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'SNL' Recap: Aaron Paul Steals Show in Season Opener (Video)

Tina Fey may have been the host, but the "Breaking Bad" star's brief appearances are why the episode will be remembered.

Aaron Paul SNL - H 2013
NBC

Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul showed up on Saturday Night Live's season premiere in full Jesse Pinkman regalia, helping give the Tina Fey-hosted season opener a much needed boost.

Paul, whose AMC series ends Sunday, surprised during the cold open, which saw President Obama (Jay Pharoah) give a press conference touting Obamacare. He invited "Jesse from New Mexico" to the podium to share a story about how Obamacare could have helped one of his friends.

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“I had this friend and he got sick. Like, cancer sick. But because there wasn’t Obamcare, he couldn’t afford treatments," Paul said, retelling the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston). "So he was like, backed into a corner,”

"And keep in mind – this man was a teacher with a family,” Obama added.

“So, he did what any of us would have done. He started cooking meth," Paul said. "And soon it wasn’t just meth. It was murder. And not regular murder. Like—he blew half a guy’s face off.”

A horrified Obama said “I think we can wrap this up.”

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Later, Paul briefly appeared in an advertisement for e-Meth (a play on e-cigarettes), declaring "E-meth: You know it’s good because it’s blue, bitch!”

During Weekend Update, Drunk Uncle (Bobby Moynihan) panicked and asked if it was Sunday yet, because he needed to watch the Breaking Bad finale. He then brought out Paul as "meth nephew," whom he was going to watch the show with.

“Hey Seth. I got a knock knock joke for you," Paul said

“No! I am the one who knock knocks” drunk uncle said, a reference to one of Walter White's all-time great speeches.

Without Paul, the season opener would have been pretty forgettable. But that's somewhat expected ("it's a building season") Fey said in her monologue). Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen have exited the show – and six newcomers are in their places. The new castmembers -- Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Noel Wells, Mike O'Brien and Brooks Wheelan – were tapped for some humiliating dancing during Fey's monologue.

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As Fey reasoned, dancing behind the host is part of a new castmember's job. As evidence, she offered embarrassing file footage of her doing just that back in herSNL heyday.

During Weekend Update, Fey also gave some sage advice to new co-anchor Cecily Strong, which mirrored what one might tell someone on the first day of prison. She added of Seth Meyers: "You see this man here? This man don’t own you. You do you. You in charge."

Fey's best moment came during a parody of HBO's Girls, in which she played the newest addition to the gang, an Albanian refuge rooming with Hannah. Fey's character had a hilariously tragic rebuttal for every and self-pitying complaint the Girls gang had.

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"I have OCD," Hannah said, rather proudly. Fey's character responded: “I also have OCD. It’s when old cow bites you and then the disease infects the skin.”  When another of the girls burst in, upset she that her ex was now an Internet millionaire, Fey's character said that her ex was buried in a shallow grave somewhere.

Fey also shone in an old-timey commercial billed as the first used-car ad. While her husband (Mike O'Brien) was the prototypical salesman, insisting his deals were "crazy," Fey's character actually was crazy.  When the husband prodded her to talk about how crazy their deals were, she offered: "We’re so crazy, not only did we slash prices but I gave all my babies to the well.”

SNL is new next week with host and musical guest Miley Cyrus.

E-Mail: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch