Monday, February 16, 2015

Best of SNL 40

Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 Years with a Sunday Night from New York, of course. Overall it was an enjoyable show, and quite amazing to the crew that pulled it all together in what was probably a pretty crazy week. The show was big on nostalgia with plenty of clips from 1975 to the present.

My one gripe is that there weren't quite enough sketches, yet there were three musical performances. And one of them was Kanye West and his Auto-Tune...yawn. So if you tuned in expecting to see 3 hours full of new versions of your favorite sketches from the 1970's to now, you were kind of out of luck. Here are the best moments:

1. Wayne's World. Possibly the most famous recurring sketch was thankfully brought back to life towards the end of the special to deliver one of their always fun Top 10 lists. The best was when they ran through the list of musical performers. Three of The Beatles, U2, Nirvana, Beyonce & Beck were some named. And of course, Garth mentioned how he thought Beck was a better performer than Beyonce. Cue Kanye West jokes, which he was in on, having "security" hold him down.

2. Weekend Update. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Jane Curtin came together for a funny and entertaining version of the SNL staple. It featured some tributes to classic SNL characters portrayed by former stars who have since passed away (such as Emma Stone playing Gilda Radner's "Roseanne Roseannadanna"). Stefon made an appearance, and he and Seth Meyers are parents now! But the highlight goes to Curtin: "I used to be the only pretty blonde reading fake news. Now there's a whole network devoted to that." Then the Fox News logo pops up.

3. Jim Carrey. This was technically before the show, but Carrey asked Matt Lauer & Savannah Guthrie if he could ask them something. His question: "Where are you hiding Brian Williams?" Lauer awkwardly responded, "Oh, look at the time." Carrey followed with, "In his defense, if the helicopter in front of me gets hit, I'm taking the story." Perfect!


4. Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell & Darrell Hammond did battle again as Alex Trebek & Sean Connery and it was just as good as it always was. Kate McKinnon also did her perfect Justin Bieber impression, and Norm Macdonald brought back Burt Reynolds.

5. Martin Short & Maya Rudolph (as Beyonce). They paid tribute to the musical sketches of SNL, with perfect use of a fan on Maya-Beyonce. It featured Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer as their desperately trying to be hip church singers, The Culps. Adam Sandler brought back Operaman and the Blues Brothers showed up.

6. Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Opening. The dynamic duo did a musical rundown of the most memorable characters in SNL history. Molly Shannon showed up as Mary Katherine Gallagher and then Rachel Dratch appeared as Debbie Downer to bring down the mood just a little bit as only she can. Always remember - Feline Aids is the number one killer of domestic cats.

7. Ellen Cleghorne. Jerry Seinfeld did a segment which we see a lot of on SNL, taking questions from cast members & others sitting in the audience. He called Sarah Palin Tina which provided an amusing skit between the two. But, Larry David and former cast member Cleghorne were the best, with it going something like this:
Cleghorne - "Why aren't there more black women?"
Seinfeld - "On the show?"
Cleghorne - "No just in general. There should be black women popping out of drawers." Jerry agreed that there should be more, and then she asked where they were on his show Seinfeld. Burn!

8. Betty White & Bradley Cooper Kiss. The Californians went way too long, and there were so many other sketches they probably could have done instead. It did however feature a fun performance from original cast member, Laraine Newman. And it also had a long kiss between Betty White and Bradley Cooper, which wasn't just a peck on the lips. That's something you might never see again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kanye West: Douche

Kanye West was at it again at the Grammy Awards, a few years after interrupting his first victim (Taylor Swift). He ran on stage after Beck won for Best Album, only to run back down to his seat. It seemed like a joke at first, by poking fun at himself. Great. Then he goes on E! and starts ranting that it wasn't a joke, saying Beck should give his award to Beyonce and to "respect artistry". Beck responded by saying he thinks Kanye is great and talented. I don't really listen to Beck much, but its nice to see someone so humble & naturally talented win.

Even his wife Kim Kardashian was incredibly uncomfortable during the whole ordeal, forcing a smile. I mean, he made Kim Kardashian uncomfortable on camera. And she did a porn!

Personally, I think Kanye West should heed his own advice to respect artistry and creativity. Its 2015 and he is still overusing Auto-Tune (since he can't sing) 17 years after it was first used by Cher as a gimmick in 1998. Real artistic & original there, Kanye. And what is his obsession with Beyonce? I'm surprised more people don't find it odd, especially Jay Z and Beyonce.

I think Shirley Manson of the band Garbage said it best by writing to him, You are making yourself look like a complete twat.