Friday, August 27, 2010

So, who are the three new cast members?

So, I know what you're thinking. Just who are these folks that SNL have hired for the upcoming 36th Season? Well, I'll tell you!

NAME - Vanessa Bayer
COMEDY BACKGROUND -Director of Bloomers sketch group at the University of Pennsylvania and has interned at Late Night With Conan O’Brien and Sesame Street. Vanessa now performs in Chicago with iO Theater’s Revolver, the puppet show FELT, Annoyance’s Splatter Theater and Lil Talent Show and does stand-up at Zanies.
STRAY OBSERVATIONS - She seems to be into puppets - puppet-oriented sketches, please! Also, another Late Night intern makes good! And finally, she's as cute as a button.
NAME - Paul Brittain
Comedy Background -  (Just For Laughs Chicago Profile) -
A native Illinoisan, Paul has been performing improv and sketch comedy in Chicago for the last 7 years. He has also performed at the LA Comedy Festival, the Los Angeles Improv Festival, and recently returned from a run in Miami with the Second City Theatrical, El Show Mas Funny. Paul received strong reviews from The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Reader for his solo show Sex Ed with “Sex” Ed Vincent at the iO Theater. Paul’s many other iO credits include beloved Harold team Rattlesnake High School, denim clad rowdies TOPAZ, acclaimed fake talk show The Late Night Late Show, The Pilot,Shotgun and Mike Helicopter. He’s also performed all around Chicago in productions including TAG at the Second City Unhinged, Mr. 1,000 Miles Per Hour at the Stage Left Theater, Jacoby’s Promise at The Annoyance, The Midnight Hellhouse at The Playground, and No Place Like Home at The Neo-Futurarium. Paul can also be seen in episodes of NBC’s Sports Action Team (yes that’s him behind that Prefontaine moustache.)
STRAY OBSERVATIONS - That's a helluva lot of credits and characters to bring to the SNL table, right?

NAME - Taran Killam
COMEDY BACKGROUND - Probably the most experienced of all three new cast members. Killam was a cast member on MadTV for 13 episodes between 2001 and 2002 and has since amassed credits in Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Epic Movie and My Best Friend’s Girl. He was also part of this year’sFreshmenArianna Huffington’s pilot about Freshmen Congress representatives for ABC, which was not picked up to series. At present, he’s a performer with Groundlings. 
STRAY OBSERVATIONS - This guy seems like a keeper. 

What do you think of the new hires? 

Paul Brittain, Taran Killam & Vanessa Bayer join SNL | The Comic's Comic

The Comic’s Comic is reporting that three new cast members look set to join SNL for its 36th Season. The first is Paul Brittain, an iO Chicago performer, the next is Taran Killam, a Groundlings performer and the last is Vanessa Bayer, a Chicago improviser with iO and Second City Tour Co. 
More on these three coming up. Just FYI, The Comic’s Comic was the one who broke the news that Jenny Slate & Nasim Pedrad were cast last year, so you can trust him.

Is Lorne Michaels hiring three featured players?

Well, the moles at Best Week Ever are reporting that Lorne could be hiring up to three featured players for the upcoming season. Best Week Ever also says that not all of the current featured players have been updated as to whether or not they'll be returning this fall. This could all just be rumours, but it makes for intrigue, don't you think? 

Why so many featured players you ask? Well, a lot of the current cast only have contracts up until 2012, at which point there will probably be a great exodus, so it's kind of imperative that Lorne build up his cast so as to have a stock of players who can replace the current cast when they decide to move on. 

At the moment, the only name I'm hearing as a possible hire is Taran Killam, but if you have any tips, don't hesitate to e-mail me at

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is Taran Killam going to SNL?

So, in the wake of the news that Will Forte is leaving SNL, it does give rise to the question - who is headed to SNL? There's been a lot of names batted around - Paul Downs of UCB and The Paul Downs Syndrome is supposed to have auditioned - but one that keeps popping up again and again is Taran Killam of Groundlings . Who is Taran Killam, you ask? Well, he's got a pretty impressive resume. He was on MadTV for 13 episodes between 2001 and 2002 and has since amassed credits in How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs, Epic Movie and My Best Friend's Girl. 

Now, I have to mention that nothing has been confirmed and any news surrounding hirings at the moment is speculative, unconfirmed and unsubstantiated. But, we should have an announcement by the week after next, if not sooner (The New York Times mentioned in their article that contracts for new cast member/s should be signed by Labor Day Weekend.) Then we'll discover if Killam will be treading the boards at Studio 8H!

Jenny Slate discusses Marcel The Shell With Shoes On | USA Today

Click here to read the brief Q&A. Below is my favourite excerpt -

I like that people think that it’s funny, but what I like the most is how many people say that it made them happy. Because we were doing it to make ourselves happy, and that’s just a really beautiful phenomenon.

  • Jenny Slate on Marcel The Shell with Shoes On

Will Forte leaves Saturday Night Live

The New York Times has reported that Will Forte has opted not to return to the 36th season of Saturday Night Live. The news was confirmed by two unnamed sources who stated that the departure was amicable and Forte left at his own choosing to pursue other roles. 

Well, I can't lie - I saw this coming - but it doesn't make the news any less disappointing. I'm disappointed not only by the future absence of Forte from Season 36, but by the fact that the show didn't get the opportunity to give him an adequate send-off. Forte has been with the show since 2002 and in that time has been responsible for some of the show's greatest characters - MacGruber, Tim Calhoun, Jeff Montgomery and The Falconer, to name but a few - and has played a central role in some of my favourite sketches - Locker Room with Peyton Manning, NASA Potato Chips, Jon Bovi, Jackie Snad & Clancy T. Bacclerat. I, for one, will certainly miss his contributions to the show and the often absurd comic sensibility he brought to each of his sketches.

Now obviously, I do not know Will Forte in any shape, form or manner, but I had a mini-interaction with him through the mail about two years ago that has always made me think that he's maybe one of the nicest guys in the world. I wrote a letter to him declaring what a fan I was of everything he ever did and I happened to mention Tim Calhoun and how much I adored the line, "Super Tuesday? If forced to make a choice, I'd go with soup. Sorry Tuesday."

Well, a few months later, I received an autograph from Forte along with one of the blue index cards actually used in the Tim Calhoun segment on Weekend Update. On the front? The Super Tuesday line. On the back? A note from Will Forte which read, "By the way, this is the actual card I used on air for the Tim Calhoun segment. Sorry for the coffee stain - I had to fish it out of the garbage after the show! Thanks again for your letter, Will". I just thought this was a fabulously nice gesture and demonstrated what a great guy Will Forte is, and for this reason and more, I have nothing but goodwill for him.

So, in conclusion, I'm very sad to see Will Forte leave, but I have no doubt that he will move on to greater things and we'll be seeing him very soon, be it on the small screen, the silver screen or the stage. 
Good luck, Forte. We'll miss your moustaches. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here's a sneak peak photo of Andy Samberg from the September issue of V Magazine. 
The magazine hits newsstands September 2. 

Hannibal Buress leaves SNL, gets hired at 30 Rock

The Comic's Comic reported yesterday that SNL writer/stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress has left SNL's writing staff and being recruited to 30 Rock's writing staff. Buress joined SNL's writing staff at the beginning of last season, after head writer Seth Meyers saw his set on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and this summer earned himself an Emmy nomination this summer for his writing contributions.
Hannibal Buress is also a fantastic stand-up comedian and his debut album My Name Is Hannibal debuted at #1 on the iTunes Comedy Album chart this summer. 

Bye Hannibal, see you around!

Jason Sudeikis on Lopez Tonight

Jason Sudeikis appeared on last night's edition of Lopez Tonight to promote the upcoming romantic comedy Going The Distance. You can watch the appearance here. 

SNL Panel Discussion at New Yorker Festival

The New Yorker Festival announced a preliminary festival line-up on Tuesday which included Paul Reubens, Steve Carell, Patricia Clarkson, James Taylor, Neil Gaiman, Werner Herzog and Seth Meyers. Seth Meyers will appear with other cast members (to be announced) for a panel discussion on Saturday Night Live. Dates/times/ticket information have yet to be announced, but once they are, I'll be sure to post them here. 

The New Yorker Festival runs from October 1-3 and you can find information here. 

Tom Flanigan hired as writer for SNL

Second City performer Tom Flanigan has been hired as a writer by SNL, he announced Tuesday. Flanigan is co-founder of the Galileo Players, a science-minded Chicago sketch group and has performed with the Second City Tour Co. and in three Second City revues, including Campaign Supernova and Stud's Terkel's Not Working. Flanigan joins fellow Second City performer Shelly Gossman who was also hired to the writing team this summer. 

Welcome aboard, Tom Flanigan!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jason Sudeikis attends the premiere of Going The Distance

Jason Sudeikis attended the premiere of  Going The Distance last night and photos are included after the jump.
Going The Distance is a romantic comedy about a long-distance relationship between the main characters who are played by real-life couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. Also starring are Charlie Day, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis and Jim Gaffigan. Going The Distance is released in theaters September 3.

Don't forget that Sudeikis will appear on tonight's edition of Lopez Tonight. 

Kristen Wiig to star in Bobby Blue Sky

SNL star Kristen Wiig is set to star in an indie comedy entitled, “Bobby Blue Sky” alongside Paul Rudd and Topher Grace, according to Pajiba. The movie, written by Parks & Recreation scribe Emily Kapnek, is about “three dysfunctional siblings coming to terms with the way their baby brother’s accidental fame as a character in their father’s children’s book series warped their lives.”
Do we all love this or do we love this?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy birthday, Kristen Wiig!

Happy birthday to one of the most talented comediennes and chameleons working today, Kristen Wiig! Have a good one, lady!