Saturday Night Live: Owen Wilson / Kacey Musgraves
October 3, 2021 3:43 AM - Season 47, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Season opener

  • Cold Open - Biden Agenda: James Austin Johnson, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Ego Nwodim, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffatt
  • Monologue: Owen Wilson
  • The Talking: Ego Nwodim, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Heidi Gardner, Owen Wilson
  • Star Trek - Ego Quest: Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Heidi Gardner, Andrew Dismukes, Alex Moffatt, Mikey Day, Kenan Thompson
  • Cars 4: Owen Wilson, Mikey Day, Punkie Johnson, James Austin Johnson
  • School Board Meeting: Ego Nwodim, Alex Moffatt, Cecily Strong, Punkie Johnson, Chris Redd, Heidi Gardner, Mikey Day, Owen Wilson, Bowen Yang, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Andrew Dismukes, Pete Davidson, Sarah Sherman, James Austin Johnson, Kenan Thompson, Chloe Fineman, Melissa Villaseñor, Aristotle Athari
  • Kacey Musgraves - Justified
  • Weekend Update: Michael Che, Colin Jost
    • Missing Black Woman: Ego Nwodim
    • Pete Davidson at the Met Gala
    • Norm Macdonald
  • Miriam Lewis Memorial: Owen Wilson, Heidi Gardner, Andrew Dismukes, Aidy Bryant, Chloe Fineman, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong,
  • Kacey Musgraves - Camera Roll
  • CrazyHouse: James Austin Johnson, Owen Wilson, Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, Melissa Villaseñor
  • Mail-in Stool Testing: Sarah Sherman, Andrew Dismukes, Owen Wilson, Aristotle Athari
posted by rhizome (21 comments total)
No Kate last night! She’s away filming her joe exotic project.
posted by mochapickle at 9:17 AM on October 3, 2021

It's always interesting seeing the newbies! James Austin Johnson had one of the most visible SNL debuts ever (?) playing Biden in the cold open. His voice was great, but I wasn't getting much Biden from his facial expressions or physicality. I ran into this watching Jay Pharoah in the past -- his voices were on point but the physicality stayed nearly the same for each character, unlike Melissa Villaseñor or Kristin Wiig who disappear into their impressions.

Mail-in Testing Service made me look forward to more Sarah Sherman, she had great chemistry with Andrew Dismukes. I had checked out her viral Sarah Vaccine video when she was announced and - whoaaaa, not for the faint of heart! Had to nope out of there after a bit, not into gross-out comedy but I'm looking forward to seeing how she does with more mainstream fare. If last night's show is any indication then she's going to be successful.

Was bummed to see so little of Aristotle Athari (although I liked his reveal in Splitting The Check). And Godspeed Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt, I really missed Beck in last night's show and I don't think Lauren ever got a fair shake. Hope they both do well in their next chapters!
posted by rogerroger at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sorry, not a fan of James Austin Johnson's Biden.

Nice dig on the billionaire joyrides. Cute use of Luke Wilson. Mikey Day is so much better looking than Musk that the impersonation fell flat.

School Board Meeting was a little too accurate.

Pete looking not bad! Sounds like he's in a much better place these days.

Couldn't help myself but I liked Miriam Lewis Memorial.

Liked Sarah Sherman's energy, looking forward to seeing how SNL deploys her.

The band is in the back, but why is Jost the only one not wearing a mask? Afraid that wearing one will mess up his hair?
posted by porpoise at 11:50 AM on October 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

Well, I liked Splitting the Check.

Is it just me or are these sketches pretty short?
posted by Monochrome at 11:54 AM on October 3, 2021

I thought the cold open was pretty dreadful. I didn't realize Biden was played by the new guy, I thought it was Owen Wilson.

School board meeting was probably the best sketch. I'm not sure why they didn't just go with The View instead of The Talking, maybe they don't have good enough impressions in their pocket.

Musical guest had a nice voice but I thought it was just basic bland mediocre country-ish music.

Pete was awesome in Weekend Update. Liked his Norm shirt and the tribute they did.

Not a great season opener but nothing too terrible.
posted by bondcliff at 1:37 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Pete's Dog the Bounty Hunter was really good! As was Cecily's Krysten Sinema. Heidi is always enjoyable, and her photos as Miriam were genuinely funny. Owen Wilson's monologue was one of the most charming monologues in recent memory.

The episode felt strange without Beck, didn't it? And I was sad to see Lauren Holt gone after a single year. I'm hoping for good things for her out there.
posted by mochapickle at 3:55 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was kind of surprised to see Cecily Strong. I could have sworn the buzz was that she wasn’t coming back. Glad she stayed. I really like her work.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:33 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought he was great in the monologue and JAJ is definitely hitting the ground running. I think he might be capable of tweaking his Biden into a workable state, but there's a long history of non-resembling impressions. Overall it seemed like everybody worked on their voices A LOT, and it felt like a changing of the guard. No Beck!
posted by rhizome at 6:12 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I didn't realize Biden was played by the new guy, I thought it was Owen Wilson.

I thought Kyle Mooney had done a LOT of practicing and maybe gained some weight and a bunch of makeup, their eyes and mouths are EXACTLY the same. Then I thought it might be Darryl Hammond, but he wasn't big enough, and when he was Larry the Cable Guy in the Cars 4 sketch I started putting it together. However he turns out, I'm impressed by JAJ's confidence.
posted by rhizome at 6:17 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

I was surprised that 2 out of 3 of the new cast had real meaty parts in this episode and Aristotle Athari at least got some screen time. Missed Beck and Lauren and hope for the best for both of them. Very little Chloe which seemed surprising. A lot of Ego which was good and I love sketches like School Board Meeting where everyone gets to play a little bit part.

Kacey Musgraves has a lovely voice, I was trying to figure out what she was wearing in the first number.

I, too felt like the Biden opener was Wilson, but it didn't seem like him but I guess JAJ just had nose makeup on which seemed like Wilson. Was adorbs to see his brothers in the audience. Jim and I now have a bet as to whether the pic of Pete's uncle was a real guy or a stock photo.
posted by jessamyn at 8:30 PM on October 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh I don't doubt that it's his real uncle. He's almost certainly an age where we would have gone to high school at the same time and I knew several people who dressed like that for school every day rain or shine (I'd even guess maybe 5% of our entire student body in 1985). I think everything else he was saying about him was sincere but I don't want to google, just so I'm not disappointed.
posted by rhizome at 12:44 AM on October 4, 2021

The ego quest was "ok" - I still liked the one from a couple months ago better...
posted by rozcakj at 12:11 PM on October 4, 2021

Was there any secret cut stuff?

I didn't like the Biden cold open, but honestly it's been a very long time since the cold open wasn't a skip for me, it's feels like it's almost always a toothless political one that at best reminds me of something deeply troubling or infuriating.

I really Liked NFL Report and Mail In Testing. Really looking forward to what they let her do, she seems to have a great energy/creativity/enthusiasm and I hope it isn't squandered here. Other new person was okay, kind of get the feeling he'll have an easier time fitting in the kind of neutral stock roles.

EgoQuest, was that an impression or just a random wild character? I don't think I've ever heard Bezos speak. Worst Trek fact I know is someone named Elon Musk exists in Trek history, mentioned alongside the Wright Brothers. (It's spoken by someone who turns out to be evil, so take from that what you will)
posted by GoblinHoney at 7:40 PM on October 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Splitting the Check piece listed above is the Cut for Time sketch.
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 PM on October 4, 2021 [2 favorites]

Oh whoops! That twist got me for sure, I liked it. Kinda wish they'd jam em into the eps when uploading next day, no schedule to keep there.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:25 PM on October 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I feel like the noobs all got sufficient airtime, and that J. Johnson, Sherman, and Dismukes are going to be fast-tracked this season to fill in gaps. Punkie, I just wish they'd give her more scenery to chew on.

But having the ensemble sketch near the top of the show was a great re/introduction to everyone.

I also coulda soworn that Wilson was playing Biden, but that said, J. Johnson is a damn good utility player: impressions, generalization characters like fox sportsguy... it's like seeing Darrell Hammond as a kid.

The rest: all performed as well as they have on above average nights. The sketches: a few winces (pedo sketches are wearing thin) but mostly fun

For a season premiere, this was great. Usually the premieres seem really thrown together; this year's premiere seemed fully cooked. I hope for more Aristotle—he seems like the most handsome cast member, maybe in their entire history; I hope his funny rises up to the level of his good looks.

And I also am liking this obverbloated cast—I think now that Lorne has given in to the fact that, now cast members have so many opportunities to work on other projects all year, and that's how the industry is, that he needs more utility players to fill in the gaps when say Kate is off. Sarah Sherman definitely has Kate's energy covered, whereas Lauren Holt did not (or wasn't given the chance to) have Aidy's energy covered.
posted by not_on_display at 12:19 PM on October 5, 2021

Now that I've finally watched Splitting the Check, I think they should have left that one in.
posted by lilywing13 at 4:15 AM on October 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

As someone who has watched various Cars movies hundreds of times, the Cars 4 sketch absolutely killed me, I was dying giggling.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:58 AM on October 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

"I'm tired"? Tired of ageist bullshit I suppose. I don't think Wally Funk's been tired a day in her life.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

SNL is really at its weakest when people play characters who are a generation or more older than they are.
posted by jessamyn at 9:50 AM on October 11, 2021 [2 favorites]

« Older Book: Detransition, Baby: A No...   |  Supernatural: The Born-Again I... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments