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Bitch Fantastic! Scoring the Tongue-Wagging Miley Cyrus Hosted 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | October 6, 2013 | Comments ()


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Cold Open — Expectedly, SNL took up Miley’s VMA appearance, using a flash forward to suggest that it was the moment that signalled the downfall of America, and then using Vanessa Bayer as “old-Miley” to offer sage advice to Young Miley pre-‘VMA.’ It’s a high-energy sketch, and there’s actually some decent, though generic stuff in it about Miley’s need to make her own mistakes and learn from them. Unfortunately, Miley seems to be saying the words without expressing any actual self-awareness. The whole sketch crumbles into a mess of mediocre impressions and incoherence. 5/10

The Monologue — One of the shortest “SNL” monologues I can remember. There’s not much too it: Miley talks about the VMA performance, says she’s not sorry, then there’s a “Wrecking Ball” joke. The end. I feel like there was probably another idea that was scratched at the last minute. Points for brevity? 3/10

50 Shades of Grey Screen Tests — The entire sketch is basically an excuse for the cast to show off their impressions. Noel Wells is terrific as Emma Stone; Taran Killem”s Christoph Waltz is fantastic; Nasim Pedrad does Aziz Ansari, and the unexpected MVP is Kenan Thompson’s Steve Harvey, who ask Rebel Wilson if he can go straight to the butt stuff. 7/10

Girlfriends Talk Show — A recurring sketch that wasn’t particularly good the first time around, and it’s not improved by the presence of Miley and a tired nod to twerking. But they do say “cray” a lot, which only highlights how long the sketch overstays its welcome. 4/10

Why Did We Stop the Government — Taran Killem’s blinged-out, ass-flaunting, gay-loving John Boehner and Miley Cyrus’ slutty, tongue-wagging, booty-shaking, masturbating Michelle Bachman music video is .. uh, kind of great. No, it is spectacular. It is one of the few SNL sketches in recent years that’s actually likely to get people upset (or at least the Tea Party). Fox News is going to go apeshit on Monday morning. Outstanding, and the perfect use of Miley. The song itself — a reworking of one of Miley’s hits — isn’t bad, either. 9/10

Piers Morgan Live — Nasim Pedrad cracks out the Arianna Huffington impersonation in a sketch to discuss the recent cancellation of two Hillary Clinton biographies. There’s a poor Breaking Bad parody, some lazy nods to a few other shows, and a couple of jokes about Clinton running in 2016, but the sketch is weak sauce. 3/10

Weekend Update — A more relaxed Cecily Strong is already showing more confidence in her second week, and a very sharp winners/losers segment demonstrated a growing chemistry between Strong and Meyers. Strong even mastered one of the most important aspects of a successful “Weekend Update”: She sold a couple of bad jokes with a acknowledging smirk.

Kate McKinnon also does a segment as a wide-eyed stay-at-home Mom who is obsessed with Grand Theft Auto. McKinnon is quickly becoming the most reliably funny cast member on the show, and this is the best bit of the night. “I was supposed to run the car pool tomorrow, but do you know what I did instead? I shot a stripper in the boob for sport. Step the eff back, because Momma is a Latina warlord now!”

Jay Pharaoh does a good Shannon Sharpe impression in another segment that doesn’t gain much traction while Vanessa Bryant brings back Jacob, the Jewish son of Seth’s podiatrist. It’s a funny impression, but the segment quickly wears out its welcome.

Headlines: 8/10; McKinnon: 9/10; Shannon Sharpe and Jacob: 5/10


Cheerleaders — Miley plays a head cheerleader who tries to keep practice going in the midst of an alien abduction. This sketch is a goddamn mess that goes from bad to worse to WTF? It’s painful to watch. 1/10

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Mornin’ Miami — Three bored, grumpy and tired morning news anchors turn up the chipper during a series of promos. It works because the promo-spot parodies ride the wave just a hair above reality. McKinnon kills it again here: “Are ghosts real? Turns out, no! Here to talk about it is actor Topher Grace.” 8/10


Poetry Class — Vanessa Bryant trots out a new hyper-enthusiastic, stuttering, and oblivious character that teaches poetry to high-school students, but the sketch doesn’t work at all. 4/10

Miley Sex Tape — A silly, but cute sketch in which one of the new cast members blows his chance to have sex with Miley Cyrus in his office. Miley is not shying away from jokes at her expense, but the way she enthusiastically embraces her overly-sexualized personae feels a little abrasive. 6/10




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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • St

    Kate McKinnon is the best. There is something magnetic about her. You just can’t take your eyes of her.

    And you know that I can’t remember any funny scene that came from Miley’s performance. It.s like she wasn’t even there. She was basically furniture in almost all her sketches. Kinda like Bieber was.

  • Whenever I see a political sketch on a comedy show, 99% of the time all
    it does is remind me of the opening crawl for one of The Simpsons 'Treehouse
    of Horror' specials. They panned through a graveyard with joke
    headstones and one of the headstones was labelled 'Subtle Political Satire.' Despite your somewhat schadenfreude influenced prediction of reactions, I think you overestimate the extent to which people pay attention to SNL anymore.

  • Aaron Schulz

    Am i the only who finds political stuff like that, regardless of which side it targets, to be totally insufferable? Like FoxNews is terrible and needs to shut up, but so does jon stewart, cant we just like, make em fight?

  • Thor

    No. Jon Stewart does not need to shut up. He's the voice of reason in this shit storm. Whats sad is that America has to get that voice of reason from a Cable Comedy Network.

  • Jeff Hamilton

    What is sad is that Americans think they are actually getting news from a Cable Comedy Network...you're part of the problem if you think that is real news.

  • The Girlfriend's segment was truly awful, but I feel like the closest to showing how real-life Miley acts and talks. Minus the hair stroking.

    Also - Jay Pharaoh's Will Smith was a pretty damn great impression. And Taran Killam really continues to surprise me.

  • RobynRobotron

    That Will Smith was perfection!

  • Nathan Convey

    I continue to miss Bill Hader. Even his standing around in the background during sketches was hilarious.

  • Xander

    Oh for god's sake enough with this Miley girl. I didn't want to do this Pajiba but your forced me. Now we have to do things the hard way. From now every time you even about posting anything related to Miley Cyrus this will burn your eyeballs

  • You should also use this as an alternate: http://youtu.be/U0Og4LaB1Zc

  • This is a point removed from Dustin's review and I don't know the answer - but is anyone else reading all the Miley hate as a bit...misogynistic?
    She's doing her thing, being raunchy, raising hackles - but who is she hurting and why are people getting SO fired up?
    She is talented, right? She works hard, right?
    I just don't understand why a 20 year old is deserving of so much judgement and vitriol...

  • St

    Maybe because she is throwing her sexiness in people’s face since summer? No one really hated her when she cut her hair and was doing whatever she was. Hate began from that moment when she released that We Can’t Stop video. The problem is – no one thinks she is sexy. At all. It looks uncomfortable to people. And they have to watch her half naked every single day. And people hate that in Justin Bieber too. No one thinks he is sexy. Yet he shows his tiny muscles in people’s faces every day and people can’t stand him too. And laugh at them both.

    No one thought she was sexy at VMA. That was awful, embarrassing, uncomfortable performance. And people talk about it so much because it was that embarrassing. Yet Miley is so proud of it, she likes that people talk about it and still can’t understand that people laughed at her. She looks like a spoiled brat child of rich parents. That’s why people can’t stand her.

    Also she just laughed at mentally ill people. Did you missed that point when Miley often says that she loves drugs and sees nothing wrong in using them?

    And she really sold her body for fame like Sinead said. We would not talk about her at all if she would release that We Can’t Stop video as some normal party video. That would just be some summer song. And Wrecking Ball would be good ballad. But Miley wanted whole world to talk about her so she undressed herself and was running half naked for 4-5 months now. Because she knows that people will talk about it.

    People hate Miley as much as they hate Justin Bieber.

  • Thor

    Some of the hate is misogyny, some of it is jealousy about her success, some of it is so the people can feel better about themselves, some of it is good old fashioned trolling.

  • hmm

    A lot of it is anger about a rich, privileged white lady using black women as props, etc:

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/...

    What's there to be jealous of about that?

  • RobynRobotron

    The majority of the hate is misogyny, some of it is trolling. None of the hate is about cultural appropriation, that's just valid criticism.

  • LaineyBobainey

    I luh-huved the We Did Stop parody! Brilliantly done!

    Kate McKinnon was fantastic on Weekend Update and I really liked both of Miley's musical performances. The rest was just okay. Nothing great.

    I hope Cecily will still occasionally do Annoying Girl You Wish You Never Started Talking To even though she's co-hosting Weekend Update. I always found that one pretty funny.

  • Patty O'Green

    My first response to her co-hosting Update: "Oh, good for her!"
    My second response: "Wait, does this mean no more Annoying Girl At The Party You Wish you Hadn't Started A Conversation With?!? NOOO!!"

  • Sean

    You would think that Miley would be better at comedy after starring on a sitcom for 10 years. She was terrible for the most part. I am wondering just how long they can go depending on Kate McKinnon and Taran Killiam. They are both brilliant, even in bad sketches.

  • Thor

    You'd think that until you realize that sitcom was only called that because "piece of improbable shit pie" is forbidden by FCC guidelines.

  • Sean

    I actually have only seen about 5 minutes of Hannah Montana. My then 4 yr old nephew was watching it. I said to him "this sucks. Wouldn't you rather watch this Batman animated series dvd with me?" He did. And he and his brother got the Batman box set the following X-mas.

  • Aidan Harr

    Well, at least it wasn't as bad as the Jeremy Renner episode. I still get nightmares about that one.

  • apsutter

    McKinnon and Killam, in my eyes, are the standouts of the cast right now. Her Pat Lynhart was freaking wonderful and Weekend Update was the best part of the night.

  • chanohack

    Please do keep us informed re: Fox News going apeshit tomorrow.

  • THIS. I hope they crap themselves over this.

  • Yocean

    Is it wrong that Miley Cyrus as Michelle Bachman is the only time I ever found her hot? Yeah that's wrong... Funny effin video tho.

  • Patty O'Green

    I felt she looked pretty in that dark wig, but that it also highlighted how young she can look... sooo... hmm...

  • L.O.V.E.

    She is prettier made up as Bachman and Scarlett Johannson.

  • Sean

    She looked good in a dark wig.

  • The government shutdown music video was funny, but not near as funny as the Fox/Rush/Hannity/O'Reilly meltdowns are going to be on Monday. I can't wait.

    Nice to see SNL show some balls for the first time in years.

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Sadly 'can't be shown in your location', sigh

  • SorayaS

    I know, right?! The rest of the world isn't shut down, bitches!

  • Hoah

    Crossed eyed Shaq made me cry

  • Theron

    And who is she kidding with the "...turned on fathers" part of that monologue? NO ONE thought any of that was sexy. She might as well have held the microphone to her crotch and let out repeated queefs for the entire performance.

  • St

    I rolles my eyes at "...turned on fathers" too. Miley seriously doesn’t understands that no one thinks she is sexy. She really believes she is. That is saddest part. Not every person who runs naked on street is sexy. Some just look as naked idiots.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I'd laugh at that.

  • Theron

    Miley sucks and is about as sexy as a mental patient who doesn't shower.

  • should be in bed

    I'm so glad you pointed out how UNSEXY people with mental illness are!

  • BiblioGlow

    What an insightful argument, full of conclusions inferred from the presented material. You have swayed me to your side.

  • Ley

    That would be Vanessa Bayer.

  • PantsAttack

    Yo Miley, I'm really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but Norm MacDonald as Bob Dole on the Real World was the best political SNL sketch of all time. ALL TIME.

  • susiemderkins

    Anyone have a link for video for this? I tried to look it up, but no dice.

  • jzhz

    "I called him every name in the book. A chicken hawk, mochaccino boy slut..."

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