Despite all the criticisms I've made about SNL, I should say that I love this show. And not just what I considered the glory years of the series — the late 90s that I grew up with, or the late 70s that my parents grew up with, or the late 80s I discovered in college, or the late 2000s that inspired me to start reviewing it online — I've loved it even during the not-as-great seasons 39 and 40. Even at its worst, SNL remains a fascinating experiment in live TV sketch comedy, and if I'm going to spend a chunk of my week doing something, I want it to be a positive experience. I've never understood [...]
Bao Nguyen's new documentary Live from New York opens the Tribeca Film Festival in New York next week, and the first trailer was released today. The trailer features interview excerpts from Laraine Newman, Amy Poehler, Candice Bergen, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Rudy Giuliani, and of course Lorne Michaels with his famous saying "We don't go on because we're ready, we go on because it's 11:30." The documentary hits theaters in New York, LA, and Chicago on Friday, June 12th.
Though they may look like natural sketch comedians, character actors give us peculiar episodes of SNL.
At least once per season in recent years comes an episode hosted by a thespian known less for his red-carpet appeal than for his eclectic body of work: Steve Buscemi, Ed Norton, and now, Michael Keaton. That seems like an ideal situation — fewer flavor-of-the-week celebrities, more actors with real talent — but more often than not, the combination of these artists' creative independence and SNL's hand-holding formula results in a bit of a disconnect. Norton was fun to watch in that epic Wes Anderson parody, and Buscemi was enjoyable as a creepy-looking football coach. But aside from those highlights, their episodes left [...]
Here's a question I never thought I'd ask: does SNL need more men?
Of course not, right? Only recently has SNL begun to shake off its "boys club" reputation, with a cast of seven men and six women (not counting the two male Weekend Update hosts), and a writers room still predominantly male. The current female lineup is more stacked and well-rounded than ever — there are few roles that Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Leslie Jones, Sasheer Zamata, or Vanessa Bayer can't handle, and I hope that deep field of female talent is here to stay. Considering how pathetic the gender ratio is throughout the late night landscape, and the way Hollywood [...]