PopWatch Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog

Tag: SNL (1-10 of 169)

So you've been fired from 'SNL': Here's what to do next

Brooks Wheelan, we hardly knew ye… and now we may never get the chance to. The blue-eyed comedian revealed Monday night that he won’t be returning for a second year at Saturday Night Live this fall—and that the decision wasn’t his to make. In a fairly delightful tweet, Wheelan said that he’d been let go. (His exact words: “Fired from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” Which is funny enough to make me wish things hadn’t ended this way.)

Clearly, getting canned from television’s most august comedy institution must be a bit of a bummer. But at least there’s a silver lining: Plenty of former SNL cast members have found major success after undistinguished tenures on the series that ended with pink slips. So Brooks, if you’re listening, buck up: Follow one of these post-Saturday Night blueprints, and you’ll be just fine.

READ FULL STORY

'The Maya Rudolph Show': Give her another take? -- VIDEO

Maya Rudolph, we’ve missed you. On Monday, NBC took one of its brightest (if recently underutilized) stars and let her shine all over a studio soundstage, likely in hopes that Rudolph might be the right person to bring back the long-extinct variety show format. Others have tried and failed, but the Saturday Night Live alum had plenty of momentum heading into the one-off premiere of The Maya Rudolph Show.

Now that Rudolph’s debut comedy hour has aired, though, the question looms: Was her brand of song-and-skit enough to pull the metaphorical sword from the stone? Or, at the very least, should NBC grab hold of a good thing and give Rudolph a chance to explore this concept further? READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live': And this year's overall MVP is...

… Kate McKinnon. Which should come as no surprise, whether you faithfully watched each of season 39’s episodes or only caught a few of its sketches online.

Let’s back up. Each week in our SNL recaps, EW’s writers have selected one cast MVP — the featured or repertory player who made the best individual impression in that Saturday’s episode. Sometimes those MVP slots were shared between two cast members; sometimes, as in this season’s premiere, we cited both a New Cast MVP and an Old Cast MVP, just to spread the wealth around. Because our recaps are written by different staffers with different preferences, the system’s a little less biased than it would be if the same person had chosen an MVP each week — meaning that the season’s overall winner has plenty of broad appeal, at least among the enormous subset of the population that is EW SNL recappers.

That said: The contest wasn’t even close. READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' finale recap: School's out, but not before Andy Samberg's class reunion

saturday-night-live-02.jpg

What did you think of SNL‘s 39th season?

Maybe, instead, we should begin with a different question: What did SNL itself think of its 39th season?

The answer: Not much, if Saturday’s finale was any indication. Any time a former cast member hosts the show, we’re guaranteed to see a barrage of cameos from fellow alumni. But the sheer volume of ex-repertory players that showed up last night — and stuck around, taking up more attention and screen time than some new featured players have gotten all season — made the finale feel more like an unearned victory lap than a standalone episode. We already know that Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are funny — but if SNL is going to survive into its fifth decade, which begins next fall, the show needs to consider its future as well as its past. You’ve got to feel for John Milhiser, Brooks Wheelan, Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, and Mike O’Brien, who might as well have stayed home Saturday night. (Sasheer Zamata, Kyle Mooney, and, of course, Colin Jost, who’s the show’s head writer as well as Weekend Update anchor: Breathe easy. You guys are safe for next season.)

Speaking of SNL‘s past: Host Andy Samberg was fine, if not a dynamo like fellow alumni hosts Maya Rudolph and Jimmy Fallon. His live sketch work had highs (Nicolas Cage!!) and lows (that 2 Chainz thing, which… what?); the same went for his two (count ‘em: two!) Digital Shorts, which were amusing if not at the level of the Lonely Island’s best work. We can, however, credit Samberg with catalyzing the night’s… READ FULL STORY

Andy Samberg hosts 'Saturday Night Live' finale this weekend: Talk about it here!

Nearly a decade after launching the revolution, Andy Samberg returns to reign over the world he created.

Let’s back up. Samberg joined the cast of SNL in September 2005, just a month after his 27th birthday. Nobody really knew who he was, though, until December 17 of that year, when The Lonely Island’s second-ever Digital Short, “Lazy Sunday,” premiered — and almost immediately became an Internet sensation. Sure, it helped that the short’s debut coincided with the rise of YouTube, which had launched in February of 2005, and its “white guys rapping about mundane stuff” premise gave plenty of fodder for homages and parodies — but really, “Lazy Sunday”‘s popularity doesn’t need to be explained. It became a sensation for one simple reason: Even nine years later, it’s still really, really funny.

READ FULL STORY

Seth Meyers launches 'Second Chance Theater' with 'SNL' sketch that never made it to air -- VIDEO

Will Forte has literally been waiting years for this moment.

Some background: In March, Seth Meyers revealed plans to introduce a new Late Night feature called “Second Chance Theatre.” The segment would highlight rejected SNL sketches, including a lost Jason Sudeikis vehicle called “Juggling Flyer” and Will Forte’s “Jennjamin Franklin.”

What, exactly, is Jennjamin Franklin? As Forte explained to Splitsider last year: “It’s this woman who is the spitting image of Benjamin Franklin, and this guy gets set up on this date with this woman, and she’s, like, this real sexual creature but looks exactly like Benjamin Franklin.”

Last night, in the very first installment of Second Chance Theatre, all of Forte’s weird colonial dreams finally came true. Feast your eyes on something that proved too weird for the show that brought us “Bird Bible”:

READ FULL STORY

Andy Samberg comes home, gets goofy in 'SNL' promos -- VIDEO

The Andy Samberg who will host Saturday Night Live this weekend is not the same Samberg who departed the show in 2012, after seven seasons of viral video-making and face-pulling. For one thing, the comedian is now a Golden Globe™ Winning Actor; for another, he’s wearing glasses now. You can see the difference!

Actually, scratch that. Samberg’s antics in the following video are right on par with the sort of stuff he used to do on SNL; on a scale of cast-members-turned-hosts from Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, it seems like he’ll fall closer to the Fallon end of the spectrum. But don’t take my word for it — enjoy Samberg and old pal Kenan Thompson’s quick yoga, delightful frolicking, and general silliness in the video below. Think it deserves the prize for Promo of the Year?

READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: Charlize Theron can't sing

Charlize Theron hasn’t hosted Saturday Night Live since 2000, which was 14 whole years ago and a performance which very few of us actually remember. That didn’t stop her from crafting a monologue out of a sketch from that 2000 show, however. Her singing part in that sketch kept getting reduced and reduced until she realized, “I can’t sing.” Which the writers apparently thought was hilarious because guys, Charlize Theron can do everything: Win Oscars! Star in dramas! Star in comedies! But… she can’t sing. Ha, ha! READ FULL STORY

Charlize Theron hosts 'Saturday Night Live' this week: Talk about it here!

Charlize Theron last hosted Saturday Night Live in November of 2000 — which might as well have been a lifetime ago. The episode, which aired just days before that year’s presidential election, featured a running gag about possible outcomes (President Ralph Nader’s address to the nation is interrupted by a flying pig and frozen devils); the night was filled with Fey-era recurring characters like Will Ferrell’s Robert Goulet and the ladies of Gemini’s Twin and even Chris Kattan’s Mr. Peepers; Theron herself was there to promote The Legend of Bagger Vance, a movie which single-handedly made her chances of ever winning an Oscar seem pretty slim.

Another indication of changing times? Back then, Theron was mainly given only one type of role — the ditzy girl group member, a hot blonde at the Buena Vista Social Club, Marilyn Monroe. But even though Theron is still jaw-droppingly gorgeous, we know now that she’s also capable of being much more than window dressing. Monster proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she could act — and just as importantly, Arrested Development proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she can do comedy. Take all the gold stars you want, Charlize.

READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' recap: It's Andrew Garfield's night, but Emma Stone steals the show

That headline isn’t meant to be a knock on Andrew Garfield, who was nimble and vibrant as Peter Parker (post-spider bite, of course) in his SNL hosting debut. His face sported a gigantic, adorable grin for about 75 percent of last night’s 90-minute show; he easily and smoothly transitioned between British and American accents, even multiple times in the same sketch; he showed a real knack for flustered buffoonery, almost saving an iffy wedding toast sketch by sheer force of personality alone. (Key word there: almost.)

Garfield was good enough that it’s puzzling the show didn’t give him more to do. As amusing as it was, his opening monologue — predictably crashed by his Amazing Spider-Man 2 co-star/girlfriend Emma Stone, who couldn’t help giving a bunch of undermining advice — didn’t exactly scream “vote of confidence.” And though Garfield was front and center several times throughout the night, he only got a few chances to really let loose. But wouldn’t you know it — the first one of those chances just happened to be the night’s…

READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP