One of our most anticipated indie films this year is 'The Skeleton Twins,' which reunites former 'SNL' cast members Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as siblings in a movie that was pretty well-reviewed out of Sundance. The first trailer cements our excitement for the upcoming dramedy, which stars the pair as troubled siblings trying to cope with their adult lives.
'SNL' alum Bill Hader may have popped up on the season finale this past weekend to help celebrate co-star Andy Samberg's hosting debut, but the "master of impressions" will soon book a much longer stay in returning to weekend TV. HBO officially commissioned Hader for his own comedy series, both to develop and star in for the future.
The truth is, I don’t particularly enjoy reviewing ‘Saturday Night Live’ – something I’ve done now for four full seasons at three different outlets. Now, I’ve loved the show for my entire life and I love writing about the show, but it’s not easy to be critical of what these people do every week because it really is remarkable what they can pull off in less than one week on live television. (I’ve attended ‘SNL’ twice: Once in 2009 and then again for dress rehearsal last night. Watching the organized chaos that unfolds in person is almost overwhelming.)
The 2013-2014 season is now over and, no, it won’t go down in history as one of the better seasons in ‘SNL’ history. The show has lost too many stars over the past couple of years to recover that quickly, but they will recover. They always do. ‘SNL’ has always leaned heavily on recurring sketches, but what’s weird is how many recurring sketches are in rotation right now that not that many people love. When you think back, there’s always been a ‘Church Lady’ or ‘Wayne’s World’ or ‘Cheerleaders’ or ‘Stefon’ – but now, they don’t have that, and without that it’s been hard to sustain an identity.
It can be an odd experience when former 'SNL' cast members return to host the show. On one level, it's refreshing to see some of your favorite faces return to the stage. On another level, it's a reminder of what the show has lost (especially in a "rebuilding" season like this one). So the season finale's opening monologue was a bittersweet affair, with guest host Andy Samberg being joined by fellow 'SNL' veterans Seth Meyers, Bill Hader and Martin Short.
Last summer, ‘Saturday Night Live’ hired five new cast members to replace the large shoes left by the departures of veterans Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen – plus Tim Robinson, whose quirky style was, after just one season, reassigned to the writing staff. Those five new hires were Beck Bennett, Noël Wells, Brooks Wheelan, Kyle Mooney and John Milhiser. In January, the show added Sasheer Zamata. Then, in February, after the departure of 'SNL's' most tenured cast member, Seth Meyers, co-head writer Colin Jost joined the cast.
So, in a season filled with new faces – and a now whopping 17 cast members – competing for that ever-precious airtime, it’s notable that the new cast member who, at the very least, has had the most artistic impact on the show – and is certainly the boldest cast member this season – was introduced to the world by a nearly asterisked “promoted from the writing staff” designation...a 37-year-old actor/writer/comedian who used to go by the name Pat O’Brien.
A few days ago 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' delighted future audiences with news that Seth Meyers' former 'SNL' co-star Fred Armisen had signed on to lead the house band, and now it seems the new 'Late Night' has another beloved 'SNL' staple headed its way. Not only can we expect Bill Hader's revered "Stefon" to make appearances, but the first week's rounds of guests include everyone from Amy Poehler to Kanye West, Lena Dunham, Ian McKellen and more!
Craig Johnson’s ‘The Skeleton Twins’ makes its irreverent and offbeat tone obvious early on – thanks to an opening sequences that centers on a haggard Bill Hader penning a suicide note that begins with impersonal (and darkly amusing) salutation, “To Whom It May Concern.” Hader’s Milo is clearly going through something, but it’s still shocking when he dips into a full bath and blood begins to flow, just off-screen and from the direction of his wrists.
An entire country away, Milo’s estranged twin sister, Maggie (Kristen Wiig), is attempting the same act, though she is standing in her bathroom with a fistful of pills hovering beside her mouth. She’s interrupted by a call from the hospital where Milo has just been admitted – and thus the so-called Skeleton Twins (sadly, their last name is not Skeleton, but the nickname is explained) have to do the thing they fear most. They have to live.
No matter how it happened, 'SNL' vet Bill Hader has become one of the go-to voices for animation, as he leads this weekend's 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2' as Flint Lockwood. On top of that, he's popular at Pixar and will do voice work for their upcoming films 'The Good Dinosaur' and 'Inside Out,' which we talked about, and the process of doing voiceover in the days while working on 'SNL' at night.
Hader is knee-deep in the animated world as he's working on this new season of 'South Park,' where you could hear his Alec Baldwin impression last night. Hader is also one of the preeminent nerds in pop culture, so we covered a lot of ground in our freewheeling discussion about his career and his taste.
If you’re feeling flummoxed by the mess of half-food/half-animal supporting characters that populate the charming animated sequel ‘Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,’ it’s fully understandable – the “foodimals” (including hip-potato-muses, watermelo-phants, chee-spiders, and sush-eep) were not present in the first film. Instead of aping the original film, co-directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn have made ‘Cloudy 2’ their own (delicious) beast, riffing on the first feature and evolving things in a most unexpected manner.