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Tag: Kristen Wiig (1-10 of 36)

'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

'Harry Styles' -- a.k.a. Kristen Wiig -- stops by 'The Tonight Show': VIDEO

This must be why they call her Kristen Wiig.

On Tuesday, the Bridesmaids star strapped on some truly gravity-defying hair for her first appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s second Tonight Show. But Wiig wasn’t there to plug a new project (though her mock-miniseries The Spoils of Babylon recently wrapped up on IFC, and she’s got several movies in the works) — she was there to impersonate 20-year-old One Direction heartthrob and possible Kardashian family accessory Harry Styles.

Well, maybe “impersonate” isn’t exactly the right word. Wiig is a talented mimic — but she didn’t bother trying to ape Harry’s voice or mannerisms on Tonight. Instead, the whole joke of the segment was that Wiig doesn’t know the most basic things about  Styles, from how his boy band formed to the simple fact that he’s, uh, from England. It’s a fun, loose bit that inevitably leads to both Wiig and Fallon cracking up like they’ve forgotten they’re on television — but if you’re already a fan of either, you’ll probably cracking along with them. Especially when Wiig takes a stab at naming Harry’s favorite food.

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'The Spoils of Babylon' premiere: Extrapolations

Ooh, now this is a weird show. IFC’s new well-stirred and visually striking vat of star soup has Will Ferrell as Eric Jonrosh, the “Author-Producer-Actor-Writer-Director-Raconteur-Bon Vivant-Legend-Fabulist” behind The Spoils of Babylon, an epic miniseries based on his own epic novel. Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire play the kids of Tim Robbins’ oil tycoon. Eventually Maguire’s character Devon marries a mannequin… voiced by Carey Mulligan. Even the most successful fabulists have to cut costs sometimes.

I can already tell that one must really be in the right mood to enjoy this six-episode miniseries — but I was! The format was so unexpected and I love how they created an entire production within the show. (If you’re looking for a TV show that will remind you to revisit Boogie Nights, this is the one.) It’s so exaggeratedly dumb that it can seem brilliant — and if a scene or dialogue seems lame or dragged out beyond comprehension, well, that’s just raggedy old Eric Jonrosh for you. Blame him! These poor actors are just trying to do their jobs.

Read EW’s Spoils of Babylon review here, and check out some of my favorite absurd moments from tonight’s two-part premiere, below:

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'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Third time the charm for Paul Rudd? -- VOTE

In Anchorman, Paul Rudd was part of the Channel 4 news team that rallied around Ron Burgundy at his moment of crisis. On Saturday, the gang returned the favor as Rudd hosted Saturday Night Live for the third time. He didn’t necessarily need it, but you don’t think Anchorman 2 was going to let this promotional opportunity pass by, did you? Will Ferrell, David Koechner, and Steve Carell had Rudd’s back for a little “Afternoon Delight” sing-off against One Direction. Combined with a cold-open that featured Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen, it quickly appeared as if Rudd might simply be an all-star emcee. But he did some heavy-lifting once things got rolling, notably as a 1D freak-fan and the Madea-like star in White Christmas — emphasis on the White.

Rudd joked about being upstaged by One Direction on Saturday night, but he also faces a similar challenge in this week’s best-host poll. Josh Hutcherson put in a decent showing last month, but his support — no doubt inflamed by the Catching Fire partisans — rocketed him to the top of the standings with 62 percent, the highest debut of the season. His big splash slashed into everyone’s numbers, with Lady Gaga diving the hardest, from first to third place. Kerry Washington saw her own popularity halved, but she actually moved up a place, in to second. Tina Fey, who hosted the season premiere, held relatively steady, but she now finds herself next on the plank, following Edward Norton‘s departure. READ FULL STORY

Happy birthday, Kristen Wiig! Her 5 best moments, plus a 'Bridesmaids' bonus -- VIDEO

Kristen Wiig, best known for her prolific and glorious seven-year Saturday Night Live run, turned 40 years young today.

Wiig got her start at the legendary Groundlings Theatre and School (and you must check out her earlier stuff if you haven’t! Like her Confessions of a Tooth Fairy skit) before her media takeover as a dramatic actress, Emmy nominee, Oscar-nominated-screenwriter, animated bunny, and perfect late-night talk show guest.

To celebrate the winsome Ms. Wiig, (although I tried to resist with every funny bone in my body to not pick clips exclusively from Bridesmaids) here are five of my favorite Wiiggin’-out moments:
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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

'Anchorman 2' trailer: It's kind of a big deal. Let's do a deep dive!

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues isn’t the sort of film that normally demands the deep dive treatment. Careful frame-by-frame analyses are generally reserved for big-name adaptations, franchise-extending summer blockbusters, and comic book-based extravaganzas — you know, action movies with rich mythologies and lots of things that go “boom.”

But even if this clip is devoid of space ships, costumed heroes, and fights to the death, it’s chock-full of intriguing new characters, tantalizing plot tidbits, and righteous mustaches — making it the perfect candidate for some good, old-fashioned obsessive scrutiny.
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'Spoils of Babylon' teaser: The fake epic spoofs mini-series trailers of the past -- VIDEO

chronicles the sexy and dramatic lives of the Morehouse family, led by Jonas Morehouse (Tim Robbins), his daughter Cynthia (Kristen Wiig) and her adopted brother Devon (Tobey Maguire) who made their fortune in the oil business.” Paging Dynasty!

A teaser trailer for the show has arrived, and it seems to take its cues from the television epics of a generation ago. Watch the trailer — as well as some commercials for a few actual mini-series from the ’70s and ’80s — below: READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: And the winner is...

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This is how it generally works: Jay Pharoah or Jason Sudeikis screams “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” The house band kicks in, the immortal Don Pardo announces the cast. And then, the stage door opens, and a smiling celebrity walks out towards the camera. You try and gauge her body language because what you really want to know is: Is this going to be funny? It’s late on Saturday night and you just need to know whether you’re going to watch this from start to finish right now… or whether you should go to bed and simply scan up through “Weekend Update” tomorrow on the DVR.

Like a football or basketball game, a host can’t “win” SNL with a great opening monologue, but he or she sure can screw it up. So it’s no surprise that the best hosts typically come out of the gate revving on all cylinders. Good jokes help, and so do pratfalls, but the best of the best remind us that this is live television. It can be messy, and it can even be a trainwreck. But whatever it is, it can’t be boring.

For the second straight year, EW.com readers have voted to determine who was SNL‘s best host. Throughout the show’s season, the most recent host was pitted against the four most popular previous hosts in a vote, and the one with the least number of voters was eliminated while the four survivors advanced to the next week. Like any democracy, it’s a system that’s not without its flaws. This year, we rigged modified the system with what I call the Barabbas Addendum, which restored a previously eliminated host to the final vote. The electorate rescued Seth MacFarlane to join our final five: Martin Short, Justin Timberlake, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Ben Affleck.

I’ve said before that there are very few happy accidents on Saturday Night Live. Comedy is precise. Live comedy is a gauntlet that can expose and undermine the proudest of entertainers. Each of our finalists, however, delivered monologues that set the tone for excellent shows that showcased the best of their abilities. More importantly for the success of the show, all of them also had a blast. I mean, it’s possible they were terrified underneath, but once the show began, all six of them were giggly and daring and totally committed. They’re good at hosting because they embrace the experience, trusting the writers and trusting their own talent.

Before we announce the winner of Mr. (or Mrs.) Saturday Night 2013, though, there are four other non-democratic awards to present. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' poll: Who was the best host of the year?

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When it comes to hosting Saturday Night Live, there are degrees of greatness. Sure, there’s the Five-Timers Club, that posh and exclusive club that meets every year in Gstaad to anoint late-night kings, plot ways to blackmail Bill Murray into making Ghostbusters III, and otherwise control the comedy world — except for NBC’s primetime lineup. But you can sneak into the Five-Timers with one great show and four B- performances. No need for names, but it’s possible to get by on reputation and before you know it, you’re exchanging the club’s secret handshake with Lorne Michaels.

To be named Mr. Saturday Night (or Ms. Saturday Night, of course), on the other hand, requires something special. Everything has to go right on a certain night of live television. It’s the equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in a basketball game or Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game. On one given night, they were simply unstoppable, and no matter whether they become all-time greats or shooting stars of momentary brilliance, there is nothing quite like watching a performer rise to the occasion.

Last year, EW crowned Jimmy Fallon as the first-ever Mr. Saturday Night, an appropriate recipient not just because Fallon killed it during the show’s Christmas episode, but because of his long history with the late-night institution. This year, the competition to succeed him has been fierce, and during weekly online polls, voters have eliminated 15 hosts, leaving us with six finalists. Finale host Ben Affleck had the easiest path to the final, and his show will be freshest in voters’ minds. But he faces a murderer’s row of entertainers: Martin Short, Justin Timberlake, 2012 runner-up Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Seth MacFarlane, who was rescued from elimination in our recent second-chance vote.

Timberlake is the favorite to take the crown, judging by recent polls, but anything can happen on the Internet. Before you vote, though, ask yourself three questions:

1. Which host’s sketches were you still watching days or weeks after the episode originally aired?
2. Which host could join the cast tomorrow and hold his or her own, week-in and week-out?
3. Which host do you most want to see on Saturday Night Live again?

Click below to see the tale of the tape for all six finalists, and cast your vote for a Mr. or Mrs. Saturday Night we can all be proud of. READ FULL STORY

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