Motivational Speaker Matt Foley was arguably Chris Farley‘s most famous character. For those who aren’t familiar with Foley, he was a loud, boisterous, belt-straightening screamer who would try to scare kids straight even though he was “livin’ in a van down by the river!” Like many Saturday Night Live performers, Farley came out of The Second City improv comedy troupe, and it appears he had the character in his pocket years before he brought it to SNL. A tape-recorded video has been uploaded to YouTube, and although the video was taken three-and-a-half years before Farley joined SNL, it shows an almost fully-formed Matt Foley. After watching the video, the character is just as funny now as he was back in the 90s.
Hit the jump to check out the video, which also includes Bob Odenkirk and Tim Meadows.
I love everything about Wes Anderson movies. From the way he creates unique worlds to the unusual characters that occupy the screen, Anderson is a one-of-a-kind filmmaker that always makes something special. His newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, just premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and it continues his streak of making exceptional films. The story mostly takes place in early 20th-century and revolves around the goings-on at a famous European hotel where a legendary concierge (Ralph Fiennes) mentors a young employee (Tony Revolori) against the backdrop of a changing continent. The film also stars Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Edward Norton, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Lea Seydoux, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwarztman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, and Owen Wilson. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.
The day after the world premiere, I participated in a great roundtable interview with Bill Murray in Berlin. He talked about what it was like to make the film on location in Europe, collaborating with Wes Anderson, the dialogue, whether his process as an actor has changed over time, and more. In addition, he told some great stories about making Rushmore, his thoughts on Saturday Night Live and Bill Hader, why he quit acting for awhile after making Broken Flowers, and future projects. Hit the jump for what he had to say. The Grand Budapest Hotel opens March 7th.
Jonah Hill hosted last night’s installment of Saturday Night Live, and the episode put a couple of funny spins on popular films. The highlight was probably the Her parody Me, in which Hill (complete with mustache and high-waist pants) assumed Joaquin Phoenix’s role from the Best Picture-nominated Spike Jonze film. In this parody, Hill plays a guy so anti-social that his Operating System voice is himself, hence the title. It’s a sharp pre-recorded segment and it features a fantastic cameo from a familiar face towards the end. Additionally, Hill was joined onstage by his The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Leonardo DiCaprio during his monologue, and the two wonderfully recreated a rather iconic scene from Titanic.
Hit the jump to watch both videos.
The 2014 Directors Guild Awards were handed out earlier this evening, and Alfonso Cuaron took the top prize for Gravity, launching him (and the film) into frontrunner status heading into the Oscars. The DGA winner is a very solid predictor of the eventual Oscar winner for the Best Director category, as the two have only failed to match up seven times in the past 65 years. Moreover, the DGA winner’s film has won the Best Picture Oscar on all but 13 occasions. We’ve known it’s going to be a very tight race since the PGA split its top award between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, but this DGA win for Gravity puts it ever so slightly ahead.
Elsewhere at the DGA Awards, Steven Soderbergh took home the Miniseries/TV Movie prize for Behind the Candelabra and Vince Gilligan won TV Drama for the series finale of Breaking Bad, beating out the likes of David Fincher and Bryan Cranston. Hit the jump to read the full list of winners.
The 2013-14 TV season returns in full swing this week after the winter break, and Saturday Night Live has announced its January lineup. Drake will pull double duty as the SNL host and musical guest on January 18th, while Jonah Hill will mark his third appearance as host on January 25th with musical guest Bastille. Hill will be promoting director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which is currently gunning for Oscar nods in multiple categories—including Hill as Best Supporting Actor. By the time Hill’s SNL show comes around, the Oscar nominations will have already been announced (on January 16th), so look for the show to have some fun with that one way or the other. The Wolf of Wall Street is currently playing in theaters everywhere.
Saturday Night Live has lined up a fantastic trio of hosts for its December shows. Paul Rudd will kick off his third appearance as host on December 7th with musical guest One Direction, no doubt promoting Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues; could a Will Ferrell cameo be in the cards? Next up is Inside Llewyn Davis star John Goodman making his 13th appearance on December 14th with musical guest Kings of Leon. Finally, SNL will finish strong with the promising duo of Jimmy Fallon as host and Justin Timberlake as musical guest on December 21st. Not a bad way to get ready for the holidays.
Last night’s Edward Norton-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live had a little parody fun with the holiday season, this time turning its focus to filmmaker Wes Anderson’s distinct style. The trailer for the fake Anderson-directed horror film The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders applies the director’s style to the horror genre, complete with Norton doing a spot-on Owen Wilson impression and Alec Baldwin making a cameo as the film’s narrator. It’s pretty funny, if a bit on the nose. Anderson’s an easy target so I was hoping for something a tad more substantive, but the SNL team mostly resigned itself to quick cameos of the director’s most famous characters.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, opens in theaters on March 7, 2014.
The fall TV season is just around the corner, folks. NBC’s Saturday Night Live has announced its first lineup of hosts for the upcoming 39th season. Tina Fey will host the season premiere on September 28th with Arcade Fire acting as the musical guest. This will mark Fey’s fourth time hosting the show since leaving as a cast member in 2006. Miley Cyrus will then act as both host and musical guest on October 5th, followed by Bruce Willis hosting and Katy Perry performing on October 12th. This will be Willis’ first time hosting SNL since 1989, and interestingly enough he won’t have a new movie to promote at the time.
Like most of you, I’m a huge fan of Bill Hader. I think he’s one of those rare performers that can do anything, and over the past few years on TV and in a number of different movies, he’s made me laugh again and again. So when I had the opportunity to speak with him last week at Comic-Con, I jumped at the chance.
During our wide ranging interview we talked about being at Comic-Con, what he collects, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, Saturday Night Live, whether he will ever cameo on SNL now that he’s left the show, coming up with the idea for the final Stefon sketch, and so much more. He also revealed that he will be writing for the entirety of South Park‘s upcoming season and talked about what it’s like to work with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Hit the jump to watch.
Bill Hader is leaving Saturday Night Live after eight wonderful seasons. In all those years, Hader’s signature recurring character Stefon somehow never grew tired. Hader and co-creator John Mulaney consistently kept the formula fresh, coming up with inspired club names, passwords, and characters for each new Weekend Update appearance.
In last night’s season finale—hosted by Ben Affleck, who also hosted when Stefon debuted—the writers of course had to bring back Stefon for a farewell appearance. It puts a nice button on the romantic tension between Stefon and Update host Seth Meyers, and in doing so, assembles all the crazy characters (most of them midgets) Stefon has mentioned in his guide to New York nightlife. Watch it after the jump.
Bittersweet news, folks. After eight years on Saturday Night Live, castmember Bill Hader has announced that he will exit the series after the end of this current season. Speaking with the New York Times, Hader explained, “It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point. It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’ ” The actor has been a standout on the show since his first appearance in 2005, solidifying himself as one of the best impressionists in SNL history with dead-on portrayals of everyone from Alan Arkin to Vincent Price. His original characters are highlights as well, with Stefon appearances on Weekend Update eliciting squeals from both the live audience and folks watching at home. Hit the jump for more.
The network upfront presentations are upon us, and one of the first big pieces of news to be announced concerns NBC’s late night shakeup. The network previously revealed that Jimmy Fallon will be taking over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno next year, and rumors have been swirling for months that Saturday Night Live veteran and current head writer Seth Meyers might land the Late Night gig once Fallon exits. Well NBC confirmed today that Meyers will indeed be taking over as the host of NBC’s Late Night when Fallon leaves the show next year, vacating his position at SNL.
Lorne Michaels, who produces both SNL and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, will stay on as executive producer of Late Night under Meyers’ tutelage, and Michael Shoemaker will remain the show’s producer. This leaves the head writer slot at SNL open, and many have already been suggesting comedian/SNL writer John Mulaney for the job. Also vacant at SNL will be the Weekend Update desk, so start those betting pools now. Hit the jump to read NBC’s press release on the matter. Late Night with Seth Meyers will premiere sometime in 2014.
Saturday Night Live is closing out their 2012-2013 season strong, bringing back three SNL veterans to host. Previously announced for the May 4th show was Zach Galifianakis, who has The Hangover Part III coming out next month as well. Galifianakis has hosted SNL before, and I can only hope he brings out his chops singing Annie again. SNL has had plenty of opening monologues that involved singing this year, but I can’t help but think that Galifianakis is going to have a stand out one regardless. The musical guest will be Of Monsters and Men. Hit the jump for more on the episodes hosted by Kristen Wiig and Ben Affleck.
Opening tomorrow is DreamWorks Animations’ The Croods. Directed by Kirk De Micco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon), The Croods centers on a prehistoric family embarking on the world’s first road trip through an uncharted, fantastical and dangerous world. The film features the voice talents of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Nicolas Cage, Clark Duke, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman. For more on The Croods, you can watch 8 clips here.
At the New York City press junket, I was able to speak with Cage. While I’ve spoken to him a few times before this interview, for whatever reason, this is easily the best one by a mile. We talked about making The Croods, how Jeffrey Katzenberg had tried to get Cage in other DreamWorks Animation movies before this one but he’d always said no, how he was waterboarded making The Croods (seriously), doing Get in the Cage with Nic Cage on Saturday Night Live, the importance of Action Comics #1 and how it was the best investment he’s ever made, Ghost Rider 3, National Treasure 3, and a lot more. Trust me, you want to watch this interview.
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live sketches from the past few years was “Get in the Cage.” The sketch featured Andy Samberg as Nicolas Cage, and each episode would have “Cage” talking with fellow thespians about their craft and their recent work. Some of the episodes included Bradley Cooper, Jude Law, Jake Gyllenhaal, Liam Neeson, and would you believe the real Nicolas Cage. About a year ago, when Cage was promoting Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance, he stopped by SNL and did the sketch with Samberg. Not only was it a huge surprise, it was also incredibly funny.
At the recent New York City press day for DreamWorks Animations The Croods, I asked Cage about appearing in the sketch and mentioned how funny it was. While I was a bit nervous that he wouldn’t want to talk about it, this was not the case at all. In fact, it seemed like he might have been waiting for someone to ask him about it, as he wanted to go on record that not everything he says is a whisper or a scream. Hit the jump to watch the sketch and to see Cage talk about appearing on SNL. Look for my full interview with Cage tomorrow.