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Tag: Fred Armisen (1-10 of 20)

Which 'SNL' star will go dramatic next? We've got pitches

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This weekend gives you two chances to see Bill Hader stretch his acting muscles. In dark comedy The Skeleton Twins, Hader and his former Saturday Night Live co-star Kristen Wiig play siblings who reunite after suicide attempts. Meanwhile, in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, Hader has a supporting role as the best friend of James McAvoy’s Conor, who is going through a pretty rough time in his relationship with Jessica Chastain’s titular character.

Saturday Night Live actors taking on dramatic—or, rather, serious—roles is nothing new. Wiig has steadily been putting films with weighty themes onto her resume, like 2013’s Hateship Loveship, based on an Alice Munro short story. Will Forte surprised audiences with a nuanced turn in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska last year, which also saw Taran Killam playing a small part in 12 Years a Slave. Though he’s inflicted Grown Ups on the public, Adam Sandler has also shown he can do more than his schtick in films like 2002’s Punch Drunk Love; he’s jumping back into the dramatic game with this year’s Men, Women & Children. Then, of course, there’s Bill Murray’s entire career to consider, especially the films he’s made since 2003’s Lost in Translation.

So, which SNL mainstay will take on a meaty, dramatic lead next? The jury’s out for now—but I’ve imagined a few roles for current and recent cast members who have yet to fully embrace their dramatic sides.

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'Saturday Night Live' finale recap: School's out, but not before Andy Samberg's class reunion

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What did you think of SNL‘s 39th season?

Maybe, instead, we should begin with a different question: What did SNL itself think of its 39th season?

The answer: Not much, if Saturday’s finale was any indication. Any time a former cast member hosts the show, we’re guaranteed to see a barrage of cameos from fellow alumni. But the sheer volume of ex-repertory players that showed up last night — and stuck around, taking up more attention and screen time than some new featured players have gotten all season — made the finale feel more like an unearned victory lap than a standalone episode. We already know that Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are funny — but if SNL is going to survive into its fifth decade, which begins next fall, the show needs to consider its future as well as its past. You’ve got to feel for John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan, Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, and Mike O’Brien, who might as well have stayed home Saturday night. (Sasheer Zamata, Kyle Mooney, and, of course, Colin Jost, who’s the show’s head writer as well as Weekend Update anchor: Breathe easy. You guys are safe for next season.)

Speaking of SNL‘s past: Host Andy Samberg was fine, if not a dynamo like fellow alumni hosts Maya Rudolph and Jimmy Fallon. His live sketch work had highs (Nicolas Cage!!) and lows (that 2 Chainz thing, which… what?); the same went for his two (count ‘em: two!) Digital Shorts, which were amusing if not at the level of the Lonely Island’s best work. We can, however, credit Samberg with catalyzing the night’s… READ FULL STORY

Seth Meyers launches 'Second Chance Theater' with 'SNL' sketch that never made it to air -- VIDEO

Will Forte has literally been waiting years for this moment.

Some background: In March, Seth Meyers revealed plans to introduce a new Late Night feature called “Second Chance Theatre.” The segment would highlight rejected SNL sketches, including a lost Jason Sudeikis vehicle called “Juggling Flyer” and Will Forte’s “Jennjamin Franklin.”

What, exactly, is Jennjamin Franklin? As Forte explained to Splitsider last year: “It’s this woman who is the spitting image of Benjamin Franklin, and this guy gets set up on this date with this woman, and she’s, like, this real sexual creature but looks exactly like Benjamin Franklin.”

Last night, in the very first installment of Second Chance Theatre, all of Forte’s weird colonial dreams finally came true. Feast your eyes on something that proved too weird for the show that brought us “Bird Bible”:

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Elisabeth Moss talks marriage and 'Mad Men' in 'New York' profile

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Elisabeth Moss is having quite the year: She won a Golden Globe for her performance in the mini-series Top of the Lake, she’s co-starring in the final season of Mad Men beginning this spring, and now, she’s on the cover of this week’s New York magazine.

Moss comes off as a Cool Girl in the New York profile, talking about how normal she is — she watches a lot of TV! she has two cats! she loves iPhone games! — and also touching on some less-normal topics, like her ties with Scientology and her relationship with Fred Armisen. We rounded up the highlights below:

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Fred Armisen's music career: A pre-'Late Night' primer -- VIDEO

It’s no joke: Comedian Fred Armisen really has joined Seth Meyers’ Late Night as bandleader-slash-music-“curator.” He’ll be helming the talk show’s house band — a talented group that also includes guitarist Seth Jabour of Les Savy Fav, bassist Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav, keyboardist Eli Janney of Girls Against Boys, and drummer Kim Thompson of Beyoncé’s touring band — even when he’s busy with other projects, like IFC’s Portlandia.

For those who know Armisen only as “that weird guy from SNL,” this news may seem more than a little random. But Armisen’s actually got plenty of music industry bona fides — his showbiz career began with a gig as a punk rock drummer, he made his first steady paycheck as a drummer for the Blue Man Group in Chicago, and he’s frequently showed off his multi-instrumental skills on both SNL and Portlandia. So before Armisen picks up his Late Show guitar — he’ll be both strumming and singing for Meyers’ 8G Band — let’s take a look back at his second, slightly more obscure career… which frequently bleeds over into his comedy.

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Jimmy Fallon isn't the only one: Watch the 'SNL' cast break character -- VIDEO

Think Jimmy Fallon was the only Saturday Night Live cast member to break out into laughter during skits? Think again. Over the years, everyone from Will Ferrell to Adam Sandler to Kristen Wiig to Fred Armisen have cracked a smile or two. Does it ruin the illusion? Eh, for about a second. Frankly it’s just nice to see that comedians are humans too: Even they can’t always keep a straight face.

Check out this nifty little video which compiles some of the best scene corpsing from SNL‘s going-on-thirty-nine-years: READ FULL STORY

Justin Bieber's failed 'Saturday Night Live' sketch is everything -- VIDEO

A roster of famous funnymen and the world’s most famous teen should yield a good show, right? Well, in comedy, sometimes logic fails. Miserably.

Take, for instance, the unaired Justin Bieber Saturday Night Live skit “Song for Daddy” (with added commentary from Bill Hader and SNL writers). The sketch goes so poorly that a moody Bieber is the least of its failures.

The plot is simple: A country-techno band (think Creedence Clearwater Revival-meets-Kool & the Gang) is the musical act on The Steve Harvey Show. Hader is the lead singer, Fred Armisen plays drums, Bobby Moynihan plays a Dr. Seuss instrument — well, you’ll see! Almost line by line, as Hader’s character tells tales of his father, the skit falls flat. Check it out below:
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'Saturday Night Live' finale recap: Ben Affleck shines, but Stefon and Fred Armisen steal the show

Last year, Kristen Wiig’s emotional SNL sendoff set a high water mark for cast member farewells. (Compare it to, say, the way Chris Kattan said goodbye with a “terrible re-enactment” of his SNL career during his last show 10 years ago.)

I’d say that mark was met — and possibly exceeded — by the closing sketch of tonight’s show, in which Fred Armisen (as punk rocker Ian Rubbish, first introduced when Vince Vaughn hosted a few weeks ago) sang a sweet original tune filled with simple, evocative lyrics like, “It’s been all right, I’ve had a lovely night.” He was joined onstage by bandmates Derek Gash (Bill Hader, who’s also leaving the show) and Keith Grimshaw (Taran Killam, who’d better not be going anywhere).

While Wiig’s goodbye paid tribute to her as a singular, standout personality, Armisen and Hader’s was more understated. But because Armisen is a chameleon, it’s only fitting that he bid farewell in character — and it was equally fitting to see Hader, the show’s strongest supporting presence (when he’s not playing Stefon), say goodbye while backing up one of his castmates.

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Ben Affleck hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' finale: Talk about it here!

There are so many talking points for SNL‘s 38th season finale that I hardly know where to begin! Maybe it’ll help to organize them as a list:

1. Tonight marks Ben Affleck’s fifth time hosting Saturday Night Live, which grants him membership to SNL‘s storied Five-Timers Club. Usually, a moment like this would occasion a big, cameo-stuffed sketch featuring veteran hosts like Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. But SNL just gave us a cameo-stuffed Five Timer’s Club sketch when Justin Timberlake hosted in March — and it’s way too soon to repeat that same conceit. So how will the show acknowledge Affleck’s milestone? Maybe Timberlake will show up to induct him?

2. As you may already know, Stefon’s very first SNL appearance wasn’t a Weekend Update visit. It was this little-remembered sketch from the last time Affleck hosted the show in 2008, which casts Bill Hader and the host as brothers pitching a movie together. (According to the clip, Stefon’s last name is Zolesky — who knew?) This has to mean that Stefon and Affleck’s David are going to appear together again tonight, right?

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Kanye West is super psyched to be on 'SNL' this week -- VIDEO

Kanye West, certified Good Sport, has a notoriously robust sense of humor — so it’s no surprise to see how giddily excited he is about his upcoming stint on Saturday Night Live. (He’s the season finale’s musical guest; Ben Affleck is its host.) Just look at the goofy grin on ‘Ye’s face, or his amiable, up-for-anything body language!

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