SNL: Fred Armisen’s ‘Dead Poets Society’ Spoof Is Weirder Than You Could Possibly Imagine
SNL vet Fred Armisen returned to Studio 8H this weekend to host the Season 41 finale, and as you might expect, things got pretty weird. In between delivering the longest, most delightfully strange monologue in recent memory and reviving a couple of fan-favorite characters, Armisen starred in this pre-recorded spoof of Dead Poets Society. Riffing on a 27-year-old drama is certainly unexpected, but not nearly as unexpected as what happens at the end of this thing.
It starts out as a fairly straightforward comedic play on the beloved Robin Williams film from 1989, with Armisen in the role of an inspirational but unconventional teacher who has been unjustly dismissed from his post at a prep school for boys. From the outset, you know something is a little off about this sketch: titled “Farewell, Mr. Bunting” (a play on Goodbye, Mr. Chips), it eases you in with Bobby Moynihan’s over-the-top principal character and a few odd jokes about poetry that would feel right at home in a more timely satire of a well-meaning drama released in a less socially-conscious time.
What begins as a seemingly innocuous and weirdly outdated spoof takes a hard and hilarious left turn — but only after lulling you into a false sense of security with jokes that are intentionally just okay.
I can’t say anything else without spoiling what makes this sketch so damn funny, but it may be one of the most brilliant SNL bits of 2016.