Mick Jagger was host of one of the best SNL’s of the season, a high-energy finale that relied on Jagger’s persona and was fueled by so much nostalgia that it seemed like classic rock, with Jagger doing “19th Nervous Breakdown” with Foo Fighters, “The Last Time” with Arcade Fire and “Ruby Tuesday” in the show-ending goodbye to Kristen Wiig, who’s leaving SNL.
But before Jagger even turned up, the show’s new favorite occasional guest stole the cold open: Jon Hamm as an Italian alter ego, a slick singer called Johnny Prosciutto. (Ha!)
The sketch has never been one of my favorites: Lawrence Welk presenting those singing sisters, with Wiig as the oddball with the giant forehead and tiny doll’s hands. But Prosciutto made it hilarious, a seamless part of Hamm’s effective “I’m not really Don Draper” strategy.
The Jagger sketches played against his image, and that worked too. He was pretty convincing all night in short, businessman wigs and suits.
The best was this karaoke sketch, in which everybody thinks he can imitate Mick Jagger – except Jagger’s meek insurance-exec character. After Fred Armisen and Bobby Moynihan’s impressions, don’t miss Jagger’s buttoned-down version of “Satisfaction”.
And if you’re going to have a sentimental farewell, what better way to cut through the treacle than having Mick Jagger sing you off stage? In a mock graduation, cast members came up to dance with Wiig, and it was a very sweet ending. Wiig of course has been brilliant on SNL, but after Bridesmaids, and frankly too many Wiig-centric SNL’s, it’s really time to move on. Amy Poehler showed up for that last dance, offering proof that there’s life and even better career moves after SNL.
Jump to the next page to watch Jagger’s performances with Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, and Jeff Beck.
Here’s Jagger and Foo Fighters:
Here he is with Arcade Fire:
He also did a bizarre new song about the presidential race. The message: don’t let Romney cut your hair. On that evidence, Jagger should probably stay away from politics, but if you’re curious, here’s “Tea Party,” with Jeff Beck.