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Highlights from Last Night's Season Premiere of "Saturday Night Live"

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 25, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 25, 2011 |

“Saturday Night Live” had its season premiere last night, and it was about as good as you can expect from “SNL,” which is to say, about four good skits, a solid “Weekend Update,” and no skits that made me want to harm anyone on the cast. And, because of the way the mind works when it comes to this show — we remember the good, forget the bad — a decade from now, last night’s show may be remembered as a classic. “Hey, you remember that one with ‘Who’s on Top?’” and Alec Baldwin’s killer Tony Bennett impression?

“SNL” gave up on being politically relevant years ago, and yet continued with toothless political cold opens. Last night’s cold open, however, was hilarious, the show’s best political skit since the 2008 election. Alec Baldwin as Rick Perry also suggests that Baldwin may be making a lot of guest appearances this season.

Whenever Baldwin or Steve Martin host, the other inevitably makes a guest appearance during the monologue to talk about the hosting title, so Martin’s appearance was not surprising. But Seth Rogen’s was, although it might have been nice to see him again later in the show.

There were no Digital Shorts last night, but they made up for it with a solid “SNL” commercial.

My favorite skit of the night was “Who’s On Top?” So wrong.

The audition scenes for the 25th Edition of “Top Gun” also marked a high point of the show, in particular Baldwin’s Pacino, Hader’s Harvey Fierstein, and Hader’s hilariously spot-on Alan Alda. My wife actually wondered if Hader was lip-syncing Alda’s real voice.

Finally, Seth Meyer’s “Weekend Update” was remarkable for both the larger-than-normal number of headlines’ jokes and the fact that it was not dominated by guest segments. There was only one, and it was perfect.

The Radiohead clips are not yet available, so if you want to see those, check out the full episodes on NBC’s website after 1 EST.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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