SNL #39.2 RECAP: Host and musical guest Miley Cyrus

Few people who have talked about Miley Cyrus and what she did at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards ever mention that her whole to-do began with an introduction by Vanessa Bayer as the version of Miley we thought we knew before that night. So returning to the scene of the crime, and heightening said crime to blame it for the downfall of America, is actually a great premise to lead off Saturday Night Live and address the giant pink bear in the room.

That said…

Kenan Thompson plays “Papa Joe” in the future apocalyptic New York City to explain what happened to younger Noël Wells, with flashbacks to the scene behind the scenes of the VMAs with new and old Mileys, Taran Killam as Robin Thicke and Bobby Moynihan in a giant pink bear suit.

Moynihan earned the big sight-gag laugh of Miley’s monologue, as well — no offense to the foam finger guy, who wasn’t really the foam finger guy.

Instead of a fake ad, we cut to an imagined failed audition sketch, this time for the lead roles in the film adaptation of the bestselling female erotica book, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” SNL figured this out as one of its new favorite go-to sketches a couple of years ago…it allows everybody to trot out an impersonation or two, without being quite as hacky as if a stand-up comedian was doing this 20 years ago…what if Seth Rogen and Emma Stone were in this movie? Yeah, who cares. Right?

Moynihan as Rogen, Wells as Stone; other pairings served up Miley as ScarJo and Killam as Christoph Waltz, Beck Bennett as Phillip Seymour Hoffman with Wells as Kristen Stewart, Thompson as Steve Harvey with Aidy Bryant as Rebel Wilson, John Milhiser as Jon Cryer with Kate McKinnon as Jane Lynch, Nasim Pedrad as Aziz Ansari with Bayer as Mary-Louise Parker, Jay Pharoah as Tracy Morgan with McKinnon as Tilda Swinton, and Pedrad as Kristin Chenoweth with Pharoah as Shaq

The Girlfriends Talk Show has returned, with Bryant and Cecily Strong as the aforementioned girlfriends and bffFRs (For Reals), talking, on the show. Bryant’s “200 percent Morgan” always finds out that Strong’s character has another best friend. Enter Miley as Little Tini, er, Lil Teenie, er, Tara Arnold. And despite Miley’s insistence that there would be no twerking, there’s already twerking. I’m bored with Miley and Bryant’s contrast is the only thing keeping me from FFing through these BFFs, FR.

And now, a special music video, “We Did Stop (the government).” With Taran Killam as nominal House Speaker John Boehner, and Miley as Michele Bachmann as Miley with her tongue out. Please stop with that…

Killam is back as Piers Morgan who still has a CNN show, and his guest is Arianna Huffington (Pedrad), to talk about the cancellation of planned Hillary Clinton miniseries…giving us glimpses into alternate reality projects such as FOX News “Cold Mean Woman” with Bayer as Hillary and Beck Bennett as Bubba Bill. I must be getting old, because not seeing Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler is making me sad face old…Pharoah’s Obama is here for the AMC approach to “Running Rodham” with McKinnon in the lead role.  Or how about TNT’s “Clinton & Bash.”  (pictured: Wells). Or how about ABC Family’s “Naughty Little Clintons” (with Whelan and McKinnon pictured)? OR TLC’s “Say Yes to the Pantsuit” (Bayer). MTV’s “H2O” with Thompson as Sway as Obama, and Miley as Hillary. H2No.

Ladies and gentlemen, Miley Cyrus. She is neither. Her first song tonight, officially, is “Wrecking Ball.” OK. Here’s the thing. This 20-year-old who is not a girl, but not yet a woman, definitely is talented. She can sing. She can sing. But she still needs someone to say no to some, nay, many of her decisions. Please. Please?

What’s this, Ron Burgundy in an ad for an SUV that didn’t exist in the 1970s?! Worlds colliding.

Weekend Update with Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong.

Winners and losers in the Government Shutdown? Bill Hader, because we distinctly heard his voice in the voiceover. Never leave us entirely, Hader.

With her review of Grand Theft Auto 5, aka GTA-V, is Connecticut mom Pay Lynhart (Kate McKinnon). I love how she starts out in such a lower chair from the Weekend Update anchors and bounces up and up, saying lines such as “I eat cocaine for breakfast!”

For insight on this season in the NFL, here’s Shannon Sharpe (Jay Pharoah). Snake face lisping. C’mon now, Sef.

Bayer got to trot out her Bar Mitzvah Boy Jacob back to the Update desk. Shabbat and Shalom.

Cheerleader practice, which gives us a chance to recognize that this SNL cast is big enough for six women. Changed ratios. Wait. Where did Ashley go? Wait… why did the screen go green, then come back to show a tech guy hooking up Pedrad’s character? Live TV, people! De-duh-de-de-daaaaa…I’m loving it. Don’t worry, they fixed it in post. Which is weird, considering it was live TV. At least in the Eastern and Central time zones.

After that, it was 1 a.m. Eastern, anyhow, so if you recorded this, you went home to find out everything after this wasn’t recorded — thanks, college football, for going long — and did you miss anything, really? Let’s take a look at the footage and find out…

MORNIN’ MIAMI: An exhausted trio of “Mornin’ Miami” anchors struggle to shoot promos through their exhaustion, played by Miley, Moynihan and McKinnon. Funny because it’s what we truly think we see in our morning TV personalities when they’re not on camera. Hold for their full names, please.

MILEY CYRUS “We Can’t Stop” acoustic. Hooray for the little people.

POETRY CLASS: An enthusiastic guest teacher tries to get students excited about poetry. Apparently new cast member Mike O’Brien is only let out onstage in the final half-hour. Too subversive, is he? Even so, in this sketch, he’s only the set-up man as the poetry teacher who is abandoning his class for a job interview. “Thank Christ.” Bayer’s Ms. Meadows. This is one of those sketches hung entirely on the premise that Bayer’s vocal mannerism for this character made everyone laugh earlier in the week, so let’s write something around that. Essentially. Basically. Uh huh. OK. Alright.

MILEY SEX TAPE: SNL cast member Kyle Mooney has a chance to hookup with Miley Cyrus, but after much hesitation, his older brother seals the deal.

So this was the first official Good Neighbor video, and, well, if you’re going to have cast members and the host play themselves in a sketch, and the unusual thing is Mooney’s dream-like state, why would everyone play themselves except for his brother, who is played by Taran Killam, whom the other cast members would recognize? I’m getting away from myself, because did this sketch even happen if it happened after 1 a.m.?

We may never know, Internet. We may never know. Oh. Right. Internet.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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