SNL returns with 39th season

“Saturday Night Live’s” 39th season started last tonight with a focus on introducing its six new cast members.

Host Tina Fey returned to the stage, inducting her protégés to the art of embarrassing backup dancing.

“Is your father watching?” Fey asked. “Put more crotch in it.”

That’s not the only advice she gave. Fey preached female empowerment to new Weekend Update co-anchor Cecily Strong, who will succeed Seth Meyers once he replaces Jimmy Fallon on the “Late Night Show.”

Filling in for Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis, fresh faces Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Michael Patrick O’Brien, Noel Wells and Brooks Wheelan joined the cast, inspiring a game show segment called, “New Cast Member Or Arcade Fire?” As guest contestant, Fey would pick out the new cast member from each pairing.

She had some help, of course. Game show host Kenan Thompson welcomed SNL producer and creator Lorne Michaels for some input.

But after some careful consideration, Michaels incorrectly guessed “the black one,” referring to Thompson, who’s been a regular on SNL for the past decade.

When not parading the new talent, the season premiere referenced “Breaking Bad,” whose season finale airs on AMC tonight.

President Obama (Jay Pharoah) introduced Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) in the show’s cold open, trying to use him to sell the Affordable Care Act. You know, ‘cuz selling meth for money is what people do when they don’t have health insurance.

The “Breaking Bad” actor was also featured as Drunk Uncle’s (Bobby Moynihan) Meth Nephew, his “Breaking Bad”-watching buddy.

Lastly, Paul approved a short e-meth commercial (because they’re gonna be the next big thing after the e-cig craze). As Jesse Pinkman says, “They’re blue, bitch!”

Without a doubt, the new cast will need more exposure and getting used to. While this isn’t the largest cast turnover in SNL history, it’d be hard to replace Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader — and of course, their recurring alter-egos Nicholas Fehn, the Devil and Stefon. But like Fey, who joked about her own collection of non-existent recurring roles in last night’s opening monologue, they’ll be back, right?

“Saturday Night Live” will return to NBC at 11:30 p.m. EST on Oct. 5 with host and musical guest Miley Cyrus.  

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