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Saturday Night Live: Will Ferell/Green Day (season finale)

by Annie Wu, posted May 17th 2009 12:40PM
Celebrity Jeopardy
(S34E23) Wow. Way to go, Will Ferrell. Maybe they should just bring back Saturday Night Live alumni for season finales from now on, because this episode was spectacular. Ferrell brought back some old favorites and a slew of famous faces, from the familiar to the inexplicable, including Amy Poehler, Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway and Artie Lange. Here are some video highlights from the evening (Hulu vids are US only. Sorry, kids... you can also watch these videos at NBC's website).

Cold Open (Bush/Cheney): Man, who is going to play Dick Cheney after Darrell Hammond's departure? 'Cause you know as soon as Hammond leaves, Cheney's going to find a way to start something crazy, just to spite him. That's how things work. Seeing Will Ferrell's Dubya again was quite good; if you haven't seen his You're Welcome, America HBO special, it's worth checking out.

Monologue: What's extra-tragic about this is that I've been to high school drama festivals where performances go exactly like that and the audiences just eat it up. Or maybe the extra-tragic part of that is that I've been to high school drama festivals, I'm not sure.

The Lawrence Welk Show: I was wondering when they were going to bring back Judice. Of course, her big head and tiny hands weren't as surprising as they were in her first appearance, but this was still marvelous. Ferrell's darting eyes and horrified expressions completely made it.

Celebrity Jeopardy: This was one of the best sketches of the season, I believe. I don't think I've ever seen this sketch fall flat. Tom Hanks was absolutely hilarious, it was great to see Darrell Hammond having an active role in a sketch again, and -- c'mon -- Norm MacDonald's Burt Reynolds. Even "Catch The Semen/These Men" was an instant classic. I also adored Tom Hanks's tiny little callback to his character from an old, old Wayne's World sketch while he tested out his microphone/pen during Final Jeopardy. Also, I don't know why the online videos cut it so weird; Burt Reynolds returns at the very end with Hulk Hands to annoy Alex Trebek for the last time. Was it because it included the official Jeopardy tune?

Weekend Update: Amy Poehler, looking extra-lovely and extra-blonde, dropped in to play Seth Meyers's co-anchor one more time. They also re-prised "Really!?! with Seth and Amy", which was rather nice. And thank God for Harry Caray visiting us from beyond the grave. This character never fails. With all the other surprise cameos in this episode, I'm surprised someone like Jeff Goldblum didn't swing by with Caray.

Funeral: This was an extra-sad version of that Wedding skit from the Hugh Laurie episode. The formula has just the right amount of ridiculousness to make it really work, and Jason Sudeikis's looks of disappointment are always great. Maya Rudolph even came out of nowhere to belt out a nasaly song.

Vietnam: Though there's currently no video for this, I had to mention it. The completely random appearances by Anne Hathaway and Paul Rudd were quite lovely. Then there was Artie Lange, who couldn't help but throw his hands up with delight when someone in the audience recognized him. Then, there was Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss, who happens to be Fred Armisen's finacee. Also, also, it was nice to see Seth Meyers in a sketch again, even if it was a wordless appearance.


I'm pretty sure this was Darrell Hammond's super-last show. If this was certainly the case, I'm surprised they didn't do a sketch directly acknowledging it. It's time to go home, Mr. Hammond! You've done plenty; thank you.

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all is not lost for euro fans of SNL.. sevenload has all the latest and a selection of old clips at http://uk.sevenload.com/shows/Saturday-Night-Live

May 27 2009 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was a pretty good episode, but really, the writing was lazy. Wiig stole the show in the Welk sketch, Hanks, Hammond, and McDonald provided the laughs in the Jeopardy sketch. Throw in an old commercial parody, and a couple of weak sketches at the end, and I didn't think Ferrell really had to work all that much. I actually thought Justin Timberlake was funnier, which are strange words for me to type.

May 24 2009 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
High Dog

he Jeopardy sketch is one of the best things I have ever seen. it was so funny!

I have Burt Reynolds as a voice on my GPS and the guy who plays him in this skit sounds just like him. I got Reynolds and Mr. T as real celebrity voices from a place called Navtones. If you have a satnav I recommend it.

I'm off to get my hand stuck in a pickle jar. Great SNL, I hope it remains this good.

May 20 2009 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Doran

Over at another blog they're reporting that Don Pardo is stepping down after being SNL's annoucer forever. Inasmuch as he was the show's longest-serving regular, I'd thought he'd get at least a brief shout-out at the close... you know, like when they celebrated his 90th birthday a year ago.

May 18 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SNL needs Artie Lange as a cast member!
Loved seeing him and Norm!

May 18 2009 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cgar's comment

That would be awesome...he's just killing time on Stern's sirius show at this point.

May 18 2009 at 12:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Very solid year, I'd give the finale an A.. Anytime Norm shows up SNL scores points with me..

May 18 2009 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Green Day = Excellent, as always.

May 18 2009 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice to see you caught the "sibilance" line. The way it was delivered right at the end of Hanks' last scene gives the impression it wasn't scripted.

May 18 2009 at 2:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't speak for the rest of the episode, but the Jeopardy skit had me laughing harder than I have in a long time. Tom Hanks was absolutely hilarious. Catch The Semen? Brilliant. Hoda Kotb as a complete nonsense word for Final Jeopardy? I was practically crying with laughter.

Sure, SNL hasn't been all that funny for a while, but they made up for it with last night's Jeopardy skit.

May 17 2009 at 10:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I also heard about Darrell Hammond renegotiating his contract, but I don't think that Will Ferrell would have said his name at the end, plus have him be front and center for the closing when he usually is somewhere towards the back. I think it's time for him to go. If McCain had won that would have been one thing, but since Obama won theirs not much he does now. He doesn't even do Biden. I appreciate his time but it's time to go. Also if Casey Wilson left that would be okay with me. She annoys me a little.

That was a cool ending with Anne Hathaway, Artie Lange, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Moss, Tom Hanks, Norm McDonald, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph. Yes it was a weird skit, but I liked it and it brought back 2 of the better hosts this year, Paul and Anne. They were 2 of the standouts this year.

Overall a really great year for Saturday Night Live. With all the election stuff,and overall solid performances. They added a lot of great re-ocurring skits now and a good amount of hosts I would love to see back. Solid year.

May 17 2009 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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