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Tag: Kristen Wiig (11-20 of 38)

'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

'Saturday Night Live' best-host contest: Who deserves a second chance?

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After 20 episodes, the 38th season of Saturday Night Live comes to a close this weekend, with Ben Affleck as the finale’s guest host. The Oscar-winner will join the show’s Five-Timer’s Club, and even if the show doesn’t make a big deal out of it, like it recently did for Justin Timberlake, the episode has real promise. Affleck might not yet be on the level of Alec Baldwin or Jon Hamm, but he’s delivered some good yuks over the years, like when he responded to Matt Damon’s criticism and did a totally committed impression of Keith Olbermann whose co-op’s no-pet policy sent him into a rage.

Affleck enjoys a distinct advantage in our year-long contest to select Saturday Night Live‘s best host. By simply appearing last, he advances to our final vote. His performance will certainly be fresher in everyone’s minds on Monday, when the poll opens, but his competition is formidable, with Timberlake, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Martin Short all advancing. Facing that quartet, Affleck will have to earn the right to succeed Mr. Saturday Night 2012 Jimmy Fallon.

But Affleck won’t only have to top the other four SNL survivors from a season’s worth of voting. There will be a sixth finalist, determined by you. Democracy can be a fickle beast, and online democracy… well, forget about it. During our weekly series of votes, many voters have expressed their dismay in the Comments that their favorite SNL host was no longer an option because they’d previously been eliminated. Last year, for example, there were screams that Maya Rudolph was not a finalist after she hosted one of the season’s best episodes. (Yes, those screams came from my office.)

This year, we’re giving you a mulligan — a second chance to correct an oversight or to restore a contender who simply had the misfortune of hosting in October. How is Louis CK not still in the mix, you might ask. Seth MacFarlane and Anne Hathaway were by far the best hosts of the year, you doofuses, insist others! Well, now is your time to be heard, to right a wrong. Vote below for the best SNL host who didn’t make the cut — but should’ve.

This shouldn’t be a popularity contest, and bless you, you’ve proven during the course of the contest to appreciate that. We all revere the institution of Saturday Night Live, so give new life to the host that did the show the most proud. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' host poll: How funny was Kristen Wiig's homecoming?

You could be forgiven for thinking that NBC accidentally aired a “Best of Kristen Wiig” special instead of a new episode of SNL this past weekend. The show’s former star brought five old recurring characters with her when she returned to host for the first time, including Gilly, Karina the Californian, Kat (of “Garth and”), the Target Lady, and, of course, tiny-handed Dooneese — making for a show that felt, at times, more like a host-less installment from 2010 than 90 minutes of new material.

But even if the episode didn’t quite deserve to be labeled a capital-E Event, Wiig was clearly thrilled to return to her old stomping ground — and it was a pleasure to see how excited her old castmates were to perform with their friend once more.

Will that be enough to help Wiig win the title of this season’s best SNL host?  READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Kristen Wiig makes her return

In hindsight, fans were bound to be disappointed. With Kristen Wiig’s eagerly anticipated return to SNL– after just a year away – many viewers were torn between wanting to see the best of her old characters and wanting to watch her expand. Unfortunately, last night we got neither. An eager Wiig brought the energy, and, especially alongside her friend Maya Rudolph, seemed to be having a great time visiting her old stomping ground, but for much of the show that enthusiasm — even during the return of characters like Dooneese — didn’t transfer to viewers at home.

The episode started with a cold opener featuring CSPAN coverage of the Benghazi hearings, with the central premise that many felt these were a shameless ratings grab as opposed to an actual search for truth. The decision to have ratings-gold Jodi Arias (a spot-on Nasim Pedrad) and Ariel Castro (Bobby Moynihan) “testify” was a great way to bring the three newsworthy stories of the week together. The best part was that unlike many a decent SNL sketch, it didn’t go on too long, allowing viewers quick access to Wiig. Her monologue could have been many things: A retread of old characters, a joke-y round up of what she’s been up to this year. Instead, we got an “I’m So Excited” parody with lyrics like, “Even though I’ve been away awhile now/ I still know camera one from camera two,” as Wiig paraded around the studio and realized that maybe she didn’t remember things quite as well as she’d hoped. The highlight was special guest Maya Rudolph, who stole both moments she was in: First, Wiig busted her making out with Jonah Hill (also cameoing), and then at the end of the number, the visibly pregnant star got her dance moves on alongside Wiig. Someone Gif that, stat. (Unfortunately, the monologue –which also featured a Gilly sighting — isn’t yet available online.) READ FULL STORY

Kristen Wiig hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' -- talk about it here!

Kristen Wiig makes her much-anticipated first return to Saturday Night Live tonight after leaving at the end of last season. After a week of weird last time with Zach Galifianakis, Wiig’s fans are likely hoping the show goes two-for-two on the zany front, allowing Wiig to bring back some of her favorites such as Penelope or Target Lady. (Sorry, but in my opinion the Gilly drink with Justin Timberlake was more than enough of that character this season.)

Much like Timberlake earlier this year, it’ll be interesting to see if the show plays like a DVD repeat of The Best of Kristen Wiig or if, together with the writers, Wiig creates some new crazy ladies to add to her diverse repertoire. Both the Jodi Arias trial and Charles Ramsey seem ready for the Saturday Night Live treatment. I can see her taking her standard silliness and battling against Nancy Grace (Kate McKinnon) for parking lot coverage of the trial or something like that.

Wiig will be joined by musical guest Vampire Weekend, who will be making their third trip to the late-night show promoting their upcoming album Modern Vampires of the City. Besides the band, will any famous faces appear alongside Wiig? In her send off, Mick Jagger dropped by to wish her well. She’s been a busy film lady since her last time in Studio 8H — perhaps new co-stars Darren Criss or Matt Dillon will drop by? Or maybe fellow one-year-out grad Andy Samberg will premiere a new Lonely Island video? They’ve got a new album out June 11, and this week kicked off their first video. Talk about the show in the comments below, and check back tomorrow morning for a full recap.

Read more:
Kristen Wiig returns to ‘Saturday Night Live,’ busts a move in new promos — VIDEO
‘Saturday Night Live’ host poll: Zach Galifianakis does it his way — VOTE
‘Saturday Night Live’ recap: Keep Zach Galifianakis weird

Kristen Wiig returns to 'Saturday Night Live,' busts a move in new promos -- VIDEO

Saturday Night Live Hall-of-Famer Kristen Wiig returns home to host the show this Saturday with musical guest Vampire Weekend. If the new promos are any indication, we’re all in for a treat. Wiig’s Garth & Kat partner Fred Armisen played along for her promos, which involve everything from reliving some of Wiig’s most famous characters (Jump-roping Rhonda!) to Armisen slapping her across the face for abandoning the show.

Other revelations: Wiig and Armisen have some wicked dance moves, and it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world for Olivia Newton-John to make a surprise appearance this Saturday. (Is it the Christmas show already?) But the moral of Wiig’s return is simple: You never know what you got till it’s gone. Now DANCE! (But, please… don’t make her sing.)

Watch Kristen Wiig’s SNL promos below! READ FULL STORY

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

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig's amusing Golden Globes presentation -- VIDEO

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s Saturday Night Live cohorts Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig showed up at this year’s Golden Globes to turn the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy into a Weekend Update-style sketch comedy bit. Essentially repurposing her and Fred Armisen’s purposefully terrible improvisation as unprepared singers Garth and Kat, Wiig joined Ferrell to stumble hilariously through each nominated film pretending to know what each was about. Naturally, some titles (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) were a little more helpful than others (Quartet). Check it out below: READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Samuel L. Jackson drops f-bomb, Paul McCartney performs with Nirvana's surviving members

Image Credit: NBC

Image Credit: NBC

Saying last night’s episode of SNL fell short of expectations would be the understatement of the year. Martin Short didn’t disappoint, in fact he was my favorite host of the season. His brand of physical comedy and impeccable comedic timing were refreshing, but he didn’t have adequate material to work with. As expected, the episode was star-studded — complete with cameos from other SNL alums and show favorites — but the celebrity guests acted as background props for the most part instead of contributing to skits. However, every time Paul McCartney took the stage, his tender voice wiped  my memory clean of any mediocre jokes that preceded his stellar performance. READ FULL STORY

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