Here's a look at Up All Night, scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesdays in Fall 2011. Starring Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, and James Pumphrey. Arnett's a stay-at-home dad while Applegate's character works for Rudolph's character. Pumphrey plays Applegate's assistant. Written by SNL scribe Emily Spivey and executive produced by Lorne Michaels.
Roll the clips!
We open cold with the Lawrence Welk (Fred Armisen) take on Mother's Day, so many tiny bubbles and a tease to the Jugglettes: Rachel Dratch, Tina Fey and Molly Shannon. Not a reference to the Juggalos so far as I know. OK, audience, cool it. Stop applauding just because you see Betty White alive. Here she's mother to the sister act of Janice (Amy Poehler), Peggy (Maya Rudolph), Clara (Ana Gasteyer) and tiny-handed big-foreheaded Judice (Kristen Wiig), who sing with Will Forte. Look. They got all of the old ladies in the open with one of Wiig's crazy characters and gave White as little as possible to do. Don't get me wrong. It's cute and all. But this is a comedy entertainment show. Let's try to keep some perspective on it? Just showing up does not automatically warrant complete fawning. A little bit of fawning is expected, though. See? Perspective.
White makes it to center stage in a quicker time than either of my grandmothers did when they were 88 (especially since one never made it to that age). "It's great to be here for a number of reasons," White said. She reminds us that in the 1950s, they didn't want to go live, either, but they didn't know how to do it otherwise. She thanks Facebook, before mocking it. And let there be old people jokes. White does a nice aside while joking about poking. "Guess what? Jay-Z is here! If I had a dime for everytime I've said that, I'd have a dime!" Nicely played. Nicely executed.
MacGruber! Ready for the movie? Ready or not, MacGruber is working with his Nana (White) now, who keeps embarrassing him in front of Vicki (Wiig). As in past weeks, SNL has put the night's trilogy of MacGruber bits into one clip, which will roll at your convenience:
An NPR scene brings back "Delicious Dish," a recurring scene hosted by Gasteyer and Shannon -- and best known for their "Schweddy Balls" bit with then-host Alec Baldwin. Tonight they're celebrating dietary fiber. Their guest is Florence Dusty (White), and she is known for her muffin. "I can't wait to taste your muffin." And so on, and so forth. Dusty admits that bakers of her day may have dry, crusty or even yeasty muffins. Just ask her how long it has been since her muffin had a cherry. We dare you. So yes, you'll probably want to see this:
The first ad of the night is the Snickers Super Bowl ad with Betty White, and don't forget Abe Vigoda! The second ad is for the MacGruber movie. The third ad is for beer. The fourth ad is for Sex and the City 2, which you need to drink a lot of beer before deciding that's a good idea. The fifth ad is for an iPhone. The seventh ad is for Betty White's new TV Land sitcom.
NBC devotes two hours of its prime-time programming tonight (9-11 p.m. Eastern/Pacific, 8-10 p.m. Central/Mountain) to a look back at Saturday Night Live in the 2000s, and if you think it's all about 2008, well, you're only partially right. There's plenty to mine here, and even from the preview clips NBC has made available, you can see how SNL slowly but surely found its way back into the zeitgeist in the latter half of the past decade.
For instance, here are Jason Sudeikis, Amy Poehler and Bobby Moynihan talking about the "Palin Rap" that happened live on Weekend Update in front of a bouncy then-VP candidate Sarah Palin. Weird but true. We learn how much Palin loved Sudeikis pretending to be her husband, Todd, and also realize that was Moynihan in the moose costume.
SNL really got our attention in recent years thanks to rap, and "Lazy Sunday" kicked it off the SNL connection with the online generation. Here are writers Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer talking about what went down behind the scenes with Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell.
Speaking of Parnell, here's a segment devoted solely to his raps.
If you were to tell me that Saturday Night Live would gather up all of its grand presidential impersonators for a one-time reunion, then I'd remind you that Phil Hartman is dead, and stop playing me. But you kept at it, and told me, hey, what if we got Jim Carrey to play the ghost of Ronald Reagan with a dash of Ace Ventura, then I'd go, oh, really, well, which SNL is this going to be on?
Oh, it's not on SNL. It's on Funny or Die. OK. Ready for the viral video action! Wait. This is a PSA? Or as you kids call it, a public service announcement. For the banking crisis. Directed by Ron "used to be Opie or Richie Cunningham if you're an older person, and just another big movie director if you're a kid" Howard. For real this time. If you think SNL's political "cold open" sketches are weirdly too focused on making points, then full speed ahead into the danger zone. At least Dan Aykroyd looks more like Jimmy Carter a generation later (can you believe Aykroyd pretended to be Carter with a mustache on live TV?), as does Chevy Chase as the late Gerald Ford. As for Dana Carvey as Bush 41, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, Will Ferrell as W., Fred Armisen as Barack Obama and Maya Rudolph as Michelle Obama, well, you're not going to see anything here you haven't seen before. Just all of them together in a room. Isn't that special? Roll the clips.
There's also a behind-the-scenes video, if you need to see how and where the magic happens. Which means bloopers and jokes. You like bloopers and jokes.