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Tag: Kenan Thompson (1-10 of 11)

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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Andy Samberg comes home, gets goofy in 'SNL' promos -- VIDEO

The Andy Samberg who will host Saturday Night Live this weekend is not the same Samberg who departed the show in 2012, after seven seasons of viral video-making and face-pulling. For one thing, the comedian is now a Golden Globe™ Winning Actor; for another, he’s wearing glasses now. You can see the difference!

Actually, scratch that. Samberg’s antics in the following video are right on par with the sort of stuff he used to do on SNL; on a scale of cast-members-turned-hosts from Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, it seems like he’ll fall closer to the Fallon end of the spectrum. But don’t take my word for it — enjoy Samberg and old pal Kenan Thompson’s quick yoga, delightful frolicking, and general silliness in the video below. Think it deserves the prize for Promo of the Year?

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Louis C.K's 'SNL' promos: What does the 'C.K.' stand for, anyway? -- VIDEO

In actuality, the grumpy genius’s stage name is a phonetic approximation of his given last name, Szekely. (The more you know!) In the world of these new Saturday Night Live promos, though, Kenan Thompson assumes that C and K stand for something incredibly gross — so gross, in fact, that we’re not actually privy to hearing his guess.

That’s kind of how the promos go: Kenan says something off-the-wall, Louis reacts with polished straight-man verve. The gags are loose and improvised, if not exactly laugh-out-loud funny — which bodes well for C.K.’s second time on the SNL stage. (Well, as long as he doesn’t waste too much of the week enjoying herbal refreshments with Kenan.)

Check out the clip for yourself below:

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Before the Super Sports Match Show, watch Melissa McCarthy on 'SNL' -- VIDEO

Note to self: When discussing Melissa McCarthy’s return to the Saturday Night Live stage, don’t use the phrase “third time’s the charm.” (It implies that the Oscar nominee’s first two SNL outings weren’t great, which we all know isn’t true.)

Kenan Thompson finds that out the hard way in McCarthy’s latest set of promos, which also feature the goofy duo struggling to light the “Olympic torch,” having some fun with musical guest Imagine Dragons’ name (think Garth and Kat) and explaining that since Sunday’s Super Bowl™ doesn’t air on NBC, the fine folks at SNL have to find something else to call it. Could Saturday’s show end up being even more entertaining than this weekend’s big Televised Man Battle With Ball? Signs point to maybe:

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Lady Gaga plays it fairly straight in 'Saturday Night Live' promos -- VIDEO

Let’s have a round of applause for Understated Gaga!

Sure, “understated” in this case still involves a glittery halter gown, over-the-elbow black gloves, and a Vegas-style headpiece that looks straight out of Showgirls. That said, if this weekend’s Lady Gaga-led episode of SNL is anything like these new promos, it’ll be less “Arcade Fire-style fever dream” than “quirky Drama Club president puts on a show.” Which should be a good thing! After all, we always have fun when Anne Hathaway hosts, don’t we?

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'SNL' recap: Host Kerry Washington smartly handles heavy diversity mantle

This week’s episode of SNL felt like it had something to prove, though what that was never became entirely clear.

If its intention was to prove that Kerry Washington brings a spark of energy to most anything she touches, it succeeded. If its intention was to prove that Jay Pharoah has grown into more than just a skilled impressionist — and judging by previous seasons, not without a considerable amount of work — then it succeeded. Further, it succeeded in addressing – but only addressing – the elephant in the room that is the lack of diversity in its cast.

SNL proved that it can still do what it has always done: slyly address an issue with comedy and confidence, without feeling the need to offer any real solutions or insight as to how to take care of the problem. Perhaps Al Sharpton said it best (what???): “What have we learned from this…as usual, nothing. Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” Let’s hope he won’t be right forever.

Last night’s episode was full of sketches that left you confused but intrigued, maybe not laughing your hardest but probably wanting more. Diversity was the word on the tip of everyone’s tongue, including the show itself’s, going into this week’s episode. After Kenan Thompson’s remarks to TV Guide a few weeks ago that the lack of a black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007 is due to the show not being able to find black female comedians who “are ready,” the choice to have Kerry Washington host this week seemed appropriately timed.

Whether she was utilized to play every black female in the news who has been ignored in sketches for the last six years, or whether race was taken off the table altogether… No, scratch that, race can never really be taken off the table. And hot damn, did Lorne Michaels ever put race all over that sketch table last night!

If Thompson says the problem is black female comedians not being ready for the show, perhaps Washington has a break from Scandal coming up, because girl was ready. Even in the most middling sketches, Washington’s energy and commitment to an array of characters was the best part. Here’s to you, Ms. Washington. Let’s take a look at one of the more confusing (and probably divisive) episodes of SNL in a while:
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'SNL' premiere promos: What's the only thing better than host Tina Fey? VIDEO

That would be the promise of a few cool cameos from the cast of Breaking Bad, which Fey slyly implies as a possibility in the promos below. Sure, she immediately backtracks, admitting that Saturday Night Live has no such thing planned — but we can dream, can’t we?

In any case, watching these promos sort of feels like coming home to the old Fey-era SNL — a comforting notion, considering how much the show will change this year. (The countdown to Late Night with Seth Meyers begins… now.) Sure, any Fey-hosted episode will necessarily feature plenty of big-name cameos (Amy?!) and callbacks (Palin?!) — but more importantly, it’ll have a backbone formed by Fey’s strong writing and zillion years of SNL experience. And if the promos are any indication, she clearly hasn’t lost her touch since 30 Rock ended.

Watch here — especially if you’ve ever wanted to see blurred footage of Fey’s chest. I know, I really buried the lead.

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'Hollywood Game Night': Ranking the freakishly fascinating facial mashups

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On Thursday’s Hollywood Game Night, the teams (Max Greenfield, Ellie Kemper, Kal Penn, and plebian Jill vs. Kenan Thompson, Minnie Driver, Angela Kinsey and plebe Dipal) participated in a riveting round of Celebrity Fusion — in which two celebs with a common name had their faces smeared into each other and presented as art. (So basically, Conan’s “If They Mated,” but on a show with a different title.) I’m VERY ashamed of how long it took me to guess the above beauty, but at least I didn’t say “Boy George..Carlin?” like poor JIll.

Doesn’t take much to fascinate me on a summer Friday! I’m gonna rank these creatures from least horrifying to most:

MILDLY SCARY:

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Pamela Anderson Cooper (not not hot)

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Steven Tyler Perry (yikes, but pedestrian)

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Steve Martin Short (Tom Brokaw in a wind tunnel?) READ FULL STORY

Justin Timberlake prepares to dominate 'SNL,' starting with the promos -- VIDEO

There’s a reason expectations are so high for Justin Timberlake’s fifth outing as Saturday Night Live host: The guy is funny. Like, really funny.

If you’ve somehow forgotten just how good he is at hosting SNL, look no further than this week’s promos — which manage to pack more laughs into two minutes than entire sketches can in seven. Would that JT could steer the show every week… and run the cameras… and take care of the sound. Sigh! Check to make sure you’ve got your suit and tie, then watch the magic happen here:

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Samuel L. Jackson blames Kenan Thompson for his 'SNL' foul -- VIDEO

Did Samuel L. Jackson really lob an f-bomb on Saturday Night Live last weekend — or did he actually just say “fuh,” like he’s asserted since the incident?

Judging by video from the live telecast, it sure sounds like there was a “k” after that “fuh” — but according to the curse-happy actor, the only reason we’re questioning him is because SNL cast member Kenan Thompson didn’t cut him off fast enough during the sketch. (Warning: Sensitive language ahead, naturally.)

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