Kanye’s rant, Armisen’s exit and more ‘SNL’ finale backstory

Kanye West will perform on the "Saturday Night Live" season finale.
(Paul Buck / EPA)

The 38th season finale of “Saturday Night Live” airs this weekend and with it come more than a few questions about the confirmed departure of one cast member, the possible departure of two others and the unpredicatable nature of the tempermental musical guest.

Here a few things to be aware of as host (and two-time Oscar winner) Ben Affleck closes out the show’s season.

Bill Hader is definitely leaving.


The eight-season veteran confirmed this week that this would be his final show as a regular cast member. He’s moving with his family back to Los Angeles and saying farewell to characters such as Stefon, the New York correspondent. But don’t expect a tear-jerking farewell in the style of Kristen Wiig. He’s stated he doesn’t want anything emotional to send him off.

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Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis may be leaving.

A report in the New York Post states that two veterans aside from Hader may also leave the show after this episode. Both Jason Sudeikis (who’s been on “SNL” since 2005) and Fred Armisen (since 2002) may move on to other projects. Neither has confirmed the report, but Sudeikis’ continuing presence on the show has been in question since last summer, when it was reported he wasn’t sure whether he would come back for the 38th season. He chose to return, at least through the presidential election (he played Mitt Romney in sketches), and has remained on the show throughout the season.

Armisen has his own successful sketch show, “Portlandia,” on IFC, and in January he told ETOnline: “I’m having such a good time on ‘SNL,’ it’s still so much fun.”

However, every “SNL” performer has a finite number of seasons in them. Darrell Hammond holds the record for the longest run, with 14 seasons. Armisen has been on the show for 11 seasons; he’s one of six performers who have lasted more than a decade.

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Don’t expect musical guest Kanye West to pop up in any sketches.

The mercurial West has always been unpredictable (just ask Taylor Swift), but there’s extra reason to be apprehensive about his appearance as the musical guest on the “SNL” season finale. This week, West performed at a party for the Adult Swim upfront presentation at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom and addressed an incident from earlier in the week: He had hit his head on a street sign while avoiding paparazzi, which was captured and posted on TMZ. The injury prompted an aggressive outburst against the paps during West’s live show.

"[I had a friend ask me, ‘Are you gonna go on] “SNL” and you’re going to do like a skit about the paparazzi and ... like humanize yourself?” West said, according to Complex Magazine. “I ain’t here to apologize to no ... man.”

He continued railing against the paparazzi, saying, “Hell nah I ain’t doing no ... ‘SNL’ skits, this my ... life.”

(The actual rant was laced with more expletives than we can print here.)

West has appeared on the promos with Affleck and Armisen, looking less than amused. But in one, he had a large Band-Aid plastered across his forehead, an obvious poke at his run-in with the sign. So maybe he’s in the mood to laugh after all?


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