6 items from 2015
Hillary Clinton signaled the beginning of the 2016 presidential campaign, not formally of course, but on “Saturday Night Live,” which may be just important to aspiring pols as winning the big primary states. Over the years, the sketch comedy show has had a field day with politicians and their screwy contortions–sometimes with devastating effect. Chevy Chase, of course, set the bar for SNL’s political satire back in the 1970s with his biting portrayal of then President Gerald Ford as a bumbling dolt. ...Read More »
Rory Kennedy, director of the documentary “Last Days in Vietnam,” says that the movie is especially relevant as President Obama asks Congress for authorization to fight Isis, posing a potential expansion of U.S. involvement in Iraq.
“It’s important to really understand what the endgame is, and I think this film is a valuable history lesson for all those people making those choices,” she tells Variety‘s PopPolitics on SiriusXM’s political channel Potus. She said that when it comes to a pending vote on authorization, it’s important for Congress to “think through all of the variables so that we understand what the exit strategy is.”
Kennedy’s film focuses on the final days in 1975 before the South Vietnamese surrendered to the north, as American military and intelligence officials scrambled to evacuate residents who would be at risk of reprisals under a Communist regime, including hundreds from the U. »
- Ted Johnson
- Additional research by Jim Miller (@jimmiller)
For 40 years, Saturday Night Live has dedicated itself to making celebrities look as ridiculous as possible—and we’re better people for it. From controversial politicians (Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin was a cultural phenomenon that took on a life of its own) to kooky journalists (“Baba Wawa,” anyone?) SNL has supplied its fair share of eerily accurate impersonations throughout the years. Sometimes we wonder if we’d be more informed if Dana Carvey actually did NBC Nightly News instead of Tom Brokaw. Just a thought.
Here, we’ve selected 30 celebrity impressions that represent the best of the best. A few cast members make multiple appearances—how could we pick just one Kristen Wiig impression?—and some of these characters even met their real-life counterparts at one point. (Watch President Bill Clinton meet Bill Clinton below.)
If you’re in a safe space »
- Christopher Rosa
On the eve of its 40th anniversary special (though the anniversary itself isn't until October), what is left to say about "Saturday Night Live"? There have been multiple books written about the show, several documentaries, countless essays — riding the never-ending roller-coaster between "Saturday Night Dead" and "Saturday Night Lives Again!" — best-ofs, worst-ofs, and every other kind of list you can think of. I don't know that anything I write over the next few pages will provide new insight into one of the most influential comedy shows ever made, but I wondered if you could tell the story of the show — through good times and bad, through revolutions and evolutions and retrenchments — by looking at its sketches. I wound up picking 21 in all: some among the show's most famous, some obscure but important. These aren't meant as a definitive breakdown of the best "SNL" ever had to offer, but as a »
- Alan Sepinwall
Chevy Chase was one of the biggest stars on “Saturday Night Live” when the show debuted 40 years ago. But today he’s just big. He looked morbidly obese on the “Today” show during an appearance to talk about SNL’s early years. Chase, 71, was part of the founding cast of the show that included Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris and John Belushi. Chase was played the handsome leading man type on the show, founded the Weekend Update segment, which still appears today and starred in countless scripts. His impression of Gerald Ford’s bumbling may have cost the President his re-election. ...Read More »
VH1 Classic will run a selection of episodes of “Saturday Night Live” in reverse seasonal order over the course of 19 days in January and February in an effort to hitch on to interest in that program’s 40th anniversary celebration, slated to air during a three-hour special on NBC February 15.
The Viacom-owned cable outlet said it would work its way from the show’s 39th season straight through to the first episode of “Saturday Night Live,’ which was broadcast October 11th, 1975 and featured George Carlin as host. VH1 Classic will air that episode on Sunday, February 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern, leading up to the NBC special, which is slated for 8 p.m. that night.
The network won’t be able to broadcast every episode of the series, explained Ben Zurier, executive vice president of programming strategy for VH1, VH1 Classic and Palladia, in an interview. Some »
- Brian Steinberg
6 items from 2015
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