An oral history with the creative forces behind a particularly iconic episode of IFC's "Documentary Now!"
You may have forgotten how hysterically funny this spoof of film documentaries from Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers can be. It won’t be long before you remember.
A review of the new IFC documentary satire "Documentary Now!" from Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader.
It's with pleasure and excitement that I welcome Tom Shales, a good friend, as a blogger on this site. Tom, the nation's best-known television critic, won the Pulitzer Prize while writing for The Washington Post from 1972 to 2010. His blog will focus on TV and whatever else he feels moved to write about. -- RE
Apparently a new bylaw at "Saturday Night Live," which began its 38th season this weekend, is "The worse the host, the more sketches in which he'll appear." So it was with big let-down Seth MacFarlane, multimillionaire comedy tycoon who hosted the season premiere. Once he arrived on the show's tiny (and, yes, "iconic") stage, he was punishingly omnipresent for the whole 90 minutes.
We can be grateful he didn't grab a cow bell and crash the musical act.
With the exception of MacFarlane - a man who has gone farther with less than perhaps even Tyler Perry -- the series seemed to be in tip-top ship-shape shape, especially considering that it begins a new year minus two of its greatest cast assets: Andy Samberg, off to make more movies, and the incomparably versatile Kristen Wiig, the funniest woman in television since Tina Fey. Or maybe since Gilda Radner. Or maybe since Carol Burnett. Or maybe since, dare we say it, Lucille Ball?
Marie writes: I love photography, especially B/W and for often finding color a distraction. Take away the color and suddenly, there's so much more to see; the subtext able to rise now and sit closer to the surface - or so it seems to me. The following photograph is included in a gallery of nine images (color and B/W) under Photography: Celebrity Portraits at the Guardian."This is one of the last photographs of Orson before he died. He loved my camera - a gigantic Deardorff - and decided he had to direct me and tell me where to put the light. So even in his last days, he was performing his directorial role perfectly, and bossing me around. Which was precious." - Michael O'Neill
Orson Welles, by Michael O'Neill, 1985
First: Was the cold open lackluster on purpose? Did Alec Baldwin deliberately read the cue cards badly just so he wouldn't have to look at Sarah Palin? (I worked on an "SNL" when Baldwin co-hosted with his painfully untalented-as-a-live-actor ex-wife, and he's a million times better than that. Lorne Michaels, too.)
See Baldwin's comments on Palin's appearance here.
Second: Because this blog is all about me (see above): How weird to see Sarah Palin in that very hallway where (he suddenly remembered) I was introduced to Paul and Linda McCartney. (That's the only Beatle, or Beatle spouse, I've ever shaken hands with.) My narcissistic perspective: Does Palin deserve to be standing anywhere near that spot? I think not. (Apropos of nothing: You know who I love? Mike Shoemaker and Marci Klein, that's who.)
Third: Regarding MacGruber: I know, but are there really any rich people who were rich a month ago who aren't still rich?
Fourth: Simon and Garfunkel Jack-in-the-Box Burger King commercials.
Fifth: Congrats to Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers (and Palin). This is funny:
"Not since 'Sling Blade' has there been a voice that anybody could do.... Anybody can take a swing at this voice."
"You have to be able to goof on the female politicians just as much, otherwise you really are treating them like they're weaker or something."
Also, she gives credit to Seth Meyers for being the primary writer of the Palin SNL sketches. Classy broad.
(Ebert on McCain on Letterman, plus clips, here.)