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Tag: Music + Comedy = Good Thing? (81-90 of 233)

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Bruno Mars, we like you just the way you are

Bruno Mars told us he was no comedian, but he was game for a surprisingly entertaining episode of Saturday Night Live. Was he of Justin Timberlake caliber? No, but who is? Mars was initially restricted to a lot of song numbers, which had me concerned. Still, the musical sketches were pretty funny, particularly one featuring Pandora, as you’ll see below. Thankfully, after the Pandora one, Mars mostly kept the singing to his duties as musical guest and turned up the charm as a sad mouse, a one-eyed hotel employee and a fake ID maker. I had my doubts about you as a host, Mars, but you showed me wrong. I’d like to see you back someday!


Bruno Mars hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Oh, Bruno! When I see that face, there’s not a thing that I would change.

If Bruno Mars is as goofy and versatile as his winning mug — seriously, he’s like a live-action Muppet — SNL this week should be a fun ride. At least, provided you’re a fan of comedy set to a jaunty tune. Last week, actress and Broadway vet Christina Applegate impressed with a series of all-singing, all-dancing sketches… but after her performance, plus Joseph Gordon Levitt’s striptease, plus Seth MacFarlane’s tuneful monologue, I could understand if some viewers are feeling musical fatigue. But hey — as long as every sketch doesn’t have an instrumental element, the device hopefully won’t get too tired.

Of course, Mars will have to worry about more than simply staying on pitch. Serving as both host and musical guest is no small feat, especially considering the big names who have done it in the past. Mick Jagger performed double duty just last May, following Elton John’s double threat performance in 2011. And then there’s newlywed Justin Timberlake, whose three host/musical guest stints have passed into SNL legend. Can Mars hang with these big boys?


Bruno Mars hits the right notes in 'SNL' promos -- VIDEO

Tired of musical monologues? Too bad — since Bruno Mars is Saturday Night Live‘s host and musical guest this week, you should be prepared to see song and sketch collide all night long. That’s certainly the case in these promos, which pair the doo-wop hooligan with fellow musician Fred Armisen. (The SNL castmember played  drums professionally before turning to comedy.)

There’s some good stuff here, even if “I’m gonna be your host… and I’m gonna be… your musical… entertainment” isn’t quite as catchy as “I would catch a grenade for ya.” Check out Mars and Armisen’s tuneful collaboration below:


'Saturday Night Live' recap -- Christina Applegate sang and danced her way into our hearts

Christina Applegate resuscitated a flatlining season of Saturday Night Live with her brilliant song and dance numbers this weekend.

The Up All Night actress last graced the SNL stage 19 years ago in her Kelly Bundy days, but looked right at home last night. She seemed to be over-selling herself during a few sketches, especially those that involved speaking in accent, but redeemed herself with song. And unlike last week’s dull treatment of the first presidential debate, the gang had a field day with last Thursday’s vice presidential debate.


Christina Applegate hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

NBC synergy alert! Christina Applegate is not only a great comedic actress known for starring in one of the funniest movies of all time (Anchorman) — she’s also headlining Up All Night, a Peacock sitcom with sleepy ratings. Will an appearance on SNL boost Up All Night‘s low profile?

Maybe, maybe not. What really matters is that unlike last week’s host, Applegate is a known quantity when it comes to comedy. She may not have appeared on this show since her Kelly Bundy days, but in the past 19 years, Applegate has only gotten funnier — so it’s reasonable to have fairly high expectations for her performance. (Digression: If you’re feeling nostalgic, check out the sketches that were performed during Applegate’s first hosting stint. Coffee Talk! The Gap! Deep Thoughts! Matt Foley’s first-ever appearance! It’s like an early ’90s SNL greatest hits list.)

As a bonus, Applegate could very well bring Up All Night co-stars Maya Rudolph and Will Arnett in for cameos; their presence would be much appreciated. Then again, the episode’s biggest sketch might not feature Applegate at all.


'Saturday Night Live' recap -- Daniel Craig hosts a show that's shaky, not stirred

Maybe the SNL gang is still exhausted from its Thursday night Weekend Update specials. Maybe they simply wanted to dust off a few evergreen sketches that ended up working better on the page than on the stage. Whatever the reason, last night’s episode was weirdly inert and un-topical — though host Daniel Craig did try his best to bring some life to the proceedings. The fact that the season’s third episode is already rerunning fake commercials says a lot — even if that commercial is the very funny “Undecided Voters”.

The show never really recovered from its toothless debate cold open, which pictured Jason Sudeikis’s Romney droning on while Jay Pharaoh’s Obama worried, via voiceover, about missing his wedding anniversary and getting altitude sickness. Though comedians like Jon Stewart have been merciless about skewering Obama’s lackluster debate performance, SNL‘s own sendup was way too easy on both Obama and Romney — even if it was nice to see Chris “Dr. Spaceman” Parnell stop by to play Jim Lehrer.


Daniel Craig hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Is Daniel Craig funny? If you had asked me on Monday, I probably would have shrugged and changed the subject. I have a vague memory of Craig tossing off a few one-liners in Munich — that lighthearted romp — and the way his Bond responds when asked whether he’d like his martini shaken or stirred (“Do I look like I give a damn?”) induces a smile, if not a laugh. But generally, Craig isn’t much known for his sense of humor. He can smolder, he can fight, he can even bring some gravitas to an ill-fated adaptation of a beloved fantasy book — but it’s unclear whether he can tell a joke, or at least spend just one evening not taking himself very seriously.

Then again, the SNL promos Craig filmed with cast member Taran Killam earlier this week prove that the actor might have a silly side after all.  READ FULL STORY

'Pitch Perfect': The real story about collegiate a cappella

It’s aca-awesome, for sure. But aca-accurate?

Pitch Perfect is finally in wide release this week, and the buzzy collegiate a cappella movie already has quite a few fans. With my colleague Lanford Beard, I checked out the movie last weekend, was completely charmed, and instantly wanted to know anything and everything about collegiate a cappella.

The movie obviously takes some liberties, but here at PopWatch, we were curious to learn how close the Beca (Anna Kendrick) singing experience was to the real thing. So we called up Drew O’Shanick, a third-year student at University of Virginia and member of the a cappella group the Hullabahoos, who actually cameoed in the film (for those that have seen, they’re the group that briefly sang “Final Countdown” as part of a montage). The Hullabahoos were also one of the groups featured in the non-fiction book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory, on which the movie is based.

No big plot points are given away in this very scientific (Read: Please don’t take this seriously!) exploration, but a SPOILER ALERT! to those that haven’t yet seen the film and don’t want to know anything. READ FULL STORY

'Pitch Perfect': High and higher notes of the little a cappella comedy that could

release” put its money where its mouth was last night. As a liberal arts grad and (casts down eyes) former a cappella groupie, I had to face facts: I am that core audience. (WARNING: Mild spoilers follow.)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Pity the poor people of Studio 8H. SNL‘s normal schedule is crazy enough; throw in a special primetime edition of Weekend Update, and you’ve got a passel of performers (and writers, and crew members) who must be feeling pretty exhausted right about now. At least this week’s main show will be hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, an actor whose boundless energy makes a Jack Russell terrier look subdued. Traditionally, liking anything too much is a hallmark of geekery, but JGL’s sincere enthusiasm for performing is part of what makes him cool — if you’re into the whole hipster multihyphenate thing.

Though he wasn’t quite a household name the last time he hosted Saturday Night Live, Gordon-Levitt was riding high on goodwill for indie crossover hit (500) Days of Summer. Thanks to his subsequent roles in Inception, 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises, and next week’s Looper, the former child actor can now be classified as a bona fide movie star. Will increased fame affect Gordon-Levitt’s SNL persona?  READ FULL STORY

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