September 30, 2012

Jimmy Fallon and "Guys with Kids" Cast Perform History of TV Theme Songs

Last week, Jimmy Fallon had the cast of NBC's new comedy Guys with Kids (which Jimmy co-created and executive produces) on his show and the topic of TV theme songs came up.  The conversation then seamlessly transitioned into a full out "History of TV Theme Songs" medley with the four guys singing the theme songs to nearly all our favorite classic TV shows:

And here is what's sure to be the next great classic TV show theme song, the theme from Guys with Kids, sung by none other than Jimmy Fallon himself:

So be sure to watch Guys with Kids every Wednesday at 8:30 on NBC!  While we don't watch many multi-camera sitcoms anymore, as FalPals we had to give this one a chance, and it's actually pretty funny!  And it co-stars Tempestt Bledsoe, who played little Vanessa Huxtable on The Cosby Show!

September 22, 2012

Clip of the Day: Ron's Barbecue

This Thursday we finally saw the return of our favorite NBC comedies!  There were lots of great clips from each of the four shows, but our favorite of the night would have to be this clip from Parks & Rec of Ron describing his ideal barbecue:

September 20, 2012

Guest Post: Daniel's Wishlist for New SNL Hosts for Season 38

Here's a new Guest Post from our Guest Blogger Daniel!  

Last week I really enjoyed reading this site's “SNL Host Wishlist”, and while I loved a lot of those choices (Stephen Colbert, Will Arnett, Ty Burrell, Elizabeth Banks, Mila Kunis, Aziz Ansari, and Mindy Kaling) I didn't love all of them (Ken Jeong). So I decided to make a list of people I thought was left off that list. And to be clear, these are not predictions of who will host, they are people I would like to see host.

1. John Krasinski
How you know him (notable works): The Office, Something Borrowed, Big Miracle, It’s Complicated, Leatherheads, Away We Go, Shrek The Third, Monsters Vs Aliens, Dreamgirls, License To Wed, Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
John Krasinski has a very rare comedic skill; he can play the funny straight man. What most people don’t get about Krasinski’s performance as Jim Halpert on The Office is that while he doesn’t play as outrageous a character as Rainn Wilson's character Dwight or Brian Baumgartner’s character Kevin, Krasinski still injects a wonderful, charmingly confused yet sarcastic sense of humor to the show. Krasinski uses this same brand of somewhat subtle humor in most of the movies he appears in like It’s Complicated and Big Miracle. Krasinski is a very talented actor who has the ability to give a good performance in a mediocre movie like Leatherheads. Krasinski would also be a good choice because he is said to do impressions of the other cast members of The Office and impressions are always a good vehicle on SNL for hosts, especially if they mock someone the host knows really well. I have wanted him to host for quite some time now and thanks to The Office, Krasinski hosting has always been plausible. Now with Promised Land, a drama that Krasinski co-wrote and co-stars in with Matt Damon coming out in June, and The Office in their last season, it seems like a fantastic year for Krasinski to finally host.

SNL Dual Review 38.01 - Seth MacFarlne

Today we introduce a new feature to the blog.  In the style of the SNL Perpetual Post, Guest Blogger Daniel and I will each give our own short reviews of each SNL sketch.  While Daniel and I do both love SNL (and many other shows), we often have very different taste.  For example, Daniel loves Surprise Sue, while I hate it.  I love Nuni while Daniel hates it.  We will be writing these reviews separately without knowing what the other is saying.  (I will say that in general, Daniel is a harsher critic than I am.)

Cold Open: Democratic Rally

Jason: Great opening sketch for the season.  As much as I love Fred, Jay does a better Obama.  Glad to see Jason back doing his always amazing Romney, and look forward to more Paul Ryan from Taran.

Daniel: Liked it. Loved Fred passing the role of Obama to Jay and Jay wasn't great but much better than Fred used to be. Jason Sudeikis stole the show though.


Jason: As expected, Seth MacFarlane did a musical number.  And as expected, lots of Family Guy voices.  Still enjoyed it though. Was hoping for a Mila Kunis and/or Seth Green cameo, but oh well.

Daniel: Ok I guess but a little too forced with the Family Guy voices. Doing both the voices and the song seemed too long. Not great but not bad.

Commercial: Obama for America

Jason: More Obama/Romney! They have a whole summer's worth of politics to catch up on, so that makes sense.  Enjoyed this commercial.  It went a little too over the top at times, but still good.  Loved Kenan here.

Daniel: This was  just not great. The only laugh came from Kenan who kept getting fired. Throwing Jay in at the beginning was annoying and unnecessary. For a first add of the season this was really weak.

Sex After 50

Jason: I hate this sketch.  It was amusing the first time, and just gets repetitive every time after it. Nothing new is ever added.  Wish they'd stop reprising this one.

Daniel: Not a big fan of this Fred character but he hasn't done it in a while. It had some good lines. Kate McKinnon was particularly good.

Eastwood and Chair

Jason: Well you knew this was coming.  Bill does his great Clint Eastwood impression as always, and while the story is a bit old at this point, I'd be disappointed if they didn't do some sort of Clint/chair sketch.

Daniel: HOMERUN. I was wondering what they were gonna do with Eastwood considering his train wreck convention speech and Bill’s great impression. This was really really funny. Bill was fantastic as usual and I loved Jay’s reaction and the return of Taran’s Gay Theatergoer. Just a great pre-taped bit.

Lids (Gangham Style)

Jason: Gangham Style!  I had a feeling Psy might make a cameo since he was in New York on Today the previous day.  I enjoyed it, but felt like they could have done more with it.  Why was it in a hat store?

Daniel: This was weird but entertaining. Bobby and Taran were both great. Bill also got a laugh out of me in his quick appearance.

Puppetry Class

Jason: Bill just owned this sketch.  The character was a bit reminiscent of Will Forte's "Hamilton" character, but Bill's intensity juxtaposed with the puppets worked really well.

Daniel: Hader hits another homerun. Just hilarious. Had me on the floor. Kenan was funny in his supporting role. 

Weekend Update:

Jason: Seth's jokes were good. Haven't watched Honey Boo Boo (and don't plan to) but still enjoyed the bit (Bobby more than Vanessa). Seth MacFarlane's Ryan Lochte impression was funny, but a bit to exaggerated. Enjoyed Cecily's character ("Stop it!").

Daniel: Seth had a few good jokes but was not on fire like he usually is. I loved the “Innocence Of Muslims” joke. First time I watched it, I didn't love the “Honey Booboo” bit. After watching a trailer for the actual show and watching the bit again, I liked it a lot more. Vanessa was a bit annoying but it didn't matter cause Bobby stole the show with a great impression of “Mama.” I didn't love the Ryan Lochte bit cause Ryan Lochte never struck me as brain dead. In her SNL debut, Cecily Strong learned that a spot on accent can’t always save a feeble character. Jay had some pretty good mannerisms but overall just not a good bit.

Drill Sergeant:

Weak sketch. Interesting premise, but didn't escalate enough.

Daniel: I hated this skit. As someone who has dealt with stuttering problems I found it offensive. I know its not that different that making fun of gay people or black people or Jewish people or British people and stuff like that but it felt different to me. Also I’m Jewish and I’ve never felt offended by a skit mocking Jews.

Steve Harvey Show:

Jason: A fun sketch.  I liked Kenan's Steve Harvey impression last time (on Millionaire) so glad to see it back.  Now that Steve Harvey has a show, I could see this as a recurring sketch (replacing What Up Wit That?).

Daniel: Kenan does an ok impression but the concept is not really there. Not a great skit. Also Vanessa is really bad at being the straight man.

First Date:

Jason: This was silly, but it worked for me.  I like how it escalated from just the couple to random people doing the voices.  Also like how almost the whole cast got to do a little bit.

Daniel: I actually enjoyed this one. I usually don’t really like Nasim’s stuff but both her and MacFarlane both gave really good performances. Kenan was good as the annoyed waiter, Bill was funny as the guy with the weird voice, and Fred really got me as the robber.

Wooden Spoon Warehouse:

Jason: Um, ok...

Daniel: What was this? What ever it was not a fan. Put simply this is the definition of a stupid skit.


Jason: Decent start to the season.  The new cast is showing promise, and loving Jay's Obama leading into the election season.

Daniel: Decent show. Bill provided the two highlights in “Eastwood And Chair” and “Puppets.” A few more weak skits then you like to see in the premiere but generally solid. Can't wait for next week when the always enthusiastic Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns!

September 19, 2012

TV Shows Returning!

Tomorrow is the big day!  The Thursday night NBC comedies finally return to TV!  And while we're always excited for the return of of favorite TV shows after the long summer hiatus, it seems that this year each show is going through some big changes that are really getting us excited.  So to get you all excited for the big season premiers tomorrow night, (as well as a few in the upcoming weeks), here's a rundown of why we're excited for some of our favorite shows to return!

NOTE: While we will be talking about the upcoming seasons of shows, this post will NOT contain spoilers of the upcoming season.  I am firmly against spoilers of any kind, as I believe it ruins the fun and unexpected nature of watching a show.  (I don't even watch the commercials on TV for the episode coming up next.)  HOWEVER, this post WILL spoil last season.  Many of the shows had big cliff hangers at the end of last season, so I will be bringing you up to speed on where we left off and why we're excited for next season.  This post is intended to refresh your memory of where we left off, not to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet.  So if  you don't watch any of these shows or are currently watching any of the shows below on DVD for the first time and haven't fully caught up, please do not read that section, as I don't want to spoil it for you.

September 15, 2012

SNL Tonight!

Tonight's the night! SNL's season premier with host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean.  Check out the new promo below with Fred Armisen and be sure to tune in tonight!

September 13, 2012

Black Simon and Garfunkel Cover One Direction

My favorite music group Black Simon and Garfunkel returned to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to debut their new One Direction cover!  Check it out!

September 12, 2012

Jay Pharoah to Take Over Obama Impression from Fred Armisen on SNL

About 3 hours ago, we reported that Jason Sudeikis will be returning to SNL through the election season, which presumably was largely due to wanting to keep consistency in the presidential election impressions and not have someone else step in to play Mitt Romney after Jason Sudeikis has become so identified with the part.  And while it seems that Romney will still be played by Jason Sudeikis this season, it was just reported that despite still being on the show, Fred Armisen will NOT reprise his trademark impression of President Barack Obama, as the part will now be played by Jay Pharoah.  

While it is rare for political impressions to change cast members while the original cast member is on the show, it is not unheard of.  In fact, after Will Forte took over the impression of President George W. Bush from departed cast member Will Ferrell, Jason Sudeikis did Bush a few times while Forte was still on the show.  While it is certainly unexpected that Fred Armisen will no longer be playing Obama, it does make some sense. Many have criticized the quality of Armisen's impression, and Fred himself even admitted in a recent interview about how his Obama impression has evolved that he's "tried to do it more as [himself]"  (in other words, his Obama talks more like Fred Armisen than the real Obama). Many have also pointed out that Armisen is not actually black (he is of Venezuelan, German, and Japanese decent) so some even considered it racist that Armisen was essentially going under black face to do the impression, especially with black cast member Jay Pharoah sitting in the sidelines. 

Here's a clip of Jay Pharoah doing his Obama impression at a comedy club, before getting cast on SNL:

And in case you've forgotten, here's Fred Armisen's Obama impression:

And in other SNL political impression news, it seems that Taran Killam will have the honor of playing Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.  This is also a bit surprising, as in my opinion Paul Ryan more closely resembles Bill Hader, but Taran certainly does do great impressions, and I suppose that if Bill Hader played Paul Ryan, then he couldn't play Shephard Smith as the VP Debate moderator, and that would just be a shame.

One thing's for sure, Lorne certainly seems to giving the younger cast members more prominent roles this season.  Should be a very interesting year!  SNL's 38th season premier is this Saturday night in just 3 days!  

IT'S OFFICIAL: Jason Sudeikis Returning to SNL!

After much speculation, Jason Sudeikis will be returning to Saturday Night Live this season.  Towards the end of last season, it was rumored that Jason would depart the show along with Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg, and  and while Andy and Kristen both confirmed their departures at the end of last season, Jason never did, as he looked oddly emotional during Kristen Wiig's farewell sketch.  But after a summer of speculation, Lorne Michaels has confirmed that Jason will be back on the show, "through at least until January".  This is likely due to Jason playing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who will undoubtedly be heavily featured in the upcoming episodes leading up to the November election.  Assuming Romney loses, there won't be much more of a need for the impression, and Jason's departure wouldn't shake up the show as much (although it would still certainly undergo a huge loss).  This is not much unlike Amy Poehler's departure in 2008, when she stuck around for a few months to play Hillary Clinton and then left the cast in December after the election   Regardless, we're glad to see Jason back on the show, and we're now even more excited  this Saturday night's season premier!

Here's a promo for the show with host Seth MacFarlane!

September 10, 2012

3rd SNL Cast Member Added!

On Saturday, we reported that SNL had added 2 new cast members to its cast.  Well now, it seems that they've decided to add a third - Cecily Strong.  Like Aidy and Tim, Cecily comes from the Chicago improv scene, working with the Second City and Improv Olympic groups.  She has also previously worked with fellow new cast member Aidy Bryant with the"Virgin Daiquiri" team at Improv Olympic.  Here's a video featuring Cecily Strong called "How to Sponsor a Uterus". She first appears halfway through the clip.

September 9, 2012

Taran Killam and Cobie Smulders Get Married!

While last week we brought you the sad news that SNL alum Amy Poehler and Will Arnett had ended their  marriage, we have some much happier SNL marriage-related news today!  Current SNL cast member Taran Killam has married How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders!  The couple got engaged in 2009 and have a 3 year old daughter together.  So congrats to Taran and Cobie! The new comedy couple.  Hopefully their marriage will last longer than that of Amy and Will. 

Here's a clip of Taran Killam from SNL as Jonathan Cavanaugh-san, star of J-Pop America Fun Time Now! 

And here's Cobie Smulders on How I Met Your Mother where she reveals that before moving to New York to be a journalist, she used to be a Canadian pop star.

September 8, 2012

Clip of the Day: Jimmy Fallon does James Taylor

Jimmy Fallon has previously impersonated music legends Neil Young, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Jim Morrison.  And now, he adds another to his impressive list - James Taylor!  Watch below as Jimmy as James sings about the National Conventions in a parody of "Fire & Rain" entitled "Romney & Bain".

2 New SNL Cast Members!

After Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, and Abby Elliot all left the cast this summer (and Jason Sudeikis still unsure if he's returning), we knew that SNL would be adding some new blood to the cast this year.  And with Saturday Night Live returning in exactly 1 week from today (on 9/15), we knew that any cast additions would have to take place soon. And it looks like they have!  It is being reported that Chicago-based comics Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson have joined the cast!

Aidy Bryant
Aidy Bryant comes from Chicago where she has worked with many improv groups, including the prestigious Second City, as well as The Annoyance where she worked with current SNL cast member Vanessa Bayer (pictured to the right).  Here's a little video she made called "Let's Share!"

Tim Robinson
Tim Robinson also comes from the the Second City improv group in Chicago.  He was named as one of the "30 Under 30: Comedians to Watch" in 2011.  Here's a trailer for a 2011 Comedy Central pilot that Tim shot called My Mans.  The show did not get piked up.

Looking forward to seeing the new cast next Saturday night with host Seth MacFarlane! Only 1 week left!

September 7, 2012

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Separate

We don't usually report on celebrity relationship news here, but this news was just so shocking that we had couldn't help it.  TV stars Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation) and Will Arnett (Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Up All Night) are separating after 9 years of marriage.  The separation was said to be "amicable".  They have 2 young children.

While it's pretty common to see celebrity couples breakup, I really thought Amy and Will would make it.  They're both such talented and funny people, and they seemed truly happy whenever they were seen together.  They also often acted together, appearing in each other's TV shows, which only added to the fun the couple seemed to be having together.

However, in retrospect, when they appeared together on screen they usually played a very dysfunctional couple.  I suppose at the time it was funny because we knew they were happily married in real life, but now, going back and watching those old clips is just pretty sad.

September 3, 2012

Labor Day Memories: The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

Today is Labor Day. And while most people associate Labor Day with going to the beach, sales at the mall, or the last summer barbecue, to me it is always associated with one thing - watching TV.  No, not the many marathons of various TV shows, but rather watching the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.

As a young child, my dad introduced me to the comedic movies of Jerry Lewis.  Writer, director, and actor Jerry Lewis appeared in many comedy movies in the 50's and 60's, often exhibiting his trademark silly faces and physical gags.  My favorites were The Geisha Boy, The Bell Boy, Cinderfella, and The Nutty Professor (which was recently remade starring Eddie Murphy and is currently being adapting as a Broadway musical).  I used to watch his movies all the time, and I even owned many of them on VHS (back in the day before DVDs).

While I always admired Jerry Lewis as a comedian, my dad later introduced me to a more serious side of Jerry Lewis.  Every year since 1966, Jerry Lewis hosted a Labor Day telethon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to help fight over 40 types of neuromuscular diseases.  The telethon would air for 21 hours, starting Sunday night and continuing overnight through late afternoon on Labor Day Monday.  The show featured entertainment from various celebrities, as well as heartbreaking stories from those inflicted with the disease, in order to urge viewers to call in an donate.  I would always look forward to watching it each year, watching as much of it as I could throughout the weekend, and always being sure to catch Jerry's signature performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone" to close out the show.  I would also always donate each year to help the cause, which always raised millions of dollars to help fight the disease.

But last year (2011), everything changed.  First, MDA announced that the 21 hour telethon would be cut down to just 6 hours airing Sunday night (so it's not even on Labor Day anymore).  Then they announced that after 45 years, it would be Jerry Lewis's last year as host of the show.  But a few weeks before the telethon was set to air, it was announced that Jerry would not be appearing at all, and that he was no longer a part of the MDA.  It was unclear Jerry was fired or if he resigned, but for the first time since 1966, he was not a part of the show that once bore his name.  

And this year, 2012, that 6 hour show was cut down further to only a 3 hour prime-time show from 8-11 on Sunday night.  It was also renamed the "MDA Show of Strength", distancing itself from the "telethon" that it once was.  There was no host, no tote board, and most of the show was prerecorded.  I still watched last night, and I still donated to help the kids, and the show was enjoyable enough.  I suppose the changes were inevitable, as Jerry got older and less popular with the audience of today.    While Jerry's guests used to be his famous friends like Frank Sinatra and other popular stars of the time, during the last few years there were fewer big name guests, as the show was mostly made up of Vegas acts and dance troupes.  With the new shortened non-live version of the show, they did manage to get more popular performers (such as, Brandy, Carrie Underwood, All American Rejects, and Tim McGraw).  But it just wasn't the same.  The thrill for me was always watching Jerry Lewis.  While most of the show was very scripted and formatted, once Jerry got the mic you never knew what was going to come out of his mouth. It could be funny or heartfelt, but he was always entertaining to watch.  And as I watched each year as Jerry got older and older, I always assumed that Jerry would host until he died, and then they'd continue the telethon in his honor until a cure was found.  But that was not the case.  The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon ended in 2010 when he left the show.  The MDA Show of Strength is all that's left now, and while I'm glad to see the the fundraising efforts continue, Labor Day will never be the same.

Here is the end of the last Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in 2010, Jerry Lewis fighting back tears to sing his trademark song "You'll Never Walk Alone" for what turned out to be the final time: