The most recent season of Saturday Night Live saw a significant ratings bump, likely because it overlapped with and responded to the most unpredictable and chaotic presidential race in years. This season was packed with some of the best and most memorable sketches in a while, with appearances from Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, and perhaps most importantly, Tom Hanks as David S. Pumpkins, a very recently spawned character who now has his own Wikipedia page.
Sadly, we bid farewell to three tenured cast-members: Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan, and Sasheer Zamata. Bayer and Moynihan, whose departures were announced before the finale, received ample screentime and the opportunity to revive some of their favorite characters like Drunk Uncle and Dawn Lazarus.
Zamata’s departure wasn’t even announced until after the finale, and as per usual, she didn’t make many appearances in sketches. While her time at SNL was shorter than Bayer’s and Moynihan’s, she deserved more screentime on her last day at 30 Rock, at least to make up for the fact that she has spent most of the past few years in the background unless they need someone to play Beyonce. It isn’t news that Lorne Michaels has his favorites and Sasheer was not one of them. I think she’ll be better off taking her talents elsewhere. Bobby Moynihan already has film and television plans in the works, and perpetually grinning Vanessa Bayer will probably move on to bigger and better things.
Host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s monologue jokingly confirmed the rumors that he plans on running for president with running mate Tom Hanks. And as two of the most universally liked human beings in the world, they have a shot at winning. I can’t say they’re fully qualified but if I’ve learned anything from the past year, television personalities have as much of a chance as seasoned politicians. I would give my vote to America’s two dads.
Season 42 has been a fun one with its fair share of hits and misses, and I thoroughly look forward to more comedy that can further distract me from the political climate when it returns next Fall.