In case you hadn't noticed, there have been a lot more music stars on SNL lately. Not merely performing as musical guests or popping up in a sketch here or there, as we've seen on the show every week, but pop stars getting booked as host in addition to their musical guest gig. What was once a rare event with triple threats like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake occasionally pulling double duty in the early 2000s (and once by Paul Simon in 1976) has now become a fairly common practice. The last three seasons have seen hosts + musical guests Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Bruno [...]
For people who like to talk about comedy, there are few greater debates than the one over the claim that "funny is funny." Can a performer or joke be objectively funny independent of context or medium? There are those who argue yes, that some comedians are so talented that their popularity is universal — Robin Williams, say, or Bill Murray — and that every culture since the dawn of man has had some version of a fart joke. Then there are those who argue no, that there are "different kinds of funny." Comedian Bill Burr made waves for his rant about "alternative comedy," which he criticized as being [...]
Season 39 of SNL kicks off this Saturday night with Tina Fey, Arcade Fire, and a mouthful of new names for Don Pardo to read off in the opening credits. After several seasons of little turnover, the cast is experiencing a major upheaval, with six — six! — new cast members to replace the departed Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis, and Fred Armisen. This is the largest staff hire in 18 years, tying the 1995-1996 season's addition of Jim Breuer, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, David Koechner, Cheri Oteri, and Nancy Walls. After the show's dismal 1994-1995 season, which saw near cancellation and the firing/resignation of 12 cast members, those six were [...]
Here's SNL's Taran Killam on Jimmy Fallon Friday night, talking about the time he avoided Michael Cera at a party because he didn't want to talk to Cera about the impression of him he did on the show. Also, you get to see Killam play a popstar from a decade-old movie clip Fallon dug up, making this an interview that's well-rounded in the different ways it embarrasses Killam.