The 40th season of ‘Saturday Night Live’ has arrived (as well as the fifth season of ‘SNL’ Scorecard -- and I just can’t believe I’ve been doing this for five years) and, boy, what a difference a year makes. Last year’s season premiere featured six new cast members and was one of the clumsiest shows in recent memory. (Hey, remember ‘New Cast Member Or Member of Arcade Fire’? Gah.) This season, we have two new cast members and, more importantly, a significantly smaller cast. This was the first ‘SNL’ in over a year where I felt some actual intimacy with the cast. Look at newcomer Pete Davidson: he was everywhere! It was almost as if this incarnation of ‘SNL’ was built just to make us forget about last season. It didn’t completely work (I’ll never forget you, Rick Shoulders), but with a first-time host like Chris Pratt (who is a natural) and what feels like a much more focused show, this was a really great start.
The 39th season of 'Saturday Night Live' is over. From the beginning, it was a strange season -- gone were so many of the show's powerful voices: Hader, Samberg, Wiig, Sudeikis, Armisen -- yet this allowed new voices to be heard. And that's the thing about being new on 'SNL': not everything is going to hit. But, in compiling this list of the ten best sketches from the 2013-2014 season, there were some tough choices to be made (sorry, 'Bugs'). And, sadly, for inclusion, the sketch had to have actually appeared on the live show (sorry, 'Wing').
And, yes, this list is heavy with prerecorded material as opposed to live performances. (Perhaps it's not completely fair to compare, but, this is a testament of just how strong the prerecorded sketches are in a post-'Digital Short' world.) And it's also notable that none of the best sketches were recurring sketches (though, I could see at least one of these coming back next season). So, behold: The ten best sketches from this past season of 'Saturday Night Live.'
Few genres are as ripe for parody as sports dramas, and the upcoming 'Intramural' looks like it'll fit the bill quite nicely. The trailer for the small sports comedy made its way online, and if the rest of the film is as weird and funny as these two-and-a-half minutes, it could be something to keep an eye on.
Anna Kendrick is the perfect type of ‘SNL’ host – to the point that, as a performer, she could easily be a member of the cast. (I have no idea what her sketch writing ability is like.) Kendrick blends in with the rest of the cast so easily, it allows the show to be about the sketches and not about the host. Not to mention, she’s quite talented, which allows for a lot of singing and dancing – and there was a lot of singing and dancing last night (and a lot of Disney references). This was by far the most consistent show of the season, which makes it the best show of the season (even though I'm hesitant to use the word "best"). So much, in fact, that I wish I could set today’s Scorecard to the music of ‘Treasure Planet.’
The world is a little more terrifying than usual these days. With Russian forces occupying Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, the internet has already started throwing around references to World War III. Thankfully, 'SNL' is here to take something that has us terrified and make us laugh instead. The show's solution? Bring in Liam Neeson.
What, you thought Jonah Hill's third hosting gig was the 'SNL' news of the day? Nope! At long last, after a heated controversy and a nationwide search, the long-running NBC sketch comedy series has found its newest black female cast member in Upright Citizen's Brigade veteran Sasheer Zamata.
'SNL''s acclaimed hosting gig with 'Scandal' star Kerry Washington may have made light of the racial controversy attached to the current season, tasking Washington with portraying a number of famous black female figures, though it seems the NBC sketch comedy series has in mind to correct the issue after all. Could a new black female comedienne join 'SNL' before the season is out?
Diversity questions have presented themselves among 'SNL''s 39-year history on multiple occasions, most recently as black cast member Jay Pharoah criticized the current cast's lacking female performers of color. Cast veteran Kenan Thompson has a different opinion however, believing most of the black female performers that have auditioned to join the cast simply weren't "ready."
This past weekend during 'SNL's' heartwarming season finale, cast and crew bid adieu to both Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, while less in focus was the fate of fellow veteran Jason Sudeikis. Sudeikis has kept mum on the prospect of his 'SNL' future, but has cast member Jay Pharoah accidentally spilled the beans?