The thing to remember about Miley Cyrus is that before she literally destroyed the world (more on that later), what with her twerking and Terry Richardsoning, she was an actress. On a comedy. She grew up learning the finer points of timing, and even if Hannah Montana wasn’t a GOOD show, it still taught her how to work in an ensemble. That’s why Miley didn’t embarrass herself when she hosted SNL in 2011, and she didn’t last night, either.
In fact, she was, dare I say, actually…good. She delivered her lines flawlessly; played both serious, beaten down adults (“Mornin’ Miami”) and versions of herself (“We Don’t Stop,” which certainly won’t raise a fuss among conservatives); and appeared in nearly every sketch, all with a chipmunk energy that SNL so often lacks, especially when the show doesn’t begin until midnight. The episode itself was all over the place, with the worst sketch of the season airing right before the best, but some of the credit and none of the blame goes to Miley.
I feel dirty.
It was smart to get everything Miley out of the way early: the VMAs performance, Vanessa Bayer’s spot-on impression, the public’s response, the twerking, and hey, bonus Jay Pharaoh-as-Will Smith. The framing device was clever, too, allowing the sketch to be more than JUST a series of references to real-life events and impressions, with Kenan’s Papa Joe describing the end of humanity. The apoctwerklypse, it were. The ending was a slight, moralistic cop out, but everything that came before it was, well, pretty cool, especially Bobby Moynihan’s sad bear.
The shortest monologue in recent memory (you have to wonder if Lorne Michaels was afraid that if left to her own devices, Miley would grab the novelty-sized prop foam finger from the crowd and begin to diddle herself while changing the lyrics to every song on Sinéad O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got to be about orgies) confirmed what we all suspected: Hannah Montana was murdered. I shudder to think where Bolt is now.
50 Shades of Grey Auditions
Kenan’s Steve Harvey, Jay’s Tracy Morgan, and Kate’s everything were stellar, but it’s already clear impression sketches this season aren’t going to be the same, i.e. as good, without Bill Hader around to provide his Al Pacino or Vincent Price. Also, black women to help expand the impression base. But mostly Bill Hader.
Girlfriends Talk Show
I could have listened to Aidy talk about her mom’s recently divorced friend all night, but instead, Lil’ Tini happened, giving Miley an excuse to white-girl rap. She does an admirable job, as does Cecily Strong, who thankfully hasn’t landed in No Sketch Land since beginning her new gig as Weekend Update’s co-anchor, but “Girlfriends Talk Show” is only as funny as the lines Aidy delivers. And when she wasn’t talking about Donna, the quality dipped.
We Did Stop
Rarely do I stop and appreciate SNL‘s production values, but “We Did Stop,” a parody of Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” music video starring John Boehner (Taran) and Michele Bachmann (Miley), looked fantastic. That’s where the compliments end, though, because once you figured out the premise, “We Did Stop” never really went anywhere else. Think of this way: a parody should be funny even if the viewer hasn’t seen the thing being parodied; the laughs should stand for themselves, and I can’t imagine someone who hasn’t seen “We Can’t Stop” finding much delight in “We Did Stop,” once they’re over Bronzed Boehner and Confusingly Attractive Bachmann (and Sad Obama).
Piers Morgan Reviews the Clinton Biopics
Were it not for Arianna Huffington, Nasim Pedrad would be an endangered species. A decent concept — two Hillary Clinton biographies have been canceled, but there are plenty more still in development — gives SNL a reason to reference Breaking Bad (Obama is Skyler?) and allow a revolving door of Clinton impressions. But the most memorable thing here is Miley ripping open her shirt to reveal a “2016” bra, which long ago stopped being eventful.