(S34E22) Justin Timberlake returned for his third turn as host and it was tough not to keep expectations pretty high. I mean, if an vengeful warlock were to suddenly put a crippling curse on his music career (like they do), Timberlake could definitely fall back on being a professional SNL host. Yes, this would become a real profession, just for him.
As usual, some sketches fell a bit flat, but Timberlake's over-confident, hammy swagger made things a little more interesting. This particular episode also gave us another legendary musical Digital Short with Timberlake and Andy Samberg and a couple of all-around MILFs. It's tough to top a surprise appearance by Leonard effin' Nimoy, but "Motherlover" was certainly the highlight of the evening. Here are some other notable video moments!
Suffice it to say, the number of women who became famous on Saturday Night Live before graduating to solo success is few and far between. Sure, Gilda Radner can be considered a pioneer in the art of sketch comedy. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus undoubtedly honed her comedic skills before becoming a sitcom icon on Seinfeld. And, yes, Tina Fey can easily be considered a heroine to comedy nerds everywhere who have witnessed her climb from Weekend Update anchor to Mean Girls scribe to single-handedly decimating the vice presidential chances of one certain gun-wieldin', six-pack-totin' Alaskan governor.
But, sadly, the number of men who left Studio 8 for the superstardom of Planet Hollywood (not the theme restaurant) easily outnumbers the ladies. For every Amy Poehler, there's a Will Ferrell. And a Bill Murray. And a Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler (although, to be fair, there's also a
There's still no word on Law & Order's bid for a 20th season, nor did they clarify the fate of Chuck, though insiders feel confident both will be back. Back on the bubble is Medium, which was leaked as renewed last night, along with My Name Is Earl. Their fates are a bit more murky, especially Earl considering NBC is giving Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" a prime-time berth, apparently launching NBC's Thursday night.
If ever there was a time for Tina Fey's little show to find that bigger audience, this would be it. Sure winning the Emmy for Best Comedy for the second year in a row is great. Hell, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin took home awards for Best Actor and Actress as well this time. But even that doesn't mean anything when the ratings numbers come in. What does matter right now is Sarah Palin. Thanks to John McCain picking the one woman on the planet who looks exactly like Tina Fey, suddenly she's the most famous comedian on the planet, and that could just save her show.
You missed all of the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update specials that aired over the last three Thursdays, huh? And, you refuse to watch them online over your 128KB phone line connection. And, you didn't want to watch the clips on one of the many web-based video channels and blogs (including this one) because you are one of "those" people who need to see the show in its entirety. So, you're pissed and ready to take out the first person who asks 'Hey, did you watch the SNL special?'.
Fret not, psychotic one! You'll have one more chance to see all of the SNL specials at one time this very evening. Starting at 9:30, NBC will be airing all three episodes at once. This will give you the chance to see Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Will Ferrell making an appearance as the current President Bush and Andy Samberg throwing up all over himself . If you can stay awake past your local news you'll get to see a brand-new episode of SNL at its normal time with host Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and musical guest Coldplay.
Now you have your second chance. If you miss the SNL specials now and you forget to record them on your DVR then you have no one to blame but yourself. No pressure.
I liked it. I laughed. Sure. I also laughed last week, but I can't quite remember what was so funny. These specials are pretty forgettable, bleeding into my Saturday Night Live memory and then dropping into the recesses of my mind. Again, I understand the need to jump on the debate coverage as soon as possible, but I honestly could have held on until Saturday. Or maybe they were worried that everyone would be sick of Joe the Plumber by then. Well... too late.
Well, that was a little strange... and maybe a little unnecessary. All right, it was definitely unnecessary. I wasn't quite sure how they were going to work out these Thursday election specials, because even though they called it "Weekend Update Thursday", I didn't believe they were just going to show a twenty-some minute long "Weekend Update" segment. As it turned out, the special consisted of one cold open and the rest was "Weekend Update." This is where I got super-confused. Half of these jokes had absolutely nothing to do with the election, leaving me to wonder if there is anyone out there that could not have waited until Saturday night to hear the relevant jokes. I don't think anyone's going to forget the election or the economic crisis any time soon, let alone by Saturday.
Poehler has been a castmember on Saturday Night Live since 2001and is currently the co-host of Weekend Update. She will remain on SNL through the fall, but with her baby due in October and now this new show, her role in the second half of the season is up in the air.
It's been a big week for Poehler, who in addition to the new job offer, also received an Emmy nomination this morning for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her work on SNL. Her husband, Will Arnett, also scored an Emmy nod, for his guest appearance on NBC's 30 Rock.
|Need more Emmys scoop? Get reactions to the biggest Emmys snubs and surprises and see which celebrities sparkled on the Emmys red carpet last year.|
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.
Since I began posting for TV Squad a year ago I've noticed a change in the way I watch television. Before I would just watch the show for pure enjoyment and go on my merry way. Now when I watch a program I tend to view it in anal retentive mode, even when I'm not reviewing it.
That's where I am right now with 30 Rock, but not because of the writing or the casting. Frankly, I think that it's a very funny show, and that's coming from someone who thought it didn't have a chance back when it was first announced. No, I'm being anal here because I've noticed a change in Tina Fey's look. When the show began Fey, who plays Liz Lemon on the show, looked a lot like she did when she was on Saturday Night Live. However, in the last two shows, I've noticed a change.
But the funniest bit of the night had to be that pre-WU sketch where Brian Williams sits down at the newsdesk and tells Amy Poehler how excited he is to be working with her. His reaction when Seth Meyers tells him the bad news is priceless. Anyone who's seen Williams on The Daily Show or Conan knows that he can be wryly funny, a trait he never exhibits behind the NBC Nightly News desk. Here's hoping that this encourages Williams to say a funny line or two, when appropriate, during his regular gig. Video of his spot is after the jump.
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.
The second item Artie let slip was that Norm loved doing "WU" so much, that he'd love to just do fake news until he retires. Because of this, Norm may be looking to do a show like that. Not a bad idea; I always liked him on "WU", even if his weridness didn't go over well with the audience, I always admired his "I don't give a shit what people think" attitude. Would you watch Norm do a fake news show? Let me know in the comments.
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