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October 7, 2015

Live from Beverly Hills -- it's Saturday Night! - TCA report

by Michael Maloney, posted Jul 17th 2007 3:24PM
SNL's Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers NBC wrapped up its first of two days at the press tour at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel on Monday with a panel on Saturday Night Live.

A Q&A panel at TCA isn't complete unless a star or two is asked about his/her personal life -- either directly or indirectly. Andy Samberg deftly deflected an inquiry about his being associated romantically with ex-SNL host Natalie Portman.

Then, it was on to questions about the show...

SNL's top honcho Lorne Michaels was asked if he planned on actively seeking minority players to join the show's cast?

"We'll hold auditions in August like we normally do," Michaels replied. "If there are really good people, we'll have them."

Did the SNL gang watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Aaron Sorkin's critically acclaimed, but low-rated drama set backstage at an an SNL type show?

After a long silence, head writer Seth Meyers offers, "We were busy in the fall."

Of any perceived tension between the variety and drama shows, Michaels says, "It was a bigger thing in the media."

Will all of last season's cast members be back next season? Cast members Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Jason Sudeikis are absent from today's panel?

"As far as I know, [they'll all be back]," says Michaels, adding with a quip, "And I guess I'd be the one who knows. I'm trying to get Maya back. It'll be her decision."

Were there any shocks on SNL over the years? "Sinead O'Connor tearing up a picture of the Pope," Michaels recalls. "Mostly, it's been shocks on the positive side."

The dry-witted Michaels seems comfortable on stage and he has appeared in sketches on the show over the years, but he passed on NBC's offer to feature him in a reality show that would find the next SNL contract player a while back. "I wouldn't have been comfortable in [a role like that like Donald Trump is in The Apprentice]," Michaels says.

Does the exec ever think of retiring? "No," he says. "SNL is a show that once it stops...there will never be [another one like it]. It's really from another time of network television. It's a tribute to NBC that it's still on the air."

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I wonder if someone might clue Michaels in that Seth and Amy are not working as weekend update anchors. This is odd because Amy did great working with Tiny. I think Seth has talent in a sketch setting but he is stinking up the update desk. Maybe try Sandburg out there or Keenon. Both seem to have more of the "anything for a laugh" attitude that does well on update.

July 18 2007 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone think to ask Lorne if SNL will be funny this year?

July 18 2007 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Samburg is better as a writer than a performer, I think - he mugs too much to be fun to watch. But the Natalie Portman rap was the funniest thing on SNL in YEARS - yes, funnier than Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box, and funnier than anything Kristin Wiig is responsible (all tough to beat).

If you haven't seen it, head to youtube and check it out. (possibly nsfw though).

July 17 2007 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great coverage of this event. As a perennial SNL fan I'm always following the show and NBC. In fact I just posted something mentioning SNL on my TV blog. Check it out.


July 17 2007 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what ??? andy samberg is one of the best by far !! his "snl digital short" are always very very funny, just watch "lazy sunday" or "dick in the box" or even laser cats or natalie portman's rap....
samberg is really great, that's all !

July 17 2007 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Shapiro

Why would Natalie Portman have any intrest in that no-talent, wannabe Adam Sandler reject, Andy SAmberg??

July 17 2007 at 6:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maya RUDOLPH better be back! I LOVE her! She's one of the funniest!

July 17 2007 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best show on TV EVER, that is all..

July 17 2007 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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