Chris Pratt stretched his improv skills ahead of his Saturday Night Live hosting duties this Saturday, Sept. 27 by appearing on The Tonight Show. And if his game of “Word Sneak” with Jimmy Fallon is any indication, Pratt is more than ready for any off-the-cuff moments Studio 8H might require of him.
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What are the essential sketches, performers, and shows every comedy nerd should know? EW’s guest editors Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele offer a master class. Warning: Some of the clips ahead contain strong language.
1. Eddie Murphy
As Key says, “I don’t know if there’s ever been anybody in history working at a level like he was working at. To have that much talent, that much charm, that much discipline, all of that wrapped up into one. To think about 48 Hrs., Trading Places. Aw, man!” Adds Peele: “If I had a kid and I wanted to form him into a perfect comedy nerd, I would tell him to watch the Saturday Night Live sketch where he puts on whiteface and he goes on the bus, and the last [nonwhite] guy walks off the bus and everyone starts a party. They’re passing around cigars and sh–. That’s a huge one.” READ FULL STORY
The summer music festival season is over, but there’s still at least one can’t-miss festival on the horizon. This weekend marks the third annual Los Angeles Podcast Festival, which features live recordings of dozens of comedy podcasts, as well as panels, stand-up shows, and parties. The lineup of all-star microphone fiends features Marc Maron (WTF With Marc Maron), Aisha Tyler (Girl on Guy), Dana Gould (The Dana Gould Hour), Jimmy Pardo (Never Not Funny), Todd Glass (The Todd Glass Show), April Richardson (Go Bayside!), Larry Miller (This Week With Larry Miller), Janet Varney (The JV Club), and an eclectic bunch of others. Announced guests on various shows include Whitney Cummings, Horatio Sanz, and Hal Sparks, with plenty of others coming. READ FULL STORY
Fox’s new series Gotham has the difficult task of introducing a number of famous and lesser-known Batman villains before they officially don the costume and alter ego. The show’s pilot accomplishes this in its own special way: by hinting at appearances by the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and the Riddler with some very, very obvious bits of dialogue. For example: “If I want riddles, I’ll read the funny pages.”
With so many possible criminals just waiting in the back alleys of Gotham, the show will have to clock in some overtime in order to showcase them all; if the show lasts for several seasons, the producers may have to resort to Crazy-Quilt and Film Freak. How exactly will the show handle hinting at these and other criminals? Subtle (read: not at all subtle) dialogue clues, of course.
Ever since its second season, when Chevy Chase decided to ditch Saturday Night Live for Hollywood—he was replaced by some guy named Bill Murray—the only constant on NBC’s long-running sketch series has been change.
Some cast members leave to make movies or TV series or joke-punk albums nominally written by their British alter egos. Others quit in protest. Still more are forced out, not because they want to leave but because the show is going through a fraught series of retoolings (see: the ’80s). Or because it has to make room for a new crop of bright young things (see: Chris Parnell, the first time he was let go from SNL). Or because budget cuts mean an across-the-board belt-tightening (see: Chris Parnell, the second time he was let go from SNL). Or because the previous year’s cast was simply too damn big (see: the four featured players from season 39 who won’t be returning when the show does Sept. 27). And every time cast members go, either gently or kicking and screaming, there’s a fresh crop of untested talent waiting to take their places. Just call SNL the hydra of comedy.
Saturday Night Live got a new addition Monday when it was announced that comedian Pete Davidson will be a featured player this season. But who is he?
First off, he’s only 20 years old. Staten Island native Davidson started performing when he was 16 and soon made his way onto shows like MTV’s Guy Code and Comedy Central’s Adam DeVine’s House Party. Here’s where you might have seen him: READ FULL STORY
When word broke late Thursday that Saturday Night Live will shake up the Weekend Update desk once again this season, fan reaction was swift and decisive. The consensus: Lorne Michaels was replacing the wrong anchor.
Specifically: Cecily Strong, who took her seat at the Update desk last fall—and earned generally positive reviews for her work there—is out. SNL head writer Colin Jost, who joined Update in March after Seth Meyers’ departure—and has received, er, slightly less encouraging feedback—is staying put. READ FULL STORY
Joan Rivers’ career spanned several decades filled with dozens of hilarious film, television, and stage appearances. The comedienne and TV host, who died on Thursday at age 81, repurposed her own life experiences into biting, insightful, groundbreaking comedy.
From her early appearances on the Sammy Davis, Jr. Show to playing a robot in Spaceballs to her recent appearances on shows like Louie, Rivers imbued her jokes with energy and wit that few others have matched. In honor of her vast and memorable career, here’s a tribute featuring a few of the countless times Rivers made audiences laugh.
There are many kinds of supreme worth your attention: Burrito supreme, chicken supreme, Cutlass Supreme… Oh, and let’s not forget a nacho supreme. But Jack Black and Kyle Gass—you know, the guys that formed a band, the likes of which had never been seen, and they called themselves Tenacious D—have concocted a special type of supreme, and it’s called Festival Supreme. READ FULL STORY
L.A.-area dealers, beware: Tony Hale will not pay for his drugs.
That’s one of the many takeaways from “Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine,” The Soup‘s Joel McHale-hosted spoof of Jerry Seinfeld’s friendlier, Coffee-ier web series. The video shows the cult-sitcom star picking up the, um, other cult-sitcom star for a nice top-down ride around Southern California. They discuss Arrested Development, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and how Tony Hale likes to numb away his shameful past with the power of cocaine.
Funny stuff! And hey, it’s not a bad day for an on-point homage to Jerry’s work (complete with light jazz!), given that today marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Seinfeld.
Watch the video below to see if McHale and Hale inhale:
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