Tag Archives: Lindsay Lohan

A Jumped the Snark Shorty: Dave, Lindsay & Alec

Yesterday we talked about how greatly Dave Letterman is revered, how, despite Leno winning the ratings battle, Letterman has clearly won the Late Night war. Part of his appeal, admittedly,  has been his aloofness, his refusal to play by the rules and pander to either the audience or the guests. His rough edge is what, ironically, has made him endearing for three decades. But there are times, rare but documented, when Dave abandons his cranky side, however briefly  and shows true compassion. It is that sensitive, caring, paternal part of Dave that is the flip side to his default curmudgeon state, the yin to his prickly yang that has made him so beloved and appreciated. And it was precisely that element of Dave that was on display when Lindsay Lohan appeared on The Late Show to, ostensibly, promote her appearances with Charlie Sheen in Scary Movie 5 and on Anger Management. However, with Lindsay due to enter court mandated rehab in May, and with Dave’s history of engaging troubled starlets, including Lohan, Letterman not surprisingly steered the conversation towards off-camera matters, boldly confronting Lohan about her personal problems. It was awkward and sad and kind of hard to watch, and certainly not something you’d see from Jay Leno, but it was also classic Dave. And, despite Lohan’s obvious discomfort you can see that she appreciates Dave’s concern, and, conversely, it is plain that Dave’s concern is genuine.

[full interview here]

You can argue that Dave was wrong to drudge up her personal life – clearly Lohan is not in the right state of mind to address these things on-camera – but despite whatever sensationalist motive Dave might have had, you can’t argue that Dave does not care about Lohan. He’s a lot of things, but disingenuous it not one.

In other late night news, reports are indicating that Alec Baldwin is interested in hosting a late night talk show, potentially taking over the 1:35am slot currently (still, somewhat shockingly) occupied by Last Call with Carson Daly,* and that NBC is likewise interested in continuing their relationship with Baldwin. This show would most likely take on the form of an intimate one-on-one interview, something like a television version of Baldwin’s WNYC podcast Here’s the Thing. It would also be akin to Tom Snyder’s Late Late Show, which we discussed in yesterday’s post. As opposed to the possibility of Seth Meyers taking over for Jimmy Fallon on Late Night,  which we explained might be an ill-advised choice, we think this makes more sense. Baldwin is already in the Lorne Michaels/Broadway Video family, having just finished his career redefining stint on the Michael’s produced 30 Rock and having become the definitive SNL host (non-Justin Timberlake category). He’s arguably as popular as ever, and, as his podcast interview with Billy Joel showed, he can be simultaneously intelligent and well-read while still just feeling like a regular guy from Long Island. It’s that easy-going charisma that would make Baldwin a successful interviewer, and it’s not absurd to think that people would enjoy tuning in to see him chat with other actors, writers, musicians for an hour. In fact, it has so much promise, and is so different from what Jimmy Fallon does, it might actually make for a better companion directly after The Tonight Show, whether under the banner of Late Night or as something entirely new. With Fallon’s show being so frantic, so silly, so irreverent, it might be nice to pair it with something more old-fashioned and slower-paced, even if it’s just a Baldwin hosted show one night a week. And Baldwin can do it as long as he wants, until either he or Lorne is ready to for someone or something else. Worst case scenario, it can’t be as bad as The Chevy Chase Show.

*While this post was being written Deadline reported that Last Call with Carson Daly has been renewed for another (13th!) season, so all those words might have been for naught. Still, this might not affect the Baldwin situation, or, perhaps, indicate that he would, in fact, be considered for the Late Night slot.
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Filed under Analysis, Shorties, Talkies, Yasmine Bleeth

Elliott Ghoul’d: JT Joins the ‘SNL’ Five Timers Club But One Member is Conspicuously Absent

Justin Timberlake made his triumphant return to Studio 8H this past weekend, delivering the episode that it felt like SNL and its fans had been waiting for all season long. The affair marked Timberlake’s fifth turn as host, inducting him into the esteemed “Five Timers Club” that includes such SNL luminaries such as Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks. In fact, it was during Hanks fifth hosting appearance in December of 1990  (and before fifteen of Baldwin’s sixteen hosting turns) when we first learned about the existence of the exclusive club, with a young Conan O’Brien (going by the alias “Sean”) presenting Hanks with his club robe. For the first time in just over twenty-two years we revisited this VIP lounge this past Saturday night, with Timberlake receiving his robe from another O’Brien, SNL writer and 7 Minutes in Heaven star Mike O’Brien. Martin, Simon and Hanks were once again present, as well as fellow club members Chevy Chase and Candice Bergen (and non-club but former cast members Dan Ackroyd and Martin Short). But shockingly absent from the distinguished proceedings was Five Timer Elliott Gould, who helped initiate Hanks back in ’90. Sure, by that time Gould hadn’t hosted for ten years, and hasn’t in the twenty-two since, but once a Five Timer always a Five Timer, right? In fact, Gould was the third host to join the club (behind Buck Henry and Martin), which essentially makes him a charter member. So why then has Gould essentially been excommunicated from Saturday Night Live? Why has someone who was so instrumental and loyal in those early SNL years become a persona non-grata at the Five Timers Club? Was it his role on FriendsA falling out with Don Pardo? Or, perhaps he and his friends stole from Lorne? Most likely, while fellow club members Martin and Baldwin climb higher and higher into the double digits, we’ll never know why Gould has been away for over two decades, whether by banishment or by self-righteous declaration of independence. No matter what though, they can never take away his pool privileges.

Btw, Lindsay Lohan is one hosting appearance away from joining the club. Should she be tapped for that fifth time, expect stricter membership requirements to follow soon after.

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Lindsay Lohan on ‘SNL’: Sobering Saturday

Four days have passed since Lindsay Lohan returned to host Saturday Night Live, and the benefit of time does nothing to portray her performance in any more of a positive light.  Yes, in spite of her wooden, stumbling, at times helpless appearance, the show delivered some of its strongest moments of the season (including Bill Hader reaching new levels of brilliance as both Shephard Smith and James Carville, and an inspired, if somewhat haphazardly placed, “Music of the 70s” commercial parody with a retro-coiffed Jason Sudeikis), but those sketches  don’t negate Lohan’s awkward struggle, her 90-minute death march, and nor has almost a week of reflection.

It wasn’t always this way.  And that’s why this is so sad, so tragic.  There was a time when Lindsay Lohan was a bona fide star, white-hot and electric.  The next big thing while simultaneously being the “it” the girl.  And, yes, she had curves, but she also had talent.  Was she a young Jodie Foster?  Outside of the freckles, no.  But she had something that a young Jodie Foster did not.  Sizzle.  Sparkle.  That special something.

But where does that special something go when it dies?

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Makes You Think, Saturday Night Live, Yasmine Bleeth

This Is What a Teenage Starlet on ‘SNL’ Looks Like

Miley Cyrus came by SNL this week and, despite generally positive reviews, we still found it pretty average.  Nothing egregious about it, nothing particularly horrible, but really nothing to write home about.  And the feedback for Cyrus was mostly polite, praiseworthy even, commending her for at the very least not embarrassing herself, at the best acquitting herself remarkably well.  But we really weren’t surprised by that.  It’s no fluke that she was a star of a hit cable show and a pop music phenomenon.  She’s got talent.  Sure, she might have headlined a terrible, cloying cable show  for Tweens, and she might perform grating, insipid kidz bop, but she’s been tremendously successful at it, and there’s really no denying that she has some kind of talent.  So by all rites she should have been fine on SNL.  And she was.  And she parodied her image, parodied Justin Bieber, parodied Fergie, all to perfectly okay results.  But nothing transcendent.  Nothing special.  Nothing that resonated like a sketch from a few years ago that featured an at the time teenage superstar.  Lindsay, show Miley how it’s done:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sure, Miley had fun.  She sang and danced.  She even impersonated Lohan.  But, unlike Lohan, none of Cyrus’ sketches will be remembered in five years.

Oh, and Jason Sudeikis reprised his Satan on “Weekend Update” and it was pretty cool.  The dude can do no wrong (Sudeikis, not the Devil).

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‘SNL’ & Emma Stone: The Next Generation

First, let’s just get it out of the way and say that Emma Stone, whether or not she had (Easy) A material, was excellent in her first, of hopefully many, SNL hosting gig.  Running the gamut from an uninterested sweepstakes winner to Lindsay Lohan to a Ke$ha-like pop-tart to a French hipster to a fixated teen to a hoochie spokesmodel, Stone was pretty flawless.  What was written for or around her wasn’t always top-notch, but she was, and we think her debut was even more impressive than that of her BFF Taylor Swift last season, even if that one might have elicited a bigger buzz.  Many have compared Stone to Lohan (as happened in the episode itself, and on this blog); let’s hope that she continues on the path of Lohan’s early career, which includes hosting this show many times, BUT then let’s pray that Stone goes left where Lohan turned right, eventually veering totally off the tracks.  However, despite her charms, it wasn’t Stone that left us with the greatest impression.

Read on: SNL the new class? Plus, what sketch did they rip off this week???

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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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(Belated) Top 10 ‘SNL’ of the Decade

It was an up and down decade for Saturday Night Live, but then again it’s been an up and down 34 years for Saturday Night Live.  The show started gangbusters in 2000, taking advantage of the 2000 election and perhaps becoming more relevant than it had at any point during the previous decade (media and communication majors and political scientists will be analyzing SNL‘s Gore-Bush debates for years to come, studying how the show interpreted the real events and how the sketches then in turn affected the election).   Then the show kind of treaded water until the 2004 election when it once again made the best of the political fodder, although with the relatively benign John Kerry as a central character the political satire was not as entertaining or as incisive as 2000.  But With a mostly new cast then the beginning of the decade the show returned to prominence in 2008, most notably mining the comedy goldmine that was the renegade Sarah Palin.  However, although SNL’s strongest seasons were during the election years, the best sketches were scattered throughout the aughts, with a fair share of political material, but also crazy characters, inventive monologues, traditional bits and the now ubiquitous Digital Shorts.  Here, in a particular but not necessarily meaningful order is a very subjective list of the top ten (and then some) Saturday Night Live sketches of the decade that was.*

1. Carpool

I wasn’t blogging when this Alec Baldwin episode aired in early 2006, but if I was I would have no doubt touted it as the best show in years, and I would have been in good company. It stood out as the most buzzworthy episode since the 2004 election, and its success was due in large part to Baldwin, who excelled in sketches like a new “The Tony Bennet Show,” “Platinum Lounge” (with Steve Martin) and a Valtrex commercial parody.  But the stand out sketch, for us, was “Carpool,” a duet with Kristen Wiig.  Sharing a ride to work seemed like a good idea, until each person continuously and unwittingly brings up a painful wound from the other’s past.  Simply, any sketch that can truly sell the line “Bobby McFerrin raped my grandmother,” deserves placement on a “best of” list.  It’s the best sketch in what might have been the best episode of the decade, and perhaps the premier episode among Baldwin’s 14 turns as host  (I guess because this sketch includes a brief cameo from a  Celine Dion tune it’s prohibited from being posted on Hulu.  Luckily, some random Russian site saved the day and has no such qualms about hosting a video that includes unlicensed music from the French-Canadian ice queen).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

See the rest of the list. Did your favorites make it???…

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