SNL: A Star-Studded Farewell to Kristen Wiig (Featuring Mick Jagger & Friends!)

Saturday Night Live S37E22: "Mick Jagger"

Time does cruel and terrible things to the human experience. Not only is time the constant current against which we're always swimming, it can play actual tricks on our brains. Why, for example, does an average season of Top Chef seem to be 11 years long, but the tenure of one of SNL's funniest cast members concludes in the blink of an eye? It seems like just yesterday that Kristen Wiig joined SNL as a featured player alongside fellow freshmen Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, and Bill Hader, yet this week she bid us adieu after spending seven years achieving Phil Hartman or Gilda Radner levels of audience adulation. (Yeah, I said it!) If you're an SNL fan of any stripe, chances are you felt something during this week's curtain call when an ordinary-seeming sketch morphed into an all-star sing-along in honor of Wiig's departure. From Arcade Fire's musical serenade, to host Mick Jagger's spirited emceeing, to the parade of cast members past and present, and especially Lorne Michaels' fatherly hug, it was the most touching send-off I've ever seen on SNL.

Mick Jagger should take no offense that this episode will be best remembered as Kristen Wiig's last as a regular cast member; he acquitted himself as host very well. The sketches weren't amazing, but as I suspected it was simply a treat to see him gussied up in various wigs and accents, giving it the old college try. In human years at least, the man is not young—and he certainly has better things to be doing (what exactly do knights do in their spare time?)—but his youthfulness and enthusiasm were a pleasure to watch. Let's talk about the sketches!

[Apologies to international readers for these embedded clips, Hulu can be a bit of a jerk.]



Cold Opening: Lawrence Welk


Hey, Mad Men's Jon Hamm! First off, wasn't it such a relief to not have yet another grasping-at-straws political sketch? Phew! But guys, these Lawrence Welk sketches never cease to delight me. Wiig's Dooneese is one of the strangest characters ever to become a recurring scene-stealer. And I don't care what anybody thinks: The sight of Jon Hamm sucking on one of Dooneese's tiny hands was just straight-up SEXY.



Mick Jagger Monologue


Man, that jacket, am I right? I think we could ALL use a golden jacket but I feel like only Mick Jagger can get away with wearing one. Jagger's opening monologue was sort of a funny FAQ in which he answered all the most common questions he ever hears about himself and The Rolling Stones. I was pretty charmed by how awkward he seemed on-camera. No really, it was charming and human to see him sort of rush through his lines and still keep the audience entertained. That attitude pretty much typified his hosting abilities: Jagger may not be the savviest comic actor, but the crowd was 100 percent on his side the whole time.



Secret Word


Another long-running Wiig sketch! By now we were definitely getting the vibe that SNL was giving Wiig one last hurrah (there hadn't been any formal announcement about her departure—or Jason Sudeikis's or Andy Samberg's, whose contracts are also up). Jagger was a highlight here, playing an action star whose real-life persona was more Charles Nelson Reilly than Charles Bronson.



Karaoke


Here was a very meta sketch that started strong but kind of fell apart: Jagger, in insurance salesman drag, being forced to watch co-workers do awful karaoke impersonations of him. While Fred Armisen's Mick Jagger impression definitely made me laugh, I half expected that the character Mick Jagger was playing would be revealed to ACTUALLY BE Mick Jagger moonlighting as an insurance salesman. Or something? Instead he was just some shy guy who felt the need to defend Mick Jagger's honor. And his final, melancholy performance of "I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)" was just sort of awkward. Oh well, at least I wasn't bored!



Lazy Sunday 2


See, this digital short—plus last week's 100th milestone one—led me to believe that Andy Samberg was also hanging it up after last night. If this WAS his last episode, it wasn't ever confirmed. But anyway, here's a seven-years-later sequel to "Lazy Sunday," the viral sensation that basically put YouTube on the map. I mean, it was the first video *I* ever watched on YouTube, how about you? Despite the Sister Act-related hook and the brief dubstep breakdown, this one can't really compare to the hilarious Narnia-themed original. But it was still nice to see Chris Parnell again, so fine!



Politics Nation


I like Kenan Thompson a lot, but if I had to choose between his inarticulate Al Sharpton character and another installment of "What Up With That?" I'll take the latter. Still though, this was pretty amusing, especially when he misheard "salmon cannery" as "salmon canary" and later bragged about owning a '91 Buick Riviera.



Mick Jagger (feat. Arcade Fire) – "The Last Time"


Yes! Play for me, Arcade Fire. Play!



Weekend Update


No thanks. (Hey Kristen Wiig, can you give this guy a ride out of town also?)



Commentary: Stefon


Stefon is always the best part of any episode he's in and this was no exception. Human R2-D2s! "My best friend Joelll"! Furtlenecks! Wario Batali! Ugh, I love Stefon so much.



So You Think You Can Dance At an Outdoor Music Festival


There's no video for this one (music rights issues, I'm guessing), but I'm still laughing about Carlos Santana's mustache being attached to his hat and the visual joke of Mick Jagger dressed as Steven Tyler. (Jagger's American accent verged on upsetting, but still.) And Bobby Moynihan's drunken dance to Dave Matthews Band really made me laugh. This was just a strong premise that kept paying off. [Jewel mewling]



Mick Jagger (feat. Foo Fighters) – Medley


And now some more Rolling Stones songs, but this time with louder guitars and more background growling!



The Californians


I'm still not sure this works as legit satire of West Coast living. It seems like there's crazier stuff to make fun of than our accents and driving patterns. Like, the Stefon bits really go there with regards to how nightmarish outsiders view Manhattan night life, so I think these "Californians" sketches could have more teeth! Either way, they're still a decent vehicle for Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen to speak like developmentally disabled people and Kenan Thompson to sport a blond soul patch. And hey, Steve Martin! What a weird, random cameo! Still happy to see him, though.



Mick Jagger (feat. Jeff Beck) – "Tea Party"


Haha, oh Mick Jagger. I don't know about you guys, but it tends to make me uncomfortable when foreign celebrities try to make political statements about U.S. politics. Anyway, this weird, slightly critical assessment of Mitt Romney's candidacy didn't so much provoke thoughts as it did prove that maybe every blues song sounds exactly the same? Like, are blues songs just longer, more boring limericks with the exact same structure and you just switch the words out? I don't know, I'm no music scholar. Anyway, are you even registered to vote in America, Mick Jagger? Get back to me on that, please.



She's a Rainbow


Annnnnd here come the water works! I found it touching how this began as a normal sketch and then devolved into a real show of earnest emotion. And the nice little touches: Samberg on the piano, the genuine sadness in Wiig's eyes, the final assembly of familiar faces (Amy Poehler! Rachel Dratch! Chris Kattan! Will Forte!), the quick Gilly dance. Next fall, Kristen Wiig will be missed on a weekly basis, but it's only a matter of time before she'll be a frequent host, right? When Bridesmaids 4 comes out (I'm hoping it'll be a Police Academy-esque franchise) she'll be hosting for the eighth time? If this star-studded farewell proved anything, it's that you never really leave SNL. Steve Martin just dropped in for, like, no reason! So for those of us longtime fans of the show who came to love Wiig's weekly doses of weirdness, this should come as some comfort.


While Season 37 was about as hit-and-miss as SNL has ALWAYS been, I'm leaning toward the "it was a stronger season than usual" camp. Because it was! Lots of good hosts and some unexpectedly great sketches. Who knows what Season 38 has in store (or who'll even be in the cast!), but here's my early prediction: It'll be hit-and-miss! And I honestly can't wait.


What did YOU think of Mick Jagger? And will you miss Kristen Wiig?

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I just watched the show talk about leaving on a high note. Great to see Kristen and Amy together. I enjoyed music a lot. Great show.
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I was around for the first Saturday Night, and remember it well. It was wild and strange and often disturbing; there were always stand-outs in every season. Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, of course, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd. And Kristin will certainly fall into that category, of odd, incredibly brilliant funny people. Kristen reminds me of Lucille Ball, but what Lucy would have been like if she had joined the first season of SNL, and done a lot of coke.

It won't be the same without her.
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Kristen is by far the most talented, versatile actor ever on SNL. I love her more than I should, having never met her. She's truly brilliant.
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I think people's expectations for SNL are too high. I don't watch expecting to laugh out loud the whole time, but I still find the show entertaining. If you don't like it then don't watch, simple.
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Does anyone else think that Bill Hader either doesn't get to see whats on the cue cards before he reads it, or that they switch it up from dress rehearsal.



Like if he actually writes his own stuff for Stefon, he's the worst actor ever and this he's way to funny. I've never seen him make it through a skit without laughing.
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He's very funny, but the self-appreciation needs to be curbed.
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Hader said on one of the late night shows, I believe it was Letterman, that when he cracks up, it's because they changed the cue card between dress rehearsal and live.
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I'm sorry Price, I couldn't hear what you were saying with the sound of your lips muffled against Kristen Wiig's butt. I've been a fan of SNL since not long after I was born - we share a birth year - but watching everyone treat Wiig like she's the next messiah at the end of this SNL was shameless, especially when you consider they rehearsed it. What did Wiig do this episode to prove her mettle?

- Lawrence Welk, a most ridiculous and stupid and ugly recurring gag.

- Secret Word, the same threadbare sketch you've seen a million and a half times with exactly nothing new to say or do.

+ Karaoke, where she sat there and acted like a castmember, so points there, but she wasn't hilarious, she was dutiful.

- The Californians, where everybody is doing the same exact joke.

- She's a Rainbow, where she sits there and lets everybody kiss her ass.

Gee, wow, I can really see why she's being treated as the greatest thing since sliced f'ing bread, that's quite the impressive turn there of repetitive and boring characters, first prize! First prize! First prize! :eyeroll:



Anyway, the episode itself was ok, Mick Jagger has a touch for the comedic, and his acting here was better than in Freejack (entertaining film, but he was quite wooden in it).

He was funny in Secret Word, but as with everything in the sketch, nothing got to go anywhere.

Karaoke was funny for the first third, then lost its point by also not going anywhere good, and his weird performance of Satisfaction didn't save it.

Lazy Sunday II really could have been Samberg's swan song, he's barely been on the show lately and except for digital stuff he's not saying anything. No Jagger inclusion suggests this wasn't shot for this episode. It wasn't anything special though, repeating the exact same gag as the first one but with less to do.

Politics Nation was terrible, another Kenan-driven crapout, but Mick was good in character even if he did crack a smile towards the end.

I didn't care for the Arcade Fire performance, felt flat.

Weekend Update, where the head writer shouts mangled jokes that forget the premise of the sketch halfway through. Oh but at least there's Stefon, I'm sure that'll breathe fresh life into... oh wait no it's the same exact list joke every time and Hader no longer can keep from pretending to crack up despite the gags being quite stale now.

So You Think You Can Dance at a Festival was a cute idea, but didn't deliver on either the judging concept or taking the festival dancing idea beyond a one-note gag. Jagger tried hard, but the character and voice didn't really jel.

Foo Fighters was a wild performance, started slow but really got going and had a lot of feeling, and Mick shook each band member's hand at the end, that was classy.

The Californians was cute exactly once, and now at 3 times it's diminished itself to nothingness, and the "directions" gag wasn't even brought in heavily this time so it's literally just antics in an accent that nobody actually uses anymore.

The musical performance with Jeff Beck was great in the sound, but the lyrics were sleep-inducing and cute, not terribly insightful. Still, listening to these 2 rock gods do their thing made up for it.

Graduation was half a sketch and half a goodbye party, it was the only sketch with concept behind it, and then it got melancholy. Lorne coming out to dance with Wiig was at least a nice touch, although his keeping her around this long hasn't helped her career or comedy chops in the past few years. And then there's a bunch of celeb guests but without a statement behind it, just felt slapdash.

So what does this all prove? That Price has bad taste. ;)
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Wow, you need to find a new program to watch...
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and that you're a hater... here, have a kit kat!
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Why do you even watch? From your review it sounds like you hate 90% of the show
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I'm sorry, but, if you didn't get that "Lazy Sunday 2" was the last digital short from Samberg, and thereby making his continuous association with SNL pretty unlikely (cause, seriously, why else would they want to keep him? That's HIS THING!), then you were asleep when he clearly said "And that's how I'm gonna FINISH IT!"



So Samberg's gone, Wiig, definitely gone, and Sudeikis was barely there during this episode, which is not a good sign if you expect him to show up next year. That being said... SNL lost TONS of talented 'not-ready-for-primetime' players over the years, even some WAY FUNNIER than those three (yep, I went there!), and it survived. Plus, as Price pointed out, you never really quit SNL - you may take a break from it, but you don't quit it... unless you're Eddie Murphy, and even he regrets that! So yeah, if they're gone, they'll all show up again, guarantee.



Anyway... the show was great. Jagger is a hell of a performer (whether he was better with those young guns then with the rest of the Stones, that's something you'll all have to decide yourself...), and he was pretty solid in all of his sketches. An all-around prefect way to end this season.
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My guess is that both Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer are going to be promoted to 'not-ready-for-primetime' players next season, but I'm not so sure about the fates of both Jay Pharoah and Kate McKinnon. Maybe a new outside hire as well, perhaps?
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Touching ending for sure to Kristen's term.



Also, so is John Hamm trying to become a regular? He's a great comedic actor so I don't have a problem with that :)
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this was a fitting tribute to an absolute gem of a person. she will be sorely missed but she'll leave nothing but great memories. can't wait for her to host.
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Man I can't wait for Hader to have his breakout movie and leave that suckfest too. You're better than that, Bill!

And if Lorne Michaels ever tells you that a Stefon movie might be a good idea, RUN!
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Lorne doesn't decide which movies to make, the cast member playing the character does. Lorne does them a favor by producing them!
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Samburg was often funnier than Wigg. And he did all those music videos! You said he was leaving as well. Where is his tribute?????
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I'd say Lazy Sunday 2 is the best way he could have possibly ended his stint. A sequel to the very sketch that made him known.
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i loved this episode, and actually this is porbably the best season ive seen. although ive only watched frequently since season 34.
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Kristen Wiig is mainly the only reason I watched SNL still except for when I just really loved who is hosting.. so I'll be watching this less now, here's hoping she does a crapload more movies now that she'll have more free time other than just the summer basically.
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Although I wouldn't label myself as a huge fan of Kristen Wiig, I will miss her and I teared up during her send-off. Arguably the best send-off I've seen on SNL. I thought the episode as a whole was pretty good, but I thought Sudekis and Samberg were leaving too.
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Thats so wierd, in Weekend Update the whole tiny fish eating you feet skin and spreading diseases thing was on Victorious too. I didn't know it was real though D:
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I don't think I ever saw Lazy Sunday tbh. If I have, I don't remember it so I'm heading to Youtube now.
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At least Wiig left at the right time. Her movie career is going well so it looks like a good time. So many have left too early. I mean Wil Forte did MacGruber but what's he doing now? And Cheri O'Teri left way too early since she really did nothing afterwards of any substance. I feel Wiig will be pretty successful in movies and we all know about Bridesmaids. I'm not sure if anyone remembers off hand but I feel one of her funniest sketches was when she was a news reporter interviewing January Jones character at a DQ. She was off the wall crazy and I died laughing.
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I don't think Jason Sudiekis is leaving if you watch, he looks so sad, to me he looks like his best friend is leaving and he's extremely sad about it. I'm going to miss Kristen so much, she was my favorite, she is a legend, and I know she'll do great movies, but I'm still gonna miss her.
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I don't keep up with SNL on a regular basis, but if anything I acknowledge how awesome and hilarious Kristen Wiig is. I did like her little bit as Lana del Rey on Weekend Update, as well as her recurring Suze Orman and Bjork impressions. She will be missed indeed.
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i just HATE gilly sketches... sorry.
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Love Wiig but agree with you about hating Gilly sketches.
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Wiig's final sendoff was the most genuinely human and touching moment I've ever seen on the show. It made up for the fact that the rest of the episode was "meh" at best. As for the sketches...

-I loved Lazy Sunday 2. True, it wasn't as good as the original, but no one could reasonably expect it to be. Rapping is the only thing Chris Parnell was ever good at on the show (see his "ode" to host Britney Spears for further proof), so it was great to see him do it again.

-The Al Sharpton sketch was also great. They've pretty much created a character who's nothing like the real Reverend Al on his own show, but the clueless buffoon thing is funny! And, I'm sorry, if given a choice between this and "What's Up With That?" I'd take more PoliticsNation in a heartbeat. WUWT has become so formulaic with almost no variations, and there aren't even any laugh-out-loud moments. Even if you love the absurd premise, it's not like anyone sits there guffawing at how ridiculous the whole thing is.

-As for Mick, there is something not quite right with that man. He has wrinkles in places where the human face does not develop wrinkles. Fun fact: Steve Martin, who appeared on screen with Jagger, is only 2 years younger than him. Mind = Blown.

-Anyone else get the impression that he had no idea who Steven Tyler was? That may have been the most off-base impression of him I've ever seen.

-Also, I'll probably get flamed for this, but is he gay? The only sketch all night where he looked remotely comfortable was in playing a semi-closeted movie star. It was like he was finally free to be as flamboyant as he really wanted to be.
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Asking if Mick Jagger is gay is seriously like asking if Hugh Heffner is gay... except time 100, cause Jagger had sex with WAY MORE women than Heff.



Let's put it in another way: Mick Jagger had sex with more women than YOU WILL EVER MET IN YOUR LIFETIME. Yep, it's kinda mess up, but, given that he's being a rock star since the 60's and pretty never stop, even today, screwing groupies, I think we can all agree that, he's as straight as they come.
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I'm pretty sure Jagger had a thing with David Bowie.
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Your comparing Kristen Wiig to Hartman and Radner? Price, you've been wrong about almost everything I've ever heard you say about anything on TV, how could your sensibility be so far off? Wiig is the most overrated SNL cast member in recent memory, her constant one note mugging and over acting has never once made me laugh, and I'm glad to see her and Samberg leaving, although I hope Sudeikis stays as he's been one of the few funny people left along with Hader. To compare Wiig with two lengends of SNL just shows how out of touch you are.
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GHOST_DOG_DMC echoed my sentiments exactly. Kristen Wiig is overrated. Her characters are all the same except for minor differences. In recent years Amy Poehler has been one of the most talented cast members and her farewell was pitiful, as was the other former cast members (Rachel Dratch, Chris Kattan, and Will Forte) who were in the front row at the curtain call.
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i agree that this season was much stronger than usual.
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i did feel something upon kristen wiig's departure: relief. and a feeling it could;ve happened three-four years ago.

and mick jagger wasn;t bad as a host
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