SNL Says Goodbye to Bill Hader and Fred Armisen

The Saturday night staples ride off into the sunset in style.

The Saturday night staples ride off into the sunset in style.

Saturday Night Live closed out it’s 38th season this weekend with a fond farewell to two of the show’s biggest hitters. There was Bill Hader – whose eerily accurate impressions of everyone from Al Pacino to James Carville to Alan Alda kept audiences in stitches throughout his eight-year run — reprising Stefon, his swishy city correspondent, for one final hurrah. And there was also Fred Armisen, picking up the guitar as “punk legend” Ian Rubbish to play an original song to close the show out. 

First up was Stefon on Weekend Update, stealing special guest Amy Poehler’s thunder with an epic, star-studded wedding to his second-favorite newsman (hint: it wasn’t Seth Meyers.)

As it turns out, New York’s nightlife really is populated by the likes of human traffic cones and fire hydrants, Gizblow the coked-up gremlin, and infamous gay running back Blowjay Simpson (for a complete rundown, head over to Splitsider). And once Stefon and Seth were reunited, they were joined on the Weekend Update set by a who’s-who of the segments regulars: Drunk Uncle, Governor David Patterson, Jean K. Jean, and more. 

Not to be outdone, Armisen as Ian Rubbish — playing the surprisingly touching “It’s A Lovely Day” with his Bizzaros bandmates, Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Taran Killam, and an indie-rock super group — brought the house down.

Joining Armisen on guitar was the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, Armisen’s Portlandia costar (and Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag member) Carrie Brownstein, alt-rock power couple Aimee Mann Chris Penn, and guitar god J Mascis of Dinosaur, Jr. That’s a lot of guitar. Rounding out the lineup was Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon on tambourine. It was a fitting goodbye for a guy who’s been one of the shows most valuable players for the last eleven years.

So that’s a wrap. Having seen Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg leave last year, and with the forthcoming departure of head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers for the Late Night host’s desk — to say nothing of the always-rumored exit of Sudeikis — Lorne Michaels and company have their work cut out for them. For now, good luck to Bill and Fred (and Jason, please don’t leave quite yet).

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