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Posts tagged as Lorne Michaels

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 [...]

Lorne Michaels on Jimmy Fallon: "There is no job for Jimmy after this."

"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 [...]

Adam McKay Responds to Jim Breuer Saying He Got Him Fired from 'SNL'

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. [...]

Let's Talk About SNL's Diversity Problem

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 [...]

'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 [...]

Jay Baruchel Is Starring in Simon Rich's FX Pilot, Produced by Lorne Michaels

Undeclared and This Is the End star Jay Baruchel has been cast as the lead in an FX pilot created by former Saturday Night Live writer Simon Rich and executive produced by Lorne Michaels, THR reports. Based on Rich's book, The Last Girlfriend on Earth, the half-hour comedy follows as a guy who's reentering the frightening dating scene after being dumped. If the show gets picked up, this will be Baruchel's first TV job since the short-lived 2006 courtroom drama Just Legal, which he starred in with Don Johnson.

Rich will serve as showrunner if the Last Girlfriend on Earth pilot gets picked up. Jonathan Krisel (Portlandia) [...]

HBO Passes on Sarah Silverman/Lorne Michaels Comedy

Back in October, it was announced that HBO had added what seemed like a surefire pilot with People In New Jersey, a half-hour series starring Sarah Silverman and Topher Grace, directed by Bridesmaids' Paul Feig, produced by Lorne Michaels, and created/written by Girls/Six Feet Under writer Eric Kaplan. Though the specifics of the network's decision is unclear, Deadline reports that HBO has "decided not to go forward" with the pilot, though they are redeveloping another Michaels-produced comedy created by and starring Fallon writers Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin. Sadly, it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer until Silverman finds her next regular starring [...]

NBC Orders a Pilot for Maya Rudolph's Variety Show; Will Air as a Primetime Special

Maya Rudolph is coming back to NBC. Deadline reports that the network has ordered a pilot for an untitled variety show starring Rudolph and produced by Lorne Michaels, who worked with her on SNL and Up All Night. NBC will air the pilot in February as a primetime special following the Winter Olympics. Presumably, the network will order the pilot to series if the special does well. With Rudolph and Michaels working on this, the show should have no trouble landing well-known guests from both the music and comedy worlds.

After Up All Night was canceled last February, Maya Rudolph turned down five sitcom pilot offers and [...]

Watch an Interview with Lorne Michaels and the 'SNL' Cast from Before the Show Premiered in 1975

Here's a recently-unearthed video of a short interview Lorne Michaels and the entire Saturday Night Live cast did with Tom Snyder on his NBC talk show Tomorrow just prior to the show's premiere in 1975. It's worth sitting through the monologue about 30 Rock's air conditioning that Snyder interrupts the interview for just to see the whole gang all together and looking so young and unaware of all the amazing success they were all about to have.

(via Laughing Squid)

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 [...]

Lorne Michaels Gives Post-'SNL' Career Advice to 'New York' Magazine

"The advice I give most often is, build a bridge to the next thing. When it’s solid enough, walk across it. Don’t go because somebody promised you this or somebody promised you that. You’re a star on SNL. That does not automatically mean you’ll be a star in everything else you touch."

- Lorne Michaels in a new interview with New York magazine about SNL, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon's upcoming late night turns, and how comedy has evolved over his 40+ year career.

Here Are 11 Candidates for the New 'SNL' Cast Member Spot

We reported last week that SNL is currently holding auditions for at least one black female cast member, and so far eleven women have received callbacks for the spot. According to Deadline and the Daily News, the following list of ladies from both the New York and Los Angeles showcases have been asked to do in-studio tests at 30 Rock today: Bresha Webb (whose Instagram shot leaked the audition news last week), Tanisha Long (MTV's Girl Code), Misty Monroe (Groundlings), Gabrielle Dennis (BET's The Game), Erica Ash (Tracy Morgan's pilot Death Pact), Amber Ruffin (Boom Chicago), Leslie Jones (standup), [...]

Lorne Michaels Responds to the 'SNL' Diversity Issue

Saturday Night Live has been taking some heat in the press for its lack of diversity after adding six new cast members, all of them white and five of them male, this fall. In the wake of a controversial quote from longtime cast member Kenan Thompson two weeks ago about how the show never finds black female comedians who are "ready," SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels has finally weighed in on the matter. When asked about the show not having any black female cast members by The AP, Michaels responded, "It's not like it's not a priority for us. It will happen. I'm sure it will happen." While [...]

Sarah Silverman Will Star in Lorne Michaels's HBO Pilot

Sarah Silverman is going to HBO. She's set to star alongside Topher Grace and Patti LuPone in People in New Jersey, a Lorne Michaels-produced comedy pilot for the pay cable network, TV Line reports. Freaks and Geeks creator and Bridesmaids director Paul Feig is directing the pilot and producing it with Michaels. Girls and Six Feet Under writer Bruce Eric Kaplan created the potential series.

People in New Jersey follows an adult brother and sister (Grace and Silverman) living in the Garden State. Grace is playing a single locksmith named Carl Levin, while Silverman will play Melanie Levin, a woman working part-time in a department store who is in [...]