The seasons have certainly changed at Saturday Night Live. The show's 40th season began with an episode that hardly resembled a season premiere, with little pomp or circumstance over SNL's impressive four-decade lifespan, and in its place a straightforward night of comedy that reflected a show well adjusted to its new lineup. Nerves did occasionally get the better of the performers — especially first-time host Chris Pratt, who coasted on his signature goofy charm, flashing that Andy Dwyer "oops" face a few times – but overall the episode charged forward with a leaner (and more colorful) cast, and a greater confidence in its sense of humor.
We aren't out of the woods just yet, though. SNL's live sketches suffer [...]
Word has come down this week that SNL cast members Noël Wells, John Milhiser, and Brooks Wheelan have been let go from the show after one season, with Nasim Pedrad also leaving to work as a regular on Mulaney (a move that has long been anticipated) and Mike O'Brien's status currently in talks. Their departures don't come as too huge a shock — as we recapped at the end of last season, the three saw little screen time and had few memorable moments during the season. And while it must come as a disappointment to those actors and their fans, let's not forget that at least a third of everyone [...]
In this third and final episode of Above Average's sketch web series Chicago Rats, Tim Robinson goes out to a fancy clothing store with Mike O'Brien to help him prep for his big date by embarking on the best silly dressing room montage possible. Aidy Bryant and SNL writer John Solomon also make an appearance.
Here's an SNL web exclusive featuring Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, and last week's host Lena Dunham as they patiently wait for Vanessa Bayer to show off the new dance she learned at the gym paired up with Beyonce's "Partition." They might not exactly agree that Bayer's dance skills are up to par, but that doesn't mean they can't hug it out with her for trying.
For a show that evolves constantly, SNL does a remarkable job preserving its brand. Despite the changes in the cast, the writers, and the culture it parodies, SNL will always be that live, hip, New York-centered show that puts up a few sketches at the end of the week to try to make you laugh. There's the "Live from New York…" throw line, the theme music, Don Pardo listing off the cast, the host walking out on stage, followed by that predictable pattern of live sketches, videos, musical performances, and the news segment. Critics put down this structure in favor of looser, more inventive sketch show formats, but given SNL's [...]