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.
There’s something to be said for a documentary that can be interesting to a potential audience member who had no prior interest whatsoever in the topic of the documentary. In this respect, James Franco’s ‘Saturday Night’ – which chronicles the making of one episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ from start to finish (which is now available on Hulu Plus) – sort of fails. But, to be fair, I’m not sure that was ever the point. If someone has no interest in ‘Saturday Night Live’ whatsoever, ‘Saturday Night’ isn’t going to be particularly appealing; it’s the definition of “wonky.” On the other hand, for people who do like ‘Saturday Night Live’ (this reporter falls into that category), boy, ‘Saturday Night’ is an absolute delight. It ranks alongside Tom Shales' and James Miller’s ‘Live From New York’ as a must see/read for ‘SNL ‘ fans.
While we understand that Chris Pratt is a very busy guy, we've got a humble request for the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' star: can he be on 'The Tonight Show' every night? Pratt hit Jimmy Fallon's show last night to get the crowd -- nay, the world -- pumped about his hosting gig on 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend and just ended up charming everyone. He didn't even need to promote anything, he just needed to be.
Whether the 'SNL' shakeups of season 40 have truly come to a close or not, this Saturday will see 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Parks and Recreation' star Chris Pratt kicking off the premiere in Star-Lord style. Feast your faces on seven-full minutes of promo goodness, as Chris Pratt takes the 'SNL' stage for the first time!
Heading into 'SNL''s 40th season premiere this coming weekend, we've heard plenty of additions to the cast and more than a few changes along the way, but we may already have our first major departure. A new report suggests that current senior cast member Kenan Thompson will say goodbye after the current season, leaving the 'SNL' cast behind for good.
Just when we thought news of 'SNL' season 40's big shakeups and early host announcements had come to a standstill before the September 27 premiere, yet another famous face may make a return appearance on the long-running NBC sketch comedy series. According to a new report, Jim Carrey will make his third hosting turn in an early season 40 episode, in promotion of upcoming sequel 'Dumb and Dumber To.'
Of the many changes in store for the 40th season of 'SNL,' none would prove so heartbreaking as the loss of beloved announcer Don Pardo, who passed away earlier this year. No one could ever replace Pardo's distinct intonation announcing every 'SNL' installment, though the new voice of the sketch comedy series will at least be a familiar one, as distinguished alum Darrell Hammond takes the mic.
Early reports on 'SNL' season 40's inaugural three hosts pegged 'Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt and comedian Sarah Silverman, though it seems reports of series alum Bill Murray were only half-right. 'SNL' has indeed tapped a legendary departed cast member for its third season 40 host, that of more recent alumni Bill Hader!
It was actually a little odd that we learned the fates of Brooks Wheelan, Noël Wells and John Milhiser so early, way back in July. I do wonder if Wheelan forced NBC’s hand a little bit on those announcements by broadcasting that he was off the show via his Twitter account. The names may have been a surprise, but it wasn’t shocking that something was going to change on ‘Saturday Night Live’ this season as we enter the show’s 40th season.
Former 'SNL' head writer Seth Meyers has made it his business to bring some of those sketches cut from 'SNL' to his own 'Late Night' show, and the results have so far been uproarious. While Will Forte's cut bit got the full sketch treatment a few months ago, Bill Hader didn't need those same bells and whistles. After all, his snipped sketch just involved him putting on a weirdly nuanced impression of '60 Minutes' anchor Bob Simon.