While Fred Armisen hasn't officially announced his "Saturday Night Live" departure after 11 seasons, his last skit on this weekend's "SNL" finale certainly seemed like the most rock 'n' roll "SNL" goodbye ever. Yes, even more than that time Mick Jagger serenaded the exiting Kristen Wiig on "SNL" last year.
Reviving his Britpunk alter ago Ian Rubbish (whose fictional band the Bizarros recently opened for Vampire Weekend at New York's Roseland Ballroom), Armisen closed Saturday's "SNL" show with what was basically a punk-rock version of "We Are the World." Ian Rubbish & The Bizarros' performance of a Cockney-inflected farewell singalong called "I've Had a Lovely Night" featured Sleater-Kinney/Wild Flag guitarist (and Armisen's "Portlandia" co-star) Carrie Brownstein, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, indie-rock power couple Aimee Mann and Michael Penn, and the Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones.
Yes, this actually happened. And it was epic.
Armisen is actually one of "SNL's" coolest music-associated alums, with a bona fide background in indie rock. He was once married to Sally Timms of the Mekons; he's played drums for the Grifters side-project Those Bastard Souls, the Blue Man Group, and Les Savy Fav; he had a cameo in the Flaming Lips' cult movie Christmas On Mars; and long before he went into comedy, he was a member of the Chicago punk band Trenchmouth in the 1980s. His 2010 "Fistfight in the Parking Lot" hardcore skit for "SNL," playing in a fictional reunited '80s punk band alongside the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, is the stuff of comedy legend.
Fred, Jason, and Bill will definitely be missed on "Saturday Night Live," but kudos to them for making the most bizarro, and most awesome, "SNL" exit ever.