Tonight is the first rerun of the brand new Saturday Night Live season and it’s hosted by Adam Driver!
After a long summer of Saturday Night Live repeats, it feels like the new SNL – Season 44 just got underway and we’re already back to reruns. For fans of Saturday Night Live, a fresh season can fly by like the NFL season does for football fans. But after less than a month and being only 3 shows into Season 44, here we are back where we started on Saturday, September 29, 2018 with a repeat of the Saturday Night Live season premiere hosted by Star Wars‘ own Kylo Ren, Adam Driver. Unfortunately for Adam, this season premiere episode will be remembered for three main things and none of them have to do with the host. Those things are the musical guest, the highly ambitious, epic SNL – Cold Open, and some summer cast member gossip that made its way into the fall premiere.
Let’s start with the musical guest from this episode, Kanye West. His end-of-the-show performance was probably the most talked-about part of this episode of Saturday Night Live, which re-airs tonight at 11:30pm on NBC, and it didn’t even appear on television! At the end of the episode, host Adam Driver and the cast did their normal curtain call including thank-yous and then everyone progressed upstage into the background for one more number from Kanye who by this time was sporting a signature red “Make America Great Again” cap. For those who don’t know, Kanye West is a massive supporter of the current White House regime ruled by Donald Trump. And for those who really don’t know, Kanye also takes a lot of shit for being aligned with Trump and is often seen as a traitor to his own people by publicly cheering on a President widely known as a racist.
As the performance rolled on, cameras were cut because SNL was simply out of time, but as the studio audience along with the cast and crew members were the only ones left watching Kanye, the award winning and sometimes award hijacking artist went into a patented pro-Trump rant. A lot of the cast members looked dumb-founded or straight down and away from what they were watching, while studio audience members openly booed. Even though it never made it on the air, parts of Kanye’s tirade were captured by people in Studio 8-H on their phones. You can see some of that video, amazingly enough shot by Chris Rock from the side of the stage, with our original SNL review of the season premiere episode. It was a situation that 16 season Saturday Night Live cast member Kenan Thompson would describe to NBC Late Night host Seth Meyers as a “hostage situation” and in later footage, would show other cast members like Pete Davidson simply walking away in order to not be tied into the event.
The moment that should have been the most talked-about segment of the SNL – Season 44 premiere, if it hadn’t been for Kanye West, was the cold open which ran long even by SNL – Cold Open sketch standards. The season opening sketch ran just shy of 13 minutes in length! It took on the most discussed event so far in the World of Trump in 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings of Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. It was no secret that SNL would take on Kavanaugh and the slightly unprecedented appearance (the first being Anita Hill) of the woman accusing him of sexual assault, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. But what led to SNL speculation was who, whether it be a guest star or a cast member, would play the very emotional and often angry Kavanaugh himself on Saturday Night Live. EP Lorne Michaels brought in a ringer to play the embattled SCOTUS nominee in a sketch that picked up with Kavanaugh sitting before the Senators to make a bizarre opening statement regarding all the accusations against him and then take questions from a what seemed like a cast of hundreds mostly playing current United States Senators. If you haven’t seen this cold open sketch already, (or have forgotten it,) we won’t mention who played Brett Kavanaugh here, but instead let you enjoy the studio audience pop all over again tonight during the SNL repeat. However, when watching the opener this evening, keep an eye out for cast member Aidy Bryant as prosecutor Rachel Mitchell of the Special Victims Division of the Maricopa County attorney’s office in Arizona, who was brought in (in real life) to question Dr. Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. It’s hard to shine in a sketch where you’re not the star and among a crowd of both current and past Saturday Night Live cast members, but Aidy manages to do it.
The final stand out event of tonight’s Saturday Night Live repeat was the amount of material generated by the summer romance and sudden engagement of SNL cast member Pete Davidson and pop star Ariana Grande. It was addressed on the show in the host’s monologue where Adam Driver dreaded hearing what each cast member did over the long summer break, except of course in Pete Davidson’s case. Next the whirlwind engagement was the subject of a very funny SNL – Digital Short titled “A New Kyle” from cast member Kyle Mooney who in the short was coveting the love and attention Pete Davidson was getting from his co-workers and the world over finding happiness with an international singing sensation, then handled it in true “Single White Female” style. And later in the show, Pete would take on the topic himself by dropping by the Weekend Update news desk to put the situation into perspective with Update anchormen Colin Jost and Michael Che. Tonight’s repeat SNL proves again why this show is just a quick snapshot of the fast-moving times we live in and how soon material can become dated because as of tonight, less than a month after this episode aired, the celebrity engagement is already off. If there’s a bright side to this, Pete should no longer be getting the death threats he says he received as a result of the engagement announcement and he should have even more material to talk about when SNL returns live on November 3rd.
As you can see, with all of this happening on tonight’s Saturday Night Live encore, it didn’t leave a lot of room for host Adam Driver to garner any attention of his own. Our original review of the SNL premiere called this episode, one with “no major surprises.” A sketch that did stand out on social media as a favorite Driver moment of the night was called “Career Day” which you can see again on tonight’s repeat. It featured host Adam Driver in full old man makeup and prosthetics as oil baron Abraham H. Parnassus, who obviously had a child very, very late in life and who was a throwback to the days of John D. Rockefeller. The character had a very old school style when it came to dealing with competitors in the business world which embarrassed his son who had his dad in to talk to his class about the oil baron business. The son is played by Pete Davidson who takes a page out of the Jimmy Fallon – SNL playbook and cracked up as Adam Driver performed a character which we will definitely see again whenever Adam Driver returns to host a third time. Another reason that the sketch stood out was that it was the debut effort of brand new Saturday Night Live writer Eli Coyote Mandel who is part of the freshman class in the SNL writers’ room this season. Not a bad way to kick off your SNL career and impress the boss, Lorne Michaels.
Other sketches tonight will include another SNL – Digital Short called “80s Party“, which brings us back to the Kavanaugh topic by showing young men who partied in the 80s and the results of those good times in 2018. There’s also a taste test sketch featuring Adam Driver and Cecily Strong as a couple who overreact to being fooled. This one is a premise that SNL had visited before, but this time, the writers are doing it with coffee. Also, in the “Coffee Shop” sketch watch for new SNL featured cast member Ego Nwodim. There’s also a video game sketch early in the show where Adam Driver is an out-of-touch dad trying to learn the ins-and-outs of Fortnight which also brought in some of the night’s biggest laughs. And there’s a sketch closer to the end of the show featuring a meeting of Neo-Confederates on the anniversary of the Charlottesville, Virginia demonstrations. The group is looking for an all-white utopia which they could move away to and what these xenophobes are looking for sounds a lot like Vermont.
Our review of this episode, replaying tonight on NBC, remarked that Weekend Update was back and in “full form” with hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che really delving deep into the Kavanaugh controversy and also taking on topics like the new Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Bill Cosby’s sentencing in his sexual assault conviction, a woman who was scammed by a Bruce Springsteen impersonator, and the big changes at Dunkin Donuts. Besides Pete Davidson who we mentioned earlier, cast member Leslie Jones also stops by Weekend Update, better late than never, as angry tennis star Serena Williams.
In the promos for tonight’s encore presentation of the SNL – Season 44 premiere, which you can watch below, first we get a quick 15 second look back at host Adam Driver’s first time hosting the show. Then, we see a very serious Adam Driver have his promo interrupted by an SNL saboteur for very nefarious reasons. Finally in the last set, Adam is joined by musical guest Kanye West and cast member Kenan Thompson who think that Kanye may be up to something on his latest SNL appearance. Oh, how right they were.
Tonight, enjoy a repeat of the Saturday Night Live season opener hosted by Adam Driver with musical guest Kanye West.
SNL returns live in 2 weeks on Saturday, November 3rd when actor/director/screenwriter and Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill hosts the show and joins the Saturday Night Live 5-Timers Club!