I don’t generally expect my eyes to blink back tears and a lump to swell in my throat while watching an episode of “Saturday Night Live,” but there’s a first time for everything. Saturday night’s “SNL” finale featured the show bidding three of its best male cast members — Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, — adieu. First, “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers — who will also be leaving the show midway through next season, taking over Jimmy Fallon’s “Late Nite” slot when Fallon replaces Jay Leno at “The Tonight Show” – welcomed Hader for his final segment as Stefon, New York City’s most fabulous nightlife expert. In the segment, Stefon, who has long crushed on Seth, flounces off set, fed up with not getting Seth’s respect for his recommendations. Besides, he’s engaged to someone else now and they’re getting married! What happens next is pure perfection. (Clip above!)
And at the end of the episode, Armisen — who we luckily will still be able to watch on “Portlandia” — invited his real life rock star heroes and friends on stage to perform with him as his character Ian Rubbish. (Clip above!) There was Aimee Mann, Kim Gordon, Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols, J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., and, of course, Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney (and Armisen’s “Portlandia” costar/cowriter). Backing them up on “Lovely Day” was Hader, as Derek Gash. It was a really lovely, simple and perfect goodbye to Armisen, who was a musician before he was an actor. It’s a bummer to see both he and Hader leave “SNL,” but I expect they’ll keep making us laugh elsewhere.