Lorne Michaels clearly knows to bring in the big guns if he wants the Saturday Night Live season premiere to be a great one. Tina Fey's SNL hosting gig was not only surprisingly funny, it brought us Aaron Paul, Arcade Fire, lots of face time with the new SNL cast members, and Cecily Strong's first swing at co-hosting Weekend Update. And while Tina was most definitely the star, she used her time in studio 8H to be the wonderful fairy godmother and mentor that she is, sharing her spotlight with the newbies. She's just that perfect.
First, Queen Fey invited the newbies to take their spots on the stage that rocketed her to special-table-at-Subway-level fame. She then broke them into their new jobs by making them do the most humiliating task asked of new cast mates: dancing in stupid costumes in the opening monologue. Ah, the brilliance of sketch that gives the new guys an immediate onscreen moment and simultaneously digs at the show for exploiting their thirst to be famous funny people (you know, so they can do what she says and "Commit! Let your spirit die!") Sure, they've just been thrust into the remarkably empty SNL fire, but at least we're already starting to get to know these featured players. Tina Fey, you beautiful, generous genius, you.
And while it was fun to watch Tina dress as an old immigrant woman for a sketch that thrust into the whiny world of Lena Dunham's Girls (Tina telling "Hannah" "You are weak and soft and dress like baby" may or may not have made me cackle like Marnie trying to make Charlie jealous), it was far more rewarding to see Fey help bring a female presence back to the Weekend Update desk. True, Seth Meyers has done great manning that desk alone because Seth Meyers is great, but we need a lady up there too and seeing Cecily Strong take her place next to him couldn't have happened with a better SNL host. Although, Cecily, next week, remember the time Tina told you "you're in charge" and stop letting these guys write jokes that make you look like you're a ditz who misunderstood the O.J. Simpson case. You're better than that (and not to mention, funnier than that), girl.
Of course, after a sweet and genuinely funny SNL episode, we're moving onto next week's episode, which will unleash an hour and a half of Miley Cyrus on us. Lord help us all.