Saturday was the acknowledged swan song for SNL favorite Bill Hader, who got a great send-off via his Stefon character wedding (“This wedding had everything — German Smurfs, human fire hydrants, Furkles, Black George Washington, puppets in disguise, HoboCops, Jewpids, infamous gay running back Blowjay Simpson, Gizblow the coked-up Gremlin, a screaming geisha, Hannukah cartoon character Menorah the Explorer, DJ Baby Bok Choy, Ben Affleck…“) but what got less press was that Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen are also almost certainly leaving.
The final sketch on Saturday was a return of Armisen’s “Ian Rubbish” punk character, together with his ersatz band — most of which were also making their exits. Sudeikis played drums and Hader played bass; only second guitarist Taran Killam is expected back for the 39th season.
The tune, a lovely happy little number (all punk trappings aside) grew in charm as special guests joined the band on stage — first Armisen’s Portlandia partner and Sleater-Kinney vet Carrie Brownstein, then the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, then Dinosaur Jr’s J. Mascis and KIM FUCKING GORDON, and finally Aimee Mann and Michael Penn.
It was lovely. Watch here if you have a couple minutes, and note the inscription on Armisen’s guitar strap — which to my mind kind of settles the question of Armisen’s intentions.