Posts Tagged ‘Saturday Night Live’

Monday Medley

What we read while finding all these free eggs…

The War for Late Night: Smiling Politely Towards Disaster

Anyone who picks up Bill Carter’s new book about last January’s late night TV debacle—The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy—looking for a villain is destined to be disappointed. This is not for lack of effort. The book is impressively comprehensive about NBC’s decision to move Jay Leno from The Tonight Show to primetime and back again and the disaster that followed. Carter gives detailed histories of and various perspectives on all the major players involved—Leno, Conan, Jeff Zucker, David Letterman, Jeff Gaspin, etc.—but in the end nobody comes off as an evil monster responsible for the train wreck. Instead, we get a fascinating example of how a bunch of people all acting with the best intentions can lead to the worst possible outcome.

“If they’d come in and shot everybody—I mean, it would have been people murdered. But at least it would have been a two-day story. I mean, yes, NBC could not have handled it worse, from 2004 onward.” —Jay Leno Continue reading

A Tribute to Phil Hartman

It was 12 years ago today that Phil Hartman was killed. Even when I was only 11, I recognized the comic genius of Phil Hartman. I remember Hartman as the voice of several of my favorite Simpsons characters, the star of one of my favorite shows growing up in Newsradio, one of the first actors I loved on Saturday Night Live, and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s neighborly nemesis (the non-Sinbad one) in Jingle All the Way.

Hartman possessed one of the finest voices I’ve ever heard–one that was simultaneously distinct and versatile. Sometimes, unfunny things became funny simply because Phil Hartman knew how to say them.

In memory of Hartman, here’s some of his best clips:

McClure’s Comeback

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Monday Medley

What we read while going undrafted once again…

  • Josh doesn’t really like cupcakes, but maybe if he ate them here he’d be more amenable to persuasion that he does.
  • Sometimes, it’s funny to look back at poor predictions, like Tim’s that the Celtics would be crushed by the Heat, or The Awl‘s that differentiated Ke$ha from Lady Gaga by writing, “Ke$ha, on the other hand, is a version of Gaga-lite, but in a good way. She is sort of edgy in that she puts on weird eye makeup, but she also just wears vintage-looking t-shirts and jeans when performing on national television. As opposed to donning some weird Gareth Pugh leotard while standing on top of a blood-draped ladder that’s in a coffin set on fire, or something.” Yeah, I don’t think David Cho can stand by that paragraph after last Saturday night. Sorry, Dave. (P.S. NPR did something on Ke$ha a while back that referred to her “near-perfect SAT scores,” which really makes us wonder what NPR’s standard for “near perfect” is these days.)