Lorne Michaels

‘Live From New York!’ Documentary Is More Than Just a History of ‘SNL’

When the Tribeca Film Festival announced this year’s opening night selection was Live From New York!, a documentary about the history and impact of Saturday Night Live, your correspondent felt a mixture of excitement and concern — the former as a longtime fan and aficionado of the show, the latter as someone who, as a longtime fan and aficionado of the show, wonders what the hell’s left to say about it. We are, after all, celebrating (and, it seems, celebrating and celebrating and celebrating) the 40th year of its existence, and between the anniversary pieces and books and that ragtag mess of an SNL 40 special, we’re flirting with a serious case of burnout, and the anniversary itself is still several months away. So it’s a relief to report that Live From New York!, which kicked off the fest last night with a raucous screening at New York’s Beacon Theatre, isn’t just a rehash of the same old stories and clips. It’s a stylish and entertaining examination of why it’s still on the air, 40 years on — and why we’re still talking about it. … Read More

  • 0

The Greatest Multi-Taskers in Pop Culture

Presented by Naked Juice

We live in the age of the multi-hyphenate, when kids dream of becoming musician-magicians, moonlighting as librarians. Steve Jobs himself advised us to keep our goals fluid, even if it meant doing something completely different. And he wasn’t the only one. These nine musicians, actors, and artists don’t just roll with the punches, they punch back with even fresher ideas. While we’d like to ask in person about the secrets to their extreme productivity, none of them have slowed down enough to reply — yet. For now, we’ll satisfy our multi-tasking urge with a Naked Juice. If you can’t eat ’em, drink ’em! Read on for the greatest multi-taskers in pop culture. … Read More

  • 0

Celebrate Leslie Jones’ “Saturday Night Live” Promotion with Her Career Highlights to Date

SNL writer, stand-up comedian, and all-around hero lady Leslie Jones was officially promoted to featured player last night, and those of us who’ve been paying attention to the sketch show’s 40th season know the news was a long time coming. Since joining the show as a writer at the beginning of 2014 — part of the same talent search that recruited cast member Sasheer Zamata and fellow writer LaKendra Tookes, who has since left the show — Jones has become one of the show’s most memorable faces, even without her name in the opening credits. Here’s some of Jones’s best material; watch it all, and get as excited as we are for this Saturday. … Read More

  • 0

James Franco’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Documentary Isn’t James Franco-y Enough

James Franco constantly gets bored and switches careers, always moving on to gleefully experiment with (and sometimes destroy) a different job: painting, writing, teaching, and so on. This week, James Franco is a documentarian. Well, technically, James Franco was a documentarian in 2008 when he filmed a short for an NYU film class in which he went behind the scenes at Saturday Night Live. The project was later expanded into a feature-length film and is finally available for public viewing with its debut on Hulu Plus today. The end result is strange in that it’s not strange. Saturday Night isn’t very James Franco-like; instead, it’s a straightforward and simplistic documentary that tells us a lot of what we already knew.  … Read More

  • 0

What Jerry Seinfeld and Lorne Michaels Are Really Saying: White Men Are Just Funnier

The debate over women and people of color in comedy continues apace this week with two new entrants. In one corner, we have a new interview from Saturday Night Live‘s Lorne Michaels. Asked by Vulture when he realized SNL had a diversity problem, he said he’d noticed it “last summer,” which seems a little late in its just-about-40-year history. … Read More

  • 0

Is It Time for Lorne Michaels to Leave ‘SNL’?

A few weeks ago, Saturday Night Live directly responded to the widespread criticism that the show has a problem with diversity in a cold open featuring Kerry Washington who, as a black woman, was slated to play every single black female character on the episode. I thought it was a pretty good sketch, with its meta commentary, although it infuriated some people who felt that the joke was on them rather than SNL‘s whitewashed cast and crew. Apparently, that was enough of a statement for Lorne Michaels and his show, as the remaining four hosts for the year are all white guys, not to mention that the upcoming musical guests (other than this week’s, HAIM) are overwhelmingly white guys. Is this perhaps indicative of Michaels’ growing limitations as a producer? Is he only able to see the world through the lens of an older white guy? … Read More

  • 0