SNL Highlights: Tina Fey, Aaron Paul, and E-Meth
Saturday Night Live is back and looking very different. With a total of 6 new featured players and missing the big timers like Jason Sudeikis, Fred Arminsen, and Bill Hader, the cast has a lot of growing pains. However, even with so many new faces, they all got a moment to shine.
Tina Fey opened the show with her monologue directly addressing the fact that this is a “rebuilding year” and brought all the newbies (Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennet, Mike O’Brien, John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan and Noel Wells) on stage for some hazing. They continued the proud tradition of the newbies dancing on stage behind the host and Tina even added in sparkling gold jackets and gold lame hot shorts.
While Tina was the offiicial host, it seemed like Aaron Paul was her unofficial partner on the job. Everyone knows that Breaking Bad is ending tomorrow, but it seems like SNL just had to get some jokes just under the wire. The cold open featured him sharing the story of Walter White as one of the examples why we need Obamacare, he stopped by Weekend Update as Drunk Uncle’s Meth Nephew, and he was in the best bit of the night: E-Meth. Featuring Taran Killiam, Kate McKinnon, and Brooks Wheelan tweaking out on that sweet blue crystal, the spot just got funnier and funnier until Aaron Paul shows up with his signature sign-off, “bitch”. Watch the great clip below:
It was a solid episode that allowed the newbies to get their feet wet and a couple to even start making a name for themselves. Kyle Mooney got to bring one of his pre-SNL characters Bruce Chandling to the Weekend Update desk as well as be a part of the decent “Arcade Fire or New Cast Member” game show. And as mentioned earlier, Brooks was a part of the funniest sketch and held his own against Killiam and McKinnon which is an accomplishment.
Another major change to the show is the addition of Cecily Strong to the Weekend Update desk. For now it’s Seth Meyers and her, immediately bringing about comparisons to the hey-days of Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers. However, Meyers will soon be leaving for his late-night debut so she doesn’t have a lot of time to become a lot more seasoned. She doesn’t quite have the tone right, which is thrown immediately in to light when you see just how polished Seth Meyers is at this brand of humor. Right now, the thing I’m happiest about is that her addition to the desk means that the “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party” is retired and never to grace our screens again. That was by far the most annoying recurring character for me last season.
After one episode, it’s clear that there’s no real lead in this cast, the way Kristen Wiig and Fred Arminsen used to be. This could end up being a strength if all the new cast members can find their niche and it motivates the regular cast players to step their game up. Right now, the most likely candidate to step up seems to be Taran Killiam but it’s really anyone’s to take if they can just get the right character or sketch to really take off this season.