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Sean L. McCarthy

Sean L. McCarthy

Posted: May 17, 2009 03:35 PM

The SNL FAQ: Season Finale (Will Ferrell)


You have questions about the season finale of Saturday Night Live. We have answers.

Did they open with a political sketch? YES. Unpopular former Vice President Dick Cheney (Darrell Hammond, in his SNL swan song), got interrupted from his newfound love of media appearances by Will Ferrell in his now Tony-nominated performance of ex-President George W. Bush. Ferrell as Bush did get in a couple of digs on VP Joe Biden, wondering why Cheney wouldn't go out for burgers with him, and why Cheney wouldn't say dumb things to make Bush look smarter.

How did the host do, and did he/she do anything outrageously funny? Will Ferrell dominated the episode from start to finish, appearing in every sketch of the night and bringing back his memorable impersonations of Bush, Alex Trebek and the ghost of Harry Caray.

Who played President Obama? Not present. Looks like they took the hint.

Was there a digital short? NO.

Was there a fake ad? YES, BUT. It was a blast from the past. Specifically, Season #26, Epsiode 11 (Feb. 10, 2001), in which Ferrell played the dog-hating Wade Blasingame, ESQ., attorney at law. He has sued more than 2,000 dogs for getting away with things humans never could.

Did the musical guest lip-sync or otherwise do something worth mentioning? Green Day proved they still can provide some power chord punk-pop, with two singles off their upcoming new release, "Know Your Enemy" and "21 Guns."

Did my favorite character return? YES. Aside from all of the impersonations, Kristen Wiig's big-headed, tiny-handed singing sister returned in another Lawrence Welk sketch.

Were there any celebrity cameos? YES. TONS. Tom Hanks played himself in the Jeopardy sketch, pretending to be dumber than you could possibly believe anyone to be, and playing it straight. Former SNLers Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Norm MacDonald also returned; Poehler to the Weekend Update desk, Rudolph singing in a funeral sketch, and MacDonald playing Burt Reynolds on Jeopardy. Elisabeth Moss (Fred Armisen's fiancee) showed up briefly in the all-star singalong to Billy Joel's "Goodnight, Saigon." As did earlier season 34 SNL hosts Anne Hathaway and Paul Rudd. As did Artie Lange, for reasons unknown (other than being pals with MacDonald, I suppose).

Did any celebrities get impersonated? YES. The Celebrity Jeopardy sketch featured Ferrell as Alex Trebek, Hammond as Sean Connery, MacDonald as Burt Reynolds and Wiig as Kathie Lee Gifford. We also saw an NBA on TNT sketch with Bill Hader as Ernie Johnson and Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley. And Fred Armisen played Lawrence Welk.

Did any politicians get impersonated? YES. See the aforementioned cold open.

For the full recap and analysis of this episode of SNL, click here.

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