Saturday Night Live is wrapping up its 41st season with a familiar face: Fred Armisen.
The longtime SNL cast member is returning to Studio 8H for his first-ever hosting stint, but it’s hardly the first time he’s come back to SNL after leaving the permanent cast. After wrapping up his 11-season tenure in 2013, Armisen has returned for guest spots and cameo appearances, and he stopped by the show as recently as January to pay tribute to David Bowie. But tonight, he’ll be taking center stage for the first time since his departure — and if his past sketches are any indication, we’re in for a weird, delightful night.
Whether he’s delivering a pitch-perfect impression of icons like Obama and Prince or turning Queen Elizabeth into a foul-mouthed thug, Armisen has 11 seasons of bizarre characters to reprise tonight. He also did some of his most memorable work in groups — which is why we should definitely expect a few of his fellow alums to make an appearance. (It’s an SNL season finale. Expect more cameos than you can count.) Perhaps Armisen and Kristen Wiig will bring back their underprepared musical duo, Garth and Kat. Or maybe his Documentary Now costar Bill Hader will stop by for a Californians retread.
We may also see a few musical moments from Armisen. Immediately after leaving SNL, he served as bandleader for Late Night with Seth Meyers, and he’s been the member of more than one fake band, from SNL’s Ian Rubbish and the Bizarros to Documentary Now’s Blue Jean Committee.
The episode’s actual musical guest is Courtney Barnett; the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter released her debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit last year, and she’ll be making her SNL debut tonight.
Catch SNL at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC, and weigh in on Armisen’s episode as it happens in the comments below. And check back here on Sunday morning for our full recap of the season finale.
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