Caryn James

Mike Bloomberg, Chris Christie and Some Jersey Hand Gestures (SNL Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 4, 2012 11:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I wonder how this will play outside New York and New Jersey, but if you’ve been watching Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s press briefings you know that his sign language interpreter has become a minor celebrity. SNL’s cold open did a brilliant take on Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, along with their interpreters, at press conferences.

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

  • By Caryn James
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  • November 4, 2012 10:17 AM
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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
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  • October 21, 2012 9:46 AM
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  • 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.

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. 

'Parks and Recreation' Goes to Washington

  • By Caryn James
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  • September 19, 2012 10:06 AM
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In the perfect season premiere of Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler’s character is now City Councilwoman Leslie Knope, and how satisfying is that to someone who aspires to the White House, even though the City Council is a part-time gig? She goes to Washington to visit her boyfriend Ben (Adam Scott) - more perfect for Leslie than we could have imagined when his character turned up - and meets some real-life politicians, in what might have been nothing more than a stunt, but turns out to be much more. With cameos by John McCain, Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe, the story is Leslie’s dream come true . . . except. In the shrewd, funny way of the series, she learns that she is a very tiny fish in the giant, shark-infested sea of Washington. And while she may enjoy being a big fish in Pawnee, it’s never fun to be reminded of that.

The Republican Convention: Colbert and Stewart On Star Wars, Rain Man and Reince Priebus

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 30, 2012 11:23 AM
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Each night during the Republican Convention, The Colbert Report has started with an intro that parodies Star Wars, as words scroll into space to introduce the coverage from Tampa: America Strikes Back. Last night’s legend included this:

Will Ferrell Reduced To Tears By Stewart-Pattinson Breakup

  • By Caryn James
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  • August 3, 2012 11:24 AM
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Will Ferrell continues his hilarious promotional tour for The Campaign with this topical but non-Campaign-centered bit on Conan. “She goes by K Stew,” may be all you need to know about his weeping reaction to that high-profile breakup. While the rest of the world hand-wrings about things we can’t possibly know – like what is Rob thinking? -- Ferrell sends up the entire celeb-obsessed hysteria.

Rush Limbaugh's Gift to Conan and Kimmel: The Bane-Bain Conspiracy (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 19, 2012 12:32 PM
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For a while it seemed as if that ogre Rush Limbraugh had drained all the fun out of the Bane/Bain coincidence by taking it seriously, claiming that "The Dark Knight Rises" villain Bain was meant as a left-wing attack on Romney’s outsourcing, money-making company Bain. That idea, of course, is so ludicrous that it was quickly turned back on Limbaugh, who became the butt of late-night routines. Funny in spite of himself, he just can’t help handing comedians these gifts.

Don't Call Her Shirley. Or Hillary. Sigourney Weaver in 'Political Animals'

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 11, 2012 9:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Politics can be sleazy, but might just be out-sleazed by 'Political Animals,' the melodrama a clef that unimaginatively, nastily leeches off the Clintons. Even the great Sigourney Weaver, in the don’t-call-her-Hillary role, can’t save this tacky, leaden miniseries, whose clumsy allusions to reality amount to a series of groaners.

Matt LeBlanc Skewers TV: Watch 'Episodes,' Season Premiere (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • July 1, 2012 9:30 AM
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Among other priceless bits of show-business guidance in the brilliant new season of Episodes, you’ll learn this: when the father of a television network president dies, don’t even think about sending a paltry muffin basket, because Michelle Pfeiffer and David Kelley will be donating a tree in the dead man’s honor. In Hollywood even mourning is a competitive sport. Taking its satiric tone from Matt LeBlanc’s exaggerated portrayal of himself -- or rather his vain, just-like-Joey persona from Friends – the Showtime series returns for its new season funnier and more pointedly satirical than ever.

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