Saturday Night Live has been venturing into experimental territory with its cold opens in season 46. With the exit of Donald Trump from the White House, politics has been a slight presence to kick off the weekly show. The days of Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden and Alec Baldwin taking credit for Trump's ouster are long gone. Now it seems like the show is trying to return to older form, or at least some softer content.
For this episode, we actually got a lovely tribute to Mother's Day courtesy of musical guest Miley Cyrus and the mothers of Kate McKinnon, Kyle Mooney, Mikey Day and many others. It's a refreshing way to kick off the episode, especially given the slog of cold opens in recent weeks. It also stays far away from current events, which weight a lot heavier given the events of the past few years.
Happy Mother’s Day from SNL! pic.twitter.com/QFaVVGA84r— Saturday Night Live - SNL (@nbcsnl) May 9, 2021
Cyrus killed it with her performance in front of the SNL band showered in purple light, while each mom was delightful and funny. Colin Jost's mom was likely the best, thanks to Michael Che's attempt to get his mother to say some jokes. There was also Cecily Strong getting very emotional in her segment. Best cold open of the season,
The latest episode does have one aspect that harkens back to the Trump years as president. It came with a lot of controversy thanks to Elon Musk hosting the show for the first time. While Musk's work with Tesla, SpaceX and other ventures has earned him praise, his personal controversies and opinions have gotten him into hot water. This became very clear during the COVID-19 pandemic across the past year.
His presence actually made Cyrus look like the conservative choice for many despite her NSFW personality and past attempts to push the censors. Many were wondering why she didn't pull double duty again, but it was clear Musk was the focal point.
Aside from his own personal controversies, Musk also stepped into with his pre-show antics. The most upsetting bit came from Musk referring to the show's segments as "skits" and not "sketches," the correct term. Cast member Chris Redd actually responded to Musk on Twitter after the post spread around.
Musk's hosting appearance stands as the first of three episodes set to wrap up the season in May. On May 15, Mad TV alum Keegan-Michael Key will host with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo. Then May 22, the season finale will have Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy with musical guest Lil Nas X. The latter will be interesting given how the show made fun of Lil Nas X and his lap dancing skills earlier this season.