Just as Saturday Night Live said goodbye for another season, so, too, did Mr. Bunting’s students say farewell to their beloved teacher. I did not expect to see an almost shot-by-shot Dead Poets Society parody in last night’s Fred Armisen-hosted finale (check out the Lonely Island’s Digital Short about Vanessa Bayer wanting Popstar‘s Conner4real to f*ck her like America f*cked Bin Laden), and I certainly did not expect the sketch to turn out the way it did.
No spoilers, but “Farewell Mr. Bunting” begins with Bobby Moynihan’s crusty old headmaster informing the students of Windermere that Mr. Bunting will no longer be teaching there. While the young scholars are forced to read from a textbook (“Poetry should not be fun, it should be oppressive and the reader should hate it”), Mr Bunting, played by Armisen, returns to pick up his belongings. In protest of the headmaster’s decision, and to show their support for their professor, the students stand up on their desks and say, “I sing my song for all to hear.” It’s a direct nod to the “O Captain! My Captain!” scene from Dead Poets, but with a very different conclusion. It’s great.
“Farewell Mr. Bunting” is being hailed as an instant classic.