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Saturday Night's Children: Randy Quaid (1985-1986)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 37 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member each week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Most of Randy Quaid's onscreen roles have built upon his knack for playing beefy, bumbling hillbillies and cowboy types, but his over 70 film and TV credits came to a pause in 2010, when one unattended court appearance transformed him from a respected Oscar-nominated actor to a paranoid and homeless border-crossing fugitive. Quaid's latest legal pickle — being denied permanent residence in Canada [...]

'SNL' Review: Christoph Waltz Ist Fantastisch

One thing that has persisted through the undercurrents of SNL's humor is an ironic fascination of German culture. From the celebration of avant garde in Sprockets to the arrogance and vanity of (technically Austrian) bodybuilders Hanz and Franz — as well as the running gag of Liz Lemon's nerdy fluency in German on 30 RockSNL and its cohorts have depicted exactly the German qualities that host Christoph Waltz reflected last Saturday night: charming, precise, deliberate… and yes, a little unnerving.

Such qualities made SNL's first native-German-speaker a natural host. Waltz's many talents acquired from an upbringing in a theater family — singing, dancing, character work — gave [...]

'Up All Night' Is Only Doing One Multi-Cam Episode Now

It's been a turbulent few months for NBC's low-rated comedy Up All Night, with the show losing its showrunner, creator, and – just last week – its star Christina Applegate. This comes in the wake of a decision in October to shut down production for a three-month hiatus in order to turn the show into a multi-camera sitcom with a live audience to film the final five episodes of the season. Today, Deadline reports that the remaining episode order has been cut from five to one in the wake of Christina Applegate's departure Friday. Multi-camera vet James Burrows is being brought in to direct [...]

Dan Harmon Addresses Fans at Communicon, the First-Ever 'Community' Convention

"For two seasons, we wanted to do an episode where Jeff Winger pretended there was a class called "Nicolas Cage Appreciation," and then the Dean caught them and as punishment to them he was going to make that a real class and force them to watch all the Nicolas Cage movies in one night."

- Community creator Dan Harmon speaking at the world's first-ever Community convention. Head over to Flavorwire for other stuff he said during his speech.

Will NBC Be the First Broadcast Network to Fall?

"Five or ten years from now, there's a good chance we'll recognize NBC as the Peacock in the coal mine, the first one to fall as the broadcast era came to a close — or, at least, morphed into something far different than what we've known for the past 60 years."

- from a Vulture piece about NBC's abysmally-rated 2012-2013 brodcast season, entitled "Has NBC Passed the Point of No Return?"

Tom Lennon Cast in Victor Fresco's Pilot; Plus, NBC Offered Maya Rudolph a Part

Tom Lennon of Reno 911! and The State fame has been cast in an untitled NBC pilot created by Victor Fresco (Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Better Off Ted), and starring Sean Hayes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Additionally, we reported earlier that NBC offered a part in the show to Maya Rudolph, whose current series Up All Night looks to be ending its run soon. The multicamera pilot follows a guy (Hayes) struggling to parent his teenage daughter, who just moved in, all while dealing with a temperamental new boss (Lennon) at an online retail company. Linda Lavin (Alice) and Echo Kellum (Ben and Kate) also star [...]

'Community' Ratings Drops 42% in Its Second Week

For the second episode of its new season last night, Community's ratings fell significantly after the premiere. The first new (post-Dan Harmon) episode of the season scored a 1.8 rating amongst adults 18-49, while last night's got a 1.1 – dipping 42% and falling short of 30 Rock's average (1.3) in the same timeslot this season. This was Community's lowest-ever rating in the 18-49 demographic. To be fair, though, Valentine's Day caused TV viewership on the whole to drop by 6%. Maybe watching a Halloween episode of a sitcom just isn't anyone's idea of a romantic Valentine's Day.

Saturday Night's Children: Charles Rocket (1980-1981)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 37 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member each week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

One of the few truly "dangerous" moments of the infamous Jean Doumanian SNL run from 1980-1981 came from a louche, too-handsome 30-year-old comedian named Charlie Rocket, and it caused the whole cast to be fired, and Jean too. She packaged Rocket as the new Murray/Chase hybrid handsome guy — confident, a little clueless, and able to pratfall one second and deliver straight-faced news the [...]

Watch NBC Try to Justify Airing 'Community's Halloween Episode in February with a Cheesy Promo

You've probably heard how NBC pushed Community's premiere back from October to February, meaning that the show's Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas episodes will all air this winter/spring. If not, NBC just released this tacky promo trying to explain away that inconsistency by relying heavily on the cringe-inducing portmanteau "Valloween." Hopefully, this is is the last of these, and we won't have to watch promos for Thankspatricks Day and Easterchristmas.

Christina Applegate Leaves 'Up All Night'; Is the Show as Good as Canceled?

Deadline reports that Christina Applegate, the star of NBC's troubled comedy Up All Night, has left the show. Applegate gave a statement saying, "It’s been a great experience working on Up All Night, but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors." The new creative direction Applegate is referring to is a decision by NBC back in October to shut down production for five months in order to retool Up All Night as a multi-camera sitcom with a studio audience. Following the news, the show got a new showrunner, Linda Wallem, in [...]

NBC Will Probably Just Cancel 'Up All Night'

NBC is "strongly considering abandoning" plans to reboot its struggling sitcom Up All Night, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The network has yet to officially cancel the show following the departure of its showrunner, creator, and most recently, star Christina Applegate, all in the wake of NBC's decision to turn the show from a single-camera comedy to a multi-cam one taped in front of a live audience. The season's remaining order of five episodes was trimmed to one last week, but Deadline reports that one episode is being scrapped too. THR says the show's writing staff is looking for new jobs and [...]

Enjoy This Supercut of All the Drinking Scenes from 'Parks and Rec'

Slacktory cut together all the scenes from Parks and Recreation in which characters drink and/or are drunk. The video has a surprising lack of Snake Juice.

April Ludgate from 'Parks and Rec' Pens an Ode to Neutral Milk Hotel

"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is the best album ever made and all other albums stink, and if you don’t agree, I’ll fight you."

- April Ludgate, of Parks and Recreation fame, writing for Vulture about her appreciation for Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on the album's 15th anniversary (Parks an Rec co-creator Mike Schur may have helped).

'SNL' Review: Not A Belieber

It's not easy to reconcile my preferences for the alternative comedy scene that this site represents and my admiration for an eternally mainstream show like SNL. I want a lineup of weird, dark premises and sketches that establish clear games… and then intentionally subvert them. I want sketches to end with Mr. Show-like transitions, with a character leaving the room and walking onto a new set, where a new sketch begins, and throwaway jokes from earlier sketches to reappear later, like Kroll Show is doing. I want an episode where Nick Offerman hosts, Garfunkel and Oates is the musical guest, Danny Pudi sits silently in the background of every sketch, [...]