Mike O’Brien is one of SNL’s greatest secret weapons, a writer and performer whose truly unique voice shines through the show’s usual template. When he’s given total control of a digital short, it’s a genuine cause for celebration. His work feels less like just another sketch or parody, but more like an actual, full-fledged short film escaped into the show’s line-up.
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?
With the HBO documentary Going Clear currently making waves with its brutal expose on Scientology’s founders and members, it only makes sense that SNL would take a few shots at the world’s most controversial religion while it’s down. The show’s method of commenting on a pretty harrowing and horrifying case is genuinely brilliant: the show’s cast has assembled for a 25 year old music video extolling the virtues of a religion called “Neurotology,” which has been updated with annotations on the current situations of the many participants.
It was inevitable: Disney is making a live action Winnie the Pooh movie because of course Disney would make a live action Winnie the Pooh movie. The studio’s tactic of bringing their animated properties into the live action realm has already paid off with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella, so why not pay another visit to the Hundred Acre Wood and let a live action Christopher Robin hang out with a CGI Piglet?
In one of the strongest box office weekends of 2015 so far, both Home and Get Hard opened strong while Insurgent and Cinderella continued to perform well. This was the rare weekend that literally offered something for everyone, with R-rated comedies and animated family fare exceeding expectations.
As a former pro wrestler, Dwayne Johnson has plenty of experience cutting promos where he lays the verbal smackdown on his opponents. But what if he took things a little too far? That’s the premise of this delightful SNL sketch, which finds The Rock cutting the promo that crosses the line early on and never strops running.
There are few impersonations on SNL we enjoy as much as Jay Pharoah’s President Barack Obama, the chief subject of the latest episode’s cold open. But in a nice twist, the leader of the free world soon finds himself transforming into a monster of a man. Did you really think SNL would get Dwayne Johnson to guest host and not bring back The Rock Obama?
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.
Suddenly, Disney’s upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast is looking like a very wise move. After all, their new take on Cinderella shook the box office out of the doldrums, launching with numbers that feel more at home with the summer than March. Yes, it even took down that might spring movie season titan Liam Neeson.
Whenever SNL breaks out the “guest host answers audience questions” template for the opening monologue, it feels like a sign that the writers waited until the last possible moment to write this bit and couldn’t come up with anything better. And yet, when they use this formula for Chris Hemsworth, it works for one reason and one reason alone: their guest host has a couple of famous (and not-so-famous) brothers who can join him on stage.
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.
Fox’s new series Empire is huge. Like, insanely, impossibly, jaw-droppingly huge. In an age where ratings are steadily declining across the board as audiences cut cables and enter the brave new world of streaming, it’s a phenomenon. And like all phenomenons, it has to get targeted by SNL. In the most recent digital short, Empire is re-imagined with a brand new character: Chip the office manager, played by guest host Chris Hemsworth.
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