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Chris Pratt and Sarah Silverman to host SNL openers

After a lot of speculation, Saturday Night Live finally announced hosts and musical guests for their first two episodes of the upcoming 40th season. 

The biggest star in the world, Chris Pratt, is set to host the first episode of the season with musical guest Ariana Grande (SNOOZE). Following those two for the second episode are host Sarah Silverman and musical guest Maroon 5 (SNOOZE). 

No word yet on whether or not the rumor that Bill Murray is going to host an episode is true or not. FINGERS FUCKING CROSSED, THOUGH. 

Saturday Night Live premieres September 27. 

September 10, 2014 VIEW POST

Andy Samberg and Charlize Theron to close out SNL season

Saturday Night Live announced the remaining host and musical guests for this season, and they’re all totally killer! 

Obviously, I’m stoked to see The Black Keys and St. Vincent perform, and I’m hopeful that Coldplay will be game to jump into some sketches (as they are wont to do). 

But the real kicker here is SNL alum Andy Samberg returning to the show that launched him into super-stardom. I always love it when SNL alums make their way back to studio 8H, and I can’t wait to see Andy make his hosting debut! Fingers crossed for a Digital Short for old time’s sake.  

April 23, 2014 VIEW POST

SNL announces killer lineup for April hosts and musical guests!

Check that out! I can tell you right now, unless the Saturday Night Live writers royally screw it up, the April 5 show with Anna Kendrick and Pharrell is going to be dope as shit. 

March 29: Louis CK + Sam Smith

April 5: Anna Kendrick + Pharrell

April 12: Seth Rogen + Ed Sheeran

March 19, 2014 VIEW POST

SNL names head writer Colin Jost as Meyers’ WEEKEND UPDATE replacement

SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels announced today that SNL head writer Colin Jost will take over Seth Meyers’ Update chair when he leaves host Late Night with Seth Meyers next month. 

Jost became head writer for SNL in 2012, but has been writing for the show since 2005. 

He’s got pretty big shoes to fill, so let’s hope this cute bespectacled guy has what it takes. Or else. 

January 23, 2014 VIEW POST

Best sketches of the night: DRAKE’S SNL debut

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Drake surprised me! Surprised me quite a bit. Enjoy the best sketches from last night’s Saturday Night Live. 

January 19, 2014 VIEW POST

Best sketches from Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s practically perfect SNL

I’ll just leave these here. I literally was so thoroughly excited and pleased with 90% of Saturday Night Live last night that I can’t really put it into words anyway. IT WAS JUST SO MUCH GOOD. 

Enjoy. 

December 22, 2013 VIEW POST

Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Paul Rudd and more to guest on SNL this December

Let the Christmas angels rejoice! 

Saturday Night Live has announced a slew of fantastic hosts and musical guests for the month of December! 

On December 7, Paul Rudd will return to host SNL for the third time. Joining him will be musical guest One Direction (I don’t even with that—do not ask). 

December 14 will see John Goodman hosting at Studio 8H for the 13th time with musical guest Kings of Leon, who will be making their third appearance. 

And to finish out the year with what will hopefully be another brilliant Christmas SNL, Jimmy Fallon will continue the bromance to end all bromances as he hosts with his BFF Justin Timberlake as musical guest! 

December is looking up! (Except for that One Direction stuff, still not okay with that.) 

November 21, 2013 VIEW POST

SNL’s best sketch: A very Wes Anderson Halloween

The Edward Norton episode was at best, mediocre. There were a few solid moments, but the peak of the episode was without a doubt the perfectly executed Wes Anderson horror movie trailer. 

Watch below! Hysterical AND accurate. Love. 

October 27, 2013 VIEW POST

Every GIF You Need To Cope With Bill Hader And Fred Armisen Leaving SNL

Still got the sads over Bill and Fred’s departure from SNL? Use this handy GIF guide over at Buzzfeed (courtesy of yours truly!) to cope with your dperession. This post has EVERYHTING: Human magic 8 balls, DJ Baby Bok Choy, Furkels…

"Every GIF You Need to Cope with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen Leaving SNL."

May 21, 2013 VIEW POST

Ben Affleck manages to make it through a hilarious and sentimental SNL

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Before last night, I was trying to remember the last time Ben Affleck hosted SNL. And while specifics wouldn’t come to mind, the only thing that did stick out was his inability read cue cards smoothly. I vaguely remembered that he was just plain awful at reading them. Flash forward to his 5th time hosting (I know, I can’t believe it either), and the story is no different. While he gives it everything he’s got, he’s still just a stammering, flubbing host throughout many of his sketches. 

That’s not to say that he didn’t go a good job despite that flaw. Last night’s SNL was actually pretty darn good. It was riotously funny at times, and hilariously poignant at others. We said goodbye to some dear friends, and I can’t help but be curious about the future of SNL now that they’ve left. 

The show started off on a great foot with the cold open, something I can’t say is always the case. Kenan Thompson killed it as a defiantly stupid Al Sharpton, and the result was a hilarious, short but sweet opening to a great show. 

Ben’s monologue was mediocre, but it was boosted by a lovely visit from his darling wife Jennifer Garner. I had already forgotten about the “love is work” comment or whatever he said during his Oscar acceptance speech, but the joke still played all right. I do think it would have been amazing if they had gotten a few more specials guests for him, though. 

The predictable Argo-spoof sketch was first out of the gate, and it was not bad! The gag that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had to say “park the car in Harvard yard” before every line to find the Boston accent was hysterical. And I won’t ruin the best punchline of the entire evening for you, so watch the sketch and see for yourself. 1000+ points to Ben Affleck for that one. 

The only fauxmerical of the night was BRILLIANT. It was for Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings. And aside from being crazy accurate, it was just plain funny. The stress that you feel from attending a perfect wedding, knowing that you can’t compete? There’s Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings for that. 

The only sketch that seemed very ill-placed and subpar was a Depression-era sketch that was about…..bad people? Prostitutes? I’m still note really sure, because it was so strange. It seemed like the type of one-off weirdo sketch that would show up at the end of the night. You can skip this one unless you want to see Ben Affleck’s Jimmy Stewart impression. (Like I said, you can probably skip it.) 

One of the funnier sketches of the night was about a New Beginners camp gay teens—you know, the ‘let’s make you straight’ camps. Ben Affleck was great as the camp’s head counselor who was obviously still gay. Also, Bobby Moynihan’s killer flamboyance was to die for. But the MVP was once again my favorite person on the show, Taran Killam. I thought they were going to take it a little bit farther than they did (I would have really liked to have seen those two kiss), but it still worked for me for the most part. (This one isn’t online yet.) 

Weekend Update was the obvious highlight of the night. The amazing, incomparable, brilliantly talented Amy Poehler made her way back to the Update desk for a quick REALLY?!?! segment with Seth. And then to the delight of literally every good human being on the planet, she stuck around for the rest of Update and reprised her role as Seth’s co-anchor. It was beyond enjoyable. 

But the biggest moment from Update was of course, the final visit and farewell sendoff for our dear Stefon. This farewell was, in a word, amazing. The whole bit was perfect for Stefon, perfect for Bill Hader, and perfect for the show. I don’t really want to spoil it for you, but know that while it’s hysterically funny, it’s also pointedly sentimental, but in the best possible way. Please, do yourself a favor and watch it now. 

Ben Affleck then treated us to the Spanish accent he’s been waiting to try out in a mildly funny sketch about faking his own death. The funniest part was really just hearing Affleck talk with that accent, because the actual plot of the sketch was pretty forgettable. 

So it got to be the end of the night, and things go really good. In a strange but side-splitting sketch about cops trying to wish their daughter/niece/sister/friend a happy engagement, the standout MVP was once again Taran Killam. The joke that all these men can’t vocalize their emotions was nothing new, but the way in which they all committed to it was great. But seriously, if you don’t laugh at Killam, there’s something really wrong with you. (This sketch isn’t available online yet.)

But the real money shot was another installment of Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong selling luxury items (in the past it was Swarovski crystals and champagne). This time around it was Hermes handbags and MAN was it funny. I don’t think they will ever be able to top the original Swarovski crystals, but this one was pretty good. And Ben Affleck was actually pretty solid in this one too. 

The night ended with another poignant farewell. Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and Taran Killam all joined in song as a Brit punk group to sing “It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day Today.” It was at first strange, and then sad, and then lovely, and then surprise! guest stars!, and then sad again. Armisen has been on the show for 11 years! That’s kind of crazy when you think that there are only like, 3 other people who have stayed on SNL longer. His farewell song was nice, but not as emotional as it could have been. 

I don’t like Kanye West so I barely watched his performances. So there. 

That’s it for this season! SNL is now in a state of transition; Hader and Armisen are out after a decade of amazing recurring characters and memorable impressions. Sudeikis, I fear, is soon to follow, and Seth Meyers will be out of there in 2014 when he succeeds Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. I think this gives Taran Killam the room he needs to really soar (as if he hasn’t already), and for the ladies to really get more opportunities. We’ll see what happens next season. 

May 19, 2013 VIEW POST

Worst news of the day: Bill Hader leaving SNL

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Try to at least muffle the sounds of your weeping by crying into your faux-tattoo sleeve t-shirt. 

Bill Hader has officially announced his departure from Saturday Night Live,  with this weekend’s finale serving as his last episode. 

What’s that you say? I can’t hear you over my sobbing. 

Not that I am not surprised—I feel like Hader’s exit was inevtiable given his rising star quality and his ability to steal the show in minor supporting roles in comedy films. It’s just that I don’t waaanntttt him to leave! With Wiig out last season and Hader out this season, I only fear that Sudeikis and Armisen are on their way out as well, and then JESUS what will that mean for the show?? I mean for goodness sake they’ve been on SNL since 2003 and 2002, respectively. 

Sorry, what? I DON’T KNOW

I CAN’T

IT’S JUST ALL THE FEELS

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May 14, 2013 VIEW POST

Familiar faces abound for Kristen Wiig’s triumphant return to SNL

The anticipation has been high—nay, practically fever pitch—for the return of SNL darling and character MVP Kristen Wiig to the famous SNL stage. 

Very reminiscent of Tina Fey’s memorable return to host, Wiig’s return was high energy, high hijinks, and a whole lotta fun. It’s always a guessing game when old SNL players return to host—will they reprise their most famous roles? Will they only do one? Or will they ignore them all together, deciding instead to leave those memorable sketches back where they belong? If you watched it last night, you’ll know it was practically an SNL loyalist’s dream grab bag of the best Wiig characters, and I couldn’t have been more delighted! The episode was funny overall, and pretty good, even if only for the sheer novelty of seeing all of our favorite Wiig characters again. 

The cold open was forgettable and sloppy, so we’ll just quickly skip over that and get to the good stuff. 

Wiig’s monologue, like so many these days, was an elaborately choreographed and hilarious musical number. It reeks of the same notes that SNL has pulled out before (Will Ferrell, specifically), but I still liked it. Coming home for SNL is always a treat. 

Aside from the returning characters Wiig pulled out of her arsenal (which we’ll get to), last night was rife with delightful fauxmercials. The first one was a spot-on ad for 1-800-Flowers, just in time for Mother’s Day, of course. Kate McKinnon is brilliantly tacky as the mom everyone knows and loves. 

The second one was a hilarious take on the increasingly wacky premises for kid shows on channels like Disney and Nickelodeon. It hit every beat perfectly, and the premise—“Aw Nuts! Mom’s a Ghost!”— was hysterical. 

Triumphant return numbero uno came from another installment of our favorite SNL soap, The Californians. Wiig uncharacteristically broke character more than a few times, but it was the best! This was an especially ridiculous Californians, and with the addition of Maya Rudolph, it was practically perfect. 

And did you really think they’d bring Wiig back and NOT have her on The Lawrence Welk Show? OF COURSE NOT. So here’s that tasty little nugget of weird for you. 

Oh, and wait for it….wait for it….Target Lady! Yes, everyone’s favorite cashier graced us last night in what I think was probably the strangest one yet. It was like she had been gone for vacation only to come back to work at Target more wound up than ever. Fitting, I guess. 

Towards the end of the night (as usual), things got weird. Wiig and Cecily Strong were comically asinine cougars in a mildly funny sketch about taking two 12 year olds on a date. Money shot: Taran Killam’s 30 second laugh riot. 

Then Wiig, Strong, and one of my favorite new additions Aidy Bryant auto-tuned their asses off in a hilariously accurate sketch about real hosuewive-type broads who make songs about nothing. YOU’RE ON BLAST!

Acupuncture gone wrong was the premise of one of my favorite sketches of the night. Was it completely ridiculous? Yes. Was it cheap sight gag comedy? Of course. But I loved it because it was so reminiscent of old school SNL. Remember the polar bear sketch with Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Tim Meadows, Jay Mohr, and Norm? It reminded me so much of that sketch that it warmed my heart based on that familiar feeling alone. (I mean just LOOK at that thumbnail!) 

Weekend Update was a little off for the most part, that was at least until Kat and Garth made an appearance! The Fred Armisen-Kristen Wiig duo that specializes in unrehearsed, created on the fly songs about holidays is always welcome, and last night was no exception. Toward the end of Wiig’s SNL tenure, the sketch seemed tired and overdone, but it was a good choice for her return. It wasn’t the funniest edition of the sketch, but it was funny nonetheless. Love. 

Vampire Weekend sounded so lovely! They are one of my favorite bands, and they always sound just so damn delightful and cheery and happy every time they perform. Solid performances all around. 

Overall, good return Wiig! Let’s hope this is only the beginning of her returns. 

Next week is the season finale, with host Ben Affleck (!!), and Kanye West (blech). 

And because I was busy last week I did not get the chance to recap the Zach Galifianakis episode. However, I wanted to share with you my favorite sketches from that night as a token of my apologies: 

May 12, 2013 VIEW POST

Melissa McCarthy’s second time hosting SNL wasn’t nearly as good as her first

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Dear dear dear. This is exactly why I try not to get my expectations up. 

I love Melissa McCarthy. I really do. She’s a great actress with impeccable comedic timing, and she’s never afraid to fall face first into some zany physical comedy either. So needless to say, I was stoked for her second appearance. But as I have lamented so many times in my SNL reviews, a wonderfully talented host rendered the writers clueless. 

The show was a pretty big dud in my opinion save for two—three if I’m being generous!—sketches. Everything else was just plain unfunny. Not to mention it just seemed like something was just off about the whole episode, right from Melissa McCarthy’s first steps onto the stage. 

The cold open was TERRIBLE. SNL had been on a pretty solid cold open streak as of late, but this edition was just atrocious. You’d think they’d be able to take the natural absurdity that is Kim Jung Un and do something actually funny with it, but instead it read like they heard he said some weird stuff and they needed a timely sketch, so here it is. The end. (Also, Dennis Rodman showed up and delivered “LIVE in (not from like it’s supposed to be) New York, it’s Saturday Night!” As a total perfectionist and SNL purist, it drives me nuts that he had ONE LINE to say, and he can’t even say it right. 

The monologue. Oh my. I’m still not really sure what exactly happened. At first I wasn’t sure if McCarthy’s wobbly walk was part of the sketch or not, but once I figured out that (unfortunately) it was, I was less than thrilled. I understand wanting to use McCarthy’s knack for physical comedy to their advantage, but this was a complete miss. It seemed forced and thrown together, and it wasn’t in the least bit funny. Which is crazy because this is MELISSA MCCARTHY we’re talking about! 

Fist sketch wasn’t great either. A play on the recent outrage over the Rutgers basketball coach’s violence against players, McCarthy was a like-minded asshole of a coach. It wasn’t original, it wasn’t funny. It literally was her screaming and throwing things, not at all unlike the actual source video. And then, when it transitioned from pretaped segment to live in studio, it seemed as if Bill Hader and her were missing cue cards, as there were several long pauses and flubbed lines.  (Not to even mention that the live part of the sketch was even less funny than the pretaped portion.) Fail. 

Some spoof of Wheel of Fortune….snooze. 

We did get a nice little parody of NBC’s own The Voice. McCarthy was great as the contestant, and Kate McKinnon was a spot-on Shakira. Spot on! Overall this one was one of the very few highlights of the night.

One of the absolute best sketches of the night revolved around McCarthy as a ham aficionado at a Honey Baked Ham cook-off. It involved remixed 90s tunes and righteous dance moves and two grown men dressed up in pig costumes. It was hilarious! This is the type of stuff we need to be seeing when we’ve McCarthy as host. (This one isn’t online due to music copyright.) 

The other absolutely delightful sketch of the night came much later, and it’s a shame because it was really funny. Reminiscent of her Hidden Valley Ranch character from her first go around, this sketch had her as Barb Kellner, “The PIzza Eater,” a woman on a mission for some cash. McCarthy fucking COMMITS, and it results in a really hysterical sketch. This was something I noted the first time she hosted; unlike many other hosts that come through SNL (save for the old legends and Justin Timberlake), McCarthy puts 150% of herself into her sketches. This was no exception. 

The fauxmercial for the Bathroom Bussinessman was actually pretty funny given it’s rather elementary subject matter. 

The last sketch of the night was what I think the writers feel like the ‘last sketch of the night’ is supposed to look like. Tips and tricks for picking up the opposite sex in the 90s is a perfect premise to really run with, and yet this sketch fell flatter than almost any other one of the night. 

Weekend Update was mostly a highlight last night. Visits from Vanessa Bayer’s funny Jacob the Bar Mitzvah boy and one of my favorite recurring characters, Bobby Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle, livened things up a bit. This installment of Drunk Uncle wasn’t his best, but it gets bonus points for throwing in Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, so it all evens out. Kenan's Charles Barkley also stopped by, so there's that. 

Phoenix sounded positively delightful! I am so excited for their new album, and they really sold me on their quasi-new sound tonight. 

Needless to say, this SNL wasn’t nearly as wonderful as her first time hosting, but I do expect to see much more of her, as even in the worst of scenarios, she’s still incredibly delightful. Next time: Vince Vaughn and Miguel! 

April 7, 2013 VIEW POST

Justin Timberlake’s SNL promos are the only promos you’ll ever need

OBVIOUSLY. 

March 6, 2013 VIEW POST

Kevin Hart’s SNL debut was about as bad as it can get

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I’m sorry, I just won’t. An in fact, I’m not even sorry. Why would I waste my time writing a recap of a show that so clearly sent home every writer and instead had the episode written by hungry raccoons? This installment of SNL was a disaster right from the get go—and I’m talking about as far back as when they announced Kevin Hart as host. 

Now, I don’t dislike Kevin Hart. Do I think he’s raelly all that funny? No, not really. But whatever. I am always open to being pleasantly surprised. The second he opened his mouth and started what I can only assume was a coke-infused monologue, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. It’s like everyone at SNL just gave up because they knew they’d have to really bring out the big guns for next week’s visit from Justin Timberlake. I can tell you right now, if they’re going to try to avoid a straight up riot, they better get their shit in order STAT. 

So, no. I  am not going to recap the whole thing, because that would be an injustice to us all. If you are really that interested in seeing what they had to give us Saturday night, head over to the SNL web site. 

March 4, 2013 VIEW POST