Lorne Michaels has seen some of the greatest comedy minds of all time come and go on “Saturday Night Live” over the past 37 years. And while it’s always hard to bid farewell to someone who has blossomed into a star on your stage week-after-week while creating indelible characters, Michaels said the tear-stained last waltz with Kristen Wiig on Saturday’s season finale was one of the rougher ones.
Though NBC hasn’t confirmed it yet, Wiig made what is believed to be her final appearance on the show after seven years of making America laugh along with the Target Lady, Gilly and boozy Kathy Lee Gifford. The waterworks were flowing as she slow-danced with her cast mates to the strains of the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” and Michaels told reporters on Monday that emotions were running high that night.
“It was difficult for all of us,” Michaels said on the red carpet for the 71st Annual Peabody Awards on Monday night. “And I think most difficult for her … I don’t think it will be the last time she will be on that stage,” he added.
Current cast member Fred Armisen told the New York Post that he’ll miss his friend, but isn’t worried that she’ll become a stranger. “”It was both sad and happy because no one ever leaves ‘SNL,’” he said. “Did you see the good nights? Kristen, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell, everyone. No one goes very far.”
While “Bridesmaids” star and co-writer Wiig appears headed off to pursue her movie career , it’s still unclear if two other “SNL” veterans who were rumored to be leaving, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis, are packing up as well. Michaels appeared to tamp down those whispers Monday night, answering “not so far, yeah,” when asked by TheWrap, if anything had been decided about the pair’s future.
“You never know,” Michaels said about the lack of a similar goodbye to the two. “I think everyone gets through the season and just the level of fatigue by the end is just overwhelming, and it’s a very emotional time. I’ve had a rule since the second season, which is to not make any decisions in June. We’ll see in July.”
Though Wiig’s send-off was emotional, it was all fun at the cast after-party, according to Us Magazine. Donning leather shorts and an American flag t-shirt, the 38-year-old actress joined the Foo Fighters on the stage at the Rockefeller Center Skating Rink to sing lead vocals on a cover of Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll.” The night also featured Wiig’s pal and fellow “SNL” alum, Amy Poehler, jamming on Jett’s “Bad Reputation.”