Miley Cyrus gamely made fun of her recent antics, kept her twerking to a minimum, and played characters ranging from herself to Hillary Clinton and Michele Bachmann. In the monologue, she updated viewers on the fate of Hannah Montana. As musical guest, she turned in strong performances, singing "Wrecking Ball" and an acoustic version of "We Can't Stop."
A blinged out John Boehner (Taran Killam) and a racy Michele Bachmann (Miley Cyrus) revel in their incapacitation of the federal government with a "We Can't Stop" video parody, "We Did Stop (the Government)."
Cold open—Preparing to go onstage at the 2013 VMAs, Miley Cyrus is confronted by her old self (Vanessa Bayer), with whom she sings a Hannah Montana duet. (Also features Taran Killam as Robin Thicke, Jay Pharoah as Will Smith, and Bobby Moynihan as a giant teddy bear).
Screen tests for Fifty Shades of Grey: pairings from Seth Rogen (Bobby Moynihan) and Emma Stone (Noël Wells) to Tracy Morgan (Jay Pharoah) and Tilda Swinton (Kate McKinnon) try out for the coveted roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. (The sketch's casting of Nasim Pedrad as Aziz Ansari serves as a reminder of the ensemble's overall homogeneity).
An over the top Shannon Sharpe (Jay Pharoah) talks football with Seth on Weekend Update.
Bar Mitzvah Boy (Vanessa Bayer) returns to Weekend Update to explain his celebration of Shabbat (and is thrown off by Seth's new co-anchor, Cecily Strong).
Also: NBC and CNN's Hillary Clinton biopics may have been abandoned, but versions by Fox, MTV and others are still in the works; a Connecticut mom (Kate McKinnon) drops by Weekend Update to review Grand Theft Auto 5; new SNL cast member Kyle Mooney is flustered by Miley Cyrus' advances.
NEXT, on October 12: Bruce Willis, with musical guest Katy Perry.