Entries tagged with: SNL
by Bill Pearis
Saturday Night Live is gearing up for its 41st season and they've just announced the first three hosts: Miley Cyrus will host the season premiere on October 3, then it's Amy Schumer on 10/10 and former SNL castmember Tracy Morgan on 10/17. The latter is especially notable as it will be Morgan's first comedic work since the horrific 2014 car accident that killed his friend James McNair and left Morgan in critical condition. This will only be his second public appearance since the crash, the first being a Today Show interview back in June where he revealed he's still suffering effects from the traumatic brain injury he incurred in the accident. Tracy, glad to have you back and looking forward to a new Brian Fellows sketch.
No word on musical guests yet. Stay tuned.
The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary was a spectacle, bringing together most of the show's famous cast, guest hosts, and favorite musical guests for a three-and-a-half hour extravaganza (with commercials, and not counting the extra hour of red carpet interviews that started an hour earlier on NBC). On the musical front, Kanye West got a lot of air time, performing "Jesus Walks" (while on his back), then getting up for "Only One" and new song "Wolves" (complete with ice-blue contact lenses) with Sia in a white wig, and Vic Mensa. Class skits were revisited, and Kanye was the target of some jokes in the new "Wayne's World" segment where "Kanye, Sit Down" came in at #5 on their Top 10 List.
Sia's wig would later appear on Zach Galifianakis when he introduced new Digital Short, "That's When You Break," that starred Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler (and clips of SNL actors cracking up ["breaking"] on camera). There was also Paul McCartney, who played Irving Plaza the night before, performing "I've Just Seen a Face" with Paul Simon and then "Maybe I'm Amazed." (He was very memorably, hilariously introduced by Keith Richards.) Later in the show Simon, introduced by Jack White, would come back out for "Still Crazy After All These Years" Related: Miley Cyrus covered Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (with Fred Armisen on invaluable tambourine, and Paul McCartney's drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. playing as part of her band too). Miley was introduced by Win Butler and frequent guest-host Candice Bergen.
Best buds Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon opened the show with a pretty impressive Beasties-style rap that chronicled the history of SNL. Later in the show Martin Short and Maya Rudolph (as Beyoncé) did a tribute to the many comedy musical sketches over the years many of whom made their return: Bill Murray's lounge singer (still great), Joe Piscopo as Frank Sinatra, Marty & Bobbi Culp (Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer), and The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd was wearing his Crystal Skull vodka knit hat on the red carpet).
The SNL band got a big shout-out too, which saw the return of longtime guitarist G.E. Smith. Late bassist Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, who Smith played with on SNL and in Hall & Oates' band and died in 2010, was acknowledged in the "In Memoriam" segment that, hilariously, also included Jon Lovitz (who, not dead, was in the audience waving incredulously both times he was referred to as dead during the show). There was also a tribute to Tracy Morgan who is still recovering from a near-fatal car crash.
We got a lot of updates of classic sketches including the welcome return of "Celebrity Jeopardy," the maybe less welcome "The Californians" (with original cast member Laraine Newman, Taylor Swift> and a game Bradley Cooper who got to make out with Betty White), and Ackroyd did his famous "Bass-O-Matic" sketch again.
What else: Tina Fey and Amy Pohler did Weekend Update with Jane Curtain (and Edward Norton as Stefon and Melissa McCarthy as Chris Farley character Matt Foley); Jerry Seinfeld fielded questions from audience members Michael Douglas, John Goodman, James Franco, Larry David, Tim Meadows, Dakota Johnson and Sarah Palin; and Chris Rock paid tribute to Eddie Murphy who came out on the SNL stage for the first time in 30 years. That may have been one of the most awkward moments of the night. Everyone was hoping Eddie, who also talked to Al Roker on the red carpet in the pre-show, would perform, but that unfortunately didn't happen.
There was lots more: Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, a sports montage, a shorts montage.... You can watch the whole thing over at NBC.com. More pictures and clips of many of the highlights, below...
La Colombe photos by P Squared Photography
barista Win Butler serving up his new Haitian coffee blend
Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler had a busy weekend in NYC. His eventful three days began on Friday when he played the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game at MSG. His team, The West, beat The East (which Common and others were on) 59-51. Win had eight points and 12 boards. You can watch a video of him doing a layup, below.
He was wearing his Kanye West-designed Nike Red Octobers (not to be confused with Kanye's new Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost shoe that he debuted last week). Win's brother/bandmate Will tweeted "Kanye, you have to fix this #MVP thing. They have to respect the artistry" after Kevin Hart (who returns to MSG in July) got MVP.
After the game, Win headed to Bowery Ballroom where he was one of several DJs at the Rock On Foundation benefit, as DJ Windows 98. The Hold Steady headlined. Other DJs included members of Vampire Weekend, Das Racist and Caveman. That's him at Bowery pictured above.
Then Saturday afternoon Win headed to La Colombe cafe in Hudson Square where he acted as a barista, serving his new blend of RaRa Haitian Coffee that he created in partnership with La Colombe. The blend was partially to benefit Haiti, with proceeds going to Partners In Health and Haiti Coffee Academy. We stopped by the cafe to see barista Win in action, and while we were there he jumped on a table to give a speech about how the coffee is for a good cause. He then gave out sample cups to the crowd, took pictures with fans, and signed stuff. Some pictures of that are in this post.
That night, he was back under his DJ Windows 98 guise to get a late-night party at Baby's All Right going. Anyone catch that? UPDATE: Win now uploaded a mashup of Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" and Beck's "Loser" which (according to a commenter below) he played back to back at Baby's. Listen below.
Finally, on Sunday Win headed to SNL's 40th anniversary to introduce Miley Cyrus. Some people were not happy about this decision. Here are some tweets:
Talented: Win Butler, Jack White. Not talented: Miley Cyrus, Kanye West. Understood SNL? #SNL40— AbsoluteQuinn (@AbsoluteLunati6) February 16, 2015
In a personal affront to musical talent, SNL just made Win Butler introduce Miley Cyrus.— Bethany Biron (@bethanybiron) February 16, 2015
Having Win Butler introduce a performance by Miley Cyrus, and not the other way around, is emblematic of everything wrong with SNL today.— Thomas Pashko (@thomaspashko) February 16, 2015
are you kidding me...having Win Butler introduce Miley Cyrus?? log off, SNL— Mike Smith© (@TheMikes_) February 16, 2015
Actually sat through SNL just to have Jack White appear for 3 seconds, Win Butler introduce Miley Cyrus, and Fiona Apple not appear at all— Hannah (@spooketti) February 16, 2015
SNL: *includes Arcade Fire in list of guests* SNL: *Has Win Butler introduce Miley Cyrus*— Sara (@Saraa26) February 16, 2015
More pictures of Win's weekend, including shots of him as a barista, a basketball player and a DJ, below...
would you call that shade of green "avocado"?
Jack White was one of the many, many famous folk who appeared on last night's Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special. He didn't perform a song, but looking very smart in a tux and slicked-up hair, Jack did introduce Paul Simon's musical performance.
Earlier Sunday, he vented some steam about the whole "guacamolegate" thing via a letter on the Third Man website. It seemed to stem from a story NPR did over the weekend where they tested Jack's recipe with a chef (a London-based Peruvian chef, which was an odd choice?) who called it more of a salad than a traditional guac. Jack says not only is it not "his" recipe, he's never eaten it:
first off, this is none of your business, but i have no specific demands in my dressing room. i know i could ask for lots of things but i actually don't ask for ANYTHING. i take with me what i need, and that ain't much. anything on the rider is for the band and the crew. this "guacamole recipe" is my hilarious tour managers inside joke with the local promoters, it's his recipe, not mine. it's just something to break up the boredom, seeing who can make it best. though i wouldn't know because i've never had it. i can't even make kool aid let alone cook any real food enough to have a "recipe." sorry, i don't have that talent.He gets a bunch of other stuff off his chest, too, and you can read the whole thing below.
by Andrew Sacher
Paul McCartney celebrated Valentine's Day in style, coming to NYC for an extremely intimate show at Irving Plaza, a 1000-capacity venue -- compared to his two nights in 2013 at the 18,000-capacity Barclays Center and his two nights in 2011 at the 50,000-capacity Yankee Stadium. A few hundred tickets were sold that morning, but needless to say it was nearly impossible to get into, and even ticketholders were waiting on a huge line down the block (it moved fast though). The show coincided with Paul's appearance at SNL's 40th anniversary tonight, and tons of famous faces were watching from the VIP balcony, including Meryl Streep, Fred Armisen, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, David Spade, Steve Van Zandt, Chris Rock and more. It's a big weekend for surprise shows in NYC in general, also thanks to NBA All-Star Weekend and Fashion Week resulting in the previous night's private Drake / Nas show at the same venue, the Prince show on Wall Street that night, and the Kanye West show at Flatiron Pedestrian Plaza on Thursday.
Because of the occasion, the show was a little different than other Paul McCartney shows. He and his band took the stage at the late hour of 11 PM, and played a 26-song, one-encore set that ended just over an hour and a half later (as opposed to his 38-song, two-encore set at his recent Barclays Center show). They spent a good portion of the night playing acoustic guitar-led songs, and they seemed to be choosing the setlist based mostly on love-themed material (for example, we didn't get "A Day In The Life," "Live and Let Die," "Helter Skelter," "Eleanor Rigby" and other huge live staples). But you don't leave a Paul McCartney show at a venue that size and get picky about the setlist. When he did play the heavy hitters, the whole place lit up like only few concerts ever can. Not many live music experiences rival a tightly-packed awestruck crowd of 1,000 people singing "Eight Days a Week," "All My Loving," "I've Just Seen A Face," "We Can Work It Out," "And I Love Her," "Lady Madonna," "Drive My Car," "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," "Back in the U.S.S.R.," "Let it Be" and "Hey Jude" right back at the guy who wrote them.
The one spectacle of the night happened during "My Valentine," which Paul dedicated to his wife Nancy who was in the audience, when red confetti poured out over the crowd. Other than that, we just got to see Paul and his fantastic band for exactly what they are: a fantastic band. No videos playing behind them of The Beatles in their early days, no fancy lights, no rainbow-colored piano pushed to center stage. Just a few guys playing some of the best rock and roll songs ever written without a misstep in sight. Every four-part harmony, every guitar solo, and every minor embellishment was played exactly the way you remember it. It really doesn't need to be said, but in case there was any doubt, popular music's most ageless frontman and his band are flawless.
A few more pictures, videos, and the setlist from the show, below...
As mentioned, Saturday Night Live will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a three-hour live special on February 15 (which is Sunday, by the way). Former castmember Eddie Murphy, who hasn't appeared on the show (which he doesn't have especially fond memories of) since 1984, will return for the special which also features a cavalcade of other past castmembers: Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Mike Myers, Andy Samberg, Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Dana Carvey, Kristen Wiig, Dan Aykroyd, Chris Rock, Garrett Morris, and Maya Rudolph.
There will aslo be lots of former SNL hosts as well, including Five Timers Club members Tom Hanks, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon, Justin Timberlake, Christopher Walken, and Steve Martin, plus Emma Stone, John Hamm, Derek Jeter, Melissa McCarthy, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Jim Carrey, Peyton Manning, Betty White and many more yet to be announced.
In addition to Timberlake and Simon, other musicians appearing on SNL 40 will be Kanye West, Paul McCartney, and Taylor Swift. The Saturday Night Live Special runs from 8 - 11 PM on 2/15. You can watch a couple of promos for the special below.
And in related news, Eddie Murphy, who has dabbled in music in the past, having scored a hit in 1985 with the Rick James-produced "Party All the Time," recently released a reggae single "Oh Jah" which you can stream below. It's not his first dip into the genre -- he released a single with Snoop Lion in 2013 and collaborated with Shabba Ranks in 1993.
This past week's SNL featured D'Angelo.
To quote Fader, "D'Angelo made his debut Saturday Night Live performance tonight and his first TV appearance since releasing his surprise album Black Messiah. Accompanied by his backing band The Vanguard, the '90s icon sang through "Really Love" and "The Charade," both of which appear on his latest record."
As CoS also points out, "During the latter, D'Angelo wore a hoodie, the Vanguard members donned "I Can't Breathe" t-shirts, and a stencil of a body outlined the stage floor -- powerful references to the recent killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner."
Catch D'Angelo live at the Apollo on 2/7, or in Europe. All tour dates are also listed below...
by Bill Pearis
The weekend before D'Angelo plays his now sold-out show at The Apollo (2/7), he'll appear as the musical guest on the January 31 episode of Saturday Night Live with host JK Simmons of Whiplash (and Oz and those Farmers Insurance commercials). This will be his first appearance on the show and certainly his biggest moment in the spotlight since returning to action last year. This weekend (1/24), meanwhile, SNL has country star and The Voice judge Blake Shelton as both host and musical guest. Then on Sunday, February 15, it's the big three-hour SNL 40th Anniversary prime time special.
Leading up to that, VH1 Classic will have a 19-day, 433-hour marathon of episodes from every season of Saturday Night Live that runs from January 28 - February 15. This will include, hopefully, some lesser-seen episodes, like from the years from 1981 - 1985 when Lorne Michaels quit and Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer. Or the rarely seen '85-'86 year when Michaels returned with a cast that included Robert Downey Jr, Randy Quaid and Anthony Michael Hall (who were all let go at the end of the season). In addition to showing whole episodes there will be daily theme blocks, like all six episodes with Justin Timberlake (January 31, 4 - 10 PM). I just hope they make room for "Jackie Rogers Jr's $100,000 Jackpod Wad."
Saturday Night Live took on Bushwick, Brooklyn gentrification this weekend, as you can watch in the video below..
by Bill Pearis
Bowie with Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias on 'SNL,' 1980
Happy Birthday to David Bowie who turns 68 today. (Today is also Elvis' birthday, he would've been 80.) In tribute, we offer a roundup of recent items related to the Thin White Duke:
It only too 35 years for anyone to notice, but people seem to have just caught on this week that Bowie's 1980 performance of "Boys Keep Swinging" on Saturday Night Live featured a green-screen puppet version of the singer with a giant pop-up penis. It's more than a little ironic, as NBC Censors made the singer remove the lyric "When you're a boy, other boys check you out!" for the performance. The "Boys Keep Swinging" SNL performance is also notable as Klaus Nomi and downtown drag icon Joey Arias are the backup singers. You can watch it, and his SNL performance of "The Man Who Sold the World" from the same episode, below (fast forward to the end if all you want to see is the thrill).
That SNL performance is also when Bowie still had his original extremely British smile, which has since been cleaned up with cosmetic dental work. Some folks preferred his original choppers, such as artist Jessine Hein who has made a hand-sculpted recreation of Bowie's teeth via denture acrylics. See for yourself:
Speaking of art, the "David Bowie Is" exhibit just closed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, which turned out to be the most popular exhibit in the museum's history! It featured costumes, original pages of lyrics, storyboards, drawings, concept art and more. There was also a related "Bowie Changes" events series that featured talks with St. Vincent, of Montreal's Kevin Barnes and more, plus a concert where Disappears played Low in full and Bobby Conn played Station to Station in full. The MCA was the only stop for "David Bowie Is" in the U.S. unfortunately, but there is a commemorative coffee table book.
We haven't heard of any Bowie tribute concerts in NYC, but Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti played City Winery over the weekend (1/3) where he played a few of the songs he worked on, with a few special guests (no, not that special):
The perfectly balanced set of 19 songs was selected from the three or four thousand songs that Visconti has played on, produced or mixed over his fabled career in music. The exceptional highlights for Bowie fans included Suzanne Vega's divine singing on 'The Man Who Sold The World', a haunting version of the dystopian epic 'Sweet Thing/Candidate' sung by Richie Barone and a roof-lifting, barn-storming 'Young Americans' sung by Nakia.Setlist for Tony Visconti's City Winery shows, plus those Bowie SNL videos from 1980, below...
Says the press release:
Music icon Prince returns to the SNL stage on November 1st marking his third time as musical guest. The evening also marks former SNL cast member Chris Rock's return as host.I do declare.
The November 1st performance promises to be one for the record books and will feature his band, 3RDEYEGIRL (Guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford Welton and bassist Ida Nielsen).
This is the first television performance from Prince since the release of his two chart-topping albums, ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM, on September 30th. ART OFFICIAL AGE, Prince's solo album, bowed in at #1 on Billboard's R&B Chart while PLECTRUMELECTRUM, featuring Prince's new band 3RDEYEGIRL, debuted at #1 on the Rock Chart, making Prince the first artist in over a decade to debut two albums in the Top 10 at the same time. The New York Times declared, "Prince at his best doesn't just collect and recreate genres; he smashes them together."
by Bill Pearis
Hooks (left) with fellow Sweeney sister, Nora Dunn
It's been a tough year for the comedy world. We just lost another talent: Jan Hooks, who died today at age 57 after "battling a serious illness." Hooks is best known as a Saturday Night Live castmember from 1986 - 1991. She was hired at the same time as Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, and Kevin Nealon, and the sketch show was just off of one of the most infamously bad seasons it's history (only Dennis Miller, Jon Lovitz and Nora Dunn survived the axe from that cast). That cast she was a part of would become known as one of the best SNL casts ever. She was best known for playing Tammy Faye Baker, Nancy Reagan, Sinead O'Connor... with Dunn, one half of lounge act The Sweeney Sisters. She Hartman had an especially good chemistry together. You can watch a few classic SNL sketches below (including the very touching "Love is a Dream" short with Hartman that may have you reaching for Kleenex).
After SNL, she was a castmember of Designing Women, and made regular appearances on 3rd Rock from the Sun, Primetime Glick, and 30 Rock, among other shows. She was one of the great ones. Rest in peace, Jan. I hope you're dancing with Phil somewhere.
NBC's Saturday Night Live is hitting a milestone this fall, as the upcoming season will be its 40th. The show returns on September 27 with Parks & Rec's Chris Pratt as host and Ariana Grande as musical guest. Then on October 5 it's host Sarah Silverman and Maroon 5.
In more exciting SNL news, comedian Michael Che will become the first African American 'Weekend Update' anchor, replacing Cecily Strong as Colin Jost's co-host. Che, a regular in the NYC alt-comedy scene and on this site, had been a writer on SNL before leaving to become a Daily Show correspondent. Strong is still on the show, and apparently asked to step down, preferring to work on sketches.
As mentioned before, castmembers Brooks Whelan, John Milhiser, Nasim Pedrad, Noël Wells are all not returning this year. New cast has not been announced. The show also lost announcer Don Pardo, who died at age 96 this summer.
In celebration of SNL's 40th anniversary, NBC will be airing old episodes of SNL -- one from each season -- on Saturday nights at 10 PM. Whether this includes the weird years where Lorne Michaels left the show and it was run by Dick Ebersol, remains to be seen.
In related news, onetime castmember Ana Gasteyer (1996 - 2002) is performing at Joe's Pub on September 29. It's a release show for her new album, I'm Hip, and tickets are on sale now.
One of the most recognizable voices in American broadcasting has been silenced:
Don Pardo, who literally introduced television viewers to some of America's biggest stars and soon-to-be-stars as the longtime announcer for "Saturday Night Live," died Monday in Tucson. He was 96.In addition to his work on Saturday Night Live, Don Pardo was an announcer for game shows like Jeopardy, Match Game and The Price is Right. It was a long, amazing career and SNL and TV won't be the same without you. RIP, Don Pardo.
Mr. Pardo's death was confirmed by his daughter, Dona Pardo.
Mr. Pardo, whose career began in the radio age, continued through the end of the last season of "S.N.L." in May, when he performed the introductions on the finale, hosted by Andy Samberg.
Mr. Pardo was with "S.N.L." from the show's first episode in October 1975, and performed the introductions for 38 seasons, missing only Season 7. For many viewers, the names of scores of stars -- from Chevy Chase to Eddie Murphy to Tina Fey -- were first heard in his sonorous baritone, which announced the cast each week at the end of the opening skit.
"Every year the new cast couldn't wait to hear their name said by him," said Lorne Michaels, the show's creator, who hired Mr. Pardo in 1975. - [The New York Times]
A few clips below...
by Arielle Gordon
Sometimes, too many cooks in the Saturday Night Live kitchen can lead to legendary casts, unforgettable sketches, and the distinctively young comedic energy for which the NBC show is known. And sometimes, it just leads to a lot of people standing around with nothing to do. That's what the most recent season (#39) of the legendary sketch program felt like to many, and the numbers back up this sentiment: many cast members, especially new recruits brought on last season, seemed to barely be on the program at all. When even Lorne acknowledged SNL was in need of some serious shakeups, it was only a matter of time until the chopping block came down.
The first victim? New York stand-up comedian Brooks Wheelan. As confirmed by Wheelan on his twitter account, he has been cut from the SNL cast after only one season
Other shake-ups include the departure of Noël Wells and John Milhiser, as well as longtime castmember Nasim Pedrad, who is leaving to join the cast of John Mulaney's new sitcom.
Had a blast and loved every second of it. I'm totally honored to be able to make this next joke... FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT'S SATURDAY NIGHT!— Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) July 14, 2014
If you're already mourning the loss of Wheelan, perhaps you'll be comforted to find out that he's performing at Union Hall on July 28. Aptly titled "Brooks Wheelan Falls Back on Stand-Up Comedy," this show promises to be a valiant return to Wheelan's stand-up career and, at the very least, perhaps a place to hear juicy Lorne Michaels gossip. Tickets are on sale now.
The Black Keys played two tracks off their upcoming album Turn Blue on SNL last night (5/10): "Fever" and "Bullet in the Brain". Watch both NBC performances below. and stay tuned for even more Black Keys TV this Monday:
CBS Interactive's award-winning webcast concert series, LIVE ON LETTERMAN, will feature six-time GRAMMY® Award winning rockers The Black Keys performing live from the world-famous Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City and webcast on CBS.com, Monday, May 12, after 7:30 PM, ET.The Black Keys return to NYC on 9/24 to headline the Barclays Center as part of a bigger tour (that also includes 3 TX shows and Glastonbury). Next weekend they play Hangout Fest.
The Black Keys' LIVE ON LETTERMAN webcast will feature songs off of their latest album, Turn Blue, including the hit single "Fever." The new album will be released Tuesday, May 13, just hours after their LIVE ON LETTERMAN performance. The webcast will also feature some of the band's other hit songs, such as "Lonely Boy" and "Tighten Up."
Fans can watch The Black Keys' performance live and on-demand on CBS.com. Additionally, the webcast is available on-demand through CBS properties and the CBS App for iOS, Android, Windows 8 and BlackBerry.
Additionally, The Black Keys will perform two songs on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, to be broadcast that same evening, Monday, May 12 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
St. Vincent, who is opening some of the Black Keys' tour, plays SNL next weekend. Watch the Black Keys' videos below...
St. Vincent @ Chicago's Riviera Theatre (more by James Richards IV)
Saturday Night Live has announced the hosts and music performers of the last three shows of the season. On May 3, a couple days before their sold-out Beacon Theatre performance, Coldplay will play SNL with host The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield.
Then on May 10 the musical guest will be Black Keys, whose new album Turn Blue will be out three days later. Charlize Theron, who is starring in Seth McFarlane's new comedy, A Million Ways to Die in the West, will host.
St. Vincent, last seen singing "Lithium" and "About a Girl" with the remains of Nirvana at Saint Vitus, will be the musical guest on the season finale which will air on May 17, and is hosted by SNL alum Andy Samberg. Annie Clark is no stranger to comedy, having appeared on a few episodes of Portlandia, so maybe she'll turn up in a sketch.
This Saturday (4/26), is a repeat of the Louis CK / Sam Smith episode.
Sam Smith, Louis CK, and SNL's Nassim Pedrad
UK singer Sam Smith is no longer "the dude who sang on that Disclosure song," having already sold out Webster Hall this year and has a debut album, In the Lonely Hour, poised for release in May. You can check out the video for his gospel-inflected new single "Stay with Me" below. He may fully blow up after this weekend when he'll be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live (3/29) with host Louis CK. You can watch some promos for this week's SNL below.
SNL has also announced their next two hosts and musical guests: the April 5 episode will be hosted by Ana Kendrick with musical guest Pharrell, and then on April 12 it's host Seth Rogen and musical guest Ed Sheeran.
Last night (3/8) was a very Brooklyn episode of Saturday Night Live with Girls' star/creator Lena Dunham hosting, and The National as musical guest. The National performed "Graceless" and "I Need My Girl," both of which are from the band's 2013 album, Trouble Will Find Me and you can watch video of both below.
To up last night's starpower, the episode also featured a bevy of cameos: Liam Neeson, John Hamm, and former SNL castmember Fred Armisen. The next new episode of SNL is March 29 with Louis CK as host. No musical guest has been announced, unless Louis is gonna pull a Drake.
The National will play two Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park in June as part of the band's continuing world tour. Watch their SNL performances below...
Beck was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live last night (3/1) which was hosted by Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons. He performed two songs from his elegiac new album, Morning Phase: single "Blue Moon" and was backed by a string section for "Wave." On both he was joined by Father John Misty's J. Tillman. You can watch both in this post.
Next weekend, SNL goes full Brooklyn with host Lena Dunham and musical guest The National. Beck videos below....
by Bill Pearis
The National @ Barclays Center, 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Now that the Sochi Olympics are over, NBC is back to its regular schedule. Late Night with Seth Myers made it's not-bad debut last night with its Fred Armisen-led indie-all-star house band, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has been on since last week. Have you checked out either? Myers seemed a little stiff, still trying to get out of 'Weekend Update' mode, but there were some good comedy bits I thought.
SNL returns this week (3/1) as well with Beck as musical guest and Jim Parsons as host. Next Saturday (March 8), Girls creator/star Lena Dunham will host with musical guest The National. Way to go, guys!
The National continue their world tour and will play two Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park in June.
Sasheer Zamata, SNL's first African American female cast member since 2007, made her debut on on the show this past week as part of the Drake-hosted episode. She was in a bunch of sketches, but didn't have a whole lot of lines -- though her Rihanna-as-Blossom bit was a definitely highlight. You get a much better example of her comic chops in a video just posted to Lorne Michaels' AboveAverage YouTube channel. In it she plays Madison, a girl who gives Girls tours of Greenpoint, featuring locations from the popular HBO show. Example, "This is Cafe Grumpy where Hannah works and they have a drink called 'The Hannah.' It's an $8 cup of coffee." You can watch the whole thing in this post.
Meanwhile the third season of Girls is three episodes in and does continue to feature lots of GPT locales. In this past week's episode, Hannah celebrated her 25th birthday at Matchless. Did you catch that one? Maybe you were an extra in it?
Watch the Girls Tour featuring Sasheer Zamata below...
Drake as Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel
The first Saturday Night Live episode of 2014 aired last night (1/18) with Drake as the host and musical guest. He acted in most of the sketches, including "Hip Hop Classics Before They Were Stars" where he impersonated Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel on "Family Matters" and Jay Z on "Mr. Wizard." That same sketch also had Kenan Thompson playing Rick Ross as the red Teletubby. Drake also did a sketch re-enacting his Bar Mitzvah and "Resolution Revolution" where he rapped about (and then broke) new year's resolutions to stop drinking and smoking, and then did Cosplay dressed as a wizard for the "no more Cosplay" resolution. He was in a few other sketches too, including impersonations of A-Rod and Katt Williams, all of which can be watched in the full episode video below.
For Drake's musical performance, he did "Started From the Bottom" into "Trophies" and a stripped down version of "Hold On We're Going Home" into "From Time," the latter of which featured an appearance by Jhene Aiko who also sings on the album version of the song and sang with him at his recent Barclays Center show. Videos of those performances are below too.
In addition to all the Drake stuff, the episode also marked the debut of new cast member Sasheer Zamata, SNL's first African American female cast member since 2007, when Maya Rudolph left the show. It was also the first episode that SNL's two new female African American writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, contributed to.
The Brothers Gibb
Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon returned to SNL last night (12/21) with Fallon hosting and JT as the musical guest, and of course both starring in a number of the skits as well. They brought back their Brothers Gibb skit, and were joined by Madonna playing herself, and the actual Barry Gibb (the only surviving original member of the Bee Gees) came in to sing with them at the end of the skit. Paul McCartney also showed up to sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with Fallon, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were parodied again in a "Waking up with Kimye" sketch. You can watch videos of all those, along with one of Justin performing "Only When I Walk Away," below.
It was also announced on last night's show that Drake will host and be the musical guest on the January 18 episode. Drake recently landed on a couple more year-end lists, may have dissed Kendrick Lamar, and appeared on the new Beyonce album.