Saturday Night Live: Will Ferell/Green Day (season finale)
by Annie Wu, posted May 17th 2009 12:40PM
(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.