We’re back with the second episode of the season and this time we get a double dose of the young lady America loves (lives) to hate, Miley Cyrus. Will she be able to laugh at her own recent “hijinx”? Just what craziness does she have planned for her musical performances? Has she learned that tongues belong in mouths? Let’s find out the answers to these questions and more, with this weeks SNL Recap.
Don’t you know it’s we who own late-night?
Cold Open- Government Shutdown
The Sketch: Kenan and new cast member Noel Wells sit in a post-apocalyptic New York City reminiscing about the downfall of humanity. Was it the government crisis or ecological disaster? Nope. It was twerking. Look, we knew they would get to the VMA’s on Miley’s episode, and SNL does not want to depend on the fact that you’ll be awake past midnight, so we get some Twerk-Gate material (complete with Taran Killiam doing Robin Thicke and a hilarious Bobby Moynihan as a “Teddy”)right off the bat. We also get our first of probably a few Vanessa Bayer appearances as “The Miley Cyrus Show” version of Miley. It’s not a bad way to start the show, and though Miley would have been a crazy person to not parody herself, her willingness to do so makes me think this will be a fun episode.
Highlight: “No, it was the ghost of the MTV VJ Kennedy”/Bobby Moynihan.
Monologue: VMA’s part 2
The Sketch: Eh, I’m now having a tough time with just how VMA-Centric most of these jokes are. Is a month too soon to parody yourself, for stuff you are still currently doing? I don’t know. Back to the show. Oh wait, the shortest monologue is recent SNL history is already over. They must need time for more wrecking ball jokes.
Highlight: Moynihan is two for two. “C’mon my dad is here”.
50 Shades of Grey Auditions
The Sketch: I know they’re “easy”, but SNL audition sketches rank as some of my favorite pieces in general, in recent years (with the Back to the Future one standing out as the high-point). It’s all in the title: a quick-fire round-robin of celebrity impersonations, set to the kinky backdrop of 50 Shades of Grey. This sketch doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it made me laugh out loud a few times, so I’m happy to have it.
Highlight: Kate McKinnon Swinton.
Girlfriends Talk Show
The Sketch: I “guess” people liked this recurring sketch enough for it to live on for another season? It’s not my favorite, but it’s definitely not unwatchable. Aidy Bryant’s delivery really sells this, and at Miley seems to be committed to at least attempting to act and be funny. There’s nothing worse then when guests don’t take their gigs seriously, and say what you want about Miley; she came to play. Not my favorite sketch, but they can’t all be winners.
Highlight: Aidy Bryant’s song.
We Did Stop
The Sketch: A REALLY well made political parody of Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” video, starring Taran as John Boehner and Miley as Michelle Bachman. I am so not a politics guy, but thought this was pretty great. If you’ve seen the original video, you know how spot-on this sketch is and there’s something amazing about seeing elderly republicans emerging shadily from hedges. Best piece of the night so far, and one that reminds me of the (at least technical/filmmaking)quality of the much missed Digital Shorts.
Highlight: “Out of Twerk”/Ronnie Reagan
Piers Morgan Live
The Sketch: Taran Killam and Naseem Pedrad (who CRUSHES her Huffington impression, like always) present a strange look at television Hilary Clinton biopics. I’m not exactly sure what this sketch is trying to say, but it does have a Saxa-bong in it. I’m not gonna lie; sometimes some of the political sketches go “over my head” a bit, but this sketch just seemed fairly pointless.
Highlight: C’mon gang; Saxa-Bong.
The sketch: Meyers and Strong are back at the desk for another edition of “Mini Daily Show”. In her second week as co-anchor, Cecily Strong is showing that she’s a strong choice to replace Meyers once he leaves 30 Rock for the world of late night. In a hilarious piece, Kate Mckinnon plays a mother from Connecticut who is oddly pro Grand Theft Auto. I make it no secret that Kate McKinnon is my comedy hero and my favorite current cast member, and this character is fantastic (as most of hers are), plus… I love me some GTA V. You know the writers had fun “researching” that one. Jay Pharaoh does a Shannon Sharpe impression, but sports and I aren’t on the best terms, so I can’t attest to it’s accuracy or comedy. Lastly, the always funny Vanessa Bayer plays recent Bar-Mitzvah boy Jacob, and more convincingly sells the “13 year old boy” thing than the “New York Jew” thing.
Highlight: “I am Lester Crest and I eat cocaine for breakfast”.
The Sketch: A sketch that I thought was going nowhere fast, quickly turns into one of the more absurd and kind of funny bits in recent history. A cheerleading squad proceeds to get “taken up” by alien visitors who seems to be targeting the weakest members of the squad. Not the funniest thing you’ll ever see, but the random UFO interjections are weird enough to get a chuckle or two.
Highlight: Taran’s haircut.
The Sketch: Bobby, Miley and Kate cut promos for an early morning chat show, who can’t seem to stay as happy off-camera as they can on. A fairly one note sketch that gets pretty “listy” (which is a good thing) , sold by two fantastic performers… and Miley Cyrus. It may be simple, but for some reason I can’t get enough of these “lists that become increasingly weirder and weirder” sketches. I like to laugh, and these make me laugh a lot.
Highlight: The worst looking rabbits in the state of Florida.
The Sketch: The dreaded “second to last sketch” spot always nets the weirdest sketch of the night, and this is certainly the weirdest sketch of the night. A classroom sketch, starring Vanessa Bayer as a poetry specialist. Bayer is a lunatic in this sketch, and that’s about all we get. Biggest whiff of the night, but not surprising based on what slot it’s in.
Highlight: The fact that it ended at some point.
Miley’s Sex Tape:
The Sketch: Miley and new castee Kyle star in a sketch that portrays Miley as the single greatest human being of all time. A strange sketch that struck me as a Kyle piece (as it feels like a Good Neighbor sketch). Silly and really funny, and a good note to end the night on.
Highlight: “She’s like 100 years old!”.
Final Thoughts: Not the train wreck many were expecting, still a pretty bumpy episode with a few strong sketches (the best, shockingly, being the “We Cant Stop” parody video.) Miley was not the worst host ever and though I don’t usually cover the musical aspect of the show, her performances were not bad at all. Next week brings Bruce Willis as the host, and knowing his reputation of being “Mr. Personality”, I’m not exactly expecting comedy magic. Alas, the only way to see is to tune in next week, Saturdays at 11:30 on NBC for another edition of Saturday Night Live.