'Saturday Night Live' finale overloads on former stars

Seth Meyers came out to see if Samberg could do more impressions than one-time star Bill Hader,...

Seth Meyers came out to see if Samberg could do more impressions than one-time star Bill Hader, which included Ryan Reynolds and Jim Carrey. (Photo courtesy NBC)

Marianne Dowling, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:21 PM ET

Saturday Night Live’s 39th season may have started with a lot of new faces, but it ended with a slew of familiar ones.

Most of the rookie cast members took a backseat in last night’s season finale, with every sketch so overstuffed with SNL alums, including Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig and Martin Short, it was easy to forget that another former SNL star, Andy Samberg, was actually the host.

Add to the mix the endless parade of celebrity cameos (2 Chainz, Pharrell, Tatiana Maslany, Paul Rudd, Lil Jon) and it felt like their star power was only used to distract everyone from the lackluster sketches. It was more flashy than funny.

Here are the highlights:

COLD OPEN:

In a week that saw Jay Z pummeled in an elevator by Solange’s stilettos, was there really any other way to kick off the show than with a spoof of hip hop’s royal family? So there they were: Jay Z (Jay Pharoah) and Beyonce’s sister (Sasheer Zamata) doing damage control by showing their edited, dubbed-over version of the leaked security tape, which, according to them, clearly showed Solange trying to save Jay Z from a spider. Before the sketch ended, Maya Rudolph graces the stage with her Beyonce wig and a wind machine for the first of the night’s many cameos.

MONOLOGUE

Samberg tries to perform 24 celebrity impressions to break Hader’s record and has Meyers come out to read out a very Canadian list of celebrity impersonations including Seth Rogen, Ryan Reynolds, Jim Carrey and even Jay Baruchel. Of course, Hader makes a surprise cameo to defend his title, and Martin Short appears too. Why not? Including Samberg, this means five former SNL stars have already made their way into the finale – and we’re barely 10 minutes in.

BEST RECURRING CHARACTER:

BLIZZARD MAN

Samberg’s Blizzard Man, a spoof on Vanilla Ice and every bad white suburban rapper who thought frosted tips were a good idea, returns to the studio along with his buddy 2 Chainz to lay down tracks about Ashton Kutcher, waffles and country ham.

BEST USE OF EXPLODING HEADS:

DIGITAL SHORT #1:

“When Will The Bass Drop?”

Samberg skewers overpaid DJs as “Davvincii”, who fries an egg and plays a game of Jenga before pressing the “Bass” button. The bass buildup is so intense, that his fans’ heads explode when they finally hear it, leaving a pile of bodies on the dance floor.

BEST KIMYE WEDDING PLANS:

Waking Up With Kimye returns – but this time, ahead of the couple’s rumoured European nuptials next weekend – it’s actually funny. Kanye (Pharoah) talks about his grandiose wedding plans (Yeezus masks for the bridesmaids, a leather tuxedo and a three-hour speech about Kim’s butt) and plastic surgery-ravaged Bruce Jenner (Taran Killam) asks that everyone call him “Linda.”

BEST MAKEOUT SESSION:

Armisen, Wiig, Hader, Rudd and Rudolph join in for a make-out session as the family Vogelcheck, licking, biting, kissing and, by the end of the sketch, blowing air into each other’s mouths. Hader makes it his mission to crack up Armisen and succeeds over and over again.

BEST UNEXPECTED CANADIAN CAMEO:

DIGITAL SHORT #2

“Hugs”

Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany stars in the opening seconds of “Hugs,” about guys who jump from woman to woman – just to give them a hug, or an “upper body grip”. Pharrell also joins the cameo list by singing the hook.

MUSICAL GUEST:

St. Vincent

The Oklahoma indie star performs Digital Witness and Birth in Reverse, songs that are sonically more complex than the average pop tune usually featured on SNL this season. Her choreographed arm movements with her keyboardist put the “art” in St. Vincent’s art rock.

GRADE: C


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