Logic tells us that this episode should have been a colossal failure-- tired old rock star who vaguely resemble a seventh-grade science classroom model skeleton hosts and performs on late night sketch comedy show, also past its prime, bolstered by the establishment's idea of "hip" bands (which winds up being only 33% right), and recycling earlier laff-success in one of the only attempts at a direct sequel to an immensely successful digital short with a fairly unrepeatable conceit. Whoa, that's a lot of things that can go horribly wrong! However, with Kristen Wiig's departure pumping in the empathy, and an insurmountable wave of guest stars, Mick Jagger's unbridled enthusiasm and undeniable stage presence, the night was a resounding success on all counts. Let's look at some of the highlights.
First up: Lazy Sunday 2, which made an impressive effort to improve on the original formula while keeping all the essential snack-related imagery.
The Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Tour better come to my town (which is New York, so it definitely will).
No season finale of SNL in the modern era would be complete without A VISIT FROM STEFON! Oh the things these eyes have seen...
I'd like to take a moment to highlight what might be the strangest sketch of the season-- The Californians. It seems like the only reason they did this one is for funny accents, particularly Kristen Wiig. But it's worth it for the Steve Martin cameo!
And then there were the musical performances-- four in all-- spanning many Rolling Stones hits. Mick performed with Arcade Fire, Foo Fighters, a new song with Jeff Beck, and finally, let the bands do most of the work to say goodbye to Kristen Wiig at the end of the show.
"The Last Time" (Arcade Fire and Nikolai Fraiture of The Strokes on bass):
"19th Nervous Breakdown/It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)" (with Foo Fighters):
"Tea Party" (a new song with Jeff Beck):
"She's A Rainbow" (and a farewell to Kristen Wiig):
Way to go out with a bang, SNL. We'll see you after the summer break.