“Saturday Night Live” opened its season 48 premiere with “Top Gun: Maverick” star Miles Teller playing Peyton Manning commenting on (and mercilessly mocking) the cold open in a very self-aware cold open inside a cold open: if that makes sense.
Fake Peyton described his “Monday Night Football” show with brother Eli Manning (cast member Andrew Dismukes) as his “Manningcast where we do live analysis of what’s already been on TV.”
Teller said they’ll be watching the first cold open sketch of the season to see what the cast and writers went through “all summer.”
“Oh, nice Trump sketch. Way to mix it up,” Teller quipped as cast members acted out a scene set at Mar-a-Lago.
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“I have to mention, where is the balance politically?” Teller complained to the football critics after a cast member made a joke about the explorer Christopher Columbus. “They joke between Trump and Columbus, while Biden has lost his damn balls.”
The co-hosts criticized the cast members’ performances in the sketch, highlighting the four new comedians in light of the big line-up changes since last season.
Veterans Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor, Aristotle Athari and Chris Redd left at the end of last season.
New cast members are Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.
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“The new guy is just freaking out, he’s just looking at the camera,” Eli Dismukes said of Longfellow after he said he forgot to lock the door after his part in the sketch. “This may be the only time we see him tonight.”
The show often pokes fun at itself about underutilizing some new cast members.
They also discussed the departure of impression wizard McKinnon when Teller suggested the sketch should have more “fun” impressions like Anthony Fauci, Rudy Giuliani and Lindsey Graham, all of whom are McKinnon.
The two then looked at the sketch’s “stats” and noted that out of 14 joke attempts there was only “one soft chuckle and two chuckles.”
“Thank God they have [musical guest] Kendrick Lamar because that’s the only reason anyone tunes in.”
“Top Gun” co-star Jon Hamm made a surprise appearance in the sketch, saying “I don’t know, but it’s not comedy” when Teller asked him for his opinion on what he was seeing in the sketch.
Olympic snowboarder Shawn White also made a surprise appearance as former President Trump’s special master for his Mar-a-Lago FBI investigation Judge Raymond Dearie, which Teller called “desperate stunt casting” .
Hamm threw shade at Teller, saying that sometimes “SNL” will bring in real celebrities when the late-night host isn’t famous enough.
“I mean, when they couldn’t get the star of the big summer movie — your Tom Cruise or your Jon Hamm — they had to get the co-star,” Hamm told Teller about why he and White were involved.
Teller indignantly replied, “Well, I hear they rarely put the hosts in the cold open, so when they do, it’s special.”
“Special? Or is it desperate?” Hamm replied.
Later in his monologue, Teller commented on how much he really loves “Saturday Night Live.” That’s pretty standard for hosts to say, but in Teller’s case he brought the receipts.
He said his mother, who was in the audience, found an old VHS tape of his sister and him recreating an old “SNL” Spartan cheerleader sketch from the mid-’90s made famous by former cast members Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri
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She said she was cast alongside her sister as Cheri Oteri “because I had the frame for it” before showing the very real and very homely tape.
He added, “How crazy is that? My parents used to watch me do skits in my living room and now they’re here watching me host ‘Saturday Night Live.’