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
Tag: Music + Comedy = Good Thing? (51-60 of 217)
When SNL alumni return to play host, one of two things tends to happen: The show is either a season highlight that skillfully mixes old and new (see Maya Rudolph or Jimmy Fallon‘s shows from last year; seriously, see them), or it’s an unfortunately stagnant walk down memory lane (sorry, Dana Carvey). So which of these fates will befall Martin Short tonight?
If there’s any justice, it’ll be Option #1. Sure, it’s a given that Short will bring back a few of the characters he played during his brief time on SNL in the ’80s — but because he’s such a spry, dynamic performer, it seems unlikely that he’d be content to break out his Jerry Lewis impression and call it a day. I truly think that having Short around will inspire Saturday Night Live‘s current team to push themselves. His presence also means that cameos from his famous friends and former cast mates – Billy Crystal? Christopher Guest? Tom Hanks? Steve Martin?! — are as inevitable as Ed Grimley’s cowlick.
It also doesn’t hurt that this is SNL‘s last show of 2012 (and, if the Mayans are to be believed, SNL’s last show ever); generally speaking, the cast and writers like to go out with a bang. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned musical guest Paul McCartney yet.
Jimmy Fallon is a populist at heart, and last night, the people’s talk show host fulfilled audience requests on Late Night, which led to him performing the holiday classic “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” à la Bob Dylan. His impression was spot-on, as always, but this acoustic guitar and harmonica-infused performance was especially impressive and humorous considering the song’s silly tone.
Watch the video below: READ FULL STORY
In the era of Jamie Foxx, Serious Movie Star, it’s easy to forget that the Oscar winner got his start as a comedian. But Foxx proved last night that he’s still got the comedy bug, preening and mugging like the ex-In Living Color cast member he is — and while his overly confident persona may have seemed grating to some, a host who tries too hard is always preferable to a host who doesn’t try hard enough. (Just compare Daniel Craig to Lindsay Lohan, and you’ll see what I mean.)
The night kicked off with a politically-charged cold open, the only sketch of the night that didn’t feature Foxx. It was pretty standard stuff, with Jay Pharoah’s Obama acting like a sympathetic schoolteacher and Bill Hader’s John Boehner filling the role of miserable, bullied student. (Apparently, the Republicans have been putting rubber snakes in the Speaker’s desk and inviting him to nonexistent pizza parties to punish him for the fiscal cliff negotiations.) While the sketch drove home how much sharper The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are when it comes to fiscal cliff comedy, Hader’s Boehner face — he looked like a disgruntled caveman — made the whole thing worthwhile.
Will Jamie Foxx breathe life into an uncharacteristically lackluster season of SNL? He’s certainly got the bona fides to be a great host: The Oscar winner starred on Fox’s sketch series In Living Color from 1991 to 1994, yukking it up alongside Jim Carrey and a succession of Wayans brothers. Like Anne Hathaway — season 38′s best host so far — Foxx is an accomplished singer as well as an actor, which makes him especially versatile. And unlike so-so hosts Jeremy Renner and Daniel Craig, the star of Django Unchained has visited SNL before — albeit not since the last days of the Clinton administration. (The musical guest when Foxx last hosted: Blink-182. What’s my age again?)
All this, combined with my holiday wish of Norm Macdonald showing up to dust off his impeccable Quentin Tarantino impression, makes me think that Foxx could knock it out of the park. After all, the show has had a few weeks to rest and recharge, which hopefully means that tonight’s show will feel fresher than the past few episodes.
L’chaim, chaverim: Chanukah/Hanukkah/Chhaaannukkahhh is finally here!
Maybe the Jewish Festival of Lights, which begins tonight at sundown, isn’t as culturally dominant as Christmas, or as glitzy as New Year’s Eve, or as charmingly quaint as Boxing Day. Maybe it’s a holiday that nobody even really knows how to spell. (I grew up using no “c” and two “k”s, so that’s what I’m going to stick with for the rest of this post.) Still, it’s impossible not to love an occasion that exalts fried food, present-giving, and the menorah (or hanukiah, if you want to get technical), a celebratory candelabra that can be either sophisticated or silly.
And even though Hanukkah is much less visible in pop culture than other holidays, it’s still been immortalized on screen at least eight notable times — one for each night of the festival. Great miracles happen after the jump:
CollegeHumor’s parody video of Nickelback’s “Photograph,” called “Look at This Instagram,” pokes fun at the commonplace and predictable filter treatments “photographers” use to transform food, finger nails, feet, fireworks, and other f words into art.
“Started out as a lemon tart, then my phone went and made it art,” bellows the singer in his best Chad Kroeger voice. His female collaborator channels Creed more than Nickelback, but she makes up for it by putting hipster glasses on her cat (“he thinks he’s people!”).
Watch the video below (don’t you think it would have looked better in sepia?): READ FULL STORY
Jimmy Fallon, Michael Buble, Keira Knightley, and Dave Matthews play musical instrument game -- VIDEO
Full time late-night talk show host, part time game show enthusiast Jimmy Fallon orchestrated yet another hilarious competition last night on Late Night.
Keira Knightley and Dave Matthews squared off against Fallon and Michael Bublé in an intense round of “The Musical Instrument Game.” The holiday themed song guessing game involved odd instruments, discordant sounds, and plenty of confusion on Matthews’ part. The singer forgot that Bublé was a musician.
“I feel like this exposes me in a professional way,” Matthews said. “Me too,” Bublé responded. “You’re not a … I mean … you are a musician,” Matthews then exclaimed. Nice save, Matthews, nice save. Maybe he was too flustered at the sight of the ethereal Knightley to think clearly.
Watch the videos below (and yes, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” has the exact same beat as “Jingle Bells”): READ FULL STORY
Next week, Saturday Night Live will return after a two-week hiatus with a new episode starring Oscar winner Jamie Foxx. As anyone who spent all of 2005 humming “Gold Digger” knows, Foxx is a talented double threat — he showed off his pipes in 2006′s Dreamgirls, not to mention on four studio albums of original tunes.
Which means that in at least one sketch — and probably several — Foxx is going to sing. He’ll likely croon for the first time in his monologue, warbling a goofy song about, I don’t know, Quentin Tarantino’s eccentricities or how it happens to be December.
Cue Liz Lemon’s epic eyeroll.
Of the eight regular episodes of SNL that have aired this season so far, five have kicked off with a musical monologue — six, if you count the striptease dance number Joseph Gordon-Levitt performed in September. READ FULL STORY
The last time a fair-haired actor best known for his onscreen intensity made his SNL hosting debut, things didn’t turn out so well. Daniel Craig was game but never fully comfortable on Saturday Night Live, and the material he was given — a weirdly un-topical set of sketches about construction workers, a space mission, and Fred Armisen in a skirt — didn’t help matters. So is Jeremy Renner, a similarly serious star, destined to deliver a similarly underwhelming performance?
Even though Renner’s SNL promos were pretty rote, I’m going to give the Oscar nominee the benefit of the doubt. His skills as an impressionist are untested, but he’s given witty performances in action movies like The Avengers and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – and Renner also told EW earlier this week that he’s planning to follow advice given to him by SNL pro (and his co-star in The Town) Jon Hamm. I can’t think of a better Saturday Night Live role model, unless Renner also consulted with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.
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