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‘SNL’ celebrates veteran comedians Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, and Kyle Mooney as they say goodbye

Kate McKinnon.Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

In the final episode of the season last night, Saturday Night Live bid farewell to cast members Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney, marking the end of an era for the storied late-night sketch comedy show.

The veterans had become fixtures on SNL over the years, introducing many iconic characters, moments, and impressions. And Saturday was the night to celebrate their achievements.

Mooney has been with the show for nine seasons, Bryant for 10, McKinnon for 10, and Davidson for eight.

The final episode of the season was hosted by actress Natasha Lyonne, who is perhaps best known for her role in the comedy-drama, “Orange Is the New Black.”

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In the cold opening, SNL brought back a former sketch called “Close Encounter,” now called “Final Encounter,” that featured McKinnon and Bryant trying to say goodbye to our planet.

“Well, Earth. I love you, thanks for letting me stay awhile,” McKinnon, said. “Live From New York, it’s Saturday Night Live.”

For one last time, McKinnon and Bryant collaborated on a skit for gray adult pigtails where Mooney also made an appearance.

Another heartfelt moment came when Davidson made his way back to the desk for “Weekend Update,” where he frequently offered commentary over the years.

“I appreciate Saturday Night Live always having my back,” he said. “Thank you, Lorne [Michaels], for never giving up on me or judging me, even when everyone else was, and for believing in me and allowing me to have a place that I could call home, with memories that will last a lifetime. So thank you guys.”

He also mentioned he “never imagined this would be my life.”

“Back then, I was just a skinny kid that no one knew which race I was. And now everyone knows I’m white because I became hugely successful while barely showing up to work. Look at me now, I’m aging like an old banana,” Davidson joked.

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Davidson also took to Instagram and shared a video that was sent to him eight years ago hugging Jerrod Carmichael. In the caption; he wrote:

“This video was taken 8 years ago. Jerrod sent it to me last night and it made me super emotional in the best way ... In the video I had just gotten back from doing my very first update and sketch. It’s crazy to think that today I’ll be doing my last one.”

He then went on to write “thank you for always believing in me and sticking by my side even when it seemed comical.”


Allana J. Barefield can be reached at allana.barefield@globe.com.