Andy Samberg SNL Season Finale: Review Roundup, Video Highlights

May 18, 2014

SNL alum Andy Samberg returned to host the Saturday Night Live season finale. In his opening monologue he was joined by Seth Meyers and Bill Hader and Martin Short. And that was just the start of the cameos! Check out a roundup of reviews and see video highlights of the show.

The comedian and actor who was known especially for some memorable SNL Digital Shorts — perhaps most infamously ‘D*ick in a Box’ with Justin Timberlake — has also gone on to success with his The Lonely Island musical comedy trio.

But in returning as a first-time host to the famed Studio 8H stage that launched his career, he had one goal in mind with his monologue and that was to break the record for most impressions in one skit — a record previously held by Bill Haden. On hand to help him out was former Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers, who has since gone on to take over ‘Late Night’ from Jimmy Fallon. All was going splendidly until, of course, Bill Hader turns up and then along comes Martin Short.

As for Justin Timberlake, he made a cameo from afar — Russia to be precise — an image of himself flipping the bird (sanitized for broadcast standards). Also making cameos during the evening were Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen.

The cold open took on the obvious hot topic of the week, the leaked surveillance video of Solange Knowles attacking her brother-in-law Jay Z in an elevator as her sister Beyonce stood by. While the skit meandered and have more than its share of obvious jokes, it did give SNL alum Maya Rudolph her chance to strut across the stage as a lyric-quoting Beyonce.

Along with the cameos we expected an SNL Digital Short and we got not one, but in fact, two! In the first one Andy Samberg portrayed a DJ who refused to let the bass drop. Everything that he did instead of letting it drop served to build anticipation to a suitably wacky conclusion by Digital Short standards. And in the second one, ‘Hugs,’ he debuted a new ‘The Lonely Island’ song of the same title and shared the screen with none other that music superstar Pharrell Williams as a good time was had by all!

Did Andy Samberg deliver a worthwhile conclusion to the season in the view of the television critics? Here’s a roundup.

“….the show has one huge problem right now: It is way too in love with the idea of itself. Bringing back past cast members and former recurring sketches is not just about reminding the audience of what it used to love, it’s also about the show propping itself up by leaning on what used to work rather than experimenting with what might work.
….With other programs currently responding more quickly to events in the world (such as “The Daily Show”), others breaking into new forms of sketch writing (such as “Review”), and others offering up coherent comedic world views (such as “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Kay & Peele”), “SNL” will have to look long and hard at itself this summer to figure out where it stands as it enters its fifth decade of existence…” — Hitfix

“…The overall feel here was interesting, since the start of the episode was decent, but it really got hilarious in the second half with some very random / inspired sketches that did at the same time pretend like most of the Featured Players (plus Aidy Bryant for some reason) didn’t exist…..” — CarterMatt

“…Andy Samberg didn’t quite reach Justin Timberlake-Jimmy Fallon heights in Saturday Night Live’s season finale, but he got closer than anyone else this year. The SNL alum returned to bring back a number of his famous bits and debut a new The Lonely Island track centered on a manwhore who hugs ladies and then leaves ‘em. (Hat tip to Pharrell Williams for helping out.)….” — The Hollywood Reporter

“….Sadly, the cold open, Samberg’s marathon of impersonations and his turn as Nicolas Cage on “Weekend Update” later proved to be the comedic high points of the night.

The rest of the sketches were laugh-deficient at best. This includes the one about an inappropriately affectionate family watching the NFL draft its first openly gay player, Michael Sam. Despite welcomed appearances by “SNL” alums Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, Hader and Rudolph, the bit was heavy on the silliness and light on wit.

Even Samberg’s two digital shorts — one about a DJ who makes his fans explode with delayed bass and a Lonely Island music video about hugs — felt forced.” — The Wrap

“…Tonight marked the season finale of Saturday Night Live and we were all hoping to end things on a high note with former cast member Andy Samberg returning as host for the first time in his career. While not every sketch landed and there was a heavy reliance on surprise cameos, the night was probably the most fun we’ve had all season long and leaves us with a savory taste to enjoy while SNL takes a break over the summer.

While not every sketch hit, there were some truly classic moments on the show tonight and plenty of gut-busting jokes that made up for some of the more lame episodes we’ve had to endure this season. For starters, the energy on the night was just different thanks to Samberg, as he helped inject the show with his hyped up, care-free style straight from the beginning…..” — FanSided

And with that, the 39th season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ is one for the ages. Amazing as it is, the show will return in the fall for its 40th season and until such time, we must console ourselves with the iconic moments from seasons past.

See the video highlights below from last night’s season finale show below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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