Saturday Night Live shakes up Season 48 with a new

“Saturday Night Live” shakes up Season 48 with a new look and focus on fresh faces as the show addresses the biggest cast turnover in years –

The season 48 premiere of Saturday Night Live was all about change.

The show introduced a new logo, a retro vibe that marked its first new look in eight years, and a cast size more reminiscent of classic seasons than the recent bloated pandemic years.

The departures of Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Chris Redd, Melissa Villase├▒or, Alex Moffat and Aristotle Athari have resulted in one of the NBC series’ biggest moves in over 20 years.

But the move means there are now more opportunities for the newer members, which include fresh faces Marcello Hernández, Molly Kearney, Michael Longfellow and Devon Walker.

James Austin Johnson, who joined last season and played Donald Trump again tonight, got plenty of screen time, as did Punkie Johnson. Punkie joined in Season 46 and has been promoted from featured player to repertory status this year – as has Andrew Dismukes, who appeared alongside host Miles Teller in the Cold Open.

James Austin Johnson made his Weekend Update debut and Punkie Johnson starred in most of the major sketches that night, including a parody of Nicole Kidman’s AMC commercial and Caribbean Queens starring Ego Nwodim and Heidi Gardner.

Johnson’s promotion also means it is only the second time in SNL history, following Season 42 with Leslie Jones and Sasheer Zamata, that there have been two black women in the main cast of the repertoire.

There was also more space as Cecily Strong was again absent for the opening episode, and probably a few more since she’s in LA for her one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, which runs through 23. October. However, Strong has committed to a return, making her the female cast with the most consecutive full seasons on the show ever, having been on the show since 2012, according to Saturday Night Network.

The Meta Cold Open deftly addressed the changes, with Teller’s Peyton Manning saying the show is in a “year of remodeling” and commenting on the new faces and returnees such as Bowen Yang – who was expected to perform this season “ascends”.

There were big moments for the newbies, especially for Longfellow, as he recalled Davidson when he starred opposite Colin Jost in “Weekend Update,” and Devon Walker, who starred in a number of skits.

It was also the first episode since season 45 that the host, musical guest (in this case, Kendrick Lamar, who performed in a blue box and bedroom), and cast did not use face masks during the credits.

Change is clearly in the air.