Lorne Michaels

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I have seen a few criticisms ...

Question: I have seen a few criticisms of Brian Williams' decision to host Saturday Night Live, people saying that as a newsman he would be denigrating his integrity, Edward R. Murrow would be spinning in his grave, yada, yada. I normally don't watch the show, but as a (print) journalist, I was curious to see Williams' performance. I think there's a line between pandering yourself for cheap laughs and showing an ability to poke fun. In my opinion, Williams did a great job of demonstrating the latter. He was really entertaining and showed comedic ability, and it's not like now I'll no longer find his news reports credible. Perhaps this would've been unthinkable in the days of Walter Cronkite or even Tom Brokaw. But even if this was just a gimmick for NBC Nightly News to reach out to a "hipper" audience, I can't help but be happy and relieved for Williams. It must have felt like Lorne Michaels approached him to try skydiving for the first time. And to know he survived it without serious ... read more

In Praise of the SNL Parody

Hello, all. It's been another great week for The Office and the Office drunk. I'm the redhead at the corner desk. Wild week. Not the typical Meredith-takes-her-top-off wild. Just interesting-and-jam-packed wild. The Office has now crossed a new threshold: An SNL parody! That is a milestone. Rainn Wilson hosted this past week and kicked some major ass. He is one of the most talented actors who I will ever work with. The Office sketch in the opening was pretty cool. Lorne Michaels was more like "Lorne Michaels Scott." No Meredith, but that's OK. (It could have been a guy in drag. I love drag, but I am sure it would have been subpar drag.) Anyway, as a comic actress who has had my own SNL "almost" story, I was really happy to see the Office opening. When I was in Chicago in 1991, I was touring with Second City and I did a show called The Miss Vagina Pageant (directed by Jill Soloway, a writer-producer from Six Feet Under) at the Annoyance Theater, and Lorne Michaels came to see it and ... read more

Lorne Michaels Reveals Saturday Night Live's Season 1 Secrets!

Gilda Radner as "Baba WaWa"; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels

On Oct. 11, 1975, only minutes before Saturday Night Live was about to make its debut, an issue concerning wardrobe threatened to derail the entire production. George Carlin, that night's host, refused to wear a suit. It's hard to imagine a time when appearing on network television in a T-shirt could be construed as crass, even lewd, but that's how NBC brass viewed it. Meanwhile, Carlin wasn't budging. "Five minutes before air they were still fighting," Lorne Michaels recalls, during a conversation with TVGuide.com. "At the last moment, the compromise was that he would wear a suit [jacket] with a T-shirt." Thirty-two years and many thousands of wardrobe choices later, SNL (Saturdays at 11:30 pm/ET) is still going strong, read more

SNL Boss Explains Cuts, Unveils WU Team

Addressing the streamlining of Saturday Night Live's ensemble for the new season, Lorne Michaels tells the Associated Press that since the only alternative was to put out fewer shows, he chose to bid farewell to Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell and Finesse Mitchell instead. "Like a garden that gets overgrown, [SNL] needed to be pruned," he says, adding that the smaller cast also means "everyone gets enough playing time." Michaels also confirms that "The Needlers" will reunite at the WU desk when Seth Meyers, having bested three others up for the gig, replaces Tina Fey alongside Amy Poehler. SNL returns Sept. 30, with Dane Cook as host. TV Guide hears that Earl's Jaime Pressly will front the show the following week. read more

Gay Duo Host SNL "Funhouse" Special

Ace, Gary and their creator, Robert Smigel

Perhaps they are kowtowing to the liberal-media agenda or being spurred by the success of Brokeback Mountain. Whatever the case, NBC's Saturday Night Live is letting a couple of homosexual superheroes host the show this weekend. Known as "the Ambiguously Gay Duo," Ace and Gary (voiced by Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell) will take the read more

DESPERATE FOR LAUGHS

Eva Longoria

Does Eva Longoria have a hankering for Peacock? The Desperate Housewives minx — who reportedly ruffled feathers at ABC when she granted an exclusive interview to Dateline NBC — will jump networks again when she hosts Saturday Night Live on Nov. 19. Personally, I think it's great — mostly because I'm dying to see a spoof of that Vanity Fair cover shoot. (Memo to Lorne Michaels: If you do this for me, all's forgiven for this season.) read more

SNL MYSTERY

With Tina Fey out on maternity leave, the question remains: Who will sit next to Amy Poehler at the Weekend Update news desk when Saturday Night Live kicks off its 31st season tomorrow? "Amy and someone," exec producer Lorne Michaels tells USA Today. "I don't know who." Eh, take your time. You've got, like, a whole day to decide. read more

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Charlie Rose with John Burns; Bernard Lewis; Tina Fey & Lorne Michaels (April 27, 2004)
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Charlie Rose with Howell Raines; Lorne Michaels (September 26, 1997)
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