Rumors have been circulating for some time that Kristen Wiig was considering her seventh year as an Saturday Night Live castmember to be her last. And, in the last sketch of the season finale on Saturday night, she confirmed those rumors with one of the best (and emotional) send-offs in the show’s history.
The season finale episode, hosted by Rolling Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger with musical guests Arcade Fire, the Foo Fighters and legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, ended with a small skit in a classroom. Playing the teacher saying so long to a graduating class, Jagger calls Kristen to the front. And the tears began to fall.
While Jagger, Winn and Regine Butler of Arcade Fire sang “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday” (oh, come on, how awesome is that?), every star of the show began to dance with Wiig in their own way. The coup de grace was the appearance of SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels, who slow-dances with his most powerful female comedian/employee while she wipes away her own visual sadness. Andy Samberg, a member with a career on the show as long as Wiig, ends the performance by twirling her around in the air to everyone’s cries and applause.
The skit escalated when the classroom facade transformed into the classic Grand Central backdrop. All of the show’s cast and former stars (Chris Kattan, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Chris Parnell stood on the side) sang “She’s a Rainbow” as Wiig blew kisses to the crowd, thanking the audience for giving her seven years of being able to every skit in this playlist.
With Wiig’s departure, the show enters new territory as rumors still swirl around Jason Sudeikis and Samberg’s possible resignations as well. A female and veteran vacuum has now been opened by the Bridesmaid star as well.
But, nonetheless, her send-off and dance with every castmember reminded the audience and us viewers why Wiig was so vital in the show’s comedic value. She was able to impersonate a wide range of different characters, from the Target Lady to the tanned Jersey mom, and was not hesitant to break in skits, which multiplied their resulting laughs tenfold. Also, if Michelle Bachmann runs for President again (Bachmann 2016!), who can we look to for hilarity?
We’re going to miss you, Kristen. And so will all of New York.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 20, 2012