NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Late Night

Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, and Fred Armisen Just Brought Back Classic Characters on SNL

Paul Rudd also popped up as an over-enthusiastic improv group member, while Matt Damon played himself in "Retirement Party," a callback to several vintage SNL sketches.

By Samantha Vincenty

The night of April 6 was an exciting one in 30 Rock's Studio 8H, when Kristen Wiig returned to Host — and became the latest member of Saturday Night Live's Five-Timers Club. Wiig's well-deserved entry was marked by a monologue featuring Paul Rudd, Matt Damon, and her former fellow cast members Fred Armisen and Will Forte. Like Jon Hamm, who also made a monologue cameo, the four men also made a sketch appearance later in the night — with Forte and Armisen reviving some gloriously bizarre characters they played during their original SNL run alongside Wiig. 

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

The April 6 "Retirement Party" sketch is a callback to several vintage SNL sketches, including "Anniversary Party" from 2012 and "Wedding Toast" from 2008. It's also the latest in a rich tradition of open-mic-style sketches that let the performers step into the spotlight and have fun with a new character — the quirkier the better. 

In "Retirement Party," an emcee (Mikey Day) is about to wrap up an evening honoring a retiree named Jerry (Kenan Thompson) when a series of certified weirdos commandeer the mic to praise Jerry and cause general confusion. 

RELATED: Watch Kristen Wiig's SNL Five-Timers Monologue and Sketches

Longtime SNL fans may recognize Wiig's pink-clad Gail, Fred Armisen's curly-haired creep, and Will Forte's sunglasses-wearing freak making their reappearance. Paul Rudd also shows up as an overenthusiastic improv group member (is there any other kind?) while Matt Damon plays "Hollywood actor Matt Damon, from The Legend of Bagger Vance.

Kristen Wiig and Mikey Day during a sketch on snl episode 1860

Kristen Wiig, Fred Armisen, and Will Forte revisit classic SNL characters in "Retirement Party"  

After a man wearing cat ears (Bowen Yang) shares the story of how Jerry helped him deal with the grisly death of Pebbles, his "service chinchilla," improv group Gits & Shiggles (Punkie Johnson, Chloe Fineman, and Paul Rudd in an astounding wig) take the stage.

"Now, we were specifically asked not to perform tonight, and we respect that," Rudd's character announces. "Unless someone has a suggestion for a location and a style of music?"

RELATED: Kristen Wiig's Target Lady Is Starring in an Actual Target Commercial

As Gits & Shiggles are shooed offstage, Armisen's character from the previous sketches grabs the mic to decry HR, a.k.a. "the sex police," before shouting out his lover, Wendy from Security (Sarah Sherman). Then, despite the emcee's best efforts, Wiig's character — first introduced as Gail in 2008's "Wedding Toast" — drags her oxygen tank up and immediately has the floor. Wiig's physical comedy has the audience laughing even before her hilarious remarks. 

Matt Damon makes it weird by sharing that Jerry inspired his Oppenheimer character before Will Forte shuffles in wearing the blonde pageboy wig he donned in sketches past. Introducing himself as "the step-nephew of the event coordinator," his energy and gravelly voice can only be described as "would-be murderous cult leader." 

See SNL's "Retirement Party" sketch, above. 

Kristen Wiig during her monologue for the 5 Timers Club on SNL episode 1860

Watch previous "Party Toast" sketches co-starring Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and Will Ferrell

"Wedding Toast"

"Wedding Toast" starred December 13, 2008 Host Hugh Laurie, honoring a newly-married couple (Andy Samberg and Abby Elliott) forced to sit through a series of uncomfortable speeches from Gail and the gang. 

Wedding Toast


In this May 16, 2009 sketch's funeral setting, Armisen's character is somehow even creepier than Forte's. It also features Maya Rudolph singing a Sasquatch-themed version of "Amazing Grace."


"Anniversary Party"

From Season 37 — Wiig's last as a cast member, and Kate McKinnon's first — "Anniversary Party" co-starred Host Will Ferrell, Jason Sudeikis, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, and Bill Hader. 

Anniversary Party