Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney clued us in today that a sketch he'd written with Simon Rich and Marika Sawyer got "cut for time" last weekend with host Tina Fey.
But I recall being in the audience for the dress rehearsal of last season's SNL that Tina Fey hosted (with Justin Bieber) and distinctly remember seeing a sketch very much like this one done there, too. Unless I'm just having clairvoyant visions again. That could be true, too. I'm Nostradamus, y'all!
Either way, roll the clip in which great women writers throughout history get roasted.
Tina Fey's promotional blitz for her new book, Bossypants, took her to Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night.
And if you still think you're following Fey on Twitter, then this should put a stop to that. She's not on Twitter. Never has been. She explains why. Roll the clip!
Well, well, well. We all can agree that Ricky Gervais acted like a guy who didn't want to be hosting the Golden Globes, at least not in the way that Hollywood (and particularly the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) expects its hosts to play nice. But was he funny?
Let's go to the videotape. Just joking. Nobody uses videotape in 2011. Let's go to the official online clips!
In his monologue, Gervais didn't stick the landing on the opening Charlie Sheen joke, but as soon as he started in on The Tourist, the audible gasp of hundreds of rich, famous, beautiful people sucking the air out of the room meant that Gervais had everyone's attention from then on. Cut to joke victim Johnny Depp. He's smiling. Phew. Where's Cher? Not there? OK. Everyone's laughing. Sex and the City 2? Even Mr. Big is smiling and nodding in approval. A Scientology joke -- the Scientology joke -- followed by the tag: "My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke." And then the Hugh Hefner jokes, followed by the act-out on the line "just don't look at it when you touch it." This was all happening live on network television (NBC) at 8 p.m. on a Sunday -- 7 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Pacific! Wow. Now that's some ballsy talk. About balls.
But Gervais was only getting started. When he introduced Eva Longoria to introduce the HFPA president, Philip Berk, Gervais said of the man in charge: "That's nothing. I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in." Berk's retort? "And Ricky, next time you want me to help you qualify one of your movies, go to another guy." Then he smiled and turned quickly toward Gervais. Still friends? Is this how the game is played? Or is there a backlash a brewing?
Gervais was gentler when introducing Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Lopez, saying: "He's Alec from the Rock. She's just Jenny from the block. If the block in question is that one on Rodeo Drive between Cartier and Prada." That's a gentle gibe, right?
Gervais hit hard in this introduction: "But many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail. Ladies and gentleman, Robert Downey Jr." Everyone seemed to think Robert Downey Jr. handled Gervais best by getting in a quick quip, saying: "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" RDJ then launched into his own bit, which was equally ribald, suggesting he have/had sex with each of the best actress nominees.
But wait. There was much more...
In case you missed it last night, PBS has thankfully put the entire telecast online from The Kennedy Center's honoring of Tina Fey with the Mark Twain Prize.
Among the highlights: Alec Baldwin pretending to be a resurrected Mark Twain; Lorne Michaels' heartfelt speech about Fey; and Fey's acceptance speech, in which she hoped that "women are achieving at a rate these days to a point where we can stop counting what number they are things." Watch the whole thing here:
Others who appeared onstage to testify to Fey's work as a humorist included Fred Armisen, Steve Carell, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Hamm, Jennifer Hudson, Jane Krakowski, Steve Martin, Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan, Amy Poehler and Betty White.
At 40, Fey is by far the youngest to win the Mark Twain Prize. Which means it's certainly not the lifetime achievement award that it has been since the Kennedy Center began bestowing annually in 1998. No, Fey is at the peak of her comedic powers. Which is also a nice thing to honor. A humorist at his or her peak.
Of course, it's also a bit awkward to have a 90-minute telecast that has much in the way of clips to show from the previous century, which was all of 10 years ago. Don't worry, Betty White. As you joked onstage, perhaps they'll get around to you just yet.
Recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize have been Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), Bill Cosby (2009), and Tina Fey (2010).
Tina Fey was in Washington, D.C., last night to receive the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from The Kennedy Center.
Many of her funny, famous friends were in attendance to show their support, and you'll be able to watch the proceedings when PBS airs footage from the event on Nov. 14, 2010. In advance, PBS sat down Fey to answer questions culled from fans over Facebook and Twitter.
What they wanted to know: What work of yours will have the most lasting social impact? If you could go back in time, what would you ask Mark Twain? Who makes you laugh? How is writing for SNL different from writing for 30 Rock? How do you build confidence when you perform? What did improv teach you? What have you learned about yourself since your improv days? And finally: Cake or pie? If you don't like the answers, blame yourselves for not coming up with better questions.
One more time, for old times' sake. If old times are 2008, this week, or the next two years of nonstop election coverage that undoubtedly will give way too much media attention to reality TV star Sarah Palin.
So last night on Late Show with David Letterman, guest Tina Fey tried to remember how she pulled her Palin impersonation together for SNL. Neither Fey nor Letterman, however, has a valid explanation for why Palin continues to be a thing.
Roll the clip!
I don't know if you can ever have too many stars on a benefit show, but Comedy Central certainly tries every two years on behalf of autism research with its Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education, which airs again tonight.
Much of the event taped earlier this month in NYC, although when it airs this evening, host Jon Stewart and a slew of celebrities will appear live in LA to answer the phones when you call in to make a donation. Viewers also will be able to vote, via texting, on celebrity stunts during the live portion of the broadcast. Comedians appearing and manning the phone bank include Jason Alexander, Mike Birbiglia, Julie Bowen, Drew Carey, Cedric the Entertainer, George Clooney, Bryan Cranston, Larry David, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, Lauren Graham, Tom Hanks, John Hodgman, Rob Huebel, Penn Jillette, Chris Kattan, Jimmy Kimmel, B.J. Novak, Conan O’Brien, Jim Parsons, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Paul Scheer, Adam Scott, Bill Simmons, David Spade, Eric Stonestreet, Betty White, Larry Wilmore and Weird Al Yankovic.
As for the show itself, I saw it, so I can tell you what you may see, unless they decide to edit it out.
You may or may not see Tina Fey joke about wanting to say hi to her family, then realizing the show is airing on Thursday night, when 30 Rock is on, adding: "Who am I kidding, they're watching Shit My Dad Says on the DVR." Here she is with Stewart showing off her 2011 Tina Fey Swimsuit Calendar:
You may or may not see Ricky Gervais make the audience gasp with a DUI joke that also includes a rape! Here is joking about his history of charitable giving, including the time he was given the gift of a goat. An African goat. Roll it.
You may or may not see Tracy Morgan awkwardly work with Stewart through a sketch about how big his pockets were.
You may or may not see Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell sing a novelty song that's only about 19 months too late, including the re-appearance of Tay Zonday. If you were around 19 months ago, that name might make more sense. But probably not.
You may or may not see Jim Gaffigan kill with his new material about McDonald's.
Thirty-six seasons, and despite any number of people who say "Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny since _____ ______ left the show," the show goes on and on and continues to be an iconic television program that not only generates talk in offices and schools the following Monday, but also continues to contribute to the national discussion on political and social issues.
I'm not sure anyone knew quite what to expect for the start of SNL's 36th season, considering its four new hires constituted the biggest addition to the cast since 2001, as well as what effect the departures (planned or unplanned) of veteran wild card Will Forte and newcomer Jenny Slate might have on the show's pre-existing recurring sketches. Perhaps knowing all of this -- as well as the lackluster starts offered in seasons 34 and 35 by world-famous but not necessarily funny hosts Michael Phelps and Megan Fox, respectively -- Lorne Michaels turned to a trusted former star of SNL in Amy Poehler to host the premiere. Of course, as we quickly learned, Michaels looked to ensure the premiere was even more of a sure thing by inviting back several of SNL's other recent bright stars for cameos both brief and extended. So. Let's get to recapping!
The cold open is a dish best served not political, at least on my comedy plate, because in the past few years, the sketch has not been able to surpass the surreal reality of the current political situation. Such was the case with this look inside the Republican National Committee headquarters for a sit-down meeting with Delaware GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. We have so much recorded quotes of O'Donnell already to speak to her craziness (and visuals to show how she even at times has modeled herself directly as a Sarah Palin lookalike (!)), so much so that even casting Kristen Wiig as O'Donnell cannot heighten this. In fact, Wiig's mugging detracts from the satire here. But. Fun fact: We get our first glimpse of newbie Vanessa Bayer, who utters a line to introduce O'Donnell. Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader play the hapless GOP party-line guys.
Now for the monologue. Amy Poehler introduces all four of the new kids to the SNL block, then has a dream sequence in which Nasim Pedrad takes over one of her characters, Justin Timberlake kisses her, Rachel Dratch comes back only to get carried away -- "Avenge me! Avenge me!" -- and Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon take back Weekend Update, and Kenan Thompson plays Lorne Michaels with a nod to Inception. It's all for show, and for anyone who thinks it's too much of a gimmick, just remember that the season premiere is a big to-do each year, so why not go big!
Before we can get to the new kids, however, we're treated to more old-school SNL -- viewers of the Betty White and the all-star SNL women episode this spring will remember that putting on "greatest-hits" sketches generally leads to a well-liked evening -- so Maya Rudolph rejoined Poehler for another round of Bronx Beat. Of course, this time around, the focus is on musical guest Katy Perry and her "controversy" because she showed her cleavage in a Sesame Street video with Elmo. When is Katy Perry not showing cleavage? Wait, wait, don't tell me. I don't want to know. Poehler gets a good line guessing that Perry's bra size is 3D. Notice how Perry bounces up and down in her seat. Oh, wait. You probably already noticed that.
Time for our first fake ad of the season...
I was about to write something about funny friends of mine who are in a new commercial, when the Internets opened up and unearthed this "oldie" from 1995, starring, as the admakers themselves put it: "a terrific young Second City cast member." They added: "It was her first commercial. She was very nice, very nervous, and very funny." (via Gawker.TV)
Here's their clip of Tina Fey hawking Mutual Savings Bank.
Or were they talking about this ad for 1-900-OK-Face?
Too soon? Or just right? Either way, the Kennedy Center has announced that Tina Fey will be honored this fall with the 13th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Fey will be feted Nov. 9, 2010, at the Kennedy Center by her peers and more in the annual event which is taped for broadcast on PBS.
She will join this select group of past recipients of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize: Richard Pryor (1998), Jonathan Winters (1999), Carl Reiner (2000), Whoopi Goldberg (2001), Bob Newhart (2002), Lily Tomlin (2003), Lorne Michaels (2004), Steve Martin (2005), Neil Simon (2006), Billy Crystal (2007), George Carlin (2008), and Bill Cosby (2009).
The news comes hot off the heels that Twain himself will be in the news in November, too, with the posthumous publication of his memoirs -- 100 years after his death, per his instructions. Wonder what he thinks of the people who've won this highest honor in his name?
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.
With so many former cast members of Saturday Night Live returning to help out guest host Betty White, we knew we were in for a lot of reunions with old characters. And we were, but a few didn't make the final cut after last night's SNL dress rehearsal, including Rachel Dratch's "Debbie Downer," a new "Bronx Beat" with Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, a "Joyologist" session with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon, and a slightly misguided "press conference" for the failed Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad.
NBC has put these online, but should any of them made it onto the live show? Let's review.
Kristen Wiig's character tried to host a lingerie party with Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, and Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer, and a latecomer to the party, Dratch's Debbie Downer.
Nobody lost it in the scene, but this did feature a flashback to when Debbie wasn't such a downer, but her grandma (Betty White) taught her everything she'd know. Oh, there was a dig at BP for the current Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In Bronx Beat with Betty (Poehler) and Jodi (Rudolph), they talk about Betty's second pregnancy, pool noodles, and Mother's Day wishes. And White plays Betty's mother, retired to Florida. White plays the straight woman in this sketch. Andy Samberg also appears as White's yoga instructor and her boyfriend. Cougar alert! So if you hoped to hear White talk more about having sex, well, here is that chance.
OK. In "Joyologist," Ana Gasteyer brought back her character Gayle Gleason, host of a TV show called "Pretty Living" that now only appears in the backs of taxi cabs. And she welcomed back Helen Madden, Molly Shannon's renowned "joyologist." Two old characters in one new sketch. "I love it, I love it, I love it," Shannon's Madden said. What do you think? Do you like her new friend?
If they had put these sketches on the air, do you know that most of the current SNL cast could have taken the week off?!? Really.
And this sketch in which Faisal Shahzad (Fred Armisen) holds a press conference to express his displeasure with how the media has mocked his failed attempt to blow up an SUV in Times Square the previous Saturday, with translation from Maya Rudolph's character. It. Well. Hmmm. Doesn't Shahzad speak at least some English, anyhow? Roll it.