Tag Archives: Kristen Wiig

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

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

Russell Brand on ‘SNL’: Very British

Well, we had little hope that the SNL would rebound from its disillusioning Dana Carvey episode last week.  For some reason, lately we’ve been giving the show the reverse of the benefit of the doubt, the doubt of the benefit if you will.  And when we casually started the episode late Saturday night, it seemed that our prognostications would be proven valid, that we were in for another ho-hum effort with a perfectly fine but completely ordinary host.  But, while Russell Brand would prove to possibly be the weakest part of the show, the episode turned around on the basis of two sketches, two pieces that will no doubt sit atop our best of the season list.

Coming up: What sketch did we watch four times? And we hand out the season MVP award early.

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Filed under Across the pond, Analysis, Good Humor, Saturday Night Live, The State

‘Bridesmaids’ Trailer: Let the Debate About Whether Or Not This Is the First Truly Funny Film For Women By Women Begin

We’ll likely never be able to agree on an answer to that question.  Some will say yes.  Some will say no.  Some will say it’s truly funny, but not the first.  Some will say it’s a manipulative attempt to xerox The Hangover using female toner.  Some will argue it finally let’s women in on the fun.  Some will suggest that it shows that women can only be considered funny when they’re acting like men.  Some will label it fresh, groundbreaking.  Some will call it conventional, reactionary. Some will hail it, praise it.  Other will denounce it, chastise it.  And that will probably all take place before opening weekend.

What we do know is that Bridesmaids looks really good.  We’ve made no secret of generally abhorring Kristen Wiig’s characters on SNL (in fact, we’d have to say our favorite Wiig character is the one she plays during the goodnights), but she’s been terrific in movies so far (stole her scenes in Knocked Up, was great in Adventureland and was arguably the best part of MacGruber), is phenomenally talented, and not unkind on the eyes.  We’ve also been saying for some time now that it’s time for her to make the permanent jump to the big screen, and it looks like Bridesmaids is going to accelerate the process.  Although this is an ensemble, Wiig co-wrote the film and is the star, so if the flick is a hit we might be looking at Hollywood’s newest female star, one of the few women capable of carrying a comedy on her lithe shoulders.

Also, judging from the trailer, it seems like this could be Melissa McCarthy’s breakout role, getting many of the best, most outrageous lines.  Looks like we might have to go back and revise her entry in our Jenny McCarthy Show post!

But with the shock wave that this trailer sent through the blogosphere we have to wonder: have we already entered the Bridesmaids blacklash phase?  Or are we already into the backlash to the backlash?

Oh, and this movie just means more work for the Judd Apatow chart.

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Filed under Good Humor, Judd Apatow, Saturday Night Live, The Big Screen, Yasmine Bleeth

‘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

Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day: Oedipal Complex

We expect to often see search terms like “justin bieber” and “miranda cosgrove,” and to a lesser, but more encouraging, extent “rashida jones” and “tom westman,” but it surprised us how often one of our top results has been “nasim pedrad,” the talented and pretty comedian now in her sophomore season on SNL.  Not that we think that she doesn’t warrant that kind of attention, but it’s intriguing that web surfers have taken a particular interest in Pedrad, considering that SNL has no shortage of attractive and funny female cast members (Kristen Wiig, Abby Elliott, Vanessa Bayer, Jenny Slate until this season).  Then again, it’s not terribly shocking, as Pedrad has continued to impress us with her diversity and poise, deftly portraying women like Kim Kardashian, Azam Farahi (aka Mrs. Ahmadinejad) and Cristiane Amanpour, as well as performing Lil Blaster in the Underground Records commercials.

Pedrad has also fallen into the unfortunate pattern of playing hyperactive, loquacious, often male, teenagers, which has been the only knock against her so far.  However, despite that, our favorite performance from Pedrad was as wise beyond her years teenager Bedilia, a confident young lady who exhibits just a little too much appreciation for her parents.

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See?  She more than holds her own against Alec Baldwin there.  If Pedrad can excise those other, more annoying, less successful characters then we see no reason why she won’t be one of our most popular search terms for years to come.

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Filed under Gratuitous Search Term Bait, Makes You Think, Saturday Night Live, 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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Filed under Analysis, Mancrush, Saved by the Bell