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Posts tagged as saturday night live

Amy Adams and Taran Killam Get Into the Holiday Spirit in These 'SNL' Promos

SNL's final episode of 2014 airs this weekend with host Amy Adams and musical guest One Direction, and NBC released the first round of promos featuring Adams and Taran Killam catching some holiday spirit thanks to some imaginary snow and the Rockefeller Christmas tree.

Kate McKinnon and Martin Freeman Have a Tea Party in These 'SNL' Promos

Martin Freeman makes his SNL hosting debut this weekend with musical guest Charli XCX, and NBC released the first round of promos today featuring Freeman, Kate McKinnon, a very British tea party, and some important Hobbit questions from Jay Pharoah.

'SNL' Review: James Franco Delivers in an Episode That Doesn't

Let's face it: over the 40 years SNL has been on the air, the majority of its sketches have not made us laugh. For every "Cowbell," there are a dozen forgotten flat-liners you'd never see on the "Best of Will Ferrell" DVD. At best, the show can hope for a 1:1 hit ratio. That's not meant as a knock against SNL, but as an acknowledgement of its difficulty level. By now, we've gone through enough behind-the-scenes documentaries and oral histories to appreciate the show's demanding six-day production period and the risks of live broadcasts. Regular viewers accept a mixed bag as par for the course.

This season has served as evidence of that inconsistency. SNL has produced some real [...]

Former 'SNL' Writer Cindy Caponera on Molly Shannon: "She Was Scrappy and Relentless"

"Molly's path to SNL was impressive. She was scrappy and relentless. She did these crazy one-woman shows, and in between shows she would gather lists of names and phone numbers to ensure that when she did the next show she would have a full house. Again, pre-social media—that means thousands of tiny pieces of paper and business cards. She performed on these little stages in Santa Monica—climbing the rafters in characters she'd created. I'm still not sure how Lorne even found her."

- Former SNL writer Cindy Caponera looks back on Molly Shannon's stint as a cast member and the creation of her "licensed joyologist" character Helen Madden in [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Tina Fey (2000-2006)

Saturday Night Live has been home to over a hundred cast members throughout the past 39 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.

After three and a half years and over 120 SNL cast member profiles, it's time to end this column the way it began — by highlighting one of my favorite women to ever call SNL home. She's best known for her time on SNL and 30 Rock, but for America's many young women who consider themselves awkward, frumpy comedy nerds, Tina [...]

'SNL' Review: Martin Freeman Comes Bearing Gifts

While watching this weekend's SNL hosted by first-timer Martin Freeman, I couldn't help but wonder what the show's original head writer Michael O'Donoghue might have thought of an episode that turned the recently released CIA torture report into jokes about autocorrect and Time Warner Cable, all while tens of thousands of people crowded the length of Sixth Avenue just outside the 30 Rockefeller doors in protest of police brutality and racism. Fans who abandoned SNL back in the '80s will be the quickest to point out that the show's satire hasn't had any edge since O'Donoghue left, but those of us still who still watch regularly know that [...]

Ten Weird, Wonderful, and Recently Cut 'SNL' Sketches

Earlier this week, SNL released the newest "Cut For Time" sketch "Morning News," a risky but welcome take on the recent events in Ferguson that calls out Saturday's lukewarm cold open starring Kenan Thompson as a bumbling Al Sharpton for what it is: a missed opportunity to tackle even the most tragic political news in the sketch comedy format. Since last season, NBC has been regularly uploading SNL sketches that didn't make it to air, and for fans who love fresh, innovative, and often bizarre premises, these lost sketches are a welcome reminder that SNL is still capable of delivering original ideas that are weird as they are hilarious — just [...]

Sasheer Zamata Talks Improv, Dance Moves, and Her Nicki Minaj Impersonation

Over the weekend, SNL released a new installment of "AskSNL" featuring cast member Sasheer Zamata, who shares her favorite food and dance moves, offers some advice for aspiring improv students, and reveals that she'd really like to get her Nicki Minaj impersonation on the show even though all the opportunities in last week's SNL went to the real Nicki Minaj.

Chris Rock Talks 'SNL,' Standup, Politics, and More with 'New York' Magazine

New York magazine recently conducted a lengthy interview with Chris Rock to promote his latest film Top Five, and it's loaded with great insight on everything from standup and SNL to political correctness, President Obama, and current events like Ferguson and Bill Cosby's demise. Here are Rock's thoughts on how cell phones and social media have driven comedians' self-censorship when developing material:

It is scary, because the thing about comedians is that you’re the only ones who practice in front of a crowd. Prince doesn’t run a demo on the radio. But in stand-up, the demo gets out. There are a few guys good enough [...]

Sketch Anatomy: Matt Besser on His Favorite Andy Kaufman Late Night Appearances

Welcome to our column Sketch Anatomy, where we ask some of our favorite comedy writers to choose any sketch — one they personally wrote or one from history they find particularly hilarious, notable, or underappreciated — to learn from a writer's perspective what separates a successful sketch from the rest.

For this week's installment of Sketch Anatomy we spoke with Matt Besser, co-founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade and host of the Earwolf podcast improv4humans who most recently appeared on Drunk History, The Birthday Boys, Comedy Bang! Bang! and the Adult Swim infomercial "In Search of Miracle Man." Besser chose to take a look back at some [...]

Watch the Newest Cut 'SNL' Sketch "100 Greatest Guys"

SNL uploaded a new pretaped sketch today that was cut from James Franco's episode called "100 Greatest Guys," a parody of VH1 countdown shows featuring Kyle Mooney, Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah, Bobby Moynihan, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson, Beck Bennett, Kenan Thompson, and Vanessa Bayer as a varied group of entertainment experts providing commentary on the great guys to top out their definitive list. Check out the other sketch cut from Franco's episode "Morning News" here.

Watch 'SNL's Cut Ferguson Sketch About a St. Louis Morning Show

If you thought SNL dropped the ball this week by opening with a silly Al Sharpton sketch instead of something that more directly tackled the Eric Garner grand jury decision in New York, check out this sketch "Morning News" that, like a lot of other weird and great sketches this season, was cut for time. Whether you see "Morning News" as a hilariously awkward take on the events in Ferguson or a very meta look at SNL's recent discomfort with covering politics, one thing's for sure: It's definitely better than a joke about Al Sharpton's inability to pronounce the word "dubious."

Chris Rock Explains How He Helped Leslie Jones Get Hired at 'SNL'

Chris Rock has a powerful Hollywood Reporter essay out today that breaks down his thoughts on Hollywood's race problem, and in the middle of the essay there's some great SNL trivia for fans of newly added featured player Leslie Jones. According to the essay, Rock was lobbying to get Jones on the show long before she actually got the job:

And I have a decent batting average. I still remember people thinking I was crazy for hiring Wanda Sykes on my old HBO show. I recommended J.B. Smoove for Saturday Night Live, and I just helped Leslie Jones get on that show. She's about as funny as [...]

Watch "Def TED Talks," a Cut 'SNL' Sketch by Michael Che and Bryan Tucker

NBC uploaded a sketch this week called "Def TED Talks" that was cut from the latest episode of SNL hosted by Cameron Diaz, which was written by Michael Che and Bryan Tucker and features Diaz and a ton of cast members in a Def Jam/TED Talks mashup show hosted by Jay Pharoah as Russell Simmons. Considering how great last week's cut sketch "Tweet" was, by the end of this season we might have a whole episode's worth of delightfully weird and creative sketches that didn't make it to live air.