Saturday, July 31, 2010

MacGruber hits DVD and BluRay on September 7th

Who knows? Maybe MacGruber will make some money on DVD. One way to find out...

"MacGruber" can diffuse bombs using his bare hands and everyday objects, but that didn't help it from being the biggest bomb at the box-office this summer. The comedy based on the "SNL"character is getting a second chance on Blu-ray and DVD this September.

"MacGruber" stretches the usually 30-second to 2-minute "SNL" skits to 99 minutes in the comedy which sees the title character, played by Will Forte, being called upon by the government after a decade-long hiatus to find a nuclear warhead stolen by his enemy, the inappropriately named Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer). The film also stars Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe.

The Blu-ray and DVD contains two versions of the movie: the original theatrical version, and an unrated version, which features never-before-seen footage removed to keep the film's R-rating, which it was awarded for strong crude and sexual content, violence, language and some nudity, so imagine.

Along with more "MacGruber" back into the film, it also contains a host of special features, including a commentary with director Jorma Taccone, Will Forte, and co-writer John Solomon, a deleted scene, and a gag reel. The Blu-ray features exclusive additional features like BD-Live internet features, pocketBlu interactivity through iPhone and iTouch accessories, and more.

"MacGruber" hits Blu-ray, DVD, digital download and On-Demand on September 7th.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Kristen Wiig movie update - All Good Things (trailer)

You can see an early trailer of All Good Things over at the Kirsten Dunst fan site, KikiClips:

Just scroll up to the top and click "All Good Things."


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jon Hamm talks about being in Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids

Jon Hamm also reveals a bit about what we can expect from Don when he returns on Sunday and his hopes for his big-screen comedy cameo alongside Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph in Bridesmaids.

Jon talks about Bridesmaids briefly at 0:58 in.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Joel thinks Kristen Wiig will lose the Emmy to Jane Lynch


Julie Bowen, 'Modern Family'

Jane Krakowski, '30 Rock'

Jane Lynch, 'Glee'

Holland Taylor, 'Two and a Half Men'

Sofia Vergara, 'Modern Family'

Kristen Wiig, 'Saturday Night Live'

Who will win: Jane Lynch. No doubt about it. 'Glee' was the most popular new show of the season, and she was the most popular member of that show's humongous cast. Lynch deserved all »

- Joel Keller

From AOL:


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Was Kristen Wiig at Comic Con 2010?

There are sites like this one that says Kristen was at Comic Con 2010:

5:32 PM Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paul, Greg Mottola, Kristen Wiig, Jeffrey Tambor, Joe Lo Truglio, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Sigourney Weaver and Jason Bateman hit the stage.


However, the videos tend to show that Kristen never came out as part of the panel:

Nor when they leave (Bill Hader is polite):


Monday, July 26, 2010

Kristen WIig and Will - Turkey Songs

Kristen and Will have non-MacGruber characters as well.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Kristen Wiig in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Kristen is Russell Brand's yoga instructor in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kristen Wiig - Suze Orman quote

“Suze: how do you keep your highlighted wedge haircut looking so full of volume… at… the root?” Well, my dear friends, this lady is about to spill… the beauty… beans. Twice a month, I borrow my friend’s speedboat and go 180 miles an hour, all the way around Mexico… to California. Then, I buy a compact car and drive… directly… to Pam & Jan’s female-specific barber shop and color house… in Phoenix, Arizona. And that… is… Pam… and… Jan. Moving. On.”
- Kristen Wiig as Suze Orman



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bad MacGruber review - but good review of Kristen Wiig

This action comedy began life as a sketch on Saturday Night Live that spoofed a 1980s TV series, MacGyver
, about a mullet-headed special agent who preferred not to use a gun.

Instead, he's "good at kickin' * and rippin' throats", and even though Will Forte's title incarnation is also a nincompoop, a narcissist, a coward, and possibly a psychopath, the Pentagon want him out of retirment to foil his arch-enemy-with-an-obscene-name (Val Kilmer – that's not the obscene name). How the 1980s posturing and preening will play with the 14-20 year-old market it's aimed at is uncertain. What I wanted to know: was MacGyver as awful as this? Kristen Wiig lends it a bit of class as the hero's moll, Vicki St Elmo, but Forte is a pain, the scatological crudity unrelenting, and the air of pointlessness unignorable.


I do agree that it was a little tough to like Forte's character. Positve review of Kristen Wiig.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Seth Meyers thinks Kristen Wiig is hot

This was one of the questions Seth Meyers answered during a SportsNation chat.

Another Kristen question...

Dan (Vermont):
When Fred and Kristen (first name basis here) do their singing duo on Weekend Update, how do you not bust out laughing? (they make up the 'songs' on the spot, right? sure seems like Kristen doesn't know exactly what's about to come out of Fred's mouth) Same question when Fred does Gov. Patterson.

Seth Meyers (1:47 PM):
The longer I do Update the better I get at doing my laughing off-camera. With that said, I don't mind getting caught enjoying my fellow cast members. They're the funniest people on Earth and I'm playing myself so it's safe to laugh a bit.



Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seth Meyers talks about the SNL Emmys

Jay welcomed SNL star and ESPY host Seth Meyers last night; listen to Seth talk about SNL’s Emmy nominations and his hosting duties!

Plus Seth tweeted:

Congrats to Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey and Betty White for their SNL Emmy noms.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Kristen Wiig - MacGruber interview (sex scene and more)

Here are two sentences you won’t hear used together very often: "Did you see the new movie with that Saturday Night Live actor? What a subtle, nuanced performance." The hammy overacting required for a sketch show like S.N.L. rarely translates to the big screen. It’s like hiring a mime to interpret a poem. But there are always exceptions to the rule. Take Kristen Wiig, who’s been one of the most popular cast members on S.N.L. since she got the gig in 2005. Some people think she’s a comedy genius. Me, whenever I watch her doing a character like the Target Lady or Penelope or, god help us, Gilly, I can’t help but wonder, "Wait a minute, is this a MADtv repeat?" I mean really, does every character have to be bug-eyed and over the top? Ironically, her repertoire of comedic aliases never fails to make me think of another overused S.N.L. caricature, Jon Lovitz’s Master Thespian. The moment one of Wiig’s scenes sputters to an end, I honestly expect her to look straight at the camera and shout, "Acting!"

But something remarkable happens when Wiig leaves Studio 8H and walks onto a movie set. She becomes a master of restraint. Remember her small role in the Judd Apatow comedy Knocked Up? With just a handful of lines and nothing in the vicinity of a punchline, she created a woman driven by seething jealousy and resentment and passive-aggressive rage. Her screen time was less than half what she’s given for an average S.N.L. skit, and yet it made every character she’s done on TV look like they had the emotional complexity of a knock-knock joke. In Ricky Gervais’ Ghost Town, she delivered some of the movie’s funniest and richest moments with an effortless deadpan, demonstrating how just the slightest tweak in inflection can make all the difference. In fact, her entire movie canon thus far—Adventureland, Walk Hard, Extract, Whip It—has been an acting lesson on how to be funny without being the loudest person in the room...

When I called Wiig to talk about MacGruber, I was admittedly a little anxious. I’ve heard journalists grumble about her, complaining that she’s one of those comics who clams up when a camera isn’t pointed at her. But she was charming and generous, exactly what you hope comedians are like behind the scenes but almost never are.

Eric Spitznagel: There’s a part of me that really wanted this to be a sixty-second movie. MacGruber tries to defuse a bomb, and then boom, everybody’s dead. Roll credits.
Kristen Wiig: But that would just be the sketch, right? It would just be the sketch on the big screen. I think people would be bummed if they paid all that money for two minutes.

But that’s why it’s funny. It’s a practical joke on the audience. You get them to come out and pay their eight bucks or whatever, and then it’s like, "Oh sorry, we thought you all knew this was kind of a one-joke premise."
I think Will (Forte) and (director) Jorma (Taccone) did a really smart thing by writing a movie that was totally separate from the sketch. Because in the S.N.L. scene, aside from MacGruber, there really isn’t anything to these characters. You don’t really know who these people are, especially Vicki, my character. All I do is count the time we have left before the bomb explodes.

I was surprised it took a full hour in the movie before you finally said, "Fifteen seconds, MacGruber!"
Wait, I don’t want to give away the end!

(Laughs.) O.K., sorry, scratch that. This movie may or may not involve a bomb that MacGruber tries to defuse…
Thank you.

…even though that’s the entire joke of the MacGruber S.N.L. sketch.
I’d hate to ruin it.

You think that ruins it? You’re not gonna ruin the Blues Brothers movie by telling people it’s about blues music. Nobody’s gonna be like, "Really? I thought they were into emo."
Yeah, but the MacGruber movie and the MacGruber sketch are two very different things. With Vicki, it was like, "O.K., who do we want this person to be?” And it was kind of great. They made her this really funny character who writes pop ballads and is kind of tangentially involved in the crime-busting biz, or whatever you call it. I still don’t know what it is that she does. People ask me, “What does Vicki do?” And I don’t really know. She counts down how many seconds are left until the bomb kills everybody and… I guess that’s about it. That’s pretty much her job description. I guess she also does some karate kicks.

You do realize that the expectations for MacGruber are pretty low, right?
Oh yeah, of course. It’s been an uphill struggle from the beginning. There was no time to write the script, and then we had just 28 days to shoot it. And every one in the world was like, “Why are you making this movie? It’s an S.N.L. movie. Are you crazy?” People were questioning whether it was going to be good before we even made it.

But isn’t that at least somewhat justified? Movies based on S.N.L. sketches don’t have the best track record. The law of averages is against you.
I did think about it. But Will and Jorma and John (Solomon) wrote such a funny script, and it was just so satisfying. I think it’s really, really funny, and I’m so proud and happy to be in it.

I think the main thing about this movie that’s going to surprise audiences is that you have an almost superhuman gag reflex.
(Laughs.) Are you talking about the sex scene?

We’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s start with the scene where you’re showered with the bloody chunks of an exploded Maya Rudolph.
That was a really scary scene to shoot. They put me in front of this machine that was black and ominous-looking. It had a hole in the center, and all they told me was that stuff was going to shoot out of it. We had to do it in one take, because I couldn’t mess up my dress or my hair. I was just freaking out.

Did the special-effects guy at least give you a hint what they were planning to blow in your face?
They told me what it was, but I honestly can’t remember anymore. I’m pretty sure they used real human flesh.

And then there’s that very graphic sexual encounter between MacGruber and Vicki. Everything about it reminded me of Last Tango in Paris. Is it wrong that I made that connection?
(Laughs.) Oh my god, it’s so wrong. But it’s good that you would find anything even remotely sexual about it.

Except instead of butter, there’s Will Forte’s natural secretions.
For me, it’s somewhere between Top Gun and The Room. It’s in that vein of sexiness.

I’m not sure how to discuss the profound grossness of this scene without giving away too much.
It’s tough, yeah.

How about this: If you’ve got a Furry fetish but prefer your bears to be really, really, really sweaty, this may be the hottest cinematic sex scene you’ll ever see. Does that sound right?
That’s about it. Actually, I think you could just say this: If you like beautiful, sensuous, emotional love-making, you’re going to really enjoy this scene.

Paint a picture of that day on the set for us. Were you emotionally and physically prepared for what was about to take place?
I don’t know if it’s possible to be emotionally prepared for anything that happened in that scene. I was really nervous in the weeks leading up to it. It was the one scene where I was like, “Oh my god, I wonder what that’s going to be like.” And then I found out we were shooting it on my birthday.

Worst birthday gift ever.
But it was actually really fun to shoot. I know it sounds kind of creepy to say, especially talking about a sex scene, but I know Will really well, and he’s like my brother. We just kind of laughed our way through it. It was so dumb and sweaty and hot.

Hot as in…?
Hot temperature-wise. We were shooting in Albuquerque and it was like 95 degrees, so everyone was covered in sweat. Especially Will. It just congealed in his chest hair.

Will told me that because of the oppressive heat, he usually walked around the set naked. Did you ever have to tell him, “Dude, cover your boys?”
Well, he was never completely nude. He had one of those cover-ups. What are they called?

A * sock?
Yeah. It’s like a little strap with fabric. It’s skimpy, but it’s not like he was hanging out.

So you’re claiming that he exaggerated the extent of his public nudity?
Well, he was definitely nude. And don’t let him kid you, he’s like that on Saturday Night Live too. It could be the middle of winter in New York, it doesn’t matter. He’ll be naked. (Laughs.) He’s one of the most free-spirited, wonderfully joyful people I’ve ever met in my life. And I think that really comes across, even when he’s playing an * like MacGruber. He’s a lovable *.

Who likes to be naked.
Who loves to be naked. All the time, for any reason.

The original sex scene in MacGruber was apparently so explicit that it almost got an NC-17 rating. I’m a little frightened to ask but, what ended up on the cutting room floor?
Someone was telling me that the ratings board actually counts the number of… and this is their word, not mine… the number of pumps.

Pumps? As in forward thrusts of the groin?
(Laughs.) Yeah, yeah. Our sex scene had too many pumps. We were just over the pump quota.

And how many pumps are considered excessive?
It’s got to be at least thirty.

Thirty pumps? That’s when it crosses the line and becomes obscene?
I’m just guessing. I have no idea. But when you look at our sex scene, it’s got to be at least thirty. Will was really going to town with the pumps.

MacGruber ended up with an R rating, which is still going to keep away some of your underage fans. Do you recommend that minors sneak into their local cineplex or get fake I.D.s?
Oh, that’s putting me in a very awkward position. I think you do have to be a certain age to see parts of this movie.

How many pumps before it becomes inappropriate for an audience in their late teens?
(Long pause.) I’m going to say three. For sure three. Maybe less. I don’t know, when I was that age, I was sneaking into movies. I mean, I’m not encouraging it but… wow, I really don’t know what to say here.

Vicki is in love with a man with a mullet. How did you get to that place as an actor?
How do you mean?

Well, did you use that old Stanislavsky method of affective memory, like when you think of something sad from your own life to make you cry during a scene? What went through your head when you’re looking at MacGruber and your character is supposed to be thinking, “Yeah, that guy’s mullet is delicious?”
That’s a very good question. I think Vicki is attracted to MacGruber because she’s also trapped in another era. He’s kind of trapped in the 80s, and her personal style is very much the 70s. So she doesn’t look at MacGruber and his mullet and think he’s clinging to the past. She sees somebody who’s ahead of the game, a proactive man. I think that’s why they’re such a perfect match.

But what about you? Do you, Kristen Wiig, find mullets attractive?
Some people could probably rock a mullet. I don’t know, it depends on the person. I don’t hate the mullet as an entire hairstyle genre. I take it person by person. And I think after this movie comes out, the mullet may be making a comeback. You might as well get used to seeing it.

Speaking of mullets, I saw you and Will last month on some wrestling show called Raw. What was that about?
Oh my! It was so fun! We weren’t even sure what we were getting into. Will just told me, “Yeah, we’re doing this W.W.E. thing,” and then the next thing I know, I’ve got a script and we’re in costumes and there’s a rehearsal with these wrestlers, and I’m like “Is this….? What? What are we doing?”

You looked a little dazed, but I wasn’t sure if that was you or Vicki.
(Laughs.) It was probably both. It all happened so fast. We showed up at the arena and like an hour later we’re in front of 18,000 people and it’s live and we’re in a ring with some wrestler named Vladimir. I don’t even know.

And then for some reason you’re telling a ginormous wrestler, “I’m sure your mom’s uterus is awesome.” The whole thing was so beautifully bizarre and wrong.
(Laughs.) Yeah! It was so fun and so crazy, and in some ways, it’s pretty similar to what we do on Saturday Night Live. We’re all playing characters, and they write up these little sketches that we fine-tune during rehearsals.

Wait, what? Are you telling us that professional wrestling is fake?
(Long pause.) I don’t know what you’re talking about. I couldn’t really say that for sure, could I? All I know is that they were aware we were coming, and the stuff with us was scripted in advance. I have no idea about the rest of it.

Nice save.
(Laughs.) Thanks.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Andy Samberg congratulates Kristen Wiig for her second SNL nomination

Andy Samberg has Bill Clinton on his wish list for SNL digital short collaborators, which may not be too high of a hope now that he is nominated for another Emmy. He also talks about his fellow nominees as Sophia Bush celebrates her birthday in green style.

From 7/8/10

Andy congratulates the SNL ladies (Kristen, Tina, and Betty) for their nominations!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kristen Wiig movie update - Despicable Me: how well will it do?

Despicable Me (Universal)

Starring (the voices of) Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride, Miranda Cosgrove, Jack McBrayer, Mindy Kaling, Jemaine Clement, Julie Andrews

Directed by Chris Renaud (animation department at Blue Sky Studios, "No Time for Nuts" short, upcoming The Lorax), Pierre Coffin; Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (The Santa Clause 2, College Road Trip, Horton Hears a Who!, upcoming Hop and The Lorax)
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Rated PG
Tagline: "Superbad. Superdad."

Plot Summary: The diabolical super-villain Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) has a plot to steal the moon, but to do so, he needs to get his hands on a shrink ray possessed by his arch-nemesis Vector (Jason Segel). To do so, he adopts three orphan girls with hopes they'll get into Vector's lair and get the shrink ray, but Gru suddenly finds himself falling for the little girls' charm and having to act more like a father to them.


With Pixar's Toy Story 3 having been in theaters for three weeks now and last week's The Last Airbender receiving scathing reviews and bad word-of-mouth that should kill its second weekend, there's presumably room for a new family-friendly animated movie. Along comes Universal who is not a studio who has had great success with animation, their last attempt being the holiday-released fantasy The Tale of Despereaux. This time, they have a movie that falls more into the realm of Brad Bird's The Incredibles, DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens or Disney's Meet the Robinsons in that its central character is a supervillain and the movie is clearly trying to tap into an older geek audience as well as younger kids and their parents.

Despicable Me will mainly be trying to benefit from the abundance of comic talent, including a lot of Judd Apatow's people, an odd dichotomy since most of them have appeared in R-rated movies, and there's nothing to say any of their teen or older fans will have much interest in a kids' movie.

First and foremost is Steve Carell, who got a big break when Apatow cast him in his first movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin shortly after the start the hit NBC sitcom "The Office." Carell's had a number of hits in recent years, but he's also a regular voiceover actor in animated movies like Over the Hedge and Horton Hears a Who!. He also starred in Universal's PG Evan Almighty, a sequel to the far-more-successful Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty in which Carell played a small part. Because of this previous success, Carell is really the biggest sell for the movie, and he's appeared in various promos and probably will appear on some talk shows this week to support the movie even if this isn't his best character.

Jason Segel has been part of Apatow's crew going back to "Freaks and Geeks," getting his big break when he co-starred in Knocked Up and then got his own starring vehicle Forgetting Sarah Marshall along with Russell Brand, who also provides a voice for this. Brand went on to star in that movie's recent follow-up Get Him to the Greek, which has only done moderately well this summer. Both guys are doing the talk show rounds to help support the movie. Other voice roles include Danny McBride, Kristen Wiig, Jack MacBrayer (from "30 Rock") and Mindy Kaling (from "The Office."), with Wiig doing the most previous animation work before. Even with so many funny people providing voices, most of them tend to be better known for their R-rated movies and there's nothing to say that any of the actor's teen and older fans will have any interest in a kids' movie. On the other hand, the biggest draw for girls--who normally might not be interested in a movie about a supervillain--is the presence of Miranda Cosgrove, the star of the popular Nickelodeon show "iCarly," who has also been doing the rounds promoting the movie including an appearance at the MTV Movie Awards with Segel. Cosgrove is on her way to being the next Miley Cyrus, so having her in this movie is pretty big, although having Cyrus in Disney's Bolt didn't do much to help that movie do well against the first Twilight movie.

At this point, there have been so many computer-animated movies released in the past few years, they literally run the gamut of enormous blockbuster hits to absolute and total flops. Unfortunately, unless you're a movie made by Pixar or DreamWorks Animation or Blue Sky Studios (makers of the "Ice Age" movies), you're really taking a chance by spending a ton of money to make and market a computer-animated film, assuming it will do as well. Sony Animation Studios took some time to get off the ground, having had a summer bomb with Surf's Up, not helped by the release of the Oscar-winning Happy Feet months earlier, but they rebounded and had a solid hit last year with Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Warner Bros. had Happy Feet while Disney has had a couple of moderate CG-animated hits coming out of their own animation house. Universal only has The Tale of Despereaux under their belt in terms of 3D animation, though at least Despicable Me is closer in tone to hits by other studios.

As we've learned many times, just because a movie has a funny voice cast, that doesn't necessarily mean a movie is funny, and Universal doesn't seem to care much about even mentioning the former, instead focusing their marketing on the odd "Minions" of Gru, which have been everywhere for the last few months. It's a smart move since the cute critters will be targeting the women and kids who'll find them adorable. The older guys who are likely to find them annoying will probably be seeing Predators anyway. The trailers and commercials are funny enough, but they focus too much on these minions, who play a relatively small part in a movie that doesn't really break new ground. Following after such strong animated films as Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon, this one really doesn't stand out and it's not likely to get overwhelmingly positive reviews, which would normally help a movie. Universal has also taken a cue from Pixar and other animation studios by putting these minions in commercials for Best Buy and IHOP (the latter being an odder choice knowing that Universal has another animated movie coming up that was once called "IHOP.")

Universal could really use an animated hit because currently, they're behind all the other major studios in terms of CG animation, except maybe Summit, and having this movie break out can go a long way toward getting more money to develop their animated films. (They have a couple in the works, including a Dr. Seuss adaptation.)

At this point, the fact that the movie is being released in 3D is almost a non-issue, because every animated movie seems to be, but the backlash on 3D has begun, and it's doubtful people will want to pay for the high-priced tickets. Either way, there should certainly be a number of families with small kids who've already seen the other choices who'll give this a look, but it certainly won't seem like a priority for anyone, so it'll probably end up in the lower-mid range for a computer animated movie.

Why I Should See It: This has a nice premise, a great voice cast and lots of those adorable (or annoying) minions.
Why Not: Toy Story 3 is a really hard act to follow for any animated movie.
Projections: $22 to 25 million opening weekend and roughly $75 million total.


What? $75 million? Naw! You can't review a movie based on opinions like this. Incredibles made hundreds of millions. This one is going to do at least $135 million, and it has a chance at breaking $200 million domestic.

And having adult comedians works. It worked for Madagascar, Ice Age, and Shrek. The kids want to go because of the cute kids and minions, the boys like the super hero theme, and the parents say, "Sure. Why not. Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig are in it." It works!

What do you think?


Friday, July 9, 2010

Kristen Wiig - her second Emmy nomination!

Kristen just received her second Emmy nomination, two years in a row!

2009-2010 season

Kristen Wiig, as Various Characters
Saturday Night Live
SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video



In other SNL nomination news, Betty White and Tina Fey were nominated for guest actress (Tina's third SNL nomination after leaving the show, and she's had one win; she was never nominated on the show). Andy and TLI were nominated for Shy Ronnie (Original Music and Lyrics). SNL was also nominated for its Comedy Series category, and it was nominated for the special, "Saturday Night Live In The 2000s: Time And
Again." (Plus lighting, makeup, writing, and technical direction.)

Once again, Andy was the only SNL dude nominated. This just goes to show SNL's progress in female comedy. Another sign of that is that three of the Comedy Lead Acresses were from SNL... Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Kristen Wiig - Despicable Me interview

Kristen talks about her love for animated movies and why she liked this movie...

In full MacGruber garb! Which suggests that she was filming MacGruber and got pulled aside for this interview.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kristen Wiig movie update - Despicable Me opens Friday


The casting list on DreamWorks' film is a who's who of hip young comedy stars: Russell Brand, Jason Segal, Ken Jeong, Kristen Wiig, Mindy Kaling, Danny McBride, Jemaine Clement … it goes on like that. Steve Carell voices Gru, a nefarious villain who is suddenly charged with taking care of three adorable girls. I'll go just to see wee Agnes shake a unicorn and shout, "It's SO FLUFFY!"


Monday, July 5, 2010

Kali Hawk joins Kristen Wiig's Bridesmaids

Kali Hawk... has joined the cast of "Bridesmaids," a Kristen Wiig comedy being made by Universal...

"Bridesmaids" stars Wiig as a maid of honor trying to please the snobby, rich bridesmaids at every wedding event before her best friend's nuptials. Rose Byrne and Maya Rudolph also star. Hawk plays a member of the posh crowd.

Wiig wrote the screenplay with Annie Mumolo. Paul Feig is directing. Apatow is producing through his Apatow Prods. banner with Barry Mendel.

Hawk appeared in Apatow's "Get Him to the Greek" and played Faizon Love's love interest in last year's Vince Vaughn comedy "Couples Retreat."



Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kristen Wiig - at the Despicable Me premiere

I LOVE this outfit she wore to the Despicable Me premiere in Los Angeles. I love how simple yet fashionable it is. Plus almost any body type and woman of any age can pull it off.

OK—I know the leather jacket is too much considering it’s summer but from my experience it can be super sunny and still kinda chilly in LA. If you’re not Hollywood-bound, take the jacket off and you still have a great outfit.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why SNL waits so long between new episodes

So why does SNL wait so long between new episodes?

They have gaps because the cost per episode is too high. Lorne was told to cut costs (fire people) or cut episodes. He chose to cut episodes.

For example, on SNL there are currently (as of last season) 8 men and 4 women, totaling 12 cast members (although Seth is only in the Update segments). Like this...

Fred Armisen
Will Forte
Bill Hader
Seth Meyers - Update Anchor
Andy Samberg
Jason Sudeikis
Kenan Thompson
Kristen Wiig

Abby Elliott - Featured Player
Bobby Moynihan - Featured Player
Nasim Pedrad - Featured Player
Jenny Slate - Featured Player

This setup is very different than when the show started, because Lorne recognized (over time) that he needed lots of people in order to have an organic cast where anybody could leave one season and he could fill in the gaps with the large cast and find new players organically.

He learned this because the original season of players was 6 men and 3 women, totaling 9 people:

Dan Aykroyd
John Belushi
Chevy Chase
George Coe
Jane Curtin
Garrett Morris
Laraine Newman
Michael O'Donoghue
Gilda Radner

In the second season, Lorne cut some of the fat and was left with 4 men and 3 women (Bill Murray was hired to replace Chevy Chase), totaling just 7 people:

Dan Aykroyd
John Belushi
Jane Curtin
Garrett Morris
Bill Murray - First episode: 01.15.1977
Laraine Newman
Gilda Radner

That was working well, but then Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi left the show after the 1978-1979 season, leaving Lorne to frantically feature the writers to fill the gaps. Only the next season the rest of the original cast was also ready to leave, and Lorne wasn't very prepared for that. The producers and executives lost faith in Lorne, and they replaced him and the full cast.

Needless to say, they came to their senses after a year or two of trying to chase the dream that SNL was originally, before they brought Lorne back and tried again.

When Lorne came back in 1985, SNL was being carried by a few cast members who were on their way out (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Belushi, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Martin Short) and a few cast members who had just left (Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo, and Harry Shearer), and so Lorne had a new cast and a new strategy. He hired the funniest comedians he could find (Jon Lovitz and Dennis Miller), and he hired comedians who were already proven and in films (Joan Cusack, Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey Jr, and Randy Quaid).

Reunited with his writers, this gave Lorne a season to build up the new comedians and add more the next year in 1986 (Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and Kevin Nealon). That gave Lorne a solid cast that he could build on in 1989 (Mike Meyers and Ben Stiller), 1990 (Farley, Sandler, Spade, Schneider, Chris Rock), 1993 (Norm MacDonald, Jay Mohr, Sarah Silverman), and so on.

And so Lorne found a stronger strategy in building up a larger cast so that he wasn't betting as big on players that didn't work out and so that he could lose a few players when they wanted to leave and then still keep the ball rolling on the show.

So he realized the larger staff keeps the show moving forward. However, it also means that the show gets too expensive, which is why they don't have as many episodes as we'd like them to.

It's debatable whether or not the show is as funny as it once was, and to be honest, my favorite time was when Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon, and Chris Kattan were on. However, I definitely prefer the current cast over when Dratch, Fallon, Sanz, Rudolph, and Parnell were running the show. I remember watching the great cast led by Will Ferrell and then they kept adding these players who weren't funny and I was like, "What are they doing? They're killing the show!" Well the show survived, and each of them had a moment or two where they were hilarious, and they kept it alive for current players like Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and Andy Samberg to take over.

I have faith in newcomers Abby Elliott, Bobby Moynihan, Nasim Pedrad, and Jenny Slate (although Jenny still has more to prove). I don't think the current cast is anxious to leave, mostly because they have nowhere to go. Kristen Wiig has lined up the critical starring role, and it looks like Andy's got an upcoming shot with The F-Word. Plus Andy has a potential career with The Lonely Island either in making more music, their own TV show, or their own movie.

Will Forte is making a critical attempt at leading a film with MacGruber (since The Brothers Solomon didn't work). Bill Hader has had a lot of success, but he still needs to line up a starring role. Armisen, Thompson, and Sudeikis are probably going to retire from SNL to do voices and supporting roles for the rest of their careers (but I think Sudeikis might be landing a lead role in The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and he seems to be having success in supporting roles like Hader; he's just a few years behind Hader).


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