Betty White has become a national treasure in the last few years, possibly because, despite her age (she’s currently 91), she seems to have the presence of mind to deliver lines and, you know, stand upright on her own. It’s a rarity for an elderly performer to achieve such hero status (especially a female entertainer), which is what makes White such a refreshing actress: she appeals more to female and gay audiences then your typical white, straight American males. Moreover, her most frequent bits as of late — the ones that are written for her, of course — are heavily sexualized, featuring tongue-in-cheek innuendos and double entendres. But is the sexualization of the nonagenarian evidence of our culture’s exploitative obsession with turning sex into a big joke? … Read More
Saturday Night Live
It was an emotional season finale with several regular cast members making their exit — or close to it if the rumors are true. Seth Meyers is slated to take over hosting duties for NBC’s Late Night, but will remain on board at least through the fall. Bill Hader said a tearful goodbye last night after eight years on the show. We’re thankful the eps were Hader-heavy. The closing shot of him doling out bear hugs was sweet. Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis are “probably” taking their leave. One man, however, dominated the night: Kanye West. … Read More
One of Flavorwire’s favorite people, Tina Fey, turns 43 years old today, so we’re marking the occasion in the best way we know how — by rounding up some of the funniest witticisms and best advice from the brilliant and funny writer/comedienne. We’ve got one for every year, so click through for her thoughts on working motherhood, celebrity, homophobia, strip clubs, and Mark Wahlberg’s… Read More
Bill Hader announced this morning that he’ll be leaving Saturday Night Live at the end of this season, putting a wrap on an impressive eight years on the sketch-comedy series. This Saturday will be his last episode, and while we’re sure to see some of his recurring characters pop in (especially Stefon, his most famous), we’re hoping for one last chance to see Hader doing what he does best: playing a hilariously smarmy game-show host. Through his run at SNL, Hader played the straight-man in a handful of game show sketches, doing his best to keep his lips sealed while chaos ensued around him. His oddball and creepy game show hosts — all a variation on the same concept — have become a staple in the last decade. To celebrate Hader, here’s a compendium of his game-show sketches. … Read More
When Kristen Wiig left SNL last year, Mick Jagger hosted her final episode and gave the Bridesmaids star, writer, and producer an emotional send-off. Wiig was exuberant for her return last night and seemed to be having a blast with former castmates Bill Hader and Fred Armisen, holding back the laughter during several sketches. She was given a warm homecoming with open arms, several friends popped by to lend a funny, and musical guest Vampire Weekend performed “Diane Young” and “Unbelievers.” We wondered if the episode would rely on Wiig’s best-of, and for the most part it did – not unlike Zach Galifianakis’ comfortable (as comfy as things get with him), middle-of-the-road moments last week. The frustration with Wiig’s speedy return to the series is twofold. … Read More
This is the third time that Zach Galifianakis has hosted SNL, but his first time making funny with several newcomers in the cast. We wondered if he’d find crazy chemistry with anyone, but the spotlight was on the Hangover comedian most of the evening. His bizarre and often aggressive brand of humor doesn’t always translate well for live television, sometimes alienating audiences, but all was redeemed in a two-part sketch with a surprise guest appearance (one of several throughout the show). It turned a clunky beginning into the best payoff of the night. Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men showed up to sing that seafaring song that gets stuck in your head for days whether you like it or not, and the episode sprinkled with rewarding moments and no major regrets ended. … Read More
It was 17 years ago that Vince Vaughn played Trent in Doug Liman’s Swingers, the fast-talking Los Angeles scenester with a thing for cocktails and the waitresses that serve them. There are tons of Hollywood wannabes like Trent, but Vaughn’s good looks and manic delivery made it hilarious and believable. He was “money.” … Read More
Melissa McCarthy didn’t waste any time getting right to the funny stuff in last night’s episode of SNL, with musical guest Phoenix. She entered the stage staggering in sky-high stripper heels, face-planting in front of the band. The gag was more nuanced than we’re describing, which is what we love about the actress. You can watch it, below.
McCarthy is easily as gifted as Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and SNL’s other greatest ladies. Her commitment to a role is unwavering, and her physical comedy skills show courage and a willingness to stretch boundaries that’s on par with other uninhibited SNL all-stars like Will Ferrell and the late, great Chris Farley.
For McCarthy’s second hosting appearance, the writers leaned a little too heavily on the Bridesmaids star as the same crude and ridiculous character for nearly every sketch: the clumsy, oblivious, frumpy woman. She’s certainly adept at playing the loose canon, but just as things started to venture somewhere different, tired comedy like the food jokes — this time ham and pizza — returned. Also, where the hell were the other women? This ep felt more guy-heavy than usual. We took a look at more of the best and worst of last night’s episode after the jump. … Read More
The great Alec Baldwin turns 55 years old today, and in attempting to cook up a proper tribute to him, we realized that his is a body of work less about hours than moments, less about films or shows than particular scenes. His career trajectory has been an unusual one: though he was initially pegged as a marquee leading man, he never quite found success as one. The good stuff came later, when he reinvented himself as a character actor, the kind of gunslinger who could parachute in for a supporting role, crush it in a couple of scenes, and slip out the back door. So to mark his 55 years, we’ve rounded up our ten favorite Alec Baldwin scenes, from film and television, for your consideration. … Read More
Gallery 1988, you’ve done it again. Our favorite pop culture-obsessed art gallery unveiled a new show last weekend, and it’s a doozy: Is This Thing On #2 Too, featuring art inspired by Saturday Night Live, with everyone from Matt Foley to the Blues Brothers to the Church Lady to Toonces the Driving Cat immortalized on canvas (and even in ceramic). After the jump, have a look at some of our favorites for the exhibit — and click on the title of each piece to grab a print of your own via Gallery 1988’s online store. … Read More