Saturday, November 29, 2008
Finesse Mitchell complains about Andy Samberg and the whole SNL experience
Back when he played football for the University of Miami Hurricanes, Finesse Mitchell was a friend and teammate of one Dwayne Johnson. Neither thought much of the other's non-gridiron prospects.
"He was very quiet," standup comic Mitchell says of the man who would become known as wrestling's The Rock. "He was quiet in the locker room, he was quiet walking around campus. He was dating a friend of mine, and everyone just described him as quiet.
"Our senior year, it became, 'What are we gonna do with our lives?' I remember I was at the barber shop with him, and I'd been kicked off the team 'cause of grades, and he had injury problems and (future NFLer) Warren Sapp had become the dominant force on defence ahead of Dwayne.
"So he said he was going to Canada to play football, and if that didn't pan out, he was going to go into wrestling. I said that was the dumbest thing I ever heard. I said I might do comedy. And he said, 'Comedy? You're not funny! That's the dumbest thing I ever heard.' "
Years later, they ran into each other at a party -- Johnson (who had briefly been a Calgary Stampeder) had just released The Scorpion King, and Mitchell had just joined Saturday Night Live.
"We just laughed and said, 'Congratulations!' " recalls Mitchell, who hosts the cross country Just For Laughs Comedy Tour, which hits the EPCOR Centre's Jack Singer Concert Hall tonight with Irish comics Danny Bhoy and David O'Doherty, Brit comic Hal Cruttenden and Canuck Pete Zedlacher.
Not that it was all clear-sailing at NBC for Mitchell. SNL had its ups and downs for the comedian, who was in the cast for three seasons, but was cut loose along with Horatio Sanz and Chris Parnell when the network slashed the show's budget.
"I think a lot of African-Americans, especially males, go in with ambitions and dreams of being Eddie Murphy and shining the way he did. When I got there, I got things that were very topical. Kobe Bryant had just cheated on his wife. Andre 3000 had the hottest song in the country, there was O.J., and I was doing this ghetto girl character Starkisha. So character-after-character in my first year, it seemed like just the most awesome place to work.
"And then the honeymoon's over, and it became more of a dogfight getting your sketch in. The more prominent players, the Amy Poehlers, the Rachel Dratches and Maya Rudolphs, y'know, everybody wanted their stage time. Then the new guys -- Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis -- they came in with such strong characters and it got even harder."
With his departure from the show came another realization. He had to recapture his standup audience because "the homeys don't watch Saturday Night Live. I had lost a lot of my audience. I'd had a big huge BET (Black Entertainment Television) following, a popular guy on colleges. And when I got Saturday Night Live, I got snatched out of the black market and into the mainstream market. So people would hear through the grapevine, 'He's on SNL' and they'd be like, 'What? That show's still on?' "
Happily, Mitchell became busy in a hurry, re-amping his standup career, appearing in movies (The Comebacks, Mad Money, Who's Your Caddy?) and writing a relationship book for women -- Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much (from the publishers of He's Just Not That Into You) -- that led to a regular column in Essence magazine of male advice for women.
"Now I do a lot of daytime television talking about relationships," says Mitchell, who got married last month. "I'm doing the Today show all the time. I'm on the CBS Morning Show, I'll be on Tyra Banks. I'm also speaking at a women's conference for Essence magazine in front of 1,000 women."
Finesse is just complaining. I was glad when they took him out of SNL. Yeah, it's hard work, and you have to try to keep selling your characters, and you have to earn your stripes on SNL. But if you do it right, then you should have staying power and precedence over the newbies rather than being taken over by them.
Don't get me wrong, Finesse is a hilarious stand-up comedian. But acting isn't what Finesse does well. He doesn't do great characters like Eddie Murphy and the others. And Andy mostly just plays himself in hilarious videos. He doesn't have major characters like Will Ferrell did.
The second value of Andy Samberg is the little impressions he does. SNL obviously pushes the impressions to hit the news and politics (like Finesse mentioned). So if you don't come up with original characters and make fun of old film or stories, then they won't push you to do that. You've got to push it yourself.
So Andy, along with the rest of the staff, was pushed to do impressions rather than characters. And so Andy has really stepped up in that area, offering us Jack Johnson, the Swedish Chef, Cathy (from the comics), the Naked Guy on a Cell Phone, the Pregnant Man, Sanjaya, Diablo Cody, and Mark Whalberg.
Popular Andy Samberg Posts - This Month
UPDATED: Originally posted on 6/1/10. We added the guesstimate for his annual income from SNL. =============== Well, let's say that h...
Would you like to contact The Animation Empire? Are you interested in advertising on our site? Do you want to link to our site? Do you hav...
Updated 12/11/10: Apparently youses want to see Andy naked. So we're including some images of that amongst this article. LOL ==========...
This is Andy and Jorma joking around. I don't know, man. At first I thought this isn't all that classy or great. But then it s...
So we're pretty much just updating you when we verify that Andy Samberg and Joanna Newsom are still dating. This is from the Red Carpe...
UPDATE : Added more info around Jenny Slate, Michaela Watkins, and Casey Wilson. ============================ Speculate on why Paul left?...
I was just on Andy's Wikipedia site, and it said that Andy dated Natalie Portman: Samberg has allegedly dated actress Kirsten Dunst and...
5/8/09 - Joanna and Andy at the Kentucky Derby in May, 2009: http://andysamberg.blogspot.com/2009/05/andy-samberg-joanna-newsom-and-akiva.h...
Robbie Shapiro Robbie is a shy and awkward student at Hollywood Arts, so it makes sense that he is more comfortable speaking through a &...
ANDY & JOANNA Before they began dating, Saturday Night Live star Andy Samberg raved about singer-harpist Joanna Newsom's music t...
Tags (by frequency)
News_SNL_09 News_SNL_10 Images_07 Videos_FanMade_08 News_Web_09 News SNL 11 Videos_SNL_09-10 Videos SNL 2010-2011 Images_09 News_SNL_08 Videos_FanMade_09 Videos_Movies_07 Images_08 News_Web_08 Videos_FanMade_07 Videos_SNL_08-09 Videos SNL 2011-2012 News Movies 11 Photos 11 Videos_LonelyIsland News_Romance News_TV_09 MTV Movie Awards 09 News_Web_07 Videos_TV_09 Videos_Interviews_09 CD - Incredibad CD - Turtleneck and Chain Videos_SNL_07-08 Joanna Newsom Images_06 Audio Blog Updates News TV 11 Photos 10 Videos_SNL_06-07 Videos_TV_07 News_TV_10 Videos SNL Promos Videos_Live_07 Jorma Taccone Videos_SNL_05-06 News - Sitings 10 Text_Interviews_09 EDitorial_09 Ask Andy Samberg Blog EDitorial_08 News_Movies_07 News_Web_10 Movies - Donny's Boy MusicVideos_SNL News_Movies_08 News_Movies_10 Videos_TV_08 News_Movies_09 News_SNL_07 Text_Interviews_07 EDitorial_10 Videos Interviews 11 Featured Player Update Images_05 Products 09 Videos TV 11 Movies - I Hate You Dad News Web 11 Videos_Live_08 EDitorial 11 SNL Episodes 08-09 Akiva Schaffer Videos TV 10 Videos_Live_09 Digital Shorts 2010-2011 News - CDs Videos_Interviews_07 SNL Episodes 09-10 Videos_FanMade_06 News Sitings 11 News_Web_06 Hot Rod Images - Fan-Made Magazines MusicVideos_LonelyIsland Products 08 Videos Interviews 10 Digital Shorts 08-09 Digital Shorts 09-10 Text Interviews 11 Text_Interviews_08 Videos Web 11 Videos_Movies_08 Icons SNL Impressions Justin Timberlake Videogames Videos_Interviews_08 Digital Shorts 2011-2012 FAQ Videos_TV_06 EDitorial_07 News_CDs_09 News_SNL_06 Text Interviews 10 Videos Live 11 SNL Recap 07-08 Videos Weekend Update Videos_FanMade_10 Videos_Movies_09 Videos_TV_05 News SNL 12 SNL Statistics 08-09 Twitter Update thelonelyislandfan Animated GIF Classic Andy Comic Con 09 Drawings Images_04 SNL Recap 05-06 SNL Recap 08-09 SNL Recap 10-11 Videos - Justin Timberlake EDitorial 12 News TV 12 Studio News Videos Cold Open Videos_TV_04 Wallpapers Caption Andy Costumes Discussion Merchandise 11 Movies - Celeste and Jesse Forever News - Sitings 09 Products 10 Text_Interviews_06 Videos Fan-Made 11 Videos Movies 11 Videos_Live_06 Bill Hader Rokk Vodka SNL Lessons SNL Transcripts 08-09 Videos Movies 10 Videos_Live_10
Andy Samberg SNL Promotions
- Andy & Anne Hathaway 2
- Andy & Emma Stone
- Andy & Amy Poehler
- Andy & Gabourey Sidibe
- Andy & Jennifer Lopez
- Andy & Charles Barkley
- Andy & Blake Lively
- Andy & January Jones
- Andy & Megan Fox
- Andy & Justin Timberlake
- Andy & The Rock
- Andy & Steve Martin
- Andy & Paul Rudd
- Andy & Anne Hathaway
- Andy & Shia Lebeouf
- Andy & Ashton Kutcher
- Andy & Ellen Page
- Andy & Seth Rogan
- Andy & Drew Barrymore
- Andy & Ludacris
- Andy & Jamie Pressly
- Andy & Scarlett Johansson
Some Favorite Andy Samberg Posts
- Andy as Jewey Fallon - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
- Andy & T-Pain are glad that Jorma isn't on the boat
- Andy in Show Choir
- Andy in Rose Bowl Promo: Football Taping
- Andy's 2009 favorites
- MacGruber movie review
- Should SNL show digital shorts instead of domestic violence?
- John Hamm to host SNL again in January
- Andy in Nature of the Beast
- Why is SNL featuring so many young and attractive hosts?
- Saturday Night Live 12/5/09 - Blake Lively & Rihanna
- Andy nominated for a Grammy
- Andy & Blake Lively - SNL Promo
- Andy hangs with the SNL crew
- Blake, Taylor, and James hosting
- Does Andy have a big butt?
- Reba digital short
- Andy Samberg in The Mellow Show
- 10 ways to fix SNL (I wish this was a joke)
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt - SNL Promos
- Andy Samberg & Friends - Comedy Central's report
- What SNL Alumni should host SNL?
- in Lady's Guide To Throwing A Party
- "Get Out" Digital Short
- Andy & January Jones - SNL Promo
- Andy Samberg and Friends - Kristen's Review
- Andy Samberg and Friends - Stephanie's Review
- January Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Host SNL
- Full Episode: SNL 11/7/09 - Taylor Swift
- Taylor Swift gets Kanye'd already
- Andy Samberg Halloween costumes
- Should SNL cast members exploit commercials?
- Supports the elephants
- Night of Too Many Stars
- Loves his sweatshirt and Joanna Newsom
- Space Chimps 2?
- Yo Gabba Gabba - Behind the scenes
- Taylor Swift is hosting SNL
- National Bosses Day (Like a Boss)
- On the Ground - Behind the scenes (video)
- Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (videos - 10/13/09)
- on Yo Gabba Gabba (video)
- His Elle shoot (video)
- SNL, 9/26/09 - Megan Fox & U2
- Andy and friends at the Emmys
- Andy Samberg and Jimmy Fallon at the MTV VMAs
- Andy Samberg behind the scenes of "Cloudy" Video
- Andy Samberg on Martha Stewart
- ABOUT THIS SECTION