Friday, February 18, 2011
Will Fred Armisen leave SNL next?
First, Fred no longer has the only great/usable Obama impression on SNL.
Jay Pharoah arguably has a better Obama impression. Kenan also claims to do a great Obama impression, but Kenan isn't the right build, and I know that would pull me out of it (Kenan's portrayal as Carlton on Fresh Prince last week proved to me that when he plays skinny guys it distracts me from his impression).
Second, Fred's been on the show for 9 years.
NINE YEARS! That's a long time. So long in fact, that here's how it stacks up to other SNL players (listing 8 or more years on the show)...
(1). Darrell Hammond - 14 years
(2). Al Franken - 11 years (Lorne's friend and original SNL writer. He was always a Featured Player, and he was on from 77-79 and 85-94, and Lorne set him up to take over the show, but NBC execs never went for it. Now he's a senator.)
(3). Seth Meyers - 10 years
(4). Tim Meadows - 10 years (The dude's time stretched from Meyers/Hartman/Carvey through Sandler/Farley/Spade and into Ferrell/Shannon/Kattan.)
(5). Fred Armisen - 9 years
(6). Maya Rudolph - 9 years
(7). Kevin Nealon - 9 years
(8). Kenan Thompson - 8 years
(9). Will Forte - 8 years
(10). Amy Poehler - 8 years
(11). Chris Parnell - 8 years
(12). Horatio Sanz - 8 years
(13). Chris Kattan - 8 years
(14). Phil Hartman - 8 years
Third, Fred's kind of hit and miss with his skits.
Fred has a few characters/impressions I love, like his Governor Patterson, the Native American comedian (Billy Smith), Garth and Kat (obviously it came out of Fred's head), and Nicholas Fehn, the character on Weekend Update who keeps getting distracted and never says anything. His Weekend Update Map bit was amazing, and he has some great impressions, including the best SNL Prince impression.
But he's also got some stinkers (Billiam from Gays in Space, Gay Guy from New Jersey, Gunther Kelley, Mike from the Mike's Columns and Fountains (was funny the first time), ) which includes a bunch of Spanish ones I never really got the humor of (Feritico, Manuel Ortiz, and Telemundo Actor). And the ones I find the most annoying are Elinda Spade (the court stenographer) and Roger Brush (the producer that messes up shows for women).
Fourth, Fred is working on a new show, Portlandia.
Portlandia is a television series that debuted on the Independent Film Channel (IFC) in 2010. The show, produced by Andrew Singer and Jonathan Krisel, is set and filmed in Portland, Oregon and features Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen.
There are six episodes in the show's first season. If the show gets renewed, then Fred has a reason to leave SNL.
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