Plus, Miley gets great reviews!
Miley Cyrus has met her "Saturday Night Live" impression while lampooning a fellow teen pop star herself.
Cyrus hosted "SNL" on Saturday night, leading to an inevitable face-off between the 18-year-old singer and cast member Vanessa Bayer's parody. But Cyrus appeared on Bayer's "The Miley Cyrus Show" not as herself, but 17-year-old Justin Bieber.
Cyrus played Bieber as too hip to use Bayer's enthusiastic "pretty cool" catch phrase.
In other sketches, Cyrus also played Fergie and Lindsay Lohan. Her Lohan impression occurred during a sketch with cast members portraying Charlie Sheen as the host of a TV show called "Duh! Winning!" with Lohan, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and fashion designer John Galliano as guests.
Miley Puts 'SNL' Back on the Radar
"Saturday Night Live" was, is, and always will be a show of peaks and valleys. The trolls would say it has been in a valley for years, but any faithful fan will tell you "SNL" has always been a hit-or-miss proposition. No "SNL" cast -- not even the revered Not-Ready-For-Primetime-Players led by Belushi and Aykroyd -- has delivered a perfect show.
Last night's show with host Miley Cyrus certainly wasn't perfect, but it was the best installment of this 36th season, one that has been starving for buzzworthy moments. In this year without a presidential election to lean on, only Bill Hader's Stefon -- a coked-up club kid prone to "laughing fits" -- has snuck into the larger pop culture picture. (And only barely.)
I didn't know what to expect from Cyrus, a child star who was afforded this very adult opportunity just days after Charlie Sheen's deplorable behavior had been embraced by the Twitterverse. I certainly didn't expect the scathing song Cyrus sang in her monologue, a defiant defense of her behavior that also indicted Sheen, Tiger Woods and Lindsay Lohan. (No mention, however, of fellow Disney trainee Demi Lovato, who recently completed a stint in a Chicago-area rehab facility after punching a backup singer in the face.) Miley's monologue song could give "SNL" the viral sensation it has desperately needed this season. Hader's opening Sheen sketch, while painfully obvious, will likely be a favorite as well; one can only imagine how hard producer Lorne Michaels is working to get the real Charlie Sheen on the show.
Until last night, "SNL" had been the weak filly in Michaels' stable of shows. "30 Rock" continues to delight on Thursday nights, putting its focus squarely on Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) in this fifth season. Tracy Morgan's arc, in which his character achieves the title of EGOT (an entertainer who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony), has smartly been pushed to the periphery, which works for the character's cavalier attitude. It's also fascinating to ponder what that marginalization of awards means when it's coming from Fey and Co., who have won just about every award imaginable during "30 Rock's" relatively short run.
Speaking of short runs, Michaels' "Portlandia" managed to leave a huge impression on its audience with a recently completed six-episode season. IFC's happy accident of a sketch comedy only exists because "SNL" cast member Fred Armisen invited the now-defunct rock trio Sleater-Kinney to a New York after-party a few years back; the resulting friendship between Armisen and S-K guitarist Carrie Brownstein yields humor that is, at once, for and against the modern hipster.
It may not always be laugh-out-loud funny, but "Portlandia" is exceedingly clever, whether it's skewering self-important PSAs or merely putting a bird on it. You might call it the anti-"SNL," an adult playground where Armisen can bring the volume down and play to an older, more educated audience for a change. (Let's face it: "SNL's" target audience is younger than it ever has been. Let us not forget who hosted last night's show.)
As for Brownstein, her television debut as a comic actress is, so far, 2011's happiest pop culture surprise. On stage, she and her S-K cohort Corin Tucker were wailing, whirling dervishes of grrrl rage. On "Portlandia," she is warm and adorable, the perfect foil for Armisen's cast of fringe lunatics. She wouldn't likely fit in as an "SNL" cast member, but I'd sure like to see her pop up in a digital short or two.
But mostly I'd like to see "SNL" back on top of the comedy world. A recent Instant Netflix binge has convinced me, more than ever, that "SNL" is the most important pop culture entity of my life, a constant companion that reflects (and distorts) the world we live in. It isn't always funny, and it isn't always "important," but it is always there, and TV is better for it.
'Saturday Night Live' review: Miley Cyrus and a show better than 'pretty cool': It was pretty funny
Miley Cyrus’ distinctive speech pattern — a Nashville twang bouncing against glottal stops — is both distracting and distinctive, which makes her comparatively easy to imitate, if you have that kind of talent, and Vanessa Bayer does. She’s spent this SNL season making her “Miley Cyrus Show” sketches little critiques of show-biz unctuousness, exaggerating Miley’s penchant for hype (“Purty cooool!”) and dad Billy Ray’s coattail-riding of his daughter’s fame (Jason Sudeikis plays him as a shameless shill).
Saturday Night Live waited until midnight to unveil its latest “Miley Cyrus Show” sketch, which turned out to have a clever idea: Bayer was Miley, as usual, while the week’s host, Miley Cyrus, portrayed Justin Bieber in her best impersonation of the night. Cyrus had Bieber’s trying-too-hard hiphop mannerisms down cold.
SNL commenced with — duh — “Duh! Winning! with Charlie Sheen,” with Bill Hader doing a good Sheen impersonation, hosting the week’s biggest losers, including Christina Aguilera (Abby Elliott), John Galliano (an excellent Taran Killam), Lindsay Lohan (Cyrus sounding like Cyrus), and Fred Armisen’s Muammar Gaddafi. (Told ya SNL would conflate Sheen with Gaddafi.)
A particularly strong “Weekend Update” did better with its Sheen jokes, offering the winners and losers in that guy’s scandals. Denise Richards was a winner, said Seth Meyers, for getting out early, “like someone who’d sold her house in 2007.” A loser: tigers and their blood (“Why is he dragging us into this?”). It was followed by a superb up-yours to the religious protesters at a military funeral whose right to be heinous was upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this week. Sudekis played Satan, relishing what he’d do when these homophobic zealots landed in Hell… and added a nice kicker about working on the upcoming season of Entourage.
Feeling her oats, the 18 year-old Cyrus ridiculed her Hannah Montana fame-vehicle in a sketch about the “Disney Channel Acting School,” with Kenan Thompson accompanying her as Raven-Symone. It was nicely done, with lessons in speaking too loudly and dressing too loudly.
I’m always a sucker for SNL‘s Turner Classic Movies parodies, and this week’s one, built around unseen footage from The Sound of Music, was well-conceived, folding in Fred Armisen as the kind of brassy stand-up comic who’d have been making comedy records and doing movie cameos during the time of Music‘s release in 1959. There were a few duds, of course, such as Wiig and Cyrus in a “Rockabilly Lady Party” fake ad, but the majority of the material this week was, at the very least, goofy fun, such as the charmingly wacky French-people-dancing moment. (Again, congrats to Killam, who stuffed his face with a lot of French bread crepe while wiggling around.)
Cyrus fared best in the moments when she was required to sing, whether it was her cute opening “I’m Sorry That I’m Not Perfect” specialty number to her showing-closing tune, playing a disgusted cruise-ship singer, crooning about how everybody on a cruise ship seemed “gross” to her.
‘Saturday Night Live’ is ‘pretty cool’ with Miley Cyrus as host
All those Charlie Sheen TV appearances paid off for “Saturday Night Live,” which mercilessly skewered the “Two and a Half Men” star this weekend. Host Miley Cyrus good-naturedly spoofed her life and career. The Sheen-Cyrus combo inspired the “SNL” writers to an above-average episode this season.
The choice skits started with the opener: Sheen (Bill Hader) as talk-show host of “Duh! Winning.” He blasted Middle America as losers and interviewed such “winners” as designer John Galliano (Taram Killam), Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi (Fred Armisen) and Lindsay Lohan (Cyrus). Lohan is such a winner that the Los Angeles Courthouse has given her her own parking space.
Cyrus, as expected, visited ”The Miley Cyrus Show,” which offers Vanessa Bayer’s deft impersonation of the “Hannah Montana” star. But the writers came up with a clever twist: The real Cyrus was very funny as Justin Bieber, winking, swaggering and uttering Bayer’s signature line “pretty cool.”
Cyrus happily bit the hand that has fed her. She and Raven (Kenan Thompson) pushed the Disney Channel Acting School, which promotes loudness and disrespecting authority. (In her opening monologue, Cyrus described Hannah Montana as Disney Channel’s answer to “Black Swan.”)
All those sketches will probably make it into “SNL” retrospectives, and so will the memorable commercial for Baby Spanx, the product for parents embarrassed by fat babies.
On Weekend Update, Seth Meyers took more swipes at Sheen by assessing Winners/Losers. Denise Richards was a winner for ”walking out of a bad movie nice and early and the rest of us are still sitting here and watching it,” Meyers said. And Anthony Crispino (Bobby Moynihan), the dispenser of Second-Hand News, confused Charlie Sheen and Charlie Rose.
“SNL” also zinged the Black Eyed Peas, CBS’ crime-heavy lineup (March is Gurney Month) and “The Sound of Music” (the studio deleted footage of Captain Von Trapp’s adopted Hispanic son).
Cyrus played Fergie, a Von Trapp child, a skin cream pitch woman, a nasty cruise-ship singer and a dancing French student. She played herself in a zany trailer for “Beastly” opposite Gene Hackman (Andy Samberg).
In her monologue, Cyrus defended herself in a ditty call “I’m Sorry I’m Not Perfect,” stressing the bad headlines she made aren’t as serious as those of other celebrities. But her best defense was that she performed well in a surprisingly entertaining show.
Miley thanks you for your time!
Sources 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 [via anythingdiz ]