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BTS takeover lights up 'Saturday Night Live'

Musical guest BTS performs "Mic Drop" on "Saturday

Musical guest BTS performs "Mic Drop" on "Saturday Night Live," on April 13, 2019. Credit: NBC/Will Heath

Poor Emma Stone, who made her fourth appearance as "Saturday Night Live" guest host, and poor Michael Keaton, who made a special appearance as Julian Assange (and his first here in four years).

Poor everyone else on "SNL" who figured that this would be just another edition of a 44-year-old institution.

It was not. BTS was in the house.

In an unusual instance of musical guest eclipsing — then superseding and finally obliterating — guest host, the K-pop band took the stage, and never looked back, nor by the sound of it did the studio audience, composed primarily of tweens and patient parents in tow.

BTS performed just two songs, the hit "Boy with Luv" and "Mic Drop." The former had over a million hits on YouTube early Sunday morning, which, if not some kind of record, was certainly some kind of statement. There are lots of people who do watch "SNL" for the musical guest, but last night a case could be made that everyone watched for the musical guest.

It was weird, but not unexpected. They're hot, while the performances — in their high-voltage, boy-bandish way — were good. The audience reaction was rapturous, the online one too. (My favorite line posted below the "Boy" video: "Park jimin you little hella sexy yet freaking cute mochi fairy..."; Park Ji-min, AKA Jimin, is of course a band member.)

Gutsy, game Stone knew she was in for an uphill fight all night, right from her opening words: Following the obligatory "I am so thrilled" comment, she went straight to this: 

"Before we get started, I wanted to test the sound levels. BTS is here!"

Cut to audience reaction.

"Are the microphones OK? Oh, good. We're good to go."

Stone had a solid night (one highlight — Jenny McCarthy on "The View"), but BTS clearly had a better one, and so much better that we've waited to the last graph to even bother to explain the cold open — a jail scene featuring Kate McKinnon as Lori Loughlin, Pete Davidson as Michael Avenatti, and Michael Keaton as Julian Assange. It was all a bit strained, but did have a few good lines: McKinnon/Loughlin: "You think prison is hard? I've done sixty-eight Hallmark Card movies;" or Keaton/ Assange: "I'm the scourge of the cleaning staff at the Ecuadorian Embassy."

Not terrible, nor was the episode, which will otherwise be remembered for only one reason.

You now know which one.

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