After 12 years on "Saturday Night Live" and five behind the "Weekend Update" desk, Seth Meyers gave his final "Update" on Saturday — flanked by several former "SNL" alumni — and he was outta there.
Well, not exactly — Meyers will start right back up again at 30 Rock on Feb. 24, when he takes over hosting duties from Jimmy Fallon at "Late Night." But that didn't stop his final "SNL" from being a bittersweet farewell that featured Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen and Golden Globe winner Andy Samberg.
With everyone crowding around the desk, Meyers spoke to the camera: "I just want to say being out here with my co-anchors and my dear friend and my husband (he gestured to Samberg and Hader, who came out in character as Stefon) is the perfect way to end. This is the job I always wanted. And I had the best time and I met the best people."
Meyers joined the show in 2001 and is the longest-running cast member; Kenan Thompson, who signed on in 2003, is now the show's elder statesman.
"You're like the Sting of 'SNL,'" Hader's Stefon quipped. "Because it takes you 12 years to finish." But when Meyers' co-anchor Cecily Strong chimed in, saying she'd miss him, Stefon was not happy.
"You barely know him!" he snarled.
Poehler told him they had arrived to take him to "the other side," so Meyers asked what the world was like outside of "SNL."
"It's so weird and cool," said Poehler. "How can I put this?"
Said Stefon, "That place has everything.... Human DVRs. It's that thing where a midget sits on your TV and tells you what happened on 'Scandal.'"
On a more serious note, Poehler (who anchored with him from 2006-08) told him, "We are so proud of you. You've been the heart of this show for over a decade."
For all the attention given Meyers, host Melissa McCarthy acquitted herself nicely in recurring roles as annoying or scary women, including one she's done before: the temper-prone Shelia Kelly, now an angry congresswoman (a check to New York's Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm, who threatened a reporter on camera after last week's State of the Union Address).
McCarthy's opening monologue showed her parrying with Bobby Moynihan, who showed footage of her being abusive to him at the end of her last appearance on the show; later, she appeared as a member of a group of women aspiring to do basic things like use a Kindle. Her goal was a bit more dramatic: "This year, I would like to avenge the death of my father."
Black History Month got a nod in a pre-taped segment and featured Thompson, Jay Pharoah and Sasheer Zamata doing a presentation in school to time with the celebration. There were 28 reasons in February to "hug a black guy," said Pharoah — the No. 1 being, "We deserve a chance." The others? All the same: "Slavery."
"Saturday Night Live" is on hiatus for the rest of the month, returning on March 1. Be sure to check out some of Meyer's greatest moments here, and get a peek at his final table read from last week.
First published February 2 2014, 6:39 AM