Hamilton’s cross over appeal hit late night October 8 when Saturday Night Live welcomed Lin-Manuel Miranda as host.
The episode was studded with moments that had theatre people cheering.
Miranda Takes His Shot
Hamilton loomed large from the start. Miranda remarked that Hamilton was “one of the biggest hits ever on Broadway, so that means most of you watching at home have no idea who I am.” He also urged election-weary viewers to go see Hamilton, describing it as “a nice escape from all the craziness in our world right now. It’s about two famous New York politicians locked in a dirty, ugly, mud-slinging political campaign. Escapism!”
He then launched into a revamped “My Shot” for his opening monologue. “My name is Lin-Manuel, I am hosting SNL and I am not throwing away my shot... Imma go for broke and do it all tonight, take a swing, pass the baton, gimme the ball tonight.”
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) October 9, 2016
Donald Trump’s incendiary comments kept SNL writers busy over the last 24 hours, and even Miranda made room to reference the presidential candidate during his opening rap. Picking up another line from Hamilton as he passed a photo of Trump in a backstage hallway, Miranda stopped to rap, “Never gon’ be president now!”
The Crucible Cast Party
Theatre kids got a shout-out in this on-point spoof of a high school cast party. Old age makeup, Chicago choreography, a Godspell t-shirt and a “Seasons of Love” reference (not to mention a souvenir program that tipped its hat to a Playbill) = standing ovation.
Miranda rolled on stage as Harold Hill in a Music Man sketch that skewered the recent Wells Fargo banking scandal. A voiceover welcoming viewers to The Music Man broadcast quipped, “If you’re watching, you’re either an old woman or a young gay man.” A production number of “The Wells Fargo Wagon” was a highlight, but Miranda won the sketch with the line “I’ll shipoopi my pants.”
A theatrical Easter egg was dropped for Broadway fans in a sketch that offered a sneak peek at season two of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. Dressed in a trucker hat and riding a bike, Miranda played Dustin, one of the show’s kid heroes. In the actual series Dustin is played by Gaten Matarazzo, a young actor who was most recently seen as Gavroche in the Broadway revival of Les Misérables.
Singin’ in the Rain
Even his SNL portraits were theatrical. In a nod to Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, the shot captures an umbrella-toting Miranda dancing in a downpour.
— Hamilton (@HamiltonMusical) October 9, 2016