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Tag: Fred Armisen (1-10 of 17)

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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Kristen Wiig coming back to host 'SNL': What we do and don't want to see again!

Kristen Wiig is coming home again to host the May 11 episode of Saturday Night Live. Over six seasons, Wiig cemented herself as one of the funniest SNL cast members of all time.  She has killer impressions, her Drew Barrymore is spot on and her Kim Cattrall is scary good, created oodles of memorable characters, oh Target lady, and constantly swung for the fences. Here are some memorable sketches we want to see again (and a few that we don’t). READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Vince Vaughn doesn't have to go home, but he can't stay here

The awkward, rough, trajectory of the Vince Vaughn-hosted Saturday Night Live can best be described by comparing the monologue to the final sketch. We start out with a charismatic, off-the-cuff, fun-loving Vaughn trying to wine and dine the audience like he’s on a first date. He’s improv-ing (if we’re to believe, like SNL’s tumblr says, that none of these people knew Vaughn was going to pick them), having some fun, and getting people on his side. Then, after a long show, we get to the end of the night. We’re weary. We’re wondering why we stayed up so late. And then there’s Vaughn playing a desperate dude at last call, just trying to grab onto something. He started out asking for the audiences’ love and ended settling for a weird planking session with a stranger on a bar.

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SXSW: Comedy-nerd all-stars Fred Armisen, Marc Maron, and Scott Aukerman unite at IFC panel

IFC has made a mission of promoting up-and-coming comedians as part of the network’s growing lineup (in between the odd documentary or random indie flick from the ’90s, of course). Their poster child is Fred Armisen — along with Carrie Brownstein and their show, Portlandia — but the channel has also fostered new shows from comedians Marc Maron (whose upcoming show Maron grew out of his popular WTF podcast) and Scott Aukerman, whose Comedy Bang! Bang! show launched recently on the network. At a panel today, Armisen, Aukerman, and Maron discussed the transition from alternative comedy to television series.

Below, some highlights from the hour-long talk…
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