This weekend marked the end of an era for Saturday Night Live. In the Season 47 finale, the beloved show said ‘Goodbye’ to several cast members. Of course, each year, there’s a cast shakeup at SNL, but this was a pretty big one with THREE key players leaving.
Here are some of the highlights from their time on the show.
SNL Cast Departures
The season finale confirmed that 3 popular cast members will be leaving the show: Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Pete Davidson.
Additionally, Kyle Mooney is also said to be leaving, but there was no finale send-off for him. Seeing as a number of his more popular skits featured either a “cut-for-time” element or a heavy dose of self-deprecation, this seemed somewhat fitting to fans.
All of these popular cast members will be missed by SNL fans. Below, I’ve given a roundup of their best sketches.
Kate McKinnon is arguably the most popular fan-favorite on SNL (or, at the very least, she’s tied with Kenan Thompson). She’s been a member of Saturday Night Live since 2012. Not only that, but the season 47 finale marked her 211th episode, more than any female cast member in history.
She’s had several recurring characters and skits on the show and has impersonated a number of high profile individuals, including Hilary Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, and Justin Bieber.
Here are some of the best Kate McKinnon skits:
1. Close Encounter
Kate portrays ‘Ms. Rafferty,’ one of three friends who encountered an alien abduction. Her experience, however, was far different than that of her pals.
In Kate’s final episode, she reprised this character in the cold open. Of all the Alien Encounter skits, though, the first was probably my favorite.
2. Lonely Christmas
Kate appears in this skit with host Billie Eilish. Not only is it one of the funniest sketches of this season, it really showcases Kate’s comedic abilities. She never actually speaks in this skit, but her humor is still out in full force.
In this sketch, Kate portrays a teenage girl at a friend’s sleepover. It’s another SNL favorite that landed a recurring skit.
Aidy Bryant has been part of SNL for 10 years, having joined in 2012 as well. She has several recurring characters and sketches, including the Weekend Update ‘Trend Forecaster’.
As part of her farewell moment, she said ‘Goodbye’ with another Trend Report on Update alongside Bowen Yang.
Here are some of her best sketches over the years:
1. Birthday Party
Aidy tends to be a background or side character, but in this sketch, she gets to shine. Here, she portrays a teen girl with an inappropriate crush on her friends dad.
2. A Girls Halloween
In this sketch, three friends plan a fun Halloween adventure which quickly starts to go off the rails.
In this skit, Aidy is very much a side character, but it’s one of my all-time favorite sketches and her delivery is on-point.
Pete Davidson is one of those cast-members you either love or hate (personally, I fall into the ‘Love Him’ camp). He’s been on the show for 8 years, and was notably the youngest cast member at the age of 20.
He’s well-known for his recurring character, Chad, along with rap and song parody videos (he’s parodied Eminem a total of 3 times).
But, he’s best known for his frequent appearances on Weekend Update as himself. In the finale, he once again came onto Update to give a heartfelt goodbye. (Along with a cut-for-time song parody featuring Eminem).
Here are some of his best sketches:
1. Three Sad Virgins
This season, SNL has brought us the trio ‘Please Don’t Destroy.’ One of their best sketches is this song with Pete Davidson and Taylor Swift.
2. The Chosen One
Pete’s recurring character, Chad, is definitely a fan-favorite. All of the ‘Chad’ sketches are amazing, but this one stands out to me.
3. GOT Tribute
Pete does a lot of song parody sketches, all of which are fantastic. The Game of Thrones tribute stands out, though, because of how unexpected it is.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Mooney
Just like Kate, Aidy, and Pete, another long-standing cast member is leaving the show. Kyle Mooney has been on SNL for 9 years. Unlike the other 3 departing members, though, he didn’t get a special farewell moment on the season finale.
Many fans were upset about that, and indeed, it was odd. But, as others have pointed out, Kyle has a long history of his sketches being “cut for time.” Perhaps his lack of send-off was a meta joke that Kyle himself was in on? It would certainly be on brand, as many of his skits see a lot of self-deprecation.
Here’s one of his best sketches from this season that showcases his unique sense of humor:
In this skit, Kyle once again portrays a sad version of himself.