Jason Segel

10 ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketches Whose Only Joke Is Two Men Kissing

Sunday night, NBC will celebrate 40 years of Saturday Night Live with the SNL 40th Anniversary Special, a three-hour event featuring appearances from past cast members, hosts, and musical guests. SNL has a rich history that is certainly worthy of tribute — and there has been no shortage of them on the Internet this week. But, as everyone knows, it’s also a show that has run out of steam in recent years. While the episodes are never exactly bad, the comedy has a tendency to rehash one trite and tired joke: men kissing men. It’s the show’s laziest “punchline,” and one that is never very funny. Here are ten SNL sketches that rely on this boring joke. … Read More

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The Best and Worst of Sundance 2015 (Narrative Edition)

Come Sunday, the screens will go dark, the volunteers will turn in their vests, the tents will fall, and the 2015 Sundance Film Festival will come to a close. But as it winds down, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite and not-so-favorite films of this year’s fest. Yesterday, we ran down and ranked this year’s documentaries; now, to the narrative films, spinning fiction while still (hopefully) telling… Read More

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Sundance 2015: Jason Segel on Bringing David Foster Wallace to Life in ‘The End of the Tour’

PARK CITY, UT: We may not see a film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival that gets its key casting as right as James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour does. Based on Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, David Lipsky’s chronicle of five days spent with David Foster Wallace as he was becoming a literary superstar, the picture stars Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky and Jason Segel as Wallace. Both are working familiar grooves: Segel is the shambling, likable, aw-shucks guy plagued with uncertainty, Eisenberg the seemingly cocky yet clearly brittle smart guy with the chip on his shoulder. To say that they’re working within familiar types is not to diminish their work here; if anything, they push their screen personas into new territory, while Ponsoldt tries (and mostly succeeds) to capture something of the Wallace mythos. … Read More

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12 Sundance 2015 Movies We Can’t Wait to See

There’s always a feeling of tense anticipation heading into the Sundance Film Festival — after all, this is the starter pistol for the year in independent film, introducing film fans, critics, and the industry to the movies they may well be talking about all year. But this year’s festival (which kicks off tonight) falls squarely in the middle of an awards season dominated by last year’s biggest ticket, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, reminding us of exactly how far a splash at Sundance can take you. Will any of this year’s high-profile indies and docs take that kind of hold in 2015? Here are a dozen movies we’re keeping our eyes on in Park City — and beyond. … Read More

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‘Muppets Most Wanted’ Is Mostly Delightful, But Needs More Tina Fey

So, how odd is it that a Disney-produced Muppet movie has turned out to be the best cinematic vehicle to date for the considerable talents and charms of one Elizabeth Stamatina Fey? As Nadya, the stern head of a Russian gulag in Muppets Most Wanted, Tina Fey is funny and charming as hell, looks amazing, rocks an amusingly Boris-and-Natasha-esque accent, and shows off a surprisingly lovely singing voice in one of the picture’s best production numbers. That’s the good news for Fey fans; the bad is that she’s also woefully underutilized by the film, where she doesn’t turn up until the 30-minute mark and ends up with far less screen time than Ricky Gervais and even Ty Burrell. But that kind of mixed-bag assessment is typical of Most Wanted, though at least the film owns it, kicking off by lyrically acknowledging, “everyone knows the sequel’s never quite as good.” … Read More

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What Would It Take to Make Jason Segel an Acceptable David Foster Wallace?

As The Awl pointed out, Twitter had a mini-explosion today when the news broke that Jason Segel will be playing David Foster Wallace opposite Jesse Eisenberg’s David Lipsky in a movie version of Lipsky’s Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. The reasons cited for the freakout tend to vary: some think that a guy who starred in and wrote the Muppets’ latest film doesn’t have any business playing the Infinite Jest author (we call those people snobs); others fall into the “They don’t really look anything alike” camp; and then there are those who would throw up their hands and shriek “Too soon!” in response to a film coming out about an author whose suicide is still very fresh in our minds. … Read More

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The Early Audition Tapes of Your Favorite Comics

Earlier this week, Conan O’Brien’s website commemorated the 20th anniversary of his audition for Late Night by releasing a short clip from it, an abbreviated “mock show” in which he interviewed Mimi Rogers and Jason Alexander in front of a live studio audience. O’Brien is clearly nervous (and can you blame him?), but Lorne Michaels and the Late Night producers saw something in that performance, and gave him a shot. That’s the beauty of the great comic audition — even when a talent is a little rough around the edges, the joy of discovering someone fresh, new, and funny wins out. After the jump, we’ll take a look at that tape and several other killer auditions from very funny folks. … Read More

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10 Great 2012 Movies You Can Watch Right Now

As the year comes to an end, the heavy concentration of movies still in theaters — or, even worse, not yet in them — can get a little frustrating. In preparing our own “best of 2012″ list (keep an eye out for it next week), we wanted to take the opportunity to point out some of the less-discussed films of this very, very good year for movies. These are films that didn’t quite make it on our final list, but runners-up that are not only well-deserving of your time and attention, but available for viewing via Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo, or other services — at this very moment, for anywhere from ten to zero dollars. Do some holiday-break movie cramming after the jump, and just follow the link to find out how to watch it now (via our friends at GoWatchIt). … Read More

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