“Saturday Night Live” put the issues of cast turnover, the quality of the comedy and concerns about the future at the center of its 47th season opener.
The cold opening of the show was a parody of a streamed talk show hosted by NFL legends and brothers Peyton Manning (played by host Miles Teller) and Eli Manning (played by cast member Andrew Dismukes), “Peytoncast”.
“Instead of football, we decided to watch the SNL season premiere,” said Eli Manning.
The show has been the subject of high expectations and critical scrutiny following the departure of many of its most beloved cast members over the summer. In a story about SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels last month, the New York Times counted the bodies:
Gone are Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat and Aristotle Athari, the publication reported.
A slate of four new cast members for the season left it vulnerable to ribbing by Teller’s Peyton Manning: “Let’s see what they’ve come up with all summer.”
The siblings focused on SNL in real time and analyzed it as if it were a football game. A sketch of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, was examined.
Trump, played by James Austin Johnson, was portrayed as a peaceful man just before cops invaded. He said, “There are no lawyers. There is no FBI. I’m in my happy place.”
The brothers criticized cast member Bowen Yang’s performance, noting that he is now one of the more experienced performers on the show.
“He was supposed to step down this year, but you can see the pressure is building on him,” said Peyton Manning.
The soccer siblings went to an image to explain the show’s achievements to date: 14 attempts at jokes and three chuckles were listed.
Jon Hamm joined the pair to note that new featured player Devon Walker “really has a thing” when it comes to comedy.
But Hamm and the hosts were disappointed when Walker entered the Trump sketch to portray South Dakota’s “Corn bassdor,” the “Corn Kid.”
“It’s Devon Walker’s first time on national television and they had him do Corn Kid?” said Peyton Manning.
One skit had fun with pop star Adam Levine’s direct messages to a model who isn’t his wife. The skit came in the form of a TV game show in which contestants, all men, could win $100 million simply by sending a “normal” Instagram DM to a woman.
It couldn’t be, of course, with Mikey Day’s Levine as a contestant and an excellent example of men sending women inappropriate messages.
But one man rose to the challenge: Yang. When asked what his secret was, he said, “Be gay.”
News segment “Weekend Update” featured Colin Jost and Michael Che as returning hosts.
Che noted that Hurricane Ian this week brought loss and damage to Florida, a state headed by Governor Ron DeSantis, known for its opposition to the hypothetical teaching of critical race theory in public schools.
“It’s such a historic tragedy,” Che said of the storm, “that DeSantis won’t let them teach about it in Florida schools.”
Meanwhile, Jost joked about President Joe Biden’s public gaffes by quoting the 79-year-old president who asked for late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to join him in Friday’s formal inauguration ceremony for Judge Ketanji. Brown Jackson.
“Where’s Judge Ginsberg,” he said. “Ruth, come upstairs.”