Saturday Night Live: Woody Harrelson / Billie Eilish
September 29, 2019 2:05 AM - Season 45, Episode 1 - Subscribe

45th season opener

  • Cold Open: Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett, Alex Moffatt, Mikey Day, Chris Redd, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong, Liev Schreiber
  • Monologue: Woody Harrelson
  • Impeachment Town Hall: Cecily Strong, Alex Moffatt, Bowen Yang, Chris Redd, Colin Jost, Chloe Fineman, Kate McKinnon, Larry David, Woody Harrelson, Maya Rudolph, Mikey Day, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Sun's Out Nevada: Kyle Mooney, Cecily Strong, Heidi Gardner, Woody Harrelson, Aidy Bryant, Mikey Day
  • Billie Eilish - Bad Guy
  • Weekend Update: Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • David "Big Papi" Ortiz: Kenan Thompson
  • Football: Woody Harrelson, Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner
  • Inside the Beltway: Aidy Bryant, Woody Harrelson, Cecily Strong, Kenan Thompson
  • Downton Abbey Movie: Mikey Day, Beck Bennett, Alex Moffatt, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman, Bowen Yang
  • Billie Eilish - I Love You
  • Dad: Kyle Mooney, Woody Harrelson, Chris Redd
  • Chickham's Apple Farm: Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Bowen Yang, Melissa Villaseñor, Woody Harrelson

posted by rhizome (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed 'Football' a lot more than it probably deserved. Gardner in fine form.

Everyone breaking hard in 'Inside the Beltway' reveals a little bit of the nervous energy flowing through some of the castmembers, like, things are bad but it's so ridiculously bad that one can't help but laugh about it. Went through a round of something similar at work before finally burning out.

Harrelson has kind of been redeemed by Hollywood (career resurgence) but... he's still a jerk?

Always love seeing Rudolph, and a nice line for Schreiber; "Li..oh, actually Liam might do it."
posted by porpoise at 11:49 AM on September 29

I feel like Woody is just kind of checked out of pop culture, like people who don't own TVs. He's a good actor and all, he's just coming in cold to a lot of references.

That said, he nailed the delivery on "I'm like plastic straws: I've been around forever, I always work, and now you're mad at me?" Biden line.
posted by rhizome at 1:16 PM on September 29 [6 favorites]

Not a bad opener. Some decent sketches.

I'm kind of a sucker for when they just do lightning rounds of imitations using a lot of cast members so I enjoyed the cold open and Impeachment Town Hall.

I guess they're stuck with Baldwin as long as Trump is around. At this point anyone else doing Trump would just seem wrong somehow.

More Kyle Mooney awkward raps, please.

Loved the apple picking commercial. "The part of New York that has confederate flags!" is dead-on. I drive through there every summer and it is Trump country.

Were the vocals really low in the mix on Billie Eilish's first song or is that just the way it's supposed to be? The spinney room thing was cool but the vocal issue was too distracting.
posted by bondcliff at 3:39 PM on September 29 [1 favorite]

Everyone breaking hard in 'Inside the Beltway' reveals a little bit of the nervous energy flowing through some of the castmembers

Everyone corpsed because a wardrobe tech got caught on camera trying to change Aidy Bryant in between flashbacks.
posted by cardboard at 5:23 PM on September 29 [5 favorites]

Did anyone else's version of this have some of the commercials running overlong and coming in to sketches already in progress? I'm not sure what was up with our local....

I enjoyed Harrelson. He's probably a jerk. Most of these sketches worked for me especially APPLE PICKING because my word is that what it's like up here a lot of the time this time of year. Weekend Update seemed a little short. No real barbs about the fired cast member. NO PETE. Billie Eilish had a broken ankle I was spending a lot of time trying to figure out if it was a wardrobe affectation but, I guess not?

More Bowen Yang please. Have I told everyone I went to college with Liev Schrieber? I always cheer for him when I see him on screen.
posted by jessamyn at 5:26 PM on September 29 [5 favorites]

Maya Rudolph doing Kamala Harris was, I thought, uncannily accurate.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:11 AM on September 30 [6 favorites]

Kamala Harris agrees with you.
posted by scalefree at 6:02 AM on September 30 [6 favorites]

They really had to shake some rust off, didn't they.

Everyone corpsed because a wardrobe tech got caught on camera trying to change Aidy Bryant in between flashbacks.

That was just the worst case. People were uncharacteristically corpsing all night.
posted by Etrigan at 7:56 AM on September 30 [2 favorites]

Woody just seemed off his mark the whole show. The monologue felt forced, none of his characters really shone in the sketches. No real flubs, just off his mark. It just wasn't his night.
posted by scalefree at 8:24 AM on September 30

Woody just seemed off his mark the whole show.

I remember his previous appearance as near that Christopher Walken line of "Look, we both know I'm half-assing this, but I'm charming enough that you're okay with me blatantly reading off the cards." This one was slightly the other side of the line.
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM on September 30 [1 favorite]

There was one spot in the political sketch I caught him obviously reading the card but he segued it into speaking to the other character by the end of the sentence. I think he was trying but he's clearly out of practice.
posted by scalefree at 9:20 AM on September 30


I was distracted I guess and I literally did not notice this. His name was still in the opening credits, right?
posted by komara at 10:06 AM on September 30

Yep. I was watching for it, and he was there.
posted by Mogur at 11:02 AM on September 30

Billie Eilish - I Love You

the guitar player was her brother, which I wish I'd known when I was watching, because I kept getting distracted by the fact that he was getting so much screen time and trying to puzzle out their dynamic
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:09 PM on September 30

As always, I was left wishing that the sensibility they allow for the ten-to-one sketch (in this case, the apple picking commercial) was the sensibility for the entire episode.

Two recent times they let that bizarre energy come earlier:

Adam Driver as Abraham H. Parnassus

Kate McKinnon as teacher on the ground

Hmm, maybe it's something about that classroom set...
posted by ejs at 9:49 PM on September 30

Teacher on the ground one week, Tour and Travel agency the next. I hate to be That Guy, but either is better than Ad Lib Pet Adoption.
posted by rhizome at 9:56 PM on September 30

He annoys me.
posted by rhizome at 10:30 PM on September 30

Two recent times they let that bizarre energy come earlier:

Adam Driver as Abraham H. Parnassus

For those who don’t obsessively follow the off-season, the writer of that sketch (and the Weezer sketch), Eli Coyote Mandel, is no longer with the show.
posted by Etrigan at 4:23 AM on October 1

Damn it.
posted by ejs at 5:10 PM on October 1

Pretty mediocre episode. I didn't get that many laughs out of it. I agree that Harrelson seemed to half-ass it.

The Liam line was a good burn.

Having seen the Downton Abbey movie, the spoof trailer made me laugh.

Has a wardrobe person EVER been caught on camera in the history of SNL? That really was a pretty funny gaffe. The rest of the cast laughter had me sitting there thinking, uh, I'm not laughing at all and I don't get why you think the sketch is so funny.
posted by orange swan at 6:01 PM on October 1 [3 favorites]

I like Billie Eilish. The comedy was weak. I did love the apple farm, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:49 AM on October 4

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