SNL premiere: Here’s a round-up of all the new season’s opening sketches

·5-min read
SNL premiere: Here’s a round-up of all the new season’s opening sketches

The 47th season of long-running comedy sketch show SNL returned this evening.

The first episode of the new Saturday Night Live season saw Owen Wilson host and Kacey Musgraves appear as the musical guest.

The show opened with a sketch from new cast member James Austin Johnson as Joe Biden, but fans were at first confused, thinking it was host Wilson in disguise.

One Twitter user wrote: “My family is in a major disagreement. Is this Owen Wilson as Biden?” While a second wrote: “Is that Owen Wilson playing Biden?”

Fans later responded, on the whole, positively to the portrayal, saying it was “the best” they’d “ever seen”, although some commented that they preferred Jim Carrey’s impression of the character from last season.

Another sketch saw Wilson reprieve his voiceover role in Cars, with a sketch that split viewers because of some controversial content.

Many fans on social media enjoyed the moment, with one calling it “a blast” and another saying it was “one of the best openers on the show”.

Others watching Saturday Night Live felt some of the references were – in the words of one fan – “too risqué” when Wilson can be seen reading some controversial lines: “Grow up man, your sister sure did” and “Oh you’re in high school, could have fooled me” and references to “the r-word”.

Wilson then realises his character is “the bad guy” and stops the read through. At this point many viewers expressed their relief on social media, with one saying “phew!” and another adding “we needed that”.

Another sketch parodied the recent Covid-19 tests on The Viewafter two cost-hosts were pulled off air for falsely testing positive.

Wilson appeared as a white-coated scientist who had to inform one of the hosts (played by Heidi Gardner) of their status. The second co-host was played by Aidy Bryant.

There was also a skit on this summer’s race to get a commercial flight to space between Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and Elon Musk.

The sketch deemed it “Star Trek Ego Quest,” and was teased as “a midlife crisis of cosmic proportions.”

Musk, played by Mikey Day, explained why the men were so competitive: “Space is only big enough for one white billionaire.”

Fans on social media also reacted to Pete Davidson’s impression of Dog The Bounty Hunter in another sketch, with many deeming it “controversial”.

Davidson’s character is at a school board Covid-19 meeting where he is looking for Brian Laundrie, the man who is wanted in connection with the death of Gabby Petito whose remains were recently found at a campsite in Wyoming.

It’s a reference to Duane “Dog” Chapman – who is also known as Dog the Bounty Hunter – who joined the manhunt for Laundrie last week, after friends and family urged him to get involved in helping with the search.

Many viewers on social media questioned the taste of the skit, and thought the inclusion of this sketch was “too soon” . Another said: “The dog bounty hunter was going too far! To glorify that fugitive by his name being on SNL” while a third user called it “disgusting.”

Elsewhere, Davidson did another sketch about the recent Met Gala, poking fun at the outfit he wore for the occasion.

Davison paid tribute during the sketch to former SNL cast member Noam Macdonald, who passed away last month after a long illness with cancer aged 61. He was one of the most popular members of the long-running comedy show, often hosting the show’s ‘Weekend Update’ slot.

Davidson wore a t-shirt to Macdonald in tribute and later in the show, Michael Che and Colin Jost devoted the final minute of their sketch to classic moments from the comedian.

These included jokes about Bill Clinton’s marriage, a poorly planned airport and a building climber known as ‘Snakeman”. The montage closed with a clip of Macdonald delivering a pointed joke about OJ Simpson - something the comedian alleged led to him being removed from the show in 1998.

Introducing the tribute, Jost said: “It is a bittersweet night for us tonight. Norm is the reason that I ever wanted to do ‘Weekend Update’ and so tonight we thought we’d turn the last few jokes of ‘Update’ over to Norm.”

SNL recently unveiled the cast of its new season, with Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt both leaving the show.

Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, and Kenan Thompson all returned along with the rest of the show’s ensemble – Michael Che, Mikey Day, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Colin Jost, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Ego Nwodim, Chris Redd, Melissa Villaseñor, and Bowen Yang.

Three more hosts have been unveiled too to follow up on Wilson: Kim Kardashian West will host on 9 October, followed by Rami Malek the following week, and Jason Sudeikis on 23 October.

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