Saturday Night Live

Lin-Manuel Miranda Hosting Saturday Night Live Recap | SNL 2016

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Rob Cesternino (@robcesternino) and  Rich Tackenberg (@richtack) review episode 2 of the 42nd season of Saturday Night Live with host Lin-Manuel Miranda & musical guest Twenty One Pilots, broadcast on October 8, 2016!


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  • redbluegreen

    Great recap as always. I actually am surprised Rich didn’t like “Diego Calls Home” more. It was my favorite sketch of the night, in the vein as Bruno Mars’ “Sad Mouse” and Jan hooks and Phil Hartman’s “Love is but a Dream” sketches.

    • I was heading in that direction, but Sad Mouse felt like it had an ending, I don’t know that this did.
      I’ll get burned at the stake for saying this, but I think “Love is but a Dream” is fine, but not one of my favorites.

      • redbluegreen

        I didn’t mean it as a criticism of you, it’s all subjective. I just wanted to stick up for the sketch because I like when SNL goes for a sweet tone (in an oddball way). I didn’t mind the (lack of) ending, I thought it was more just a slice of life for a guy who is making the best of situations many might find less than ideal. Plus it was gently poking fun at customs of rural America (with all our orange food and love of marshmallows).

        • Oh, I didn’t take it a a personal criticism at all. I’m glad we don’t all feel exactly the same way about every sketch. there’d be no point to the podcast! I suspect if I watch the piece again, i’ll like it a lot more, having my expectations set on the ending.

  • Charles Bikle

    Not a fan of all the musical sketches – I rarely find them funny and that’s why I always cringe whenever I hear that a singer is hosting the show.

    Also, I wouldn’t mind hearing less about “Hamilton”.

    • Looks like you’ll have a reprieve, at least until November.

  • Ben

    Does the “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” reeeeeeeeeally matter as much as Rich says it does? I like that it’s different every once in a while.

    • Brendan Fitzpatrick

      I feel the same way about this as I do about the Good Nights. I’ve never noticed, never cared, until Rich started saying it mattered. It really DOES NOT Matter, no one cares how you say “live from NY” or whos there for the Good NIghts. No one.

      • In the scheme of things, of course it doesn’t matter. That’s what makes this fun. No one wants to hear my opinions on the issues that really effect the world!

        • I’m not sure I cared much before the podcast but now I certainly do. At least for the opening line. It’s such a fourth wall breaking moment that is so great when we see the performer drop the character and yell in excitement.

  • Sam S.

    I really enjoyed the cold open and monologue. Lin is such a charming and charismatic guy.

  • Recovering Lawyer

    I was upset enough by James’ “review” of Twenty One Pilots to tweet him but I realized that what I have to say takes more than 140 characters. If his role is to be the musical expert for the podcast, I would think it incumbent upon him to do at least some research into the musical guest and familiarize himself with who they are. If all he is offering is his opinion on their performance, in a vacuum, why is his opinion necessary? But if his opinion comes as a purported expert on new music you would think that he would know something about the artist, their history, their impact, their relevance and their music. He doesn’t know anything about their live concerts – and it was through performing that they gained their fame – or the characters they play on stage. He ignores the musicianship (especially in his pan of the drummer), their lyrics, and the meaning of their music to their fans (most of whom are about forty years younger than me). Disparaging their performance as a joke was not what I would expect from someone who makes their living exploring and sharing new music. Very disappointed.

    • James Keast

      I appreciate your feedback and that’s fair. I think part of my tongue-in-cheek dismissal of the band is because I am an old, old man who’s been doing this for many, many years and as a result, when ol’ familiar rolls around again – in the form of ska-influenced pop punk with “attitude” and a funky stage show and it’s all oh-so-edgy, it’s not, to me.

      It seemed edgy to me in 1991 when I was 21 [Pilates] but now it’s just putting on a character and playing a role. And it’s not a new role – it’s not a new character or a new sound or a new style or a new approach or even a new attitude or new pose. Nothing about it is new. All of it is pre-packaged, recycled, and barfed back up. It’s Malibu Stacy in a new hat.*

      *But Malibu Stacy got a new hat!! Yes, yes she did.

      I like to believe in the musical artists I love as artists – I like to think they express themselves because of an urgent need to do so, because it’s burning within them as artists, not because it’s gonna sell T-shirts a the Hot Topic.*

      *I get that Hot Topic is the oldest reference I could make here. I don’t deny I’m a dinosaur.

      Also, the “musicianship”? I’m sorry but real musicians don’t need to play to a guide track – they can actually play their songs.

      Do 21 Pilots mean a lot to their fans? Sure, absolutely. Same could be said for Alvin and the Chipmunks fans.

      • Recovering Lawyer

        I give you credit for doubling down with the insults. Malibu Stacy? Alvin and the Chipmunks? Somehow this band really struck a nerve with you. That in itself is fascinating to me. It takes a lot of passion to hate something that much.

        When there is a two person band, who also wants to perform to and engage with an audience, a backing track is a necessary evil. But I’ve also watched enough videos (at 57, my concert going is saved for Jackson Browne sit downs) to know that that they both are musicians. Just search unplugged or acoustic and you can hear their songs stripped down. But why they are so popular is in large part because of how hard they work to put on a show, to combine the visual with the aural, where the whole may be greater than the sum of its parts.

        It’s facile to dismiss them as a retread; yes much of what they do has been done before. Playing a character, check. Blending multiple genres, check. Costuming, check. Angsty, growing up is hard lyrics, check. Critics have dismissed Green Day – they’re not the Ramones or the Sex Pistols – and Linkin Park – whiny rap wannabes – so you’re following a well-worn path.

        But to question their heart and their intentions, that’s where I have a huge difference of opinion with you. It’s ballsy to decide that they’re a bunch of fakes whose only motivation is to make a buck. There is nothing in their music that says to me, we’re in it for the money. You can say you don’t like the music, or the performance, but to question their sincerity and mock it with your pop culture references is what gets me to respond one more time.

        How a middle-aged Jewish woman from LA has been so moved by two twenty-something Christian boys from Ohio is, to me, a testament that they put their heart and soul into their music. Maybe talk to a millennial or two, a member of the Skeleton Clique, and find out what their music means to them. Maybe put aside the cranky curmudgeon persona and the cynicism. Maybe try closing your eyes, opening your dusty old heart and try to connect with the music.