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Posts tagged as saturday night live

'SNL' Review: A Step Back with Cameron Diaz

Well, that didn't last long.

Just one week after seemingly proclaiming its transitional era to be over, SNL reaffirmed viewers' perennial skepticism with an episode that made Woody Harrelson's excellent outing look like that much more of a fluke. Cameron Diaz's hosting gig wasn't quite the disaster the show is capable of, but it exhibited all the symptoms of a bland episode that no one will remember by the end of the season: a game-for-anything host that the writers didn't know what to do with (despite this being her fourth time), a dependence on watered-down recurring bits that the actors seem to love more than audiences do, and a general miscalculation by producers on [...]

Lorne Michaels Talks All Things 'SNL' with Bill Simmons

"The joke I used to do is I'd say 'You know, there will be a time when I realize that it can't be as good as it used to be, and that I don't have the focus or the passion to do it in the same way, and that the quality will suffer, and then three years after that I'll leave.'"

- Lorne Michaels comments on his SNL departure plans in an in-depth podcast interview with Bill Simmons, which covers everything from the creation of SNL to the early '80s years to Michaels's thoughts on recaps and reviews in the internet age.

'SNL' Review: A Season High with Woody Harrelson

For the past two years, many viewers have described SNL as being in a "transitional phase." This phase began with the departures of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg in 2012, followed by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and Fred Armisen in 2013, then by Seth Meyers in early 2014. The old guard was clearing out, and their replacements didn't seem up to the task of continuing that golden era. And while not all of the episodes in this interim period have been bad — in fact, many have been quite good, and the hit-to-miss ratio has remained roughly the same — SNL seemed lost in the woods, with almost weekly PR crises, [...]

Saturday Night's Children: Michael O'Donoghue (1975)

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.

It's been almost twenty years to the day since the death of Michael O'Donoghue, one of comedy's darkest, most demented figures and a major creative force behind National Lampoon magazine and SNL during their formative years. Dennis Perrin's 1998 biography of O'Donoghue attributes a quote to him: "Making people laugh is the lowest form of comedy." Indeed O'Donoghue's highest comedy goal, also in his own words — once [...]

Woody Harrelson to Host 'SNL' November 15th

SNL has added another host for this season that, like Chris Rock, will be returning to the show for the first time since the '90s. NBC announced over the weekend that Woody Harrelson will host the next new episode on November 15th with musical guest Kendrick Lamar to promote Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. This will make Harrelson's third time hosting SNL after his appearances in December 1989 and May 1992 and Lamar's second round as musical guest following the January 2013 episode hosted by Adam Levine. Watch Harrelson's opening monologue from 1992 here.

James Franco, Martin Freeman, and Amy Adams are 'SNL's December Hosts

Saturday Night Live just announced its hosts for December. The Wrap reports that James Franco will host for the third time on the December 6th episode to promote his new movie with Seth Rogen The Interview with musical guest Nicki Minaj, while Martin Freeman will make his hosting debut on December 13th with musical guest Charli XCX. SNL's Christmas episode on December 20th will be hosted by Amy Adams with musical guest One Direction. Adams last hosted back in 2008.

Looking Back at the Nine 'SNL' Players Who Left Us Too Soon

When Jan Hooks — SNL cast member from 1986-1991 — died at the age of 57 last month, the show truly lost one of its stealthy greats. Like frequent sketch costar Phil Hartman, Hooks's incredible talent didn't need to call attention to itself, so it's only now, in hindsight and reruns, that the full measure of her brilliance is beginning to be calculated. Since SNL debuted in 1975, over 140 players have been in the cast, and nine have passed away from illness, drugs, or violence. Whether they leave us as beloved superstars with promising careers ahead of them or underappreciated and semi-forgotten talents with few recent onscreen [...]

Woody Harrelson and Taran Killam Get Emotional in These 'SNL' Promos

Woody Harrelson returns to host SNL this week for the first time in over 20 years, and NBC just released the first round of promos with Harrelson and Taran Killam that features both men looking back on their many emotional '90s memories (or lack thereof). Check out another round of promos below:

Cameron Diaz to Host 'SNL' November 22nd

SNL just added another returning host for this season. THR reports that Cameron Diaz is officially set to host SNL's Thanksgiving episode on November 22nd with musical guests Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. This will make Diaz's fourth hosting stint — she previously hosted episodes in 1998, 2002, and 2005. Prior to Diaz, Woody Harrelson will host on November 15th with musical guest Kendrick Lamar.

Check out one of Diaz's most memorable sketches from '98 "Jingleheimer Junction" below:

Aidy Bryant on 'SNL' Reviews: "We're Definitely Aware of It"

"I mean we're definitely aware of it. We hear things. Some of us read more and some of us don't. One of the things we talk about a lot within the cast is how much the show now is broken down into three-minute chunks and dissected. I don't think that happened in the '90s and the '80s and I wonder if there's a purity to that that I envy sometimes. I think that if you went to go see a stand-up show or a sketch show live, you'd take it for what it is and just enjoy it … But it's become such a math problem of 'who has the [...]

Watch Two Cut 'SNL' Sketches About Twitter and Dancing Robots

SNL released two sketches today that were cut for time from last weekend's episode hosted by Woody Harrelson, and they're a delightful mix of fun and weird. Check out the above sketch "Tweet" starring Aidy Bryant as a woman celebrating her 10,000th tweet (with cameos by Edward Norton and God) above, then click through to watch "Pentagon Presentation" featuring Cecily Strong as a dancing robot.

Cameron Diaz and Bobby Moynihan Buddy Up in These 'SNL' Promos

Cameron Diaz is hosting SNL this week for the first time in nearly ten years with musical guests Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. NBC just released the first round of promos today featuring Diaz and Bobby Moynihan, who may or may not have rewritten some of the cue cards in crayon.

Simon Rich Shares His Favorite Never-Aired 'SNL' Sketch on 'Late Night'

Former SNL writer and creator of upcoming FXX show Man Seeking Woman Simon Rich was a guest on last night's Late Night, where he shared his favorite never-aired sketch written with John Mulaney and Marika Sawyer — a Baby-Sitters Club parody starring Fred Armisen as the club's newest 65-year-old Filipino member. If "Second Chance Theatre" ever returns to Late Night, this sketch should be at the top of the list for consideration.

'SNL' Review: Chris Rock Underwhelms

Wherever you stand on SNL, it's safe to say that season 40 has shown a noticeable step forward in quality from last season (regardless of lower ratings and the ever-present hate in many corners online). One of the reasons for this improvement has been the fact that all five of this season's hosts have been performers known for their work in comedy. Chris Rock, Jim Carrey, Bill Hader, Sarah Silverman, and Chris Pratt are all stars we're accustomed to laughing at, so we don't have to deal with that annoying "faculty follies" effect the show tries to employ with athlete or musician hosts.

And yet, not every comedian's humor translates to SNL, and [...]