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“Saturday Night Live” kicked off its 47th season with host Owen Wilson Saturday night, and the show did not disappoint.

Wilson, an actor best known for comedic roles in movies like “Wedding Crashers,” allowed his humor and quirkiness to shine throughout each sketch. The 52-year-old even had support in the audience from his brothers, actors Luke and Andrew Wilson.

The long-running NBC comedy sketch show right away gave SNL fans what they had been waiting for, which is laughter. The comedians jumped right in to lampoon current topics through imitations of Democrats President Biden, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Senator Kyrsten Sinema in the opening scene.

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New cast member James Austin Johnson played Biden, and explained that his summer was “bad” but “not Cuomo bad, but definitely not Afghanistan good,” citing references to former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned after an investigation into accusations of harassment, and the US troop exit from Afghanistan that resulted in chaos.

The show also addressed the latest headlines around Ocasio-Cortez. The progressive New York representative attended the Met Gala last month wearing a dress with the words “tax the rich,” which raised some eyebrows given the elite clientele at the ritzy fundraising event. Melissa Villaseñor impersonated Ocasio-Cortez on the show and said, “I wore a dress that said tax the rich then spent all night partying with the rich.”

Later on, SNL focused on COVID-19 with a segment called “The Talking” that resembled the “The View.”

The host characters were Ego Nwodim, Heidi Gardner, Aidy Bryant, and Cecily Strong. In the opening scene, Nwodim welcomed the audience to the show by saying, “where we discuss everything that women could have an opinion about at 11:30 in the morning.”

SNL host Wilson quickly appeared wearing a white lab coat and told Gardner’s character that she had to leave the set because she tested positive for COVID-19.

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Gardner asked Wilson why it was necessary to do this on-air, and Wilson quipped, “It has to be on TV for HIPAA reasons. We either can’t tell anybody or have to tell everybody, no middle ground” before escorting her off the stage.

The sketch was poking fun at a recent incident in which “The View” co-hosts Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin had to leave the set right before their interview with Vice President Kamala Harris after testing positive for COVID-19. Those tests turned out to be false positives, and The View later reported all four co-hosts tested negative.

The night was filled with laughs, but it was also heartfelt. In the “Weekend Update” segment, SNL paid tribute to former “Update” anchor Norm MacDonald, who passed away recently at 61.

Kacey Musgraves also graced the stage by performing “Justified” and “Camera Roll.” Kim Kardashian West is scheduled to host next week’s episode with musical guest Halsey.


Allana J. Barefield can be reached at allana.barefield@glpbe.com.