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SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Tina Fey, Cecily Strong and Aaron Paul Kick Off New 'SNL' Season


Welcome to Edition No. 22 of Sunday Morning Live, Popculturology's look at the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. All of your questions about the Tina Fey-hosted episode will be answered after the jump. Popculturology's usual SNL recapper Bill Kuchman is off this weekend, so Contributing Writer Lindsay Campbell is covering the season premiere.

How'd Tina Fey do?

It was great to see Fey back in Studio 8H kicking off the new season of SNL. After having the summer off, you'd think the writers and cast members would come to the table loaded with new content, new characters and twerking jokes, but with six new players, it was pretty clear the cast was still working out the kinks and finding their rhythm.



The monologue fell a little flat as Fey hazed welcomed the six new castmembers through a traditional song and dance. SNL loves throwing a song in monologues for hosts that are no strangers to the SNL stage, but this particular gig didn't let Fey and the new cast shine. For talent like Fey's, they needed a stronger opening and this just wasn't it.


What were the best sketches of the night?



The porn stars are back, and this time, they're selling "Manolo Blahnik" shoes. Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong dug out their mismatched porn star dresses and favorite "haute couture" fashions for another commercial packed with sexual references and tales from their previous porn star lives. It wasn't as good as the Moet Chandon sketch, but it still won best skit of the episode.




SNL also poked fun at airport boarding with a skit featuring Fey and Taran Killam as two airline attendants who find love over the airport PA system. The sketch highlighted the types of travelers we all know a little too well — people who try to jam suitcases into the overhead compartments and folks that board before they're called, ultimately delaying everyone.



Lorne Michaels made a rare appearance during a game show sketch called New Cast Member or Arcade Fire Band Member. I love a good game show (Celebrity Jeopardy, anyone?) and it was fun to see Michaels take the stage (I'm guessing it was Fey's doing) and make fun of the fact he only hired white guys this season.

Cecily Strong made her Weekend Update debut. How'd she do?



It was clear last season that Strong was going to be the one to watch, and last night, it was even more clear that her new gig as co-anchor at the Weekend Update desk is going to make her a legend. Strong's no stranger to the Weekend  Update desk as her character Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With stole just about every scene last year, but it was great to see her so at ease in the iconic Weekend Update blazer.



Bobby Moynihan's Drunk Uncle and a new character, Bruce Chandling, also stopped by the Weekend Update desk to deliver some sub-par jokes. Here's to hoping that the Bruce Chandling character doesn't become a regular ...


Whoa, was that Aaron Paul alongside Drunk Uncle?



Yes, it was. Paul stopped by during the episode's cold open, appearing as "Jesse from New Mexico" to take part in President Barack Obama's Obamacare panel featuring regular seasons. Does this mean Jesse survives tonight's Breaking Bad finale?


How about Pseudo Digital Shorts or commercials?



The episode kicked off with a short trailer spoofing the upcoming season of Girls. It was so spot-on that for a minute, I actually thought it might be a real trailer. I started to figure out that it wasn't real when Fey was featured as their new roommate from Albania suffering from a rubber hand and OCD — Old Cow Disease. New castmember, Noel Wells, does a great Lena Dunham impression which I hope we'll see more of this season.


So how was the rest of the episode? Anything else worth noting?

Where was Nasim Pedrad the entire episode? SNL is really missing out on some great opportunities by not using her more.


What's next?

SNL is back on Oct. 5 with Miley Cyrus hosting and performing as the musical guest.
SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Tina Fey, Cecily Strong and Aaron Paul Kick Off New 'SNL' Season Reviewed by Lindsay Campbell on 9/29/2013 Rating: 5

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