Tonight on “Saturday Night Live,” prepare yourself for the return of the twerk. Miley Cyrus is back, and the immediate response to most of the collective internet (save for Miley fans) is “ugh.” The VMA performance was just about the biggest turn-off ever for her hopes of getting most of America to suddenly want to root for her after a series of already-questionable decisions that raised the same questions. She makes about as much of an effort to be liked as Jafar in “Aladdin.”
But at the same time, Miley is actually quite funny. You can raise your eyebrow and say “really?” to this all you want, but it doesn’t really change the fact that she hosted one of the better editions of the sketch show back in 2011. This was granted before the twerking and the licking large stuffed animals, and also before her “Wrecking Ball” wrecked a good many’s opinions about her; but, on SNL she showed a knack for mocking herself, for feeling effortless in front of a live audience and being unafraid to take big risks. She has more experience than the average performer; not only does she perform live, but she was on a sitcom with a live audience.
The biggest reason to be afraid is simply because she’s doing the dreaded double-duty of hosting and performing, and the only folks to pull that off well in the last couple of years are Bruno Mars and the always-awesome Justin Timberlake. Elton John and Mick Jagger were boring when they tried it, and watching Justin Bieber try to mock himself was just painful and the show became a venue for his own cross-promotion.
For Miley, anything less than what she has done in the past will be a letdown. Plus, she needs to come into this with eyes on fire, and a determination to show to critics that she does still have that talent to make people laugh. If she brings back that side of her personality, and doesn’t just try to gyrate and wear skimpy clothing through this week’s edition of the show, we could be in for something really great.
Check out Miley doing Bieber below for a reminder of what she pulled off last time; meanwhile, also click here if you missed the preview we did for Miley’s show earlier this week.