When Jonah Hill graced the 'SNL' stage last night, he wasn't just a very funny comic actor -- he was a two-time Oscar nominated thespian with Very Important Things to say. The only problem is that no one cared about Hill. They only cared about his 'The Wolf of Wall Street' co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and all of the cast members strategically placed in the audience made sure to let him know this.
If you think this opening monologue set-up is just an excuse to get Mr. DiCaprio himself to show up for a brief but unforgettable appearance ... you're right.
'SNL' always gets a lot of mileage out of celebrity impersonations, but it really shines when it take those impersonations and puts them into truly strange and unusual new circumstances, forcing you to look at your favorite (and least favorite) stars in a brand new light. Last night's mid-season premiere took the usual formula and milked it for all that it was worth, resulting in the best sketch of the night: a look back at the TV careers of various hop hop artists before they hit it big.
In the weeks following the tragic death of Paul Walker, Universal and the crew of 'Fast and Furious 7' have been forced to drastically course correct the direction of the blockbuster franchise. With little time to mourn and countless jobs and dollars on the line, sources reveal director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and executive Jeffrey Kirschenbaum will gracefully "retire" Walker's Brian O'Conner from the series using footage already shot for the film.
The return of Ron Burgundy and his news team has been positioned as a big, huge deal. 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' has been marketed more than any major release this month and everyone just assumed that the film would effortlessly snag massive box office numbers thanks purely to saturation (on top of the fact that the original is quite beloved). So it must sting a little for Paramount to see the film open in second place and it must sting even more once they compare the opening numbers to the opening of the first film from 2004.
It's a situation that virtually every couple with a healthy, long term relationship has faced. You and your loved one go home to visit the family and find yourself forced to sleep in your childhood room, most likely on the tiny twin bed that was barely tolerable when you were half your current size. Since this is a 'SNL' sketch, this predicament takes the form of music video, where the ladies of the show invite their men for some sexy time on a bed that has no business being the location of an, uh, adult encounter.
Few guest performers seem to get 'SNL' quite like Justin Timberlake, who has a wonderful habit of showing up on the stage and creating classic sketches and characters with seemingly no effort. In most cases, he would easily overshadow the actual guest host, but when that guest host is show alum (and current late night superstar) Jimmy Fallon, there is less overshadowing and more comedic awesomeness.
Here's the weird thing about recurring 'SNL' characters and sketches: you may get tired or annoyed by them at the time, but ten years later, you'll just be longing for them. We didn't know how much we were missing the "Bill Brasky" sketches until last night, when the show brought the character back one more time. After all, when you have Will Ferrell in the house, you've got to revisit some of his classics.
NBC's live presentation of 'The Sound of Music' was one of the stranger and, depending on who you talk to, more disastrous television events of 2013, so it's only natural that 'SNL' went after it in last night's cold open. But this wasn't just an excuse to make fun of their parent network's weird programming decisions -- it was an opportunity to bring back one of the show's most beloved performers and characters.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
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