When Saturday Night Live announced that Colin Jost would replace the departing Seth Meyers as Cecily Strong's co-anchor of Weekend Update, the news was met with a giant, "Huh?" It isn't that there's anything wrong with Jost — along with Meyer he was one of SNL's head writers and he's a funny follow on Twitter — but the show already has 16 other cast members. Did anyone not already performing on the show really need to be brought in?
In short, no. While some cast members like Kate McKinnon, Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer already have Weekend Update roles with recurring characters, there are plenty of others that deserved a shot at joining Strong behind the desk. These five would've made more sense than moving Jost over from the writer's room.
There's never been a minority cast member that has anchored Update. Pharaoah's Shaquille O'Neal impression has been put to good use during Update appearances, but it is also entirely expendable. Having Pharoah do his take of African-American broadcasters like Bryant Gumbel or Lester Holt set against Strong's Midwesterner would've provided a completely new dynamic for a segment that's been around for nearly 40 years.
Wheelan comes from a background in stand-up comedy and so far the SNL writers haven't shown that they know what to do with him. Dennis Miller, Norm MacDonald and Colin Quinn were all stand-up comedians that didn't look right anywhere on the show but behind the Update desk, so there would've been precedent. The one time that Wheelan has looked comfortable this year was on Update doing a routine instead of a character.
Bennett has already shown that he can milk comedy out of a serious persona — it's the basis of his well known AT&T "It's Not Complicated" Ads. Putting Bennett with Strong might have allowed for the kind of disdainful byplay that Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin used in the 1970s to keep the Update segment popular (and from disappearing) after Chevy Chase left. A little tension on Update isn't a bad thing.
Other than hiring Zamata, the show hasn't done anything with its lone African-American female. Pairing Strong and Zamata together would've been even more groundbreaking for the show than if Pharoah had been given a shot. We haven't seen Zamata interact with the other cast members enough yet to know about chemistry, but the dual female anchors could've become Tina & Amy 2.0.
Mooney's main contribution to the show since joining the cast has been doing digital shorts with his fellow Good Neighbor alum Bennett. The shorts have typically been more odd than the standard SNL fare which seems to come directly from Mooney. Strong has shown that she's adept at doing the straight Update news jokes, but having Mooney's looniness around to counter that might have been fun.
The pre-votes are in, and we finally have the nominee list for the 2014 People's Choice Awards thanks to the People's Choice blog. And man, oh, man is it a hefty list.
With a total of 58 categories, the awards show covers music, movies, and television with categories from "Favorite Action Movie Star" to "Favorite TV Anti-Hero" to "Favorite TV Bromance." This year's top contenders are Glee (with 8 nods), Katy Perry (5 nods), and Sandra Bullock (5 nods). And don't worry about Bullock's Gravity co-star George Clooney feeling left out — the two of them snagged a nod for "Favorite Duo." (You already know what we think about their magical pairing.)
We've got the entire list of nominees for you... have fun scrolling!
Favorite MovieDespicable Me 2Fast & Furious 6Iron Man 3Monsters UniversityStar Trek Into Darkness
Favorite Movie ActorChanning TatumHugh JackmanJohnny DeppLeonardo DiCaprioRobert Downey Jr.
Favorite Movie ActressGwyneth PaltrowJennifer AnistonMelissa McCarthySandra BullockScarlett Johansson
Favorite Movie DuoChris Pine & Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Into Darkness)Jennifer Aniston & Jason Sudeikis (We’re the Millers)Robert Downey Jr. & Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man 3)Sandra Bullock & George Clooney (Gravity)Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy (The Heat)
Favorite Action MovieFast & Furious 6Iron Man 3Star Trek Into DarknessThe WolverineWorld War Z
Favorite Action Movie StarBrad PittChanning TatumHugh JackmanRobert Downey Jr.Vin Diesel
Favorite Comedic MovieGrown Ups 2The Hangover Part IIIThe HeatInstructions Not IncludedWe’re the Millers
Favorite Comedic Movie ActorAdam SandlerBradley CooperChris RockJames FrancoZach Galifianakis
Favorite Comedic Movie ActressEmma WatsonJennifer AnistonMelissa McCarthySandra BullockScarlett Johansson
Favorite Dramatic MovieCaptain PhillipsGravityThe Great GatsbyLee Daniels’ The ButlerPrisoners
Favorite Dramatic Movie ActorChanning TatumChris HemsworthHugh JackmanLeonardo DiCaprioRyan Gosling
Favorite Dramatic Movie ActressAmy AdamsEmma StoneHalle BerryOprah WinfreySandra Bullock
Favorite Family MovieDespicable Me 2Monsters UniversityOz the Great and PowerfulPercy Jackson: Sea of MonstersThe Smurfs 2
Favorite Horror MovieCarrieThe ConjuringHansel & Gretel: Witch HuntersInsidious: Chapter 2Mama
Favorite Thriller MovieA Good Day to Die HardThe CallNow You See MeRed 2White House Down
Favorite Network TV Comedy2 Broke GirlsThe Big Bang TheoryGleeHow I Met Your MotherModern Family
Favorite Comedic TV ActorChris ColferDarren CrissJesse Tyler FergusonJim ParsonsNeil Patrick Harris
Favorite Comedic TV ActressJane LynchKaley CuocoLea MicheleMelissa McCarthyZooey Deschanel
Favorite Network TV DramaChicago FireThe Good WifeGrey’s AnatomyNashvilleParenthood
Favorite Dramatic TV ActorJim CaviezelJosh CharlesKevin BaconMark HarmonPatrick Dempsey
Favorite Dramatic TV ActressJulianna MarguliesMariska HargitayPauley PerretteSandra OhStana Katic
Favorite Actor in a New TV SeriesAndy SambergJonathan Rhys MeyersJoseph MorganMichael J. FoxRobin Williams
Favorite Actress in a New TV SeriesAllison JanneyAnna FarisMing-Na WenRebel WilsonSarah Michelle Gellar
Favorite TV Crime DramaBonesCastleCriminal MindsThe MentalistNCIS
Favorite Competition TV ShowAmerica’s Got TalentDancing with the StarsMasterChefThe VoiceThe X Factor
Favorite Cable TV ComedyAwkward.Cougar TownHot in ClevelandMelissa & JoeyPsych
Favorite Cable TV DramaDownton AbbeyPretty Little LiarsSons of AnarchyThe Walking DeadWhite Collar
Favorite Premium Cable TV ShowCalifornicationGame of ThronesGirlsHomelandTrue Blood
Favorite Cable TV ActressAngie HarmonClaire DanesCourteney CoxLucy HaleMaggie Smith
Favorite TV Anti-HeroDexter Morgan (Dexter)Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones)Norman Bates (Bates Motel)Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Favorite TV BromanceBlaine & Sam (Glee)Ryan & Esposito (Castle)Sam, Dean & Castiel (Supernatural)Sheldon, Leonard, Howard & Raj (The Big Bang Theory)Ted, Marshall & Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
Favorite TV Gal PalsCaroline & Max (2 Broke Girls)Lily & Robin (How I Met Your Mother)Meredith & Cristina (Grey’s Anatomy)Penny, Bernadette & Amy (The Big Bang Theory)Rachel & Santana (Glee)
Favorite On-Screen ChemistryCastle & Beckett (Castle)Damon & Elena (The Vampire Diaries)Derek & Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy)Emma & Hook (Once Upon A Time)Kurt & Blaine (Glee)
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV ShowBeauty and the BeastOnce Upon A TimeSupernaturalThe Vampire DiariesThe Walking Dead
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV ActorAndrew LincolnIan SomerhalderJared PadaleckiJensen AcklesStephen Amell
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV ActressEmilia ClarkeGinnifer GoodwinKristin KruekNina DobrevTatiana Maslany
Favorite TV Movie/MiniseriesAmerican Horror StoryBehind the CandelabraThe BibleSharknadoThe White Queen
Favorite Daytime TV Host(s)Ellen DeGeneresKelly Ripa & Michael StrahanDr. Phil McGrawRachael RaySteve Harvey
Favorite New Talk Show HostArsenio HallBethenny FrankelJenny McCarthyQueen LatifahRoss Mathews
Favorite Late Night Talk Show HostConan O’BrienDavid LettermanJimmy FallonJimmy KimmelStephen Colbert
Favorite Streaming SeriesArrested DevelopmentBetween Two Ferns with Zach GalifianakisHouse of CardsLosing It with John StamosOrange Is the New Black
Favorite Series We Miss Most30 RockBreaking BadDexterFringeThe Office
Favorite New TV ComedyBrooklyn Nine-NineThe Crazy OnesDadsThe GoldbergsThe Michael J. Fox ShowThe MillersMomSean Saves the WorldSuper Fun NightTrophy Wife
Favorite New TV DramaMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.BetrayalThe BlacklistDraculaHostagesOnce Upon a Time in WonderlandThe OriginalsReignSleepy HollowThe Tomorrow People
Favorite Male ArtistAviciiBlake SheltonBruno MarsJustin TimberlakeMichael Bublé
Favorite Female ArtistBritney SpearsDemi LovatoKaty PerryP!nkSelena Gomez
Favorite Breakout ArtistAriana GrandeAustin MahoneIcona PopImagine DragonsLorde
Favorite Pop ArtistBritney SpearsBruno MarsDemi LovatoJustin TimberlakeKaty Perry
Favorite Country ArtistThe Band PerryBlake SheltonCarrie UnderwoodLady AntebellumTaylor Swift
Favorite Country Music IconAlan JacksonGeorge StraitTim McGrawToby KeithWillie Nelson
Favorite Hip-Hop ArtistDrakeJay ZKanye WestLil WayneMacklemore & Ryan Lewis
Favorite R&B ArtistAlicia KeysCiaraJustin TimberlakeRihannaRobin Thicke
Favorite BandImagine DragonsMaroon 5One DirectionOneRepublicParamore
Favorite Alternative BandFall Out BoyImagine DragonsMumford & SonsMuseParamore
Favorite SongJust Give Me A Reason (P!nk feat. Nate Ruess)Mirrors (Justin Timberlake)Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)Roar (Katy Perry)When I Was Your Man (Bruno Mars)
Favorite AlbumThe 20/20 Experience (Justin Timberlake)Bangerz (Miley Cyrus)Based on a True Story… (Blake Shelton)Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)To Be Loved (Michael Bublé)
Favorite Music VideoBest Song Ever (One Direction)Heart Attack (Demi Lovato)Just Give Me A Reason (P!nk feat. Nate Ruess)Roar (Katy Perry)Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus)
Favorite Music Fan FollowingBritney Army (Britney Spears)Directioners (One Direction)KatyCats (Katy Perry)Little Monsters (Lady Gaga)Lovatics (Demi Lovato)
We're impressed you read the whole list.
The 40th annual show will be hosted by 2 Broke Girls stars Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings on CBS on Jan. 8 at 9 PM. Final voting ends on Dec. 5.
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You can watch 10 different Jared Harris performances without ever realizing that they have an actor in common: the man is a proverbial chameleon. Following his exit from Mad Men and his turn as Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln, Harris stars as the agoraphobic magic man Hodge Starkweather in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, lining the cast of young, fresh stars in the making with his veteran bravado. Of course, spending time around his youthful costars has clearly rubbed off on the thespian. "There’s lots of laughter, because you are being a kid again," Harris admits to Hollywood.com. "It’s great fun!"
Speaking on the creation of the new movie, adapted from the novels of author Cassandra Clare, Harris added, "That was one of the things [director Harald Zwart] believed would ground the audience in the world that the story takes place in. He wanted everything to be built. He wanted anything we saw to actually happen." Watch the video above to check out our full interview with Harris, and catch Mortal Instruments in theaters Aug. 21.
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UPDATE: Samuel L. Jackson denied dropping an f-bomb (but does admit to cursing) on Twitter:
I only said FUH not FUCK!K was sposed to cut off da BULLSHIT, blew it!! twitter.com/SamuelLJackson…
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) December 16, 2012
EARLIER: We're used to cheering like a Spartan whenever Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon or another recently departed Saturday Night Live alum returns to Studio 8H. But SNL fans found themselves disappointed when a former SNL legend returned to glory on the sketch comedy show's stage. Dana Carvey — also known as one of the main reasons (save Chris Farley) the early 1990s is still held up on an SNL pedestal — seemed a promising host for fans in 2011, but, sadly, the actor's revival of popular characters like Wayne's World's Wayne, Ross Perot, and Church Lady seemed more unoriginal than nostalgic.
So, considering Carvey's stint, Martin Short's hosting gig Saturday seemed worrisome — would we be forced to sit through Ed Grimley and Jerry Lewis sketches years after we already grew sick of them watching best of SNL VHS tapes?
As it turned out, absolutely not. Short proved to be a delightful host who was just as hilarious as he was current. We were subjected to a split second of Ed Grimley, but only during Short's jolly monologue, which brought us even more exciting SNL characters of seasons past. Well, rather, cast members — Fey, Fallon, Kristen Wiig (complete with Junice baby hand), and honorary cast member Tom Hanks (making his second SNL cameo this year) all joined in Short's Christmas-centric musical number, which marked the seventh this season. This week, however, the musical monologue was worth it — it's hard to say what sight was better: Abe Lincoln with a llama or Short planting a smooch on the predictably stoic Lorne Michaels. Still, each paled in comparison to Short's astute ad lib, "How does a man sit on a piano, I wonder?"
The SNL cameos continued with "A Tony Bennett Christmas," headed up by Alec Baldwin's fan-favorite impression of the crooner. The sketch veered into ESPN Classic territory with its ad-shilling bathroom humor ("It's sure easy to get down in the dumps when you can't take one"), but, then again, anything that reminds us of Will Forte's Greg Stink picks us out of the dumps.
But, following the sketch, we hardly said "Cheerio!" to bathroom humor. The next sketch — about a royal OBGYN being trained to treat the Duchess of Cambridge — mainly centered on euphemisms for female genitalia: "The King-Maker," "Thomas' English Muffin," and, of course, "Her Downton Abbey" among them. Anyone else in the role of the consultant tasked with prepping Bill Hader's OBGYN would have been groan-worthy, but Short even managed to make a dated Camilla Parker-Bowles funnier than the prospect of her Downton Abbey being guarded by a troll that asks you a riddle. Just ask Hader, who couldn't keep a straight face while Short revealed euphemisms for the anal cavity. (In case you were wondering, "The Church of Taint Andrews" is one.)
More impressive, though, was Short's impeccable impression of Larry David as Linus in an adult-themed, star-studded Charlie Brown special, You're a Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown. Typically, Hader's impersonations steal SNL sketches, but his Al Pacino paled in comparison to Short's David. The actor even looked like the Curb Your Enthusiasm star. Other highlights included Taran Killam's Michael Keaton and Jason Sudeikis' Philip Seymour Hoffman — though I can't be the only one wishing Nasim Pedrad's celebrity impressions all didn't sound like Nasim Pedrad. Kristin Chenoweth deserves better — and no, this time around, I'm not talking about Jake Pavelka.
Speaking of zingers, Seth Meyers' one-liners were the highlight of Weekend Update, attracting more laughs than Vanessa Bayer's adorably funny roasting Bar Mitzvah boy and Cecily Strong's ho-hum revival of Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party. Jokes about Jersey Shore's finale and criticism of Barbara Walters for asking Hillary Clinton about her hair over her policies were astute enough, but the funniest one-liner of the night was also the bluest: “An Ohio woman who gave birth to her daughter at 12:12 p.m. on 12-12-12 has named her 'Forever.' Which I suspect is how long she’ll be a stripper.”
Samuel L. Jackson, who made a cameo alongside SNL's stars in Short's monologue, returned to appear in Kenan Thompson's recurring — but long dormant — "What's Up With That?" sketch. The premise remains the same, and so does Sudeikis' jaunty tracksuit dancing — but this week, the sketch came with a NSFW twist. Pulling a Jenny Slate, Jackson dropped an f-bomb at the end of "What's Up With That?" and followed it up with a "bulls--t." "Come on now, that costs money," Thompson ad-libbed. Your move, FCC.
SNL rounded out its episode with a sketch about two old friends (Fred Armisen and Short) with bizarre hobbies (acting for EMT training) and habits (eating 25 bagels a day) that was sorely lacking a Stefon, and a Christmas pageant audition sketch with Short and musical guest Paul McCartney that quickly turned into a Christmas-themed performance from the former Beatle. But while McCartney turned in two other lovely performances — including a reprise of his "Valentine" single — the rock legend was overshadowed by SNL's touching cold open, which featured the New York Childrens Chorus singing "Silent Night" as a quiet tribute to the Sandy Hook tragedy. The moment echoed Paul Simon's post-9/11 performance of "The Boxer" on the sketch comedy series, and proved, once again, SNL can be as heartfelt as it is funny. We might not be able to sleep in heavenly peace for some time, but dammit if SNL didn't help us try.
[Image Credit: NBC]
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We have to hand it to Saturday Night Live. At least they tried. Despite Hurricane Sandy, the late-night sketch show put out a live performance. Because well, the show must go on. And it did. It went on. And on. And on.
And to think, we had such high hopes for it — even calling first-timer Louis C.K. the most unpredictable host yet. Unfortunately the thing they couldn't have predicted was Hurricane Sandy. The super storm hit New York City only five days earlier, leaving most of the city without power still to this day. Driving home the point was the heartfelt letter C.K. wrote to fans just hours before taking the SNL stage. In it he said, "here at 30 rock, these folks are working so hard this week. There are kids in the studio every day, because members of the crew and staff had to bring them to work. Many people are sharing lodging. Everyone is tired. But there's this feeling here that we've got to put on a great show."
That feeling wasn't lost on us — and we certainly didn't expect them to overdo the tropical storm skits — but it could have used a lot more topical content. This was the last weekend before the presidential election. There was so much material to work with — and yet there was only one political skit, if you don't count the show's opening spoof on our politicians in action in dealing with the storm. Where was President Obama (played by funnyman favorite Jay Pharoah)? Where were the timely references that made the show famous? Heck, we would have even taken a nod to Daylight Saving Time ending last night.
We're not saying it was without fun, because that would be a lie. Technically "fun" came in the form of the musical act. Though somehow watching lead singer Nate Ruess jump around on stage for two sets went with the whole slightly awkward theme of the show.
The political skits that did take place were the highlights. The press conference opener with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his extremely energetic sign interpreter got the show started off right. And had us laughing when the sign for "Obama" turned out to be pushing your ears forward. Yes, it was juvenile, but after a natural disaster you have to laugh every now and again — if only to remember what it sounds like.
The opening monologue put debutant host C.K. in a place he is most comfortable — behind a microphone. And talking about some of his favorite things: awkwardness, aging, and the misery that is his life. (We're surprised he didn't throw in a mention of his unsuccessful 1993 audition to be a show cast member.)
Some political overtones drove the show's favorite Fox & Friends parody, where C.K. played a FEMA manager with a deadpan delivery — something he has become famous for. He went behind the mic stand once again in the Abraham Lincoln skit that mocked his own real life show on FX, Louie, which is also directed, written, produced, and starring him.
Seth Meyer's "Weekend Update" was delivered with the usual mix of guest spots and stretched jokes. Jason Sudeikis' Mitt Romney brought the best stuff, finally giving something to those seeking the political humor. Playing up the GOP nominee's awkwardness, Romney is taken to task over his policy flip-flopping — like his stance on FEMA, prompting Romney to admit: "If there is anything people should know about Mitt Romney at this point is that nothing I have said in the past should be any indication of my positions in the future." The show couldn't lean any further to the left if Hurricane Sandy herself tried to blow it over. Though Meyers ended Update on a serious note by sharing info on how to donate to Red Cross hurricane relief efforts.
There was no shortage of underwhelming skits: Fred Armisen's "Australian Screen Legends" should have been called "Bad Australian Accents and Stereotypes," and the Zog horn blowing bit had the cast laughing more than the audience. The back-and-forth in "Hotel Fees" was another instance where we laid the blame with Sandy, and sleep deprivation.
The last skit, appropriately titled, "Last Call" where C.K. sucked face with an equally drunk bar patron (played by Kate McKinnon) was a metaphor for the whole show. The more tired you were the funnier the skits seemed. That explains so much about the previous hour and a half. Because again what started off as awkward ended up funny. Isn't that how all good comedy is born?
What did you think of last night's show? What was your favorite joke or sketch of the night? How about least favorite? Share in the comments section below.
[Image Credit: Dana Edelson/NBC]
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In what is perhaps the best clip you’ll watch all day, and maybe even all week: here’s Nicolas Cage talking with David Letterman about doing shrooms with his kitty, Louis. Am I lying? Is this too good to be true? Oh no it’s not sir, I wouldn’t deceive you so tremendously!
Jay Leno talked to SNL head writer Seth Meyers, about his time at the Olympics, and about the greatness that is pairs figure skating. He’s quite late to the party, seeing as the smartest people know figure skating isn’t newly awesome, but rather that it’s always been awesome. He also talked about the World Cup, if you still haven’t heard enough about it.
Then, Josh Harris and Johnathan Hillstrand of The Deadliest Catch told Jay about fishing, and how it’s been in their families for generations. Hillstrand also talked about how he got sucked into a boat’s motor one day, and had his guts pulled out of his body through his shoulder. Fishing, everyone! Look into it! And in case you want to feel like a fat bastard, here’s Eddy Izzard talking to Jimmy Fallon about running 43 marathons in 51 days. Also, Angie Harmon had an interaction with Mick Jagger one day, and he didn’t believe that her name was really Angie. Can you blame him? You can’t always get what you want, Angie Harmon. (Can’t help it.)