It is no secret that I am a huge Tina Fey fan. If I had a patronus, it would be either Julie Andrews or Tina Fey without a doubt. I like to keep up with most former SNL cast members (Rob Schneider being the exception, sorry Rob), but Tina is at the top of my list.
… and the internet exploded.
No really, I think it did. Well for me it did, quite literally. I had no internet at my home last night for many hours (I liketa died) and for some reason the email I use for work and entertainment news was not loading anywhere, even on my phone. When it finally came back, the first thing that popped up was this:
When the 38th season debuts this weekend, Saturday Night Live will once again have a new look.
Let’s take a moment here…
Are we going to miss Kristen Wiig’s fabulous characters (surely I’m not the only person who has to fight the urge to gleefully announce “APPROVED!” when their credit card goes through successfully at the grocery store) and Andy Samberg’s digital shorts? Of course we are. That’s not even up for debate; but they are not the be all to end all of the entire show.
There is no need to lament on how awful SNL is now and how it isn’t half as it good as it was “back in the day”. Before we can even have that argument we have to realize that “back in the day” has a direct correlation to the pastgazer’s age. Is pastgazer even a word? Can I declare it a word? I am.
Pastgazer (noun) – Someone who is incapable of being excited about the potential future of a television show because they are way too hung up on how it “used to be”.
If the pastgazer is in their 30’s, I assure you their “back in the day” involves Adam Sandler and Chris Farley. Someone in their 20’s (albeit probably their later 20’s) loves them some Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon. The 40 somethings are still plodding along singing the Chopping Broccoli song and answering everything, even when not at all appropriate, with “well isn’t that special?” You don’t even want to be in the room when they feel the need to break out their patented “SCHWING!” move. It’s just embarrassing. Then you’ve got the real badasses in their 50’s who scoff at the idea that SNL has been any good since Chevy Chase left… after the first season. They long for the days of random interludes involving bee costumes and Land of Gorch sketches with the Muppets; yes those Muppets, sort of.
I think we can all agree that everyone misses Will Ferrell. Surely missing the Spartan Cheerleaders is universal. I chose to live in a world (even if imaginary) where the vast majority of people grieve daily for the loss of those crazy kids.
Thing is, even with seemingly everyone in the universe screaming about how SNL is not as good as it used to be, it is still on the air. Which is more than can be said for many other shows (let’s have a moment of silence for Kings, a great show cut down in its prime. Damn you NBC.) so obviously they are doing something right and someone is watching. A lot of someones. Someones who still like the show. Someones who in 20 years are going to say, “SNL was way better when Nasim Pedrad and Taran Killam were on.” Trust me, it’s gonna happen. This little bit of casting news is for those someones.
After the departure of Kristin Wiig, Andy Samburg, and Abby Elliott, three new cast members have been added to the lineup.
While hailing from various parts of the country, all three recently were active in the Chicago theatre scene.
Aidy Bryant is originally from Phoenix, where she lived before she attending Columbia College, and then went on to make her mark with the Improv Olympic, Annoyance, and most recently, the e.t.c. stage of The Second City theatres.
During her time at The Second City, she had the chance to team up with the Lyric Opera. Who would have ever thought that Gretel was so well adjusted?
Tim Robinson is a Detroit native, starting his career with Second City Detroit before moving on to the Second City touring company and then The Second City mainstage in Chicago. He’s been a busy man – he recently put together a pilot for Comedy Central called My Mans that was unfortunately not picked up. However, in addition to joining the SNL cast, he also has been cast in a midseason sitcom on CBS called Friend Me.
Judging by this sketch with The Second City, we might see Tim right at home with SNL’s “commercials”.
The most recently announced addition is Cecily Strong. She is a Chicago native (well Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago) and also a Second City alumni. She was with the Second City touring company and also performed with the Improv Olympic.
Another commercial sketch, this one is right up SNL’s alley, no pun intended.
Lest the actors get all the attention, it was also announced that there have been two new writers hired for the new season. Neil Casey and Josh Patten both come to SNL by way of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City.
That’s the news; now all that’s left is to take bets on how many Family Guy voices Seth MacFarlane uses during the opening monologue. Oh and we should begin the countdown to when Jason Sudeikis takes his final bow. While he’s listed on the cast page, he’s made it no secret that he is perhaps tired with SNL, which is sad. Actually I think SNL will totally suck when Jason Sudeikis leaves and I will never watch again!!!! While it was just announced that Mr. Sudeikis is returning for his 8th season, it is unclear how long he will stay though- at least through the elections which we can all agree is a good thing.
I leave you with this – a man who I think we can all agree, will most certainly feel the absence of Kristin Wiig like no one else.
The 38th season premiere will air on Saturday, September 15th with Seth MacFarlane hosting along with musical guest Frank Ocean, and his guest, John Mayer.
Many actors become rappers if they have the talent. Many rappers also become actors if they have the talent. Will Smith, Ice Cube, Xzibit, Drake, and Common are some of the names that come to mind, but now I’ve got a new name to add to that list, Childish Gambino. You may recognize him as Troy on the NBC show Community, or the even more successful Derrick Comedy sketches, the film Mystery Team, and as an Emmy-winning writer for 30 Rock. Truth is, Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino, is one of the hardest working people in the industry right now, balancing both a music, acting, comedy, and writing career almost seamlessly.
Gambino first began releasing music in 2008 with his self-released debut album Sick Boi. The album was a success on the internet, which inspired five more releases (Poindexter, I Am Just A Rapper, I Am Just A Rapper 2, Culdesac, and EP) from 2009-2011 before he was able to release his debut studio release, Camp. Released on Glassnote records, Camp is not only a stylistic, but also a lyrical step forward for Gambino, whose raps consisted mostly of talking about his d***, his chicks, and his money. Personally I felt like his lyrics became much more relatable and interesting around the release of I Am Just A Rapper 2. He had fully taken on the responsibilities of his Childish Gambino personality, and he ran with it. Although d***s, chicks, and money is still extremely prevalent in his music, there’s a clever and usually wildly funny punchline to accompany it.
Earning a degree in Dramatic Writing at NYU, Glover is a skilled and able wordsmith, which is what makes Gambino’s raps not only smooth, but wickedly clever. One of my favorite lines on the whole album occurs on the album’s first single, “Bonfire”, and it goes, “You’re my favorite rapper now, yeah dude I better be, or you can f***ing kiss my ass, Human Centipede!” I mean, if you guys need any reason to go to college, let this be it. You can graduate, start working with Tina Fey on a daily basis, and then become a world famous rapper as a side-job.
Along with the great lyrics that are expected from Gambino come equally as engaging beats and rhythms. When performing live, Donald tends to use a live band as opposed to pre-recorded background. This may in some ways explain the layered and sometimes surprisingly alternative beats that come from him and his team. The result is not only one of the best releases of the year, but also Gambino’s best release ever. Even if you don’t like his voice, check out Camp just for the lyrics, they’re guaranteed to make you crack a smile or even burst out laughing.
Best Track: Bonfire and Backpackers