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 [...]
The New York Post ran a brief interview with SNL head writer and not-so-well-received Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost over the weekend, and aside all but confirming that he's set to return to the Update desk next season, he addressed some of the criticism that's come his way since he joined the cast back in March.
On juggling the Update gig with his job as head writer:
Even when you have two or three [new people], it's challenging. You want to learn their voices so you can write for [them]. When you have so many people … you don't get as much time to spend with the [...]
"But I think now we all would like, I think, something Colin and I talked about, to sort of integrate Update back into the show. And we have a really great new writer, my friend Katie Rich, from Chicago. I used to understudy her. She's got such a great personality and she's getting our nerdy little sweet Update guys out of their shell and letting the two meet. It's almost like you want them to have a mixer: 'Update, meet SNL.'"
– Cecily Strong in a joint interview with Colin Jost for The Wall Street Journal, in which the Weekend Update co-anchor hints at the segment's evolving relation with [...]
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 [...]
Lorne Michaels is rounding out the cast for a new movie he's producing, called Staten Island Summer. Jim Gaffigan and Kate Walsh are the latest to sign on to the project, THR reports. The film follows best friends Danny (Graham Phillips, The Good Wife) and Frank (Zack Pearlman, The Inbetweeners) as poolside lifeguards the summer after high school graduation, with the former about to attend Harvard and the latter unsure of where to go in his life. Gaffigan and Walsh are playing Danny's parents. Staten Island Summer is being directed by Rhys Thomas, a longtime producer/director of SNL shorts and video segments who recently helmed Bill Hader's Stefon farewell, and the script [...]