Saturday Night Live opened with one of the show’s most popular skits: “Close Encounter,” this time with departing cast member Kate McKinnon bidding adieu as Colleen Rafferty really is sent off on an alien spaceship.
At the end of the sketch, a Pentagon official informed the alien abducted trio (including Cecily Strong and this week’s host Natasha Lyonne) that the aliens “have offered the U.S. government access to some of their technology if one of you agrees to go with them permanently.”
“Well, I can read the room. It’s me, right?” Rafferty said. “Sure, and why not. I always kind of felt like an alien on this planet anyway.”
Then Rafferty took on the role of Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as she boarded the spacecraft, turned and, to audience cheers, gave a farewell, “Well, Earth. I love you, thanks for letting me stay awhile.”
Then, for the last time as a regular, McKinnon got to say, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night.”
The opener was an especially fitting way to mark McKinnon’s final show after joining the cast in 2012, as Rafferty has been one of her most popular and memorable characters. McKinnon is among a number of cast members who are departing the show, a list that also includes Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney.
As with past “Close Encounter” sketches, the opener had Rafferty sharing a much different alien experience than her fellow abductees. As they told Pentagon officials of their spiritual awakening in meeting the visitors from another planet, Rafferty described her bawdy encounters with the alien beatings, as she referred to her private parts with rhyme and euphemism.
“I wasn’t so much gently lifted as I was yanked skyward by some kind of claw machine device. And mind you I am popping a squat on the median at the time, so I slide right out of my slacks. I’m being rocketed up to the ship with my coot coot and prune chute. I barely managed to pull my Wonderwear back up.”
“So I get dumped on board the bottom of the ship and I see my old pals, the little gray aliens with the big dumb eyes, and it hits me, ‘Colleen, this might be the most stable relationship you ever had.’ ”
And so it went.
“It was different down in third class. I get on board and the gray aliens, God bless them, they are already standing in line waiting to bat my knockers around. So I think, ‘What the hell, play the hits, right?’ I started unbuttoning my blouse, but I am still in my skivvies, which are real loose. And my beast here in full view. Not to get too graphic, but pubicly speaking, it’s a jungle down there. I got more hair poking out the sides than a hipster’s beard stuffed into an N95 mask. I’m not proud of it, but hey, why clean the house if nobody’s coming over, right?”
Watch tonight’s cold open bidding McKinnon farewell above.