It’s hard to say that Saturday Night Live has had a perfect 41st season. It’s been a season of hit-or-miss episodes, is it often is, but SNL alum Fred Armisen came in for the finale and crafted one of the strongest episodes of the year.
The episode was packed with cameos from past members and had some genuinely hilarious moments. Andy Samberg came back to remind us how great SNL Digital Shorts used to be and how much they are currently missed. Jason Sudeikis and Armisen put together a clinic on how to nail physical comedy all while cracking up the current cast.
Saturday was a great night for sketch comedy. Here were the best moments of the episode.
Larry David’s last (?) appearance as Bernie Sanders
Larry David has been SNL’s breakout star of this season. He rose to the occasion to play the part he was born to play: democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. There isn’t anyone in show business who could pull off the impression like he can.
Saturday’s cold open involved Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton and David’s Sanders meeting at a bar to commiserate. They talked about the election, their supporters and where they’d go from here. It all ended with an excellent dance number between the two.
This may be the last time we see Larry David as Sanders. If the real Sanders drops out of the race and doesn’t become a vice president, it will definitely be the last time we see him. That will be such a shame considering he owned the most talked about moments from this season.
New Girlfriend (Regine)
Saturday night wasn’t the first time we saw Fred Armisen’s memorable female character Regine. She’s made appearances back when he was a cast member.
Jason Sudeikis stepped in to play Regine’s boyfriend. Regine is off-putting in every way, from her odd choice in dinner conversation to the weirdly physical way she shows pleasure.
This sketch was basically Armisen and Sudeikis giving the current cast a lesson in physical comedy while, at the same time, trying to get them to break. Vanessa Bayer who is usually able to keep it all together, couldn’t contain herself.
Farewell, Mr. Bunting
I hope this was the brainchild of Armisen. It has his brand of comedy written all over it. The sketch is wonderfully shot and acted to be a spot-on spoof of Dead Poet’s Society. An oppressive school fires Mr. Bunting, a teacher who is able to make a real connection with the students. As he’s about to leave the class forever, the students stand on their desks to show their support. I bet you don’t see the ending coming.
Conner4Real sings Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)
Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island group’s Digital Shorts only get better as SNL moves forward without them. They were often experimental while being downright hilarious. Andy came back to make one more while promoting his upcoming mockumentary Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.
Samberg plays the self-obsessed popstar Connor 4Real in the movie. Saturday’s digital short was the fictitious artist’s new music video. It’s comedy perfection.
Weekend Update pushes the envelope
Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che have improved more than anyone thought they would this season. Their struggle to find an identity last season seemed like it would never end, but their combined skill has returned Update to being the centerpiece of every SNL episode.
To wrap up the season, Che and Jost decided to perform some of their jokes from earlier in the season that were originally too mature for for their audience. Check them out below.