Vanessa Bayer’s Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy has been a regular character on SNL’s Weekend Update for quite some time now, so it was about time for us meet the family of everyone’s favorite awkward, overly prepared Jewish kid. Coinciding with the end of Passover, the show brought the great Billy Crystal onto the show as Jacob’s equally awkward father.
Prolific character actor James Best, most known for playing the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard, has passed away from complications following a battle with pneumonia. He was 88 years old.
Since The Walking Dead just ended its fifth season and it’s still one of the biggest shows in the history of television, it makes sense that SNL would pause to talk about it. After all, what good is the “Weekend Update” segment if the anchors don’t occasionally stop to talk about what’s big in popular culture? And what good is SNL if it can’t get one of the most popular actors from The Walking Dead to stop by for a minute-long cameo?
Most of the time, the SNL opening monologue is a formality and a tradition, a road bump on the way to the actual good parts of an episode. It feels like something the guest host does because he has to, not because anyone on the writing staff actually had a good idea. And that’s why last night’s monologue was such a joyous surprise: it was not only the best monologue of the season, but the best sketch of the whole night.
It has been a regular joke for a few years now that any struggling franchise just needs to bring Dwayne Johnson into the fold if it wants to regain relevance, but thanks to SNL, we now know that he is very aware of the joke. While guest hosting the world’s most famous live sketch comedy show, Johnson devoted his entire monologue to crooning a song about how he’s “franchise viagra.”
The Late Late Show With James Corden made its grand debut last night, with seemingly every celebrity in existence popping up to say hello. But for his first official guest, Corden snagged everyone’s favorite actor: the one and only Tom Hanks. More importantly, he got Tom Hanks to get really silly and there are few things better than Hanks throwing caution to the wind and embracing his inner comedian. In this case, he got the two-time Oscar winner to re-enact all of his movies in less than eight minutes.
It’s an SNL sketch premise so silly that it feels like it belongs in the early ’90s, not 2015. Taking place in the distant future, the scene asks us to believe that chickens have evolved to be more intelligent than humans and that a chicken could command a spaceship of human beings and, most importantly, that a crew member played by guest host Chris Hemsworth would fall in love with the chicken.
When he passed away last week at the age of 83, Leonard Nimoy was mourned by actors, artists, politicians, scientists, engineers, astronauts and even the President of the United States. That should tell you something. Few characters have had such a seismic impact on popular culture as Star Trek’s Spock and countless people all over the world felt like they had lost a friend. Amidst the countless tributes, there is now one that stands out: a brief but powerful remembrance from Zachary Quinto, who picked up the Spock mantle in 2009’s Star Trek and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.
We knew going in that the SNL 40th anniversary special would be chock-full of just about every famous person who has ever walked within spitting distance of 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the opening monologue was quick to make use of this genuinely insane temporary cast of stars. Things got started on the right foot when the always-welcome Steve Martin took the stage ... but then he was joined by Tom Hanks. And then things got really crazy.
‘Breaking Bad’ may be completely, definitively over, but that doesn’t mean Walter White is ready to leave popular culture alone. Oh, no. As long as Bryan Cranston is alive and as lone as insurance companies are prepared to back dump trucks full of cash up this house, we’ll get to see America’s favorite meth dealer pop up every so often. So while it’s weird to se Cranston play Heisenberg one more time in an Esurance commercial, it’s not that surprising.
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