Lorne MichaelsLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 6:12AM EDT
SNL's celebrity cameo-filled 43rd season highlights the problem of having few cast members who are stars
"Since the departure of its prior core group of stars (the last of whom, Seth Meyers, departed midway through Season 39), SNL has struggled to build a major identity around its newer ensemble," says David Simms. "(Kate) McKinnon, the show’s one bona-fide star, and Kenan Thompson, its longest-running cast member, are two hall-of-famers. Everyone else is a mix of solid but unspectacular performers, some of whom (like Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong) have been with the show for six years without ever quite making it their own." Simms notes that Saturday Night Live is doing fine, ratings-wise. But, he adds, "beyond the growing staleness of its Trump material, SNL struggled to really address some of the biggest news stories of the year, especially the #MeToo movement." The one standout episode was the one hosted by Donald Glover, he says. "There’s a lesson to be learned from Glover’s episode: Its distinctiveness is what made it work, and helped so many of its sketches travel online in the days following," says Simms." More often than not, SNL succeeds when its cast members and writers build up recognizable brands of humor that can recur throughout the show. That’s never been true for much of SNL’s current cast, partly because they’re not given enough air time to define themselves onscreen, and some of the longer-serving veterans may have missed their chance to do so entirely. It’s a problem the show knows that it has—and a mistake it should steer clear of when it begins its next rebuild around newer stars."
- There’s no excuse for SNL to be as stodgy and self-referentially lifeless as it was in the season finale
- Here are the 10 best sketches of Season 43
- Give it up to the SNL costume department for their fast work on the royal wedding sketch
- Was Nicki Minaj's SNL performance cultural appropriation?
- Kate McKinnon is glad to walk you through her SNL work, but she explains why she won't discuss her personal life
- Watch McKinnon "trash" a hotel room for GQ
- Read a history of SNL's Jeopardy! sketches
- Pete Davidson is "casually dating" former SNL musical guest Ariana Grande
Posted Monday 5/21/18 at 5:31AM EDT
Meghan McCain wonders if she's the first former Lorne Michaels intern to be parodied on SNL
The View co-host tweeted on Sunday in reaction to SNL's "Morning Joe" sketch in which she was played by Aidy Bryant: "Can’t believe I got parodied on SNL last night - is this the first time this has happened to a former Lorne Michaels intern?! Also fun fact, @aidybryant and I went to the same high school in Phoenix." ALSO: Did SNL whack Alec Baldwin's Trump with Sopranos cold open?
Posted Thursday 5/17/18 at 10:42PM EDT
Dennis Miller defends SNL constantly going after President Trump
The conservative-leaning former "Weekend Update" anchor disagrees with fellow SNL alums Joe Piscopo and Rob Schneider. Miller says Lorne Michaels "never once told me during the six years I was there to go after anyone politically. It was always 'us' against 'them;' going after the power base. I can’t get my knickers in a twist – sorry, I married an English woman – about anyone’s political jokes, though. Trump is in power. That’s who they go after." In a separate interview Miller says he doesn't stay up to watch SNL these days, but he has no qualms with Alec Baldwin's impression, based on the clips he's seen. "I’ve seen clips where he squints and screams — seems to be the biggest thing in the country, so good for him," says Miller. ALSO: Arizona Diamondbacks dressed as SNL characters for their recent road trip.
Posted Thursday 4/26/18 at 1:08PM EDT
NBC taps SNL's Colin Jost and Michael Che to co-host the Emmys
The "Weekend Update" co-anchors will co-host this year's ceremony and their boss Lorne Michaels will serve as executive producer, NBC announced this morning. This is a change for NBC as the network's four previous Emmy broadcasts have been helmed by the host of Late Night (Seth Meyers in 2014, Jimmy Fallon in 2010, Conan O'Brien in 2006 and 2002). “We’re proud to be the first duo hosting the Emmys since Jenna Elfman and David Hyde Pierce, and somehow that’s a real fact," Jost and Che said in a statement, alluding to the 1999 Emmy awards. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt added: “Along with surprise appearances by other cast members of Saturday Night Live, I think we are in for one of the funniest awards shows in a long time.”
Posted Tuesday 4/24/18 at 1:12PM EDT
SNL's Aidy Bryant is teaming with Lorne Michaels to star in Hulu comedy series Shrill
Bryant is set to star in an adaptation of author, comedian and former Jezebel blogger Lindy West's collection of essays Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, with Michaels and Elizabeth Banks on board as executive producers. Bryant will co-write the potential Hulu series that will follow the story of a "a fat young woman who wants to change her life, but not her body." Bryant is the latest SNL cast member to star in a Lorne Michaels-produced project outside the show. No word yet if Shrill will impact Bryant's role on Saturday Night Live.
Posted Wednesday 4/18/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Lorne Michaels is producing a film starring SNL-ers Leslie Jones and Colin Jost
Jones and Jost are bringing their "Weekend Update" flirtation to the big screen in the movie Baby Nurse.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 2:00PM EST
Darrell Hammond recalls his and Lorne Michaels' reaction to President Trump tweeting about him last week
After Trump dissed Alec Baldwin on Twitter last Friday and urged SNL to "bring back Darrell Hammond," Hammond ran into Michaels, who jokingly said: "The president knows your name." There was, however, no discussion about bringing Hammond back to reprise his Trump alongside Baldwin's Trump following the newsworthy tweet. As SNL's announcer, Hammond had been taping his intros from Los Angeles, where he moved to get away from the show. But Hammond has now moved back to New York and is spending a lot of time in Studio 8H these days, ready to go on TV if called.
Posted Tuesday 2/27/18 at 2:03PM EST
Steve Martin and Martin Short are bringing their touring stand-up musical act to Netflix
The Lorne Michaels-produced special was announced via Martin's Twitter account. "Okey dokey," Martin tweeted. "Here’s a video with Marty and me talking about our new Netflix special coming this summer! Now we’re like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle except for the pay!"
Posted Friday 2/02/18 at 3:15AM EST
NBC’s A.P. Bio has everything you want in a comedy -- except for the laughs
“If NBC's new comedy A.P. Bio were a high school senior, it would have a solid roster of extracurriculars, a winning personality made for entrance interviews, and it would write thoughtful and introspective college essays,” says Daniel Fienberg. “The only thing keeping it from getting into the university of its choice would be a report card listing straight Cs. To crack my deeply complicated analogy code: As a TV show, A.P. Bio has nearly everything you'd want in a comedy, including a solid premise, a great cast and a particular visual style. The only thing holding it back is the small quibble that it's not actually all that funny.”
Posted Tuesday 1/09/18 at 8:32AM EST
NBC will put three episodes of A.P. Bio online the day after airing the pilot
The Glenn Howerton-Patton Oswalt high school comedy -- produced by Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels -- debuts Feb. 1 with the second episode scheduled for Feb. 25 after the Winter Olympics. But NBC will put up the second through fourth episodes on its app and online on Feb. 2.
Posted Wednesday 12/13/17 at 2:42AM EST
Why SNL's decision to name Michael Che and Colin Jost co-head writers is baffling
Last season was a triumph for Saturday Night Live, but head writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider exited over the summer. Now SNL is returning Jost to a head writer position, which he abruptly stepped down from in 2015. “Replacing Kelly and Schneider with Jost and Che seems like a further pivot away from the writing that made last season of SNL feel so fresh,” says Joanna Robinson. “To distance oneself from a highly-acclaimed, award-winning tone is a baffling choice, but Lorne Michaels has proven us all wrong before.”
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
Fred Armisen’s next project: The Spanish-language Mexico City: Only Good Things Happen for HBO
The Portlandia alum is reuniting with Lorne Michaels to write, executive produce and star in a half-hour comedy pilot “described as being set in a dreamy version of present day Mexico City, following a group of friends obsessed with horror films and monster makeup." SNL writer Julio Torres and The Chris Gethard Show writer Ana Fabrega will also co-write and star in the potential series, which is casting in Mexico City. This will mark yet another partnership between Michaels and Armisen, who’ve worked together on Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, Documentary Now! and Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Posted Monday 10/23/17 at 7:15PM EDT
Late Night star Amber Ruffin is set to turn her life story into an NBC comedy
Seth Meyers and Lorne Michaels are producing Going Dutch, based on Ruffin’s life as a black woman who returned home from Amsterdam with a Dutch boyfriend (who’s now Ruffin's husband). Ruffin became the first black woman to write for a late-night show when she joined Meyers’ Late Night in 2014. If Ruffin's show is picked up, would this mean she would be done appearing on Late Night, specifically "Jokes Seth Can't Tell"? "Oh, we are gonna make her come back and do those," tweets Late Night producer Mike Shoemaker. "Also this is how she’s finding out."
- ABC developing a Middle Eastern superhero comedy with Larry Wilmore and Bassem Youssef
- Erotic novelist Abby McDonald’s life is being turned into a CW comedy
- Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg sells a CIA comedy to CBS
- Amy Poehler is producing a single family comedy for NBC
- William Friedkin is turning his 2011 movie Killer Joe into a TV series -- without Matthew McConaughey
- Issa Rae and HBO are developing an early 1990s Los Angeles-set black family drama
# TOPICS: Late Night with Seth Meyers, Abby McDonald, Amber Ruffin, Amy Poehler, Bassem Youssef, Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore, Lorne Michaels, Seth Meyers, Simon Helberg, William Friedkin, Late Night, Pilots
Posted Thursday 10/19/17 at 1:48PM EDT
Steve Buscemi replaces Owen Wilson on TBS’ Miracle Workers
Buscemi will join Daniel Radcliffe on the seven-episode heaven-set comedy produced by Lorne Michaels. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Wilson is said to have just walked away from the project.”
Posted Tuesday 10/17/17 at 1:40PM EDT
Taran Killam says of SNL taking on Trump: “It certainly feels like there's some hypocrisy there”
The former Saturday Night Live star, who previously expressed how unsettling it was for Donald Trump to host as a presidential candidate in 2015, was asked by NPR about the show now being the voice of the opposition: “It certainly feels like there's some hypocrisy there," he says. "I guess you could say, ‘Oh, they're righting wrongs.’ And I don't even think it's righting wrongs. I think the show tries to — and in particular, Lorne's outlook is — play to both sides. Play to the masses, play to whatever the popular opinion is. But, boy, they could definitely mine some comedy out of owning up to it, huh?”