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December 21, 2014

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Unconventional 'Glee' Guest Stars We'd Like to See

by Jane Murphy, posted Sep 19th 2010 11:00AM
'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy won't pipe down, but will he listen?

A new leak happens nearly every week about 'Glee' guest stars. John Stamos! 'Rocky Horror' originals Barry Bostwick and Meat Loaf! And Britney Spears (pictured at right, with Murphy and 'Glee's goddess of deadpan, Heather Morris).

So, Mr. Murphy, we herewith modestly propose a few out-there guest stars for your consideration, all sure to keep tongues wagging and the show humming.

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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Gabourey Sidibe/MGMT' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 25th 2010 3:00PM
(S35E20) Like most of the public, I only knew Gabourey Sidibe from 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire' (Okay, seriously, if we're gonna do that, can we put it on the end of every movie adaptation of a novel? 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, based on the novel 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' by JK Rowling). It was one of those movies that I wasn't sure if I wanted to even watch because just looking at Sidibe in the trailers made me uncomfortable.

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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Ryan Phillippe/Ke$Ha' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 18th 2010 1:00PM
ryan phillippe
(S35E19)
All in all, a pretty mediocre episode. Ryan Phillippe didn't seem to stretch himself in any way. Well, okay, okay, he dressed up as a chick for a sketch, but apart from that, there was no palpable attempt to celebrate the fact that Ryan Phillippe was hosting or play to his strengths. I mean, I won't pretend I know what those particular strengths are, but 'Saturday Night Live' usually does a fair job of letting hosts try something dramatically out of their comfort zone or play up something unexpected. There was no sense of that in this episode.

Maybe they wanted to keep the episode toned down to counter whatever amount of crazy Ke$Ha wanted to unleash. By the way, that girl looks like she perpetually smells like drugstore watermelon body spray and BO. If that's the look she's going for, she's really nailing it.

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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Tina Fey/Justin Bieber' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 11th 2010 3:49PM
tina fey
(S35E18) Tina Fey gives hope to all nerdy funny girls out there. You may be frumpy and strange now, girls, but all you have to do is work really hard, be yourself, create/write/star in a hit show with Alec Baldwin and become super-famous. Then you will finally be able to soothe the flame of self-hate this is currently raging within you. This is the only option to escape your ugly duckling phase. Sorry if you were convinced otherwise.

All right, seriously, this was a solid episode. It felt like Fey had a strong hand in what kind of material was being produced; most of the sketches worked very well for her. This was also the first time I had heard Justin Bieber. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Jude Law/Pearl Jam' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 14th 2010 12:31PM
jude law peal jam
(S35E17)
Congratulations, Jude Law. That was a solid episode all around and a fine return to the 'Saturday Night Live' stage. And despite the fact that Pearl Jam was virtually unrecognizable to any ears that haven't heard them since the early-'90s, at least Law's musical guest didn't have any reason to do an awkward hoedown during a career-crippling blunder.

Cold Open: Of course they had to talk about this. Of course. Now, if you haven't read up on the incredibly weird Eric Massa story, it probably would have seemed like 'SNL' was just making up most of it. Unfortunately, they weren't. Maybe that's why they felt that ridiculously long intro was necessary? Anyway, the treatment of this topic was all right, though the absolute best part was Bobby Moynihan as Massa, attempting stealth snorkeling on Andy Samberg (the weak distraction was especially nice). And no, sorry, you can't unsee it.

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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Zach Galifianakis/Vampire Weekend' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 7th 2010 1:45PM
zach galifianakis vampire weekend
(S35E16) This was definitely one of the weirder installments of 'Saturday Night Live' in a while, but for fans of Zach Galifianakis, it was a real treat. It's very rare that the entire tone of the evening so perfectly fits the host. A lot of hosts, be they athletes or singers or professional actors, use 'SNL' as a platform for showcasing other talents that they have (or think they have) and that can often lead to strange, near unwatchable territory.

Galifianakis knows where's his strong points are and confidently played those up all through the episode. He is not at his best with cue card-heavy parts, but rather when he forces the audience to bask in his glorious, beardy, unsettling presence. So we got a lot of that. A lot. Response to this episode will probably be highly divided (well, more so than other weeks) but, speaking as a long-time fan of Galifianakis, it worked.

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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Jennifer Lopez' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 28th 2010 1:22PM
jennifer lopez snl
(S35E15)
Someone at NBC or 'Saturday Night Live' sensed that you haven't thought about the music of Jennifer Lopez (no one calls her J. Lo anymore, right?) in about ten years, and in an effort to get "Waiting for Tonight" stuck in your head again, they brought her back. It was supposed to be some sort of double-whammy, a way for Lopez to promote her upcoming film, 'The Back-up Plan,' and her new album at the same time.

But then her label dropped her about a week ago and all ten people that were paying attention simultaneously tugged at their collars and went, "Ooh, awkward." These same people sat through her musical performances during this episode and, mid-cringe, mumbled, "Well, y'know. Bless her heart for trying."

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Review: 'Saturday Night Live' - Ashton Kutcher/Them Crooked Vultures

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 7th 2010 11:33AM
kutcher crooked vultures
(S35E14)
There was a different tone to this episode. The writing was a bit more ambitious than usual, going out on a limb a few times to tackle an idea that would require a little more work to get the laugh. It was admirable, sure, but a lot of the sketches still fell flat this week. It was strange. I also realize it's extra-weird if one considers my review of Ashton Kutcher's last stint on 'Saturday Night Live', in which I pondered out loud about whether or not he and the writers could have afforded to get a little wackier.

Kutcher's enthusiasm was nice to watch but the episode really felt mediocre. Maybe the low end of mediocre. Is that even a thing? Well, it is now.

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Review: Saturday Night Live - Jon Hamm/Michael Bublé

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 31st 2010 10:32AM
Hamm and Buble
(S35E13) The first time Jon Hamm hosted Saturday Night LIve, back in 2008, it was before I had seen his work on Mad Men and 30 Rock (the latter was due to the fact his guest appearances didn't exist at the time). I was super-excited that the seemingly perpetually serious Hamm actually turned out to be hilarious, and his performance led to one of the best episodes of the entire season. Taking all this into consideration, I was walking on dangerous ground as I prepared to watch Hamm's return to the SNL stage.

Were my expectations too high to be met? Did Hamm's pre-SNL beard somehow take funny away from him (I've heard beards can sometimes do that)? As it turned out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Hamm did yet another stellar job as host, bringing a level of charm and commitment that made just about every sketch work.

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Review: Saturday Night Live - Sigourney Weaver/The Ting Tings

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 17th 2010 11:15AM
sigourney weaver and the ting tings
(S35E12)
First of all, Sigourney Weaver looks incredible. Believe it or not, she turns 61 this year, so that's something to think about as we slowly weep into our young but round, Cheetos-stained fingers. Secondly, Weaver managed to play a variety of characters that explored a wide range of wackiness, all without humiliating herself (it was a dangerous moment during that "Fifty and Freaky" sketch but we all knew Weaver's still a classy lady).

The writing was pretty consistent and suited Weaver well, and it was fun to see her do so many goofy things. It's not often Saturday Night Live brings in someone that of her status. Let's be honest here.

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Review: Saturday Night Live - Charles Barkley/Alicia Keys

by Annie Wu, posted Jan 10th 2010 12:45PM
charles barkley
(S35E11)
Charles Barkley isn't much of an actor. I knew that even as a little kid, when I saw him pop up in Space Jam for all of five minutes. If anyone was expecting to be blown out of the water by Barkley's performance, they really need to reconsider if their entire life is plagued by self-sabotage, as that was clearly a silly thing to hope for and a set-up for inevitable disappointment.

Going in with low expectations made this episode easier to watch. There were a few points here and there where Barkley seemed more comfortable, and some of his pre-taped segments were pretty funny. Overall though, this wasn't a particularly memorable episode, apart from the fact it was bumped by over thirty minutes, thanks to something called the NFL.

And yes, as a young person that isn't very well-versed in sports Space Jam is my go-to reference for Barkley.

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Review: Saturday Night Live - James Franco/Muse

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 20th 2009 12:50PM
james franco muse snl
(S35E10)
I hope you all rolled a towel against the crack of the door before watching James Franco host. This was the most I've laughed at an episode in quite a while, but I am still not entirely sure if it's because watching for ninety minutes gave me a bit of a contact high. Okay, even if you argue that I'm inferring a lot because bits of Pineapple Express are still lingering in my brain, there's no denying Franco was definitely extra-squinty, extra-grinny, and was half-slurring, half-spitting his speech through most of the night.

There was also a lot of making out. No man, woman or tree was safe. Or bong, I guess. Maybe.

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Review: Saturday Night Live - Taylor Lautner/Bon Jovi

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 13th 2009 12:58PM
taylor lautner bon jovi
(S35E09) Hello, Twilight fans. I know you're only here because of your screaming hearts, thudding so hard that every beat is a case for internal bruising. I'm going to be upfront: I don't like Twilight. I tried reading it before it was a "thing" because my friends recommended it to me and I found myself struggling to get through it because, well, even then I knew it was embarrassing. I also watched the film, which I thought was very funny, though I realize that was probably not the intended effect.

That said, I thought Taylor Lautner did a great job. See? I'm not just swimming in haterade. Obviously, I wasn't prepared to like him, but just like Blake Lively from last week, Lautner delivered a strong performance. He seemed really comfortable throughout the entire episode and was surprisingly natural, more natural than some of the actual cast members at some points, at least in terms of blatantly looking at cue cards.

And thanks for keeping your shirt on for all 90 minutes, Sharkboy.

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TV Moment of 2009: Jenny Slate Drops the F-Bomb on 'SNL'

by Jenny Hollowell, posted Dec 13th 2009 9:00AM
After a long, hot summer full of reruns and reality television, the season premiere of 'Saturday Night Live' is a welcome event. That first fall episode usually has a back-to-school feeling about it --- the cast a mix of familiar faces and fresh ones --- and the premiere of the 35th season, hosted by Megan Fox, promised to be no exception.

With cast member Darrell Hammond departing after 14 years, short-timers Michaela Watson and Casey Wilson being dropped from the cast and newcomers Jenny Slate and Nasim Pedrad joining the ensemble, viewers were curious to see how the new cast members would make their mark on the show. They weren't curious for long.

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Review: Saturday Night Live - Blake Lively/Rihanna

by Annie Wu, posted Dec 6th 2009 2:35PM
blake lively rihanna
(S35E08)
I will be perfectly honest: I was not at all looking forward to this episode. A few months ago, I had forced myself to watch two seasons of Gossip Girl for blogging purposes (okay, it was also an excuse to stare at their fantastic costuming), and I couldn't bring myself to continue. One of the reasons why I disliked the show so much was Serena, Blake Lively's character.

However, I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by this episode. Lively was minimally awkward and brought great enthusiasm through the entire evening (though not an exhausting amount of zeal Joseph Gordon-Levitt style). I liked how it didn't seem Lively went on the show with a mission (apart from showing off her crazy legs); she didn't try to show off her musical side, cling to strictly "pretty girl" skits, or get controversial. She was just there, having a good time.

Also, for the most part, the writing was solid this week. Probably the most consistently funny installment in quite a while. Even the strange treatment of the Cold Open (with the Obama party crashers) was adorable.

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