1980 was a volatile time for 'SNL.' Lorne Michaels had left and new producer Jean Doumanian hired a completely new staff. She passed up Jim Carrey, John Goodman and Dom Irrera for actors who went on to do nothing. She almost hired another no-name over Murphy, but the staff persisted and convinced her to add him by the fourth show, which aired Nov. 22, 1980.
But for stalwart fans like myself who tend to consider every nuance and minor detail of the show's sketches, the sentiment is either only partially true or not true at all. Sure, the show saw a spike in viewership thanks to Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression, leading critics to praise SNL's "creative resurgence." But the buzz was just as strong when Will Ferrell played George W. Bush nine years ago. (And, furthermore, it wasn't as if the show didn't have its culturally resonant hits in recent years, not limited to Maya Rudolph's Donatella Versace impression or Andy Samberg's fusion of Internet humor into the mix).
So to those who say SNL is back, I say, have you ever seen Molly Shannon's Jeannie Darcy? Because it is, by far, one of the most brilliantly executed, underrated characters to ever appear on the show. (Or maybe I just have a thing for mullets and bolo ties. Same difference.) See what I mean in the video after the jump.
Burn Notice is great summer fare: a series that doesn't exactly break new ground but is still fun to watch. USA's motivation in picking new shows has been to focus on strong characters, and that's exactly what keeps Burn Notice from being just another crime/detective/mystery series (even though it is just another crime/detective/mystery series). It's also what keeps me tuning into Monk after all these years, even though every episode is pretty much the same. The lead players, Jeffrey Donovan, Sharon Gless, Bruce Campbell and Gabrielle Anwar, work well within the sometimes cookie-cutter self-contained plots, elevating the series to something worth checking out each week. It's not the plots so much, it's the people.
I caught up with both of them and asked them about how they think the year's been going so far and what's in store for each of their characters during the remainder of the season.
If you find yourself at Movie Park Germany in Bottrop-Kirchellen this April, be sure to check out the park's latest attraction, Nickland. An agreement through Nickelodeon gives the theme park intellectual property rights to characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, My Life As a Teenage Robot, Dora the Explorer; Danny Phantom, The Backyardigans and Jimmy Neutron. Costumed characters from the shows will be on hand to greet families, and, if Germany's theme parks are anything like America's, they'll also be punched and kicked by small children.
The Nickland section of the park will include seven new attractions, including Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Flyer and SpongeBob SquarePant's Splash Bash.
The point of this edition of The Five, besides giving me yet another chance to talk about cartoons, is to examine those weird quirks that set certain cartoon characters apart from their constituents. That is to say, something beyond the usual bulging eyes, springing hair, unraveling tongues, mallet-induced head lumps and stars and birdies that twirl about the head whenever they crash through a wall. I'm interested in quirks and traits a character possesses that no other character does. Some of these are easy: Fred Flintstone's "Yabba Dabba Doo!," Bugs Bunny's various catchphrases like "What's up, doc?" and "Of course you know, this means war!," so I tried to delve a little deeper and come up with some oddities only incredible nerds like myself would notice.
Maybe this will make more sense if I just jump right into it:
The next night, Conan appeared explaining that, unbeknownst to him, NBC policy requires that any non-existent web address that is mentioned on the air be bought by NBC for ten years. We'll never really know if this fact was actually "unbeknownst" to the Cone Zone, but it does mean that NBC now has among its stable of web property - HornyManatee.com - which has now become a Conan-related site for fan pics of hot and lusty sea cows in action. There's a solo manatee, manatee on manatee, man on manatee and fetish pages. One of those should satisfy your interspecies cravings.
We've seen what the cast of Battlestar Galactica would look like as Simpsons characters, and now, thanks to this site, you can see what all your favorite characters from the series Lost would look like if they were residents of South Park. Apparently these images are to be used in a parody called "Lost Park," as opposed to "South Lost," "Park Lost," or "Lost South," I suppose ("Raiders of the Lost Park," maybe?). Check out an image of the characters here. Seeing this makes me wonder if Matt and Trey ever plan to spoof Lost themselves. Between that and spoofing World of Warcraft, they'd have at least two episodes based on popular entertainment I know nothing about.
[via CC Insider]
So I decided to concentrate on the characters from Spelling's shows. And, yes, there are many to choose from in this category, too. But by choosing five of my favorite characters (and listing a few honorable mentions), it gives me a chance to illustrate how varied Spelling's shows truly were. And, as you can tell by the picture above, everyone could identify with at least one of his characters. So here are my favorite five:
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