Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alec Baldwin/Tom Petty

Post your thoughts on tonight's show after it airs!
Did tonight's show match the heights reached last week? Was it a fitting finale to the season? Any surprise guests? Did John Mulaney comment on Law & Order's cancellation on Weekend Update? Best sketch? Worst sketch? Did Baldwin do a characteristically good job?

Comment, comment, comment!

For All You New Yorkers -

There's a neat exhibition of SNL portraits from the 2000's entitled "Live From New York - A Decade of Portraits" going on in John Varvatos which is located at 315 Bowery (between Bleecker and East 2nd).
The exhibition opened this week and members of the cast and writers were present at the event. Photos included after the jump. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

NY Times article on MacGruber

Check out this NY Times article in which the conception of MacGruber is discussed and Jorma Taccone, Will Forte and John Solomon are interviewed about the overall tone of the movie.

Alec Baldwin/Tom Petty Promo

Andy Samberg for The F-Word?

Well, perhaps. According to Production Weekly, In Search of A Midnight Kiss director Alex Holdridge is in negotiations to helm The F-Word which would potentially star Andy Samberg. The plot is interesting -

“This movie is basically an R-rated semi-romantic comedy. Wallace and Chantry meet and fall in love. Chantry has a boyfriend, so Wallace is stuck in shitty friend-zone. Chantry has to figure out if she wants to stay with her boyfriend or go with Wallace. Wallace has to figure out a way to show Chantry how he feels about her, without possibly ruining their friendship forever.”

Samberg would play the Wallace character. Whether or not this project goes ahead, I think this is exactly the kind of direction Samberg needs to take. He has the potential to play these kind of (500) Days of Summer-esque leads and he seems to have chops for semi-dramatic stuff - he was the beacon of common sense in I Love You, Man after all. 

Jason Sudeikis for "Horrible Bosses"

Jason Sudeikis is becoming quite a hot property in Hollywood circles. Not only did he star in sleeper hit The Bounty Hunter (which has quietly grossed $130 million worldwide) but he is due to star in the autumn release Going The Distance which will star Drew Barrymore and Justin Long among others.
Yesterday Warner Bros announced its release slate and it seems that not only is Sudeikis starring in the previously announced Hall Pass, but will also star in a flick entitled Horrible Bosses.

To refresh your memory, Hall Pass is a comedy directed by The Farrelly Brothers in which Sudeikis stars alongside Owen Wilson, Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate. It's due to be released February 25 2011.

This new project Horrible Bosses seems like an ensemble comedy - it stars Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. The film centres on three frustrated friends who decide to kill each other's bosses. Bateman, Day & Sudeikis are playing the three friends while Aniston and Farrell are in talks to play the bosses.  Jamie Foxx will play a friend who gives the trio of would-be murderers advice on how to, well, murder. That movie is due for release in mid-July 2011. 

Kudos, $uds!
Hope you're prepared for further ubiquity of Sir Will Forte, guys!
He'll be appearing on both Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and The View next week.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon -
Thursday 5/20 - Will Forte, Jim Parsons

The View
Wednesday 5/19: Will Forte, Michael Emerson, guest co-host Andre Leon Talley

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte & Fred Armisen attended a premiere of the documentary of Stones in Exile on Tuesday night and I've taken the liberty of including some of the pictures after the break. Enjoy!

NBC submits Jon Hamm/Michael Buble for Emmy consideration

NBC has made their Emmy submissions and has selected Jon Hamm/Michael Buble as their submission for Saturday Night Live which will be seeking a nomination in Best Variety/Comedy Series. I like this choice a lot - for me this was the best episode of the season in terms of original sketches (sorry Betty White/Jay-Z). Here are five great things about that episode -

  • Monologue - Emmy voters love Don Draper and Mad Men. Seeing Don Draper in that capacity was hilarious - I mean, "They need to wash they ass." C'MON!
  • Scott Brown - this is one of the few political things that SNL has gotten right this season. Maybe political is too broad a characterisation for this sketch, but it featured political figures and it parodied the hilariously and effectively. You had Robert Byrd, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank - it was excellent.
  • Sergio - My favourite digital short of the season, probably. This worked so well because (a) it was hilarious and (b) there was a bit of storytelling going on, something that's absent from most SNL sketches. It was also impeccably shot and featured saxophone solos, so there's that too.
  • Closet Organiser/Follow-Up - Linear sketch sequence on Saturday Night Live? What?! Both of these installments were hilarious and the pay-off with the second sketch was irresistible. 
  • Hamm/Buble - Arguably the best use of a musical guest in a sketch all season. There was singing by the phenomenally charming Michael Buble and it worked exceedingly well. Jon Hamm played an asshole version of himself too - not afraid to make fun of himself! You love that schtick, Emmy voters!
In a not-so-strong season of SNL, Jon Hamm/Michael Buble was the best example of the heights SNL can reach. Betty White/Jay-Z was the best of the season, but I'm willing to bet that maybe it aired past the submission date? So I'm willing to bet that it'll earn them a nomination, possibly not in writing, but for best series, I think it will. 

Kenan Thompson on LNWJF (VIDEO)

Will Forte on Letterman (VIDEO)

Alec Baldwin SNL Promo

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't forget to tune into Letterman tonight where Will Forte will be appearing and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where Kenan Thompson will be guesting.
(Videos up tomorrow.)

Kristen Wiig on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (VIDEO)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

SNL scores best ratings in 18 months!

SNL  has a lot of reasons to celebrate today. Not only did they knock it out of the park last night, but they managed to score their highest ratings in 18 months - since the Ben Affleck episode of '08 which saw John McCain and Tina Fey make guest appearances. Final viewing figures will be released this week.

Hey guys,
The folks at SNL have posted dress rehearsal versions of Debbie Downer, Bronx Beat, Car Bomb Press Conference and Joyologist. So check 'em out. I can't due to the fact that I'm overseas and NBC refuses to allow foreigners watch their online content. OI.
Enjoy 'em for me!

Thoughts on Betty White -

So, last night brought the most eagerly anticipated SNL edition of the year. After months of petitioning to get Betty White on SNL, Facebook users were granted their wish as America's national treasure graced the boards of Studio 8H.

We were treated to another installment of The Lawrence Welk Show to start things off, in which Betty White played the mother of a band of sisters played by Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and of course, Kristen Wiig. It was a really nice way to start things off - Betty White got a one-minute applause from the audience the minute she appeared on stage - and it was lot of fun to see all the former SNL ladies in their old habitat.
Then came the monologue, which Betty White killed. She deemed Facebook a waste of time, revealed that the only way she could reconnect with old friends was through a ouija board and proudly boasted that Jay-Z was there! It was one of my favourite monologues of the season - no songs or dances necessary, just a seasoned pro doing what she does best.

NBC engaged in some neat synergising with MacGruber installments which starred Betty White as MacGruber's Nana. The catch? Nana embarassed MacGruber with tales of his micro-penis, his somewhat ambiguous gender as a child, his penchant for finger-painting with feces - it was as great as it sounds. In the third installment, MacGruber asks his Nana to make him "the happiest grandson in the world" and proposes to her. It was all really well-executed and Forte and White were terrific.

Then came the first of a host of old favourites with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon reprising their roles as hosts of NPR's Delicious Dish. Favourite joke? "Fibre is what helps keep our relationship bran new." White played the guest - a baker of velvety muffins. Cue lines such as this - "Your muffin just squirted in my mouth", "Nothing ruins your day more than a yeasty muffin" and "My muffin hasn't had a cherry since 1939." All three ladies killed delivering each bawdy pun without a smidgeon of a smirk. Wasn't as funny as Schweddy Balls, but what is?

Confusingly we were treated to an installment of The Manuel Ortiz Show. I say confusingly because Debbie Downer and Bronx Beat were cut after dress and yet this stayed. While I enjoy watching the cast dance in that enjoyably manic fashion, the sketch itself is a little one-note and I wonder why it was left in there. I enjoyed "amigos con benefits" and I thought Will Forte was hilarious. I enjoyed the line "That's why you don't like tacos" but other than that I was confused by its inclusion.

Then we had Gingey - the only original sketch of the night? Set in 1904, it centred around a family of sisters all fastidiously dressed and their tomboy sister (Amy Poehler) who their grandmother insists is a lesbian. It wasn't hilarious but any sketch with the word "agog" is positively delightful in my book. Also, Betty White sat in the corner embroidering delivering lines such as "You're barking up the wrong lesbian!" so 'nuff said.

Then we had Jay-Z who KILLED, you guys.

It was then time for Weekend Update which, to my surprise, saw Seth anchoring solo for the majority of the duration. Maya Rudolph dropped by as Whitney Houston - cue hilarity. Molly Shannon had her appearance as Sally O'Malley somewhat stolen by Betty White who bragged about being lithe and limber at ninety years old. We were given an installment of Really?!? with Seth & Amy who waxed angrily about the foiled terror plot, shenanigans by airport staff and the Greek crisis. At this point they were joined by Tina Fey who was more qualified to talk on the subject of Greece, being of Greek heritage herself. Sample line - "I asked my mom what the Greek for taxes was. She said there was no word for that." All in all, it was super enjoyable. Also - Mohammad Al Corey Feldman. Never forget. 

Next on the menu was the bajillionth installment of Scared Straight. Betty White played Lorenzo Mackintosh's grandmother Loreta Mackintosh. I actually enjoyed more than I ordinarily would due to the fact that it was shorter and tighter than other installments. Betty White, again displayed her fearlessness of being bawdy, yelling "Wizard of Ass" more than once. Also, "Prison, prison, doopety-do, a group of Jamaicans are coming for you." 

There was CSI Sarasota which I loved. Rachel Dratch played Sy Horowitz while Betty White played Vivian Caruso - two old detectives investigating the "mysterious" deaths of old folks in Sarasota. Let's make this a real TV show, CBS.

We then had my favourite digital short of the season which was both lovely and hilarious. The sight of the cast singing the theme of The Golden Girls was so lovely, my heart was warmed to the point of burning. Then the whole tone flipped with Betty White donning a balaclava and growling "Thank you for being a friend" in a Slipknot-esque fashion. Maybe my favourite thing ever?

To close proceedings, we had a Census sketch reminiscent of the one with Tim Meadows and Christopher Walken a few years ago. This was probably my favourite of the night. Betty White played a woman who insisted her name was "BLARRFENGAR". When asked to spell BLARRFENGAR, White very earnestly spelled "S-M-I-T-H." Any sketch in which a character maintains their name is Blarrfengar Blarrfengar and says that it was changed at Ellis Island during a bingo trip is an out-and-out winner in my book. Also the moment at the end with Kenan and Betty was gold. 

At goodnights, Betty was presented with two bouquets of flowers and then NBC cut off the remainder of what would have been the most epic goodnights of all-time.

You guys, I worried that Betty might flounder a little during a live show, but she killed everything. There was not one moment I was worried for her, because she was too busy owning every sketch and stealing every moment. If I had one qualm about the episode, it would be that there wasn't enough Rachel Dratch. Aside from that though, I'd like to thank SNL for restoring the magic back into television. 

Grade - 9/10
Favourite sketch - Census 2010/Digital Short
MVP of the show - Betty White

The most glorious comedy moment this year -