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October 31, 2014

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Who Scored Big in Week 9 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Dec 12th 2011 1:00PM
Kristen Wiig had a great week. It's not going to come as too much of a surprise to anyone that she's at the top of the list this week. The problem is, when Wiig excels, the rest of the female cast suffers. That's just the way it seems to be. This problem is heightened when there's a female host – in that since the Tina Fey era, it's not exactly like it's been easy to get airtime as a female cast member (sans Wiig). So add one more female to the equation as a host and, well, you'll see.

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Who Scored Big in Week 7 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 21st 2011 1:45PM
It was a very crowded week for our favorite 'SNL' players. Not only did they have to share the spotlight with Jason Segel --who appeared to be glowing from having so much fun – but they also had to share the spotlight with the Muppets. Also, a key element of success on the Relevancy Poll was missing this week: The "Weekend Update" segments. I mean, yes, there were two segments, but they were monopolized by the real John Huntsman and then, later, by Kermit the Frog. Who's number one? Let's find out!

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Who Scored Big in Week 4 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 17th 2011 1:00PM
Saturday night's show was, frankly, atrocious. But right at the very moment of our darkest hour, a hero would rise up. A hero who, almost single-handedly, made 'SNL' something to talk about this week. Now, this person didn't ask to be a hero – all he really asked for was some sweets – but, sometimes, legends come out of the most unexpected places. Our hero's name is Lord Cecil Wyndemere. After four weeks, it's more than apparent that 'SNL" needs some shakeups and so does this poll. And, really, it seems like the only real life that's been in the show so far this season has come from the newer cast members. Case in point: Saturday's show was dead on arrival, but, Paul Brittain enters the room as Wyndemere and the energy explodes. Why not keep doing that? (And then, of course, all that energy went to hell once the Ferrari Calendar sketch started.) On to the poll!

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'SNL' Scorecard: Were There any Gems in Anna Faris' Dud of a Show?

by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 16th 2011 1:20PM


So, do you want the good news first or do you want the bad news? "The good news first," you may or may not have said? Well, the good news is that after a rare four week run of live shows, 'SNL' has two weeks off to recharge. And, wow, do they need it. I mean, could last night's Anna Faris monologue have been any more phoned in? It's always a bad sign when the writing staff resorts to "fake Q&A with the audience,' but, my God, at least sometimes those can still be funny. Also, more good news: Jason Sudeikis' pal Charlie Day will be the next host on November 5, which should bring some much needed comedic inspiration. Of course, the bad news: last night's show was somewhat awful. Also, Faris introduced the show as the "Halloween show" – but where was the Halloween? Where was Hader's Vincent Price sketch? Come to think of it, where was Anna Faris? Anna Faris is funny! Why wasn't she featured more often? Regardless, thankfully, near the end of the show, there were a couple of gems. (Actually, this show, for as bad as it was overall, had my two favorite sketches of the season.) On to the scorecard...

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Who Scored Big in Week 3 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 10th 2011 1:00PM
The quality of Saturday's show aside, this was the first week that really allowed the cast to be featured on the front lines. Which, yes, lead to a few shakeups in the Relevancy Poll. It is striking, though, to watch the differences in airtime that featured players Taran Killam and Paul Brittain have been receiving. Both guys seem extremely talented, yet Killam is getting more time than even a lot of the full-time cast members are while, at the same time, we are starting to worry about Brittain's future on the show.

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Who Scored Big in Week 2 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 3rd 2011 10:30AM
Even though the results were disappointing, this week's 'SNL' was, again, very host-centric – meaning there wasn't a ton of lead-role airtime to go around for cast members. Though, Jay Pharoah managed to get his first sketch of the season on the air, while poor Paul Brittain was nearly shut out. But who leads the poll after the second week of the season? A show hosted by 'Bridesmaids' star Melissa McCarthy? It should be no surprise that the top spot goes to...

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Who Scored Big in Week 1 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Sep 26th 2011 1:20PM
Kristen WiigThe first week of 'Saturday Night Live' is in the books, which means it's once again time to go to the Relevancy Poll to see who's getting the most out of their airtime. (The final results of last year's poll are over here.) Host Alec Baldwin dominated the smaller sketches, and with a plethora of ensemble sketches (three in all), at least so far, it's hard to get a true gage on how things will play out in the cast. Though we did get a sense that Kristen Wiig seems to be back in full force -- after what could be considered a year off to finish and promote 'Bridesmaids'-- and that Jay Pharoah is still in the doghouse. Off to the poll:

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'SNL' Scorecard: Did Steve Martin Succeed in Sabotaging Alec Baldwin's Show?

by Mike Ryan, posted Sep 25th 2011 12:30PM


Watching Alec Baldwin host 'SNL' – which he has now done a record 16 times -- has become a little like purchasing a recent album from the now disbanded R.E.M.: We know that we're going to get a solid effort – even great, at times -- but the truly memorable moments are from the first decade of work. A point Baldwin even kind of alludes to in last night's monologue. The first show of the season is usually a mixed bag at best (with last year's excellent Amy Poehler hosted effort a huge exception). "But they've had all summer to think of new ideas," is often a criticism levied at the first show of a season, but that's not really the way it works. With Baldwin as host and with the exact same cast as last year (with the only change being Nasim Pedrad promoted from featured player to cast member) there was hope that SNL's 37th season could come out firing on all cylinders. Nope. So, with that, welcome to another season of 'Saturday Night Live' and, yes, another season of SNL Scorecard!

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FX Picks Up Animated Series From 'Sunny' Writers Starring Kristen Bell & Justin Long

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 15th 2011 4:35PM
FX has picked up an animated series from 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' writers and producers Rob Rosell, Scott Marder and David Hornsby.

Justin Long and Kristen Bell will lend their voices to the show currently titled 'Unsupervised,' which focuses on two optimistic teenagers, Gary and Joel, who are "navigating the harsh landscape of teenage life and trying to do what's right without any parental guidance whatsoever."

Fred Armisen, Romany Malco, Alexa Vega and 'Sunny' star Kaitlin Olson will also voice characters in the show, as will Rosell and Hornsby.

The series will premiere in January and run after the FX animated series 'Archer.' It will also be animated by the 'Archer' production team.

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Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon Are the Real Ambiguously Gay Duo on 'SNL' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 15th 2011 11:55PM
Jimmy Fallon & Jon Hamm, 'Saturday Night Live'Robert Smigel's signature creation returned to 'Saturday Night Live' (Sat., 11:30PM ET on NBC) with another installment of 'The Ambiguously Gay Duo.' But this time, he took the superhero buddy parody to the next level with a "flesh ray" that turned the entire cast into live-action.

The story was as you'd expect, but made even funnier when you replace the animated Ace and Gary with Jon Hamm and Jimmy Fallon respectively. The costumes, stretching and innuendo were even funnier.

The pair were joined by Steve Carell as Bighead, Stephen Colbert as Dr. Braino, Fred Armisen as Lizardo and Ed Helms as a Two-Face inspired villain. We loved the fight scene between the Duo and the henchmen, but not nearly as much as their "good stretch" with the super-villains looking on.

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Ed Helms and Fred Armisen Would Like You to Watch 'Saturday Night Live' This Weekend

by Jean Bentley, posted May 11th 2011 5:20PM
Saturday Night Live'The Office' star Ed Helms is making his 'Saturday Nigh Live' debut this weekend, and he and 'SNL'-er Fred Armisen really would like you to watch the show.

In fact, along with musical guest Paul Simon, the trio makes up a new gang called The Fun Boys. Or is it Team Fiesta?

We're not quite sure -- watch this week's promo and see for yourself. Also of note: the epic high five that Fredward and Edward attempt (and fail).

Is it just us, or does Helms seem like he'll be an 'SNL' natural?

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TV 101: It's All Good in 'Portlandia'

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Feb 23rd 2011 2:00PM
PortlandiaEverybody has that someone in his life who is principled almost to a fault.

This person only buys clothes from the Salvation Army (and not for the ironic reasons I bought gas station attendant shirts with the name "Roy" on them in the mid-'90s). He will take a swing at you if you dare offer him something that isn't organic, and he always talks about how he liked something before it sold out and went corporate, like the 1980s NBA, hip-hop or coffee.

He's the vintage-collecting, Whole Foods–shopping, hybrid-driving documentary filmmaker who reads McSweeney's and formulates conspiracy theories about Disney while jarring his homemade pickles.

IFC's 'Portlandia' is a little show made for and by hipsters that simultaneously skewers and reveres them and their pious notions of 20-something cool.

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'Portlandia' Series Premiere Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jan 23rd 2011 12:00PM
portlandia['Portlandia' - 'Farm']

I once drove over a few inches of crosswalk space in Austin, Texas. In protest of this heinous act, a snooty pedestrian shook his fist at me and shot me a nasty look -- the kind of look someone might give you if you had just slayed a beautiful, defenseless unicorn in front of them -- and yelled, "Hell-O! CROSSWALK!"

I'm sure something similar happened to Fred Armisen, probably more than once, in the great city of Portland, Ore. But Armisen's "crime" probably involved driving too close to an angry urban cyclist's precious bike lane ("One f***ing speed!") or snacking on a Quarter Pounder with cheese in view of a vocal vegan café patron. That could explain why the 'SNL' vet is devoting most of his free time these days to skewering the Pacific Northwest city's counterculture in IFC's 'Portlandia.'

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On His Final Show, Larry King Says Goodbye to ... Larry King (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Dec 17th 2010 1:40AM
On His Final Show, Larry King Says Goodbye to ... Larry KingIt was like looking into a mirror -- a mirror of journalistic awesomeness. On the final episode of 'Larry King Live' (weeknights, 9PM ET on CNN), Larry welcomed a parade of special guests, including former President Bill Clinton, Tony Bennett, Regis Philbin, and Arnold Schwarzenegger -- all of whom paid their respects to the host, as he ended his CNN talk show after 25 years on the air.

But perhaps the most "special" guest was ... Mr. Larry King himself (played by comedian Fred Armisen). Fake "Larry" interviewed real Larry, and asked the host some probing but severely odd questions, including, "Now, Larry, what's been my favorite interview?" and "What's the most interesting thing about me?"

Real Larry also complimented fake "Larry" on his outfit -- which, of course, included his trademark glasses and some brightly colored suspenders.

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Fred Armisen Stars In New Series 'Portlandia'

by Ryan McKee, posted Dec 16th 2010 5:30PM
Most 'Saturday Night Live' cast members begin their careers in the fertile comedy fields like stand-up, The Second City or The Groundlings. But not nine-season veteran Fred Armisen, who began as a drummer in the punk rock band Trenchmouth and then graduated to background drumming in the Blue Man Group.

Now Armisen's good buddy Carrie Brownstein, former lead singer and guitarist of the iconic indie rock band Sleater-Kinney, is attempting to make a similar leap into comedy with his help. The two have been producing digital shorts under the name ThunderAnt, and are now graduating to a TV show on the IFC called 'Portlandia.'

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