Heading into tonight's Season 47 finale of NBC's Saturday Night Live (hosted by Natasha Lyonne with musical guest Japanese Breakfast), we knew that the word was already out that Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, and Kyle Mooney would be departing the long-running late-night series. In fact, Davidson took to Instagram via a post on writer/comic Dave Sirus' (SNL, The King of Staten Island) account confirming it. Now, here's a look at McKinnon, Bryant & Davidson's on-air goodbyes during tonight's show.
In the cold open "Final Encounter," McKinnon's Colleen Rafferty makes one final return, questioned alongside Lyonne & Cecily Strong by Bryant & Mikey Day's agents at the Pentagon (though McKinnon would make a guest appearance during the final sketch). On Weekend Update, Bryant and Bowen Yang's Trend Forecasters joined Michael Che at the desk to offer a final round of what's in & what's out before an especially touching exchange at the end. And appearing as himself, Davidson joined Colin Jost at the desk to cover a wide range of topics (including FOX "News" talking head Tucker Carlson being a hypocrite about making fun of Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Will Smith slapping Chris Rock), before saving his most heartfelt word for SNL creator Lorne Michael and the show for always being there for him even during the rough times (and major props for the "Harry Potter" reference).
During a tour behind-the-scenes of SNL's show night with CBS Mornings host Gayle King for his Kennedy Center honor before the end of the year, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels revealed that he had been thinking of retiring and thought it was a "really good time to leave." But first and foremost, his commitment is to see the show make it to that milestone. "I think I'm committed to doing this show until its 50th anniversary, which is in three years. I'd like to see that through, and I have a feeling that'd be a really good time to leave," Michaels explained.
"I won't want the show ever to be bad. I care too deeply about it. It's been my life's work. So I'm going to do everything I can to see it carry on and carry on well," he continued. And while Michaels was loathed to discuss details on something that wouldn't happen for three more years, he did admit when it comes to who would take on the role next that they had "a sense of where we're headed with that."
NBC's Saturday Night Live Season 47 cast includes Aidy Bryant, Michael Che, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang; feature players include the returning Andrew Dismukes and Punkie Johnson, as well as new players Aristotle Athari (Future Man, All Rise), James Austin Johnson (Silicon Valley), and Sarah Sherman (The Eric Andre Show).