Saturday Night Live returned to screens poking fun at itself in its 48th season opener, which starred former President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago.
Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller pretended to be former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning as he commented on the skit that played out in front of him.
“There are a lot of changes to the show, which could be exciting. Let’s see what they came up with all summer,” he began in the meta-sketch. ‘Oh good. Trump sketch. way to mix it up.’
Eight cast members including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney left the comedy show in May with new names, while Marcello Hernández, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker joined the weekly production.
Teller then continued to comment on the skit, with James Austin Johnson’s Trump impression returning.
Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller (left) pretended to be former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning as he commented on the skit that played out in front of him. Andrew Dismukes, right, appeared as Eli Manning
James Austin Johnson’s Trump impression returned during a Mar-a-Lago sketch
“What about funny impressions like Anthony Fauci or Lindsey Graham or Rudy Giuliani?” asked Teller.
“They were all Kate McKinnon,” replied Andrew Dismukes, speaking as Peyton’s younger brother, Eli Manning.
“The show has certainly been rebuilt,” Teller continued as Peyton, bringing up some “stats” of the show.
“Let’s look at the stats so far. 14 jokes in this episode. Just a mild laugh and three giggles. I heard they stay up until 5am writing the show,” he joked.
“When do you start writing the series? 4:30?’ joked Eli.
Things got even more metastatic when three-time SNL host John Hamm joined Payton and Eli, as a special guest commentator, provided more joking “analysis” of the cast’s gaffes in the sketch within a sketch and poked fun at Teller’s hosting duties.
The SNL Cold Open was unusually meta, poking fun at itself in a write clock change
Three-time SNL host John Hamm then appeared to provide further analysis
“Well, you know, sometimes they have to bring a real celebrity if the host isn’t that famous… I mean, they couldn’t get the star of the big summer movie, like Tom Cruise or John Hamm, they had to get the costar.”
Peyton replied, “Well, I’ve heard they rarely cold the hosts, so when they do it’s special.”
‘Special? Or is it desperate?’ Hamm fired back.
When asked for his opinion on the Cold Open, Hamm said, “I don’t know, but it’s not a comedy,” he said, laughing.
“They haven’t even used Kenan yet. It’s like putting a whole team of Elis on the field and Payton sitting on the sidelines,” the Mad Men actor joked.
The long-running late-night sketch show saw one of its biggest cast changes in recent memory this year, with eight cast members leaving and just four joining
The show’s attempt at making fun of itself while introducing the new cast members to the audience, coupled with a certain self-mockery, caught the attention of Twitter users.
“Very meta for the #SNL Cold Open to poke fun at how unfunny the season is expected to be but still had to have two cameos plus Miles Teller to make it worthwhile,” Brooke Steinberg wrote.
“ManningCast is tearing up SNL and all the changes are meta af and I’m here for that,” added another user.
“I think #SNL figured they didn’t have to write decent jokes for the Cold Open if they turned it into a meta-joke where Peyton and Eli Manning react to intentionally bad material. Interesting move,” remarked another.
The show’s attempt at making fun of itself while introducing the new cast members to the audience, coupled with a certain self-mockery, caught the attention of Twitter users
The show also added its first non-binary cast member.
Comedian Molly Kearney, who identifies as non-binary and uses she/them pronouns, will star during the show’s 48th season.
The news comes amid a mass exodus of veteran cast members, including fan favorites Pete Davidson and Kate McKinnon.
Comedian Molly Kearney, who identifies as non-binary and uses she/them pronouns, will star in the upcoming 48th season of the sketch show; Pictured 2019
“MEATBRICK HAS MOVED TO NEW YORK!!!!” captioned Kearney, who eagerly shared her SNL headshot on Instagram on Thursday.
They are no strangers to television, having recently starred as Fern Dannely in Amazon’s serial remake of the classic 1992 film A League of Their Own.
They have also appeared in the Disney+ comedy-drama series The Mighty Ducks which was released in March 2021.
In 2019, Kearney was selected to appear on Comedy Central’s annual comedy showcase, Up Next. Comedians are scouted for the show through a nationwide talent search.
Along with Kearney, NBC reported on Thursday that three other comedians were added to the list.
Cast shakeup: The news comes amid a mass exodus of veteran cast members, including fan favorites Pete Davidson and Kate McKinnon
“MEATBRICK HAS MOVED TO NEW YORK!!!!” captioned Kearney, who eagerly shared her SNL headshot on Instagram on Thursday
Just for Laugh’s New Face of Comedy award winner Marcello Hernandez, NBC’s Bring The Funny star Michael Longfellow and comedy writer Devon Walker will make their SNL debuts this fall.
Earlier this month, it was announced that well-known SNL stars Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and leading man Aristotle Athar would be leaving the show.
Her departure will significantly change the cast following the previous departures of Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon and Kyle Mooney.
New class: Along with Kearney, NBC reported on Thursday that three more comedians had been added to the list, including Just for Laugh’s New Face of Comedy award winner Marcello Hernandez
Soon! Comedy writer Devon Walker will be making his SNL debut this fall
Hilarious: NBC’s Bring The Funny star Michael Longfellow has been cast
Both Moffat and Villaseñor joined the SNL cast as lead actors in 2016 before joining the main cast of repertory players two years later.
Moffat was a regular guest with Colin Jost and Michael Che on Weekend Update as Guy Who Just Bought a Boat, and he also played a particularly dimwitted version of Eric Trump.
He also played as President Joe Biden for a time before current leading man James Austin Johnson took over the role.
Villaseñor had fewer recurring roles, although she appeared in the show’s political sketches as representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Out the door: SNL cast members Alex Moffat (L), Melissa Villaseñor (R) and lead actor Aristotle Atari are leaving the series Thursday, according to Deadline
One and done: Athari joined the featured players along with Johnson and Sarah Sherman in fall 2021, but he never gained as much screen time as the other two; seen in November 2021
She’s been a sought-after voice actor for animated series for years, and her quirky voice skills have also been put to good use on SNL.
Villaseñor, who telegraphed her departure with memories of her time on the series in early August, will embark on a stand-up tour beginning in October.
Both comics joined the cast at the same time as Mikey Day, who appears to be sticking with it.
Athari joined the featured players along with Johnson and Sarah Sherman in fall 2021, but never gained as much screen time as the other two.
Regulars: Moffat regularly played Guy Who Bought a Boat, Eric Trump, and even Joe Biden for a time; Still from SNL with Alec Baldwin
Moving on: Villaseñor, who telegraphed her farewells by sharing memories from her time on the series in early August, will embark on a stand-up tour beginning in October; seen with Cecily Strong (L)
Previously, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney left the series at the conclusion of Season 47 in the spring.
New cast members and the returning stars are usually announced a few weeks before the season begins, although a season 48 premiere date has not yet been announced.
Executive producer Lindsay Shookus, who had worked on the show in some capacity since 2002, also left the show in early August.
After being promoted to full-fledged producer, she took over the talent department and was responsible for booking the show’s hosts and musical guests, as well as finding future cast members.