Tag Archives: Jay Pharoah

Saturday Night’s All Right For Leaving

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 6.42.30 PMMuch was made last week about the departure of Saturday Night Live stalwart Bill Hader, and still more was made when word broke just before (or, perhaps, during) last Saturday night’s show that longtime cast member Fred Armisen would be joining Hader in exiting Studio 8H. Add to that the speculation that Jason Sudeikis is a part of the exodus – only a year after show centerpiece Kristen Wiig left the show – and we seem to have a full-fledged panic. Hader, Armisen and Sudeikis – who accrued twenty-eight seasons of combined service on the show – will certainly leave a gaping hole, having portrayed such vital characters as President Obama, Vice President Biden, James Carville, David Patterson, the Devil, and, of course, Stefon. How could the show possibly survive such a great loss of talent, three of their leading men, a trio of go-tos. Losing one, sure, it happens. But all three, plus the farewell of Head Writer Seth Meyers at mid-season? Won’t that just be the end of SNL?

No, no it won’t. Despite some histrionics that seem to point to the opposite sentiment, the show will persist just fine. In fact, this is the circle of life for Saturday Night Live (it’s just Saturday Night Life?). Granted, if Sudeikis does, in fact, join Hader and Armisen, then you would have a more severe than normal bloodletting, but it’s not a lethal loss. The show has always and will always subsist on the infusion of new, exciting, eager talent. This season SNL was without Kristen Wiig, who seemed to have shouldered the load for so many seasons (to the show’s detriment, in our opinion) and it went on unencumbered in her absence, bolstered by noteworthy performances by newcomers Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong, two fantastic young talents who might have not had the chance to breakout if Wiig was still around. And the show has weathered the loss of every great star during its history, with someone waiting in the wings to step up. Chevy Chase leaves after the inaugural season and Bill Murray gets the call. Farley and Sandler leave and we get Will Ferrell. Ferrell leaves but Armisen and Will Forte join the show and Amy Poehler receives more screen time. Every time SNL closes a door it opens a window, a window cracked just wide enough for a talented young sketch comedian to crawl.

And it will be the same with this loss, which should better be classified as a transition than a remaking; it’s certainly nothing as a dramatic as the turnover before Ferrell’s first season. Bobby Moynihan, who had a stellar season with his “Weekend Update” appearances as Drunk Uncle and Anthony Crispino, has already been doing much of the heavy lifting, appearing in cold opens, monologues, parodies, and Update visits, performing as straight man as well as Guy Fieri. He’s certainly more than capable of being the show’s anchor in his sixth season. Likewise of Taran Killam, whose squared-jaw good looks and Baryshnikovian dance moves make him possibly the show’s most valuable not-yet-ready-for-prime-time-player, and who is due for his breakout season. Then you have Kenan Thompson, who has only improved with age, as he shook off his All That trappings and grew into a reliable SNL presence, and Tim Robinson, who had a strong, confident debut season, and Jay Pharoah, who is an incredible mimic but still looking to find his groove, despite getting the nod to play Obama this season. Not to mention the fresh new talent they might recruit to replace the departing cast members. And add to that the terrific female players that we already discussed, and you have a dynamic, hungry, inspired cast ready to make their mark and define their era on SNL. If the show is guilty of anything over its last 38 seasons, it’s of being lazy, relying on the old standbys. With the old guard on its way out, SNL just might not have that luxury next season, and we might be better off for it.

Yes, we had to say goodbye to Stefon, and that was very, very sad. But Stefon had to move on, and so do we. Because there’s another Stefon out there. There always is. We just don’t know him yet.

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Makes You Think, Saved by the Bell

Did ‘SNL’ Rip-Off Billy Crystal’s Mildly Racist ‘SNL’ Monolgoue?

Thanks to the wonder of Netflix Instant Watch we’re now able to go back and relive all those years of SNL that we had only read about in Live From New York.  As we had previously mentioned, one of the seasons we were most curious about was the 84-85 season, the year that featured a bunch of ringers named Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest.  So as soon as we could we went right to season premiere, which began with a monologue from de facto lead cast member Crystal.  We were struck by a number of aspects of the act: how young Crystal looks; the perfectly 80s sweater; the dark, depressing subway platform set.  But what stayed with us most was this mildly racist bit about going to scary movies with African-Americans:

We’ve been meaning to upload this clip for a few weeks, but we were hoping to wait until we could procure better quality video.  But we bring it to you now, without further hesitation, because last week’s SNL basically used the same exact joke in its “Globe Theatre” sketch:

Curiously, the sketch is not available on Hulu.  Is a rights issue because they reworked a Black Eyed Peas song?  Or maybe “Let’s all go the lobby” is not public domain.  Or, perhaps. Mr. Crystal filed a plagiarism complaint.

Sadly, we’ll likely never know.

Either way, we’re a little concerned about how enthusiastic that one woman in the audience was when Crystal asked if anyone had “ever been to a scary film with a black audience” (it’s also kind of a weird question.  The 80s weren’t the 60s, right?).  Crazy times, man, crazy times.

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Filed under Rip-off, Saturday Night Live, Sha la la la, Woody Allen, Bar Mitzvahs & Bagels, You Decide

‘SNL’ With Host Cee-Lo, Musical Guest Gwyneth Paltrow and a Very Special Episode of ‘Pee Wee’s-Playhouse’

A little late this week so let’s get right to it:

We get it Gwyneth, you can sing!  You already proved it with Country Strong, your appearance on Glee and your CMA performance (and with Huey Lewis in Duets ten years ago).  But you had to show us again in your monologue, as Taylor Swift in this My Super Sweet Bar Mitzvah sketch, and by joining meandering songsmiths Kat and Garth on “Weekend Update.’  Listen, Gwyneth, WE GET IT.  It’s a wonder they didn’t hold off the “Worst of Soul Train sketch another week so Paltrow could play some kind of disco queen.  But they probably thought that would be overkill.

Also, Cee-Lo, we get it.  You’re a big deal right now.  Gwyneth Paltrow covered your hit song, and hugs you and treats you like her best friend.  But we don’t need to see the you also singing during the monologue and in the Bar Mitzvah sketch and also appearing in the “Record Label Meeting” sketch that was just a device to introduce your musical performance.  What’s that we said about overkill?  We mean, c’mon, it’s not like the guy is Paul McCartney.  And, sure, we admit, “F*** You” is one of those songs we heard about ad nauseam before we ever actually heard it (much like “Umbrella”), because the only radio we listen to is sports talk and NPR.  But it is good, at the very least, it’s dangerously infectious.  However, isn’t “F*** You” just like “Hey Ya,” but not as good.  Seven years later we still think the former is a great song, not sure if the latter will fare so well in 2018.  Will it be a classic or a novelty?  Only time will tell if it stands the test of time.  But, until then, we could have done with at least one less Cee-Lo appearance.

Read on: Pee-wee plays with fire, Bill Hader gets political, and a hidden meaning to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air sketch

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

Happy MLK Day!

Did you see SNL this past weekend?   It included a sketch starring Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah (more on both of those later).  Remember the last time two black guys had more than one line in a sketch?  Well, here it is:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(we love how Horatio Sanz can’t even deliver three lines with a straight face.  Come back Horatio!  And bring the 80lbs you lost!)

By the way, what is up with Topher Grace?

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Filed under Lady Holiday, Saturday Night Live

Jim is in the Building

Promos for this weekend’s SNL with Jim Carrey are out!  Jason Sudeikis joins him backstage for these spots, which couldn’t have taken more than 5 minutes to shoot (or conceive):

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Nevertheless, we’re still excited.  And if these promos are an indication that we’re going to see a fair amount of Carrey-Sudeikis collaboration, then we’ll be in good shape.

Now the question is, does Carrey do any of his classic characters?  It’s unlikely he’d reprise anyone from his last hosting stint in ’96, with that entire cast long gone.  But perhaps the time is right for a return to Fire Marshall Bill.  Or maybe Ace Ventura.  Or, as Mark McKinney did in Carrey’s first go ’round, maybe someone else in the cast will impersonate of Carrey (let’s see you do that one, Jay Pharoah).  OR none of the above.  So many options!

via Splitsider

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Filed under Good Humor, 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:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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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Filed under Analysis, Mancrush, Saved by the Bell

More On the ‘SNL’ Cover-Up: Compare & Contrast

Expanding on our earlier exposé on last weekend’s “Returns and Exchanges” sketch with Jay Pharoah curiously lingering in the background, we can now compare the broadcast version to the edited clip available on Hulu (the DVR that’s hooked up to our slingbox ran out of space and didn’t record the show, so please forgive this less than ideal screenshot taken with our Droid).

Now you see him:

Now you don’t:

You got got!

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Filed under Commodore 64, Reeeeeege, Saturday Night Live