When most people graduate from high school or college, their loved ones usually celebrate by treating them to dinner at Applebee's, or presenting them with the keys to a used Saab that smells like a Cracker Barrel restroom. When Kristen Wiig graduated from SNL last night after seven years on the show, she was treated to a "She's Like a Rainbow"/"Ruby Tuesday" medley led by none other than host Mick Jagger himself, as well as a whirl around the stage from her fellow cast members and executive producer Lorne Michaels. So yeah, enjoy those barbecue riblets, 2012 grads.
The final sketch of the show's season finale (hosted by Jagger, with musical guest Arcade Fire) featured Jagger as a high school principal calling "Tristan," "one particular student who is leaving this summer," to the stage. Wiig then came up, in full cap and gown, to dance with Michaels, Jagger, and all of the cast members in succession, as well as special guests Steve Martin and Jon Hamm. Wiig, who joined the SNL cast in 2005, seemed pretty choked up as the cast said their good nights, as did fellow longtime cast members Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg (who is rumored to be leaving the cast next year).
In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably say that I've always kinda hated Kristen Wiig, at least on SNL (her on-screen persona is, for the most part, much more low-key, at least in movies like Bridesmaids and Adventureland). Most of her characters (Gilly, the Target Lady, Penelope, etc.) always struck me as one-note and not particularly funny, and Wiig herself reminded me of that zany girl with bangs in every college improv troupe who insists on inserting her impression of a one-legged lesbian French-Canadian cat lady into every single goddamn sketch. Still, she's been on the show for seven years, so her departure is poignant in the sense that it marks something of an end of an era (albeit an era of me changing the channel to infomercials whenever the "don't make me sing" lady comes on).
Anyway, best of luck, Kristen! May your future as an SNL cast member-turned-film-star be filled with plenty of Bridesmaids and few Corky Romanos.