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Tag: Music + Comedy = Good Thing? (11-20 of 239)

Anna Kendrick sings in 'Saturday Night Live' promos, because of course -- VIDEO

Should we begin prepping for a musical monologue now?

The first promos for Anna Kendrick’s debut Saturday Night Live hosting stint have arrived, and Taran Killam wastes no time pointing out that Kendrick has a musical theater background (prior to Pitch Perfect, she was also in Camp). Killam tries to make Kendrick feel at home by singing her some show tunes, but music rights get in the way of everything. No matter; the duo make up their own goofy song (complete with a competitive edge), and barely manage to keep a straight face. All that, and a bit-too-late April Fool’s Day prank!

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'Saturday Night Live' recap: Louis C.K. does his thing

It’s too bad the Polar Vortex doesn’t inspire the same creativity as Hurricane Sandy.

When Louis C.K. first hosted SNL in 2012, his debut was nearly ruined by devastating weather. Against all odds, the show went on anyway — and it ended up being one of that fall’s more successful episodes. Although Saturday’s weather (in New York City, anyway) echoed 2012′s cold, rainy November, the show wasn’t quite as on point this time around. C.K. acquitted himself fairly well, minus a few flubbed lines and character breaks. That said, he only really let loose in his opening monologue, perhaps because it’s the only opportunity he had to do what he really does best.

So the show wasn’t great across the board — but it did have a few gems, including the night’s…

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Louis C.K. hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

Eighteen months (and two days) ago, FX aired the final episode of Louie‘s third season. In the long, long period since that day, comedy auteur Louis C.K. has kept himself fairly busy, what with all the touring and stand-up specials and late-night guest appearances and roles in critically acclaimed movies like Blue Jasmine and American Hustle – and, of course, filming/writing/directing/key gripping the fourth season of Louie, which will finally premiere on FX May 5. (And what a return it’ll be: FX will air two episodes weekly for seven weeks, meaning the majority of the season will have aired before the eligibility deadline for the 2014 Emmys.)

That said, it’s been a while since Louis has had a sustained comedy showcase on TV in general, much less a major network; his last turn as Saturday Night Live host came back in 2012 (and was nearly derailed by Hurricane Sandy). What can we expect from his glorious return this weekend?

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'SNL' recap: Lena Dunham is just a girl, standing in front of an audience, asking them to like her

So, how did Lena Dunham do in her inaugural episode of Saturday Night Live? It depends who you’re asking.

Those who are generally into Dunham’s work were probably amused on the whole, even if they also wished Lena had broken out of her comfort zone a little more. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dunham played a bunch of girls — immature, fast-talking, hyperbole-happy variations on her HBO persona — and one serviceable Liza Minnelli.) But if you’re one of those people who can’t stand cable’s wunderkind — here I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that dislike has nothing to do with Dunham’s looks – your feelings likely weren’t swayed by Lena’s SNL performance, since it hewed so closely to what she does weekly on Girls.

Since I’m in the former camp, I’ll give the episode a tempered thumbs up. While SNL‘s writers’ room is clearly still suffering from growing pains in the wake of Seth Meyers’s exit — someone has to, like, remind them that sketches are supposed to have jokes — last night’s show was, pound for pound, stronger than March 1′s Jim Parsons Experience. And it packed in a few  solid laughs, particularly in the night’s…

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Lena Dunham hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

Girls is smart, well-made, thought-provoking, and very entertaining — provided you’re in the right mindset and/or have a high tolerance for watching selfish people go about their lives. That said, Lena Dunham’s adventure in auteurism isn’t exactly a laugh-out-loud sort of show — and really never has been, barring a few notable exceptions (Shoshanna on crack; Hannah and Elijah on coke; suddenly I’m sensing a pattern). I like to describe Broad City as “Girls, but funny” — which is probably why I like Broad City a whole lot more than I like Girls.

Despite all this, I’ve still got high hopes for Lena Dunham’s first episode as host of Saturday Night Live. Why? Because while Girls isn’t funny, Dunham herself is; I’ve got no doubt that when she decides to make a pure comedy, she’ll end up creating something great. And perhaps more importantly, Dunham is an experienced writer with a fully developed voice, which is just what SNL needs right now.

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Jim Parsons hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

Jim Parsons is delightful. He’s cute, charming, good with a punchline, and unfailingly humble, even when being nominated for (and winning) yet another Best Actor trophy for his work on The Big Bang Theory.

That said, Parsons faces one major roadblock as an actor: He’s so closely associated with theoretical physicist/brilliant jerk Sheldon Cooper, whom he’s been playing for seven seasons on CBS, that it’s a little jarring to see him inhabit another role. And maybe more importantly, Sheldon Cooper is so beloved that a lot of people might not want to watch Parsons experiment with a different character.

Think of Parsons’ debut episode of SNL, then, as a sort of fresh start — an easy way for him to quickly play a bunch of different sorts of people, proving his range and getting folks used to the idea that he and Sheldon are, in fact, different people. READ FULL STORY

Melissa McCarthy returns to 'SNL' tonight: Talk about it here!

The first time Melissa McCarthy hosted Saturday Night Live, she was just coming off the enormous success of 2011′s Bridesmaids. The second time she stopped by Studio 8H, she was promoting her then-upcoming Sandra Bullock buddy comedy The Heat. This time around, though, McCarthy has no immediate projects to plug, unless you count her continuing work on CBS’s Mike & Molly. (And really, who does? Memo to Chuck Lorre: Free Melissa!)

That means the show is bringing McCarthy back largely for one reason: Simply put, she’s really great at hosting SNL. In fact, according to you guys, she was the funniest woman who helmed SNL all of last year — and that season’s second-greatest host period, topped only by Justin Timberlake.

So, could this hat trick performance help McCarthy snag the title of Season 39′s Ms. Saturday Night? READ FULL STORY

Jonah Hill hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

No disrespect to Jonah Hill, but on some level, his upcoming SNL hat trick raises just one question: Hill is about to host Saturday Night Live for the third time. Yet his Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t hosted even once? Even worse, Leo’s never stopped by Studio 8H for so much as a cameo? This is so outrageous I’m starting to feel short of breath. Quick, somebody grab me a quaalude!

Ahhh, there we go. Now, what was I saying? Oh yes — Jonah Hill’s back on SNL this weekend, which means a few things. One, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see the third recurrence of Adam Grossman, a.k.a. that 6-year-old kid who loves Benihana and talking like a Borscht Belt comedian. (Side note: Man, remember when Casey Wilson was on SNL? Side-side note: Man, 2008 Jonah Hill looked… different.)
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'Saturday Night Live' recap: Mazel tov, Drake (and Sasheer Zamata)!

Even after 38 and a half seasons, SNL still has the capacity to surprise. Yesterday, I assumed that 2014′s first episode would make some noise about new featured player Sasheer Zamata; given the show’s unusually public search for black female talent, fanfare or at least a formal introduction seemed likely.

But in the end, SNL decided to go a more matter-of-fact route: Zamata wasn’t set apart from the rest of the cast. Instead, she was simply and easily integrated into the show, appearing in no fewer than five sketches throughout the episode. And though Sasheer certainly got more screen time than the average featured player — blink and you’ll miss Brooks Wheelan and John Milhiser each week — she was never given the responsibility of carrying an entire sketch, which may have been too much for her very first show. All in all, I’m glad SNL defied my expectations and took a subtler approach; this seems like the best way to gradually end the conversation about Sasheer Zamata, Black Lady Comedian, and move toward a world where she’s just another part of the group.

Another reason SNL was smart not to make the night all about Sasheer (or its other new additions, SNL writers LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones): We got more time to spend with Drake. And Drake was really, really great. Especially in the night’s…

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'SNL' recap: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake's Christmas bro-down

Now that’s what I call a Christmas show!

Saturday’s Jimberlake joint wasn’t perfect. It certainly wasn’t as consistently wonderful as Jimmy Fallon’s last Christmas episode, which set the standard for SNL holiday cheer two years ago. And it did contain one sketch offensively bad enough to almost ruin the whole night’s effect. Pound for pound, though, Fallon and his unofficial cohost Justin Timberlake did present one of this season’s best overall episodes — thanks largely to their unflagging energy and enthusiasm, which gave a jolt of joy to even the night’s less inspired bits. (We’re making fun of Paul Ryan? Still? Now?) Last week’s holiday-themed John Goodman episode was a letdown; this week’s holiday show felt like a pleasant corrective.

But interestingly enough, the night’s biggest triumph actually didn’t rely on Fallon and Timberlake’s chemistry at all. I’m talking, of course, about the episode’s…

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