A New “SNL” Season Began With a Very Meta Manningcast

Hopefully this bodes well for the season to come

"SNL" cold open
A new season of "SNL"kicked off this weekend.

A new season of Saturday Night Live began this weekend, and did so without a number of long-running cast members. There’s been a lot of discussion on what to expect — from the addition of new cast members to which of the returning cast members might step up. And if you think that sounds a bit like a sports metaphor, well, evidently the writers of SNL do as well — because the cold opening of the new season took that and ran with it.

The sketch was structured as an episode of Manningcast, with host Miles Teller playing Peyton Manning and Andrew Dismukes as Eli. Their task? Watch the cold open of the new season of Saturday Night Live and provide commentary.

What became clear from the outset — well, besides the fact that Miles Teller can do a scarily good Peyton Manning impression — is that the show has gotten a bit more self-aware. SNL has had a tendency to feature cold opens with cast members doing broad impressions of political figures; this took that to its logical conclusion. (Bowen Yang’s expression after saying the word “corgis” is especially great.)

“The show’s in a rebuilding year for sure,” Teller-as-Manning observes. And the sketch covers a lot more ground, from the show’s fondness for stunt casting to the absence of Kate McKinnon. But it’s also a welcome acknowledgment of the elephant in the room — and, hopefully, a sign of a willingness to break from formula.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.