Saturday Night Live

The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Louis C.K.

Amid new claims of sexual misconduct, comedian Louis C.K. took to the SNL stage to close out the show’s 40th season. As expected, there was no acknowledgement of the alleged incident (incidents, really, since these rumors have been popping up since 2012), with C.K. getting some uncomfortable laughs during his provocative monologue about child molesters. The 40th season’s final chapter has been, shocker, somewhat disappointing. Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson tackled cruddy material, while Taraji P. Henson and Dwayne Johnson fared better. But SNL has bounced back from worse, and the show’s growing pains are starting to temper. Say goodbye to 40 with C.K. and musical guest Rihanna, who was perhaps the best part of last night’s episode with a striking multimedia performance. … Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has bestowed upon us the “rancid pile of hot garbage” known as Hot Pursuit, which opened this weekend. The actress appeared on the SNL stage last night in the wake of the critical melee. Witherspoon hasn’t hosted SNL since 2001 — the first episode to air after the September… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to May 2015 Television Finales

So far this week, we’ve said goodbye to the debut season of Gotham and the fourth season of New Girl, signifying that we’re gearing up for the saddest time of the year: the end of the television season. Sure, we have a few anthology series and summer comedy  burn-offs coming up, but the real meat and potatoes of TV — the  prestige dramas and superhero thrillers and addictive sitcoms — are going on hiatus or, in some unfortunate cases, ending forever. Here’s a quick guide of May’s TV finales so you can make sure to follow your favorite shows through to the end. … Read More

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Leaked Sony Email Confirms Marvel’s Just as Clueless About “Female Movies” as You Thought

The Sony hack continues to present a conundrum for those of us with an interest in the “business” half of the movie business equation — yes, it’s stolen property, and a violation of privacy, and we’re all going to hell, and so on. But these emails also provide a rare unguarded (and thus valuable) look at how the sausage is made; they’re a guide to exactly how Hollywood’s most powerful people view matters of race and the pay gap (and, in the latter case, said emails have provided artillery for demands of parity). And now, a bit of newly unearthed correspondence reveals just how dense the folks who make your comic book movies are about who wants to see them, and who they should be about. … Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Scarlett Johansson

We’re in the final stretch of SNL’s big 40th season with a trio of hosts who are probably feeling the pressure. Scarlett Johansson kicks things off, followed by Reese Witherspoon and Louis C.K. on May 9 and 16, respectively. This isn’t Johansson’s first time on the Studio 8H stage, but it’s been a while — and now she’s a mom with, perhaps, a new perspective. We get a hint of that in her opening monologue, but it’s her Black Widow side that gets the biggest laugh of the night. Marvel at how it all went down last night (sorry), below. … Read More

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The Best and Worst Documentaries of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

Falling as close as it does on the calendar to Sundance and SXSW, the Tribeca Film Festival — which ended yesterday — doesn’t always get the first picks and highest-profile of narrative movies. But for years now, those who attend and cover the fest have watched it quietly become one of the best showcases around for documentary film, and this year’s 14th annual installment was no exception. Your film editor took in 21 of the nonfiction entries, and there’s barely a dud in the bunch; here’s a brief overview of what to keep an eye out for. … Read More

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The Guerrilla Feminism of ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ and Comedy Central’s Radical Sketch Shows

Early in the Season 3 premiere of Inside Amy Schumer, a football coach (Josh Charles) attempts to teach his team not to rape. The high school boys respond with extreme bafflement, trying to find loopholes: “Can we rape at away games?” they ask. “What if it’s Halloween and she’s dressed like a sexy cat?” And, most cutting and familiar, “What if she’s drunk and has a slight reputation and no one’s going to believe her?” The key to the sketch is in its increasing incredulousness, how the joke is punching up at those who perpetuate rape culture rather than at those who are the target of it. It’s not exactly something you can imagine on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, but it’s right at home among Comedy Central’s uproariously funny — and surprisingly socially conscious — sketch comedies.  … Read More

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‘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

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The Weirdest Vintage ‘SNL’ Musical Performances

Contemporary Saturday Night Live doesn’t always have its finger on the pulse the way it should. It’s done a few things wrong, like the ongoing race debacle that creators tried to make right with the recent hiring of more diverse cast members. SNL also isn’t nearly as edgy as it used to be, during the days of Eddie Murphy and John Belushi. But Studio 8H has, at least, always featured a wide variety of musical guests — some stranger than others. Dangerous Minds dug up a video of hardcore band Fear playing the SNL stage in 1981. Inspired by Lee Ving and company’s wild performance, we rounded up some other weird vintage musical… Read More

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