SNL shifts into a different gear when a comedian hosts the show. In the early days, comic-hosts like George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Steve Martin were every bit as much a part of the show's countercultural brand as the cast members were. 40 years later, SNL has become part of the mainstream, with a product so formulaic that today's most innovative comics define themselves by how different they are from the comedy institution and the network TV legacy it represents. Popular comedians often struggle to bridge the gap between their delivery and the SNL machine, where the multicam format and demand for immediate laughs often leave little room for nuance. Sometimes the two are incompatible, like when [...]
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 [...]
Whenever Sarah Silverman visits her former boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel it's a guaranteed good time, and last night was no exception. Kimmel asked her about her new boyfriend Michael Sheen, and Silverman gushed about how great the relationship is and rubbed it in Kimmel's face a little: "I don't think I ever really knew what love was, you know what I mean? I don't think I've ever really been in love before, I realized. And you guys have so much in common!"
Vulture had Sarah Silverman interview Whitney Cummings to help promote her upcoming special, I Love You (which premieres tomorrow night at 11pm on Comedy Central), and what resulted is a truly great and in-depth discussion of a wide range of subjects relating to comedy and being a comedian. Here's Cummings on how she became a comedian: Honestly, I was like, such a serious kid. I wasn’t one of those kids who stole Richard Pryor records. I wasn’t a comedy-nerd kid. I had no concept of stand-up. Actually, the only inkling of stand-up I had was I read one of Paul Reiser's books, when I was like 12. I [...]
Xbox has been developing a slate of original shows over the last year and a half, and according to Variety, among them are two comedies from Robot Chicken creator Seth Green as well as Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera. Green's show is a stop-motion series from his own Stoopid Buddy Stoodios similar to Robot Chicken, while a sketch show from Silverman and Cera's YouTube comedy channel JASH — which also includes Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, and Reggie Watts — has also been greenlit. The untitled shows join a slate of eight other original series set to debut on Microsoft's video game platforms and mobile devices starting this summer.