When Andy Samberg was a cast member on 'SNL,' he routinely set the internet on fire with his digital shorts, but none were as popular as his Lonely Island music videos, which saw him, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone performing hip-hop music that often sounded like the real thing. Well, at least it would sound like the real thing if the subject matter wasn't totally crazy. With Samberg performing hosting duties on the season finale, Lonely Island reunited for a new video (with a special appearance by Pharrell Williams), singing and rapping about what it's like to be hardcore huggers.
This season of 'SNL' has been all about truly weird and experimental digital shorts, so it only makes sense that guest host Andy Samberg (who helped pioneer them in the first place) would help make one of the strangest. There's almost no dialogue in this sketch and the joke isn't immediately accessible, but it's the kind of specific and eclectic comedy that 'SNL' tends to excel at when it wants to.
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.
Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' just recently unveiled its Second Chance Theatre, an attempt to let former 'SNL' performers have a venue to show off beloved sketches that never made it to the air on the venerable comedy show. Meyers, however, is not the only former 'SNL' head writer to recycle old material -- Tina Fey did it, too!
Charlize Theron's big return to the 'SNL' stage this past weekend mostly missed the mark, save for a few bizarre-enough-to-be-funny sketches, but this Saturday's season finale already has a few Golden Globes in its pocket. 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' star Andy Samberg will make a long-awaited return to his 'SNL' roots to close out the season, and the first promo already feels like home.
Over the years, 'SNL' nixed its fair share of sketches from their late-night installments -- for one, take a look at this bizarre sketch from Andrew Garfield's latest hosting run -- but now they're getting a second chance to see the light of day. Seth Meyers, who served as 'SNL' head writer for nearly 10 years, is determined to resurrect some never-aired favorites for his new audience on 'Late Night with Seth Meyers.'
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.
Save for a few moments (basically when whales weren’t exploding), last night’s Charlize Theron-hosted ‘SNL’ was … not great. Something just felt off for almost the entire show. Perhaps it’s the realization that this long season is almost finally over, but, for the most part, everyone just looked tired. There certainly was an energy missing in the studio last night. And Theron seemed to be genuinely trying, but, for whatever reason, not a lot was working. And there were times it almost seemed like the show was trying to kill time – I can’t remember the last time I watched a member of the band give a guitar solo while precious time clicked away (and, not surprisingly, there are THREE unaired sketches from dress on Hulu this morning). Hold on tight, as we fly off to the penultimate Scorecard of the season…
If you're an avid consumer of modern popular culture, you've watched your fair share of behind the scenes featurettes that offer a look at the making of a movie or TV show. In fact, this particular slice of modern marketing has become such a specific medium that it has opened itself up to parody ... which makes us wonder why 'SNL' doesn't take it on more often. Last night's episode featured a sketch that was structured like an HBO First Look, giving us a glimpse of a new movie called 'Dragon Babies' that looks hilariously awful before we meet the hugely inappropriate lead voice actor.
'SNL' is frequently at its best when it decides to go full gonzo and last night's episode featured a sketch that represents the show at its weirdest. Presented as a screening of an old '60s surfer movie called 'Bikini Beach Party,' the sketch features Taran Killam and guest host Charlize Theron as young lovers in a campy musical who decide to share a romantic moment on the beach ... next to the methane-filled corpse of a dead whale.