‘Saturday Night Live’ is finally back


Steven Dahlman

On Oct. 2 a live audience gathered at Studio 8H in New York City to experience the kickoff for ‘Saturday Night Live” Season 47.

Reese Duncan, Staff Writer

On Oct. 2, 2021, Owen Wilson hosted the Season 47 premiere for NBC’s late-night comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Kacey Musgraves.

The crowd, including Wilson’s brothers Luke and Andrew, was exuberant to be back in Studio 8H. A summer filled with COVID-19 related setbacks, along with the usual political restlessness, made this season’s premiere a long-awaited one. 

In the cold open, new cast member James Austin Johnson is introduced as the new Biden impersonator. In this sketch, Biden repeatedly attempts to unite the Democratic party. Johnson nails Biden’s raspy voice and side smile, delivering memorable lines like, “Broadway is back! That’s exciting! But so is the Taliban.” Overall, this first sketch is nothing out of the usual, but still a somewhat strong opening to a hopefully hilarious season.

Wilson’s monologue was pleasantly entertaining, including some of his personal life, some of his commentary on the public opinion of him and plenty of laughs. He even points out his brothers in the audience, which is always a fun moment in an opening monologue. The only truly disappointing part of this monologue is that Wilson never delivers his famous “wow” catchphrase.

Following sketches include a parody of women’s talk shows, a wild school board meeting, an uncomfortable funeral, an NFL parody, a suspicious mail-in testing commercial and even one poking fun at Jeff Bezos and the billionaire space race. While all of these sketches were fun to watch, none of them particularly stood out as outstandingly hilarious.

The sketch that seemed to stand out the most was the “Cars 4” dialogue recording session. In this piece, Wilson heads into a recording booth at Pixar Studios to reprise his role as Lightning McQueen in the “Cars” franchise. As his lines become increasingly concerning and hilariously inappropriate for a children’s movie, the laughs keep growing into a complete uproar. 

Weekend Update with cast members Michael Che and Colin Jost was enjoyable, with cast member guests Ego Nwodim and Pete Davidson. As Jost put it, “First show last season, COVID was raging everywhere, there was no vaccine, we were in the middle of an intense election… big story this year–infrastructure.” Needless to say, this season may not be filled to the brim of historical events, but there is still a bit of comedy in everything.

Compared to other “Saturday Night Live” season premieres, this one appears to be reasonably average, with a few exceedingly bright spots within the performances of the cast and Wilson himself. With hosts like Kim Kardashian West and former cast member Jason Sudeikis planned for the upcoming weeks, this season is gearing up to be yet another notable experience for the comedy community.