Last evening, Saturday Night Live closed out its 41st season with maybe its strongest episode all year. The show was hosted by SNL alumni Fred Armisen, and with an old pro on hand to help guide the ship, there was a palpable feeling of looseness and “anything goes” that came through in many of last night’s sketches. There were, of course, also a number of fun cameos from Armisen’s old cast-mates, and a pair of incredible performances from musical guest Courtney Barnett.
The show kicked off in the cold open with a Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton satire (which you can watch in full at the top of the page). Larry David and Kate McKinnon appeared once again the Democratic hopefuls. Their impersonations of the presidential candidates have become welcome additions to the show’s recurring characters amid this year’s election madness. During last night’s cold open, the two share a drink before locking arms, dancing throughout Studio 8H, and joining the rest of the cast to give the boisterous show introduction.
There were so many highlights from the show that it’s actually difficult to single out any one sketch. The parody of the Robin Williams film Dead Poet Society, titled Farewell Mr. Bunting, was a definite standout. I’m not going to give away the twist ending, but there’s absolutely no way anyone could have seen that coming.
Another highlight was Andy Samberg’s return in Digital Short form to portray his onscreen alter ego Conner4Real in a music video for the song “Finest Girl.”
And who could resist Maya Rudolph returning to her old stomping ground to impersonate the just-impeached President of Brazil at the Weekend Update desk.
This wasn’t exactly the strongest season in SNL memory, but you have to give it up to Lorne Michaels and company for at least finishing an undeniable high-note.