May 27, 2012

SNL Season Finale with Mick Jagger and Who's Leaving SNL?

I know I'm incredibly late on this (as explained in our last post, we missed SNL when it aired, and we've been busy all week), but we finally had the chance to watch the Saturday Night Live season finale and write this long, rambling post about it.  And what a show it was!  Mick Jagger really came through as a surprisingly good host, we got an always-welcomed cameo from Jon Hamm, a sequel to Lazy Sunday, an appearance from Stefon, and an emotional farewell to Kristen Wiig.  Here's our thoughts on some of the big sketches of the night.

In addition to a reprisal of some of Kristen Wiig's most popular sketches, we were treated to a fun little sketch called "Karaoke".  This sketch seems to follow the long running trend (as I previously posted about) of SNL cast members doing impressions of Mick Jagger in front of Mick Jagger.  Following in the footsteps of Mike Myers and Jimmy Fallon, this time it's Fred Armisen (and to a lesser extent, Bobby Moynihan) who do their best Jagger in front of Jagger.

On last week's SNL (well, I guess it was 2 weeks ago by now), they had an epic "100th Digital Short", which featured the return of many Digital Short characters and guest stars.  With all the rumors going around that Andy Samberg would be leaving the show after this season, I speculated  that it would be the Digital Short Finale and that there would be no Digital Short on the Jagger show (or any thereafter).  It was also interesting that in the 100th Digital Short, while nearly all of the "popular" shorts were reprised or at least referred to, there was no mention of Lazy Sunday, Digital Short #2, one of the very first viral videos that really brought The Lonely Island and SNL Digital Shorts such popularity.  Well, now we know the reason.  The 100th Digital Short was not the Digital Short Finale, it looks like that honor goes to Digital Short #101 - Lazy Sunday 2!

And in case you forgot, here's the original Lazy Sunday:

I thought this was a really great follow up to the original Lazy Sunday. I like how Andy is still sleeping late on Sunday, as he was out late Saturday night doing SNL and attending the after-party, while Parns, who is no longer on the show, is up early working out at Crunch.  The pair have also matured over the last 7 years.  Instead of eating cupcakes and Red Vines, they're eating a low calorie brunch at a "cute French place".  And instead of going to the movies, they're going to the theater to see a Broadway musical.  But of course, it's still the same old pair, just hanging out together on a Lazy Sunday afternoon.  And I know I was wrong before when I thought that the 100th Digital Short would be the last,  but based on the last line of Lazy Sunday 2, it certainly seems that this will be the final Digital Short.  Andy raps, “On these New York streets I hone my fake rap penmanship. That’s how it began, and that’s how I’m-a finish it.”  

But, maybe it's not.  What really confuses me is "She's a Rainbow", the final sketch of the night, which gave a very emotional farewell to departing cast member Kristen Wiig.

While rumors have been swirling around over the last few months that Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Jason Sudeikis would be leaving the show after this season, NBC and the cast members never confirmed the news, only saying that contracts would be negotiated after the season ended over the summer.  But this sketch very clearly indicates that Kristen Wiig is leaving the show, as one by one, each cast member shares a little farewell dance with her, while Kristen fights back tears.  This is all then capped off with SNL creator/executive producer Lorne Michaels giving her a big hug and  former cast members Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Chris Kattan, and Will Forte all stopping by for her last show, as everyone joins together to sing The Rolling Stones' "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday".  Kristen is the clear center of attention here, and even the official description of the video as posted by NBC is "A farewell homage to Kristen Wiig".  

Now, while this a very sweet tribute to Kristen, what does this say about Andy and Jason?  If they are in fact leaving too, why wouldn't their departure get such a grand fanfare?  While it's true that Kristen has recently broken out as a big movie star with the success of Bridesmaids, Jason and Andy have actually been on SNL slightly longer than she has, and have both starred in their fair share of movies.  I suppose you could argue that the 100th Digital Short and Lazy Sunday 2 were Samberg's farewell, as he got 2 big, self-indulgent sketches.  But still, that seems to be the equivalent of Kristen starring in "The Lawrence Welk Show" and "Secret Word" in the same show.

Even stranger is the case of Jason Sudeikis.  Despite reprising Joe Biden and "Twinkle and Stink" in the previous episode, Jason is practically absent from this whole show.  Furthermore, what's most bizarre is his behavior during Kristen's farewell.  Scroll up and watch that video again, but this time, just stare at Jason Sudeikis whenever he's on screen.  Seriously, go do it.  Unlike the others, who do a fun dance with Kristen and then clap and sing along with the rest of the cast, Jason comes out, holds Kristen tightly as she whispers something in his ear, and then walks away, slowly swaying with the group but not actually singing or clapping.  His face looks very emotional and visibly upset, like he's trying really hard to not break down.  He then slowly drifts to the back of the crowd until he's no longer visible on screen, as everyone gathers around Kristen to give her hugs.  So what is the reason for Jason's behavior?  Is he staying and was just sad to see Kristen go?  Is he leaving and was jealous that Kristen got a big farewell sketch and he didn't?  My guess is that he really wanted to leave the show after this season, but Lorne convinced him to stay another season so could continue to play Mitt Romney in the months leading up to the presidential election. (Of course, what then happens if Romney actually becomes president?)

In fact, Andy and Jason may not be leaving at all.  In an article posted by Vulture shortly after the finale, when Lorne was asked about Andy and Jason leaving SNL, he responded, "What? No. Who said that? No. In no way. Absolutely not ... No decision will be made on that until July ... I'm not even dealing with that yet."  But if that's the case, then what's with Andy's lyrics at the end of Lazy Sunday 2?  And why was Jason so emotional?  I guess we'll have to wait until July to find out...

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