(S34E18) When I heard The Rock -- I mean, Dwayne Johnson -- was hosting again, the first image that popped into my mind was him in that Mr. Peepers sketch with Chris Kattan back in the day. I believe red overalls, apples, and aggressive humping was involved. Though Mr. Johnson traded in his red overalls for a sequined black halter top in this episode, he still did incredibly well. I had forgotten: Those aren't muscles; the guy has had charisma surgically inserted into his upper body over the past decade for easy access. Anyone else would have looked like an idiot trying to pull off The Rock Obama. Check out some video highlights and see what I mean.
OK, so it's a little swipe I think, but it stands out.
30 Rock star and producer Tina Fey gave an interview to Reader's Digest where she talks about everything from motherhood to her time on Saturday Night Live to who her favorite member of The Three Stooges is (Larry). She's also asked by the interviewer what pleases her more, applause or laughter, and she makes a point of saying that it's laughter because "you can prompt applause with a sign."
She goes on to say in the same answer that her SNL buddy Seth Meyers coined the term "clapter," which is a political joke that makes the audience go "woo-hoo." She says "you see a lot of that on The Daily Show." She even whispered it, which shows she knew she was saying something a little controversial and contrary to what a lot of fans of Jon Stewart's show think.
That's the idea from Matthew Gilbert over at Boston.com: reduce the length of Saturday Night Live from 90 minutes to 60 minutes.
Would it help the show? We all know that the weakest part of the show seems to be that last half hour, when the lame sketches air. Regardless of what many people say about the current SNL (including me), there's still a lot of talent on the show and there's a lot of good, funny stuff that comes from it. Unfortunately, all the funny stuff doesn't come from the same episode. I'd say there's usually two really good sketches in an episode (including "Weekend Update"), a couple of "oh, this is a good idea but not for a sketch this long" segments, and several "how did this make it pass the writers room?" disasters. Maybe cutting the show down to an hour, while not perfect, would make the good parts stand out more and really get the show lean and mean again.
Today on TV Squad Daily:
- Seth Myers says picketing is hard work.
- Terri Hatcher is being sued over lip gloss.
- Barbara Walters is soo tired of celebrities like Paris and Britney.
A bunch of TV stars, including Tina Fey, Jack McBrayer, Seth Myers, Rashida Jones, Richard Belzer, Colin Quinn, Kristin Davis, and Michael Emerson from Lost are part of a video over at The Huffington Post talking about why writers are important and why the strike is important to the future of the industry. They're joined by Presidential candidate John Edwards and big screen stars Tim Robbins and Danny Glover.
Talks have resumed and parties involved say that things have been productive. Fey even says (it's a little hard to hear in the video) that she's optimistic that a deal can be reached within the next week because there's no reason why people can't go back to work.
It's funny to see Emerson talking about the strike. He still has that Ben "look" in his eye and you expect him to say something like "the writers should be paid for their work...TRUST ME, I WOULDN'T LIE TO YOU, JACK."
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has two gigs this week: hosting the nightly news show and preparing to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, rehearsing and helping to write some segments. Some people say he's blurring the line between news and entertainment, but I'm looking forward to seeing how he does. And he's keeping a blog of how the week is going so far.
The Daily Nightly is one of the better network news blogs anyway, but these entries show Williams' funny side. After working one night, he actually had to go to 30 Rock and join the writers for their all-night writing session.
That's the question the Los Angeles Times is asking. With the speed of the internet and the sheer number of comedy news sites and The Daily Show, is there still a place for a comedy news sketch in the middle of Saturday Night Live? (Seth Myers takes over as co-anchor with Amy Poehler this season.)
I say, why not? It's not the concept - a fake news broadcast - that's stale, it all comes down to the writing. Like most comedy does, if the jokes work then it should stick around. But if the writing remains lame, and they constantly include these "guest commentator" characters that are unfunny, or if they're just doing it, well, because there's always been a Weekend Update on SNL, then it should be put to bed. But it's the writing.
What do you think?
According to this article, Meyers was chosen for his writing skills and his chemistry with Poehler in the "WU" auditions. Like Fey before him, Meyers will rarely be seen outside of "WU," though I'm sure he and Poehler will keep doing "The Needlers," one of the few funny recurring sketches from last year.
(S31E19) This is one of those shows that no matter what I write in the following paragraphs, people are going to disagree with me. I really do think that as this season has progressed, it's gotten stronger. Early episodes in this season weren't as good and as readers have pointed out, I was far more critical of those earlier episodes. Well, there's a reason for that. I think they've steadily gotten better, save for the crappy sketch here and there and or the few horrible episodes we did get this season (Dane Cook was a huge disappointment). Last night's episode with Elaine... er, I mean Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a perfect example of what I'm trying to say here. This was a solid episode with a few huge errors, the biggest in my opinion being a "Weekend Update" that ran in at just over 14 minutes. That's way too long.
So, who did you think was going to go? Well, there's no surprise here: Darrell Hammond and Horatio Sanz received the most votes, with the still-on-maternity-leave Maya Rudolph coming in third. It makes sense; Hammond's been on the show for eons and is basically down to doing impressions of Chris Matthews and Donald Trump, and Sanz is... well, let's just say he's not the most popular member of the cast. The surprise was the lack of votes for Seth Myers, even though his name has been coming up quite a bit in the rumors surrounding Michaels' pronouncement.
Full poll results are after the jump.
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