The Nov. 3 cover story of TV Guide Magazine takes a close look at how Saturday Night Live has helped drive America's obsession with this year's historic presidential campaign. Along the way, SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels shared some thoughts with us about the show's political hot streak.
TVGuide.com: Saturday Night Live has made a lot of noise in past presidential election years, but it feels much bigger in this cycle. Why do you think that is?
Lorne Michaels: When you get 70 million people watching a debate with rapt interest and you have the echo of it all on the Internet and the 24-hour news channels, almost everything gets seen. You don't need to worry about the straight line. On [the second] debate that we did on the Thursday show, Darrell [Hammond, as Sen. John McCain] wandering into the shot was an immediate laugh. There was no setup to it. You had to have ...
Sarah Palin and Lorne Michaels
A Sarah Palin-Tina Fey Saturday Night Live showdown will happen "all in good time," Lorne Michaels told The Associated Press.
The executive producer's tease comes after Seth Meyers asserted there was "no truth" to the slew of Palin rumors, but would love to have her on.
Michaels, though, shared that he wasn't ...
Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live is racking up ratings with its political satire this season, so why did NBC yank a popular sketch that skewered Democrats and subprime lenders off the Internet?
The sketch, which lampooned a C-SPAN news conference about the government’s economic bailout package, labeled a couple as "People who should be shot" for making $24 billion off the subprime bonanza. Funny, right? Not when the characters, Herb and Marion Sandler, are a real-life couple who built Golden West Financial into a super lender and sold out to Wachovia.
More details on the controversy after the jump.
Mad Men courtesy AMC
In case you hadnt heard, AMCs Mad Men is not only a hit with the Emmy voters (the most nominated drama this year, with 16) but its a bona fide critics darling, walking away with three Television Critics Association Awards over the weekend at the 24th annual ceremony in Beverly Hills. Mad Men won for new program, outstanding achievement in drama and program of the year, prompting Emmy-nominated co-star John Slattery to quip (during one of the shows several acceptance speeches), How glad I am that the message of smoking, drinking and whoring Mad Men puts across has registered with the TCAs.Jon Hamm, also an Emmy nominee, thanked reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love (all three seasons) and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader for pushing the envelope so far that way that there was a place kind of on this side for us to sneak in.HBOs epic John Adams miniseries won two awards, for Paul ...
Saturday Night Live's Darrell Hammond and Amy Poehler as Bill and Hillary Clinton - Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC Universal Photo
Saturday Night Live returns this weekend with not only its first fresh episode since the WGA strike hit, but the first of four consecutive weeks of new programming something that hasn't happened since 1976. Explaining his decision to veer from his own never-more-than-three-straight rule, executive producer Lorne Michaels tells the New York Daily News, "When you don't show up when you're supposed to show up, people move on. And I think that by coming back in full force, and it's still primary season, there's still a lot of excitement."Michaels says that sitting out the major thrusts of this primary season (as well as the zany celebrity happenings SNL makes sport of spoofing), led to "frustration, occasionally turning to rage. It's the first time in the history of the show we hadn't been on during an election cycle."Related: Blerg! Tina Fey to Host First New SNL Saturday Night Live and Other Announced DVD Releases
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 ...
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 ...
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,
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.
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