actor, Andy Murphy, made it too.
After a brief cold open, the new intro began, calling NYC the most dangerous city with a video reel showing a less-appealing side of New York (this has newly-rehired head writer Michael O'Donoghue written all over it). And the stage looks like they’re doing it from a abandoned warehouse instead of some iconic NY location.
There was no host. The cast just ran out, took a bow and ran off into the first sketch.
The first sketch was a strange two-hander with Gross and Duke as vacationing nuns. It took a while for the audience to warn up to it, but there was a solid laugh at the end. It reminded me of Will Ferrell's first sketch about telling the kid's to get off the shed. Obviously, they were committed to it, but it didn't rock the audience.
They did a sketch about a one night stand, went to a commercial, then came back to a funeral sketch that WAS A CONTINUATION OF THE PREVIOUS SKETCH! Weekend Update became SNL Newsbreak. Oh, and Brian Doyle Murray was still around and now the Newsbreak co-anchor (with Gross). It seemed to be renamed so they could do a clever sight gag the first night that they would be stuck with to diminishing effect for the rest of the season. And the cast had the lines memorized. Not much use of cue cards that I could see.