Tag Archives: Andy Samberg

Must Flee TV: ‘SNL’ Says Goodbye to Kristen Wiig – We Know What We Got When It’s Gone

For the last week we’ve been taking a look at NBC’s Thursday night comedies, but with Kristen Wiig’s sendoff on ‘SNL’ this past weekend we decided to add her departure to the conversation. 

It’s not worth going into detail about how the season finale of SNL – and the season as a whole – was middling.  The Mick Jagger-hosted episode was a hit-or-miss mixed bag which typifies nearly every episode and every season.  As we’ve learned from several seasons of recaps and now over a decade-and-a-half of religious viewing, that’s the show.  It will never be too far up or too far down, so just try to enjoy it.  What is worth discussing, as all of the internet has been doing for the past two days, is the exit of Kristen Wiig after seven stellar seasons, leaving behind a body of work that positions her as arguably the strongest female cast member of all-time.

More: Kristen’s gone and we feel fine…

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Good Humor, Mancrush, Must Flee TV, Saturday Night Live, Yvonne Hudson

Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: Hail to the Chef

Well, after a Muppetless week, you’re going to get a second dose tonight, along with another helping of blog stalwart SNL, as today’s search term is “swedish chef andy samberg.”  But since we’ve already done a Swedish Chef post for this feature, and we sample enough Andy Samberg on this blog, we’re going to blend SNL and culinary expertise to bring you this little entree, one of our all-time favorites:

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And if you had your heart set on Andy Samberg as the Swedish Chef, here’s a little dessert.

 

 

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Filed under Good Humor, Gratuitous Search Term Bait, Muppets, Saturday Night Live, Top Scallop

It Certainly Does Zuck: Jesse Eisenberg Meets His Maker On ‘SNL’

This past weekend’s SNL could have been the funniest of the season and it probably wouldn’t have mattered.  That it wasn’t the funniest of the season also will not matter years from now.  No, what this episode is being talked about for, the reason that it will ultimately be remembered, is that it featured the first public meeting between Jesse Eisenberg and the social network magnate he portrayed to the tune of a Best Oscar nomination.  It was a worlds colliding, fabric of the universe fraying, I’m seeing double (four Zuckerbergs!), moment (although Andy Samberg’s presence as a tertiary Zuckerberg carried much less weight and meta-significance).  It was awkward, sure, but that was by design, as the two ‘bergs, Eisen and Zucker, seemed rather comfortable with each other, indeed, giving the sense that they may, in fact, be bros.  The tone was less confrontational and more self-congratulatory, as if Eisenberg and Zuckerberg had successfully pulled the wool over our eyes, that the real Zuckerberg is not an unnaturally focused, perennially scowling, monotone misanthrope, but a laid back, dorky, goofball visionary, and that perhaps Zuckerberg was in the on the joke the whole time.  Now, that’s not the case, but if there’s any sense of animosity between the two ‘bergs, then Zuckerberg is a far greater actor than anyone is giving him credit for (and by all accounts he’s a terrible, terrible actor).

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But, more importantly, what does this mean for SNL? And for Mark Zuckerberg? And WAS anything funny?

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Filed under Analysis, Interweb, Saturday Night Live, TV Killed the Music Video Star

Top Ten ‘SNL’ Sketches of 2010

Back in May we had every intention of compiling a “best of” list for SNL‘s 35th season.  However, for one reason, or another, that never happened.  So, instead of just abandoning this intention altogether we decided to put together a list for the 2010 calendar year, and then come spring we’ll post revised rankings that only pertain to the 2010-2011 campaign.  Sound good?  Great.  And hopefully this will hold you over until Jim Carrey graces Studio 8H on Saturday night.

1. Jeff Bridges/Cookie Monster Monologue: Obviously we’re completely biased towards this piece, but nothing from the previous 12 months provided us with nearly as much glee.  It gave us much the same feeling we imagine Cookie Monster experiences when he devours a particularly delicious cookie.

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Keep going: #2-10! Night tremors, weddings bands, NY’s hottest club and more!

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Filed under Good Humor, Lists, Saturday Night Live

Is it Wrong to Want More Paul Rudd Than Paul McCartney? Also, a Look Back at the Last Three SNLs

Okay, let’s get this thing going right away. Here are the highlights from this weekend’s SNL hosted by Paul Rudd:

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And that’s it for the highlights.

Read on: More Rudd, less McCartney, the worst sketch of all time? and what’s wrong with this show?

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‘SNL’: Plain Jane

Not that Jane Lynch was sub-par in her first (of hopefully many) outing as host of SNL,  quite the contrary, but it’s that, once again, the material failed to live up to the vast talents of the host.  It’s confusing, bewildering and frustrating that they keep wasting their resources.  Perhaps, as we felt with the Zach Galifianakis show last season, the writing staff is actually less motivated by a talented host; they rely on the host to elevate the material, so what they deliver is second-rate.  It’s just a theory, and probably misguided and misinformed, but you also can’t ignore the body of evidence, because, while this week’s show was better than last week, it wasn’t a great improvement.  We saw plenty of Jane Lynch (and plenty of wigs), but nothing truly memorable.

Read on: Gilly on Glee? Is that all you got? Also: who did SNL rip-off this week?

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Filed under Analysis, Conspiracy Theory, Saturday Night Live

‘SNL’ Shake-Ups & Sensationalism: Slate & Sudeikis

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed by since we waved goodbye to Michaela Watkins (we hardly knew ye) and Casey Wilson (probably for the best) and welcomed with skeptical arms the rookies Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad.  And it’s sad to report that a year later we’re already saying goodbye to the former of that dynamic young duo.  And once again, the changes are sure to raise eyebrows.  However, this time around, we don’t have a good theory as to what precipitated the moves.

With Will Forte’s departure two weeks ago the whispers began to circulate and the dominoes began to fall.  Except, they really didn’t fall so much as erect themselves next to already firmly planted playing pieces, with Taran Killam (best known from Scrubs), Paul Brittain and Vanessa Bayer from the iO Chicago, and Jay Pharoah, a comedian and talented impressionist, joining the cast, while veterans Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson – rumored to possibly be following Forte out the door – remain (as of press time) at their posts.  So it came as a bit of a shock when word got out yesterday that the show had released a cast member, but not one of its established male veterans with s burgeoning film careers (or even Kristen Wiig, who may have already over-stayed her welcome a season or two), but, instead, Slate, who had only put in a season’s worth of work.

Now, if you recall last year’s history lesson on women & SNL, you’ll recall that going into the season with four women (Slate, Pedrad, Wiig & Abby Elliott most recently) was on the high side.  In fact, going a whole season with four veteran female cast members is just about as good as it’s ever been on the show.  So, with the addition of Bayer, it’s not surprising that SNL & head honcho Lorne Michaels decided to cut loose a lady.  It was a numbers game.  That we understand.  But then why add one in the first place?

Read on: The curious case of Jenny Slate. Also, Jason Sudeikis is the new Ben Affleck.

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Filed under Analysis, Flashback!, Saturday Night Live, Yvonne Hudson

Four More Examples of How Jimmy Fallon is Killing it (and One That Shows Why He’s Not)

Talking up the good work that Jimmy Fallon and the Late Night crew have been doing is nothing new on this blog.  In fact, we’ve been complimenting their efforts as far back as last Fall.  But with the show celebrating its one year anniversary last week, and with the program demonstrating as much creativity and spontaneity as any show in late night today (effectively filling the absurdity vacuum left by Conan), we thought it fitting to highlight some recent clips to show how Jimmy continues to impress (and then one more to illustrate how in other respects he continues to disappoint).

Late Night has particularly excelled in slickly produced, exceptionally accurate television parodies, first with the Hills spoof 7th Floor West and then with The Real Housewives of Late Night.  The show has continued this hot streak by taking on the height of the pop culture phenomena, Lost, with their new recurring series, Late. Below is the 2nd episode, as the castaways (brought together by an elevator crash and now stranded on a creepy abandoned office floor) struggle to make sense of their new and mysterious surroundings.

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More Fallon goodness: California Dreams, Lazy Sunday & Blood!

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Filed under Freak Out Control, Good Humor, LOST, Saturday Night Live, Saved by the Bell, Talkies

“Presidential Reunion”; Or Will Funny or Die Kill ‘SNL’?

By now you’ve all seen this Funny or Die sketch (because it was uploaded almost a week ago, which this day in age classifies it as old) that brings together the all time team of SNL presidential imitators.  It’s great, right?  Totally awesome (especially Chevy, doing what Chevy does best).

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However, what concerns me is what this video, and videos of its ilk, means to SNL.  Why I am so concerned about a show that has basically been skating by since 1993, if not earlier, and has never really faced any real competition, I don’t know (and no, MADtv doesn’t count).  But the more I see the Funny or Die videos featuring both SNL and non-SNL talent I wonder how long the show will be able to compete (especially now that Funny or Die has its own show on HBO, although the one episode I saw was rather underwhelming).  And this Presidential Reunion, directed by Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard, really caused me pause.

Keep reading: Does this spell the end for ‘SNL’?

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Filed under Analysis, Good Humor, Saturday Night Live, Virulent

‘SNL’ & Sigourney Weaver: Old Tricks AKA The Worst ‘SNL’ of the Decade

Well, at least they’re consistent.  These days every good SNL episode (see: last week’s Charles Barkley affair) is almost always immediately followed by an underwhelming effort.  Despite the buzz they drummed up last week,  and the return of Sigourney Weaver (coming back after 23+ years, the longest such stretch between hosting gigs in SNL history), they once again did not disappoint when it comes to disappointing.

Sometimes it’s lazy writing.  Sometimes it’s bad writing.  Sometimes it’s just bad ideas.  This episode had all three.

With all the attention paid last week to the drama in late night television (including on this blog), it was only natural that they would use the fiasco as fodder.  Indeed, it was encouraging at first to see Darrell Hammond return to play Jay Leno on a Larry King Live cold open.  But where the sketch succeeded in mocking King’s senility and misappropriation of social networking tools, it kind of failed in effectively mocking the late night situation.  There was the big chinned, high voice Leno impression we’ve seen everywhere (although, big points on the denim on denim outfit), and Bill Hader turned in a weird, detached, dour Conan O’Brien.  I understood that they were showing that O’Brien is the powerless victim in this situation, but they didn’t seem to get a handle on his personality (if he wasn’t going to be the crazy Conan we know, he should have been the sharp, assertive pugilist of his mission statement).  It was especially discouraging because Conan honed his chops as a writer on SNL (see: the Lady Watchers). He’s part of the family, so you’d think they could have done him justice.  The best impression was probably Jason Sudeikis’ David Letterman, who appeared via satellite.  Except, that it was the wrong David Letterman persona for this situation.  It was basically Norm MacDonald’s beloved (by us) hyena laughed, self-indulgent, pencil throwing Letterman impression (he of “you got any gum???).  And although Sudeikis did it well, throughout the late night debacle we’ve seen the other Letterman, the outraged, seething, vitriolic Dave.  Obviously, it’s not as broad of an impression, but it could have worked if they tried.  Instead, they took the easy way out.  And, come to think of it, Fred Armisen’s Larry King also owes a lot to Norm MacDonald’s own King impression (but I guess this is perhaps a topic for another post; how, after being on the air for 35 years, it’s impossible for previous versions of celebrity impressions on SNL to not to color the imitations of the same personas by new cast members).  So, really, this sketch was just a testament to the unheralded work of Norm MacDonald.  Although, that all being said, it was definitely one of the strongest opens this season.

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Keep reading: More Jaypocalypse jokes, Alien Vs. Laser Cats, and the worst sketch of the decade!

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Filed under Analysis, Bad Humor, Good Humor, Saturday Night Live