Day: May 23, 2011

Flashback: Fresh faces of comedy as seen in 1998 episode of Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade

A comedy fan named Danielle who goes by schwaggology on Tumblr was up late the other night watching the first season of the Upright Citizens Brigade's Comedy Central series from way back in 1998 when something caught her eye. Sitting alongside UCB members Amy Poehler and Matt Besser were mostly college-aged fresh-faced kids (just as you'd see in many UCB show audiences today in NYC or Hollywood). But in the third episode of season one, "Saigon Suicide Squad," check out a few faces in particular. As Danielle points out with arrows, you can see what Paul Scheer, Rob Corddry, Nick Kroll and Rob Riggle looked like many years before they were TV famous themselves.  You might even recognize some other people in the crowd! I wanted to find out more about how this episode could attract so much future talent, so I asked Paul Scheer how he got this very early TV credit. Scheer told The Comic's Comic: "As far as Saigon — I was in every episode of UCB season 1 sometimes twice an episode (as an extra – I think I eventually got one line). They used all their students as extras, none of us got paid but they had great snacks. Saigon was a taping of their amazing stage show, so that was an easy one but that was a super fun night up in Harlem. I think Nick was a freshman in Georgetown. I...

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SNL Dress Rehearsal: Justin Timberlake, as Mozart, pokes more fun at his acting career

In this Saturday Night Live sketch that didn't make it past dress rehearsal this weekend, host Justin Timberlake played Mozart — but really played himself, in a sketch reminiscent of the "Immigrant Tale" sketch from episode #34.22 — as Mozart declared he was leaving music for acting.   Only to have his friends remind him of how his upcoming movie (hey, there was a plug!) was suspiciously just like Ashton Kutcher's friends with benefits plot of 2011, and how he didn't get nominated for major awards for his role in The Social Network, the Mickey Mouse Club, and even the Saturday Night Farce. Parts for Abby Elliott, Bill Hader, Bobby Moynihan and Taran Killam. Plus a reference to the collaborations between Timberlake and Andy Samberg (who plays Mozart's foil, Salieri), and the fact that they had a third music video planned for the show. And Jason Sudeikis plays J.S. Bach. To make it fit, though, they would have had to play this early in the show and cut something else (Secret...

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SNL #36.22 RECAP: Season finale with host Justin Timberlake, musical guest Lady Gaga

Justin Timberlake has become an undeniably reliably strong host for Saturday Night Live, so much so that some would like to coax him into becoming a full-time member of the cast. Timberlake himself has even teased as much when answering questions from the entertainment tabloid media. But having him on once a year to host (and occasionally pop in for a surprise cameo here and there) plays much better, reminding us how well JT works with the cast, without overstaying his welcome. So penciling him in as host for the 36th season finale was a no-brainer. As was booking Lady Gaga as the musical guest. Not only does she have a new album to promote this week, but the first time she performed on SNL, she fared admirably well in both her musical slots as well as multiple sketches. Ready to go out big and go home? Let's recap! We open with the big news of the week in the world. No. Not Arnold Schwarzenegger. We're talking about the IMF head, Dominique Strauss-Khan, accused of sexually assaulting his hotel maid before skipping out of NYC and America.   Taran Killam gets the "honor" of playing out how the IMF honcho spent his first minutes in Rikers Island prison, with Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson playing his cellmates. Before you say, hey, they cast the only black cast members as...

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