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The Phenomenal Highlights from the 'SNL' Season Finale

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | May 22, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Saturday Night Live | May 22, 2016 |

(Note: Recommended sketches are embedded. To watch the others, click on the hyperlinks in the sketch title)

Cold Open — Larry David makes one last appearance this season in a spot-on cold open, which sees Bernie Sanders refuse to leave a bar after last call. He and McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton speak in delightful metaphors and reminisce about their campaigns. It’s a wonderfully fitting way to end the season (since Bernie will likely be an afterthought when the show returns in September). Pretty, pretty great. (Score: 9/10)

Fred Armisen Monologue — I am hoping that Armisen hosting is mostly an excuse to let the rest of cast dominate the season finale. The monologue, however, is very Armisencentric. He acts out a scene from his one-man show about working on SNL. If you like Armisen, it may work for you. If you’re like the 98 percent of the rest of us, it will not. Sadly, Armisen does not take a cue from the rest of the season and keep the monologue brief. At least it’s different. (Score: 3/10)

Lewis & Clark — The first sketch of the night — a local theater company acting out Lewis & Clark — is very much an Armisen sketch, as it basically devolves into Clark wanting to bone Sacagawea. The good news is, it ends. The bad news is, it takes a really long time before it does. (Score: 3/10)

Digital Short — Andy Samberg returns with a fantastic music video, “She wanted me to f*ck her harder than the U.S. government f*cked Bin Laden.” It’s sexy AND patriotic. “I finished her off and threw her in the ocean!” Wow. (Score: 9/10)

(If you’re wondering why Samberg appeared, it’s to promote his movie Popstar, out June 3rd. Here’s the trailer.)

Regine — Regine is back, along with a delightful Jason Sudeikis cameo. Watching Armisen — dressed as a woman — spend the entire sketch making orgasm faces while Sudeikis flirts with him hits the sweet spot. No one in the sketch can keep a straight face (and Vanessa Bayer flat-out loses it). (Score: 6.5/10)

Dead Poets Society Parody — You know that final scene in Dead Poets Society? They reenact it (with Armisen in the Robin Williams role). I don’t dare give away the ending, except to say that it is FUCKING FANTASTIC. It is hands-down the best sketch of the year. I don’t know how the show can continue after that. Watch here. (Score: 10/10)

Weekend Update — Che and Jost spend a few minutes taking the NRA to task; Maya Rudolph makes a cameo (playing one of those obnoxious Maya Rudolph characters, God bless her); and Che and Jost delivered a few jokes from throughout the season that were originally cut because they were too mean. They are mean (and funny) especially the Kardashian joke. They might catch some sh*t for a couple of those. (Score: 8/10)

Escape Pod — It’s a one-joke premise, but it’s a decent one: A spaceship is about to go down, and there’s only one seat available. Armisen’s Dean takes it and then has to suffer through the pre-flight routine before being launched away from the ship. (Score: 4/10)

High School Theater — The sometimes irritating/sometimes funny high-school experimental theater sketch returns, which makes sense with Fred Armisen hosting. This week’s installment falls squarely in the irritating category. (Score: 2/10)

Summertime in Fayetteville — Armisen and the ENTIRE cast (plus cameos, plus Carrie Brownstein) comes out and sings a song about summertime in Fayetteville, Arkansas (I went to college there!). It’s not very funny, but it’s nice to see everyone together. (Score: 5/10)