Caryn James

Justin Bieber Hosts SNL; Watch the Unaired Non-Bieber Sketch Instead

  • By Caryn James
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  • February 10, 2013 10:53 AM
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Last night’s 'SNL' host was Justin .. . oh, how I wish I could say Timberlake, but No. It was Bieber, set loose among squealing audience members and a flood of predictable Bieber jokes. He wasn’t much as a comic, but he did go along wih a lot of Bieber-Playing-A-Dumb-Guy sketches. None of them mentioned the unfortunate Instagram he had posted the day before of himself with SNL's all-powerful Lorne Michaels, which Bieber spelled Lauren. (Some generous people on Twitter blamed Autocorrect; maybe.)

SNL's Preview of The Next 18 Hobbit Movies (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 20, 2013 11:26 AM
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Some people (and I‘ll never be one of them) can’t get enough of Perter Jackson’s Hobbit movies. SNL offers a preview of how Jackson plans to take advantage of that – split the next Hobbit installments into 18 different films: in one, Frodo forgets something back at the shire and has to turn around, in another the whole crew (including Jennifer Lawrence as the Elf Queen) splits a complicated dinner bill. There's "Apple Maps: An Unexpected Detour," and the dwarves assembling an Ikea dresser.

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

  • By Caryn James
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  • January 20, 2013 10:40 AM
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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
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  • December 16, 2012 8:36 AM
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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.

The Real Brad Pitt Chanel Ad Vs. SNL's: Can You Tell the Difference?

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 21, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Just try to tell them apart. Brad Pitt’s recently unveiled commercial for Chanel No. 5 is so loaded with high-flown, nonsensical language that it out-parodies itself without any help from satirists. But SNL’s Taram Killam offers a very funny take on the commercial anyway, which includes Pitt saying to the off-screen director: “You want me to sound less coherent? Really?” Now that would explain a lot.

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

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 14, 2012 10:54 AM
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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
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  • October 7, 2012 10:40 AM
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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's Lost Bond Girls, From Annie Hall to Penny Marshall

  • By Caryn James
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  • October 7, 2012 10:03 AM
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Daniel Craig was game as host of SNL, but he was seriously underused and put into some of the worst-written sketches in recent memory, including an excruciatingly long one in which he was a construction worker with a mangled vocabulary of cat calls. He had better material – but not much more to do – in a Bond sketech; he was there, after all, to promote Skyfall.

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

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 16, 2012 9:49 AM
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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
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  • September 8, 2012 8:28 PM
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  • 4 Comments
James Taylor wrote some enduring lines with:

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