Saturday Night Live kicked off its season finale with a nod to outgoing cast members Pete Davidson and Kate McKinnon.
Presented outdoors, McKinnon played her recurring character, Mrs. Rafferty, who is frequently abducted by aliens.
Aidy Bryant and Mikey Day played NSA agents interviewing Rafferty and her fellow kidnapped buddies Cecily Strong and host Natasha Lyonne about their alien encounters.
Strong and Lyonne told officers how they learned about universal languages, the sky and the elemental powers of love, while McKinnon’s character had a far more hurtful experience.
“I get in and the gray aliens, bless them, are already lined up waiting to bang my knockers around,” Mrs. Rafferty said between puffs on her endless cigarette.
The invasive aliens also took an interest in their scruffy nether regions, she told officials.
“There’s a jungle down there. I have more hair sticking out the sides than a hipster beard sticking out of an N-95.”
When the FBI said the aliens had agreed to share information with the government in exchange for a permanent resident of the human spacecraft, McKinnon signed on and got emotional as the studio audience gave her a rousing ovation.
“Earth, I love you, thanks for letting me stay a while,” she said, before delivering a final “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night” catchphrase after 10 years on the show.
Later, outgoing cast member Pete Davidson stopped by “Weekend Update” to talk about his eight-year tenure.
“Hello Colin and Jay and millions of people just watching if I mention Kanye,” said the Staten Islander.
Davidson, who has rarely appeared on the show in recent months, said when he first started on SNL people thought he was racially ambiguous.
“Now everyone knows I’m white because I became incredibly successful even though I barely showed up for work,” he joked.
Davidson thanked Executive Producer Lorne Michaels, who jumped at the chance to hire the comic when he was just 21.
“He got us through the COVID era even though he only wears a mask at his ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ parties,” Davidson joked.
“Thank you for believing in me and allowing me to have a place to call home with memories that will last a lifetime. So thank you guys,” he said earnestly to the cast and crew.
Lyonne’s monologue played up her “real New Yorker” status and brought up her friends and former “SNL” cast members Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph doing impressions of the “Orange is the New Black” star.
“’SNL’ combines everything that I like. New York City, show business, people who’ve been doing the same thing since the ’70s, and different unions are fighting,” said the child actress, before sharing an early clip of her in Pee-wee Playhouse and discussing her battle with drugs.
“There’s always hope in despair and there’s always a reason to get back in the ring and fight another day,” she said to applause.
A fake public service announcement about the vote featured performers who didn’t have a disability but were “just plain dumb.”
“Just because you’re a stupid person doesn’t mean you don’t have a choice, so get out there and vote,” a voiceover said.
“My dumb vote counts as much as anyone else’s,” Lyonne said.
“And sometimes a lot more, like in my county,” Strong offered.
“I’m watching a channel and I get so angry,” said James Austin Johnson.
Day and Lyonne portrayed chain-smoking radio hosts at Yankee Stadium in 1951, whose broadcast was cut several notches after Lyonne was prescribed methamphetamine for her cold.
The “cold pills” caused Lyonne’s character to mistakenly refer to in-field pop-ups as home runs and gossip about the player’s wives and drinking problems.
“How the hell did baseball’s ugliest son of a bitch, Joe Joe DiMaggio, get his hands on a woman like that? [Marylin Monroe]?” She asked.
“You know he’s Italian. Italians aren’t even white.”
The show quickly cut to Johnson’s advertising executive promoting “Mitchum, the businessman’s Scotch.”
Thompson played a bandleader whose stage performance was marred by a personal revelation from his harmonica player (Lyonne), who was also his landlord and roommate.
Andrew Dismukes told his 20th high school reunion from the grave after revealing he was killed by a classmate who also clashed with the inventor of fentanyl, a Capitol rioter and a porn star.
On Update, fake host Colin Jost joked about Taylor Swift digging through her failed celebrity relationships for lyrical content in the context of her New York University inaugural address.
“Because college is so similar to breaking up with Taylor Swift, you’ll still be paying for it decades later.”
Co-host Michael Che previewed Donald Trump’s new book on voter fraud.
“It will contain 8,000 commas and no periods,” Che said.
In a bizarre ’80s “Dallas” meets “Weekend at Bernie” skit, Heidi Gardner shot and killed her misogynist boss (Lyonne) before a meeting with shareholders Armisen and Day.
Gardner’s associates, Strong and Ego Nwodim, then tried to puppet the limp boss so his business partners wouldn’t notice he was dead.
A commercial touting “grown-up gray braids” for women of a certain age featured Kyle Mooney as a sculptor who lived in the woods and had a harem of older hippie women who hadn’t updated their hairstyle.
“You’re unique, you love art and you want people to see you and say ‘get it,'” the commercial reads.
Japanese breakfast singer Michelle Zauner led the hunky group in a sing-along to end the skit after the indie-pop band performed their songs “Be Sweet” and “Paprika.”
Masked cast members hugged during the “Goodnights/Closing Theme” with no closing references to McKinnon, Davidson, or other reported departing cast members Bryant and Mooney.
“Have a great summer,” Lyonne said.