As the world moves back into regularly scheduled television programming and away from Royal Wedding Watch 2011 I can’t help but admit a guilty pleasure indulgence in all the post-game analysis of the nuptial-equivalent of the Olympics. The arrivals. The dress(es)! All the hits and misses – no hat at THE British wedding of the decade, Mrs. Prime Minister? Shame. It all still pales in comparison to some pre-wedding treatment of the royals via SNL’s recurring skit this season featuring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader doing their best Guy Ritchie gangster movie versions (which Hader has shown most adept at handling) of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip behind closed doors.
Tag: Saturday Night Live
After the announcement that Jane Lynch will pull hosting duties on Saturday Night Live this fall, it’s now been disclosed that current Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston will also be among the honored guest hosts in the sketch comedy show’s 36th season.
This bit of news is filed in the “It’s About Time!” category as anyone who was there during Cranston’s days on Malcolm in the Middle will attest to his phenomenol prowess in the comedy department. It finally seems he’s getting the lion’s share of recognition that’s always been deserved coming off a third straight Best Actor Emmy win, albeit in the drama category where he’s proven his amazing acting range. The seven seasons on Malcolm he did prior to his current series had some of the best moments in sitcom history – witness such a moment here from its first year:
- Fresh Off Emmy Three-Peat, Bryan Cranston Headed To ‘Saturday Night Live’ (omg.yahoo.com)
- Jane Lynch “Saturday Night Live” Host Oct. 9 (popcrunch.com)
As stated in a post regarding last year’s Emmys, me and awards show have a love/hate relationship – I love them and they seem to hate me, or rather me and the collective viewing audience. Uninspired would best describe them of late, but Academy of Television you actually kept my rapt attention this year. It might be because I didn’t watch them live, but the pace overall for the Emmys telecast was brisk, peppered with many worthy laughs and filler moments that weren’t completely eyeroll-inducing. I credit a lot of this to the stellar hosting job executed by current Late Night helmer Jimmy Fallon. From the amazing Glee-ful opening with four of the hot show’s stars, Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale and more joining him in belting out a Springsteen classic, through his moments introducing the various genres with the help of nominees Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert and Julianna Margulies in the audience and even the “Shows We Lost” montage he never failed to entertain.
Naysayers can say nay about his time on Saturday Night Live – his were never peek performances like Will Ferrell, usually breaking character first and unable to deliver most of his lines laugh-free – but I was always a fan and thought he had his best years behind the Weekend Update desk. It also didn’t hurt he pulled duty next to my Fey-vorite.
He’s also no slouch when it comes to the melding of music and comedy, which seems to be all the rage these days thanks to belle of the TV ball Glee. My first memory of Fallon was his dead-on impersonation of Adam Sandler, another SNL alum known for wacky comedic songs, and a couple of years into his stint on the seminal sketch show he released an album with a track I still frequently revisit, “Idiot Boyfriend.” Just try not to smile at the hilarious video below co-starring then-up-and-coming-now-It New Girl Zooey Deschanel.
Knowing Jimmy had the ability to MC as shown by the success of his talk show’s first year it wasn’t a surprise when he was tapped to take the reins of the Emmys hosting gig, but I had further confidence he would deftly lead the telecast by the sheer merit of his work back in 2002 at the MTV Video Music Awards. That opener still sticks out as one of the most memorable beginnings to an awards show of all time and had yet to be topped on my list of favorites until Fallon, Fey & the Glee gang’s “Born to Run” performance.
The buzz and ratings after Sunday both suggest that Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman aren’t the only song-and-dance men to call on if you want to have a successful live show telecast.
Not to forget about the awards part of the show, Glee took home a couple of high-profile wins with Jane Lynch nabbing Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy and Ryan Murphy getting Best Director for the top-notch pilot episode. Mad Men continued its drama domination with their third-straight year of trophies for both series and writing, and freshman favorite Modern Family went away a big winner with Best Comedy and Writing for its pilot as well as a pleasant surprise with Eric Stonestreet taking home a Supporting Actor in a Comedy trophy for his phenomenal work as Cam in the ensemble sitcom. An additional surprise win in an acting category went to Aaron Paul getting a much-deserved statue for his supporting role along-side fellow winner and co-star Bryan Cranston for AMC’s needs-to-get-more-recognition drama Breaking Bad.
Major category winners:
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Jane Lynch (Glee)
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Betty White (SNL)
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Neil Patrick Harris (Glee)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A COMEDY
Ryan Murphy (Glee)
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY
Christopher Lloyd and Stephen Levitan (Modern Family)
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA
Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner (Mad Men – “Shut the Door, Have a Seat”)
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
John Lithgow (Dexter)
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Ann Margaret (Law & Order: SVU)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A DRAMA
Steve Shill (Dexter)
Variety, Music or Comedy
OUTSTANDING VARIETY, MUSIC, OR COMEDY SERIES
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A VARIETY, MUSIC OR COMEDY SPECIAL
Bucky Gunts (The Winter Olympics)
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A VARIETY SHOW
Dave Boone and Paul Greenberg (The 2010 Tony Awards)
TV Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special
Temple Grandin (HBO)
The Pacific (HBO)
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Al Pacino (You Don’t Know Jack)
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Claire Danes (Temple Gradin)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTION IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Mick Jackson (Temple Grandin)
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
David Strathairn (Temple Grandin)
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Julia Ormand (Temple Grandin)
OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A TV MOVIE, MINISERIES OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
Adam Mazer (You Don’t Know Jack)
OUTSTANDING REALITY SHOW COMPETITION
Lately when speaking of Saturday Night Live most critics and viewers tend to complain that the long-running sketch show has seen better days – save for occasional bright spots that win favor and gain permanent placement in pop culture such as the most recent stellar-from-beginning-to-end episode hosted by Betty White, the whole of 2008’s political coverage and 2007’s Justin Timberlake-conceived, Emmy-winning digital short “D*ck in a Box.”
Feeling like one of the few out there who continues to watch entire episodes of SNL, albeit never L on S but rather Sundays with a morning coffee, I find myself happy with at least one skit every episode and am consistently impressed by several cast members including Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader. However the one actor who always delivers, feeds my love of the absurd and is hands down most deserving of the next “Best of” compilation is Will Forte. In honor of his recent leading man status upgrade thanks to this weekend’s addition to the cineplex and latest SNL-to-big screen adaptation, Macgruber, I now present my own collection of his greatest hits.
This skit completely encompasses everything I love about Forte – right down to his floppy hair wig and faux ‘stache – as a coach trying to fire up his downtrodden basketball team at halftime by joyfully dancing along with the brassy Burt Bacharach theme to 1967’s Casino Royale. Notice how all the background players and episode host Payton Manning relish having prop towels on hand to hide behind when they can’t keep a straight face.
Paired with Sudeikis on this recurring Weekend Update bit, the mere sight of his outfit in the opposite tribute band Jon Bovi along with the repeated “Whaaaaaat?!” is enough to put me in hysterics. Add in ridiculous lyrics like “I’m an Indian, on a cotton horse I do not ride” and this will always have a place in my heart.
DON’T VOTE FOR THESE GUYS
Most might not remember that Will Forte had the briefest of stints as one of the four SNL actors who’ve played George W. Bush in the post- Will Ferrell years, a tough act to follow. His was a more zany version of 43, naturally, but he’s also played a couple of other odd politicos over the years. The first clip below is his take on former Democratic senator from Georgia, Zell Miller, who grabbed the media spotlight after backing a Republican candidate for his old seat and caught even more attention for his use of antiquated verbiage.
Next is the more subdued, but truly odd and thankfully fictional, perpetual write-in candidate Tim Calhoun.
I SHALL REMAIN…THE FALCONER
And finally, a truly monumental recurring sketch if only for the fact that the humor rests solely on the manipulation of a stuffed falcon on strings it’s also, in my opinion, Forte’s landmark character on SNL. His delivery of “Oh, Donald” never ceases to elicit a good chuckle.
Another fantastic hosting job last night on SNL from my Fey-vorite. Leaving such a funny taste in my mouth (in the best way) I spent time revisiting landmark hilarity from the seminal sketch show’s past few years. The one skit I’ve found near-impossible to track down in decent condition has finally been unearthed! A five-minute beauty airing well before the slew of parodies that followed Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” video. Excellence all around from B-rilliant Beyonce, host Paul Rudd and surprise guest Justin Timberlake in his Emmy-winning year.