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‘S.N.L.’ Says Goodbye to Multiple Solid Members

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We’ll start this weekend’s recap of “Saturday Night Live” at the top, and a season finale that concluded with a very tearful set of goodnight waves from the solid. While several of them were merely saying goodbye for the summer, just a few longtime performers made it clear throughout the broadcast that this was their last episode.

On Friday, it was reported that Kate McKinnon, who joined the “S.N.L.” solid within the spring of 2012; Aidy Bryant (fall 2012); Kyle Mooney (2013) and Pete Davidson (2014) would all be leaving the show at the top of this season. Davidson confirmed as much on Saturday afternoon in a post on the Instagram account of his friend and fellow comedian Dave Sirus, where he wrote:

I got to share a lot with this audience and literally grow up in front of your eyes. We were together through the nice and the bad, the happiest and the darkest of times. I owe Lorne Michaels and everybody at SNL my life. Im so grateful and I wouldn’t be here without them.

Indeed, this whole episode, hosted by Natasha Lyonne and featuring the musical guest Japanese Breakfast, had a valedictory feel to it. Heck, there was even a sketch about checking out what happened to a category of high schoolers after their senior prom. As Andrew Dismukes said in a voice-over, “Time took us all in so many alternative directions. For a transient moment, we were all there together, dancing the night away, with our whole lives ahead of us.” (Then we discovered his character was murdered by a classmate.)

Historically, “S.N.L.” has been a bit stingy about allowing its departing solid members to take victory laps on their last shows. For each Kristen Wiig, who got a farewell serenade from Mick Jagger, there are countless other performers who’ve exited quietly within the off-season and even just a few who gave the impression to be leaving but got here back the next fall.

Tonight, nonetheless, the powers that be (by which we mean Lorne Michaels) were more generous in permitting the graduating members of the category to take their curtain calls. Here’s how a few of them said goodbye:

In a break with recent tradition that perhaps reflects how much McKinnon has meant to the show through the years, “S.N.L.” didn’t start this weekend with a topical cold-open sketch. As an alternative, it began with an entry in its long-running “Close Encounter” series, by which McKinnon has played Ms. Rafferty, an alleged alien abductee with a knack for double entendres who seems somewhat too delighted to have been kidnapped to outer space.

At the top of this week’s sketch, McKinnon volunteered to go away with the extraterrestrials. “I at all times felt like an alien on this planet anyway,” she said. As she stepped onto their spacecraft, she addressed the audience and said, “Well, Earth, I like you. Thanks for letting me stay some time.”

For an appearance on the Weekend Update desk, Bryant and Bowen Yang returned of their recurring roles because the Trend Forecasters — a pair of voguishly attired experts who vehemently declare various fads and crazes to be in or out.

After passing judgment on summer fruits, verbal greetings and time itself, the duo announced a category called future trends. Bryant said, “In: 10 nice years,” her voice breaking ever so barely. Yang responded, “In: a friend I couldn’t have done this without.” To the out list, they said they’d banished pretty little bouquets, expensive tiaras and Michael Che. The camera then cut to Che, who was after all holding a bouquet and wearing a tiara.

“But I’m just hearing something recent is in,” Bryant said. “In: my best guys kissing me.” Bowen replied, “Well, then, we must,” and he and Che each planted a kiss on Bryant’s cheeks.

Returning to the Weekend Update desk for the last of his comedy bits there, Davidson said hello to Che, Colin Jost and “tens of millions of individuals only watching to see if I bring up Kanye.”

Looking back on his “S.N.L.” debut, Davidson said, “I never imagined this could be my life.” Though nobody appeared to know what race he was then, he said, “now everyone knows I’m white, because I became hugely successful while barely showing as much as work.”

When Jost asked him if he was leaving, Davidson replied, “Yeah, man. Lorne by chance gifted me a sock, so I’m free.”

Nonetheless Davidson said he hoped that his time on the show would “encourage hope that literally anyone may very well be on ‘Saturday Night Live.’”

He continued, “Seriously, you see a man bumming cigarettes outside a 7-Eleven at 2 a.m.? That’s not some meth head. That’s the following Pete Davidson.”

In their very own segments on the Weekend Update desk, the anchors Jost and Che riffed on the upcoming summer and Tucker Carlson.

Jost began:

Well, finally yr’s finale it appeared like Covid was fading. And I said we were about to have the horniest summer ever. And now summer’s hottest STD is monkeypox. That’s how bad and bizarre things have gotten. The stock market is crashing, there’s a war in Europe, everyone on “That is Us” is about to croak. The longer term is looking pretty bleak. You’d should be crazy to bring a baby into the world at once. I mean, I just did. But don’t worry, I’ve been hoarding baby formula.

Che continued:

A recent report shows that Fox News host Tucker Carlson, seen here bragging about how big it’s, has repeatedly pushed the idea that Democrats want to interchange white individuals with minorities. But that doesn’t even make sense because white people exist. It’s not like they suddenly turn into minorities. Unless it’s Halloween. Tucker Carlson’s got a whole lot of nerve pushing these wild conspiracy theories. Because if he thinks the federal government has a secret plot to assist minorities, well he should be smoking that crack the C.I.A. secretly put in Black neighborhoods.

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