Palin’s SNL Gambit: Mostly Dumb

by Lauren Gitlin October 20, 2008 2:22 pm
Palin’s <i>SNL</i> Gambit: Mostly Dumb After much speculation, denials and other typically political subterfuge, GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin finally made an appearance on SNL this past Saturday. Contrary to rumors, Palin did not parody Tina Fey's American Express commercial. In fact, of the two skits she appeared in, she played herself in both of them, which I believe is code for "this ho can't act worth a damn." Luckily, her presence didn't dissuade Tina Fey from putting on another spot-on Palin impersonation, this time with extra meta winking -- the two, dressed identically, passed one another as Fey left the podium and Palin took the stage.

Hamm On SNL, With a Side of Sexay

by Lauren Gitlin September 19, 2008 12:06 pm
Hamm On SNL, With a Side of Sexay When a door closes, a window opens, or so my psychic tells me. Which is why I'd barely dried my tears from the news that Amy Poehler was exiting SNL when I encountered the joyous nugget that sex personified Jon Hamm, he of the most excellent period drama ever to hit the TV waves Mad Men, will be hosting the show on October 25. Aside from the obvi Mad Men parody, which I predict will feature a red wig-sporting Andy Samberg in the role of Joan, I'm not really sure what to expect, but from my in depth stalking knowledge of Hamm off-camera, he seems like the polar opposite of Don Draper -- loose, goofy and ... ummm, a ham (pun intended). Needless to say, I'm stoked to see him flex his man comedy muscle for all the world to see. Bonus: SNL is taped right in my building, which will make it that much easier for me to loiter wait outside the stage door with two pieces of bread, some mustard and a nice wheel of brie.

SNL Season Premiere: Mixed Bag

by Angel Cohn September 15, 2008 11:28 am
<I>SNL</I> Season Premiere: Mixed Bag

Tina Fey listened to me and despite his adorkable nature and lack of acting skills, Michael Phelps fared about as well as I expected (OK, like I'd be able to bring myself to say anything bad about him, even though he didn't drop by my office to say a personal hello last week.) But the premiere was very much hit or miss... to say the least. Some of it was downright unwatchable.

Paging Tina Fey: SNL Needs You!

by Angel Cohn September 5, 2008 1:20 pm
Paging Tina Fey: <I>SNL Needs You</I>! Dear Ms. Fey,

I know you are all busy casting guest stars like crazy for 30 Rock (though we sincerely wish you'd quit it for a while) and yeah, it's probably gonna take you hours to get ready to meet Oprah (what will you wear?!), but still, could you spare some time to help out an old friend?

Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Lena Dunham

by Aly Semigran March 10, 2014 10:41 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Lena Dunham

How you already felt about Lena Dunham going into this weekend's episode of Saturday Night Live more than likely dictated how you watched and, thus, felt about the episode as a whole. If you're cool with Dunham, you probably got a kick out of the episode, but if you're not -- what appeared to be the entirety of the Internet -- you couldn't stand it. Even though I've had some issues with Girls this season, I tend to lean closer to Team Dunham, so I thought overall this was a pretty damn good episode. (Though, maybe compared to last week's Jim Parsons disaster, everything seems like a damn good episode.) Still, there were overwhelmingly better sketches than weak ones, and after a shaky monologue, Dunham settled in as the night went on. Sure, the SNL writers kind of went the obvious route with her (nudity!) but it was, overall, one of the stronger showings in 2014 so far. Here are the best and worst moments from Lena Dunham's debut as SNL host, with a little help from Liam Neeson and Jon Hamm:

Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Melissa McCarthy

by Aly Semigran February 3, 2014 9:41 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Melissa McCarthy

How do you turn a versatile, gifted comic actress into a one-note sight gag? Apparently by having her host SNL for her third time. It's not that the Mike & Molly star didn't give it her all this weekend on SNL, but for whatever reason, the writers insisted on making the beautiful, hilarious actress dumpy and/or vulgar in just about every single sketch. After the third or fourth time, it wasn't funny. Just in case that wasn't enough to bum you out, there was also Imagine Dragons. Kidding, it's because the episode also marked Seth Meyers' final appearance on SNL before he takes over Late Night, and the long-running player/writer got an amazing, guest-filled, lump-in-the-throat farewell. Here now are the best and worst of Melissa McCarthy (and Seth Meyers!) SNL:

Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Jonah Hill

by Aly Semigran January 27, 2014 9:58 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Jonah Hill

That sound you heard around 11:40 PM ET on Saturday night was the sound of every 20 and/or 30-something woman in America screaming with jealousy that Jonah Hill got to reenact the famous bough scene from Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio. That's right, his Wolf of Wall Street co-star showed up during his opening monologue and dreamed to say the words we all wished we could as Leo cradled us from behind, "Am I flying, Jack?!" Sigh, who knew you could giggle, sigh, and seethe with envy all at once? Unfortunately for Jonah -- and viewers -- his third stint as SNL host peaked with the Leo appearance (really, it could only go down from there anyway), as most of the other sketches depending on the actor yelling at the top of his lungs. Though, it did have the strongest "Weekend Update" of the season yet and a few other highlights, so here are the best and worst moments from Hill's episode featuring musical guests Bastille, who were also there:

Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of John Goodman

by Aly Semigran December 16, 2013 10:03 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of John Goodman

John Goodman deserved so much better than this. The veteran actor and Saturday Night Live host (this weekend marked his 13th time as emcee at Studio 8H) was subjected to a mediocre episode that felt dated, at best. In fact, most of the sketches (with the exception of the exceptional H&M commercial and the uproarious Guy Fieri commercial) looked like they could have been on SNL during the heyday of Roseanne. I'm tawkin' to you, "Three Wise Guys" sketch featuring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone that bummed me out even more than the trailers for Grudge Match. (Wait, that's not true). While I'll always love Goodman (who doesn't?!) and Kings of Leon made for pretty decent musical guests, this episode felt like as depressing as grown-ups regretting their decision to dance around as snowflakes in a Christmas pageant. Here are the best and worst moments from this weekend's ep.

Saturday Night Live: The Best and Worst of Edward Norton

by Aly Semigran October 28, 2013 10:08 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best and Worst of Edward Norton

No one could quite figure out why Edward Norton hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend. Not because he isn't talented enough to (in fact, he's better at impressions than SNL's in-house impression guy Jay Pharoah) or that he isn't easy on the eyes (seriously, that guy is getting better looking the older he gets), but because he had absolutely nothing to promote. (Recent host Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, hijacked his opening monologue to announce that she'd be going on tour). But unlike last week's host Bruce Willis, who also had nothing to pimp except himself, Norton gave the material his all and helped turn out a halfway decent episode. That said, a lot of credit has to be given to musical guest Janelle Monae, a wildly entertaining performer who proves you can have style and substance.

Back When They Were Funny: The Cast of <i>Grown Ups 2</i> on <I>Saturday Night Live</I>

In hindsight, 1990 was a particularly momentous year for the cast of Grown Ups 2. That was the season that Lorne Michaels made Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and David Spade regular cast members on Saturday Night Live, the show that launched each of their careers and made them household names. Rob Schneider was also cast that season, but since he doesn't appear to be in this sequel, we are more than comfortable forgetting about him.

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