In honor of Kristen Wiig's farewell sketch in this season's SNL season finale (which we've posted enough times by now, if you haven't seen it yet, check out our prior posts), we thought we'd take a look back at some other memorable SNL farewell sketches. While most SNL cast members leave without much fanfare (due to being fired or deciding to leave during the summer hiatus), some announce that they'll leave at a certain time in the future (usually at the end of the season), which allows the show's writers to organize a "farewell sketch" of some sort to say goodbye. It's always difficult to balance the sentimentality of a cast member leaving with humor (I'd actually argue that Kristen Wiig's farewell could have been a little funnier), but these sketches did their best to do just that. Here's a few of our favorite "farewell sketches". Let us know if we missed any!
Arguably the biggest SNL star of all time, Will Ferrell was given a very nice tribute by his fellow cast members for the final sketch of his final show. One by one, each cast member shared how much they loved and will miss Will Ferrell. That is, all except one...
While Amy didn't get a big farewell sketch, she did get a few minutes at the end of Weekend Update to say goodbye. It was very sweet, until an unexpected guest popped up...
For Jimmy's final show, the cast performed "Summer Loving" from the musical Grease, with Jimmy and Tina Fey as the main couple (the two co-anchored Weekend Update). A very fun way to end Jimmy's time on SNL.
While that is how Jimmy Fallon actually left SNL, according to his "Best of" DVD, here was his original idea for how he would leave the show, which was cut at Dress Rehearsal:
Also going the musical route was this 1994 farewell performance to longtime cast member Phil Hartman. The entire cast appears as their most popular characters and performs "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music. The sketch ends with Chris Farley in character as motivational speaker Matt Foley resting on Hartman's shoulder, as the spotlight zooms in on their faces. While I couldn't find an embed-able video clip, you can watch it here!
Adam Sandler and Chris Farley
At the end of the 1994-1995 season, nearly the entire cast was fired from SNL. To bid farewell to the show, cast members Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, and Jay Mohr threw themselves into the vicious polar bear cage, as if to kill themselves off of the show. (Interestingly, Norm McDonald and Tim Meadows also jump into the cage, although they actually returned to SNL for the following season).