5 items from 2015
Conan O’Brien entertains hundreds of thousands of people each year. On a recent clandestine trip to Cuba, however, the TBS latenight host had to please just one – and for several harrowing minutes, thought he had failed.
O’Brien quietly journeyed last month to Cuba in hopes of giving viewers a taste of Cuba’s culture now that President Obama has declared the United States will “normalize” relations with the island country just 90 miles off the coast of Florida. A group of four (“Conan” executive producer Jeff Ross, head writer Mike Sweeney and O’Brien’s personal assistant were in tow) was to meet up with six staffers – camera crew, audio technicians and writers who had flown in from Toronto. O’Brien and team, who had not informed many executives at TBS owner Turner Broadcasting or its parent, Time Warner, of their trip, did not have visas ready to produce, »
- Brian Steinberg
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
It is hard to believe that creator Lorne Michaels’s legendary late night variety show Saturday Night Live has been kicking around the American airways for four decades and still remarkably standing on its hind legs even until this very day. No doubt that SNL has shaped the pop cultural minds of its avid viewers for forty-plus years on the small screen. Importantly, SNL gave birth to the careers of some of Hollywood’s major top stars in the realm of film, television and stage.
Sure, SNL is an immense institution in television. In fact, NBC-tv will acknowledge the iconic late night program when it broadcasts the 40th anniversary highlighting Saturday Night Live’s on-air staying power with many of the show’s luminaries returning and paying retrospect to the classic sketch comedy that became one of America’s most enduring and long-lasting laughfests.
Unfortunately, SNL has never had the »
- Frank Ochieng
The comedian also urges readers to go see “Boyhood” and “Into the Woods”
Louis Ck dropped new $5 stand-up special “Live at the Comedy Store” — his sixth (video below) — on Tuesday, and celebrated with a very lengthy, occasionally rambling email blast to fans.
Plugging his independent project, the comedian’s note discussed his history with the industry, lamented having to cancel the last of four Madison Square Garden concerts for underwhelming Winter Storm Juno and even pushed his followers to see “Boyhood” and “Into the Woods.”
Ck’s personal rep told TheWrap that there are no plans to reschedule the Msg date at the moment. »
- Tony Maglio
Dunn’s straight-outta-Long-Island, controlling matriarch, Louise, is always ready with unsolicited advice or a piece of chocolate.
In November, Dunn appeared on another Fox sitcom, Mulaney, as the title character’s mom.
Look for mother and son to be reunited in a March episode.
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5 items from 2015
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