It’s time for Saturday Night Live’s 48th season, which has already been dubbed a transition or rebuilding year by the show’s creator and guru Lorne Michaels. Eight cast members left over the summer (Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney in May, then Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, Aristotle Athari, and Chris Redd in September), and Lorne hired four new cast members (Marcello Hernandez, Molly). Kearney, Michael Longfellow, and Devon Walker). How could the show already look and feel different? For one thing, there’s a new opening credit sequence complete with new title font (like they didn’t ride with Papyrus only Ryan Gosling and Julio Torres can tell us!?) that put Michael Che at the top of the order alphabetically. Still no formal credit in the opening for the “Don’t Destroy” trio (although they are credited as part of the writing team). But also, where is Cecily Strong? Are we to think that she was just too busy performing The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe in Los Angeles to even appear on the credits? And what is all that corporate branding all about in so many sketches? I hope they got inflation premiums…
What’s the deal for them SNL Cold open for last night (10/01/22)?
Peyton and Eli Manning’s “manningcasts” for Monday Night Football proved a hit for ESPN last season, and host Miles Teller put on an impersonation just as efficient as Peyton’s passing stats and became one of SNL’s rare hosts , which anchored a cold opening. Andrew Dismukes as Eli was mostly on hand (one could argue Eli’s on the Manningcast!) as the brothers provided real-time commentary on SNL’s own Cold Open.
Arch meta humor. Also something the older SNL fans might remember from 40 seasons ago when the late major film critics Siskel and Ebert showed up to do their thing live from 30 Rock:
In any case. Back to 2022 and season 48.
With the Mannings, Teller and Dismukes acting as surrogates for the audience, we can giggle at the lack of laughs (only 1 of the first 14 attempts at jokes, according to the Mannings), poke fun at intentionally poor lyric deliveries from Bowen Yang and Heidi Gardner (from the latter, Teller as Peyton offered: “A political impression no one asked for”), plays up new cast members’ first appearances and “gratuitous stunt casting” courtesy of cameos from Shaun White and Jon Hamm. There’s a “Damn!” when they realize McKinnon isn’t there to provide devastating portrayals of politicians but no mention of missing Moffat as Eric Trump. 🙁
How did she SNL Innkeeper Miles Teller do?
Teller has worked his whole life towards this moment, and he has the videotape to prove it. He thanked his parents in the audience (not pictured) for sticking with a shot of young Miles and his older sister re-enacting a spartan cheerleading skit by Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri. Teller also poked fun at himself for looking more than a little like Rachel Maddow (although no Maddow sketches would appear) and how he took piano lessons Top Gun: Maverick, only to not get much credit for it in the final film edit. Despite this, the actor worked really hard tonight and appeared in key roles in most of the skits!
He also played the host in the requisite game show parody, in this case a game called Send Something Normal. SNL has had success playing up society’s glitches on social media for the past few years, and this game mirrors how celebrities like Adam Levine (Mikey Day) and Armie Hammer (James Austin Johnson) have been caught using horrific Sexts in DMs by wives, not their wives, slithered. Can he answer something normal to a female fan and win $1 million? nope Neither Neil deGrasse Tyson (Kenan Thompson) nor even Bowen Yang as himself. Dua Lipa just has that effect on everyone.
Teller and Day also portrayed hapless financial brothers at a rooftop bar who, despite all their boasting, made advance efforts to meet two women.
Would Day accompany Teller on every skit tonight? Good question! Continue reading…
How many sponsored sketches were there?
That’s maybe a better question. If you ask the writers or publicists at NBC/SNL, they may still be delaying full disclosure of this type of thing, even six years after Lorne announced the show would be doing branded content to allow for more sketches and fewer actual commercial breaks. However, this was very noticeable in the season 48 premiere when we saw Teller and Day as bank robbers who were interrupted by hot new social media app BeReal.
We also saw a sketch imagining the rich backstory of the Charmin Bear family (dad Kenan, mom Heidi, and kids Punkie Johnson and Teller) with a dance partner/trainer in Yang. This skit was immediately followed by a commercial break with a very real Charmin Bear commercial. hmmmm
Chloe Fineman brings us an even more disturbing Nicole Kidman ad for AMC theaters to think about.
And if you’re wondering what happened to the McDonaldland characters, well, Sarah Sherman as Birdie, Mikey as Ronald McDonald, Bowen as Hamburglar, and Kenan as Mayor McCheese all look familiar, but what’s up with Grimace (Teller). ? Apparently losing 300 pounds and not eating McDonald’s turns you into a cheating bisexual hunk!
How relevant was musical guest Kendrick Lamar?
Lamar, considered one of the most influential rappers of all time, released his fifth studio album (and first since 2017) Mr. Moral & the Big Steppers” hit #1 on the Billboard charts. Teller as Peyton Manning suggested in the cold that Lamar’s performances might be the only reason some viewers tuned in in the first place!
For his first gig, he switched from a static performance of “Rich Spirit” and let his shadow do all the dancing before kicking off the lead single “N95.”
Lamar wore a Dodgers cap and guest at Sampha to perform “Father Time.”
Which sketch will we share: “BeReal”
Of all the sponsored skits, the BeReal skit hits the people who share clips on social media the hardest, mostly because it’s about social media and our habits and addictions. It’s also a chance to explain the hot new thing to everyone in your friend group who hasn’t figured it out yet.
Who quit on the weekend update?
Lorne said Weekend Update’s longest-serving anchors, Michael Che and Colin Jost, weren’t going anywhere because he didn’t want to change it with midterm elections in just a month. But we would get three guest segments at the front desk.
First, US Senator Mitch McConnell (JAJ) and Georgia candidate Herschel Walker (Kenan) on their prospects of ceding the Senate to Republicans. Walker has a penchant for lying and saying stupid things, so there are plenty of obvious jokes about it. All I could think about was JAJ’s McConnell having a stronger, more defined chin than in real life or over Beck Bennett.
I told you last month that newcomer Michael Longfellow would be the kind of performer to come on update as himself to do stand-up and here he was in week one commenting that he, much like Sydney Sweeney, MAGA- loving family members for whom he cannot apologize enough. His advice? “Don’t cut her out of your life. You could be dead tomorrow… get in the will!”
And finally, as the pesky spotted lanternfly, Bowen was given a big intro backstage in a PSA parody, then behind the podium to taunt his haters.
Which sketch filled the 10-to-1 slot?
At 12:52 p.m. Eastern, we’ll be reminded Barb & Star are going to Vista Del Mar is currently available on FX. As Trinity and Desiree, Ego Nwodim and Heidi Gardner are no barb and star, but they’ve been at a Caribbean resort for five months and their quick friendship has blossomed into a talk show. At least we get newcomer Devon Walker as Frank Ocean (no relation to Billy).
Who was the MVP of the episode?
No single performance stood out quite like Teller’s commitment as hosts overall, but as predicted in the Manningcast Cold Open, Bowen Yang really needs to step into the limelight. And that’s exactly what he does. It really felt like one brothers night (no connection, tho!?!?), as yang, Mikey Day and Kenan Thompson All carried heavier loads than any of the other performers, with the ladies being particularly short.
Next week, Brendan Gleeson will be hosting with musical guest Willow.
Sean L. McCarthy edits the comedy beat for his own digital newspaper, The comic of the comic; before that for real newspapers. Based in NYC but travels everywhere for news: ice cream or news. He also tweets @thecomicscomic and podcasts half-hour episodes featuring comedians revealing origin stories: Comic’s comic presents last things first.