After two big names in Tina Fey and Miley Cyrus, one of the biggest names in action movies is headed to Rockefeller Center for SNL this weekend. That’s right, Bruce Willis, Mr. Die Hard himself, will be returning to the Studio 8H stage!
As is customary, he filmed his promos for this weekend’s show but there was a new face in the promos this week. None other than Weekend Update anchor, Cecily Strong! Good for her, it’s nice to see one of the new-ish cast members get some promo time.
While some people (Kronner) are still feeling a little at odds with Bruce Willis over his latest Die Hard outing, there’s no denying he is a funny guy so this should be a fun show. Plus the musical guest is Katy Perry and if you need a reminder of her last visit to the show….
Well it’s about time. Jason Sudekis has finally confirmed that this past season of SNL was his last.
In tonight’s episode of Late Night with David Letterman, Sudeikis confirms what all fans have assumed for months, his time in Studio 8H has come to a close.
It sucks that there won’t be a big send-off for the man who has become the “every man” of Saturday Night Live in recent years, but it seems right for the actor who excelled at the bewildered reaction to the rest of his cast members antics. Of course he was not without his own craziness as evidenced as one of his best Weekend Update characters, The Devil.
Now with the departure of Jason Sudeikis joining those of Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, and possibly Nasim Pedrad, the cast of SNL is going to look very different next year. Some featured players will move up to full cast (Kate McKinnon for sure) with new ones comes in, it’ll be interesting to see the announcements start rolling in come fall time.
One of the best things about the internet age is the ability to get a behind the scenes look at our favorite shows that was not widely available before. One of my (obvious) favorite examples of this would be SNL. Not only do they occasionally post interviews with the cast and behind the scenes kind of stuff, but they also will post sketches that made it to rehearsal but not the final show.
Their most recent “web exclusive” is a look at a sketch that didn’t make the final cut that includes commentary from the Bill Hader and writers John Solomon and Rob Klein. It is rather fantastic even if it was ‘The Greatest Trainwreck Ever’.
Outside of the whole wall part and Justin Bieber saying “it’s not part of it”, the best part of that sketch is “I’m guessing most of you know it from ABC’s Private Practice“. Great line and a great look at something if it weren’t for the magical internet machines we’d never get to see.
Before anyone thinks I’m a loon, I don’t really believe Andy Kaufman is alive. However, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be impressed and rather pleased if he was. I suppose before I go any further, I should make sure everyone knows who Andy Kaufman is. I know, I know, it seems ridiculous to assume there are people who don’t know of Kaufman, but stranger things have happened.
Andy Kaufman was (is?) a stand up comedian. I take that back, Kaufman actually would often say that he was not a comic because he didn’t tell jokes, but rather let’s call him a “performance artist”. He was also an actor appearing on SNL and Taxi as well as a pair of specials airing on ABC and PBS. Lending to his protests that he was not a stand-up comedian, his act was composed mainly of characters he had developed. Perhaps the most famous was Foreign Man and his SNL appearance lip synching to Mighty Mouse is on the Way.
Kaufman’s act was one that quite possibly no one else could pull off, ever. He often would spend the majority of his time just looking nervously at the audience or asking them why they were laughing at him. He was able to pull off a “darker alter ego” light years better than Garth Brooks ever did, so much so that some people never picked up that Tony Clifton was indeed Kaufman.
There was so much more to the legend that is Andy Kaufman including his supposed desire to fake his own death, so it isn’t hard to see why people would want to believe that he is still alive. Kaufman died on May 16th, 1984 of kidney failure. He’d been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier in the year and people just assumed it was another of his bits but no, he really did have lung cancer and he really did die. However, there are still a large number of people who believe Kaufman is alive and well and now think perhaps living in New Mexico.
Could that be Andy Kaufman? Sure, why not? Is it more likely that it’s just some man living in New Mexico and has no idea that people are following him around filming him thinking he’s Andy Kaufman? A much more likely situation. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for Kaufman to show up on The Tonight Show one night laughing at all of us for falling for the gag but some things are just too awesome to be true. No, it seems as if it is only his legacy that is still alive, and with any luck, will remain so for decades to come.
Thankfully there are those out there who are actively making sure that Kaufman’s work is remembered. On July 16th, record label Drag City will release an album called “Andy and His Grandmother“. According to Drag City, Kaufman was fond of carrying around a tape recorder and the album will consist of clips from the 82 hours of recording that they have.
[quote]Andy and His Grandmother is material never heard before, a skimming from 82 hours of micro-cassette tapes that Andy recorded during 1977-79. Real life was the ultimate frontier for him, and these tapes demonstrate the heart of Andy‘s comedy: with gusto, he involves those closest to him, as well as total strangers, in put-ons, falsehoods and other provocations, pushing the limit on logic and emotional investment in everyday situations from the trivial to the deeply personal until any suspension of disbelief is out of the question for all involved, and everyone becomes fully immersed in whatever scenario Andy is suggesting as the new reality. — Drag City [/quote]
Produced by Vernon Chatman, narrated by SNL alum Bill Hader, and with liner notes provided by long time Kaufman friend and colleague, Bob Zmuda, “Andy and His Grandmother” is certainly something to look forward to for all comedy fans. Christmas/Hanukkah/whatever in July anyone?
Another great season of SNL wrapped up this weekend with host Ben Affleck joining the Five Timers Club. Sadly Mr. Affleck did not get the fanfare of previous club initiates but in all honesty, this season finale was more about departing cast members than it was the host.
Someone who doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, despite being in his tenth year on SNL, is Kenan Thompson. There are quite a few who think he needs to move on but if he keeps up things like comparing his Al Sharpton hair to Fredrick Douglas, then he can stay as long as he desires. However, it was “Matthew McConnell” that really made me laugh. How could you not laugh at the idea of Wooderson in politics?
The monologue was cute but still rather meh at the same time. The backlash Affleck got for saying marriage is work was ridiculous to begin with. The fact that they couldn’t come up with anything a little bit more topical (the Oscars seems like they were months ago…) is even more ridiculous. That being said, I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Garner so anything that gets her on my TV, I’m okay with it.
The “Bengo F*** Yourself”? I can’t tell if I liked it because it brought back Fred Armisen’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or if I liked it because it was funny, or really if I even liked it at all. Ahmadinejad having to say “park the car in Harvard Yard” each time was amusing but the premise was a little blah. It just left me wanting to go watch “I Ran So Far” again.
I know I’ve proclaimed something to be the “best so far” at least twice this season, but ‘Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings’ really was the best commercial of the season. Everything from the favors of cheez-its and mini bottles of water compared to two tickets to Italy and 40K and Bill Hader dancing was delightful. Bobby Moynihan not owning an iron? Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon as the couple getting married with their pack of dogs? Flawless. The tagline of “Not necessary for lesbian weddings” made me laugh more than anything in quite some time. Don’t know who wrote that bit but hats off to them because it was amazing.
Not amazing was Ben Affleck with his Jimmy Stewart impression and Bill Hader’s “holding out for management” sketch. Actually the only highlight of that was Kate McKinnon pronouncing that she was 40. How that sketch made it to the front half of the show is beyond me because it was awful.
One of the best parts of living in the internet age, is the ability to have a look at our favorite shows that we’ve never had the chance to get before. If you wanted backstage photos back in the dark ages of my childhood, you had to either know someone or see them in a magazine. I know right? Oh the humanity! Now you pop on over to Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook and you’ve got those things right at your fingertips. Thankfully Joe Kelly, an SNL writer, got a picture of that incredible shirt that Taran Killam was wearing in the ‘New Beginnings’ sketch because it truly needs to be seen as often as possible. Impressive bead work. The sketch was all right, but that shirt was clearly the highlight.
I have been watching SNL ever since I was going to sleepovers or found a way to sneakily watch TV after my parents went to bed so mid-80’s. Actually the first episode I remember seeing was Ron Reagan hosting with musical guest The Nelsons. Oh yea. In all those years, I don’t know that I’ve seen a better send off for a character than was given to Bill Hader’s Stefon.
Stefon came on as expected and things progressed as they usually do. Then, in a moment of horror vocalized clearly by the audience’s gasps, he storms off stage telling Seth that he’s found a new man and he’s getting married. The fabulous Amy Poehler saves the day by telling Seth Meyers to go after him and we are treated to a The Graduate send-up that would no doubt make Dustin Hoffman proud. I’m woman enough to admit that it made me cry to see all Stefon’s clubbing friends there at his wedding. ‘Menorah the Explorer’ and of course ‘DJ Baby Bok-Choy’ warmed the cold cockles of my heart. However, nothing compares to having the happy couple return to the Weekend Update set and take a final bow surrounded by other fantastic Weekend Update characters.
A remarkable end to an incredibly entertaining character and ongoing storyline.
Sadly, the rest of the sketches weren’t nearly as good or noteworthy. ‘Greg’s Funeral’ was entertaining to a point, and the ‘Engagement BBQ’ was mildly funny but only because it was nearing 1 am and I was tired. Really the only thing the second half had that was positive, sketch wise was the ‘not porn stars anymore’ and their Hermes handbags.
Three times in one season seems like a lot, but these two have managed to keep this sketch interesting despite over-playing it. One can hope they won’t continue to do it as often as the gag will easily be played out, but for now it worked.
Bill Hader had his moment and at the end of the night, it was time for Fred Armisen’s. He didn’t even attempt to go the funny route, instead just went straight for our hearts and ripped them out and stomped them for good measure.
Of course it would be difficult to assemble a cooler group of musicians and it seemed right that Ian Rubbish would have his moment that was that cool. If I hadn’t gotten teary with Stefon, then I certainly would have when I caught sight of Fred/Ian’s guitar strap proclaiming his love for Lorne Michaels.
Overall, this was a crappy episode with great moments. Ben Affleck wasn’t all that great in his sketches but it seemed right that he host this show and give even more closure to Stefon (he played his brother in the first episode Stefon appeared on Weekend Update). Really this finale was all about two men who have been shining beacons of the SNL cast for years.
There are still plenty of cast decisions up in the air – Jason Sudeikis, for one – but we know that even though at least two big names are leaving, there are plenty talented actors ready to step into their shoes as has happened for all 38 years the show as been on air. It’s survived big names leaving and it’ll survive these big names leaving. Now we just have all summer to obsess over who will be the new cast members and of course, who will take over Weekend Update!
It’s been a great season, I’ve really enjoyed this time we’ve spent together SNL fans. Just because the season is over doesn’t mean our relationship has to be. Stick around for there will be plenty of SNL news over the break and of course there will be plenty of things to discuss as we approach Season 39!!!
When the season finale of SNL gets underway this weekend, there will be another member of the SNL ‘Five Timers Club’. Justin Timberlake joined the club earlier this season but this time it’s all about Mr. Argo himself, Ben Affleck.
While Ben Affleck is a host to certainly look forward to, this show will indeed be bittersweet. In addition to the confirmed departure of Bill Hader, this weekend will also be Fred Armisen’s last show and it is very likely that Jason Sudeikis is leaving as well. Add in Seth Meyers’ new gig at Late Night next winter and SNL is going to look quite differently when it returns in the fall.
Some things however, will always remain constant. Kanye West using his mouth to find his way into the news isn’t likely to go away any time soon. This time he’s dragged SNL into his headline making ways. While performing at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC this week it made it very clear that he has no interest in doing any skits on this weekend’s show.
(if you have an issue with profanity, probably best to skip this one)
Well Kanye, some might say the feeling is mutual. There are quite a few people who are puzzled at Lorne Michael’s decision to have you perform on the show and this just adds fuel to that fire. Nothing like someone being happy to be invited, sheesh.
But who cares about Kanye West and whatever crawled up his ass and died? We’ve got a season finale to send off to great SNL performers to look forward to and nothing can stop us from enjoying that!
Remember to find your way back here on Sunday when we’ll have a recap and review of the show. Until then SNL fans!
Well the inevitable day is upon us. Bill Hader – talk show host, Vincent Price, James Carville, Al Pacino, and of course Stefon – is leaving SNL. He announced his departure with an interview with the New York Times.
[quote]It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” Mr. Hader said in an interview. “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’ — NYT[/quote]
It’s foolish to think that SNL cast members will be around forever, even ones who have woven themselves so intrinsically into the fabric of the show as Hader has. For eight years SNL fans have tuned in on Saturday nights, sure that Bill Hader would be wearing some odd wig, dancing like a fool, hosting a game show, or breaking while Fred Armisen gyrated in his lap. Well this Saturday will be the last time to do so as it will be Hader’s farewell.
If there is a silver lining in this news, it’s almost a sure thing that we’ll have a Stefon sighting this weekend.
What does this mean for the show? Well obviously someone will need to step into the talk show hosts shoes but beyond that, a lot is still up in the air. Fred Armisen could be leaving. Jason Sudeikis is likely leaving. Kenan Thompson is wrapping up his tenth season so I wouldn’t be surprised if he left. Nasim Pedrad was in the non-picked up John Mulaney pilot so could she be looking to leave? Seth Meyers will be around for the first part of the season but then he’s off to take over for Jimmy Fallon at Late Night.
So much uncertainty but Hader himself assures the fans that the show is left in capable hands.
[quote]I found myself looking up and watching the new people do their sketches. I like watching Kate McKinnon do something — there’s a joy in seeing a new move from somebody and going, ‘Oh, she can do that.’ — NYT[/quote]
SNL survived Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg leaving last year. It’s survived beloved cast members leaving for decades now, it will survive Bill Hader’s leaving. Doesn’t mean it won’t suck, and he won’t be missed, but it will survive. And hey, we can always looks forward to Don Pardo announcing “your host, Bill Hader”.