"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.
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 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 [...]
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.
It was late summer, 1982, and I was driving down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I turned to her and said, “This must be what winning the lottery feels like.” We had just been asked to join the cast of Saturday Night Live along with Brad Hall (and Paul Barrosse, who would become a writer) and were on our way to our last performance of “The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee.”
The show was a collection of our best Practical Theatre sketches over a three-year period and it was a local hit that caught the attention of Tim Kazurinsky. Tim brought in Dick Ebersol and Bob Tischler who [...]