‘SNL’ returned with host Pete Davidson and cameos from Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, here’s what people were saying about it
Pete Davidson finally got his chance to host SNL as the series returned for its 49th season Saturday, in a jam-packed show that did not disappoint.
The premiere episode included an earnest cold open from Davidson regarding the Israel-Hamas war, along with a Barbie song parody, a visit from not-the-real Deion Sanders and plenty of nods to and — who also paid a real visit to the show.
Here’s a breakdown of the night’s biggest moments and what people are saying about them.
Cold open monologue
Given the current situation with the Israel-Hamas war, it only made sense to address it before launching into a night built around trying to make people laugh. And it turns out that former cast member and this week’s host, Davidson, was the perfect man to deliver the statement.
“I know what you’re thinking, ‘Who better to comment on it than Pete Davidson?’” he joked. “Well, in a lot of ways, I am a good person to talk about it because when I was seven years old, my dad was killed in a terrorist attack. So I know something about what that’s like.”
Davidson’s father, a New York firefighter, died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Davidson said the terrible images from the past week took him back “to a horrible, horrible place.” And he said it was a comedy (courtesy of an accidental rental of Eddie Murphy’s R-rated Delirious) that got him laughing again.
“Sometimes comedy is really the only way forward through tragedy,” he said. “My heart is with everyone whose lives have been destroyed this week, but tonight I’m going to do what I’ve always done in the face of tragedy, and that’s try to be funny. Remember: I said ‘try.’’
Viewers reacting on social media used words like “gorgeous,” “perfect” and “incredible” to describe Davidson’s message, while others just appreciated the way SNL handles hard topics such as this.
#snl always knows how to handle horrific topics so well. Pete’s monologue was better than any political speech and hollow celebrity cut and paste statements. The grief of the past week has been unbearable, thank you #SNLPremiere for the much needed joy in dark times
Once the show was underway, one of the big topics of the night was one of the big topics of the month: the relationship between Swift and Kelce. A skit early in the evening, parodying Fox’s NFL coverage team being obsessed with Swift and Kelce, actually featured Kelce himself in a cameo at the end.
But since Kelce and Swift had already been spotted out to dinner together earlier in the night, it’s no surprise that Swift was also in the building and later made a cameo of her own, introducing a performance from the musical act Ice Spice.
Besides anything and everything involving Swift and Kelce, one of the big sketches of the night was Davidson performing a musical parody of the popular “I’m Just Ken” song from the Barbie movie called, “I’m Just Pete.”
Along with singing that he looks “like a meth head on the street” and making a reference to Kanye, the song also includes the lyrics: “I’m just Pete, anyone else I’d be a three; But I guess I’m hot for dudes in comedy, ‘cause it’s an ugly industry.”
Speaking of the strikes, it’s worth noting that despite the currently ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, SNLhosts and cast members are able to perform under something called a Network Code Agreement. SAG-AFTRA is not striking against that contract, therefore the performers are not in violation of strike rules.