SNL #37.22 RECAP: Host and musical guest Mick Jagger (Kristen Wiig’s farewell)

Do you remember where you were when Kristen Wiig first appeared on Saturday Night Live as just one of a couple of a-holes, and then all of a sudden she was dominating seasons with her recurring characters, and then, just like that, seven years have passed and it’s time for Wiig to move onto a big ol’ movie career? It happens time and time again, thirty seven seasons into SNL, as we watch our not-ready-for-primetime players become all famously funny on us, and wave goodbye to allow a new generation of young comedians to wow us with LOLs. And so it’s Wiig’s turn to bid us adieu, but not without one more trip around the NBC studios and some of her loveable and not-yet-worn-out-their-welcome characters.

With Mick Jagger hosting the season finale, it’s no surprise that we kick off the show with a musical number. Lawrence Welk (Fred Armisen) is back again to introduce the sisters from the Finger Lakes, and if one fingering joke isn’t too much to squeeze in, then, ah, hell, let’s throw all sorts of sexual innuendos and phallic jokey-jokes into this sketch with Dooneesee — she of the giant forehead and tiny hands — and an Italian crooner who doesn’t move like Jagger at all. Because it’s Jon Hamm! Jon Hamm wins the SNL award for most likely to see in a cameo on SNL without being the actual host since Steve Martin did it all of those times. And maybe this time, too. Definitely this time. Martin Tweeted his planned cameo earlier Saturday night. Spoiler alert!

But Mick Jagger did host. He did! He did! See. Here he is delivering the monologue. And he went with Door No. 1 for SNL monologues, the host FAQ. He even sneaks in an ad campaign reference, which would have made even more meta-sense had it been the offer from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, hold the Campbell.

No fake ad in the fake ad slot.

Instead, we return from the first ad break with Secret Word, the game show that Broadway actress Mindy Grayson (Wiig) never plays correctly. And yet. She keeps coming back for more. Jagger is the other celeb on the panel, playing an action-movie star who not-so-secretly has a thing for fellas. And before you can wipe the smudge off of the “c” in “canal,” we’re relying on sex jokes to reveal the secret words. At least we’re treated to a couple of musical numbers. “You’re terrible! But I love it!” Emotion seconded.

Well, isn’t this special? No. No Church Lady reference intended. A life insurance conference is getting its karaoke on, and the premise is as simple as it gets: Kevin (Mick Jagger) watches as his colleagues (Armisen, Bobby Moynihan) pretend to be Mick Jagger, and it impresses his female co-workers (Wiig, Vanessa Bayer) while annoying Kevin. But how many times do you have a chance to hear one of the most famous rock ‘n’ roll singers of our lifetime trot out a half-hearted whiny impersonation of himself? Almost never.

If last week’s 100th SNL Digital Short didn’t telegraph the end of Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island tenure, then this bookending of Lazy Sundays certainly lets you know that their digital short party has hit its closing time. That’s so Raven!

Speaking of longtime SNL cast members, here is Kenan Thompson with a second edition of his Rev. Al Sharpton as a clueless MSNBC anchor that we didn’t need to see again. Oh. He cannot read the prompter. That’s weird. Especially since Sharpton built his career on the podiums of public speaking. Jagger is a London banking guy from Jeep Morgan. Oh. That’s J.P.? How silly that somebody could make that mistake! Armisen is NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Jason Sudeikis appears from the mysts of movie magic as a guy working at a salmon cannery.

Who’s going to introduce the musical act? Singers? Well. This will be the last time I put this much thought into a recap sentence. Ladies and gentlemen, Mick Jagger and Arcade Fire.

When SNL let Mother’s Day go by without some tips from Stefon (Bill Hader), I knew they were saving him for the season finale. Question is (and nobody asked it), would Hader also say goodbye? He finished up his seventh season, just as Wiig, Sudeikis and Samberg were. Maybe it’s best we don’t remind Hader of this just yet.

Until then…

So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival. Quick turnaround for Bill Hader as he dons his best Dave Matthews. It has been a long time since we saw “The Mellow Show” sketch, hasn’t it? Where have those days gone? Our judges in this sketch are Carlos Santana (Fred Armisen), Jewel (Abby Elliott) and Steven Tyler (Mick Jagger). We’ll have to wait for the music rights to clear before you can relive and enjoy the outdoor music festival dancing styles of Kristen Wiig (now with more armpit hair!), a drunken Bobby Moynihan, and a muddy Taran Killam with his dancing partner, a garbage bag!

Who’s ready for a second song?

The Foo Fighters joined Mick Jagger for a Rolling Stones medley.

Wait. Why did they bring back The Californians sketch so quickly? The only thing going for it was how Armisen’s choice of a Californian accent made Hader and Wiig crack up the first time around. Unless someone wanted to make Mick Jagger talk funny some more. Or it was Wiig’s choice. Oh, and here is Steve Martin. What an L.A. Story.

And now a third song before the end of the show, and Mick Jagger is talking about the blues and the presidential election and Jeff Beck and oh, lord, what now?

Awwwwww. You know how much a cast member means to SNL when they devote a special farewell sketch and several former cast members emerge from the woodwork. Don’t be sad, Kristen Wiig. Just look at how happy Amy Poehler is bouncing over there. That’s gonna be you, kid. Andy Samberg’s going to be just fine, too. And J-Suds won’t be gone long — not as long as they need a Mitt Romney to kick around this fall. Hope y’all can relax this summer. Big changes coming this fall. Stay tuned!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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