“Saturday Night Live” went out on a high note this weekend with The Rock as host, but the season finale also marked the departure of three cast members. While Bobby Moynihan had already announced he was leaving (and thus we had time for a tribute), there was less notice to offer farewells for fellow exiting cast members Vanessa Bayer and Sasheer Zamata.
Bayer sneakily announced her news on Instagram just hours before the finale began. Thus it felt symbolic when Moynihan and Bayer took part in a graduation sketch – allowing fans to subtly say goodbye to them during the episode. Moynihan also got to wear the Drunk Uncle attire again on Weekend Update, and Bayer went out on a high note with the RKO movie set skit and the parody for Cartier’s fidget spinner.
Sadly, Zamata’s exit had less fanfare, and this was unfortunately the way her four-year career on “SNL” played out. While Zamata was a strong and welcome addition to the cast, it never felt like the writers had any great ideas for her, and she exited the show without any standout characters under her belt. Even in the season finale, Zamata only really had a meaty role in one skit ,and it wasn’t memorable. At least she got a send-off from The Rock:
Bayer is probably best known for playing Laura Parsons, a girl whose over-articulation and penchant for breaking into song show her theater roots. Like any child, she also makes us a little uncomfortable when she picks up adult phrases:
When Bayer isn’t playing a little girl, she’s playing a little boy, Jacob the bar mitzvah boy. Here she is explaining Passover:
Bayer also appeared as Rachel from “Friends,” and in this skit, a special guest dropped by:
Bayer’s splashiest commercial parody though was the Totino’s pizza rolls ad with Kristen Stewart. This should be a must-watch for every Super Bowl:
Zamata played a teenage blogger whose dad was Chris Rock:
She also took on Netflix’s hit “Stranger Things” to play Lucas Sinclair, who clearly has more to fear than just the Demogorgon:
Zamata was also a regular on “Black Jeopardy,” which is just as it sounds. This hilarious installment features Tom Hanks:
Finally, she portrayed “The Bachelorette’s” first ever black bachelorette, whose suitors leave a lot to be desired. Sadly, this skit was cut from the program: