SNL co-head writer Colin Jost has been something of a polarizing figure, rising through the writers’ ranks, taking over as head Weekend Update anchor from Seth Meyers, and subsequently replacing co-host Cecily Strong with comedian Michael Che. Now, a surprising shift has occurred behind the scenes, as Jost has abdicated his role as co-head writer to fellow heads Rob Klein and Bryan Tucker.
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Just last week, a profile of Eddie Murphy shed light on his declining the role of Bill Cosby for SNL’s 40th anniversary event, citing his disinterest with denigrating the fallen idol any further. That pudding appears to have spilled however, as Murphy put on his best Cosby to accept the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize.
Where there's a presidential debate, there’s an SNL cold open. And where there’s an SNL cold open, there’s ample opportunity to slide in surprise guest stars to get the show started on a high note. However, there have only been a few surprise guest stars that have been as perfectly implemented as Larry David, who shows up as Senator Bernie Sanders to parody the recent Democratic debate. Oh, and Alec Baldwin shows up as Jim Webb, but Baldwin actually lives backstage at SNL, so his presence isn’t quite as exciting.
Every time an SNL alumni returns to the host the show, they are often granted the chance to dust off characters and recurring sketches. Sometimes, the results can be a little sad. Sometimes, the results can be funny and get your nostalgia pumping into overdrive. Tracy Morgan returning to the character of Brian Fellow was the definitely the latter...even though one of his co-stars did steal the sketch right out from under him.
Sometimes, you don't realize how much you value an actor until they have a brush with death. That's how the internet felt when Tracy Morgan was in a car accident a year ago and his injuries kept him away from the spotlight for a long time. But now Morgan is back, healthy enough to host SNL, and reuniting with the cast members of the other great show he was on.
This weekend doesn’t just mark Tracy Morgan’s highly-anticipated return to SNL — after suffering injuries in a much publicized car accident last year, Morgan took some time off from the public eye to recuperate, only recently returning for an appearance at the Emmys and his first stand-up gig in over a year. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about Morgan’s return, and I can’t even imagine how nervous / excited he feels. But his return is most definitely a triumphant one, albeit with a few forgivable hiccups and only one truly mediocre sketch. Read on for our ranking of this week’s SNL sketches from best to worst.
Yesterday’s horrid SNL news aside, this weekend will bring one of the most anticipated outings of the year, as alumni Tracy Morgan returns to the SNL stage after 2014's debilitating accident. As we saw at the Emmys, Tracy is still Tracy, getting everyone pregnant, and mistaking Bobby Moynihan for Horatio Sanz, as one does.
For as much hype as SNL garnered in returning so many past alum for its 40th anniversary special, Eddie Murphy’s long-awaited return seemed curiously brief. Norm MacDonald since explained that the revered comedian had declined to portray Bill Cosby in the all-star Celebrity Jeopardy sketch, and now Murphy himself explains the decision.
Ever the human punchline, Donald Trump has braved some of his staunchest comedy critics in pursuit of the 2016 presidency. The blowhard billionaire even made headlines with which SNL player would tackle the role in Season 41, but all bets are off when “The Donald” himself hosts an upcoming November outing.
For a show that so often deals with politics, SNL rarely gets political. That makes the darkness of last night's fake commercial about guns all the more jaw-dropping. This show has been around for 41 seasons because it tends to play it safe on any issue that could actually stir up real trouble. But here we are, with the show dropping the gauntlet on a subject most people don't want to talk about at all.