June 14, 2021

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‘SNL’ season finale: Chris Rock and cast give tearful, sarcastic recap of the past year

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The “Saturday Night Live” cast along with season premiere host Chris Rock kicked off the finale with an emotional reflection of the events that shaped the 46th run of the comedy sketch show. 

With the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 election and the return back to studio 8H after several episodes from the previous season were filmed remotely, “SNL” writers had plenty of real-world material to use for satire. 

The "SNL" cast looks back on a "crazy" year during the 46th season finale.

The Queen’s Gambit” actress Anya Taylor-Joy hosted the last episode with Lil Nas X as the musical guest but before they made their appearances, one thing had to be established:

“This year was crazy,” Aidy Bryant said.  

Bowen Yang recalled how they finished the previous season doing “weird” shows from home during the start of the pandemic with the “SNL At Home” episodes and kicked off the most recent season with “terrifying” episodes in 30 Rock. 

More:Bowen Yang on ‘SNL’: ‘Fuel up, do more’ to fight racism against Asian Americans

“Everyone else was fleeing New York but (executive producer) Lorne Michaels was like ‘We should go back for comedy’,” Ego Nwodim said.

The season was described as both a “perfect environment” for comedy and “unusual circumstances” for laughs.

Kyle Mooney sarcastically asked: “Was every sketch perfect? Yeah pretty much, we crushed it. Every sketch was a 10. No notes.”

Rock made a surprise pop-in to take a look back on Season 46, noting he opened the season as host. 

More:Chris Rock addresses Trump COVID diagnosis in ‘SNL’ monologue: ‘My heart goes out to COVID’

 “This is how messed up the world was when I hosted,” Rock said. “I wanted Kanye (West) to be the musical guest and he couldn’t do it because he was running for president.” 

Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong and Kenan Thompson came on screen on a more serious note acknowledging the lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic, including the show’s music producer Hal Willner, who died April 2020 from COVID-19. 

“This was the year we realized we’re more than just a cast,” McKinnon said, holding back tears. “We’re a family.” 

“Thank you for staying with us through an election, an insurrection and an objection that there was an insurrection,” said Strong. 

 “It was one wild ride, baby,” McKinnon added. 

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