SNL Digest: Miley Cyrus (10/3/15)

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Miley Cyrus" Episode 1684 -- Pictured: (l-r) Taran Killam and Miley Cyrus on September 29, 2015 -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

SNL Season 41 is here!  Miley Cyrus kicks things off by running the whole show.

It’s fall!  The Emmys are over, a chill is in the air, and it’s finally time for SNL to start up again!  I was surprisingly excited when Miley Cyrus was announced as host for the season opener this year – her previous appearances have shown she’s willing to make fun of herself, and her performance of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” from the 40th anniversary was one of my favorite moments from that show.  And then the VMAs happened and Miley made it very clear that she’s currently in a phase where she wants to make sure everyone knows that she’s a 22 year old sexual adult who’s discovered drugs and the Flaming Lips, you guys.  The promos from this week did not help things.

What You Missed:

Cold Open: A Message from Donald and Melania Trump

Um, wow.  I knew from pre-season that Taran was going to be playing Trump this season, but I had no clue how well he had Trump’s voice down.    That was impressive on that level.  No wig is ever going to capture the majestic what-the-heck-is-that-ness of The Donald’s hair, though.  Cecily had some great lines as Melania.

“Welcome to our humble gold house.”

Monologue: Miley Cyrus

I am terrified that this is the most covered up we are going to see Miley outside of her sketch costumes.

This was a nice way for SNL to cover everything from the summer: Rachel Dolezal, the lion-killing dentist, Kim Davis (who was born to be played by Aidy Bryant), Pizza Rat

The Bobby transition from Jared Fogle to Josh Duggar was brilliant.

Abilify for Candidates

A nice bite of an idea (seriously, how do we still have that many Republican candidates in the race?), executed well.

Hilary at the Bar

I think this was supposed to be more of a surprise than it was (since the news Hilary was going to appear spilled earlier in the week), but this was still as nice as an SNL candidate appearance can go.  Who knew Hilary had such a great Trump impersonation?  It’s also nice to see Daryl Hammond pop up as Bill Clinton again.

“I have a one year old granddaughter.  She calls me Madam President”

Weekend Update

  • Colin Jost’s little bit on the Democratic candidates who aren’t Hilary or Bernie is great
  • also great: Michael Che on Kim Davis and the Pope
  • Kyle’s Pope Francis is a delight.
  • Pete Davidson is back as Resident Young Person!  He doesn’t know much about politics.
    “We have a senate now?”
  • Leslie Jones is also back as relationship expert!  Her constant teasing of Colin remains one of my favorite parts of the current cast.
  • It took a year, but Che and Jost are getting really good at their banter/setups

Katz’s Deli

I like Rhonda.  She’s no-nonsense.

The Squad

This was a riff on the Beygency sketch from a few seasons ago, but it was just as well done, hit its jokes well, and got out of there.

American Voices- Ruby Nichols

This totally should have been earlier in the show.  The concept was great, Leslie Jones did great, and it seemed to end weirdly abruptly after the cut to “Please Stand By” even though there seemed to be more to the sketch.

Wedding Tape

On the other hand, I love Good Neighbor’s stuff and it’s great to see Kyle and Beck’s low-key energy (and sick beats) back on the screen.

What You Can Skip:

  • The sock hop sketch felt potentially high-concept (especially coming so early in the night), but the hook (Miley’s going to be crazier than her appearance suggests) is way too obvious and the rapping felt awkward.  Still, way to get in the first post-commercial sketch, new featured player!
  • Miley Cyrus’ performances mostly seemed to be pointing out that she’s so crazy you guys.  Her braid-based costumes mostly reminded me of the mover my current roommate hired who had a gigantic polish plait and told us about the multiple musicals he had written about hemp (which is different than marijuana.  I know this because he told us this about 10 times in the process of the move.)
  • The Millennials felt about two years too late for SNL to be doing something with it.

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About Ben Smith 252 Articles
Ben has been writing about TV, music, and pop culture in some form or another since 2009, including stints at Mental Floss and Temporary Obsession. When not solving puzzles of some sort or consuming pop culture at a frightening pace, he can be found collecting shiny pieces of the internet at E-mail: