SNL With Miley Cyrus: Best and Worst Skits?

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From Movieline.com‘s tube-obsessed Louis Virtel….

Saturday Night Live uncovered a major problem with “just being Miley” last night: The 17-year-old took to the Studio 8H stage with signature chutzpah, but lacked the versatility to effectively skewer her contemporaries (Justin Bieber, Fergie, and Lindsay Lohan), the terrifying Disney Channel (in a so-so instructional sketch with Kenan Thompson as Raven Simone), or herself (in a grim monologue number we’ll call “The Bong Song”). The cast rallied — especially Vanessa Bayer with her killer Miley takeoff, yet again — but history will remember Ms. Cyrus’s hosting stint as a collapsed rung on “The Climb.”

Best Skit: Seth Meyers Reclaims “Winning”
Seth Meyers conquered a ballistic news week with trenchant stabs at Charlie Sheen, Muammar Gaddafi, and, uh, Charlie Sheen again during a tight Weekend Update. Should I be upset that he outclassed Bill Hader, whose tepid impersonation of the Two and a Half Mensch opened the show? I vote no: Meyers’s rundown of the “winners and losers” surrounding Charlie Sheen’s spiral concluded with a perfect note: “The biggest loser? ‘Winning.’ Doesn’t seem to mean the same thing anymore.” Plus, Jason Sudeikis’s cameo as The Devil earns a half-chuckle.

Best Skit: The Miley Cyrus Show
Forgiving the real Miley, whose Justin Bieber impression needed oodles more back-to-school swagger, the newest edition of The Miley Cyrus Show scintillated. “So you’re growin’ up!” the fake Cyrus hooted at Bieber. “Like me, doin’ Salvia! Did you know I smoked Salvia?” Bayer’s riff on Miley Cyrus combines the asthmatic glee of So You Think You Can Dance‘s Mary Murphy and the cock-a-doodle-doo vocals of some ancient Laraine Newman character. That’s my lifeblood, right there. Plus, in an artistic triumph, Sudeikis’s Billy Ray wins a full chuckle.

Worst Skit: Les Jeunes de Paris
This worked during Emma Stone’s week, but last night’s version was pas magnifique. The ridiculous French dance-off featured wacky music, wild gesticulations, and then… nothing. Why bring back such a dada conceit, Lorne Michaels? The “randomness” can’t succeed if we’ve seen it before, right? By definition?

Worst Skit: SS Canada Star
Hey, SNL: Mean-spirited humor doesn’t work when the targets are lovable caricatures. The night’s final live sketch centered on Miley, who played a cruise ship singer with a chip on her shoulder, and the patrons she kept offending. Kristen Wiig played a pink-panted cat lady, and I chose to adore her while Miley improvised songs about her “gross”-ness. Hush up, Hannah! Please watch helplessly as many of your favorite cast members are given nothing to do.

How did you feel about this week’s SNL? Was Miley effective, or should she hire Vanessa Bayer to play her full-time? And speaking of Bayer, could you handle that she looked exactly like Molly Shannon during the cruise sketch? Vote below, holler in the comments, follow me on Twitter (@louisvirtel), and read me regularly at TVLine’s sister site Movieline.com.

Comments (33)

  • That show was pretty… strong. I LOVE that Miley a) exposed Bieber’s extremely calculated “swagger” and choreographed pandering gestures (“wink… chin…”). I also enjoyed her burning a Disney bridge or two with that “acting school” sketch; you just know the Demis and Joni out there had a hoot watching that.

    And yes, Hader’s Sheen was disappointing. Why is no one (Fallon included) bothering to get the hair right? And how does one NOT roll the eyes up when you say “Duh”? I find that almost grotesque when Sheen does it.

    Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – March 6, 2011 07:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah…. Miley Cyrus is 18. She turned 18 last November.

      Comment by allie – March 6, 2011 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Most important observation: Vanessa Bayer should totally play Mary Murphy.

    Comment by mawhi – March 6, 2011 07:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The best sketch was the pre-re Disney Channel Acting School. It was AMAZING.

    Comment by Chance – March 6, 2011 07:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, I love that one. It was spot-on! As someone subjected to the Disney shows via nieces, I’ve actually come to despise those girls on “Shake It Up.” Even drag queens think they’ve gone overboard on the sass!

      Thought it was good episode overall. Can’t believe the guy in the Strokes was shocked he couldn’t drop the F-bomb in the first song.

      Comment by Elizabeth – March 7, 2011 05:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thank goodness Miley had the sense to make fun of herself, it made the night much better. Kenan’s PAUSE AND DIS had me in hysterics; the whole Disney acting was great. The Miley Cyrus Show: man, didn’t know Miley could do such a spot on Bieber impression!!!

    Good stuff.

    Comment by Michael – March 6, 2011 07:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • TVLine’s assessment is correct:
    The Miley Cyrus Show was best, the last sketch was the worst.
    She seemed out of her league.

    Comment by Joe – March 6, 2011 07:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The SNL regulars are so great – exposing Miley’s true inability to act or even sing very well.

    Frankly, although a rerun, I like the Baby Spanx commercial.

    RE: the opening Charlie Sheen skit was OK – but Jimmy Fallon did two that were soooo much better (last week on his show).

    Comment by stg – March 6, 2011 07:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I expected much worse so I did not think it was so bad. Compared to January Jones she was a freakin genius.

    Comment by Em – March 6, 2011 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Being as I came into this ep with less than zero expectations, this was actually “pretty cool”(thanks, Vaness). The Disney Channel Acting thing was pretty hilar for those of us who remember it.

    Comment by Hope – March 6, 2011 09:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought it was an all around strong episode.

    Suds was hilarious in Update.

    Comment by daniel – March 6, 2011 09:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved the episode. I thought it was really funny and thought Miley did a great job. I was glad she was able to poke some fun at herself rather than using this as an opportunity to defend her actions. She didn’t really need to sing in every sketch, but as least she sounded good lol

    Comment by Samantha – March 6, 2011 10:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hysterical.
    le junne du paris was amazing we were rolling in laughter. her justin beber impression was spot on. The Disney spoof so funny.

    Diving a message how she is a normal person leave her personal life alone. Her skits had excellent writing it appears the show was cranked up a knotch. Current events provided a great platform for an execellent show. Thx Charlie Sheen.

    Strokes could have turned up the vocal a bit the mix was off music was good. Miley Rocked songs the entire show.

    Comment by jhsails – March 6, 2011 10:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Les Juenes de Paris wasn’t as good as the first time, but it was still pretty cool. Miley was better overall than I expected. She nailed her Bieber impression.

      Comment by Lee Harvey – March 6, 2011 11:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked it. I did think that face cream sketch she did with Kristin Wiig was horrible.

    Comment by Matt – March 6, 2011 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The best thing was The Strokes and Julian’s f-bomb

    Comment by Lou – March 6, 2011 10:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Miley was awful. Her monologue proved she has little to no comedic timing and her song seemed more like it was saying “I’m better than Lindsay Lohan” than “I’m human.” Her has no versatility. Her sketches equated to ‘Miley Cyrus in a wig.’She just wasn’t good. I didn’t expect much from her and she delivered just that.

    Comment by Kris – March 6, 2011 11:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • *She. Geez, started typing the next sentence before I even started that one.

      Comment by Kris – March 6, 2011 11:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Whoever wrote this post is not plugged into younger pop culture. There is no other explanation for not thinking Miley’s Bieber impersonation was spot on. And she nailed Fergie, too. She did a good job with Lohan, especially the dress. Unlike the author of this post, Miley has actually met and worked with Bieber, Fergie, and Lohan. All of them. So I think she knows them better than the post author.

    Comment by mfan – March 6, 2011 11:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought it was a “pretty cool” episode. I thought the cold opening was hilarious–especially the John G impression my Killam. Miley did OK with the monlogue. Disney sketch funny. Miley sketch fuuny. Weekend Update top notch and glad Seth called the media out for the inane coverage of Sheen. I enjoyed the French sketch–Taran Killam is great and I love when he does is crazy dancing. Overall–good episode!

    Comment by Jamie – March 6, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m going to go out on a limb and say I liked the Black Eyed Peas “Our Time” skit. Andy Samburg was really funny in it. The Disney Channel Acting School and Miley Cyrus Show were the best of the night. I wish they had made Hader look more like Sheen for the opener but I thought that the voice was actually kind of scary how accurate it was at times. The French skit was really bad. I wish they had actually poked fun at the salvia thing instead of awkwardly defending it twice. The audience wasn’t even sure if it should laugh or not which made it really uncomfortable.

    In a lackluster episode, though, I really loved The Strokes. After Julian Casablancas was in the Lonely Island digital short I had thought they would try integrate him into at least one skit.

    Comment by Katie Zack – March 6, 2011 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It seems evident that the writer of this post is caught in the olden days, where he would rather see the same old people hosting again and again. I love how snl takes risks with who should host, giving younger people the chance. Because guess what, one day steve martin is going to die and he wont be able to host the show for the million (boring) time. Miley is pop culture right now and it was an excellent idea for her to be on snl. I thought it was one of the best episodes of the season. I applaud snl for trying to get younger people to watch their show, because it is really one of the best things on tv. Im disappointed in this writer because he is dissing Miley just because she is a younger star. Guess what Alec Baldwin was once a younger star too, and look how awesome he is now.

    Comment by Derrik – March 6, 2011 02:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pretty funny show overall. Miley Cyrus wasn’t very good but it could’ve been worse. After all, what did you expect? Thankfully the talented cast covered her lack of acting experience. “Les jeunes des Paris” was ok first time they did it, showing how the french culture is seen by the rest of the world, but they shouldn’t have done it again cause there’s just that much you can do without words.
    The “SS Canada Star” skit was kinda to cruel, especialy when Kristen created such a lovable character which Cyrus destroyed with her rudeness. Also liked Kristen in the “face cream commercial”.
    As I said, pretty funny show overall, strongest Weekend Update in a long time (thnkx Charlie Sheen), but doesn’t concerne you that the younger players are overtaking the stage of SNL while Hader, Sudekis, Samberg and Kristen Wiig are at the end of their seven years contract?…

    Comment by SNL loyal – March 6, 2011 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Worst skit by far: Face cream

    Comment by Jon – March 6, 2011 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the episode was pretty average. Miley seemed to have a chip on her shoulder throughout the entire thing and I don’t know why they had her singing in so many skits when she is such a terrible singer. Her impressions of Lindsey Lohan and Fergie were okay, but I didn’t care for her Bieber impression. He’s easy to poke fun at, but I thought it was over the top and I don’t get why she was wearing such heavy eye makeup while playing a boy. I also disliked her opening monologue. Rather than poking fun at herself in that song, she was just putting the blame on other people or comparing her mistakes to the even bigger ones other celebrities have made. She sounded very bitter.

    Comment by Carrie – March 6, 2011 02:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This episode was above average. Miley did a good job. The Strokes were great.

    Comment by JKS – March 6, 2011 09:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t deal with the girl that does the Miley Cyrus impression. That character irks me more than the real Miley.

    Comment by MW – March 6, 2011 09:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How could the Disney Star Acting school not be featured as a “Best Skit” come on, that was some funny digs at Disney’s predictable programming.

    Comment by Ken Palminteri – March 6, 2011 11:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I totally disagree with Mr. Virtel. I was so looking forward to cynically loathing Miley Cyrus (I can’t even type the name without sneering), but she did a great job (I just threw up in my mouth a little). I wanted to hate her but, darn it, she made me like her. A little. Her voice when she was playing Fergie was surprisingly strong, her voice and mannerisms as Bieber were spot-on, and she was funny. She did well. I wanted her to stink, but she did well. There, I said it.

    Comment by PopVulture – March 7, 2011 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Was much better than I expected.

    Surprised not more people are mentioning the Black Eyed Peas sketch. That had me in tears laughing. Not really because of Miley, because of Andy and Keenan.

    Comment by John – March 7, 2011 11:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love to watch SNL, also Miley Cycrus is great talent.

    Comment by FpS – March 7, 2011 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • that was the greatest thing you did why are you making fun at your dad i be lucky to have a dad like yours.

    Comment by dominique – March 7, 2011 07:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was a great episode. I thought Miley did a great job and I thought Vanessa Bayer’s Miley impression was great as always. I acutally enjoyed Bill Hader’s Charlie Sheen. Nasim Pedrad and Abby Elliott still have to go though.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed the Disney Channel acting school sketch. Yet no one is mentioning Kenan coming from Nickelodeon’s “Kenan and Kel” which was a precursor to all these Disney Channel/Nick shows. So it was kind of an inside joke.

    Comment by Matt – March 8, 2011 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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