Very groovy news coming through the entertainment pipeline this morning as we find out who will host the Oscars: Seth MacFarlane! The Family Guy and American Dad creator, who just opened up Saturday Night Live's new season with a bang, has been chosen to host the next Academy Awards telecast early next year. Hopefully, he will show up to rehearsal this time! (video link)
And speaking of Saturday Night Live, they have announced their October lineup of hosts and musical guests: This Saturday, October 6 will be Daniel Craig with musical guest Muse, October 13 will be Christina Applegate -- coming back for her second time as host -- with musical guest Passion Pit, and October 20 will welcome Bruno Mars, who will do double duty as host and musical guest. (That would have been such a great Digital Short, so can Andy Samberg and Co. please come back to do just one? If anyone knows the correct person to bribe, please let me know.)
Seth MacFarlane's Big News [Oscars on YouTube]
The last time Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosted Saturday Night Live, he turned out to be a great host -- genuinely funny, happy to be there, ready to do anything that was thrown at him, and then doing it well. And he even did a Donald O'Connor-style song and dance number in his monologue. This time, he was a bit wasted in mediocre sketches, but at least they weren't bad. The enthusiastic host with the clear comedic talent just could have been put to better use. Far from a bad show, but I like to see a bit more from such a cool guest.
Mumford & Sons was the musical guest, and they sounded great. But I'll abstain from reviewing their sets, since I'm writing about a comedy show and not a concert. They did, however, show up in one sketch, and that is always fun. Read the rest
Last night, NBC's Saturday Night Live returned early to get a head start on the presidential election season. And not only did it spend considerable time on the topic, it introduced us to three new cast members and shiny new opening credits! Our host for the 38th season premiere was Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and director of Ted, with musical guest Frank Ocean. Here is how I'm approaching this recap, ladies and gents: I like this show, and I laughed a lot at stuff that was on it last night. And now, I'm going to tell you about what made me laugh the most, and which sketches I could have replaced with five minutes of brushing my teeth. But here is my recap in a nutshell: this was a good one! And it started with a former Barack Obama impersonator passing the baton to a new one. Read the rest
Lorne Michaels broke the news yesterday that when the new season of Saturday Night Live starts this weekend, it will be Jay Pharoah playing President Obama rather than Fred Armisen, who has played POTUS since 2008. Pharoah, currently a featured player (though that may change), has been honing his Obama impression for a while now, and it's good. Very good. But Michaels had reservations about throwing a brand new cast member into such a prominent role. Those reservations are gone, and now, we will get to watch Jay Pharoah's amazing Obama impression on actual television and not just YouTube.
NBC has announced that, as they did four years ago, Saturday Night Live would make an early return to the airwaves to tackle the presidential election. Two primetime specials were announced for September 20 and September 27 (both Thursdays), and while we know that Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg have left the show, will Jason Sudeikis delay his departure to play Mitt Romney? Or will Romney actually show up?
But more importantly: It was the SNL specials four years ago that shed a different kind of spotlight on then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin by way of a devastating (and Emmy-winning) impression by accidental doppelgänger Tina Fey. Will the SNL writers and performers duplicate the skewering commentary from 2008 with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? And who is going to come out of this looking worse? Read the rest
One of the original writers of Saturday Night Live, Tom Davis, has died of cancer at age 59. He was best known for his work with Al Franken, who went on to become a U.S. Senator, representing the state of Minnesota. Not long before his death, he wrote a piece on the site Incident Report saying that he and Franken were working on something for the latter to read after he "de-animate[d]." Sadly, that happened yesterday, and the world is less one amazing comedy writer.
In his obituary, The New York Times describes a 2004 incident involving a Jeopardy question asking who Davis was -- no one had an answer. I want to be a part of making sure that never happens again. We lost a good one, so pay attention, eggheads. Read the rest