Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Caryn James

Pants On Fire: SNL Cold Open Takes on Lance Armstrong, Manil Te'o, Jodie Foster (Video)

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • January 20, 2013 10:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Jennifer Lawrence was a likable host on SNL, pretending to trash-talk her Oscar contenders, but the writers didn’t give her their sharpest material. There was a commercial for Silver Linings Playbook during the show, but no sketch about it – what a lost opportunity (although Jason Sudeikis did wear Bradley Cooper’s trash bag workout clothes in a promo). Instead, the cold open gave us SNL at its topical best, with Piers Morgan welcoming a pants-on-fire lineup of guests.

Touching Kids' Chorus, F-Bombing Sam Jackson, McCartney And A Llama: SNL's Great Christmas

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • December 16, 2012 8:36 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Just as it did when the show returned after 9-11, Saturday Night Live found a way to eloquently acknowledge a tragedy and move on to comedy. In the eerie but appropriate cold open, the New York City Children’s Chorus sang “Silent Night,” with the line “sleep in heavenly peace” a piercing tribute to the children lost in the Newtown shooting. But after a brief black screen, followed by the kids saying, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night,” the show’s Christmas episode turned out to be one of the best – if most retro -- of the season, with Martin Short as host and Paul McCartney as musical guest.

Anne Hathaway and SNL Do Homeland

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • November 11, 2012 11:17 AM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Someone at SNL really likes Homeland (don’t we all?) Last week, in their hurricane press-conference sketch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained to Spanish-speaking New Yorkers that white people were cranky because they were missing Homeland. This week, Anne Hathaway was at the center of a sketch that perfectly captured the actors’ quirks, with Hathaway recreating Claire Danes’ constantly quivering chin and Taram Killam capturing Damian Lewis’ teeny tiny mouth. And when you think about it, as Saul (Bill Hader) says about Carrie, why wouldn’t you trust a CIA agent who swills wine while popping pills, and is sexually obsessed with her source?

Daniel Day-Who? Louis C.K. Does Lincoln

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • November 4, 2012 10:17 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
What if Louis C.K. had been cast in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln instead of Daniel Day-Lewis? Or, as SNL had it, what if the character of Lincoln merged with the character from his television series Louie -- stand-up comic, acerbic observer of life, and in this case emancipator of slaves and preserver of the union?

Obama, Romney and Tom Hanks in SNL's Debate

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • October 21, 2012 9:46 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment
Were all the “binders full of women” jokes used up? SNL’s debate sketch ignored the most popular satirical target from the last Presidential debate, focusing instead on the candidates' pugnacious attitudes, with the added attraction of Tagg Romney promising to punch the President.

Biden Roars, Ryan Guzzles Water, Raddatz Wins in SNL's VP Debate

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • October 14, 2012 10:54 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Martha Raddatz was the big winner at the Vice-Presidential debate, and she had some great moments in SNL’s terrific opening sketch too: look at how smoothly she feints, using baseball to sneak in a question about abortion.  Kate McKinnon, who has already done the unthinkable by making Ann Romney a very funny character, has almost instantly become one of the show’s most valuable and versatile cast members.

SNL and the Post-Debate Fallout (The Horror, The Horror!)

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • October 7, 2012 10:40 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
It’s a good thing SNL had the presidential debate as fodder, because they absolutely wasted Daniel Craig. And while Jay Pharoah continues to struggle with his Obama impression (why the grimace? Obama doesn’t channel Denzel Washington) the sketches included a very funny, perfectly–targeted recreation of MSNBC’s post-debate coverage: the horror, the excuses, the Chris Matthews hysteria. 

SNL: Jay Pharoah Takes On Obama, But Sudeikis' Romney Steals the Scene (Video)

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • September 16, 2012 9:49 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
The best SNL political impersonations capture some essential truth about that person’s character, hilariously exaggerated: Darrell Hammond’s gleeful,hound dog Clinton, Will Ferrell’s squinty-eyed doofus W. spouting words like “strategery.” Fred Armisen’s Obama never managed that, and so this season he literally handed the role off to Jay Pharoah. In the opening sketch, Armisen’s character introduced the president with “Wouldn’t want his job, right?” – an edgy reference to being replaced but probably better than ignoring it. And Pharoah’s Obama? So far, a little skimpy, but he seems to be shaping up as a guy who may be too cool for his own good, saying “I’m not worried. I should be,” which at least makes him a caricature with a point rather than an bland impression.

Jimmy Fallon Channels James Taylor: "I've seen Romney, I've seen Bain."

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • September 8, 2012 8:28 PM
  • |
  • 4 Comments
James Taylor wrote some enduring lines with:

Sofia Vergara Promos SNL With (Really!) Jokes About Her Accent

  • By Caryn James
  • |
  • April 4, 2012 4:15 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Sofia Vergara breaks away from Modern Family to host SNL this Saturday. She’s game and funny, but if the show doesn't go beyond easy, obvious accent-jokes there’ll be a lot of ’splainin to do.

Follow Caryn James

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Michel Gondry's Playhouse: 'Mood In ...