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Posts tagged as Lorne Michaels

What to Expect From 'SNL' Season 40

SNL returns for its 40th season this Saturday, with host Chris Pratt, musical guest Ariana Grande, and pretty much the same cast — minus a handful of people we rarely saw in sketches anyway. Following a lackluster season, Lorne Michaels is now sticking with the tools he's got, replacing five departing cast members with only one newcomer — standup Pete Davidson — and promoting writer Michael Che to co-host Weekend Update. Meanwhile, Colin Jost will remain at the desk after taking on the job last February. It's a conservative approach, compared to last year's throw-everything-against-the-wall casting strategy, which resulted in a cast so overpopulated that some remained literal faces in the crowd at the season's [...]

Lorne Michaels Is Producing a Movie Starring Taran Killam, Rachael Harris, David Wain, and Bobby Moynihan

The new season of SNL is just around the corner, but that hasn't stopped Lorne Michaels from making another movie this summer. Variety reports that Michaels is producing Brothers in Law written by Cameron Fay with rewrites from SNL's Mikey Day and Taran Killam. Killam also stars in the film alongside Bill Pullman, Rachael Harris, Rita Wilson, David Wain, and Bobby Moynihan. Production started in Oregon this week, and the film is described as "having elements of Meet the Parents and What About Bob?" Funny or Die, Newsreaders, and SNL segment directors Matt Villines and Oz Rodriguez AKA Matt and Oz are co-directing the film together.

'SNL' Firing New Cast Members Displays a Show Still Deeply In Transition

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 [...]

Breaking Down Each Cast Member's Contribution to 'SNL' Season 39

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here, we look at the performers that make up SNL's current cast, including their overall contributions to the show, memorable roles, relative screen time, and prospects for returning next season.

SNL's 39th season was a crowded one. Record-breaking crowded, even. Six new hires, plus a seventh midseason, rose the total to 17, making the current cast the largest SNL has seen during its entire four-decade run, topping even the infamously bloated 1990-1991 season. That season only had [...]

'SNL' Review: Andy Samberg, with a Little Help From His Friends

SNL transforms when a former cast member returns to host. The regular format is stretched to make room for a massive SNL reunion, with classic bits and endless cameos by other past stars of the show. Usually this homecoming makes for an exciting night of television, with Lorne Michaels trotting out one of his prized horses to remind us of the joy this show has brought us over the years.

In this case, it reminded us how atypical of a cast member Andy Samberg was. His monologue joke that he appeared in "100 digital shorts and six live sketches" had a ring of truth: unlike all-star alums Will Ferrell [...]

Lorne Michaels Asks 'What's It All About, World?'

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

If you were a young person and you were into anti-establishment humor, then the late 1960s were a great time for you. You had Rowan [...]

'Grantland' Examines the Mellowing Lorne Michaels Empire

"But those who thought a severe housecleaning was in store this summer for the upcoming 40th season have been surprised; there was no bloodbath, no mass firings, none of the seismic upheavals of the past. Only four cast members were voted off the island once the 39th season ended, and some insiders believe this departure from precedent can be traced to changes in Michaels's demeanor, a mellowing evident since, roughly, the late 1990s."

- Live from New York co-writer James Andrew Miller examines the past, present, and future of the Lorne Michaels empire in a new feature for Grantland.

FXX Orders Jay Baruchel/Simon Rich Comedy 'Man Seeking Woman' to Series

FXX announced today that they've ordered 10 episodes of Man Seeking Woman, a new half-hour comedy created by former SNL writer Simon Rich and starring Jay Baruchel and Eric Andre.

Based on Rich's book of short stories, The Last Girlfriend on Earth, Man Seeking Woman is a look at the world of dating centered on naive romantic Josh Greenberg (Baruchel). Rich will executive produce alongside Lorne Michaels and Jonathan Krisel, who directed the pilot and is known for being the in-house director/co-creator on Kroll Show and Portlandia. In addition to Baruchel and Andre, Britt Lower (Unforgettable) and Maya Erskine (Betas) are also series regulars. Man Seeking [...]

How 'SNL' Addressed Race in Season 39, as Shown in 11 Sketches

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here, we look at the show's shifting tone on race over the arc of this season.

This has not been an easy year for SNL to talk about race. From the moment the show announced its six new cast members — the largest turnover in more than a decade — and viewers noticed that not one of them was a person of color, SNL once again became a target of progressive viewers calling for the cast to [...]

Watch Some Rare Clips from Lorne Michaels's Early '70s Canadian Sketch Show

Before creating Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels starred in and co-wrote an obscure early '70s Canadian sketch show called The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour with then-comedy partner Hart Pomerantz, and here are some rare excerpts from it via a recently-unearthed 1986 retrospective special that was uploaded to YouTube. Before Michaels ended up working mostly behind the scenes, he was a sketch comedy performer and, as he recalls, was described as "the tall, good-looking one." Although it only lasted 10 episodes and is rarely talked about today, The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour ended up having an indelible impact upon modern comedy in that it was a precursor to [...]

Darrell Hammond Is Officially the New 'SNL' Announcer

Following the death of SNL's longtime announcer Don Pardo last month, former cast member (and occasional Pardo fill-in) Darrell Hammond said he'd be "honored and thrilled" to take over Pardo's duties on the show going forward, and now that change has officially been made. The New York Times confirms that Lorne Michaels has chosen Hammond to become the show's new announcer going forward. It's not yet clear whether Hammond will imitate Pardo like he's done in the past or make the job his own, but a quote from Michaels seems to hint it will be the latter: "There were a lot of sweet ideas about [...]

Lena Dunham and Fred Armisen Talk About 'SNL' and Their Other Shows for 'Variety'

To celebrate both of their Emmy nominations, Variety recently sat down with Lena Dunham and Fred Armisen for a hybrid interview/conversation that covers everything from their thoughts on each other's shows Girls and Portlandia to what it's like to perform on SNL. Here's both of them talking about Lorne Michaels and his behind-the-scenes skills and power:

Armisen: Lorne gives the most valuable kind of notes. I don't know how he knows. I don't know if he has like some secret connection to my brain but he addresses questions that I haven't asked yet and then I feel better about a whole season. In a sentence, he can diffuse [...]

Lorne Michaels Confirms "There Will Be Changes This Year" on 'SNL'

Ahead of the landmark 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live this fall, Deadline recently spoke with Lorne Michaels about the past season on the show as well as whether or not there will be cast changes before the start of season 40. Here are some of Michaels's thoughts on the latest SNL season:

We lost four leading men at the end of last season, Fred and Bill and Andy and Jason, all of whom were very seasoned, very strong cast. We lost Kristen the year before. All have been here a long time, and you get used to how good people are. Losing the fifth leading man in [...]

The Episodes of 'SNL' Season 39, Ranked

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here, we look at each episode as a whole, ranking them in order of overall success and positive resonance with viewers.

Obviously comedy is subjective, and everyone watches SNL looking for different things — this list is just one of many you can find online. As far as we're concerned, things like musical guests, surprise cameos, and drama surrounding the show are less important than the plain-and-simple comedy aspects of an episode: How many sketches had [...]