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Posts tagged as cecily strong

'SNL' Review: Seth Rogen Half-Baked

While watching Seth Rogen host SNL for the third time last weekend, I was reminded of two other three-peat hosts from earlier this season: Paul Rudd in December and Jonah Hill in January. Rudd's episode felt like extended promo for Anchorman 2, with the host failing to capture that lightning in the bottle with cast members that made his previous stints so memorable. Hill, however, seemed to enjoy himself every bit as much as he did his first two appearances.

Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Jonah Hill are, of course, hugely successful alumni from Team Judd Apatow, but their careers have taken diverging trajectories. Rogen and Rudd have [...]

Checking in with 'SNL' Halfway Through Season 39

We've reached the midpoint of SNL's 39th season — one that has optimistically been called a "transitional year," but one more commonly known as "the year the shit hit the fan with that whole black woman issue." Despite the fact that the bulk of the SNL coverage in fall 2013 has zeroed in on the show's diversity controversy, SNL has given us plenty of other things to talk about, from new cast members and emerging stars on the show, to surprise cameos and celebrity hosts who defied our expectations — in good and bad ways.

Unfortunately, few of those topics have gotten much ink in fall 2013 (outside of sites [...]

'SNL' Review: No Escape from Miley Cyrus

After Justin Bieber hosted SNL last season, I concluded that SNL will never quite be the alternative comedy show we'd like it to be. There's no denying the show would be much funnier if producers only booked the heroes of comedy nerds to host the show, as it did last season with Louis CK and last week with Tina Fey. I've made the case several times that the show would be far better if only former cast members hosted — indeed, SNL has enough star alumni to fill a few seasons' worth of episodes.

But SNL isn't that show. The ongoing inclusion of performances by a musical guest [...]

Cecily Strong Will Join Seth Meyers at the 'Weekend Update' Desk

After much speculation, Lorne Michaels told the New York Times yesterday that 2nd year cast member Cecily Strong will co-anchor Weekend Update with Seth Meyers when the show returns for its 39th season on Sept. 28. Strong became a favorite on Weekend Update last year with her character, The Girl You Wished You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party. Meyers is due to take over the Late Night franchise from Jimmy Fallon in February, but Michaels said that might not be the end of him on SNL.

Mr. Michaels said his general plan was to have Ms. Strong share the “Update” desk with Mr. Meyers for the season’s [...]

Watch Kristen Schaal, Anthony Jeselnik, Nick Kroll, and More at a Comedy Roundtable

Here's The Hollywood Reporter's hour-long comedy roundtable, featuring Kristen Schaal, Anthony Jeselnik, Nick Kroll, Rob Delaney, and Cecily Strong. From Kroll's story about bombing in front of Bill Murray when he was new at stand-up to Schaal discussing a particular network's reluctance to air shows with female leads, it's an interesting and fun chat all around.

'SNL' Review: Melissa McCarthy and a Farewell to Seth Meyers

Some episodes of SNL are bigger than the host. For example, this season's premiere spotlighted the show's record six new cast members, while host Tina Fey shone in serviceable roles, like her pep talk to Cecily Strong in the latter's first time co-hosting Weekend Update. Similarly, last season's finale focused less on Ben Affleck's career comeback than it did on saying goodbye to Bill Hader and Fred Armisen (and Jason Sudeikis, though his departure hadn't been officially announced at that point). It's an awkward position for the host to find him or herself in, because not only do they feel the pressure to satisfy viewers tuning in to [...]

'SNL' Review: Jimmy Fallon's Christmas Miracle

Boy, did SNL need a win. The months following September's successful season premiere with Tina Fey saw a mixed bag of lackluster hosts, unmemorable sketches, and distracting media scrutiny. Even Kerry Washington's enjoyable November episode was overshadowed by the show's diversity controversy — Washington's hilarious performance only seemed to underscore SNL's lack of a black woman in the cast (an issue that will apparently be resolved in January). Furthermore, when beloved comedy stars Paul Rudd and John Goodman produced surprisingly disappointing episodes over the past few weeks, and with the coming departure of head writer Seth Meyers, SNL's future was looking grim.

Then [...]

'SNL' Review: Tina Fey Introduces The New Cast

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 [...]

Breaking Down Each Cast Member's Contribution to 'SNL' Season 38

As mentioned in yesterday's post listing our favorite moments from this season of SNL, Season 38 has been dubbed a "transitional year" by many followers of the show. After a few years of relative stability among the core cast members, stars Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg left a year ago, followed by Abby Elliott later in the summer. With the start of the new season, three performers from Chicago's improv and sketch community joined the cast: Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong. In the wake of Wiig's dominating presence on the show, two freshman females in particular have emerged as go-to's: Kate McKinnon, who joined the cast [...]

Jimmy Fallon Debuts 'Worst I Ever Bombed' with 'SNL's Cecily Strong

Jimmy Fallon just started a new web series called Worst I Ever Bombed, in which a comedian shares their worst-ever live performance experience. First up is freshman SNL castmember Cecily Strong, with a tale from her Second City days about an audience member named Slugger Bologna that she could also tell in a hypothetical Jimmy Fallon web series called "Worst Fake Name I've Ever Heard."

'SNL' Review: Jonah Hill's Award-Worthy Performance

Anytime I begin to think Jonah Hill might be overrated, I only need watch him host SNL. Yes, it's still pretty weird to think that the guy from Superbad has spent the last few years scoring Oscar nominations and hanging out with Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Martin Scorcese. And it's easy to say the industry might be a little too infatuated with a comedy star who can surprise with a nuanced performance in a movie academy voters actually care about.

But then Jonah Hill comes back to host SNL, and suddenly it makes sense. Not only is the guy the real deal — he seems like a delight [...]

Cecily Strong Pitched Some Great 'Die Hard' Ideas To Bruce Willis In His 'SNL' Promos

Bruce Willis is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, and Cecily Strong got to co-star in her first promos with the action star. Presumably she lobbied hard for the gig, because she has got some great ideas for future Die Hard films and the leading lady that should play opposite him.

What to Look Forward to in 'SNL' Season 39

Season 39 of SNL kicks off this Saturday night with Tina Fey, Arcade Fire, and a mouthful of new names for Don Pardo to read off in the opening credits. After several seasons of little turnover, the cast is experiencing a major upheaval, with six — six! — new cast members to replace the departed Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Fred Armisen. This is the largest staff hire in 18 years, tying the 1995-1996 season's addition of Jim Breuer, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, David Koechner, Cheri Oteri, and Nancy Walls. After the show's dismal 1994-1995 season, which saw near cancellation and the firing/resignation of 12 cast members, those six were [...]

The Best of 'SNL' Season 38

It snuck up on us, didn't it? The end of SNL Season 38 brought along with it key staff changes, among them the upcoming departure of head writer Seth Meyers and the immediate departures of cast members Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and (unofficially) Jason Sudeikis. Few people have shaped SNL over the past 8 years more than these men — Meyers with his leadership in the writers room and charm as Weekend Update host, and Hader, Armisen and Sudeikis as the cast's workhorses and loadbearing performers. Indeed, many pegged Season 38 as a "transitional year" in the wake of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg leaving the show a year ago, [...]