The man, the myth, the legend – Lorne Michaels is opening up about the continued success of Saturday Night Live. The show first debuted in 1975 and is currently in its 45th season proving that Michaels has remained committed and determined to continue its success.
When asked in a recent interview with Deadline, Michaels discussed some of the aspects that have helped shape the show and how for him, its permanence was solidified as the show reached its 40th season five years ago. In the spotlight feature written by Biography, show secrets are revealed as well.
First of all, the show name was not originally Saturday Night Live. This name was owned by ABC for a different show but purchased by NBC at the beginning of Michaels’ second season in the fall of 1976. Secondly, the show is purposefully made to look “run-down.” Michaels said that he didn’t want the set to look “terribly slick.” It gives it a New York look and feel that has become an iconic component of the show and to give it a theatrical vibe. Additionally, Michaels left the show in 1980 for five years but returned in 1985 and has been back ever since.
Saturday Night Live is filmed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Studio 8H where it has been since the beginning. Hosts for this season have included Adam Driver, Harry Styles, and Eddie Murphy. Remaining shows for the season will have JJ Watt and RuPaul – others will be announced as the season progresses.
When asked about the future of the show, Michaels is quick to assert that each new generation brings a new generational perspective and cultural references. In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Michaels says the production team “doesn’t have much of a wide shot, so when you see somebody going into the lens and taking it to some level that you hadn’t seen even at the dress rehearsal, it’s a magical thing.”
Be sure to catch new episodes of the show every Saturday night at 9:30 pm MST or here on the official NBC site.
Laurence Fishburne of Matrix fame, has announced that he is going to produce a new comedy for ABC in 2020.
The new comedy will feature 30 minute episodes and will be produced by Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions. It will star Eddie B, his real name is Eddie Brown. While details are still coming out, the premise of the show centers around Eddie – a teacher that aspires to become a comedian. Furthermore, the plot is inspired by Brown’s own personal stand up routine.
The official press release states that the show will follow ” an outspoken, stubborn middle school football coach (Eddie B) who, due to budget cuts, finds himself forced to teach 8th grade science if he wants to keep his job.”
In real life, Eddie B is a Houston-based teacher that became a comedian. He has been able to achieve fame and success with a strong social media following since his comedic start. A popular, recurring segment that helped him gain attention was one called “What Teachers Really Say”. To check out some of his clips, click HERE. From this segment, he is now considered by many to be an official “voice of teachers”, having tapped into the specific teaching professional niche, as only a previous educator could. Eddie B has also toured the country a few times with his famous “I’m Already Professionally Developed” and “Teacher’s Only” tours.
Laurence Fishburne’s company, Cinema Gypsy, has previously produced films such as Akeelah and the Bee and popular television shows, Black-ish and Mixed-ish. Both of those shows also air on ABC and its affiliate networks. To see a list of the production credits for Cinema Gypsy, click HERE.
This show will be a great addition to ABC’s diverse fall line-up. We will be sure to circle back as the show’s premiere date and more details are released.
Details are starting to be announced already for the much-anticipated fall premieres for all of the major broadcast networks! Exciting news! Comedy Works alum, Iliza Shlesinger, has announced that she is going to star new CBS sitcom.
The show, while still untitled, will center around Shlesinger. She will portray a young woman that moves back home to Austin, Texas to help run the family business with her mom and sister. In addition to starring in the show, Shlesinger will also serve as co-writer of the pilot episode along with collaborator Michelle Nader, who has a current contract with CBS. The show will be classified as a family comedy that will be shot using multiple cameras. It hits close to Shlesinger’s roots since she grew up in neighboring Dallas.
Shlesinger started on the comedy scene by winning Myspace’s So You Think You Are Funny contest in 2007. The following year, she became the first and youngest woman to win NBC’s Last Comic Standing during the show’s sixth season. After winning, she appeared on the nationwide Last Comic Standing Tour.
Since that time, she has released five Netflix comedy specials, including the latest one, unVeiled, this past November. Click HERE to check out the trailer of the newest one! Along with the streaming, Shlesinger had a role in the recent feature film, Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. She also has published a book entitled Girl Logic, which in her words is a “subversively funny collection of essays and observations on a confident woman’s approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships.” To read more about the book, click HERE.
Be sure to check back as more information becomes available and don’t miss Iliza when she passes through town in early 2020! For a list of all tour dates, check out Iliza’s official website HERE.
Comedy specials are starting to be announced for Disney+, the new streaming service that debuted in November from the entertainment mogul.
One of the first to be announced is a new comedy starring Kristin Chenowith. She will be both starring in and executive producing the new series entitled The Biggest Star in Appleton. Currently the show is in the early stages of production without a release date; however, details are starting to surface.
The new show will be shot using a single camera and is a concept that was originally vetted by 20th Century Fox, now a part of the Walt Disney Company with the recent acquisition. Paul Rudnick from popular hits, In & Out and Addams Family Values, is the new show’s creator.
So far, the premise of the show chronicles Carol Dannhauser (played by Chenowith) who is a mother, wife and, waitress in the small town of Appleton, Wisconsin, who gets her deepest satisfaction from local stardom as she performs at the community theater. This sense of bliss becomes threatened when a down-on-her-luck chorus girl from New York comes to town.
To get you in the holiday mood, we have complied a list of the best holiday comedies of recent years to help put you in the spirit of the season and fill you with laughter.
In an article in Esquire, they list the top 50 best Christmas movies. On this list, there are multiple comedies including Last Holiday, Elf, and Love Actually. To check out the full list, click HERE.
Holiday comedies are a staple for the season, with new ones coming out each year. Below is a list of our favorites picks for this year along with a short synopsis of each.
A Bad Moms Christmas – While this is a sequel, it follows three moms through the holiday season in their efforts to create the perfect Christmas for their families while each of their moms come to town for a surprise visit. Can they deliver on their vow for larger-than-life celebrations? Click HERE to watch this laugh-out-loud trailer.
Elf – As a toddler Buddy, accidentally grows up at the North Pole and then returns to New York City as an adult to discover the harsh realities of adulthood by searching for his real father. Buddy has to adjust to his new life but also helps restore the Christmas spirit to those who need it. Click HERE to watch the trailer.
Bad Santa – This raunchy comedy follows two con-men as they try to pull off their annual holiday robbery; however, one of the partners isn’t into it this year. Click HERE to check out the trailer for a preview of the hilarity that ensues.
Some honorable mentions include Eight Crazy Nights, Home Alone, The Night Before, and A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas. For some other funny movie suggestions, check out the list compiled by Harpers Bazaar HERE.
To add to the amazing list of talented comedians releasing new specials this year, Tiffany Haddish has released her new Netflix special, Black Mitzvah. The name of the special came to Haddish after she took an ancestry DNA test that revealed she was of part Jewish descent on her father’s side. The special is now available for streaming and is quickly gaining both traction and notoriety.
Haddish describes the special as a celebration of her own bat mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony that traditionally occurs when one is around thirteen. She adds, “I want to do something that represents growth and maturity.” Haddish’s late father was a Jewish refugee from Eritrea, which she discovered as a teenager. She even had some experience working as an entertainer and dancer at various bar/bat mitzvahs as she started her career.
Early reviews of Black Mitzvah have been favorable and have praised Haddish for her comedic chops. An article by FastCompany claims that it is a “comedy special as PR and it works.” The special highlights her humorous commentary on life, including the moment she discovered she was part Jewish. Check out the trailer HERE. To prepare for the special, she spent time reading the Torah and learning the Jewish language to prepare for her actual upcoming bat mitzvah ceremony she is having to celebrate her heritage as well as her 40th birthday.
Haddish has come on to the comic scene from film roles in Night School, Girls Trip, and Like A Boss. In addition to those credits, she also was part of NBC’s show, The Carmichaels, that aired from 2015-2017 and TBS’ The Last O.G. with Tracy Morgan. Black Mitzvah is her second Netflix special, the first one being They Ready, which premiered earlier this year in August.
Most know John Mayer for his musical abilities; however, Mayer has been self-producing Instagram Live “episodes” of a talk show he is calling Current Mood.
Using the social media platform, Mayer hosts the show and has a variety of guests join him. The show is very informal and shot using an iPhone camera in his living room. To add a little more comedic flare, the set includes a homemade backdrop of stuffed animals that Mayer has hot-glued to a poster board. Past guests include Andy Cohen, Shawn Mendes, Comedy Work alum David Spade, and Halsey. On a recent show, Mayer and Mendes played a silly game with a catchy intro called ” Camila Camendes Camendes Cabello Cabello Cabelas Mendes ” where they tried to guess random facts about celebrities that have a combination of those names listed in the song. Watch the clip within the episode HERE.
The first episode of the show surfaced back in September 2018 and is a recurring Sunday night event, barring any musical performance commitments. It showcases Mayer’s wit and dry sense of humor where he contemplates very important issues like the reboot of Sonic the Hedgehog. He creates comedic segments complete with note cards, interviews guests, and typically rounds out the show with a musical performance by a guest, tying it back to his musical roots. While it initially started out as something Mayer wanted to do in order to combat loneliness, it has turned into much more. It is streamed live and can be found on Instagram for the first 24 hours after the show on Mayer’s personal page. Afterwards, the new shows can be found most of the time on YouTube after fans have uploaded them there. Click HERE to read why fans are interested in the show.
Mayer is known as a talented musician, releasing solo hit such as No Such Thing and Heartbreak Warfare. In more recent years, he has been touring worldwide with Dead & Company.
Be sure to catch the show live or watch it on YouTube if you are looking for some laughs!
Looking for a good, funny read as we head into the winter months? Comedy Works veteran, Jenny Slate, has just released a brand-new book, Little Weirds.
The book is a collection of essays that explore a wide variety of topics – from thoughts on a haunted house to more serious topics such as divorce. Slate weaves in self-reflection and personal insights as she goes through each subject. The essays range in length and are easy to read. Slate herself describes the work as 48 different pieces where the reader can open up to any one theme and just start reading in any order of his or her choosing, but she recommends starting from the first page and reading in consecutive order as she designed the book that way.
Reviews for the book have been very positive since the release with an average four out of five stars. Mindy Kaling calls the book “magical”, and John Mulaney described it as “funny, poignant, and beautiful.” To read other reviews, click HERE. Little Weirds is Slate’s first solo print publication, but she has previously co-authored three other works: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On: Things About Me, Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been, and About the House. Marcel is a popular children’s book series that has also been made into a stop-animation short film, teaching the importance of finding something good in each day.
Slate started her career as part of the comedic duo, Gabe & Jenny, and quickly rose to fame after initial recognition by Time Out New York in 2008. Television and film credits include: Saturday Night Live, Zootopia, Gifted, and Comedy Central’s Drunk History. You can also currently catch her as the voice of Missy Foreman-Greenwald on the animated Netflix series Big Mouth. In addition, Slate has a comedy special on the streaming service, Stage Fright, that has received a lot of industry buzz and hype.
Late Night with Seth Meyers host, Seth Meyers, has announced a new Netflix special that premiered on November 5th. The new special is called Lobby Baby, poking fun at Meyers’ own experience of having his second child born in the lobby of his New York apartment building in April 2018. You can watch Meyers tell the original story HERE. The teaser trailer for the special shows Meyers with a toy stage and figurine of himself after having a funny conversation with some small children playing with toys of their own.
The special was filmed in Minneapolis at the Pantages Theatre. Topics for the special include family and fatherhood as well as drawing on Meyers’ Saturday Night Live and stand-up background. It shows what a family man Meyers is and displays his affection for both his wife and two sons.
Having spent 13 seasons on the show, there is a plethora of material from which he can draw from. He is most known for his time on the news parody, Weekend Update. Additionally, he took over the 12:35/11:35pm time slot on NBC for Late Night in 2014 when Jimmy Fallon went to host The Tonight Show. Staple segments of his main show include Emmy-nominated “A Closer Look”, poking fun of the latest current events nightly.
This Netflix special features a “skip politics” button, for those who are just tired of Trump jokes as well, making it appealing to those who are tired of some of the political satire circulating the television and Internet circuits. Vulture, a subsidiary of New York Magazine describes the special as a “sweet, endearing wash of cuteness that is also good but a touch naughty”. Click HERE to read the full review.
This is definitely a special we have on our “must-watch-soon” list, and it should be on yours too!
If any comedy nerds out there miss Jim Jefferies’ FX show Legit, you should get excited about the new NBC show. NBC has committed to a new untitled Jim Jefferies-Suzanne Martin comedy pilot. The comedy will feature a fictional version of Jefferies. He will be starring in the show as himself offering commentary on modern life issues and the complexity of relationships. Currently there is not a premiere date that has been announced but look for one soon! In the meantime, check out Jefferies on his comedy show, The Jim Jefferies Show, on Comedy Central!