Miles Teller was always destined for the Studio 8H stage, and he has the video evidence to prove it. The “Top Gun: Maverick” star kicked off season 48 of “Saturday Night Live” with a monologue that included an obscure reference to his early film role in “Whiplish,” a shout-out to Tom Cruise, and a winning joke about how the “Top Gun” sequel was the rare film that managed to wow the military community and the LGBTQ+ community. But the standout moment in Teller’s monologue came when he showed a clip from a home video featuring him and his sister reenacting the classic Spartan cheerleaders “SNL” sketch from when he was a kid.
The original sketch starred Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri as two teens who are desperate to land a spot on their school’s cheerleading squad. In Teller and his sister’s version, an 8-year-old Teller played Oteri’s character (he “had the frame for it,” he explained), and his sister took on the Ferrell role. Together, they reenacted the “who’s that spartan in my teepee” bit for their parents while their little sister watched from afar. (The “Spiderhead” star joked that his younger sister was playing Lorne Michaels as she peeped around the corner from another room while wearing what appeared to be a kid-size suit.)
What made the moment all the sweeter was that Teller’s mom provided him with the footage, and she and his dad were in the studio audience. “How crazy is that? My parents used to watch me doing skits in my living room, and now they’re here watching me host ‘Saturday Night Live,'” he said.
In addition to his nostalgia-fueled monologue, Teller reteamed with his “Top Gun: Maverick” costar Jon Hamm for the show’s self-referential cold open, played the host of a game show starring the likes of Adam Levine and Armie Hammer, and stepped into the role of a Charmin bear. Check out the gallery to see all of Teller’s sketches from his “SNL” debut.