Around this time last year, SNL presented a commercial parody centering around Totino’s Pizza Rolls, just in time for the Super Bowl. And it was a nasty piece of business, tearing apart the image of the NFL’s biggest game as a day for men and imprisoning Vanessa Bayer’s indefatigable housewife in the kitchen, where she was simply tasked with warming up more disgusting food. So when SNL aired another Totino’s sketch in last night’s episode, we simply assumed it would be a carbon copy of the first one. Boy, were we wrong.
SNL commercial parodies are at their best when they’re at their most scathing. The fake ad for a fictional dating app called Settl may not be as dark as that vicious, pro-gun parody from a while back, but it’s a different brand of cynical: Here is the app for people who are tired of trying to find the right person and just want to settle down with, well, any person.
While traditional live sketches are still the backbone of any given episode, modern SNL is frequently at its best in the pre-recorded segments. The past few years have seen an interesting evolution as the silly “digital shorts” of a decade ago have matured into full-blown filmmaking, with sketches that feel more like short films than just a comedy bit. Last night’s Ryan Gosling-hosted episode peaked with a pre-recorded sketch titled “Santa Baby,” which let both SNL and Gosling himself turn the weird up to 11.
Whenever the women of SNL get to together make a music video, it tends to be the highlight of the show. The show’s female line-up is the strongest it has been in years (dare we say ever?) and their fearlessness is only matched by their comedy chops. Nothing is off limits and they‘re not afraid to embrace their femininity in ways that feels honest, insightful, and occasionally deeply weird. Like this sketch, which finds Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Cecily Strong, Vanessa Bayer, and guest host Elizabeth Banks singing all about the men who first turned them on when they were young girls.
Last night’s SNL was marred by a guest host who was only there because the show wanted to ride his controversial coattails to a few extra headlines. And it worked. Everyone was talking about Donald Trump being on the newest episode of SNL. Unfortunately, publicity does not a good episode make and the Presidential hopeful showcased a distinct lack of talent and comedic chops. Thankfully, there were sketches that didn’t feature him and some of those were good. Take the “Bad Girls” video, which is evidence that the current crop of women on the show may very well be the anti-Trump when it comes to being watchable and funny.
There were a lot of very funny people sharing the screen with Amy Schumer in this summer's hit movie Trainwreck, but only one of them was a current SNL cast member who could reunite with her on the small screen for a very funny, very silly sketch. We didn't think we'd be so happy to see Schumer and Vanessa Bayer sharing the screen again, but we underestimated how much we enjoyed this duo on the big screen, even though they only shared a few scenes together.
Season 41 of SNL returned Miley Cyrus to the stage for a ho-hum premiere this past weekend, but all eyes are on Amy Schumer’s first hosting this coming Saturday. The first promo has arrived, already staging a Trainwreck reunion. Well, sort of.
It’s hard to dislike Taylor Swift, the rare pop star whose entire public persona seems to be built upon the fact that she’s gracious toward her passionate fans and a warrior for hard-working artists who just want to get paid for their work. It’s easy to join the cult of Taylor — even if her music isn’t for you, she seems like good people. But what happens when the entire world devotes their lives to their new pop idol master? SNL’s fake trailer for The Squad gives us an answer.
You know who doesn’t get enough credit on ‘SNL’ sometimes? Longtime cast member Vanessa Bayer. And while we didn’t get a new episode of ‘SNL’ this weekend, Bayer has teamed up with Audi and ‘50 Shades of Grey’ for a delightful spoof of the elevator scene from the trailers—you know, where Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele is nervously riding the elevator to meet Christian Grey for the first time. Only in Bayer’s version, Ana is a little more…proactive.
The always-welcome weirdness of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s IFC ‘Portlandia’ will return in 2015 for its fifth season (might it be the last?) on January 8, and this season might be the biggest yet. The first full trailer for ‘Portlandia’ season 5 has eco-biked its way down the hill, bringing an “epic” tone and more guest stars than we can rightly shake an organic celery stalk at.