Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live
Perhaps Semisonic said it best: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
This weekend marked the 38th season finale of Saturday Night Live, arguably one of the best runs the NBC variety show has seen in recent years. This is thanks in large part to fresh featured members like Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon as well as the new repertory cast of Taran Killam, Vanessa Bayer, Bobby Moynihan, and Nasim Pedrad. These relatively young comedians were able to fill the hole made last season by the departures of heavy-hitters Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Abby Elliott, and gave the show, in the words of Bill Hader, “a new sensibility.”
“There’s a joy in seeing a new move from somebody and going, ‘Oh, she can do that,’” Mr. Hader told The New York Times last week.
Well this was quite the turn of events. If anyone was going to leave SNL in-between seasons, we knew it would Seth Meyers, who is taking over Jimmy Fallon’s old spot. After him, we would have put our money on Jason Sudeikis saying goodbye, since he’s always trying to negotiate his way off the show in order, we assume, to spend more time banging Olivia Wilde. (Can you blame him?) Or what about Fred Armisen, who already has one foot out the door with his IFC show, Portlandia? (Which, it should be mentioned, is produced by Lorne Michaels.)
If we had to think of a fourth person to leave, we’d probably guess Keenan Thompson, whose perpetually youthful appearance belies the fact that the 35-year-old has been working on the NBC variety sketch show for a decade now.
We just weren’t expecting today’s news that our favorite male performer (okay fine, tied for first with Taran Killam,) Bill Hader would be announcing his departure. Why, Stefon, why???
Algonquin Round Table
The one thing they don’t tell you about the RNC in the lame-stream media is how much fun all these guys have! It’s basically a week of comedy routines involving pretty transparently racist/sexist/homophobic humor; like a Dane Cook and Daniel Tosh special that just never ends.
Case in point: who knew that Karl Rove, former political strategist to President George W. Bush, was so good* at impressions? During today’s live interview with Politico’s Mike Allen, Mr. Rove did his best Ragin’ Cajun voice, which could give Saturday Night Live‘s Bill Hader’s James Carville routine a run for its money.
Saturday Night Live
(Clockwise from top left: Ruth Bourdain, Jonathan Ames, Andy Cohen, Lena Dunham, and Blue Ivy Carter)
With the reopening of the Algonquin Hotel, we must consider who will be chosen for the honor of one of the 11 seats in the Algonquin Round Table.
After the somewhat lackluster return of Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live this weekend, we had to ask “What’s up with that?” Obviously, Will Ferrell is hilarious, but the sketches were hit and miss. It’s especially mind-boggling since Hulu has put up several of the un-aired segments from Mr. Ferrell’s episode that were ten times funnier than what we actually saw on television.
This is an inexplicable trend of the live comedy show in recent years: One of the funniest sketches this season was “The Californians,” a soap opera about navigating the drive up to Malibu. Bill Hader’s struggle to keep it together during the bit made it an instant classic and spawned a thousand GIFs. (Unlike his predecessor Jimmy Fallon, Mr. Hader’s struggle not to crack up on stage makes any sketch 1,000 times funnier.) But even better than the version that actually made it to air was the dress version of ‘The Californians,’ which Hulu offers with several other scenes from past seasons that either never aired or just weren’t as funny when they did.
We understand the idea of having “web extras” as supplemental material, but not at the expensive of the actual show. Why bother tuning in when the funny stuff is only going to be online? Below, we compare and contrast these un-aired clips with the version that made it on TV…as well as some bits that never got off the Internet.
First, a little bit of back story: The night before The Observer was to go to the screening party for the sequel season of Portlandia, the IFC comedy show starring Saturday Night Live fixture Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, an Irishman stepped on our lighter in a bar. In exchange for the gaffe, the gentleman offered us a fist-sized piece of homemade organic chocolate truffle, wrapped in decorative foil. How sweet!
As we dashed our way to the Museum of Natural History last night in order to see what could possibly top the catchphrase “Put a Bird On It,” we split the giant confection with a fellow famished coworker. Which would have all been fine, if we hadn’t made the completely understandable mistake of confusing “chocolate truffles” for “chocolate-covered mushrooms.” No, not truffle mushrooms. The other kind. (In hindsight, putting actual truffle mushrooms into chocolate doesn’t make any sense either.)
We guess that’s why your parents warned you never to take organic candy from strangers. Ooh look, there’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig! Are those two glowing, or is just the hallucinogens kicking in?
When Simon Rich was growing up and walking around the streets of New York he was always afraid of an air conditioner falling on his head.
“I still walk closer to the curb because I’m sure that’s going to happen,” the 26-year-old novelist SNL writer said over iced coffee last week.
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Don’t be confused by what you see on Fandango: there are actually a bunch of movies possibly worth seeing this weekend. September starts to come out of the doldrums today with four films hitting theaters, and, as usual, there is something for everyone. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to Read More
Michael Cera was not at Gen Art’s premiere of Paper Heart, Charlyne Yi’s new docu-narrative, but he was still the center of attention. Ms. Yi, best known for her few lines as the well-meaning stoner in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, dates Michael Cera in the film and has been rumored o Read More