction" – but as a testament to his own greatness, he fails at failing. It was still awesome.
Jagger wasn't the only one with something to sing about on SNL, however. It's already been six years, somehow, after the wildly popular "Lazy Sunday" went viral, and a sequel has been long overdue. Digital Short master Andy Samberg reunited with his original co-star Chris Parnell for another hardcore rap about the least hardcore things on the planet – but by God, did they kick some serious ass. Brunch and Sister Act on Broadway were the topics at hand, and while the lyricism may have been a little convoluted, it was still a glorious revival – and a potential sendoff for Samberg, who – if rumors are true – will be leaving the show.
Check it out here:
Then it was time to for a real goodbye, and the moment couldn't have been more classy – or tearfully beautiful. As Season 37 came to a final end, as one of the best episodes in memory concluded, Jagger helped Kristen Wiig see her way out of more than half a decade of making us laugh our righteous asses off with a high-school graduation skit that turned into a tearful farewell.
"You've meant quite a lot to us over these past seven years," Mick told a teary-eyed Wiig in a cap and gown, before she stripped down to a dress for the closing musical number. Jagger had Arcade Fire play "She's a Rainbow" into a tearjerker version of "Ruby Tuesday" as she shared final dances with her castmates (my chest is hitching as I write this, just remembering). Bobby Moynihan, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis all fought to hold back tears as they embraced and took their places in the back.
Show boss Lorne Michaels made a rare onstage apparance, and all the evening's surprise visitors — including Amy Poehler, Chris Kattan, Rachel Dratch, Will Forte, Jon Hamm and Steve Martin — appeared in support of Wiig's final moment on the SNL stage. Many tears were shed both on camera and at home as we all said goodbye to the best thing to happen to SNL since Will Ferrell. See for yourself:
A better farewell could not have been imagined. We'll miss you, Kristen. Come see us again soon.