Tag Archives: January Jones

Today In Jason Sudeikis News: JSuds & ScarJo???

Well, after posting a quick Jason Sudeikis clip yesterday, we might just go ahead and make this Jason Sudeikis week because, apparently, he conquest of attractive female SNL hosts has taken him from January Jones to Scarlett Johansson.  Pretty impressive stuff to be the rebound from Ryan Reynolds.

Curiously though, whereas Sudeikis and Jones had several moments together during her episode (sketches that Sudeikis basically carried her though, no doubt winning her over in the process) Johansson and Sudeikis shared very little screen time together during her last hosting turn in September.  In fact, if we’re not mistaken this is the only instance in which they appeared in the same sketch:

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But, then again, the guy’s got moves.  It’d be no surprise if Scarlett fell for him in those few seconds.

So if this doesn’t work out who’s next?  Betty White?  Emma Stone?  Which is the lesser of two evils?

Vulture via Life & Style

(btw, the Santa Monica restaurant where this date supposedly took place, Father’s Office, is awesome.  Just wanted to mention that)

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Filed under Local Flavor, Mancrush, Saturday Night Live, Yasmine Bleeth

Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: The Ice Queen

One of our consistently most popular posts is our review of January Jones’ turn as host of SNL from November of 2009, titled January Jones Was the Worst Host Ever on the Worst Episode of ‘SNL’ Ever, so it’s not surprising that among today’s top search terms is “january jones worst host.”  But we’re not going to talk about how terrible she was that night (we’ve spent enough time on that), nor are we going to discuss how horrible we thought she was on Mad Men.  No, today we’re going to talk about an upcoming January Jones project that we fear might be just as bad.

Earlier this week the first images from X-Men: First Class surfaced, featuring January Jones as the White Queen Emma Frost, and it doesn’t look promising.  To Jones’ credit, the whole photo is panic-inducing, not just her part of it (although the look on her face doesn’t help).

To be fair, director Matthew Vaughn has shot back asserting that this is an unofficial photo that does not reflect the look of the film.  Which is somewhat reassuring.  Still, that doesn’t make us comfortable with the idea of Jones as Frost, and nor does it assuage our concern that once again an X-Men movie has chosen to neglect the many proven storylines in favor of a hodgepodge of plot points and characters from the comics combined with an original narrative.  It just seems silly to disregard so many revered and beloved stories.  And by setting this film in the 60s, and including characters who appear in the other films or are related to characters in the other films, it totally confuses the cinematic timeline.  We won’t get into the geeky specifics here, but this is why bringing a comic book to the screen can be so complicated.  In the comic book world super heroes really don’t age, so it’s no big deal for someone to look the same in 1965 as they do in 2005.  But it becomes much trickier with movies, and we think setting this film decades before the previous X-Men films invites too many contradictions.  But we’ll just have to wait until June to find out.

And come back here then to read our review, “January Jones Was the Worst Actress in the Worst X-Men Film Ever.”

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Filed under Be careful what you wish for, Geekery, Gratuitous Search Term Bait, The Big Screen, The Worst, Yasmine Bleeth

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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And Now the Long Awaited Debut of ‘Kieran’s Korner’: More Thoughts on ‘SNL’ & Scarlett Johansson

We’ve made a concerted effort on this blog to do things just a little differently, to present our material in a way that is somehow unique from the dozens of similar sites out there, whether that be reviewing The Office from the perspective of the series as a whole, or comparing Conan O’Brien to President Obama, or finding any excuse to link to an episode of Pete & Pete (like right there, for example).  But sometimes, no matter how hard you to try to keep an eye on the bigger picture you get lost in the details, and you can’t see the forest for the trees.   That’s why it’s always great to have a loyal reader (and good friend) who can fill in the blanks.  And for us, that person is Kieran Walsh.

And, once again, Kieran replied to one of our SNL posts with his own excellent thoughts, expanding on a couple of our points and suggesting some ideas we might have missed.  We’re grateful to have Kieran around reading our posts, clarifying our arguments and providing his own keen insights.  So, without further ado, we’re proud to bring you what we hope is the first of many visits to Kieran’s Korner:

It’s kind of painful to say this, but I think Fred Armisen is now moving into eclipse while Bill Hader is on the ascent.  Manuel Ortiz is a good example.  It’s barely even a sketch – more of a gimmick, and not a particularly funny one, either.  For that matter, it’s waaaay too reminiscent of “What Up With That” to be comfortable (talk show constantly interrupted by dance routine, etc.)  Meanwhile, Bill seems to have found a new level of accessibility by crafting more user-friendly breakout characters (Stefan!)  Perhaps these are the side-effects of dating a scientologist.  Not entirely his fault.  The pop culture pendulum swings wildly.

Don’t really understand Scarlett Johansson.  I mean, in general.   She must be incredibly easy to work with because I don’t really know why SNL and Woody Allen keep going back to her.  I dunno.  She’s just excruciatingly limited.  On the one hand I get the sense that she’s up for anything – but that’s incredibly different from being genuinely good at anything.  Clearly, she’d like to get laughs, but, jeez…

Yes.  Bayer had an incredibly strong show, particularly with the Stars of Tomorrow sketch.  She’s got definite potential.  Pharoah, too, but he really needs his own thing.

I think it’s definitely time for Andy to leave.

Very astute observations on both the Armisen and Johansson fronts.  Regarding Fred, perhaps that’s why he seemed so unenthusiastic during the “Mike’s Busteria” sketch.  And perhaps his character’s recalcitrant disposition on “Update” was a reflection of Armisen’s current displeasure with the show.  Perhaps he feels like he’s stranded at sea with a shrill, prickly Jewish wife.

And as for Johansson, Kieran hits it on the head, and gracefully encapsulates the point we attempted to make in our earlier post.  She’s beautiful.  And it’s not as if she’s January Jones out there (boy, Jones is never going to live that down, is she?).  But as Kieran’s so eloquently notes, Johansson is “excruciatingly limited,” so she must just be a person SNL enjoys having around.  Or maybe she drives up the ratings.  Let us not forget that it’s always about the bottom line.

But, then again, sometimes it’s about the byline.  So look out for more Kieran authored posts in the near future, and maybe a Snark-Walsh debate.  Because if we blog on the web and no one is around to respond does it really post?

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Filed under Kieran's Korner, Krebstar, 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

Not Very Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Random, Belated, Emmy Thoughts

The Emmy’s were handed out three nights ago, and in the internet world that’s about the equivalent of a fortnight, and everyone who can say it better than me has already said it better than me.  But, just to put it on the permanent record, and to get us ready for the impending fall TV season, we thought we’d follow-up with a few humble thoughts of our own, in concise bullet-point form:

  • Loved the opening bit, even if it was somewhat of a rehash of 6-Bee‘s glee club rendition of “We’re Not Going to Take It,” a performance that we still giddily cue up on our screen on a regular basis (as well as an audio version on our iPod).  But with Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia AND Tim Gunn it was like the Ocean’s 11 all-star version of the original Late Night piece, and it truly demanded some freak out control.  Our worlds colliding, but in an amazing way.
  • Speaking of Jon Hamm, now that his comedic genius has finally been exposed to a wide audience (30 Rock is still critically adored but commercially ignored, his appearances in viral videos only legitimately reach a small segment of the online viewing public, and even two turns hosting SNL don’t necessarily make you a household name these days), can we start having him be funny full-time?  He’s so gifted, and so natural, it honestly feels like a waste forcing him to be so stoic and dour and cold on Mad Men (and we know we sound like a broken record on this, but we’re going to keep bring it up until it happens.  Or until Mad Men becomes a farcical satire.  Maybe in season 5).  Sure, he’s magnetic, sexy and mysterious on the AMC drama, but it’s when he’s allowed to do comedy that he truly lights up.  But after being seen dancing like an idiot on HDTVs all across the country maybe someone will give him a chance to headline a comedy.  Perhaps something in the Apatowian genre.  I think that’s a hit.

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Filed under Analysis, Century 21 Reality, Dillon Panthers, Freak Out Control, Intersection of the venn diagram of things that I love, LOST, Must See TV, Participation Award, Saturday Night Live, Top Scallop

Jude Law is One of Our Finest Actors, and a Look Back on the Last Three Weeks in ‘SNL’

Jude Law maybe one our finest actors.  But that doesn’t mean he’s funny.

However, I won’t pin this past weekend’s thoroughly average installment on Law.  He made Sean Penn good on his word, and proved to be an extremely talented thespian, seamlessly transitioning from Shakespearean actor to Russian ballet dancer to Spanish serial killer to Jude Law to American lawyer.  If the reminders that Law recently appeared on Broadway as Hamlet weren’t evidence enough, the way Law breezily donned new accents showed that he’s indeed meant for the stage.  However, acting talent alone doesn’t result a funny show, and outside of a couple bright spots, this one sorta just sat there without much life.

Read on: The perfect host formula, killing time, and Smash Mouth!

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‘SNL’: Hamm & Cheese and A Bublé Disposition

PUNS!!!

Jon Hamm SNLIn yesterday’s SNL appetizer post I surmised that last night’s show had a 50% chance of being funny.  However, immediately after making this less than bold proclamation I realized that I should have at least given the odds at 51%, and more accurately probably around 75%.  With SNL returning after a week off, having proven they perform best with a little rest, and under the capable reigns of Jon Hamm, the odds were certainly in their favor.

And had I thought it through yesterday and gone with the 75% estimation I would have been right, as about 3/4 of the show was (surprisingly or unsurprisingly, I’ll let you decide) solid.  From the moment Hamm stepped out onto the stage for his monologue you knew you were in good hands (sorta like the way I feel during the opening credits of any Quentin Tarantino movie).  Obviously the easy thing to do here would be to compare Hamm’s hosting performance to that of his Mad Men co-star, Ms. January Jones.  Of course, that’s entirely unfair, because Jones was clearly over-matched and out of her element, and Hamm has already demonstrated his hosting prowess.  There’s really no reason to compare a Picasso to a Bazooka Joe comic.  We already know which is going to come out on top (well, I guess in that scenario it depends on the criterion, if we’re talking about which is the superior work of art or which serves as a better gum wrapper.  But I digress).  However, we’ll indulge that comparison briefly, because, like Jones’, Hamm’s monologue employed some Mad Men parody, and to far better results than the “Mad Mennies” bit in Jones’ monologue.  As Hamm’s big break has been his role as the mysterious, stoic Don Draper, he showed some clips from his earlier “roles,” but in each of these Hamm maintains the personality of the debonair Draper.  The first clip, a Saved by the Bell parody titled “Late for Class,” was the best (if only for the spot-on opening credits.  Oh, the early 90s!), but the second, Hamm on QVC giving Kristen Wiig the same tough love treatment that Don gives Betty Draper, and the last, Hamm as Draper doing Def Comedy Jam, were nearly as good.  By the time Hamm said “stick around, we’ll be right back,” he didn’t need to.  We were sold.

Read on: A funny and incisive cold opening?! Pork and Champagne?! Serigo?! Plus: the bottom 25th percentile.

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Filed under Analysis, Good Humor, Saturday Night Live, Saved by the Bell

‘SNL’ & JGL: Full of Sound and Fury Signifying…What, Exactly?

Well, there was no denying that the energy level was turned up to 11 on this weekend’s Saturday Night Live, with a burst of adrenaline that was no doubt due in great part to Joseph Gordon Levitt’s raucous enthusiasm, and, perhaps, with the scathing reviews after last weekend’s January Jones episode, the cast and crew felt they had something to prove.  And they came out and put on an entertaining, upbeat, cue card independent show.  But was it actually any funnier?

Well, yes, it was.  But was it the “best episode of the season,” the superlative that many blogs have given it, so soon after they did the same for the Taylor Swift outing?  That assertion, like the Taylor Swift platitudes, is debatable.  Certainly though, there was no arguing it was better, and, at the very least, not nearly as lazy.  But in this case, let’s not confuse enthusiasm for a good sense of humor, or entertainment for comedy.  They’re definitely related, but one does not necessarily equal the other.

Over on his EW blog Ken Tucker provided an excellent commentary that’s quite similar to my own take (so if you’re in a rush and can only read his review or ours, read his), noting that while Levitt’s frenetic monologue performance of “Make ‘Em Laugh” from Singing in the Rain was impressive (especially his two off-the wall backflips followed by a well-executed pratfall) and a crowd pleaser, it didn’t exactly make you laugh.  It was almost more like a successful awards show opening number than a sharp, funny SNL monologue.  That being said we’ll be lucky if all future hosts can provide as much talent and effort as “regular Joe”  (However, with that kind of energy, one has to wonder if JGL was on more than just regular joe).

Read on: What’s Up With Kenan Thompson, Family Dinners & Pierre Escargot? Plus, Jason Sudeikis makes 12:50am safe again…

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Filed under Analysis, Good Humor, Other people's stuff, Saturday Night Live

January Jones Was the Worst Host Ever On the Worst Episode of ‘SNL’ Ever

Or so it would seem.

The reaction to last week’s Taylor Swift SNL was overwhelmingly positive, with most critics/bloggers declaring it the best episode of the (mediocre) season.  While I think it was one of the stronger episodes of the season, I’m not quite sure it was the best (I’d probably have to hand that distinction to the Gerard Butler outing, in which Butler was more polished and comfortable than Swift), but certainly it’s possible to make the argument for its season supremacy.  But boy, how quickly things change.  After the buzzed about Swift edition SNL returned  this weekend with Mad Men‘s January Jones as host, and if the blogosphere is to believed it was the worst episode in the history of Saturday Night Live, featuring the most ill-prepared host in 35 years of the show.  Well, yes, it was bad, but we’re hyperbolizing just a little bit.  If anything, saying that the new episode was that bad gives too much credit to other dreadful performances from this season (basically all but Butler and Swift), and certainly episodes from past seasons (ahem, Michael Phelps).  So to get all riled up about a single terrible episode of SNL is about as useless as getting giddy about an excellent episode of SNL, because, no matter what, the show is coming back next week, sometimes it’s going to be inconceivably bad, sometimes surprisingly brilliant, and mostly very average.  That’s why teachers invented the bell curve, to bring the extremes back down to earth.  So, by all means, complain about the episode, as it was lazy, sloppy and just generally unfunny.  But, remember, they have and will do worse.

With that, it’s not worth doing a rundown of the highlights, as there weren’t that many, but a few thoughts:

More: Running out the clock, Jones vs. Hamm, Slate vs. Watkins, and cotton balls made out of clouds…

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Filed under Analysis, Bad Humor, Saturday Night Live