Saturday Night Live

Seth Meyers is retro? Maybe at Emmys monolog time


Classy start, solid show


In an unusual move, NBC will have two "Saturday Night Live" reruns on Dec. 22, the first in prime time.

That one, at 10 p.m., is a shortened version of the excellent Dec. 15 episode. (It will be followed at 11:29 p.m. by the Bruno Mars episode.) Here's the mini-review I wrote after it aired:

By MIKE HUGHES

It's not easy to do loose comedy the day after a national tragedy. Tonight's "Saturday Night Live," however, was a classy effort.

Kristen Wiig says good-bye (sort of)


In a classy move, "Saturday Night Live" acknowledged (sort of) that Kristen Wiig is leaving.

Lorne Michaels, the show's producer, has said nothing would be decided until after the season. Still, the May 19 season-finale had a closing scene in which Wiig played someone who was graduating from school after seven years; she danced briefly with all the show's guys and more, including Steve Martin.

Post-Peyton: Now it's Eli's turn to conquer "Saturday Night Live"


It's Eli Manning's turn now, to take over "Saturday Night Live." Here's the story I sent to papers:

By MIKE HUGHES

Eli Manning, it turns out, really was
hesitant to follow in his big brother's footsteps.

Maybe not in football, but in comedy.

A good "SNL"; go figure


Now we know why "Saturday Night Live" was so bad last week: It was saving all its best stuff for tonight's finale.

With two exceptions -- oddly, the opening and closing sketches -- "SNL" was terrific throughout. And Justin Timberlake was, as usual, the ideal host. He appeared in most sketches and -- without being the music guest -- sang three times, once inside a beer-bottle costume.

Casey's back at bat


For a while there, Casey Wilson's timing was all wrong: She was on "Saturday Night Live" during some so-so years, ones when the show thought a good sketch consisted only of Kristen Wiig acting silly.

Now that's behind her. Wilson is one of the stars of "Happy Endings," an ABC comedy that is quick, slick and very funny. The show starts Wednesday, with two episodes; here's the story I sent to papers

 

Casey's back at bat


For a while there, Casey Wilson's timing was all wrong: She was on "Saturday Night Live" during some so-so years, ones when the show thought a good sketch consisted only of Kristen Wiig acting silly.

Now that's behind her. Wilson is one of the stars of "Happy Endings," an ABC comedy that is quick, slick and very funny. The show starts Wednesday, with two episodes; here's the story I sent to papers

 

Quick thoughts: "Black Swan," "SNL," "Friday Night Lights"


Some quick thoughts on three things:

1) I finally saw "Black Swan" today and mostly liked it; had the last minute been cut, I could have liked it a lot more. This is a dark and disturbing ride, but Natalie Portman is brilliant; I have to admit that she deserves the Oscar she's about to get .... even Jennifer Lawrence's perfect performance in the superb "Winter's Bone" can't compete.

"SNL": Life in reverse (almost)


For a while, I thought this was going to be a backward "Saturday Night Live": The sketches were funnier than "Weekend Update."

Then things returned to normal:

1) Seth Meyer closed "Update" with a classic joke: The first Starbucks-at-sea has just opened on a cruise ship, he said. "And somehow, there's already a homeless guy in the bathroom."

"SNL" flounders again


Apparently, it doesn't suffice to have "Saturday Night Live" book a great host. The show also needs humorous material.

From the moment of Jon Hamm's lame monolog tonight, it was clear that this gifted actor was being stranded. A couple sketches were OK -- a Vincent Price horror special, a take-off on a "CHiPS"-type show; "Weekend Update" and the digital short were excellent, as usual. Mostly, however, there was weak material, with or without Hamm.