Maya Rudolph will make her return to NBC next month with some song and sketch — not to mention, a little help from her famous friends. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Lorne Michaels (1-9 of 9)
No more wigs and heels for Kenan Thompson!
Early next year, Saturday Night Live will add someone new to its ranks — specifically, its first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph vacated in 2007. (SNL has only featured four African-American women in its entire 39-year history: Yvonne Hudson (1980-81), Danitra Vance (1985-86), Ellen Cleghorne (1991-95) and Rudolph (2000-2007).)
The news comes from straight from executive producer/SNL Czar for Life Lorne Michaels, who told the New York Times that his team has been holding special casting sessions for weeks. The search culminated in an under-the-radar audition for black female comedians held at Los Angeles’s Groundlings Theater last week, at which about a dozen performers were present. READ FULL STORY
True, most of their names have been floating around the Internet since August. But today, it’s official: Saturday Night Live‘s 39th season will feature the debut of half a dozen new cast members, including one longtime SNL writer, one skilled impressionist, and one very familiar face — provided you don’t fast-forward through commercials. Here’s the announcement, straight from the peacock’s mouth:
The dream of the ’90s is still alive! IFC has renewed Portlandia, starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, for two more seasons. Season 4 will begin in early 2014 and season 5 is scheduled for early 2015. Each season has a ten-episode order.
In a press release, the president and general manager of IFC Jennifer Caserta said, “Portlandia has celebrated sustainable local agriculture, underemployment, avian crafting, gender politics, intense bicycle messengers and so much more. We can now celebrate two more seasons.”
Armisen recently said goodbye to Saturday Night Live singing a song he wrote called “It’s a Lovely Day” that ended “It’s been all right, I’ve had a lovely night with you.”
Watch a classic Portlandia season one clip below:
Who will replace Seth Meyers at Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update desk? We’ll have to wait at least until January to find out. Meyers explained on the Today show this morning that he plans to return to SNL this fall, continuing to anchor Update through the end of 2013.
“I just am nowhere near emotionally ready for Saturday to be my last show,” the comic explained to Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie in a voice that sounded choked with emotion. (In reality, Meyers is just nursing a particularly nasty cold.) SNL‘s most devoted fans probably feel the same way, especially if Saturday marks the exit of Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis as well as Bill Hader — the only cast member who is confirmed to be leaving the show.
Live, from New York, it’s… not Don Pardo, who wasn’t on hand to announce SNL‘s lineup during last weekend’s show. According to TMZ, the nonagenarian — he recently celebrated his 95th birthday — sat this week out because he’s recovering from a broken hip.
NBC declined to comment on Pardo’s health, but TMZ’s sources say he’s “doing just fine” — which should be a relief to longtime SNL fans. The iconic announcer has been reading off names for the sketch show since it began in 1975, and has missed only one year in Saturday Night Live‘s 38-season run: season 7, when producer Dick Ebersol also nixed starting the show with “Live from New York…” Thankfully, both the line and Pardo were restored for season 8 in the fall of 1982.
See the face behind the voice in this video from 2010, in which Amy Poehler and Lorne Michaels welcome Pardo into the Television Academy Hall of Fame:
After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, Kristen Wiig said goodbye on May 19. She’d co-written and starred in the surprise 2011 blockbuster Bridesmaids and the time had come, just as it had for stars like Chevy and Eddie and Will before her. SNL godfather Lorne Michaels called her one of the “top three or four” performers the show had ever produced, and during her reign, the show was dominated by sketches filled with the likes of the Target Lady, tiny-handed Dooneese, and compulsive one-upper Penelope.
Colin Jost started writing for Saturday Night Live in 2005, the same year that Wiig began as a featured player. They connected creatively and ultimately collaborated on several sketches, including some of her Björk bits and a commercial parody for Red Flag perfume. With Mick Jagger hosting the season finale, Jost assumed the responsibility of sending her off in style. The premise he came up with could not have been more simple — Jagger bidding farewell to an honored “graduate” with an impromptu dance — but when each cast member cut in to share one last moment while Arcade Fire played the Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow,” the effect was magical.
As told by: Colin Jost
I don’t think I raised the bar in any way. I think people find different ways of saying goodbye or people find different ways of saying goodbye to them. I remember when Will Ferrell left, he had a really funny documentary where people talked about Will, and Tracy Morgan talks about how Will Ferrell stole from him and [says] really mean stuff. I remember that Tina [Fey] and Jimmy [Fallon] had done one that was like a “Summer Lovin” from Grease kind of farewell. So people have different ways of doing it, and I think this is just one of them. READ FULL STORY
'Saturday Night Live': Lorne Michaels talks Kristen Wiig's departure, the new cast members, and Jason Sudeikis' future -- EXCLUSIVE
This season, Saturday Night Live has had to adjust to the departures of two of its biggest names in recent years, Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. To fill the void, the show has four new featured players: Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, and Tim Robinson. The newcomers have all shown promise, particularly McKinnon, who debuted at the end of last season and who’s gotten buzz for her impersonations of Ann Romney and Penelope Cruz. EW talked with SNL maestro Lorne Michaels about the newbies and losing Wiig and Samberg.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: After finding out that Kristen and Andy weren’t coming back, was there a moment of panic?
LORNE MICHAELS: I think there’s a tremendous feeling of loss like, What will you do and it will never be the same. Then, the sun comes up. I was in Chicago for like four days just looking for people. Kate we brought in the spring and that worked well. The one thing you can’t do is try to replace Kristen Wiig with Kristen Wiig. You know Chevy Chase was followed by Bill Murray. And that worked well because it’s hard enough to make your mark without being compared to the person that you are “replacing.” READ FULL STORY
His name is Jay Pharoah, and we bet he approves this message.
In an interview with The New York Times, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels said that Pharoah would play President Obama on the show, stepping in for Fred Armisen, who has impersonated the President since 2008.
“Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own,” Michaels said. “I just thought it might be time to shake it up.”
In presidential skits, Pharoah will surely face off against Jason Sudeikis — who returns to his Mitt Romney duties this season. Michaels added in the Times article that Armisen would still be a major player on the show, calling him “the backbone of the show now.”
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