Hey if you can’t beat them, join them.
That’s exactly what Saturday Night Live did with the first sketch that kicked off its 48th season. A lot has been written about the premiere, primarily as this season has been declared a “transition year” by many, including Lorne Michaels.
The show started off super meta with a parody of Manningcast, and they brought in host Miles Teller to play Peyton Manning. The sketch showed Manning and his brother Eli as they decided to see what SNL did with the cold open, and voiced their critiques throughout of the Trump sketch the show chose to do. The Trump sketch featured Bowen Yang trying to get a catchphrase, newcomer Michael Longfellow forgetting to close a door, and Sarah Sherman creeping in the background.
Perhaps the best moment of the sketch came when they had Teller’s co-star Jon Hamm add his own commentary. Hamm added that “sometimes they need to bring in a real celebrity when the host isn’t that famous.”
For the first show in a highly publicized transition year, they actually did a pretty solid job at poking fun at it all. It helped having a host like Teller who was clearly a fan of the show and proved that he was up for whatever they threw at him.