Sedition, sexual assault, and more attacks on scientists. The dumpster fire never ends.

Continue reading “Sedition, sexual assault, and more attacks on scientists. The dumpster fire never ends.”

Welcome to the pandemic! Now WASH YOUR HANDS.

Continue reading “Welcome to the pandemic! Now WASH YOUR HANDS.”

Relive Eddie Murphy’s almost-perfect ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live
Eddie Murphy & Lizzo
December 22, 2019

I’m going to try to avoid overthinking this episode because comedy never benefits from thinking about it too hard. (It’s one of the reasons I never recap comedies.) But, Eddie Murphy returning to Saturday Night Live for the first time in 35 years is not just a historically notable TV event, it’s one that required a little contemplation on both our part and the writers’.

Here’s the thing: Eddie Murphy blazed into superstardom on Saturday Night Live in 1980 when he was only 19 years old with characters like Mr. Robinson and Buckwheat — characters that made fun of racist stereotypes in a way that was so close to the chest that some viewers may not have understood they were supposed to be laughing with Murphy, not at him. Murphy was never putting on a minstrel show, he was pointing out how racist the minstrel show was. The problem is some viewers, particularly white ones, might have missed that nuance. (Honestly, maybe the greatest SNL sketch of all time is the one in which he went undercover as a white man — genuinely brilliant and tackling race in a way that remains as stinging and poignant 40 years later.)

So because a great deal has changed in the past 40 years, it was always going to be a delicate dance bringing some of these characters back to the show in a way that not only would be relevant but culturally palatable. But God damn, if they didn’t pull it off. Murphy’s 80s characters found themselves up against 21st-century issues like gentrification and the #MeToo movement — and that tension is where the comedy blossomed.

Then when you add to all of that the fact that Eddie Murphy waited long enough to come back to the show so that there were no more hard feelings, that he had shed enough of his movie star ego and aloofness that he could really enjoy himself on that stage in an uninhibited, genuine way … well, it made for the best episode of the year, certainly, and one of the best episodes of Saturday Night Live I’ve ever seen.

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Adam Sandler’s return to ‘Saturday Night Live’ was just all over the damn place

Saturday Night Live
Adam Sandler & Shawn Mendes
May 4, 2019

I’m going to be honest with you before we get into this: I am not a fan of Adam Sandler but for a few — no, make that one — exception, that exception being Happy Gilmore. I HATED Sandler when he was on SNL, and did not think it was a huge loss when he was fired 24 years ago. But Sandler has matured since his time on the show, as people are wont to do, and so while I came into this episode expecting to hate it and him, I was surprised to find I hated neither. Sandler, having become a huge movie star, seems more comfortable in his own skin, willing not to laugh more at himself than with himself, which is a huge relief.

All that said, it’s not a great episode, and in fact, one sketch — and an early one at that — received a dreaded F. You know what you did, Kyle Mooney.

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No more cute animal videos, just TV news. So much TV news. All the TV news.

Continue reading “No more cute animal videos, just TV news. So much TV news. All the TV news.”

Tina Fey brings back Sarah Palin for ‘Saturday Night Live,’ but was it enough? (No, not really.)

Saturday Night Live
Tina Fey & Nicki Minaj
May 19, 2018

I wanted to love this episode. I love Tina Fey and believe that if anyone can wring out some genuine hilarity from this show, it is Mama Tina. However, if we’re all being honest with each other, the Saturday Night Live finale featuring Tina was a bit of a let-down. It wasn’t terrible — or even bad! — but it wasn’t the consistently funny and revelatory episode I was hoping for, either.

Don’t get me wrong: there were some terrific moments. Tina managed to find a way to bring her amazing Sarah Palin impersonation back and make it (kinda) politically relevant; and her attempts to join the cast of Mean Girls is a master class is self-deprecation. But the rest of the episode felt … anticipatory …  like we were all waiting for something genuinely hilarious to happen … and it never quite did.

tina fey disappointed sigh blerg

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‘Saturday Night Live,’ Kate McKinnon and Dave Chappelle offer the post-election catharsis we needed

Saturday Night Live
Dave Chappelle & A Tribe Called Quest
November 12, 2016

~deep cleansing breath~

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‘Newsradio’ predicted this election 20 years ago, and we did not heed its warnings.

Continue reading “‘Newsradio’ predicted this election 20 years ago, and we did not heed its warnings.”