September 13, 2010

Live From (Ithaca) New York!

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Hey! I’m Jonathan Yuan and I’m in a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences here at Cornell, but more importantly, I am addicted to television.  Literally, I live on television, which naturally makes the fall season more exciting for me than Christmas.  The storm of new seasons of shows and new shows give me a break from the plethora of trashy, embarassing reality shows that I gorge on in the summer ( i.e. Big Brother, Jersey Shore, Keeping Up with the Kardashians…) and makes me feel somewhat classier as I rollover to some shows that don’t make the television Gods roll over in their graves ( i.e. 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, My Generation… I’m so excited for this one).  But, the show that literally makes me shake with excitement is Saturday Night Live.  I have no idea where this fascination / obsession came from, back I haven’t missed an episode in five years.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.              “What the hell.  This is guy is so lame, SNL hasn’t been good since the ’80s.”

To you, I yell a hearty SCREW YOU.

Through the constant ups and downs, SNL definitely had a few offseasons throughout the 2000′s, but these past two seasons, SNL has finally solidified a solid main cast.  However, this season should be interesting; the featured cast member list (basically the new castmembers who don’t get promoted until they prove themselves worthy) is the longest its been in the past decade with seven castmembers, four of whom are new this season.

Vanessa Bayer

Literally any new female castmember is always welcomed on SNL.  Bayer’s from the Second City comedy troupe and was the director of the Bloomers sketch group at the University of Pennsylvania.  She’s worked at Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Sesame Street, so her creds are impressive but as we’ve learned from Jenny Slate last season (who is not returning this season and previously worked hilariously for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon), a strong resume does not necessarily translate into a strong presence.

Paul Brittain

Reigning from the iO Theater in Chicago, Paul Brittain looks like he could do some comedic damage to SNL this season.  He’s young and seems fresh, which could bring in some ladies and looks like he could mesh perfectly with Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island counterparts: Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone.

Taran Killam

OK – I kind of rolled my eyes at this one… because this guy seems to just be going through the motions on every sketch comedy show.  Obviously his credentials are impressive; he’s been a castmember on Wild ‘N Out and ironically, SNL’s now-cancelled rival, MADtv, but it seems a little sketch that he’s gonna be on SNL.  Whatever, I’ll give this guy a chance.

Jay Pharaoh

SNL has never been known for consciously trying to create a diverse cast, which is why I’m excited that they’re hiring a new female (Vanessa) as well as a new African-American, Jay Pharaoh.  Pharaoh is perhaps most known for his uncanny and hilarious Obama impersonations, although SNL producer Lorne Michaels has explicitly stated that Fred Armisen will be reprising the role of Obama.  But my hopes are high for Pharaoh!

So, throughout this season of SNL, I hope I’ll be able to amuse you guys with recaps and personal opinions of the sketches, castmembers, hosts and musical guests with my sidenotes and offhanded banter.  The season premiere kicks off on September 25th on NBC with host SNL-alum, Amy Poehler and musical guest, the California Gurl herself, Katy Perry.



Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson, Kristen Wiig


Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Abby Elliot, Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, Nasim Pedrad, Jay Pharaoh

Original Author: Jonathan Yuan