Mick Jagger has managed to stay both incredibly famous and beloved for half a century. Considering the modern era’s notoriously short attention span, that’s no small feat. But despite Jagger’s celebrity magnetism, SNL viewers might find their minds wandering when he hosts tonight’s season finale. Instead of focusing on Jagger, we’ll be focusing on Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, and Andy Samberg — three veterans who might be leaving the show once Season 37 ends. And if any of them goes, SNL as we know it will change significantly.
Cast members depart at the end of every season — but these three have particularly strong legacies. Or, at least, two of them do. Samberg’s Digital Shorts — created with the help of his Lonely Island cohorts Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer — kept SNL relevant in the digital age and drove the show to start posting its own sketches online. For years, it seemed like Kristen Wiig single-handedly played all of Saturday Night Live‘s female speaking roles — and though cast mates like Vanessa Bayer and Abby Elliott have started picking up her slack, she’s still SNL‘s MVP. Sudeikis hasn’t had as much of an impact as Samberg or Wiig, but he’s always been a solid supporting player; nobody plays a handsome, likeable goof quite like he does.
Even so, I hope the writers don’t use these potential exits to justify bringing back tired old characters — especially Wiig’s one-upper Penelope, or any of the old-fashioned broads she plays in various recurring sketches. I’d rather watch these guys go out on a high note than be subjected to another installment of “Secret Word” or “Laser Cats.” I do, however, have my fingers crossed for one last glimpse of Bill Hader’s Stefon on Weekend Update, as well as few surprising celebrity cameos. (Jimmy Fallon showing up to do his Mick Jagger impression is basically inevitable. Tonight’s show should also be the season’s most tuneful episode: Arcade Fire and the Foo Fighters will be joining Jagger when he doubles as SNL‘s musical guest. It’s a fittingly big end to a year that’s featured its share of headline-grabbing musicians.
What are you hoping to see during the season finale? Would you be sorry to see Wiig, Samberg, or Sudeikis go — or do you think it’s time for any or all of them to move on? Which stars do you predict will make unannounced appearances on the show? (Don’t say Keith Richards.) And overall, do you think this has been a weak or strong year for Saturday Night Live?