In an emotional goodbye, long-time Saturday Night Live cast member Kristen Wiig made her last curtain call at the very end of last night's season finale.
The Bridesmaids star was surrounded by SNL cast members, past and present, as well as executive producer Lorne Michaels and her movie co-star Jon Hamm. They embraced and slow-danced as host Mick Jagger lead the audience in a nostalgic rendition of the Rolling Stones' classic “Ruby Tuesday."
Prior to breaking out in song, the show's final skit was staged as a graduation ceremony and Jagger, a professor, announced that his student, Wiig, was graduating to “become a nun.”
Over the past few weeks, it became somewhat of an "open secret" that the 7-year veteran was making her exit this year. US Weekly reports that Wiig's rep refused to confirm the rumors until the season was over.
Still, the staging of tonight's exit likely surprised fans.
“A SURPRISE? I LOVE SURPRISES!” – Kristen Wiig as Sue
What is no surprise, to fans and colleagues alike, is Wiig's level of talent. As a clear sign of her growing success, she was recently named to Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."
"She never thought she was making a statement about women in comedy," wrote director/producer Judd Apatow for Time. "Of course women in comedy have always been brilliant. Look at her old SNL castmates Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey. And that is just the women on one show!"
Both Dratch and Poehler were on stage for tonight's closing ceremony.
"When I do leave, it's not because I'm sick of it and not because I see something better or anything like that," Wiig had said on Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, according to US Weekly. "It's just that it's time. When I do leave, it will be the hardest thing. I mean, you know. You're there for a week and on Saturday night you're sad because you leave these people."
And the emotion on Wiig’s face was clear as she swiped away tears and made "thank you" gestures to the audience.
Thanks for the memories, Kristen.