Why didn't Saturday Night Live just let Kristen Wiig host her last show as a castmember?
Much as I wanted to love Saturday Night Live's season finale -- which had the double whammy of being both Mick Jagger's return to hosting after umpteen years and star Kristen Wiig's final show as a castmember -- I had one thought when it ended.
Why didn't they just make this show a tribute to Wiig and let her host it?
By far, the most poignant moment was the ending, featuring every castmember dancing and hugging Wiig to the strains of the Rolling Stones songs She's a Rainbow and Ruby Tuesday. Fans who track such things in the press know that Wiig is likely leaving the show after this season.
I say "likely" because neither Wiig nor SNL has actually confirmed this fact, though it was obvious from her tears and the cast's heartfelt hugs that she was hitting the road. It's no surprise for those who read the entertainment press -- in fact, co-stars Jason Sudeikis and Andy Samberg are also rumored to be exiting the show after this season.
But it's Wiig whose departure will likely be felt most. As the castmember who stepped up most after the departure of stars such as Will Ferrell and Tina Fey, Wiig's original characters -- the deformed Lawrence Welk singer, the crazy Target cashier, the ditzy quiz show contestant, the bizarro aunt movie reviewer -- were more entertaining than her stable of ace impressions, from Kathie Lee Gifford and Michelle Bachmann to Liza Minnelli and Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren.
On Saturday, it was obvious the show wasn't quite sure what to do with Jagger, who didn't have any real product to push and has never been much of an actor. Sure, it was mildly amusing to watch him try copping a California accent, dress up like another fossilized rocker (American Idol judge Steven Tyler) or play an insurance salesman criticizing other people's Mick Jagger impressions.
But his performances with Arcade Fire and Foo Fighters mostly proved he hasn't got much of a voice anymore and the original blues tune he wrote--about the U.S. presidential election??--was mostly distinguished by how much more vibrant guitarist Jeff Beck is these days than Jagger.
It would have been so much cooler to turn Saturday's show into a Wiig tribute, packing the show with her best characters and skits. But instead, viewers had to hang until the show's final moments to see her tear up while everyone from Jon Hamm and Steve Martin to Chris Kattan and Rachel Dratch (?!) hopped onstage to wish her a wonderful farewell.
Our only solace as fans is that we know she'll be back as a host before long.