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 [...]
"It’s not lost on Fallon that Tonight, if all goes well, will be his last job, the one that will see him through the next 20 to 30 years. There is none of the tension that surrounded the Jay-to-Conan transition, and the show’s relocation east signals NBC’s strong commitment to not messing with the program any further. Michaels, for his part, is adamant on the matter. 'There is no job for Jimmy after this,' he said. 'You can’t go back to being Uncle Bob in the movie. This is a different thing, something that only a few people in the world ever get to do.'"
- from Vanity Fair's [...]
Former SNL cast member Jim Breuer went on WTF with Marc Maron last month and claimed he heard from an NBC executive that Adam McKay, who was head writer for the show at the time, "fought adamantly" to have him fired. On this week's improv4humans, McKay told his side of the story to host Matt Besser:
The network made Lorne hire Jim Breuer when we came on. It was when the show's ratings were getting kind of low. So Jim then comes on the show, and Jim's a great guy. I had no problem with Jim whatsoever. Completely cool guy, wrote sketches, [I] put him in sketches. [...]
Kenan Thompson has been taking a lot of heat this week for a comment he made in a TV Guide interview about SNL's lack of a black female cast member, despite the recent hiring of six white performers. Following Jay Pharoah's rather blunt remark to theGrio that "They need to pay attention" and cast a black woman like Darmirra Brunson, Thompson had a more ambiguous response:
Instead of blaming showrunner Lorne Michaels or the series, which currently only employs three actors of color out of 16 cast members (Thompson, Pharaoh and the Iranian Nasim Pedrad), Thompson blames the lack of quality black female comedians. "It's just a tough part of [...]
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 [...]