When Miley Cyrus was asked to host “Saturday Night Live” again this year, we imagine that there is a good percentage of people out there who forgot all about the great job she did in 2011. We get it to an extent, since much of her new image stuff these days is both annoying and also rather ridiculous.
But, what she brought to us tonight for the vast majority of the show was an incredibly entertaining 90-minute show. It had almost everything that a good edition of “SNL” would have and then some: Pop-culture clout, surprises, a host that delivered, and even some musical performances that weren’t that bad. While we personally find Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” video to be downright awful, and the take she did on the song tonight was pretty great.
Government shutdown / Miley Cyrus opening – Hilarious. Miley killed it in this opening mocking her VMA performance, which it took her pretty much no time at all to make fun of. While you can disagree with almost everything that she does on stage, she’s pretty funny and natural in this sort of environment. Finding a different use for Vanessa Bayer’s Miley was also worth quite a few laughs here in its own right.
Miley Cyrus monologue – Extremely short, but funny for what it was. There were reminders that there was no twerking whatsoever coming tonight, and Miley told the audience that “Hannah Montana” is dead. Probably a little traumatic for young kids watching the show, but why are they watching this show anyway?
Fifty Shades of Grey screen test – A brilliant idea for the sketch for so many reasons. One, people will search the heck out of this on the internet. Also, great impersonations in here including Kristen Chenoweth, Shaq, and about a dozen or so others. More than anything, a great showcase of all of the impressions that the new cast is bringing to the table.
We Did Stop / Michele Bachmann spoof – The best video of the night. Was it completely offensive to Republicans everywhere? Sure, but it was hilarious through and through from the lyrics to Taran Killam and Cyrus’ performances as John Boehner and Michele Bachmann. We predicted before the start of this season that we were going to see a breakthrough performance from Taran this season, and we were definitely right on that.
Piers Morgan / Hillary Clinton – Who doesn’t love seeing “Breaking Bad” meets a possible Presidential candidate? The idea here was just stellar, as we got to see what multiple other networks would have done had they made a miniseries about her like NBC and CNN were trying to do. Almost, kudos to NBC for actually being willing to make fun of something that they are responsible for.
Weekend Update – Lots of good stuff in here, including the Connecticut mom talking about “Grand Theft Auto V,” the brilliant riff on Shannon Sharpe from Jay Pharoah, and also the return of Jacob, the former Bar Mitzvah Boy. The latter was actually our least favorite of the night, since it is basically the same shtick every time … and it wasn’t that funny when we first heard it. Still, two weeks into this Cecily Strong experience, she is holding her own next to Seth Meyers.
Poetry Reading – Sure, Vanessa was only playing a slight variation of her Miley, but there was such a crazy level of commitment here as the sketch went on, leading up to Miley almost kissing her and her encouraging Kenan Thompson indirectly to get his weed.
Kyle Mooney sketch – A fun little bit at the end that showed off one of the new cast members talking about how “lucky” his brother was for getting intimate with Miley … despite the million opportunities that he had first. Completely silly, but this Mooney kid has promise!
Girlfriends Talk Show – This sketch has always been awful, as it really is the same thing every year and Aidy Bryant’s character getting once again shunned. Does Aidy ever get to play anyone who is just a downright horrible person on the show? That is what we want to see.
Cheerleaders – What in the world was this? Pure insanity. The crew had to get involved, it was far too cheesy, and there wasn’t really any humor in it at all. This felt like something that was put together at the last minute, and without any real preparation.
Morning’ Miami – On a lesser show, this morning-show themed sketch may have worked. It just unfortunately aired late on a show that had been almost a home run until this point. Finding out the full name of Bobby Moynihan’s character, though, produced a minor laugh.
Overall, did Miley deliver as an “SNL” host the second time around? Be sure to share what you think below! We’ll have some more videos from the show in the morning. Also, click here if you want to see some other highlights from the season premiere.