Saturday Night Live‘s season 48 opened with Miles Teller and Andrew Dismukes in a “ManningCast” sketch, humorously analyzing the show — from what the cast is doing right and wrong in their jokes to the many departures. The premiere also featured guest appearances from Jon Hamm and Shaun White.
Throughout the opening bit, Teller (playing former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning) and Dismukes (as brother Eli Manning) touched on some of the biggest news from the last few months while SNL was off, like the raid at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, how her corgis are probably happy not to be going to Prince Andrew and more.
“There were a lot of changes at the show, which could be exciting. Let’s see what they spent the entire summer coming up with,” Teller says. “We’ve got an establishing shot of Mar-a-Lago,” Dismukes replies. “Oh, good. Trump skit. Way to mix it up,” Teller quips.
Their back-and-forth leads into a skit where James Austin Johnson’s Trump is advised not to be hiding during a hurricane, featuring Heidi Gardner impersonating the governor of South Dakota.
“A political impression nobody asked for,” Teller says. “What about a fun impression, like Anthony Fauci? or Lindsey Graham? Or Rudy Giuliani?” To which Dismukes responds, “Those were all Kate McKinnon,” poking fun at one of the many cast exits SNL faced at the end of season 47.
After breaking down the cold open’s stats, Teller pointed out that it’s going to be a year of change for the sketch comedy series, before introducing Hamm, his Top Gun: Maverick co-star and three-time SNL host.
When asked what his thoughts are on the cold open, Hamm said he doesn’t know what he’s been looking at, but “it’s not comedy.”
“They haven’t even used Kenan [Thompson] yet,” Hamm continued. “That’s like putting a whole team of Elis on the field when you’ve got Peyton sitting on the sidelines.”
The season opener marked the first episode after one of the biggest SNL cast shake-ups in history, with eight members from last season’s ensemble no longer on the show. Repertory players McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Pete Davidson, Alex Moffat, Kyle Mooney, Chris Redd and Melissa Villaseñor, as well as featured performer Aristotle Athari, all left SNL between seasons.
To fill out the cast some more, Marcello Hernandez, Molly Kearney and Michael Longfellow are also joining the show, which still leaves SNL with a net loss of four performers and is the biggest change to the size of the cast in almost a decade.
With the industry returning to somewhat normal, SNL season 48 will be a “transition year” Lorne Michaels said, with long-time players like Thompson, Gardner, Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Michael Che and Colin Jost providing continuity.