When SNL returns in September for its 39th season, it will be missing 3 of its most popular and longest running cast members. We've been a little delayed in giving each cast member his proper "Best Of" farewell post, but we're gonna try to fix that during the next few days.
First up is Fred Armisen, one of our favorites, who joined the show back in 2002 and left the show this year completing 11 seasons. The great thing about Fred is he could play any race, either gender, do any accent, and always came up with crazy and original characters. Below, we provide our favorite Fred Armisen sketches during his 11 year stint on the show, organized as a "Best Of" DVD (though sadly they don't seem to be releasing SNL DVDs as often as they used to).
Cold Open: Obama
Fred may have passed the Obama baton to Jay Pharoah last season, but to the casual viewer Fred will probably be remembered as "They guy who played Obama".
Fred really seems to love this sketch. While the format can be a little repetitious with each time it recurred, it was one of his most popular sketches from his later years on the show.
One of Fred's earliest recurring characters was Ferecito, known for his catch phrase "Ay Dios Mio!".
One of my favorite random Fred Armisen impressions is Penny Marshall, who he perfectly plays in this sketch:
The Art Dealers
Nuni and Nuni (Nuni is masculine and Nuni is feminine) was one of my favorite SNL sketches when it first aired. Sadly, it never recurred after 2007, when Maya Rudolph left the show.
SNL Digital Short: The Tangent
After a few sketches, a Best of Fred Armisen DVD would probably show a Digital Short, such as this early Short with Fred rambling about nothing for over two and half minutes straight:
Weekend Update: Nicholas Fehn, Garth & Kat, Gov.David Patterson
Fred created many memorable characters for Weekend Update, but our favorites would have to be "headline comedian" Nicholas Fehn, the improvisational singing duo Garth and Kat, and New York Governor David Patterson:
Obama Cosby Show
I know already included Obama, but this sketch was creative I just had to include it. In it, Fred plays Barack Obama playing Bill Cosby in and Obama spoof of The Cosby Show. Brilliant.
Another old favorite, Fred doing a spot-on impression on Prince as host of The Prince Show, with sidekick Beyonce (as played by Maya Rudolph):
SNL Digital Short: Iran So Far
Another great Digital Short, this time with Fred playing a lovable Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
Ian Rubbish: Lovely Night
What better way to end a Best of Fred collection than with his final SNL sketch. Fred reprises his Margaret Thatcher-loving Ian Rubbish character to sing a farewell song to SNL, with a little help from his musical friends (including his Portlandia co-star Carrie Brownstein):
There are of course many many others sketches we could have included (Queen Elizabeth, Regine, Woman to Woman, etc.), but in our opinion the sketches above represent his very best work during his time on the show. While we'll certainly miss Fred on SNL, at least we still have Portlandia to enjoy Fred's crazy characters!