The New York Times ran a story a couple weeks back about a sad little latchkey kid who deemed himself a food critic while eating dinner at a restaurant by himself. Yeah, he like took a wee notebook along and everything. It's devastating and precocious and weird and vaguely annoying. Which means it would make the perfect movie! Saturday Night Live head Canadian Lorne Michaels and MGM scion John Goldwyn have bought the rights to the story, which they hope to turn into a "a youth-themed empowerment film."
John Mack probably won't be celebrating much this year given the financial crisis, but the Morgan Stanley CEO turns 64 today. Also turning 64 on this Monday: SNL creator Lorne Michaels and Danny DeVito. Martin Scorsese is celebrating his 66th. Lauren Hutton is 65. Howard Dean turns 60. Former MTV House of Style host Daisy Fuentes is turning 42. Drag performer RuPaul, is turning 48. Isaac Hanson, of the Hanson brothers, turns 28. In the weddings department, hotelier Ian Schrager tied the knot with another former ballerina on Saturday night named Tania Wahlstedt. And Rob Speyer, the president of Tishman Speyer and son of real estate billionaire Jerry Speyer, married Anne-Cecilie Engell over the weekend.
♦ Angelina Jolie is either "burning up with jealousy" over Brad Pitt's flirtatious relationship with co-star Diane Kruger, or she's completely happy and getting ready for her next adoption in the next few weeks, depending on which tabloid you pick up. [Star, OK!]
♦ Elisabeth Hasselbeck gets more death threats than any other host on the View, news that probably won't surprise you. [P6]
♦ Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer spent last weekend at a romantic spa in Arizona. [Star]
♦ Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen appeared at a book signing yesterday, but they did not permit fans to talk to them. [P6]
♦ Page Six follows up on the news from three weeks ago and reports Ivanka Trump is converting to Judaism for Jared Kushner. She's attending synagogue regularly, too. [P6]
And now, for what will presumably be its last trick before tumbling into a three-and-a-half-year election hangover, Saturday Night Live is rumored to have booked Barack Obama for an appearance on its Nov. 1 episode. The cameo replaces the candidate's original guest spot on last month's season premiere, which Obama was said to have backed out of in anticipation of Hurricane Ike. But one blogger's recently posed conspiracy theory is way more fun, suggesting that Lorne Michaels and Obama campaign overlord David Axelrod instead colluded at the time for a November surprise. But like Alec Baldwin, whom Michaels is said to have coaxed to the set last week with Harvey Levin's home phone number and a week's supply of gay venison, Obama, too, is pay-to-play through Election Day:
Yeah, so, this happened. The real Sarah Palin and Mark Wahlberg opened last night's Saturday Night Live, with help from Lorne Michaels and Alec Baldwin. Stiff discomfort reigned. But at least Tina Fey was still her usual hysterical self, and was only exposed to the actual Palin in passing. That, plus Palin on Weekend Update, after the jump. Click to view
While the Tina Fey-as-Sarah Palin cold opening attracted some of Saturday Night Live's best notices in years (and best ratings, too — it was the highest-rated season premiere since the 2001 opener following the 9/11 attacks), nothing else that followed had quite the same water cooler buzz. However, if the show had been able to stick to its original plan, there would have been at least one other moment that would have had people talking: a Barack Obama cameo. Though the presidential candidate was forced to cancel due to Hurricane Ike, Michaels reveals to the Washington Post exactly how he would have been used (and what other surprise celebrities got involved as a result):
Rejoice, interwebs! After weeks of intense lobbying, Tina Fey finally gave America what it so loudly demanded: a full-fledged, mercilessly accurate Sarah Palin impression on last night's season premiere of Saturday Night Live. Lipstick jokes? Check. Appalling lack of knowledge about the Bush Doctrine? Check. Akaskan accent by way of Fargo's Marge Gunderson? Check, mate, you betcha. And while there was no sign of Maya Rudolph as Michelle Obama (and Barack Obama had to withdraw from his cameo in the wake of devastation from Hurricane Ike), Amy Poehler proved an invaluable scene partner as a seething, sarcastic Hillary Clinton. Enjoy this sketch while you can, for if Sarah Palin ascends to the White House, both performers will be executed for treason. The video, after the jump:Click to view
A while ago, not long after after Barack Obama won the Iowa caucus, NPR put forth a story asking, "Is America Post-Racial?" "Probably not," we thought to ourselves, "otherwise America's premiere sketch comedy show would actually have this famously black presidential candidate played by, y'know, a black guy and not Fred Armisen." Now, Saturday Night Live has reminded us of that musing once again, because TV Guide reports that instead of adding a black actress to its troupe to play Michelle Obama, the show would rather entice former cast member Maya Rudolph to return. An excerpt, with new details from Lorne Michaels on whether Tina Fey will play Sarah Palin, is after the jump:
When we mused last week that this 2004 cover of Life was the closest we'd ever get to our dream of seeing Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin, we thought we were speaking practically. After all, Saturday Night Live already has at least two performers capable of the role (the Palin-resembling Casey Wilson and the Phelps-derobing Kristen Wiig), and Fey's hands are too tied as a full-time Baldwin wrangler for her to keep making cameo appearances at her old stomping grounds. Today, though, we stumbled on this Vulture interview with 24-year-old SNL scribe Simon Rich (son of NY Times political columnist Frank Rich), and while the writer is perfectly chatty about most matters, he clams up provocatively when asked about rumors that Fey might return to SNL for this Saturday's season premiere:
1) The final big event of the season was the Robert Wilson-hosted concert benefit at the Watermill Center on Saturday. Rufus Wainwright, Kate, Anna and Martha McGarrigle, and Jessye Norman performed for a crowd including Isabella Rossellini, Calvin Klein, Amanda Hearst, Steven Klein, Daphne Guinness, Patrick McMullan, Bob Colacello, Jamee Gregory, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Luigi Tadini, and Lisa Anastos. [Paper/PMc]
A deranged man stalking Uma Thurman? That we can understand. (Well, sort of.) But Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels? We really didn't see this one coming. According to the Post, a "poor, paranoid guy from Long Island" named Evans Pidhajecky has been charged with dropping in on Michaels at least six times over the past year. Pidhajecky is apparently convinced that Michaels "overheard" his private "conversations, singing and/or other utterances" and, naturally, wanted credit for his efforts. But instead of prosecuting him, wouldn't it make more sense for Michaels to be thanking him right now? Call us crazy, but this may be the first time in years that anyone willingly took credit for anything that appeared on the show.
It's difficult to properly convey to you the excitement level that hits you the second you walk through the revolving doors at 30 Rockefeller Center before a live taping of Saturday Night Live. After all, it's one of the hardest tickets to get in show business. So, unlike a concert or athletic event where you can see the eyes of some attendees glazing over from boredom, everyone who is in attendance is someone who desperately wants to be there. As anyone who is in the building will attest, the energy in these moments is both palpable and kinetic. And that's just in the lobby of the ground floor of the building!
It's official: the world-saving baby-making duo of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are no longer mere entertainers. They are "heroes and pioneers." At least according to the categorical rankings of Time's 100 Most Influential List released today. And not only are they the most influential heroes, they're apparently more influential than Oprah Winfrey. And Tony Blair. In any case, among the "artists and entertainers," the mag happily ranks Lorne Michaels and Robert Downey Jr. high above icky Suze Orman and preachy George Clooney, but we do take issue with several other entries, after the jump.
As we learned recently, SNL's Chris Farley was far from coddled or loved during his final years by fellow cast members. And now, a new biography on Chris Farley titled The Chris Farley Show will divulge more depressing tales from friends of Farley and how exactly they went about attempting to help the struggling addict get better (hint: they didn't). From former co-stars dishing on his desperate attempts to be loved using prostitutes to anecdotes involving his habit of licking everything from his shoelaces to his wallet, one revelation made by Chris Rock stands out:
If you're wondering why you're not seeing as much of popular SNL featured players like Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader and Andy Samberg these days, there's one simple reason why: Kristen Wiig. Since she made her debut on the show back in late 2005, Wiig has quickly established herself as one of the most gifted and versatile performers to ever grace the stage at Studio 8H, not to mention one of the funniest. In this short time, she's quickly become Lorne Michaels' MVP of the show, often appearing in 4-5 sketches per episode. While it's debatable as to whether or not she'll ever reach breakout superstar status of SNL alums like Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy or Mike Myers, she is, for our money, the single most talented sketch comedian the show has seen since fellow Groundlings alum Will Ferrell retired. After the jump, we feature two sketches that she knocked out of the park this weekend. The first features a spot-on impression of Jamie Lee Curtis filming a commercial for Activia yogurt; the latter, a virtuoso turn as a haggard and worn down travel writer named Judy Grimes who, for the life of her, can't stop kidding around.
When we suggested this morning that comedian Jordan Carlos might be a good candidate for President of Saturday Night Live Obama Impersonators, little did we know that Carlos actually has an Obama impression. One that is available to watch! Sometimes we are impressed by our own keen powers of prediction (which flow from ignorance—thanks, tipster!). Below, the comedian's "BA-L-ACK OBAMA" sketch from Funny Or Die. Lorne Michaels: consider this an audition. Whether Jordan Carlos wants it to be or not!
The "Black Comedy Experiment," a sort of comedy festival that, in an odd twist, does not feature whites, is going on in NYC until March 1. Its parade of up and coming black comedians offers the perfect chance for Saturday Night Live boss Lorne Michaels to finally find somebody to play Obama. Because the whole Fred Armisen-looking-stern-in-blackface-and-speaking-monosyllabically (not that there's anything WRONG with that) was just not quite enough to catapult the impression into SNL's all time greats. Judging purely on who could be most successfully made up to look like Obama based on their photo [of course, we are white, so (joke)], we'd say Baron Vaughn or Jordan Carlos have the best shot. Although the role will probably go to Charles Star. Watch the clip below, in which Jordan Carlos explains why he is your only black friend, and judge for yourself:
Lorne Michaels is going to do something he hasn't done since 1976. No, not snort coke off of Chevy Chase's shiner. Starting with SNL's triumphant post-strike return to the air this Saturday, he's going to put on four new episodes back-to-back. But if everyone is "so happy to be back at work" according to the NY Times, why is Lorne so blue about the prospect? Being the perfectionist producer that he is, he's rife with regret about the pop culture events they didn't get a chance to cover. "We missed Mike Huckabee. We never got to do our Mitt Romney." As if that weren't bad enough, the show "still needs to find it's Obama." So what can devotees expect when the season returns? Well, after Tina Fey slam dunks her performance this week, Ellen Page will be hosting the next week. After that, the picture is a bit murkier.