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Tag: Saturday Night Live (11-20 of 628)

'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Unvarnished Louis C.K., pure and simple -- VOTE

A lot of guest hosts use Saturday Night Live as a platform to showcase hidden talents, like action stars who also sing, or actors who can do backflips. Good for them, but sometimes it’s nice to see the host stick to what he does best. Perhaps, that’s why I appreciate Louis C.K.’s stints on SNL so much. His monologues are straight-up versions of his stand-up — like George Carlin used to do — and even his sketches make use of the Louie character he’s cultivated on TV. If you like Louis, chances are you enjoyed the most recent SNL. If his brand of humor leaves you cold, well, maybe it was a long night.

Louis is the latest host to take a shot at Jimmy Fallon, who has an enormous (insurmountable?) lead in our most recent Mr. Saturday Night poll. In fact, Fallon’s support jumped 13 points after Lena Dunham‘s SNL debut, a polarizing episode that left the Girls star in a disappointing third place. The Josh Hutcherson grass-roots campaign continues to thrive, as the Catching Fire player held steady in second place. Melissa McCarthy finished in fourth again, but she’ll be hard-pressed to fight off elimination two weeks in a row.  READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' cut sketch: Louis C.K.'s alien has a shirtless hunk obsession -- VIDEO

Space villains can be a misunderstood bunch. Behind their evil quest for galactic power, they’re often just ostracized oddballs with eccentric tastes who just want a little bit of validation.

Take Zartag, Louis C.K.’s Klingon-like baddie in a sketch cut from Saturday Night Live‘s most recent episode. He threatens the Enterprise-like crew unless they hand over their lithium cores. But really, he just wants to take about his provocative “Earth Guy Art” — pictures of shirtless hunky guys on the beach, sitting on a rock, or ironing a shirt.

The sketch didn’t make the final show, but I like how committed it is. Watch it below:

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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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Louis C.K's 'SNL' promos: What does the 'C.K.' stand for, anyway? -- VIDEO

In actuality, the grumpy genius’s stage name is a phonetic approximation of his given last name, Szekely. (The more you know!) In the world of these new Saturday Night Live promos, though, Kenan Thompson assumes that C and K stand for something incredibly gross — so gross, in fact, that we’re not actually privy to hearing his guess.

That’s kind of how the promos go: Kenan says something off-the-wall, Louis reacts with polished straight-man verve. The gags are loose and improvised, if not exactly laugh-out-loud funny — which bodes well for C.K.’s second time on the SNL stage. (Well, as long as he doesn’t waste too much of the week enjoying herbal refreshments with Kenan.)

Check out the clip for yourself below:

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Barack and Michelle Obama's greatest pop culture moments -- VIDEO

On Tuesday, Funny or Die premiered a video of Zach Galifianakis interviewing President Obama in a Between Two Ferns sketch where Obama plugged Healthcare.gov. On Wednesday, traffic to the healthcare site has increased 40 percent.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett went on CBS’ This Morning earlier to share the news of the video’s success. “The fact that the website traffic has gone up is really an indication that it’s working.” Look at that, viral videos changing lives!

Obama’s appearance on Galifianakis’ wacky series wasn’t the first time the president — or first lady Michelle — has used comedy as a way to reach Americans. He appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in 2012 to plug his student loans initiative, and Michelle frequently enlists celebrities to help promote her Let’s Move campaign. We’ve gathered some of their best appearances, including Michelle showing off her mom-moves for the sake of fitness and Barack opening SNL before he was POTUS: READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' women (plus Lena Dunham!) try to move like Beyonce -- VIDEO

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Everybody wants to be able to dance like Beyoncé — even the ladies of Saturday Night Live.

Unfortunately, as anyone who’s ever tried to perform the “Single Ladies” routine for friends knows, being Bey is a lot harder than it looks. In this Saturday Night Live web exclusive, cast members Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant — as well as this past week’s host Lena Dunham — watch Vanessa Bayer attempt to re-create the “Drunk in Love” “Blow” “Partition” video, while wishing they could just get back to discussing Adam’s fate on Girls. (Don’t you dare kill him, Dunham!)

Watch below, and then weigh in on how much you’re dying to see the rest of McKinnon’s “Drunk in Love” Queen Bey impression: READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Lena Dunham makes naked ploy for laughs -- VOTE

Lena Dunham’s Saturday Night Live had something for everyone — even her 94-year-old grandmother. There was pixilated nudity, Bible stories, Jon Hamm and Liam Neeson cameos, an obnoxious GPS that didn’t like Dunham’s singing voice, and Liza Minnelli impressions. At the end, Dunham said she wanted to french-kiss the audience, a Benigni-esque declaration of emotion that I don’t doubt for a moment. (After all, her granny was practically a third-base coach back in the day.)

The Girls star wasn’t fazed in the slightest by hosting the show, which isn’t much of a surprise — Dunham doesn’t seem like a shrinking violet. Even skits that didn’t completely work belonged to her. That is, she came with a plan, and/or the writers recognized and appreciated her voice and sense of humor and made an effort to use them. Hit or miss, I so prefer this type of Saturday Night Live sketch to the ones that have little or nothing to do with the host.

Since Dunham’s fame is still rather polarizing, it will be interesting to see how she fares in our best-host poll. Jimmy Fallon might be invincible, but his biggest challenger is shaping up to be a surprise. Jim Parsons debuted in second place with a shaky 22.9 percent of the vote, but it’s Josh Hutcherson, who finished a close third, who is becoming Fallon’s biggest threat. His support nearly doubled, and there seems to be a bloc of voters determined to win him the prize. Melissa McCarthy, who still might rally to chase Fallon, finished a strong fourth, but she’s in danger now of following Drake off the elimination plank. READ FULL STORY

'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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