NBC is back in the swing of things again, as their long running hit sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live hit its 47th season, bringing back old faces, and introducing some new ones.
This season started on Oct. 2, with Owen Wilson as the host and Kacey Musgraves as the musical guest, with the cast line including the likes of Colin Jost and Michael Che returning as the anchors of Weekend Update-the show’s news segment, as well as Kenan Thompson returning for his 19th season, making him the longest-tenured player in SNL history.
Also joining the crew at Studio 8H are three new featured players: actor and filmmaker Aristotle Athari, actor and impressionist James Austin Johnson, and surrealist comedian Sarah Sherman, who have already made their presence in the few episodes to air on TV.
This past Saturday, Oct. 9, SNL viewers were met with a strange and novel experience with the host being none other than American media personality, businesswoman, and model Kim Kardashian-West, featuring pop singer Halsey as musical (and comedic) guest. As some people know from being fans of the show, such as myself, celebrities who grace the halls of 30 Rockefeller Plaza to perform on this iconic stage are often there because of recent activity in their career whether it be entertainment, sports or music. However, knowing Kim Kardashian and how she presents herself in the media, it is an interesting change of pace to see such a high profile as herself take on a challenge that may seem entirely out of her comfort zone; especially when she took most of her opening monologue to not only stun the audience with her full body pink outfit, but take jabs at her family and her ex-husband, Kanye West.
Most of the sketches were parodies of elements that make up Kardashian’s lifestyle, like her makeup company and the constant family drama, her mother Kris Jenner and her sister Khloé Kardashian were even featured on air that night. One off color moment that did provide a dark look on the Kardashians is when Kenan Thompson comically portrayed O.J. Simpson, who was on trial back in 1994. One of his lawyers was famously Robert Kardashian, the father of Kim and her sisters.
Another interesting moment was one sketch in which SNL writers Martin Herlihy, John Higgins, and Ben Marshall took a step out from the shadows and portrayed themselves in a pre-recorded sketch, one where they comment on the race to produce the best hard seltzer; they drink a variety of hard seltzers from companies that don’t normally sell those kinds of products, such as Jiffylube and JC Penney.
Along with the sketches involving the host, as well as the musical performances from Halsey, Weekend Update and the Cold Open of the show tackled recent events in the news, such as Frances Haugen, a employee at Facebook, acting as a whistleblower and testifying to a Congress subcommittee regarding the site’s agenda to ignore the spread of hate and misinformation among its users, which doesn’t really surprise me considering the fact that their CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, looks like that kid you went to school with who just stood in the background of every photo with a dark hoodie over his head and his eyes bulging out.
When the cast tackle these kind of issues in today’s political climate, I can’t help but laugh because the way they portray these old congressmen and women kind of reminds me when I used to visit my great aunt Margaret in the nursing home; they would talk about life back when they were a kid and somewhat reliving it, but all you do is nod and say “Yeah Grandma, you were the best.” Either way, they try their best to pull their best jabs at both sides of the political aisle, referencing President Joe Biden’s proclamation of an Indigenous Peoples’ day, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who always looks like—for me, at least, a Muppet turtle come to life.
With all its celebrities, musical guests, and poking fun towards our political system, SNL has been a part of our late night community for over 40 years now, and in my opinion the institution is still going strong; both for those that want to keep up with current events in America, and for those who love a good laugh now and then.
Comedy legends have been born during their time on the stage, and sadly some have died, including, recently, Norm Macdonald—SNL actor and Weekend Update anchor for five seasons—who passed away at the age of 61 on Sept. 14, 2021, after a long struggle with terminal leukemia.
There are more than just a few ways to describe the times people have when they watch this iconic show, and I can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves for this weekend, when actor Rami Malek hosts.