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June 16, 2024

Big changes in Saturday Night Live new season

By AMANDA AUBLE | October 5, 2013

Sept. 28 marked the return of classic comedic television show Saturday Night Live to NBC for its 39th season. The return presented six new cast members, a new Weekend Update anchor, musical guest Arcade Fire and host Tina Fey.

With last season’s loss of three cast members (Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis) and the anticipation of Head Writer Seth Meyer’s midseason send-off later this year, the show’s premiere emitted a renovated and refreshed tone.

Fey, an acclaimed nine-year SNL veteran, acted as the perfect host to merge the show’s alterations with its traditional image. Her monologue introduced the new featured players, as they performed an embarrassing opening number.

Clad in glittery jackets and gold short-shorts, the new cast received their initiation into the Saturday Night Live family.

“It’s a rebuilding year,” Fey joked, “At least that’s what my plastic surgeon says.”

These new cast members include Beck Bennett, Mike O’Brien, Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan and Noel Wells. The ensemble’s prior experiences range from improvisation groups to hilarious online videos and even the newest AT&T commercials. Despite these drastic changes, the first night ran smoothly for SNL. Current cast member Jay Pharoah opened the show with his spot-on impression of Barak Obama trying to support his Affordable Care Act against hilarious misunderstandings and objections.

Other amusing sketches included the game show “New Cast Member or Arcade Fire?” where Fey and even producer Lorne Michaels had to distinguish the Featured Players from the musical guests.

Along with the new faces in the sketches, a familiar cast member, Cecily Strong, joined Seth Meyers at the desk of Weekend Update.

As the show’s iconic news station parody, “The Weekend Update” is famous for launching individual cast members into the public eye. Fey herself gained most of her Saturday Night Live success by delivering the witty punch lines directly to the audience.

Strong is not entirely new to the set of this mock-news channel. Her famous role from the previous season “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party” generated big laughs and acclaim. However, characters like this must end as Strong now says her real name into the camera.

With some wise advice from Fey during this episode, Strong shows signs of becoming a competent new anchor.

The other guests to The Weekend Update this episode did not disappoint. Current cast member Bobby Moynihan reprised his role as the hysterical “Drunk Uncle.” Special guest and Breaking Bad star, Aaron Paul, even added humor to this act with his appearance as “Meth Nephew.”

In a rare event, featured player Kyle Mooney performed on The Weekend Update as the comically terrible comedian “Bruce Chandling.”

For his first performance, Mooney triggered a good amount of laughter and showed potential to be a regular on Update.

Surprisingly, Saturday Night Live’s new adaptations did not end with the cast. Musical guests Arcade Fire pushed the boundaries in an extra music video-like short “Here Comes the Night Time” that aired after the show’s conclusion. This half-hour long, prerecorded performance gave off a bizarre 80’s vibe and included famous faces like Bono, Ben Stiller, Michael Cera and Zach Galifianakis.

In the show’s long history, a wacky feature like this has yet to be seen. It brings questions to what SNL has planned for its musical guests in the future.

As the new season kicks off, SNL fans can look forward to a year of original sketches and reasons to laugh. The next episode of SNL, scheduled for Saturday October 5, is not to be missed as wildcard Miley Cyrus serves as the show’s host and musical guest.


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