Fred Armisen was host of Saturday Night Live season 41 finale. The SNL alum made his debut as host of the show and musical guest was Australian indie rocker Courtney Barnett. And yes, there were a few cameos along the way. Did the season close out with a winner? The TV critics are weighing in and you can see a roundup of reviews and video highlights right here!
Since leaving SNL three years ago, in 2013, Fred Armisen has gone on to become the bandleader on ‘Late Night with Seth Meyer’ while also continuing to star in ‘Portlandia’ which he co-created with his co-star Carrie Brownstein and former SNL writer Jonathan Krisel, which Lorne Michaels produces.
And not only that, but he’s also been seen in the Netflix series, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ created by none other than Tina Fey. Thus while he may have left the famed 8H stage as a cast member, he is, professionally speaking not far away from the SNL universe at all.
He was seen on the show earlier this season, under sad circumstances, as he paid tribute to David Bowie, just days after his shocking death from cancer two days after his 69th birthday. Armisten shared his remembrances of the late great music legend.
But this time around, it’s all laughs, or ostensibly so at least. It began with a cold open that, not surprisingly brought back Larry David’s Bernie Sanders, this time meeting in a bar with Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton who orders “whatever beer no one likes but gets the job done” which pretty much sums up the state of the Democratic primary race.
Fred Armisen delivered a “one man show” monologue that critics are mostly raving about. It was easily one of the best of the season as he spoofed recreated his SNL audition and the whole concept of the “one man show.” In his case, a show that just happened to be entitled “Love For New York, I did Saturdays Right.” Once again, not so far from the SNL universe.
And yes, as mentioned, there were plenty of SNL cameos along the way, including Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Maya Rudolph.
Here’s a roundup of what the critics are saying of his return to the show as host.
“….Armisen’s a taste that I’d call “acquired,” although, for some people, his deliberately offputting schtick isn’t worth the effort. In his monologue, Armisen plied his signature trade, his one-man show about his initial SNL audition (Love From New York, I Did Saturdays Right) mocking self-important one-man shows while itself being a self-important one man show……” — A.V. Club
“…..The best monologue of the season. It was a brilliant performance piece with wonderful one-man show satire, great voice work, a tribute to some of his past characters, crowd-work, and also a little bit of heart and reflection. At times, the audience didn’t know where to laugh, but that’s because he had them so on edge…..” — CarterMatt
“….Look, I know weirdness is Armisen’s calling card, but this extended riff about his Long Island boyhood, his SNL audition and bittersweet feelings about success suffered from a startling dearth of punch lines and far too much self-absorption? “Is this a dream? Is this a dream? Is this a dream?” Armisen asked. Oh, how we wish the answer had been “yes.”……” — TV Line
“…. Beginning with his monologue, Armisen was awesomely irreverent, with an excerpt of a supposed one-man show titled, “Love from New York, I Did Saturday’s Right.” The sendup of one-man shows combined the “Family Guy”‘s treatment of how ridiculous it can be for one person to do so many different voices within the short span of time with meta moments reminiscent of the “Mr. Show” sketch, “The Audition.” But the formula also included Armisen’s personal touch, which is that irresistible sweetness and gentle mockery of clichés…….” — The Wrap
“….This was far and away up there with the best episodes of the season. Along with the Adam Driver and Larry David hosted episodes, this was a pillar of the season and a helluva way to send things into the summer offseason. ….” — FanSided
“….Monologues are a notoriously tough part of the show to nail, as seen in all the times some poor Oscar-winner has been forced to tap dance next to a grinning Taran Killam, or pause for laughter after a joke that elicits none. But Armisen’s effort tonight worked in a way that we typically only see when stand-up comics host; it was purely him, with a particular brand of weirdness that represented the host himself, not just whatever the show felt like doing that week…..”–HitFix
Yes, another episode has come and gone, and another season has come and gone. Yes, 41 years of ‘Saturday Night Live’ and a 42nd season just months away. But for now, you can watch highlights and/or see the full episode video below from last night’s SNL with host Fred Armisen!
Pictures: PR Photos