Saturday Night Live hosts range from actors and musicians to athletes and politicians. It's not often that NBC calls on someone across town from the Broadway community for the gig, but if you know anything about Hamilton: An American Musical, you know that it's shattering pretty much everything you thought you knew about musical theatre, while affirming the best of those things as well. The Tony Award-winning show's scribe and star Lin-Manuel Miranda is an excellent choice to host SNL, and I have the hilarious Hamilton lyrics to prove it. Whether you howl at the show's portrayal of Thomas Jefferson or just enjoy the fact that Miranda rhymed something with "bursar," there's something in Hamilton for everybody.
I've known that Lin-Manuel Miranda had the talent that would translate to sketch comedy for a long time. I can't even pretend I'm not bragging: I'm kind of a hipster when it comes to the his fandom, though even I "discovered" Miranda's work a few months late by Broadway standards. Some of you may have seen the 2007 video "Heights Cool Musical Too," after Jonathan Groff recreated the rap in the first #Ham4Ham show, but the Youtube silliness didn't end there. He also did a Spring Awakening video with Miranda Sings. My all-time favorite, however, is perfect Saturday Night Live material for the musical theatre audience. Legally Brown: The Search For The Next Piragua Guy is a web-series parody of MTV's reality show that cast the role of Elle Woods on Broadway.
His work with Electric Company is educational and hilarious, showing off a different skill set than you might see in Hamilton. However, as far as the game-changing musical goes, here are some of the funny and satirical lyrics that prove Lin-Manuel Miranda has more than earned his place on the Studio 8H stage at Saturday Night Live. Just a fair warning, I'm not going to include too many lyrics from the second act. It could get into Hamilton spoiler territory (yes, really) and also Act Two hurts my feelings. Let's go.
1. "I Came From Afar Just To Say 'Bonsoir,' Tell The King “Casse Toi!” Who's The Best? C'est Moi!"
Sorry A. Ham, I'm starting with Lafayette, who is often cartoonishly French and reminds me of this SNL recurring bit.
2. "Lock Up Your Daughters And Horses"
Umm, Mulligan, what?? Back up. Explain this.
3. "Don't Modulate The Key And Not Debate With Me"
That's the funniest line in "Farmer Refuted" to me, because I'm a geek, but Samuel Seabury is basically a Taran Killam character — right? "My dog speaks more eloquently, and strangely his mange is the same" is pretty funny too, if that's what you're into.
4. "I Will Send A Fully Armed Battalion/Kill Your Friends And Family To Remind You Of My Love!"
How can one possibly pick a single lyric in "You'll Be Back," "What Comes Next," and "I Know Him?" Spoiler alert: I didn't.
5. "Martha Washington Named Her Feral Tomcat After Him." "That's True."
One of the only times that Hamilton blatantly breaks the fourth wall. I want an entire sketch about this moment. I want an entire play about this moment.
6. "Laughing At My Sister 'Cuz She Wants To Start A Harem." "I'm Just Saying, If You Really Loved Me You Would Share Him"
Can't you just see Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Sasheer Zamata, Cecily Strong, and Leslie Jones crushing a "Wannabe"—like music video about polyamory? The flashback structure and duality of "Satisfied" would make for a good sketch, but this lyric still makes me laugh the most.
7. "How Does A Ragtag Volunteer Army, In Need Of A Shower, Somehow Defeat A Global Superpower?"
Ever notice how these opening lyrics get meaner as the show goes on? Charles Lee's "I'm a general — wheeeee!" is pretty good in this part of the play, but this lyric has a more "Weekend Update" feel.
8. "Immigrants. We Get The Job Done."
Hamilton isn't shy about the ways in which its casting and writing provides political and social commentary, something that SNL has been known for over the years as well.
9. "You're On Your Own. Awesome. Wow! Do You Have A Clue What Happens Now?"
The whining of King George III continues to be the comical highlight.
10. "I Practiced The Law, I Practically Perfected It"
Mary Poppins crossover! Mary Poppins crossover! I'm also a fan of "bright young man/yo, who the eff is this" in "Non-Stop," but the sass and Mary Poppins potential wins.
11. "John Jay Got Sick After Writing Five. James Madison Wrote 29. Hamilton Wrote... The Other 51!!!!!"
The most dramatic line in Hamilton is about the Federalist Papers, don't @ me on this.
12. "Looking At The Rolling Fields, I Can't Believe That We Are Free"
After pretty much anything King George sings, "What'd I Miss" is, as a song, probably one of the most sketch-like in that it's a savage and satirical take on Thomas Jefferson — a man who dared to talk about freedom while owning slaves.
13. "These Are Wise Words, Enterprising Men Quote 'Em. Don't Act Surprised, You Guys, 'Cuz I Wrote 'Em!"
We'll get back to Hamilton in a second. Jefferson's lines in the opening of Act II really are like the best SNL political impressions.
14. "A Civics Lesson From A Slaver? Hey Neighbor, Your Debts Are Paid 'Cuz You Don’t Pay For Labor. ‘We Plant Seeds In The South. We Create,’ Yeah Keep Ranting. We Know Who’s Really Doing The Planting."
Once the Revolutionary War is over, the political jokes start rolling with a little more frequency. The cabinet meetings have all of the biting commentary that you want from "Weekend Update."
15. "One Stroke And You've Consumed My Waking Days"
I dunno, I'd watch an SNL sketch that's about nerds flirting with comma placement and Shakespeare references. Angelica trying to role play as Lady Macbeth? Too much! Honorable mention to "tell my wife John Adams doesn't have a real job anyway."
16. "Where To Put The Capital?" "Toronto!"
OK, this lyric in "Room Where It Happens" is an improv, so shoutout to the Hamilton ensemble for that.
17. "Should We Honor Our Treaty, King Louie's Head? 'Uh, Do Whatever You Want, I'm Super Dead.'"
"Cabinet Battle #2" is even nastier. The jokes pull punches. "Smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty" — I mean, come on.
18. "Ha! You Don't Even Know What You're Asking Me To Confess."
This whole scene is a joke, the comedic game being someone so excited to be factually right that they forget their own moral wrongs. Boom. Did you ever see someone ruin their own life?
19. "You're Never Gonna Be President Now! That's One Less Thing To Worry About!"
The one .gif I'm too scared to use during this election, in fear of jinxing the future.
20. "You Have Married An Icarus. He Has Flown Too Close To The Sun."
OK, so "Burn" is a sad and powerful song and this lyric is not meant to be a joke — but pop culture references are part of what makes Saturday Night Life so great.
21. "Everything Is Legal In New Jersey"
22. "Can We Get Back To Politics? Please?"
A sentiment I imagine Hillary Clinton probably shares. I also love the way that Jefferson and Madison just become Mean Girls in Act Two. Finally, "The Election Of 1800" has a sly but not-so-subtle reference to George W. Bush's campaign with the remark that Aaron Burr "seems approachable? Like you could grab a beer with him."
23. "Here's An Itemized List Of Thirty Years Of Disagreements." "Sweet Jesus."
Oh Alexander Hamilton, a huge nerd until the very end. That's the SNL parody of Hamilton that I want, something that really gets in to and exaggerates how Lin-Manuel Miranda sees this political figure. The writing in this show, whether it's a particular quip, impression of an historical figure, or the way a song is structured, Hamilton beyond proves that Miranda is qualified to host Saturday Night Live — if not to join the cast or writing staff full time!
Images: NBC, Giphy (20)