This weekend, John Mulaney became the first person to host a Leap Day episode of Saturday Night Live. But that wasn’t the only noteworthy moment to come out of this outstanding episode of the late night sketch series. This is the third year in a row that Mulaney has hosted SNL, and I hope this becomes a tradition that Lorne Michaels continues to honor. Speaking of traditions, this episode features yet another musical sketch inspired by New York, this time by airport sushi, and it’s just one of plenty of hilarious highlights.
Let’s run through the best and worst sketches from the John Mulaney hosted Saturday Night Live.The Best
Airport Sushi – As someone who didn’t love the Diner Lobster sketch nearly as much as everyone else did the first time John Mulaney hosted SNL, I absolutely loved the Bodega Bathroom follow-up in his second hosting stint. Therefore, I’m happy to report that the third installment of this ongoing sketch tradition, which deals with the atrocity that is airport sushi, might be the best one yet. It parodies various Broadway musicals in a grand fashion, and there’s an amazing guest star that fans of John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch will adore.
Sound of Music: Rolf and Liesel – Musical parodies dominated the night, and this throwback to The Sound of Music highlights everything weird about this romance between Rolf and Liesel. It’s charming and weird, and it’s so perfect for John Mulaney’s comedic sensibilities, not to mention a perfect showcase for Cecily Strong’s musical talents.
The Admiral – Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant revive their two old timey characters competing for the affection of a desirable suitor, but this time they’re not trying to keep Jennifer Lopez from knocking them out of the running. Instead, they need to keep a young, handsome sailor from catching the eyes of an admiral, but everything he does is so damn sexy. The physical gags here are great, especially that huge lollipop that appears briefly, but it’s McKinnon and Bryant’s exaggerated reactions that keep it on a strong foundation.
Kyle’s Transformation – Kyle Mooney is known for his awkward humor and characters, but he’s sick of it. When John Mulaney keeps him out of a strip club sketch, Mooney decides to bulk up. Seeing Kyle with this ripped physique and that added chiseled chin is unsettling and funny at the same time. I wish Leslie Jones was still around to be part of mockumentary style sketches like this, but a cameo by Justin Theroux made up for her absence, not to mention Mulaney’s fictional version of himself.Continue Reading John Mulaney SNL Review >> ...
While we’re all sitting around daydreaming about an alternate reality in which the coronavirus doesn’t exist, it may be interesting to mix it up for a second and try to envision a world in which Samuel “Screech” Powers – the scrawny, Lisa Turtle-obsessed goofball on Saved by the Bell – was played by late night talk show host and comedian Stephen Colbert instead of actor Dustin Diamond. Colbert says he auditioned for the role of Screech in the 1980s and was rejected for a pretty humorous reason. Watch him tell the story below.Stephen Colbert Saved by the Bell Audition Story
Around the 3:00 mark in this video, The Late Show guest Ryan Reynolds makes a joke about Saved by the Bell, sparking Colbert’s memory about the time he tried out for the role of Screech and didn’t get it.
“I auditioned for Saved by the Bell!” he exclaims. “That was my first professional audition. 1986? [Editor’s note: this must have been when they were auditioning Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which was eventually reworked into the hit show Saved by the Bell.] They came to Chicago. I was a student at Northwestern University, and I don’t know, somebody had seen me do something, somebody had scouted me at school. I got called down to a casting agent on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, I walk in, they hand me the thing, and I was auditioning for the part of – was the character’s name Screech?”
Reynolds bursts into laughter and thinks Colbert is messing with him, but the late night host swears it’s real. “I’m not joking!” he continues. “I auditioned for this part of Screech, and let me tell you how big I was. Imagine how that character ended up in broadcast. I did my audition, and they said to me, ‘There’s a term you’re going to need to know about as a professional. It’s called over the top. You just went over the top. Don’t do that anymore.’ And I saw the subtle interplay of status dynamics that Dustin Diamond brought to that part.”
Saved by the Bell was a massive show for a certain generation, and its actors – Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Mario Lopez, etc. – will always be remembered first and foremost for the characters they played on that show, regardless of whatever else they’ve done in their careers. Imagining Colbert playing the wacky, ineffectual Screech is sorta blowing my mind right now, and needless to say, I think everyone on Earth is glad he didn’t land that role. Except for maybe Dustin Diamond, who may have been better off in life if he didn’t get the job, either. To avoid a depressing rabbit hole, it’s probably best not to look into what became of him after that show went off the air....
HBO is reportedly going to begin paying cast members on shows that have had their production impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Deadline reported that HBO has agreed to a payment schedule that will include giving actors 25 percent of their pay now, 25 percent when production on their shows was supposed to start, and the remaining 50 percent when filming commences. The publication provided no indication that below the line employees or other workers would receive payments.
An HBO spokesperson did not return a request for comment.
The HBO news came one week after Netflix made headlines for beginning to minimum guarantees to cast members on its shows that have been impacted by coronavirus-related production shutdowns. Like Netflix, HBO parent company WarnerMedia is pledging $100 million in relief to workers affected by production shutdowns.
The Deadline report also noted that other studios are still pondering their options, with some of their labor executives arguing that the production delays are essentially hiatuses, therefore meaning that actors should not be paid. The publication noted that the SAG-AFTRA union reportedly does not agree with the hiatus arguments and may threaten to file grievances if the issue is not resolved.
It is unclear if actors on the following programs will be paid by HBO, but HBO series that have had their production impacted by the coronavirus include “Succession,” “Barry,” “The Righteous Gemstones,” and “Euphoria.”
While the coronavirus has caused significant disruptions across the entertainment industries, streaming services and other television platforms are reportedly enjoying considerable spikes in popularity as more consumers hole up indoors. WarnerMedia recently announced that HBO Now has enjoyed a surge in popularity and the company also said that overall television viewing across the industry has grown by 20 percent recently. WarnerMedia is still expected to release its upcoming HBO Max streaming service in May.
There are several organizations and programs offering financial aid to entertainment industry employees whose livelihoods have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
IndieWire is keeping track of all of the entertainment industry's events and projects that have been impacted by the outbreak. IndieWire is also tracking the industry's ongoing events and positive happenings during the pandemic, including Netflix's new and upcoming film and television releases.
Disney has shuffled around its 2020/2021 release calendar, including giving some new dates to some of its biggest movies that were on deck for this year. Namely, Mulan and Jungle Cruise. The former, a live-action remake of the 1998 animated classic of the same name, had previously been delayed from its March date. The latter is an action/adventure flick based on the classic theme park ride, cut from a similar cloth as Pirates of the Caribbean.
Mulan is now set to arrive in theaters on July 24, 2020. This feels like a relatively optimistic date, given that movie theaters all around the U.S., and throughout most of the world, remain shut down for an indefinite period of time, given what's going on right now. Virtually every studio in Hollywood has pushed its planned summer releases, anticipating that the situation will remain as is for at least a couple more months. Be that as it may, Disney is still hoping to get one major blockbuster on the books for summer 2020.
The live-action remake follows in the footsteps of similar Disney hits such as The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. It was directed by Niki Caro and, though full reviews had yet to arrive, early social media buzz from critics who had screened it was incredibly positive. The cast includes Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li and Jet Li. Unfortunately, Mulan taking up new real estate in July means that Jungle Cruise will be delayed a full year.
Jungle Cruise, which stars Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and Emily Blunt, had been set to arrive on that July 24 date. The movie will now open on July 20, 2021. Disney had already released a couple of trailers for the Jaume Collet-Serra-directed adaptation of the Disney attraction. Major delays such as this are a sad reality that has come about due to the unprecedented situation the entertainment industry finds itself in. Similarly, the studio also was forced to push back the long-gestating Indiana Jones 5 a full year as well, which will now arrive in July 2022. It had previously been scheduled for a July 2021 release, but Disney needed to make way for Jungle Cruise instead.
Elsewhere, Disney had to shift around its entire schedule for Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Black Widow was forced to vacate its previous May 2020 date and is now opening in November. That forced Eternals to shift to February 2021 and caused something of a domino effect with the other upcoming Marvel titles that were announced last summer. Meanwhile, Artemis Fowl, which was going to arrive in theaters, will now be going straight to Disney+. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further information as the situation develops. This news was previously reported by Variety.