A recap of the season 47 premiere of ‘Saturday Night Live’

Season 47 of “Saturday Night Live” is here to make you laugh as the cast returns with some new faces


Courtesy of the SNL IMDb page

By Corinne Arel, Collegian Contributor

“Saturday Night Live” opened with their notorious U.S. presidential skits, but this time with a new member, James Austin Johnson, playing President Biden. Johnson had a remarkable first scene, perfectly capturing Biden’s distinct tone and facial expressions. Johnson opened alongside Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Ego Nwodim, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Davidson and Alex Moffat.

Owen Wilson’s four-minute monologue got the audience laughing and ready for a great show. Wilson touched upon returning to life after COVID-19, his rebellious teen years and his excitement for hosting the show. Wilson did a phenomenal job hosting the show and played a plethora of characters in the episode. Ranging from a doctor and teacher to a news correspondent and Jeff Bezos. In a “Star Trek” meets Amazon parody show, Wilson impersonates Bezos, conveying his notorious personality.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still in effect and the start of the 2021-2022 school year, Nwodim and Moffat starred in a town’s education board meeting skit. The cast members, including Kenan Thompson, Bowen Yang and Heidi Gardner, played different parents and town residents in this comical and relatable scene.

Likewise, new cast members Aristotle Athari, Sarah Sherman and James Austin Johnson showed off their comedic talents by playing different characters throughout the skit.

Country singer Kacey Musgraves was the musical guest for SNL’s season 47 premiere. Musgraves performed an acoustic version of her songs “justified” and “camera roll” from her most recent album “Star-Crossed.”

Michael Che and Colin Jost are back with SNL’s well-known Weekend Update bit. The two seasoned cast members swapped jokes about returning to normalcy after COVID and the presidential election, as well as the latest news about President Biden, updates on COVID-19 vaccines and recent pop culture events.

Davidson made his season 47 debut with his regular segments on Weekend Update. Davidson stated, “I can’t believe I’m back,” after discussing the backlash he received about his outfit at the Met Gala and delivered his usual insulting commentary towards Jost.

Weekend Update closed, in addition to the show dedicating the episode to him, with paying tribute to the passing of Norm McDonald. A teary-eyed Jost claimed, “Norm is the reason that I ever wanted to do weekend update.” The segment ended with showing some of McDonald’s time on SNL.

One cast member missing from the season 47 premiere was SNL star Kate McKinnon. Having been on the show for the past ten years, it was a major surprise that McKinnon was not present. However, McKinnon was still featured in the show’s cast introductions. With talk about McKinnon starring in a Peacock original series, this isn’t too surprising, but hopefully she will be back on SNL in future episodes.

The episode ended with two skits that featured the three new cast members. Johnson played a sports news correspondent in a Fox NFL news bit. Between the cold open, the education board meeting skit and the sports news bit, it is clear that Johnson can play a wide range of characters.

The last skit of the night, a medical commercial, featured Sherman and Athari. Sherman played a doctor in the last skit along with Andrew Dismukes. With her energetic performances between the last bit as well as the education board meeting skit it is safe to say that Sherman is excited to be at SNL and ready to make the audience laugh.

New cast member Athari played relatively small characters throughout Saturday’s episode. Performing in the education board meeting skit and acting as part of the crew in the medical commercial bit, Athari’s performances – while minor – were funny and got some laughs.

The first episode of season 47 ended as usual with the cast, Wilson and Musgraves saying goodnight to the audience.

Corinne Arel can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @CorinneArel_09.