Posted on Sunday, October 4th, 2015 by Ethan Anderton
Last night brought the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, bringing the iconic late night sketch comedy show into its 41st season. Coming back from the summer break is always hard for a cast and crew that puts together the show in just one week (which is always remarkable, whether it’s a particularly good episode or not), and last night was no exception.
Miley Cyrus returned to host the show and pulled double duty as musical guest, bringing her over-the-top, controversial, edgy antics along with her, though at this point it feels more manufactured than genuine. Thankfully, they didn’t rely on Miley Cyrus as a wild personality for too much of the show, but that doesn’t mean this season premiere was all that great.
Check out my full review of the Miley Cyrus Saturday Night Live episode below!
For each review, I’ll break down the sketches by The Best, The Average and The Worst of the night, with a separate section for Weekend Update. I’ll also evaluate how well the host performed and name an MVP of the night before wrapping it up. So let’s run through last night’s sketches.
Miley Wedding Tape – Kyle Mooney has definitely taken Andy Samberg’s place as the resident digital short creator (writer and former featured cast member Mike O’Brien also delivers some of the better pre-recorded segments as well), and this one is just the right amount of weird. It’s Mooney’s earnest attitude that makes this work so well, not to mention the surprising use of time travel (because Miley is a time-lord obviously), and he will be missed now that he’s dead.
Katz’s Deli – This sketch made me wonder just how many people have recreate the iconic orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally, but I digress. Leslie Jones brought this one home by doing a great turn from being the calm straight [wo]man to having a full on simulated orgasm three times in the deli. I wouldn’t mind seeing this character recur by recreating other movie scenes that take a far too real turn just like this one.
Hillary Clinton Bar Talk – This one has some hiccups simply because there were some technical issues with camera angles and the real Hillary Clinton isn’t a trained comedy performer. But Clinton always seems a little more genuine when she makes SNL appearances than she does on the campaign trail. She pokes some fun at herself in one of the more clever ways that a real politician has been used on SNL and delivers a solid blow to Donald Trump (one of many that night). Plus, it’s always nice to have Darrell Hammond pop up as Bill Clinton.
The Squad – The idea of the world coming to a strange end because of the popularity of Taylor Swift is an interesting concept, but I don’t think it was executed nearly as well as it could have been. Adding “Directed by Alfonso Cuaron” was a nice touch to this fake trailer as were the comments about Taylor Swift’s use of models, actors and more, essentially as living props on her tour. But I can’t help but feel like this was missing something to make it a better sketch. I was still mildly amused.
50s Dance – There’s a part of me that wishes this sketch was saved for a time when someone like Miley Cyrus wasn’t the host. The outrageous profile Cyrus actually seems to weaken the fun concept of an edgy, rapping high school girl corrupting this innocent 50s musical. But at least we got to see Kenan Thompson do some of that hilarious yelling that makes every sketch better. Plus, what an SNL debut for new featured player Jon Rudnitsky, getting frosting licked off his face and ear by the wandering tongue of Hannah Montana.