Saturday Night Live: Owen Wilson & Kacey Musgraves

October 2, 2021

BY Vish KhannaPublished Oct 3, 2021

Owen Wilson was a funny host who has some fine writing and sketches to sink his teeth into and Kacey Musgraves gave us a lot to talk and think about. Here's everything that happened on the Season 47 premiere of Saturday Night Live.

The cold open

New cast member James Austin Johnson couldn't have made a grander debut, as he was the first person we encountered in the season premiere's cold open. He played President Biden, holding a press event about the U.S. budget standoff, and was eventually flanked by right-leaning Dems Kyrsten Sinema (Cecily Strong) and Joe Manchin (Aidy Bryant), plus left-leaning Dems Ilhan Omar (Ego Nwodim) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Melissa Villaseñor), who debated the budget bill's merits. This bureaucratic back-and-forth was eventually disrupted by disgraced former NY governor Andrew Cuomo (Pete Davidson) and Chuck Schumer (Alex Moffat), who gave its flatness a slight lift.

The monologue

The ageless Owen Wilson took to the stage and made a couple of quick pandemic jokes and also some great ones about his family (his brothers Luke and Andrew were in the live studio audience) and his dad's amazing 3790 code. Wilson ran through some professional and life highlights and bad reviews, leaving us on a very funny and motivational note to get the show going.

The Talking

A mockery of women's roundtable talk shows took a turn when a doctor, played by Wilson, showed up to give one panelist, as played by Heidi Gardner, a positive COVID result. Due to contact tracing, the rest of the group was soon removed as well, though not all of them because of a COVID diagnosis. This was slight but also thankfully quick.

Star Trek: Ego Quest

Mocking Jeff Bezos's space trek, this remote featured Wilson as Bezos (with Luke Wilson playing his Bezos brother) and soon got wilder than it began. With appearances by Richard Branson (Alex Moffat) and Elon Musk (Mikey Day), this soon became a pretty sharp satire of the billionaire vanity space race from this past summer.

Cars 4

Wilson reprised his role in the animated Cars franchise, only to discover that his character had become a horned up lech that spouted off innuendos. The insensitive dialogue continued when Larry the Cable Guy (James Austin Johnson) appeared to trade lines with Wilson, who continued to express disgust with the proceedings until he's reminded of his payday, all of which was fairly amusing.

The District 7 School Board Meeting

Crazed people had a chance to raise their concerns about a school's COVID policy, which was a parade of lunacy. Unfortunately for the administrators, as played by Alex Moffat and Ego Nwodim, parents and community members of all stripes came forth with various concerns, more than a few of which involved conspiracies about "Barack Hussein Obama," which was wildly and relentlessly funny.

Kacey Musgraves

Pop-country queen Kacey Musgraves seemed to be completely naked, seated cross-legged on a chair with an acoustic guitar obscuring her body, with no evidence of any clothing besides her cowboy boots.

The startling visual (which, a tweet by Musgraves suggested may have been a nod to Forrest Gump) distracted a bit from, "justified," yet another catchy song by Musgraves.

In a clever bit of staging, Musgraves began her second song, "camera roll," seated at a table in profile, facing a number of figures who were filmed but appeared to be present, which brought the poignant song about smart phones to the stage in a compelling manner.

Weekend Update

Colin Jost introduced Update joking about how dry the U.S. news cycle is, with most of it consumed by President Biden's infrastructure bill. Michael Che garnered laughs and boos for two harsh R. Kelly jokes, which segued into Jost attacking the Catholic Church. Ego Nwodim appeared at the desk as A Black Woman Who's Been Missing for 10 Years, commenting on "missing white girl" syndrome and the double-standards POC face when they disappear, which was funny.

Che made a NBA player sex joke, ahead of Jost making fun of himself for being so, so white. Pete Davidson, sporting a Norm Macdonald memorial T-shirt, showed up to discuss his attendance at the Met Gala, where he generated attention for wearing a dress and encountered homophobia.

Updated ended with a loving tribute to Norm Macdonald by Jost and Che, who threw to clips of Macdonald, generally regarded as the best Update anchor ever, sitting at the desk and telling amazing jokes.

Miriam Lewis

Wilson played a priest leading a funeral service for the recently departed Miriam Lewis. He introduced her favourite performer, Las Vegas lounge singer, Levar B. Burton, who began singing R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," as a photo montage of Lewis, posing with various problematic celebrities, floated by. This topical thing didn't really have much going for it.


James Austin Johnson played Joe Buck and Wilson played Tory Aikman, covering an NFL game, who are forced to repeatedly promote a new Fox show about influencers called crazyhouse. Johnson's stilted delivery of hip slang was pretty amazing, and Wilson was game to keep up, which made this all very funny.

Robinson's Mail-In Stool Testing

New cast member and underground comedy phenom Sarah Sherman paired up with Andrew Dismukes to play spokespeople for an ad about a mail-in stool testing kit, as directed by Wilson. The ad took a turn when the Robinson lab techs gave off the vibe that they might actually mess around a bit with people's stools, prompting a number of strange re-takes, which were funny.

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