SNL: Courtney Barnett, Fred Armisen, Bobby Moynihan (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

 

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in May 2016.

It hardly feels like Fred Armisen, one of the longest-tenured “SNL” cast members of all time (11 seasons), has ever left 30 Rockefeller Plaza. He has returned to cameo 7 times in the 3 years since departing, and he regularly collaborates with other “SNL” vets on his current regular gigs, “Late Night” and “Portlandia” (both produced by Lorne Michaels). But he has shown restraint this season, only appearing once before (to memorialize David Bowie). So while his first time as host is in no way long overdue, it is also not overkill. Speaking of cameos, several other alums also stop by, as befitting a season finale. This means that there is some squeezing out of the regular cast, but not of the good ideas. Year 41 ends on a high note.

Bernie and Hillary – “SNL” wraps up one of its wackiest political years with its two all-star impressions: one that broke big exactly as expected and the other a delightful surprise. The dance between Kate McKinnon’s Hillary and Larry David’s Bernie is as testy as the real deal. As they really explore the studio, there is a celebratory air that the show reserves only for times when it knows it has something special to celebrate. But wisely, it is not all just kissing and making up, because there is plenty of tension in this primary that the last call setting brings into focus. This is a summary of the fictionalized version of a slice of this campaign that “SNL” has managed to have its pulse on. B

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