2016 was a very, very bad year no matter how you slice it. In tough times, comedy is often a form of escape that people turn to when they need comforting. With that in mind, [Splitsider] asked our contributors to pick the one piece of comedy in any form that they turn to when they really need cheering up. We’ll be sharing their choices throughout the week in a package we’re calling “The Best Medicine.”
One year ago, the Saturday Night Live family lost one of its greatest talents when Jan Hooks passed away at the age of 57. Though there are many SNL players that fade into obscurity once their term at Rockefeller Center is up, most people are surprised that, aside from a recurring role on 30 Rock, Jan Hooks had pretty much disappeared since the turn of the 21st century. Grantland provides a bittersweet look back into her history and into what happened during those years.
In their annual gathering of Emmy-contending comedy actresses, The Hollywood Reporter hosts a roundtable conversation featuring Amy Schumer ("Inside Amy Schumer"), Lena Dunham ("Girls"), Gina Rodriguez ("Jane the Virgin"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish"), Kate McKinnon ("Saturday Night Live"), and Ellie Kemper ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt")
Jan Hooks - Actress, Comedian, Reason to Watch SNL, has died at the age of 57. Ms. Hooks was a Georgian, a Groundling, on Saturday Night Live from 1986-1991, a Designing Woman, the original Manjula, and so, so, soooo much more. From SNL: "Love is a Dream," with Phil Hartman. SNL, again: "Brenda the Waitress," with Alec Baldwin. From "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," "Alamo Tour"
"One day I was hanging out with some SNL writers and cast members in the 17th-floor conference room. It was shortly after the writers had won an Emmy Award for the 1988-89 season. Phil Hartman, who had been a writer as well as a cast member for the winning season, marched in with an 8-by-10 photo of himself. It showed him cradling his Emmy Award in one arm and his newborn child in the other. He tossed the photo down in front of his good friend Jon Lovitz and said, "Check it out, Lovitz—two things you’ll never have." (SLSlate)
In honor of Saturday Night Live's 40th season, Grantland has been publishing an ongoing series of essays, remembrances, podcasts, and interviews, as well as asking you to cast your votes in The Battle for the Best SNL Cast Member. (They're already down to the final eight; sorry, your favorite cast member has already been eliminated.)
With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now. "How do you please Lorne Michaels? Twenty-two ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members – and one who came close – share tales of the audition that can make or break a career." Also, extended interviews with Kristin Wiig, Will Ferrel, Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Shannon, on what it took to get hired for 'SNL.' Check out audition tapes from: Phil Hartman, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Jimmy Fallon, Dana Carvey: 1 & 2, and Dan Aykroyd. [more inside]
Jack Handey Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer in America. The New York Times profiles funny guy Jack Handey as his first work of fiction, The Stench of Honolulu, goes on sale tomorrow. (Read the first three chapters here.) Handey, of course, is best known for his Deep Thoughts, and for his SNL sketches, including the classic Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. He's also a hilarious essayist: some of my favorites include What I'd Say to the Martians, Ideas for Paintings, My Nature Documentary, The Plan, and How I Want to Be Remembered.
SNL's Bill Hader, Rob Klein, and Jon Solomon discuss "Song for Daddy", the sketch with host Justin Bieber that never made it past dress rehearsal.
The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki) is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
A look back at 1971's "Albert Brooks' Famous School for Comedians," a founding document for a generation of humorists. [more inside]
The many MeFites previously disappointed by not being able to attend the recent and enticingly promoted 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos will be delighted to know that a similar opportunity presents itself. (SLYT - moderately NSFW)
Saturday Night Live Auditions (all YT links): Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Dana Carvey (2), Will Ferrell, and Jim Breuer (2), (3).
If Mittens chose to save Baby Penguin based on his beliefs, and Mittens' beliefs are not under his direct control, does Mittens really have freewill? SNL's spot-on parody of "Dora the Explorer."
Media-opoly from Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse skit created by Robert Smigel broadcast in 1998 on NBC, a subsidiary of GE. Not broadcast since, apparently.
"Normally I wear protection, but then I thought, 'When am I gonna make it back to Haiti?' -- Bad Idea."
Just a taste from my favorite new web site.
Just a taste from my favorite new web site.
SNL Producer declares Bush "off limits," despite what it says in the link. In the wake of the Bill Maher crucifixion, Lorne Michaels has decided to play it safe, according to the paragon of journalism. Does this mean no airport metal detector skit?
Mike Meyers deserves a medal for having the guts to admit that the character he created for a five-minute sketch wasn't going to carry a full-length movie. He gave up a 20-million-dollar payday and saved us all from another "SNL spin-off" movie.