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Tag: Music + Comedy = Good Thing? (81-90 of 239)

A plea for 'Saturday Night Live' and Jamie Foxx: No more musical monologues!

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

Jeremy Renner hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

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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Anne Hathaway hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Hate on Anne Hathaway all you want, but Lorne Michaels must see something in her. After all, she’s been asked to host SNL three times in the past four years — and in each of her previous outings, she’s proven herself to be a solid supporting player who’s got a special knack for impressions. (Check out her spot-on Julie Andrews and Judy Garland imitations for proof.)

Personally, I don’t get why so many people seem to despise Hathaway. She’s got good comic timing, she always sounds pretty smart in interviews, and while her Oscars hosting stint was sort of a disaster, I blame smug, too-cool-for-school James Franco much more than I blame eager theater kid Hathaway. Honestly, the only thing that might drag down tonight’s episode is an abundance of musical sketches; between Seth MacFarlane, Christina Applegate, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Bruno Mars, this season has been  a little too heavy on the song and dance. A full-scale Les Mis parody could be amazing, but I’m hoping that we don’t see any more sketches stuffed with snippets of popular tunes. Especially since rights issues always prevent those sketches from being posted online.

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'Saturday Night Live' recap: Louis C.K. is best when he's just being Louis

I really can’t wait to see whether Louis C.K. makes an episode of Louie about hosting Saturday Night Live. The sketch show itself was fine if uneven this week, careening between dizzying highs (the cold open; that “Lincoln as Louis” short), terrifying lows (basically everything post-Update), and creamy middles (Weekend Update’s guests, with one possible exception). Behind the scenes, though, things must have been a lot more interesting — how did the cast and writers manage to compose and rehearse 90 minutes of new material despite Monday’s devastating hurricane? For that matter, how did the crew manage to build the sets we saw last night? And just as pressingly, what was it like for cerebral Louis to enter a world that counts liberal use of the word “boner” as a totally acceptable punchline?

Sadly, we won’t know until Louie‘s fourth season, which doesn’t hit FX until early 2014. In the meantime, let’s discuss what we did see: an SNL that started off with a bang, thanks to a cold open that poked fun at New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his overly expressive sign language interpreter Lydia Callis, and New Jersey’s lovably blunt Governor Chris Christie.

If you didn’t spend all of Monday watching Bloomberg discuss storm preparations while Callis gesticulated wildly at his side, you missed out — it’s not for nothing that she became an Internet phenomenon. SNL newcomer Cecily Strong imitated Callis’s elastic face beautifully, and Nasim Pedrad was almost as good as Roxy, Christie’s fictional guidette signer. The segment also nailed Bloomberg’s heavily accented Spanish, which became a meme of its own during last year’s big hurricane. Sure, the sketch was a little insider-y — residents of New York and Jersey must have been much more amused by it than anyone else. But after what the tri-state area endured this week, it seems fitting to give its citizens some extra attention — even if many of them can’t watch Saturday Night Live until their power is restored.

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Louis C.K. hosts tonight's 'Saturday Night Live': Talk about it here!

Louis C.K.’s hosting debut, plus a cast and crew that’s had a week to rest and recharge, plus a wealth of great material courtesy of the rapidly winding-down election and Hurricane Sandy? Tonight’s SNL might just be a perfect storm of comedy — as long as it successfully marries C.K.’s pitch-black, cringe-y sensibility with the sketch show’s broader tone.

Louis himself didn’t seem too confident when he appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week. (Then again, when does Louis ever seem confident?) He told the SNL vet that during a laugh-free table read, he worried that Lorne Michaels would decide to cancel the show and simply blame it on the hurricane.

Luckily, things eventually turned around and C.K. said he finished the table read strong — so the show probably won’t be a disaster after all. Especially since we’ve got this to look forward to: “There’s one sketch that I’m in that I really hate, because what I’m doing in it is really embarrassing,” C.K. told Fallon. “When I think about this one sketch, I go, ‘Oh God, It’s going to be awful.’ I get a little dizzy and ill. But I told them, ‘Please leave this one in. Please don’t cut this sketch, because I hate it.'” I think I just got goosebumps.

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Once more, with feeling: Kate Nash and friends perform all of 'Buffy' musical ep's songs

British chanteuse Kate Nash likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like, really likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So much that she spent Halloween performing the soundtrack of “Once More, with Feeling” — Buffy‘s beloved musical episode — in its entirety at London’s Hackney Attic. Complete with costumes, staking motions, and the parking ticket song! (Doesn’t look like “They Got the Mustard Out” made it onto YouTube, though.)

Check out Nash and co.’s take on the episode’s first song, “Going Through the Motions,” below — and find the rest of the set here. It’s truly something to sing about.

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'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!

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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?

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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:

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'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.

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