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Posts tagged as saturday night live

Darrell Hammond Says He'd "Be Honored and Thrilled" to Take Over Don Pardo's 'SNL' Duties

In the wake of iconic SNL announcer Don Pardo's passing, the show now has the tall order of hiring a replacement to announce the cast's names at the start of each episode. While Pardo's timeless voice and presence can't be replicated, longtime cast member Darrell Hammond has come pretty close while filling in for him on several occasions and recently spoke to Grantland all about working with Pardo over the years and whether he'd consider taking over the job. Here's what he had to say about developing his Pardo impression:

I had a couple problems with it: The first is the strength of his voice. I remember [...]

Amy Poehler: "My Whole Life Changed Once Don Pardo Said My Name"

"My whole life changed once Don Pardo said my name. I will really miss that kind and talented man."

- In a short but sweet statement for The Wrap, Amy Poehler remembers SNL's legendary announcer Don Pardo.

Brooks Wheelan Talks About His Hiring and Firing from 'SNL'

"I feel like I was hired because they hired so many new cast members, and I feel like I was let go because they hired too many new cast members. So I can't really fault them. That's part of the reason I was there and that's part of the reason I was let go. … They do their own stuff and they clearly know what works."

- Standup Brooks Wheelan discusses his recent firing from SNL in a new interview with The Wrap, in which he says he's looking forward to living a more "Forrest Gump life."

Jesus, You're Funny: 'Black Jesus' and the Long History of Comedic Messiahs

Wherever Aaron McGruder goes, controversy follows. Black Jesus, McGruder's new live-action Adult Swim show starring Gerald "Slink" Johnson as the title character, debuts tonight amid criticisms from Christians of what they view to be blasphemous material, based not on screenings of full episodes but on footage from an extended trailer Adult Swim posted on July 18.

McGruder's last show, the just-recently-ended Boondocks, offended practically everybody. Conservatives objected to The Boondocks' raunchy material, progressives found the show to be misogynist and homophobic, a few of the show's satirical targets didn't take kindly to being satirized and threatened to sue either McGruder or Adult Swim, and Boondocks viewers were offended [...]

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 [...]

'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.

Don Pardo, the Iconic Voice of 'SNL,' Dies at 96

The iconic voice of Saturday Night Live has passed away. News broke last night that Don Pardo, who worked as SNL's announcer since the show's debut in 1975, died in his home of Tucson, Arizona at the age of 96. Pardo's voice is synonymous with SNL's opening credit sequence, and Lorne Michaels told the New York Times that "every year the new cast couldn't wait to hear their name said by him." When asked what SNL will do without Pardo, Michaels said: "I don't know what I'll do. It won't be the first time I've thought of it, and I've never had an answer."

Earlier in [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Tom Davis (1977-1980)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

Whether it's John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Mitch Hedberg, or this week's tragic loss of Robin Williams, the world of comedy has a long history of assigning instant legend status to beloved comedians who die too soon. Maybe it was because he was more of a writer than SNL cast member — or that he was the lesser-known half of recurring SNL duo Franken [...]

John Milhiser on Getting Fired from 'SNL': "It's the Way of the Game"

Scott Rogowsky's live weekly talk show at UCB Running Late taped its season 5 finale a few weeks back with guests Sasheer Zamata and John Milhiser, which also happened to be the day after Milhiser found out he wouldn't be returning to SNL in the fall. While he does say it was the year he felt "the least funny," Milhiser is a very good sport about the whole thing and says being on the show was a dream come true, even though "nobody wants to cast me as a small boyfriend or husband." Click through for another clip from Milhiser's interview as well as a clip of Zamata looking [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Morwenna Banks (1995)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 38 years. In our column Saturday Night’s Children, we present the history, talent, and best sketches of one SNL cast member every other week for your viewing, learning, and laughing pleasure.

While there are plenty of SNL cast members whose stints didn't last many episodes — see Laurie Metcalf, Dan Vitale, and Ben Stiller — British sketch and voice actress Morwenna Banks holds the record of the shortest repertory player tenure with a mere four episodes under her belt at the end of the show's twentieth season in 1995. Four episodes [...]

Read Some New Excerpts from the Updated 'Live from New York' Book

The new and extended version of Tom Shales and James Miller's SNL oral history book Live from New York isn't out until September 9th, but in the meantime THR has released a few exclusive excerpts from the book all about the show's more recent political satire, from how Tina Fey's Sarah Palin was born to why Robert Smigel's last TV Funhouse segment was rejected to Fred Armisen and Jay Pharoah's Obama impersonations. Here's Horatio Sanz on the opposing political sensibilities of former head writers Jim Downey and Seth Meyers:

I don't think the show itself has ever let its freak flag fly in the last 20 [...]

Track the Average 'SNL' Cast Age with This Handy Graphic

Did you know that the post-Seth Meyers SNL cast is the first to all be born after the show's premiere in 1975? Did you also know that the current cast has the youngest average age since 1986? Or that the oldest cast ever was just five years ago in 2009? You can learn these things and more thanks to a new infographic made by writer/comedian and Splitsider contributor Ramsey Ess, which will come in handy during all your age-related SNL debates this fall.

Click through for the full infographic:

Looking Back at Dennis Miller's First Solo Show

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.)

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but Dennis Miller is a guy who’s gone through a lot of different [...]

Paula Pell Looks Back on Writing 'SNL' Sketches with Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri

Here's a new web extra from Late Night in which longtime SNL writer Paula Pell recalls a memory from writing one of her many Spartan cheerleaders sketches with Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, and a very obscene drawing Pell made for educational purposes.