Thursday, November 19, 2009
Charlie skewers SNL
Here's a look at some of the key factors that typically determine how healthy SNL is, and some of the question marks observers had about the show coming into the season:
Guest Hosts: Megan Fox, who hosted the season premiere in September, was practically a cameo presence in her own episode -- not terrible, but simply not given much to do. Such a strategy might have suited this past week's host, Mad Men's January Jones, whose lack of familiarity with live TV made her one of the weakest hosts in memory. Jones giggled her way through a not-very-strong monologue about Mad Men fanatics, and then interrupted her first sketch to ask what camera she was supposed to be looking at. Her co-star Jon Hamm showed himself to be surprisingly adept at comedy when he hosted a year ago, but lightning did not strike twice.
As for the season's other hosts thus far: Ryan Reynolds was pretty good... Taylor Swift was blessed with the season's best material so far, but considering she's not really an actress, it was surprising the writers didn't have to work around her, choosing to involve her in almost every skit.
Newer Cast Members: The SNL bench is weak, yet again. Jenny Slate made a gigantic splash by cursing in her very first sketch, and whether coincidental or not, she has been given little to do since then. Is it punishment, or has she simply not fought for herself behind closed doors? Fellow newbie Nasim Pedrad is faring slightly better,... It doesn't help that both women look somewhat similar. In their second seasons, neither Abby Elliott nor Bobby Moynihan show signs of being future SNL mainstays, though Moynihan has shown a little promise as a potential non-lame version of Horatio Sanz.
Kristen Wiig: I don't think Wiig has the versatility to be the go-to cast member on SNL... that is what she has been since Amy Poehler departed last fall. The problem with Wiig is that she mostly just plays variations on the same character: a neurotic who is either overly talkative and/or inappropriately exuberant. It's gotten to the point where I find it hard to maintain interest once I see a sketch is going to be built around Wiig, because it's already so clear where it's going to be heading. SNL desperately needs another woman to step up and share the load, as Wiig herself did for Poehler a few years back. Having four female guest hosts so far this season has helped, but not enough.
Coping With Obama: SNL has been grappling with Barack Obama for nearly two years now, but ten months into his presidency, the show has still yet to find a consistent way to approach him. A cold open sketch where Obama (played by Fred Armisen) admitted that his administration had done none of the things that were promised in the campaign attracted a lot of attention, and pointed at a possible Obama "character" (all style and no substance). But the show has not returned to this theme, or really dealt much at all with the whole issue of hard times in America.
Michaels ignored all the folks who insisted that the role of Obama needed to be recast once his election was official, so it looks like we're stuck with Armisen as long as he stays with the series. Previous presidential impersonators on SNL tweaked their characterizations as they went along (compare Carvey's early G.H.W. Bush to the way he was playing him by 1992), but for some reason, Armisen has gone in the other direction. Last season he seemed to be making some effort at nailing Obama's speech quirks if not his exact voice, but so far this year, he's just using a more formal version of his own voice. SNL gives the impression of wanting to avoid the president if it can get away with it -- an uncomfortable position for a show known for political humor.
Weekend Update: While this old standby is not at historic highs right now, and most of the walk-ons remain as lame as they have been since Adam Sandler left (Jon Bovi doesn't do it for me), Update has become an oasis of reliability on an otherwise erratic show. No one much talks about the need for a co-anchor alongside Seth Meyers any more, which makes sense since solo anchors were the SNL norm prior to Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon...
Grading the six episodes thus far:
Megan Fox: C-. I can't see her being asked back, or wanting to do it again.
Ryan Reynolds: B-. He's a funny guy, and if he can get his wife (Scarlet) to make more cameos, so much the better.
Drew Barrymore: C+. Likable and professional; usually good for a few laughs.
Gerard Butler: C. He's not known for comedy, and didn't make a strong impression.
Taylor Swift: B+. She was better in her skits than she was singing -- who would have thought?
January Jones: D. Gorgeous woman who should never do live television again.
Charlie was pretty brutal, but I agree with him on a few points. Megan Fox was pretty much just making cameos, but I didn't mind it. Still funny. Gerard's pimp character was hilarious. I'm glad everyone seems to have liked Taylor's performances. She had two stiff skits (Scared Straight and The View), but she pretty much nailed everything else. I think Nasim just proved herself with Kim Kardashian, and Abby and Bobby have been trying. But they need to be given a chance to shine. January Jones had maybe two skits where she kept it together (like the clouds skit), but yeah, she probably wasn't the best choice.
Oh, and I think Charlie nailed Fred's Obama and Kristen Wiig. But even though most of Kristen's characters are similar, they're still funny. They need to figure something else out about Obama. They need to be willing to make fun of him. Maybe Kristen Wiig should do him. She's willing to brutally skewer anyone. =^)
Popular Andy Samberg Posts - This Month
As we announced earlier, this blog is still closed. We invited a few people to help who wanted to keep it going, but they stopped posting (l...
" In a seven-figure preemptive deal, Sony Pictures is collaborating with Ryan Murphy on One Hit Wonders , a musical comedy pitch th...
Sketch - Lord Wyndemere Charles Barkley ... guest Paul Brittain ... Cecil Bill Hader ... Turlington Bobby Moynihan ... ...
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...
HOWARD MEGDAL: Chances Mike Tyson thought this was a real show? 80 percent. But Andy Samberg as John Stockton steals the show from even Su...
An Anony was asking how to contact Andy Samberg. So here you go... It's the same process as requesting an autograph. You've got ...
Film - SNL Digital Short: Stumblin' Paul Rudd ... Stumbler - friend Paul McCartney Mario Batali Fred Armisen ... guy Vanessa Bayer...
6/2/09 Update: Added the Jim Carrey vid and a few more vids at the bottom. Enjoy! ===================== Here are the highlights from tonight...
Akon is featured on “I Just Had Sex” Andy says you guys met on the red carpet at the Grammys. Were you a fan of the Lonely Island alread...
9/01/08 Update: Added embedded Hulu video. 4/30/08 Update: Added an image and counter argument. Also embedded a New video and added some mor...
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