May 30, 2012

SNL's Best Farewell Sketches

In honor of Kristen Wiig's farewell sketch in this season's SNL season finale (which we've posted enough times by now, if you haven't seen it yet, check out our prior posts), we thought we'd take a look back at some other memorable SNL farewell sketches.  While most SNL cast members leave without much fanfare (due to being fired or deciding to leave during the summer hiatus), some announce that they'll leave at a certain time in the future (usually at the end of the season), which allows the show's writers to organize a "farewell sketch" of some sort to say goodbye.   It's always difficult to balance the sentimentality of a cast member leaving with humor (I'd actually argue that Kristen Wiig's farewell could have been a little funnier), but these sketches did their best to do just that.  Here's a few of our favorite "farewell sketches".  Let us know if we missed any!

Stephen Colbert Makes Maxim's Hot 100 List!

Congratulations to Stephen Colbert!  It was announced last week that he made Maxim's "Hot 100" list of the world's 100 sexiest women.  Yes, you heard that right.  Due to a large number of write-in votes, Stephen Colbert (a man) actually made the Hot 100 List at sexy #69, beating out actual women such as Nicki Manaj, Pippa Middleton, and Sofia Vergara!. (Somehow Miley Cyrus just barely beat him at #68).  Check out Colbert's response to the news from last night's Colbert Report below!

Guest Post: American Idol Recap - Top 6

Guest Blogger Daniel recaps American Idol - Top 6!

The top six contestants started the night with a medley of songs by the rock band “Queen

Ok. Life on Idol without Colton Dixon starts now. In case you didn’t know, last week America voted off Colton Dixon, who in my opinion was by far the best contestant this season and one of the best I’ve seen ever. Even worse, America decided to vote the 20 year-old rocker from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, out right before Queen week. Dixon, who was a highlight every single week, would have been especially phenomenal this week. But I have to push through. Colton said that had he made it to the next round he would have sang “The Show Must Go On.” Well it's true. Even without the kid who was clearly the best this season, the show must go on.  In addition to the Queen songs, each contestant will sing a song of their choice. At the start of the show they all sing a medley of Queen songs with two of the original members of Queen. The medley included “We Are The Champions” which made me think, “no Colton’s the champion. How could America do this?” Anyway let's get to the recap because the show MUST GO ON.

May 28, 2012

Ferecito (Fred Armisen) on Late World with Zach (Galifianakis)

While most people first became aware of comedian Zach Galifianakis from his breakout role in 2009's hit film The Hangover, he has actually been around for a very long time.  And back in 2002, he had a short lived talk show on VH1 called Late World with Zach, which combined his trademark piano-playing one liners, "AL-TV" style interviews (inter-splicing Zach asking one question and a celebrity answering another question, to make it look like a real interview, as made popular by "Weird Al" Yankovic's AL-TV specials), and  Between 2 Ferns-style interviews with real guests.  The show usually ended with a musical guest as well.  While the show was canceled after only 9 episodes, it still lives on today thanks to YouTube.

Now, while this show sounds amazing enough, we came across an episode that featured SNL cast member Fred Armisen in character as Ferecito as Zach's sidekick! Ferecito is a character that Fred has frequently done on SNL (known for his catch phrase "Ay Dios Mio!"), but it seems that this aired in the Spring of 2002, a few months before Fred joined the cast of SNL in the Fall of 2002.  Therefore, this is a clip of Fred was doing Ferecito before he was even on SNL!

Check out the 3-part episode below.  Ferecito appears throughout the episode in all 3 clips, but is most heavily featured in the first one.  In the second clip, Zach interviews Laura Prepon and Topher Grace from That 70's Show, and in the final clip, musical guest Pete Yorn performs.  Be sure to stay tuned until after the performance in the 3rd clip until around the 4:50 mark for lots more Ferecito! Ay Dios Mio!

And to refresh your memory, here's Fred Armisen as Ferecito on Saturday Night Live:

May 27, 2012

SNL: The Best of Kristen Wiig

While the futures of Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis on Saturday Night Live are still in question, one thing is for sure - Kristen Wiig has left the show.  And while we are of course sad to see her go, we know that she hasn't left forever.  No one truly leaves SNL.  If you've made your mark as a good cast member, then you'll be invited back for years to come.  Just this season alone, we've had Jimmy Fallon, Maya Rudolph, and Will Ferrell all return to host (also Ben Stiller, who was technically  a cast member for a few months in 1989), and Darrell Hammond, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan, Ana Gasteyer, Will Forte, and Chris Parnell all came back for cameos (Jimmy and Maya actually cameoed as well, in addition to their hosting). Nevertheless, Kristen's time as a cast member has come to an end, which means that hopefully we'll soon see a "Best of Kristen Wiig" DVD.  I have a fairly large collection of SNL "Best Of" DVDs (pictured below), and I'm looking forward to adding Kristen Wiig to my collection.  

While no "Best of Kristen Wiig" DVD has officially been announced yet, here's our prediction of what Kristen's DVD will look like:

Cold Open: Nancy Pelosi
SNL "Best Of" DVDs usually try to follow the pattern of a typical SNL episode, so it would probably start with a cold open sketch, such as this one with Kristen Wiig as speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi.

Monologue: Melissa McCarthy
If they decide to include a monologue, then it should be this one, where Kristen Wiig dances with her Bridesmaids co-star Melissa McCarthy.

Target Lady
Next would probably be some of Kristen's early characters, such as our personal favorite, Target Lady!  Approved!

2 A-Holes
While Kristen has brought back many of her earlier characters lately, this early popular sketch was never done after 2008.  Here's the very first "A-Hole" sketch with Jason Sudeikis and host Jack Black.

It's everyone's favorite one-upper, Penelope!

Secret Word
And who can forget legendary Broadway actress Mindy Gracen, as a contestant on the game show Secret Word.

Weekend Update: Aunt Linda, Judy Grimes, Garth & Kat
Kristen Wiig has also had many popular Weekend Update characters.  I'm picturing a series of her popular Update characters, including film critic Aunt Linda, the extremely nervous Judy Grimes, and the heavily improvised singing duo Garth & Kat

After the Update medley, we'd probably go back to one of Kristen's characters, such as the grossly seductive Shannah.

It wouldn't be the Best of Kristen Wiig, without one of her most popular characters, Gilly.

Impression Medley
Next there would probably be a a medley of short clips of ome of Kristen's most popular impressions, such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Suze Orman, Bjork, Michele Bachman, Paula Deen, and others (maybe some Kris Jenner, Taylor Swift, Drew Barrymore, Lana Del Ray, and the Tanning Mom)

Today Show
Next we'd probably get the Today show sketch, with Kristen's hilarious Kathy Lee Gifford impression.

Lawrence Welk Show
Leading into the finale, we'd probably see Kristen's crazy character of Dooneese from The Lawrence Welk Show.

She's a Rainbow
I don't think there's any other way to end a "Best of Kristen Wiig" collection, then with the She's a Rainbow sketch, where each cast member and Lorne share a farewell dance with Kristen during her final moments as an SNL cast member.

And that's it!  Seven seasons of SNL reduced down to one DVD.  While no plans for a Best of Kristen Wiig DVD have been announced yet, a DVD of the "Women of SNL" special that aired last season will be released on July 3!  This DVD includes many sketches starring SNL's funniest women, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Ana Gasteyer, and yes, Kristen Wiig! This should help hold us over until Kristen gets her own DVD!

SNL Season Finale with Mick Jagger and Who's Leaving SNL?

I know I'm incredibly late on this (as explained in our last post, we missed SNL when it aired, and we've been busy all week), but we finally had the chance to watch the Saturday Night Live season finale and write this long, rambling post about it.  And what a show it was!  Mick Jagger really came through as a surprisingly good host, we got an always-welcomed cameo from Jon Hamm, a sequel to Lazy Sunday, an appearance from Stefon, and an emotional farewell to Kristen Wiig.  Here's our thoughts on some of the big sketches of the night.

In addition to a reprisal of some of Kristen Wiig's most popular sketches, we were treated to a fun little sketch called "Karaoke".  This sketch seems to follow the long running trend (as I previously posted about) of SNL cast members doing impressions of Mick Jagger in front of Mick Jagger.  Following in the footsteps of Mike Myers and Jimmy Fallon, this time it's Fred Armisen (and to a lesser extent, Bobby Moynihan) who do their best Jagger in front of Jagger.

On last week's SNL (well, I guess it was 2 weeks ago by now), they had an epic "100th Digital Short", which featured the return of many Digital Short characters and guest stars.  With all the rumors going around that Andy Samberg would be leaving the show after this season, I speculated  that it would be the Digital Short Finale and that there would be no Digital Short on the Jagger show (or any thereafter).  It was also interesting that in the 100th Digital Short, while nearly all of the "popular" shorts were reprised or at least referred to, there was no mention of Lazy Sunday, Digital Short #2, one of the very first viral videos that really brought The Lonely Island and SNL Digital Shorts such popularity.  Well, now we know the reason.  The 100th Digital Short was not the Digital Short Finale, it looks like that honor goes to Digital Short #101 - Lazy Sunday 2!

And in case you forgot, here's the original Lazy Sunday:

I thought this was a really great follow up to the original Lazy Sunday. I like how Andy is still sleeping late on Sunday, as he was out late Saturday night doing SNL and attending the after-party, while Parns, who is no longer on the show, is up early working out at Crunch.  The pair have also matured over the last 7 years.  Instead of eating cupcakes and Red Vines, they're eating a low calorie brunch at a "cute French place".  And instead of going to the movies, they're going to the theater to see a Broadway musical.  But of course, it's still the same old pair, just hanging out together on a Lazy Sunday afternoon.  And I know I was wrong before when I thought that the 100th Digital Short would be the last,  but based on the last line of Lazy Sunday 2, it certainly seems that this will be the final Digital Short.  Andy raps, “On these New York streets I hone my fake rap penmanship. That’s how it began, and that’s how I’m-a finish it.”  

But, maybe it's not.  What really confuses me is "She's a Rainbow", the final sketch of the night, which gave a very emotional farewell to departing cast member Kristen Wiig.

While rumors have been swirling around over the last few months that Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Jason Sudeikis would be leaving the show after this season, NBC and the cast members never confirmed the news, only saying that contracts would be negotiated after the season ended over the summer.  But this sketch very clearly indicates that Kristen Wiig is leaving the show, as one by one, each cast member shares a little farewell dance with her, while Kristen fights back tears.  This is all then capped off with SNL creator/executive producer Lorne Michaels giving her a big hug and  former cast members Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Chris Kattan, and Will Forte all stopping by for her last show, as everyone joins together to sing The Rolling Stones' "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday".  Kristen is the clear center of attention here, and even the official description of the video as posted by NBC is "A farewell homage to Kristen Wiig".  

Now, while this a very sweet tribute to Kristen, what does this say about Andy and Jason?  If they are in fact leaving too, why wouldn't their departure get such a grand fanfare?  While it's true that Kristen has recently broken out as a big movie star with the success of Bridesmaids, Jason and Andy have actually been on SNL slightly longer than she has, and have both starred in their fair share of movies.  I suppose you could argue that the 100th Digital Short and Lazy Sunday 2 were Samberg's farewell, as he got 2 big, self-indulgent sketches.  But still, that seems to be the equivalent of Kristen starring in "The Lawrence Welk Show" and "Secret Word" in the same show.

Even stranger is the case of Jason Sudeikis.  Despite reprising Joe Biden and "Twinkle and Stink" in the previous episode, Jason is practically absent from this whole show.  Furthermore, what's most bizarre is his behavior during Kristen's farewell.  Scroll up and watch that video again, but this time, just stare at Jason Sudeikis whenever he's on screen.  Seriously, go do it.  Unlike the others, who do a fun dance with Kristen and then clap and sing along with the rest of the cast, Jason comes out, holds Kristen tightly as she whispers something in his ear, and then walks away, slowly swaying with the group but not actually singing or clapping.  His face looks very emotional and visibly upset, like he's trying really hard to not break down.  He then slowly drifts to the back of the crowd until he's no longer visible on screen, as everyone gathers around Kristen to give her hugs.  So what is the reason for Jason's behavior?  Is he staying and was just sad to see Kristen go?  Is he leaving and was jealous that Kristen got a big farewell sketch and he didn't?  My guess is that he really wanted to leave the show after this season, but Lorne convinced him to stay another season so could continue to play Mitt Romney in the months leading up to the presidential election. (Of course, what then happens if Romney actually becomes president?)

In fact, Andy and Jason may not be leaving at all.  In an article posted by Vulture shortly after the finale, when Lorne was asked about Andy and Jason leaving SNL, he responded, "What? No. Who said that? No. In no way. Absolutely not ... No decision will be made on that until July ... I'm not even dealing with that yet."  But if that's the case, then what's with Andy's lyrics at the end of Lazy Sunday 2?  And why was Jason so emotional?  I guess we'll have to wait until July to find out...

May 19, 2012

TV Star Spotlight: Aziz Ansari

I know we just posted about last night's season finale of Saturday Night Live, but we didn't actually watching it yet (don't worry, we DVRed it.  No spoilers!).  That's because last night, we had tickets to see standup from the one and only Aziz Ansari!  Currently, Aziz stars on the NBC comedy Parks & Recreation, but he has actually been on many other TV shows in the past.  So let's take a look back at some of our favorite Aziz appearances.

Aziz Ansari's first major TV appearance was as one of the three creators and stars of the MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant.   Co-created with Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel, the show ran for 2 seasons on MTV, and featured the trio appearing in various sketches (many of them recurring throughout episodes), along with some pretty great guest stars.  This first sketch is from a recurring sketch called "Shutterbugs", which features Aziz and Rob Huebel as managers of a child talent agency.  Special guest appearance by Bobb'e J. Thomas (Role Models, Tracy Jr. on 30 Rock).

Here's another recurring sketch from Human Giant called "Illusionators", a parody of Criss Angel's Mindfreak, featuring a guest appearance from Rob Riggle (SNL, Daily Show).

After Human Giant, Aziz took on many guest starring roles on TV shows, such as his recurring role as Ed the Intern in season 8 of Scrubs.  Here's a little compilation of some of his best scenes:

Aziz also had a memorable appearance on the HBO comedy Flight of the Conchords as a racist fruit vendor.

And now, Aziz stars on the hit NBC comedy Parks and Recreation as Tom Haverford:

But Aziz has done much more than just television.  He has appeared in many movies, such as I Love You Man, The Rocker, Get Him to the Greek, Funny People (as alter ego RAAAAAAAANDY), and his first starring role in last summer's 30 Minutes or Less.  

But in addition to acting, Aziz is also a great stand-up (hence we got tickets to see him).  In his signature style, he has talked about a wide range of topics, such as marriage and children, stories about Kanye West and R Kelly, making fun of his cousins Harris and Darwish, thread counts on luxery linens, and buying ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Aziz released his first Comedy Central special Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening in 2010.  Here's the cleanest clip we could find from the special: (other clips are funnier, but we try to keep this site relatively clean.  You can check out tons of other Aziz standup clips on YouTube)

Aziz's second special, Dangerously Delicious, will make its TV debut tonight (May 20) at 10:00pm on Comedy Central.  But, for just $5 you can download the extended, uncensored version on Aziz's website. We bought it, and it was hysterical. Well worth the $5!

And last night, we were in attendance for Aziz's 3rd comedy show, Buried Alive.  It was a really funny show, and great to finally get to see Aziz live.  If you want to catch him on tour, check out his tour dates!  Highly recommended!

Mick Jagger Hosts SNL Tonight!

Legendary rock star and Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger will be hosting the season finale of Saturday Night Live tonight.  While this is his first time hosting solo (he hosted with the Rolling Stones back in 1978), he has been a musical guest many times before, and has appeared in some very memorable sketches.

Here's a classic sketch from 2001, with Mick Jagger and Jimmy Fallon doing the old mirror routine:

And here's a great clip from 1993, where Mick Jagger made a guest appearance on Weekend Update as his Stone's bandmate Keith Richards, opposite Mike Myers as Mick Jagger.  (NBC doesn't have the clip up, but we found it on some Russian website.  Just ignore the Russian subtitles.  Or, if you're Russian and don't understand English, then you'd probably want to read the subtitles.  Up to you)

Be sure to tune in to the SNL season finale tonight!  Based on these clips, it should be pretty great!  And if the rumors are true, it might just be the last show for Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, and Andy Samberg, so you won't want to miss that!

May 18, 2012


Guest Blogger Daniel shares his shock and outrage over Colton Dixon being eliminated from American Idol.

On Thursday, on American Idol, one of the most talented contestants, certainly this season, and possibly in the history of the show, got eliminated in what will be remembered as one of the most surprising eliminations off all time on Idol; Colton Dixon was eliminated. In a very emotional fashion, during his last performance on the Idol stage, Dixon dropped to his knees and, being very religious, sang to God. If you read the blog, you will know that I was a big fan of Dixon, and I was shocked and disappointed see Colton sent packing. And I wasn’t the only one. After the show, various people voiced their surprise and displeasure with the result. Various other contestants, both from other seasons as well as those who have already been eliminated this season, tweeted their surprise. Below you can look at some of their tweets.

Here’s a conversation between Jeremy Rosado, who came in 13th this season, Eben Franckewitz, who was eliminated in the semi-finals this season, and Pia Toscano, who came in 9th last season. When Toscano got eliminated last season in also came as a shock to almost everyone.

I have to admit that I, like Eben and Pia, let out a few tears when I watched Colton get eliminated and perform his final song.

Rosado also added with regards to Dixon’s last performance…

And they weren’t the only people who were shocked by Colton’s elimination. Look at what semifinalist Brielle Von Hugel had to say.

Even Carrie Underwood, probably the most famous American Idol winner of all time, voiced her displeasure with the way American voted.

Hollie and Colton in the bottom two. Hollie, who seemed to have braced her self for elimination looked shocked to find out Colton would be going home instead.

Phillip Phillips looked seriously distraught when he heard Colton would be going home.

Colton’s sister, Schyler can’t believe her brother got eliminated.

During his time on Idol, Colton’s performances have all been fantastic, but his final performance had a little extra emotion that can only come when you hear that you have just been eliminated. This performance also earned a standing ovation from the judges, who up until now had inexplicably not given him one. You can watch the performance below.

Now here are some pictures of the contestants watching Colton’s emotional, final song:

Hollie Cavanagh hysterically crying at the beginning of Colton’s last performance

The always upbeat Skylar Laine claps and sings along to Colton’s last performance while Jessica Sanchez sobs.

Hollie cries and Skylar cheers as they look on.

Phillip Phillips took the elimination of his buddy Colton (the two were close friends) very hard, putting his head in his lap and staring at the ground and praying for most of Colton’s final performance.

Colton performs for the last time on the Idol stage as Phillip (far right) looks on in disbelief and Elise Testone, Joshua Ledet, Hollie, Skylar and Jessica sing along.

Colton’s final performance made J-Lo choke up.

As Colton finished his last performance, the judges finally gave him the standing ovation he deserved so long ago, as he was mobbed by his fellow contestants.

After the show, as usual, the judges came up on stage to say their goodbyes.

Colton and Steven.

Colton and J-Lo embrace after the show.

Randy gives Colton some final advice.

Colton gives his little sister Schyler, a hug.

After the show, as usual, the judges and guest performers gave their thoughts on the show. “I was beyond shocked!” Steven Tyler mused. “I was definitely shocked.” Randy Jackson added “He’s amazing and he had never been in the bottom.” “He was definitely in my top 5. I told him to be really proud because what he came to American Idol to do, he did, which was to show his talent and he didn’t have to win to do that. He’s just one of those artists that you really get right away,” said Jennifer Lopez. Season 8 winner Kris Allen called the results “very surprising.” Allen went on to say “For me, at least, when I think about who’s gonna make it to the final, who’s gonna make it to the top 3 or whatever, I thought he was definitely in that realm. But he’ll be great. He knows exactly what he wants to do and he’s a great musician, a great singer so, he’ll be fine.”

May 16, 2012

Guest Post: American Idol Recap - Top 7, Again

Here's a new American Idol recap from Guest Blogger Daniel:

So, just to catch you up last week, Jessica Sanchez was the low vote-getter and the judges used their one save on her. That means we have yet another week of the top 7. Tonight, they will each be singing two songs. One from then, an old song, and one from now, a current song. Not only is this a lame theme but it is pretty similar to the theme we had last week. C’mon American Idol! One more thing before I start. For their first performances, 5 of the 7 contestants looked ridiculous. I’m not a big fashion guy but I know when someone looks ridiculous, and they looked ridiculous. Below you can see a picture and in the comments for the first performances I will not only discuss the performances but how ridiculously they were dressed. Anyway, lets get down to business.

Round 1: "Now" Songs

Hollie Cavanagh                    Rolling In The Deep
Last week, Hollie got out of her slump and sang well. This week, she sang amazingly. This was Hollie at her potential. Starting the song a cappella was brilliant. She really showed off her voice in the chorus and sang the verses with a terrific intensity. Great job Hollie. It was kind weird though to have the backup singers on the screen behind her. Anyway, Hollie sang great but looked strange. She wore these weird billowy pants and her shirt didn’t cover the side of her body. This might be the look she was going for, but I thought it looked weird. Anyway, she sang great. A+

 Colton Dixon                         Bad Romance
As you know, I am a big Colton fan, but during this performance he looked terrible. He was wearing a weird jacket that fell behind him like a cape, and he also wore red leather pants! He even put some red into his hair! C’mon! Anyway, he took on a big song, but after hearing his song choices for the past few weeks, flinching, and then watching the incredible performances that followed, I didn’t get worried. Colton was nailing this one as per usual until he got to the line “I want your love. And I want you revenge.” He went waaaay to low there and couldn’t hold the note. While that wasn’t good, he still totally nailed the chorus, especially when he sang “whooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOoo” and the “raaa ahhh raa ma ahhh” parts. Overall while this was Colton’s worst performance on the show it was still pretty great. A-

Elise Testone                         No One
Elise was wearing a weird drape-y orange dress that made her look like a gourd. Just terrible. Anyway, great song choice. That said, Elise didn’t really do anything interesting with it. She sang it pretty well, it just wasn’t especially interesting. It didn’t really have a sense of artistry. It was like good karaoke. But she did sing well. A-

Phillip Phillips                                    U Got It Bad
When I heard Phil would be singing an Usher song, I was very excited because it meant he was going to do some real creative re-arranging and really put his stamp on the song. And it was good I guess. Surprisingly, it wasn’t really special. He sung it ok, but even with all the changes, I wasn’t excited by it. Still, I give him props for a solid performance and for tremendous originality. Also, congrats on being one of the only contestants to be dressed ok during their first performance. B+

Jessica Sanchez                      Fallin
I found it sickening the way the judges rushed up onstage after Jessica got eliminated, saved her, then practically told the world that she was the best singer ever and that you should “vote for the best” and that the best was her. IT'S OUR CHOICE LEAVE US ALONE. I actually wouldn’t have minded seeing Jessica go home. She has been boring me a bit lately. Her performances all seem kinda the same, and last week she was definitely the worst. Tonight, Jessica was ok. She didn’t do anything special or anything we haven’t seen before. It was kinda similar to her performance last week, but it was a little better. While she wasn’t dressed badly, her hair looked atrocious. She looked like she had just come out of a wind tunnel. B+

Skylar Laine                           Born This Way
Skylar sang the country version of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and it was fantastic. She was totally in her element. She performed with a great energy as usual and hit all the notes with a power that no other girl in the contest has. This was an American Idol winner caliber performance.  To top it all off, she didn’t look bad the way most of the contestants did during their first songs. A+

Joshua Ledet                          I Believe
Big song to take on, but Joshua did a good job. It showcased his powerful voice and he was really in his comfort zone. Nothing new here though. Nothing we hadn’t seen before though. Just Joshua singing the kind of big song that he specializes in. And there was a little more emotion than there usually is. Oh, and his fashion problem. 2 words: red jacket. A

Round 2: “Then” Songs
Phillip Phillips provided one of the high points in round two singing “In The Midnight Hour”

Hollie Cavanagh                    Son Of A Preacher Man
This was good-not-great and not as good as “Rolling In The Deep” was. Hollie didn’t seem as committed to this song as she was to “Rolling In The Deep.” Her vocals were still solid though. And still better than what she was doing a few weeks ago. B+

Colton Dixon                          September
This is the Colton we know and love. Colton changed up “September” and really made it his own. It was well sung and very sincere. There was just something right about watching him sit at the piano and sing his heart out. I don’t get why the judges didn’t like it. It was flawless. A+

Elise Testone                         Let’s Get It On
This was just a mess. Terrible song choice and she didn’t sing it very well. She was growling and squeaking and it just sounded awful. I would say this probably puts the nail in the coffin for Elise. Nothing else to say. C

Phillip Phillips                                    In The Midnight Hour
Phil did some really fantastic singing here. He put his soul into this song and it showed. He didn’t growl too much, but he growled at all the right times. Most importantly, he appeared to be having a ball up there, and if the performer is having fun, the viewer has fun. Really great performance by PP. A+

Jessica Sanchez                      Try A Little Tenderness
This was pretty bad. I’m not sure what Jessica was thinking when she chose this song. She shouldn’t be singing a song about young girls when she is just a 16 year-old girl herself. Also she put on this raspy voice that was clearly fake. Jessica is very talented, but this really makes me wish the judges didn’t save her. Not even the judges could deny how bad it was, but because they can't say anything bad about Jessica, instead of actually critiquing they made long rambly comments that made no sense. After last week, I know she won't go home, but after what she did tonight, I think maybe she should. C-

Skylar Laine                           Hear It Through The Grape Vine
This was good. Skylar brought her signature flair and country twang to this often-covered Marvin Gaye classic, and the results were good. She totally changed up the melody and sang the verses with fierce passion. Skylar did a really good job. Also, I believe this is the only song to be sung during a live performance on American Idol for the last three seasons. In season 9 it was sung by Andrew Gracia, last year it was done by Casey Abrams, and this year Skylar took a stab at it and managed produce a totally original result. A

Joshua Ledet                          A Change Is Gonna Come
Joshua sure has pipes. He has a truly fantastic range. He is insanely talented. But the judges are doing him a disservice by complimenting him incessantly. I think he really has a shot at winning (right now I have him in 4th) but if he is going to win, the judges need to back off a bit. A

Run Down
Skylar Laine’s “Born This Way” was the best performance of the night

Best Performance Of The First Round: Skylar Laine, “Born This Way
Worst Performance Of The First Round: Jessica Sanchez, “Fallin’”
Best Performance Of The Second Round: Philip Phillips, “In The Midnight Hour
Worst Performance Of The Second Round: Jessica Sanchez, “Try A Little Tenderness
Best Performance Of The Night: Skylar Laine, “Born This Way
Worst Performance Of The Night: Jessica Sanchez, “Try A Little Tenderness
Contestant Who Had The Best Night: Skylar Laine
Contestant Who Had The Worst Night: Jessica Sanchez

What The Bottom 3 Should Be
Hollie, Jessica and Elise with Elise going home.

Predicted Bottom 3
Phillip, Hollie and Elise with Elise going home.

May 13, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: NBC Fall Schedule Released!

Moments ago, NBC released their Fall 2012 Schedule. The big news is that The Office will indeed be returning for a 9th season, joining previously announced renewed series 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Community, and Up All Night.  Interestingly, it looks like Community is moving to Friday nights (oddly paired with the surprisingly renewed Whitney), with 30 Rock, Up All Night, The Office, and Parks & Rec staying on Thursday nights.  Regardless, we're just happy that all our favorite NBC comedies are coming back, and we'll still have our 2 hour comedy block every Thursday night.  Check out the full NBC Fall Schedule below from TVLine.  Shows in blue are new, and you can click on them to learn more about them.

8/7c The Voice
8 pm The Voice
9 pm GO ON
10 pm Parenthood
9 pm Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8 pm 30 Rock
8:30 pm Up All Night
9 pm The Office
9:30 pm Parks and Recreation
10 pm Rock Center with Brian Williams
8 pm Whitney
8 pm Community
9 pm Grimm
10-11 pm Dateline NBC
Encore programming
7 pm Football Night in America
8:15 pm NBC Sunday Night Football
SUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)
7 pm Dateline NBC
8 pm Fashion Star
9 pm The Celebrity Apprentice
10 pm DO NO HARM
NOT RETURNING NEXT SEASON: Are You There, Chelsea?, Awake, Bent, Best Friends Forever, Chuck, Free Agents, Harry’s Law, The Playboy Club, Prime Suspect and The Firm.

Happy Mother's Day from Jimmy Fallon!

Happy Mother's Day to all your mothers out there!  Just for you, here's a special Mother's Day song from Jimmy Fallon, if only Tina Fey will let him sing it!

Old Characters Return to SNL

Will Ferrell return to Saturday Night Live last night, and he brought with him a slew of past cast members and guests to reprise their most popular characters.  In addition to Ferrell reprising his popular George W. Bush impression in the cold open, he brought back Ana Gasteyer to reprise their old sketch "The Culps", singing a medley of popular songs in their own unique style.

Will Forte also returned to team up with Jason Sudeikis to reprise their popular characters Twinkle and Stink, the ESPN sports announcers sponsored by various feminine hygiene  products.  (Forte later also reprised his character of Hamilton.)  While it was great to see the sketch return, they clearly didn't know what to do with Will Ferrell.  I think this was a missed opportunity to have Ferrell's Harry Carey join the booth with Twinkle and Stink.  Regardless, it was still pretty great.

And finally, it was the 100th Digital Short, and a slew of stars came back to reprise their popular Digital Short characters (in additional to Justin Bieber).  We don't want to spoil all the appearances in case you haven't seen it, so check it out for yourself!

With rumors swirling around that Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, and Kristen Wiig will be leaving the show at the end of the season, it certainly seems like their ending their runs on the show.  The epic 100th Digital Short seemed like a great Digital Short finale, and Forte coming back seemed like a great way to see Sudeikis do Twinkle and Stink one last time before he leaves.  And in recent weeks, Kristen Wiig brought back her old characters Gilly and Target Lady, despite previously announcing that she had retired the characters.  While no official announcement will be made until the summer, if the rumors do turn out to be true, we will certainly be sad to see them go.  Next weekend is the season finale hosted by Mick Jagger, so we'll see what characters (and possibly past cast members) return for what may be the last show for Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Jason Sudeikis.

Stephen Colbert Book Signing

Stephen Colbert tweeted that he would be signing copies of his new children's book I Am a Pole (And So Can You) in New York yesterday, so of course we just had to go.  Now we've gone to many book signings of TV stars before (most recently, The Office's Mindy Kaling and SNL's Rachel Dratch), and usually it involves the star saying a few words about the book, perhaps even reading a passage and/or answering questions from the crowd, and then everyone lines up and waits their turn to have a few minutes to talk to the star, get the book signed, and get a photo.  Unfortunately, this was not the case with Colbert. For one, rather than have the signing at a big book store like Barnes & Nobles (like the others were), Colbert had his signing in a little independent children's book store, going along with the fact that this is a children's book (although it really isn't).  We were all prepared to ask Colbert about what happened with his relationship with Jimmy Fallon, and how the whole thing got started, but sadly we only had a few short seconds with Colbert, enough for him to say "Hello" and "Thanks", and that's about it.  Photography wasn't even allowed, so sadly we don't have a photo with him, although we did sneak in a shot of him signing someone else's book when no one was looking.  

The book itself though is great.  It's much longer than the version he read to Maurice Sendak on The Report, and there's lots of funny things written on the inside covers.  Unfortunately, the ending of the book was changed from "I am an American flag pole, so pledge allegiance, or else!" as it was originally pitched, to the more conventional "so pledge allegiance, to me".  Regardless, the book is still hilarious and a must-own for any Colbert fan (though not really for kids, as the "stripper pole" line is still intact).

And in honor of the great children's author Maurice Sendak, who passed away just a few days ago (on the day Colbert's book was released), here is the full 2-part Stephen Colbert interview with Sendak, where he originally pitched him the idea for I am a Pole.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive