After last week’s excellent premiere to the 39th season of Saturday Night Live, we were left to wonder what would happen when host Miley Cyrus dropped by, hot off her infamous twerking incident at the MTV VMA’s less than two month ago. It didn’t take long for either Cyrus to pop up or for SNL to reference the incident, but it really wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
The cold open featured Keenan Thompson telling us about the fall of Western Civilization and how it came about — Miley Cyrus twerking at the VMA’s. It was a pretty clever way to work the incident into the show and just get it out of the way right off the bat. Most people coming to the show expected the incident to be addressed and while SNL wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they ignored it, despite how original and edgy that might have been, they just did the bit and let it be done with.
As for the rest of the show, things didn’t go quite as clever as the opening sketch did. Cyrus’ monologue was short and dry, but that might have had a lot to do with the fact the Notre Dame Irish game held things up and delayed the start of the show to 11:57pm ET.
One highlight of the show included a brilliant 50 Shades of Grey casting spoof that tried out various different actors and actresses in the roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. Taran Killam was perfect as Christoph Waltz while new cast member Noel Wells continued to shine with her impressions.
Other than that, the show really fell flat in everything other than the Weekend Update which featured a hilarious cameo from Kate McKinnon who played a house mom addicted and violently changed by playing Grand Theft Auto V. Jay Pharoah dropped by as Shannon Sharpe and Vanessa Bayer played Jacob, a Jewish boy unable to have a conversation without reciting a prepared speech.
Basically everything else was stale and really didn’t work. We saw Miley Cyrus twerk a few times and miss more than a few deliveries on her lines, which killed sketches like the Cheerleaders Abduction skit and her part in the Hilary Clinton Miniseries goof.
To her credit, she wasn’t as bad a host as she could have been, so at the very least the show had that going for it. Still, while it didn’t ruin the great start that Tina Fey helped the show get off to, Cyrus helped stunt the 39th season’s start.