This weekend’s season finale of Saturday Night Live was an especially emotional episode, one that saw beloved cast members Bill Hader and Fred Armisen bid the show a fond adieu. Hader’s big farewell sketch was, of course, the epic wedding between Stefon and Seth Meyers, while Fred Armisen was joined by a calvacade of indie rock legends—Carrie Brownstein! Steve Jones! Aimee Mann! Michael Penn! J. Mascis!—for an emotional performance as his punk rocker alter ego Ian Rubbish.
Both Hader and Armisen were incredibly versatile performers whose contributions to the show will be greatly missed but, in particular, Armisen’s ability to consistently inject an element of musical theatricality into the show will be near impossible to replace. Before he became a SNL cast member back in 2002, Armisen was the drummer for an indie rock act called Trenchmouth, and he always managed to keep his foot in the world of music even after leaving it for greener comedic pastures. Sure, the Lonely Island triumvirate may have launched more huge “hits” with their viral videos like “Lazy Sunday” and “Dick In A Box,” but the songs that Armisen wrote for the show over the course of his 11 seasons always managed to balance rhythm and melody with ample doses of humor (and, at times, a glint of intellectualism even shone through).
As Saturday Night Live prepares to deal with life without this integral cast member, here’s a look back at FRED ARMISEN’S TOP 5 MUSIC-RELATED SNL SKETCHES: