Sam Rockwell hosted SNL for the first time Saturday night, and he was wonderful. Rockwell is one of those under the radar actors who excel at SNL (see Chris Pine) and there wasn’t a false sketch on the night. If you’re looking for the most news worthy story from this show, it’s Rockwell dropping a F bomb during the Science Show sketch. In fact, that’s about the only thing you get when you search ‘Sam Rockwell SNL”:
While the F bomb was accidental, Rockwell didn’t let it affect him. Science Show, Captain Hook and Marcus Comes To Dinner were all hysterical. Pre-taped sketches My Drunk Boyfriend and ATM were also really good. The sketch with the most absurd premise and my personal favorite was Genetics Lab.
Sam Rockwell and Mikey Day play scientists working on their latest project. The project seems a little too crazy for potential investors, played by Beck Bennett, Aidy Bryant and Kenan Thompson. It’s tough to blame them when we find out the project is a ‘dog head guy’. The $35 million project involves Rockwell’s character’s dead brother’s body and the head of his dog. As the sketch progresses, the cast can barely keep it together. Also, that dog is as cute as it gets.
Overall, a great return episode for SNL who was off for the holidays for the past few weeks. We even got Bill Murray as Steve Bannon! This week, Jessica Chastain hosts with musical guest Troye Sivan.
When Donald Trump was elected President, I knew there were going to be a lot of changes. Before Trump, even if you didn't like or agree with the President, you respected the office and the fact that he was the most powerful man in the free world. That is no longer the case. When Trump goes to Twitter before notifying his Secretary of Defense or the Pentagon about his new ban on transgender people serving in the military, it sparks reactions like that of the Governor of Nevada, who said he won't make changes to the National Guard unless instructed to do so by the Secretary of Defense. In other words, what the President says doesn't matter.
To people like me and you, the President's words haven't mattered since January. But for other elected officials to basically say "this guy is nuts, I'll wait to hear from a sane voice" is pretty crazy when you're talking about the POTUS.
Because we now live in a dystopian, idiotic world, the President's transgender tweet barely stayed in the news cycle for 48 hours. A lot of that has to do with healthcare, which as of early this morning, is still unchanged. But what I'm choosing to focus on is the White House's new communication director, Anthony 'The Mooch' Scaramucci. The New Yorker ran a piece yesterday on him where he talked ON THE RECORD about a whole host of things, and it's beyond parody. Here are some excerpts:
Scaramucci, who initiated the call, did not ask for the conversation to be off the record or on background.
Always a good sign when the communications director doesn't know how to speak to the press off the record.
“They’ll all be fired by me,” he said. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus—if you want to leak something—he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.” The issue, he said, was that he believed Priebus had been worried about the dinner because he hadn’t been invited. “Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci said. He channeled Priebus as he spoke: “ ‘Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.’ ” (Priebus did not respond to a request for comment.)
If those aren't the words of a level headed guy then I don't know what is. Always an uplifting sign when the new guy in the White House threatens to fire literally everyone over something he can't prove. This is also foreshadowing the rest of the conversation, as we see The Mooch has an affinity to saying the word 'cock'.
Scaramucci also told me that, unlike other senior officials, he had no interest in media attention. “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” he said, speaking of Trump’s chief strategist. “I’m not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the President. I’m here to serve the country.” (Bannon declined to comment.)
BINGO! So much to dissect in that statement. Comparing wanting media attention to sucking your own cock, inferring that since he doesn't suck his own cock, he's here to serve the country, and my personal favorite 'Bannon declined to comment'. Oh you don't say? He didn't want to comment on the statement from the White House communications director that says he sucks his own cock? Shocking! This is all extremely disheartening, but at least we'll always have this tweet:
The article goes on and on and on, and while Scaramucci might not like to suck his own cock, he sure likes to hear himself talk. This is the world we live in, folks, and these are the people in charge of our country. Happy Friday?
SNL – Comedy seems to thrive in adversity—according to the latest ratings for Saturday Night Live, the long-running satirical sketch show is seeing its highest numbers in over 20 years. Variety reports that Donald Trump’s victory at the polls, as well as his relentless “criticism” of the show, have boosted viewership among among adults 18-49. SNL’s February 4 episode was the second highest rated of the week, trailing behind The Big Bang Theory.
Here are some more numbers that attest to this yuge development: SNL’s viewership has grown by 19% among adults 18-49, and 22% in total viewers (that’s now 10.6 million), when compared to the same period last season. NBC says these ratings are the highest they’ve been since the 1994-1995 season.
When Donald Trump vowed to ‘Make America Great Again’ on the campaign trail, I can’t imagine he thought that his actions and words would catapult a late night comedy institution to create their most popular work in decades. Believe it or not, here we are, and SNL has been thriving under Trump, turning in a superb season including one of their best episodes last week. The biggest reason for that is embedded above, as Melissa McCarthy made a surprise guest appearance as Sean Spicer and left us all floored in the process. The ratings for the season as a whole are at a 22 year high (the highest since the 94-95 season with a cast featuring Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler & Mike Myers, among others) and they’re about to take part in their most important episode yet. The main reason for that is because the host for Saturday’s show (Alec Baldwin, hosting for the 17th time) is the man pegged with playing Donald Trump. In most election years the shows from September-December/January would feature the candidates and the President elect, but this year has been different. Every cold open has featured Baldwin’s Trump in some way, and it’s working.
There are people who think SNL should stray away from Trump and get back to other sketch topics, but that is impossible to do when the President himself is tweeting about your show every Sunday morning. Like everything else Trump tweets about, it’s 100% negative, and it’s clear that the material SNL is putting on air is getting under his paper thin skin. Nobody loves themselves more than Donald Trump, so it must kill him to watch himself get parodied every week. SNL knows that, and knows that he’s watching, which must make the ratings news that much sweeter for the writers and cast. Will Baldwin’s Trump be a one and done in the cold open like episodes past, or will SNL rely on him for multiple sketches throughout the show? Nobody knows the answer except for Lorne Michaels, who has the final say on what sketches make the air, but from a logistical standpoint, my guess is that Trump will only be featured in the cold open. It’d be tough to continually get Baldwin in and out of Trump’s makeup and wardrobe throughout the show, but I wouldn’t sleep on some kind of pre-taped digital short featuring Trump.
The other big question floating around social media is ‘who will play Steve Bannon’? SNL chose to portray him as the Grim Reaper on last week’s show, but that doesn’t strike me as a long term solution. Will it be a current cast member or will they stray outside the box like they did with McCarthy? The AV Club has a fascinating article detailing why it shouldn’t be Rosie O’Donnell, and I 100% agree. While it would be a deep personal dig at Trump, I don’t think it would have the impact some people are hoping for. The reason McCarthy’s Spicer worked so good and is because it was completely unexpected and McCarthy is a comedic gold mine. O’Donnell clearly isn’t as talented as McCarthy, and at this point the whole world would be expecting it. That same article throws out possible picks of Robert De Niro, John Goodman and Jonah Hill. De Niro has been publicly against Trump in the past, but I don’t know if at this stage he’d be willing to do something like this. Goodman has already played Rex Tillerson this season, so casting him as Bannon would be overkill. Of the three, Hill would be the best choice, especially if he can get himself to that deranged, maniacal level we’ve seen during past hosting stints. If I had to pick a current cast member and a random celebrity, I’d go with Bobby Moynihan (channeling his evil political Kim Jong-un impression, only less wacky) and I’d go full throttle crazy and put Danny DeVito on there. I dare you tell me you wouldn’t watch Danny DeVito in a hair piece playing Steve Bannon.