Live from New York, it’s 93-year old sex machine Ernest Borgnine!

Cold Opening – Rahm Emanuel Hands the Chief of Staff Reins to Peter Rouse
Andy’s Rahm Emanuel impression is fun enough, but this was o better than your standard crazy/scary person act. Bobby had little to as Peter Rouse. B-

Bryan Cranston’s Monologue
The premise of the back-up singers getting Cranston’s name wrong was a good idea, but they didn’t stick with it long enough.  That is a premise that can take you far, but for some inexplicable reason, they got his name right by the end of it. B

Pepto-Bismol Ice
An amusing enough concept, but no notably funny gags followed from it. C+

The Miley Cyrus Show
The new kids, Vanessa and Paul, get to show off their (spot-on) impressions. Vanessa and Bryan must have watched plenty of Hannah Montana before putting together their Cyrus impressions. The best part was the “joke” about 5% of French people going to the gym. It was the sort of thing in which someone thinks she is funny, when she is so not, but it is so fascinating that she thinks she is being funny such that that fascination makes it funny, and it makes you wonder that maybe that was the plan in the first place. No matter what, I was entertained. A-

What Up With That?
WUWT? is decidedly formulaic, but it is an entertaining formula, and they have got it down pat. There is no need to groan at the lack of mixing it up when there are always some new funny moments. Highlights this time included Borgnine grinning nonstop and Bryan Cranston and Jay Pharaoh as Doo-Doo Man and Squiggy. Cranston was dressed like George Clinton and Jay like Bootsy Collins (with a Bootsy-style funk-squeal voice as well). It was weird with Will Forte and Jenny Slate missing and replaced. B+

Shana at the Basketball Court
I always groan when a Shana sketch begins, but the hosts (always playing the guy most enthralled by her) are always game (Cranston was no exception), and the disgusted reactions from the other guys, especially Kenan, are always great. B

Digital Short: Rescue Dogs 3-D
Are we that far from a future where a 9-1-1 app would be interrupted by ads for something like Rescue Dogs?  Probably not.  The Helen Mirren cameo was quick and tasty (the cast of Red is apparently making a big promotional push). B+

Kanye West performs “Power”
At first, I was thinking, what is going on under that sheet? Once the ladies emerged, I thought, What an idea.  And boy, there were a lot of them. That white background (and foreground) was something else. As for the song itself, those backing Uh-huh’s and Hey’s and the King Crimson sample are certainly powerful. A

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: A few laughs. Too many groans. C
-The Segments: -Secondhand News with Anthony Crispino: This was basically the same as the first rendition of Secondhand News, but it was an improvement. Bobby appeared to be more comfortable and confident. A delight for fans of wordplay and malaproprisms. B+
-Cathy Says Goodbye: A goodbye (?) from a beloved character that felt too rushed. B-

Kid Smartz
I couldn’t tell if Cranston’s host was supposed to be just a pedophile, mostly a gay pedophile, or just a product of the overly intimate seventies game show era. Andy’s little boy voice was amusing. Kenan’s sassy, scary black girl was somewhat amusing, but far from his best performance in such a role. C+

The Bjelland Brothers
This was the most paper-thin concept I have seen on a long-form SNL sketch in a long time, perhaps ever, but they somehow managed to squeeze a few laughs out of it. Credit goes to Cranston’s gameness and Fred’s dry charisma. C+

Kanye West (featuring Pusha T) performs “Runaway”
I liked this song after hearing it this time more than I did when I first heard it at the VMA’s, though I am still slightly turned off by its strange and grating callousness. The whitewashed look was only impressive (rather than striking) now that the novelty had worn off, and the girls didn’t have as much to do this time. At least there were plenty of them, unlike at the VMA’s. B

What was the joke? A dad punching his son? Henry’s nasally, androgynous voice? Henry explaining everything? All felt flat. D

I-Sleep Pro
Kenan sure has a knack for taking bits that could be totally racist and rendering them endearingly goofy. The simplest part (“Bass”) was the funniest. B+

A very strong start, generally terrible post-Update, and a typically strong last sketch. Kanye West makes an early case for musical guest of the season.  Surprise of the Week: K-Wiig appears in only one sketch.