Andy Samberg was a recurring cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 2005 to 2012, during which time he became the face of innumerable "Digital Shorts" and Justin Timberlake's television best friend. This weekend, Samberg returned to Studio 8H to host the finale of the 39th season of the show, defend his title as top celebrity impersonator and reunite with former co-stars.
Samberg noted in his monologue his inexperience with live sketches -- "So this'll go well." In fact, it did go well, and here are the top moments from Samberg's turn at hosting.
3) Blizzard Man
Once an original Andy Samberg character in 2006, this weekend the host's Vanilla Ice parody made a comeback like Vanilla Ice never could. The beauty of the Blizzard Man return, other than the soon-to-be timeless line "He's got the same swagger as A$AP Rocky and the street cred of Katherine Heigl," is that it was always meant to be a throwback: In 2006, the sketch poked fun at the pop/hip-hop scene of the late-1990s, a point that is that much funnier these years later. I just wish Justin Timberlake could have at least been cut to during the sketch, as a reminder that the world is a better place with fewer frosted tips.
2) Confident Hunchback
Here is a character who oozes charisma and bravado that could only be perfected by Samberg ("Is it me or am I great?"). A ridiculous character, unaware of how ridiculous he is, is exactly his acting stigma, leaving opportunity to wonder if this one had been waiting for him all season. "SNL" has always had a knack for inserting great jokes into the spaces within sketches, and with that brief knock at guys who wear fedoras, the writers were at the top of their game. It's an excellent ensemble sketch which rewards the deep cast of women on the "SNL" team, especially Cecily Strong.
1) Kissing Family
The most talked about moment from the "SNL" season finale was another return. Rather, many other returns. The show dug deep and brought back A-list names and crowd favorites for this edition of the Kissing Family sketch, which provided laughs and cheers as well as timely commentary on the selection of the first openly gay NFL player, Michael Sam, by the St. Louis Rams.
Actually, hearing "We're just in the middle of watching the NFL Draft," was one of the week's funniest moments, because honestly who wants to sit around as a family and watch the NFL Draft? This sketch was truly a treat, as how often does anyone get to see Bill Hader lick people or Maya Rudolph violate anyone while dressed as a nurse? In addition to Samberg, Hader and Rudolph, the cast of the penultimate moment in the episode includes appearances from Kristen Wiig and Paul Rudd, and a great moment where Fred Armisen just couldn't contain his laughter.
BONUS: Hugs, an "SNL" Digital Short
It would not be Andy Samberg on "SNL" without a Digital Short music video. It was a given one would happen, as these prerecorded sketches have remained an important and memorable part of the series, but the anticipation was great with Samberg at the helm. They did not let down the audience, and this music video entitled "Hugs" was one of the highlights of the episode. "I just want to hug your mother in the back of a Subaru hatchback," is a line that should give you an idea of the tone and subject of the parody, which stars Samberg as well as Oscar-nominated singer/songwriter Pharrell and "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany.