Right out of the gate, I'm upset none of my cast change wishes
came true. Brace yourself for yet another season of Hammond doing Clinton
and Trump, Maya doing Versache, Parnell doing Merv the Perv and Dratch being, well, Dratch. Looks like the only shakeup was the letting go of Rob Riggle which I'm guessing will go unnoticed.
The off season also saw the promotions of both Kenan Thompson and
Finesse Mitchell. Kenan I can see, but Finesse? Are there really viewers out there aching for more Starkeesha? The Finesse promotion especially comes
as a shock since it was rumored Detroit/Chicago Second City's own
Antoine McKay was being auditioned over the summer. In my opinion, McKay would have been a much stronger player in the SNL cast than Finesse has proven to be.
Bad apples aside, I'm really excited about the two new featured
players: Bill Hader and Andy Samberg. More so for Samberg. For those not
familar with Mr. Samberg, check out his work (along with two new SNL writers)
over at thelonelyisland.com.
Hopefully the addition of these two prove to be as productive as the
one-two punch introduction of Armisen and Forte back in 2002.
On the guest front we have Steve "Brick Tamland" Carell and Kayne West. I could care less about Kayne, but I'm sure Carell will do a good job -
at least better than Affleck did last season as the premiere host. Carell
proved in 40-Year-Old Virgin he can carry a feature film and his small
screen work on The Office and The Daily Show have been solid. I'm sure
coneys won't be subtracted based on him alone.
FYI: Although this will be Carell's first time hosting, it is worth
noting he has been the voice of Gary on The Ambiguously Gay Duo for
years. He is also married to Nancy Walls (cast member of the 1995-1996
With the dawning of Saturday Night Live's 31st year on the
upon us, I'm initially saddened to see no real indication that this
going to be any better than the last three seasons, which were, on the
whole, dismal. I don't understand how the show is supposed to be
foward when you have cast members like Darrell Hammond, who is now
his 11th season. I'm sorry, but this guy hasn't contributed anything
to the show in what feels like forever and I'm actually embarrassed to
him still sticking around. Is he seriously satisfied with his bit parts
old impressions week after week?
And unfortunately, he's not the only one to be displaying what looks
permanent cast memeber status. Dratch, Rudolph, Parnell and Sanz are
already at the 7 and 8 year marks, respectively. I mean, it's no
that their peak performances have come and gone, yet here they are,
to jump on the recurring character bandwagon. Fey, who has all but
the face of Weekend Update and basically admitted to writing crappy
sketches just because they will get air time, is also returning for her
year, albeit after a brief maternity leave. Even 5 year veterans
and Poehler, who have been extremely funny in the past, are starting
show signs of burning out.
So, where does that leave the fate of SNL's Season 31? Armisen and
who I'm sure would more than embrace the challenge? Newly promoted
memebers Keenan and Finesse? Jason Sudeikis, the featured player who
appeared in only a handful of skits? Or newcomers Andy Samberg and
Hader? I'll be the first to admit that anything can happen in the
world of live sketch comedy, but I gotta say, I'm not too optimistic
any sort of major comeback with ultimately the same old faces this
As for the premiere on October 1, Steve Carell seems to be one of the
better choices for hosting duties. I never did get around to seeing
40-Year-Old Virgin, but his work on Anchorman and The Daily Show mark
as a good enough candidate for host in my book. Kayne West doesn't
thrill me as the musical guest, but that's mostly because I'm not at
familiar with his music. If he sucks, then I guess that's what
and pizza breaks are for.