“The way the show has survived is at this level of renewal. The price of success is people leaving and doing something else,” SNL creator/producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times last month.
Instead of ignoring those concerns, SNL got weird with it. Peyton Manning (played by host Miles Teller) and his brother Eli Manning (Andrew Dismukes) narrated a “Manningcast” to comment in real time on the opening of the premiere, hoping for a crash of train.
They find exactly what they’re looking for in Trump’s latest sketch. Trump, replayed by James Austin Johnson, waits for Hurricane Ian to pass as a turnstile of characters visits him at Mar-a-Lago.
“The show is in a year of rebuilding for sure,” Peyton said.
SNL’s writers have apparently read all of Twitter’s mean comments about the show’s current status. Criticisms like “Oh hey, Trump sketch. Way to mix everything” and “Where is the political balance? They make Trump-Columbus jokes, while Joe Biden lost his fucking marbles.
The failed fake Trump sketch is the formula of the previous SNL era, relying heavily on impersonations of Trumpian characters for relevance. With McKinnon out, it’s hard to see how those roles will be filled. The sketch provided at least one immediate answer: there is no replacement. Instead, Heidi Gardner did an over-the-top vampiric impersonation of South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R). A political figure that no one except the citizens of South Dakota thinks of. Leading to a revealing exchange between Peyton from Teller and Eli from Dismukes.
“How about a fun print like Anthony Fauci or Lindsey Graham or Rudy Giuliani?” Peyton asked.
“It was all Kate McKinnon,” Eli replied.
This season, the spotlight is on “Fire Island” star and veteran cast member Bowen Yang. In the fake skit, those nerves get the better of him. Yang gives a stunted, sweaty performance where he tries to make the bland catchphrase “it is what it is” marketable.
SNL then calls on its famous friends to close out its first cold open of the season. Jon Hamm joins the Manningcast as himself, while Shaun White visits Trump’s sketch as special master of the investigation of classified documents. This deeper dive into meta-humor gives Hamm the opportunity to rib Teller, stating, “You know, sometimes they have to bring in a real celebrity when the host isn’t that famous.”
The summer was filled with political scandals, devastating natural disasters and the continuing war in Ukraine, which left plenty of work for the “Weekend Update” segment. Familiar faces Colin Jost and Michael Che begin by addressing the war in Ukraine, a topic that darkened the end of last season.
“In a speech after annexing segments of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin attacked the United States for Satanism and denounced the many fashionable genres in the West,” said co-host Jost. eligible.’
Jost then referred to the detention of American basketball player Brittney Griner in Russia. “The U.S. Embassy in Russia is urging all U.S. citizens to leave immediately. ‘Oh cool, I’ll try to do this,'” Griner said. (Griner, who was convicted of attempted narcotics smuggling into Russia, said been sentenced to more than nine years in a Russian penal colony.)
Before moving on to the political news the segment is known for, co-host Michael Che touched on Hurricane Ian and Florida’s increasingly strict laws on what can be taught in schools. “Hurricane Ian hit Florida this week and Governor Ron DeSantis called it a ‘500-year flood,'” Che said. “In fact, it’s such a historic tragedy that DeSantis won’t let them teach about it in Florida schools.”