Lorne Michaels

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Obama Names 21 Recipients of Medal of Freedom

Michael Jordan, Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, and more

(Newser) - President Obama is honoring actors Robert DeNiro, Cicely Tyson, Tom Hanks, and Robert Redford with the nation's highest civilian honor, the AP reports. They are among 21 people Obama plans to recognize with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House next Tuesday. Honorees from the sports world... More »

SNL to Cast Black Woman —and Soon

Final auditions pegged for Monday

(Newser) - It looks like Saturday Night Live's lack of diversity may soon be solved, at least partially: Since ribbing itself for not having a black female cast member, the show has confirmed it will add an African-American woman (possibly even two) to the cast as soon as next month, the... More »

Kerry Washington Ribs Ultra-White SNL

Show pokes itself over lack of black female on cast

(Newser) - Kerry Washington guest-hosted SNL last night, and helped the show razz itself over its decided lack of black female cast members (SNL does have two black male cast members, Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson): In a Cold Open set at the White House, Washington played Michelle Obama. Then Oprah. Then... More »

Behind Scenes, SNL Scrambled to Parody Debate

It's a lot more stressful than it looks

(Newser) - Along with a lot of Democrats, Seth Meyers watched the first presidential debate last week with a sinking feeling. "It’s boring enough when they’re talking about all this and how it will affect Americans, but when you’re sitting there trying to pull comedy out of it,... More »

SNL Getting a New Obama

Jay Pharoah will impersonate 'first Canadian president'

(Newser) - Saturday Night Live is getting ready to skewer another election and they've got a new President Obama waiting in the wings. Jay Pharoah will impersonate the president this time around, replacing Fred Armisen, who has been the show's Obama since 2008. "Jay has been doing Obama in... More »

30 Rock to Air Live Episode

They'll do it twice for East, West coasts

(Newser) - NBC says 30 Rock is going live this fall. Or at least one episode of it. A live show will air Oct. 14 and be performed twice so that both East and West Coast viewers get to see it that way. Shouldn't be a problem given the SNL backgrounds of... More »

SNL a Right-Wing Mouthpiece

Or latest sketch just a 'vehicle to make anal sex joke'

(Newser) - Saturday’s SNL cold opener—which poked fun at Obama’s deficit spending—conclusively marked the show as an “occasionally humorous right-wing propaganda organ,” writes Ethan Porter of True/Slant . SNL’s been obviously anti-Obama since the primaries, pausing only to mock Sarah Palin, who's far less popular than... More »

Small Screen's Biggest Brains

Family Guy creator MacFarlane, ubiquitous Fey top list of TV smarties

(Newser) - It may be dubbed the "idiot box," but there are some bright bulbs behind TV's smartest shows and network deals. After polling Hollywood insiders, Entertainment Weekly lists the top 25 smarties:
  1. Seth MacFarlane, executive producer, Family Guy, American Dad.
  2. Tina Fey, executive producer, actress, 30 Rock.
  3. Nancy Tellem,
... More »

SNL Seeks a New Post-Election Obama

Four comedians auditioned, but no pick from Michaels yet

(Newser) - Lorne Michaels has a tough decision to make, and the fate of Saturday Night Live may depend on it: Who will parody the president-elect? Fred Armisen played Barack Obama during primary season, but the executive producer can’t squeeze 4 years of laughs out of his milquetoast portrayal, writes Jocelyn... More »

With Election Gone, SNL Enters 'Rebuilding' Phase

Three new members join comedy show's cast

(Newser) - The election may be over, but SNL still has 14 episodes to fill. Lorne Michaels says the show will be in one of its periodic "rebuilding" periods, but he has much praise for three new faces. Here's the lowdown, from USA Today:
  • Abby Elliott: The daughter of former cast
... More »

Hate Palin? You Just Haven't Met Her

But Fred Barnes has, and, he assures us, she's great

(Newser) - Many of Sarah Palin’s critics have something in common: They haven't met her. Virtually everyone who has come into the governor’s presence leaves impressed, writes Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. Even Alaska politicians she’s quarreled with say she’s smart and capable. “Her politics aren’... More »

SNL Expects Obama Nov. 1

Meyers spills the beans to Palin at afterparty, aide tells blogger

(Newser) - Saturday Night Live has lined up Barack Obama for Nov. 1—the weekend before the election, blogger Martin Eisenstadt says he’s hearing from an aide to Sarah Palin. In boozy glee over the successful Palin appearance Saturday, SNL political writer Seth Meyers blurted, “just wait til you see... More »

'Caribou Barbie' Debuts on SNL

Baldwin tells her she's "way hotter" than Fey

(Newser) - The real Sarah Palin made her much anticipated debut on Saturday Nigh Live last night, gamely sparring with cast members who still skewered the candidate and show producer Lorne Michaels, reports USA Today. In the opening skit Tina Fey delivers Palin’s “first press conference” (she’s yet to... More »

Drenched in Watercooler Moments, SNL Is Hot Again

Late-night is the standout hit of the fall season

(Newser) - The fall TV ratings are in, and while Heroes needs saving and House is collapsing, Saturday Night Live has emerged as the biggest hit of the season, Maureen Ryan writes in the Chicago Tribune. Unlike other shows, SNL’s live ratings have jumped nearly 50% in its 34th season. “... More »

Election Results In: Comedy Wins

Race for the White House proving a comedy goldmine

(Newser) - No matter which candidate ultimately surges ahead, political comedy is emerging as the clear winner in the presidential race, reports the New York Times. Tina Fey's dead-on parody of Sarah Palin has triggered a huge boost in viewership for Saturday Night Live. The Colbert Report and the Daily Show have... More »

Franken Hatched Mac-Mocking SNL Skit

Candidate-comedian's role triggers ethics, political controversy

(Newser) - Former Saturday Night Live scribe and current Minnesota Democratic Senate hopeful Al Franken hatched the idea for last night’s sketch mocking John McCain—raising tough political questions for the program and NBC, Politico reports. Critics raised concerns about the propriety of a politician playing a role in an attack... More »

What's Eating Alec Baldwin?

'I don’t think I really have a talent for movie acting,' laments Red October star

(Newser) - Alec Baldwin—star of a hit TV show, winner of Golden Globes and SAG Awards, co-star to Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman—isn't all that jazzed about acting anymore. “There’s just something else I want to do,” the 50-year-old actor tells Ian Parker in the... More »

Fallon to Launch Late Night Online

New host will post short programs on the web

(Newser) - Jimmy Fallon is launching his career as host of NBC's Late Night on the Internet, reports the New York Times. Late Night producer Lorne Michaels will produce 10-minute segments with Fallon for an online audience months before he takes over on TV from Conan O'Brien, who's set to replace Jay... More »

'SNL' Staffers Not Laughing at Hillary Bias Claims

Show tries to be equally unfair to all candidates

(Newser) - “Saturday Night Live” staffers are getting serious over accusations of a pro-Clinton bias, with producer Lorne Michaels telling the Los Angeles Times any perception of bias is a "major concern" and assuring “there’s no agenda.” The show’s send-up of a media crush on Barack... More »

Wanted: Comic Who Can Imitate This Candidate

Saturday Night Live auditions for the part of Barack Obama

(Newser) - The latest indication Barack Obama is one of a kind: Saturday Night Live can’t find an actor to impersonate the Democratic presidential candidate. Show mastermind Lorne Michaels says mimicking any celeb's “mildly irritating” minor tics is crucial to any impersonation. The show, returning Saturday from the writers' strike,... More »

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