The 39th season of Saturday Night Live premiered last weekend, and Tina Fey delivered a solid (but not great) performance as host. SNL has six new faces that loyal fans will need to familiarize themselves with, and one of them stood out more than the host, in my opinion (see below for awards). Despite a few throwaway skits, the premiere was comedically sound, and made its mark by featuring new cast members throughout the show. Viewers will be pleased by the talent and comedic/creative instincts of the newcomers.
This is a chance for the typical “SNL isn’t funny anymore” individual to actually watch an episode and provide an educated opininon. I am joking, of course, but no I am not. We all know that the 80s were an amazing time for SNL, but let’s try to break free from the world of twenty-five years ago, and appreciate the current age. I have watched every single episode of Saturday Night Live since the late 80s, so yes, I am biased.
When did SNL lose the devoted viewer and what is the modern complaint? “Not funny anymore” is no longer acceptable; viewers need to be specific. Is it the lack of someone who can consistently provide laugh-out-loud moments? Someone who is not afraid to test the waters and be socially relevant? Tell me what your issues are and we can begin to provide SNL with feedback from the viewers on a weekly basis.
By the way, the following people are now gone: Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen. Those individuals were funny, and the idea of non knowing what would happen on a live broadcast is entertaining to me. Please tell me there will still be a “Californians” skit, so I can this to my friends constantly until the walk away: “Devin? Err..whaareyeeuuoudoinghere?”
It was nice to see some fresh comedy from the new cast members in the season premiere. Keenan Thompson can be great, but plays the same character most of the time (sorry, friend). There is an alarming absence of Jay Pharaoh in skits, but GD he can nail Obama. Seth Myers is on his way out, and to be honest I’m ready for a new face at the Weekend Update desk. I’m not convinced that Cecily Strong is the right person for the job, but let’s give her some time to see how she holds up.
My five favorite returning cast members are Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer and Nasim Pedrad. I love McKinnon for her gonzo characters, Killam gets an early award for Best Pencil Mustache, Bayer is hit-or-miss, (but usually does her thang), and Nasim Petrad is a national treasure. Moynihan brings the funny, however needs a new breakout character. Suggestions? How about an Anthony Crispino Digital Short on the street? Perhaps a quirky talk show host? Maybe a Dirty Dancing skit with Noel Wells? These are just ideas. A twerking video with Miley Cyrus next week would shut down the Internet.
Anyways, in the strange new world of technology, one can find video of SNL on HuluPlus or YouTube, and I will certainly provide links for you to enjoy below. Let Manolith be your SNL go-to place from now on, and I promise to deliver unbiased (?) and socially acceptable (?) opinions.
MVP/Best Rookie Performance: Noel Wells
If you knew who Noel Wells was before last week then I applaud you. You must be a great YouTube mind (her videos have 13 million views). Wells, a 2010 graduate of UT-Austin, moved to Los Angeles in 2010 (why didn’t we meet?), and appeared in several videos for Cracked and College Humor.
I became a fan of Wells in Tina Fey’s monologue, in which the rookies had to dance in ridiculous outfits and pay their SNL dues. The look of Noel Wells is pleasing to the eye, which is another way to say that I LIKE HER FACE. Most importantly, however, is her comedic timing and SNL debut performance which was memorable. Noel Wells danced her ass off in “Tina Fey’s Characters Monologue”, played an old-timey instrument in”New Game Show” and made viewers pee with laughter (I had two drops) with her Lena Dunham impression in “Girls Promo.”
Best Skit: New Game Show
Worst Skit: Airport
Best Host Moment (Tina Fey): Tina Fey Characer Monologue/Albanian Blerta in Girls Promo (Tie)
Best Laugh-Out Loud Moment: Lorne Michael in “New Game Show”: Is it the black one?
Most Awkwardly Hilarious Performance by a Rookie: John Milhiser in “Tina Fey Character Monologue”
Best Weekend Update Moment: Kyle Mooney as Brooklyn-based comic Bruce Chandling (sorry, Bobby Moynihan aka “Drunk Uncle”)
Best Impression by a Musical Artist: Win Butler as Robert De Niro in “New Game Show”
By the way, Arcade Fire’s performance of “Reflektor” was f-ing awesome (along with the surprise performance after the show).