Kate McKinnon Opens Final Saturday Night Live With A Close Encounters Spaceship Sendoff: Thanks For Letting Me Stay Awhile

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 informs the alien abducted trio (including Cecily Strong and 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?” Raffery says. “Sure, and why not. I always kind of felt like an alien on this planet anyway.”

Then Rafferty takes on the role of Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as she boards the spacecraft, turns and, to the audience cheers, gives a farewell, “Well, Earth. I love you, thanks for letting me stay awhile.”

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“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 characters. She 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, once again repeatedly referring to her private parts with rhyme and alliteration.

While other abductees described the spiritual experience of their abduction, Rafferty once again has a different encounter.

“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.”


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