Remember the pomp and grandeur of high school and college graduation? Saturday Night Live sendoffs are nothing like that, thank God. It’s more like that last get-together before all your friends took off for freshman year of college, or the final walk-through of your college house the week after graduation. It’s informal, and everyone is trying to be light-hearted. In most cases, you are genuinely happy for the opportunities ahead for your friends. But underneath all of it, there’s that knowledge that you have reached the end of the life you’ve gotten used to. A few tears, some laughs, and a lot of gratitude – here are a couple of my favorite goodbyes from cast members leaving Studio 8H.
Seth Meyers and Bill Hader
I wrote this post last week hoping against hope that I would be able to add another great goodbye from this weekend. I wasn’t disappointed. This included Stefan’s club attractions brought to life, Anderson Cooper, Amy Poehler, and the wedding of Stefan and Seth, who were sent off by all of the great Weekend Update regulars of the past several years. I loved it, and keep seeing new callback club characters every time I watch it. Which has been … some times.
I cried watching this. I cried re-watching it. Then, I cried just thinking about it as an emotional Kristen Wiig took the stage as an SNL host this month. Everything about this was perfect. Poehler and Dratch even show up, which is exactly how I plan to leave every job ever.
A note: a few articles after the fact talked about how Jason Sudekis was clearly pissed off because he wasn’t clapping and dancing. I disagree – am I the only one who sees the man fighting back tears? I recognized the need to hang back, as another person who is terrible with permanent goodbyes. Seriously. When I said a prayer over my grandmother’s coffin, I think I told her “I mean, we’ll still get coffee sometimes or something.” When I visit graves of loved ones, I pray “don’t worry, we’ll totally keep in touch.” I get it.
We were just teens in the early 2000s, when this blog would have probably been hosted on Livejournal and called Cookies + Juiceboxes. And man, did we spend our fair share of study halls and lunch periods discussing the merits of Jimmy Fallon. So, how much did I love it when Jimmy went out on a parody of a classic high school flick right before we graduated high school for real?
On a related note, for all of you cringing at the YouTube video clearly snagged off of someone’s tv screen, let me tell you this. When I was in high school, we would have watched this as a camcorder video made of someone’s home VHS recording of the episode. And it would have been posted on Kazaa. And that’s if we were LUCKY, because we usually had to wait for someone to get off the phone so we could use the internet. I mean, we were practically accessing the internet via a tin can and string. You kids don’t know how comparatively okay you have it.
On my well-worn childhood VHS tape of The Best of Gilda Radner, there was the classic sketch “Dancing in the Dark.” I didn’t learn that it was also used as a farewell until years later. As fate would have it, Gilda’s dancing/comedy partner Steve Martin was hosting SNL the day she died, and this is how he said goodbye. Radner passed on early on a Saturday and there was time to assemble a tribute by showtime. Of course. In fact, she even would have been ready for prime-time.
A note: I wrote this post last week, as well as another mentioning Gilda that will be posted later in the week. I didn’t realize it at the time, but today marks the 24th anniversary of her death. The subconscious is a funny thing. Not funny “ha-ha,” like this classic song I’ll throw in for good measure:
Phil Hartman and Chris Farley
Sorry for all of the tragedy and heartbreak in this post. I didn’t mean to. I still remember how shocked I was by both of these deaths.
All sorrow aside, this is by far the most ’90s thing you’ll probably watch all week.
Do you spy Sarah Silverman looking exactly the same 20 years ago as she does now? I think she bathes in the blood of virgins.
The only place I could find this video online was a Buzzfeed article with the exact same thesis as mine. No surprise there — Buzzfeed is always one step ahead of me. When I order a special at a restaurant, and they “just ran out,” I am almost positive that Buzzfeed ordered the last one. It’s like that.
As always, among the best of the best.