The pressure was on for Drake when he hosted the ESPYs, ESPN’s annual awards show honoring athletic performances, on Wednesday night: Throughout his 10-minute long opening monologue, the camera zoomed in on audience reactions, which frequently featured zoned-out, stone-cold faces.
Tag: Music + Comedy = Good Thing? (1-10 of 239)
For years, Reading Rainbow taught kids that reading could make them go twice as high as any butterfly. But according to Funny or Die’s spoof of the Reading Rainbow theme song, we now know reading can do much more: turn you into a god, give you superpowers — as the song says, you can “literally do anything” if you read a book. They do say knowledge is power…
Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton launched a Kickstarter campaign last week to raise money to expand the Reading Rainbow tablet app to the Web and mobile and to fund special Reading Rainbow packages for schools. As of Wednesday, almost $3.5 million has been donated — that’s more than three times the amount Burton originally was asking for and there are still 28 days left to donate. As Burton can probably attest to, money is also power.
Check out the spoof below: READ FULL STORY
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
Nearly a decade after launching the revolution, Andy Samberg returns to reign over the world he created.
Let’s back up. Samberg joined the cast of SNL in September 2005, just a month after his 27th birthday. Nobody really knew who he was, though, until December 17 of that year, when The Lonely Island’s second-ever Digital Short, “Lazy Sunday,” premiered — and almost immediately became an Internet sensation. Sure, it helped that the short’s debut coincided with the rise of YouTube, which had launched in February of 2005, and its “white guys rapping about mundane stuff” premise gave plenty of fodder for homages and parodies – but really, “Lazy Sunday”‘s popularity doesn’t need to be explained. It became a sensation for one simple reason: Even nine years later, it’s still really, really funny.
Charlize Theron last hosted Saturday Night Live in November of 2000 — which might as well have been a lifetime ago. The episode, which aired just days before that year’s presidential election, featured a running gag about possible outcomes (President Ralph Nader’s address to the nation is interrupted by a flying pig and frozen devils); the night was filled with Fey-era recurring characters like Will Ferrell’s Robert Goulet and the ladies of Gemini’s Twin and even Chris Kattan’s Mr. Peepers; Theron herself was there to promote The Legend of Bagger Vance, a movie which single-handedly made her chances of ever winning an Oscar seem pretty slim.
Another indication of changing times? Back then, Theron was mainly given only one type of role — the ditzy girl group member, a hot blonde at the Buena Vista Social Club, Marilyn Monroe. But even though Theron is still jaw-droppingly gorgeous, we know now that she’s also capable of being much more than window dressing. Monster proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could act — and just as importantly, Arrested Development proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can do comedy. Take all the gold stars you want, Charlize.
It must sort of suck to know that even as you’re spending all week preparing to host Saturday Night Live for the very first time, there’s just one question running through the minds of everyone planning to watch: When’s that dude’s girlfriend gonna show up?
Yes, Emma Stone is charming and funny and great, and proved herself to be an SNL natural when she headlined the show in 2010 and 2011. But Stone’s longtime beau Andrew Garfield is no slouch himself. Witness, for example, the easy charm on display during his only previous Saturday Night Live appearance, a cameo in Emma’s last monologue:
You know what’s weird? Though tonight marks Seth Rogen’s third stint as SNL host, I realized before writing this post that I couldn’t remember a single sketch he’d done during either of his previous turns. Maybe that’s because it’s been a surprisingly long time since Rogen graced the SNL stage; the last time he was on, he was promoting 2009′s Observe and Report. (The first time he hosted was another era altogether; the 2007 episode featured jabs at Kevin Federline, Senator Larry Craig, and multiple MacGruber sketches.)
More likely, though, it’s because Rogen’s hosting style isn’t particularly flashy. In movies, he gravitates toward genial, laid-back sensitive bro types; in his past stints on SNL, he’s done much of the same, give or take a pair of Muppets sketches that had him donning a big, furry suit. (Dear Internet: Why is “Muppets Hit & Run” not available anywhere online? This is a travesty!) Rogen isn’t much of an impressionist, or an insanely energetic, up-for-anything quintuple threat type — he’s more of a Jason Sudeikis-esque everyguy, but nerdier and schlubier and more likely to talk about being Jewish. (And he’s hosting just in time for Passover — what a mensch.)
When the incomparable Stevie Nicks made an appearance on The Tonight Show Wednesday, playing one or two of her hits just wasn’t going to be enough for Jimmy Fallon. The musically-inclined host planned something much more memorable — re-creating the music video for “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” Nicks’s 1981 duet with Tom Petty.
Fallon assumes Petty’s role — shaggy blond wig, floral shirt, and all — while Nicks proves she’s still got it, not to mention a sense of humor. Here’s Fallon’s version:
Disney fans, this was a Saturday Night Live for you.
Going into the episode, it seemed likely there would be at least one musical sketch moment. After all, Anna Kendrick was a Tony nominee when she was just a teenager, starred in the cult classic Camp, and is perhaps best known as the lead in the a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect, which somehow spawned a huge radio hit for the actress with her cover of “Cups.” (Don’t worry. That was – cleverly – spoofed last night as well.)
While a little singing seemed to be a safe bet, no one could have expected that the show would go full Disney princess, with no less than four music moments by Kendrick. The program wholly embraced the host’s musical side, and likely recruited a few more fans eager to see Kendrick’s upcoming interpretation of Cinderella in December’s highly anticipated (and slightly feared) adaptation of the musical Into the Woods. (Other upcoming Kendrick musical performances: The Last Five Years and Pitch Perfect 2.) While the show – and Kendrick – were more charmingly amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, this episode will still go down in the “success” column thanks to a combination of clever writing, higher-than-normal energy, and a host that somehow rapped more than Drake did a few months back. READ FULL STORY
Get ready for SNL: The Musical.
The host: Anna Kendrick, who snagged an Oscar nomination for Up in the Air but is probably known best for crooning without accompaniment — unless you count a little cup percussion — in Pitch Perfect. Sondheim-lovers of a certain age may also remember the actress’ film debut as Fritzi, the most conniving girl at theater camp – and real Kendraholics know that even before that, at the age of 12, Kendrick was nominated for a Tony for her work in Broadway’s High Society (a musical adaptation of The Philadelphia Story).
Long story short: The lady can and will be singing tonight, maybe just in her monologue, possibly from the moment the cold open begins all the way to the end credits.
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