This weekend’s season finale of Saturday Night Live was an especially emotional episode, one that saw beloved cast members Bill Hader and Fred Armisen bid the show a fond adieu. Hader’s big farewell sketch was, of course, the epic wedding between Stefon and Seth Meyers, while Fred Armisen was joined by a calvacade of indie rock legends—Carrie Brownstein! Steve Jones! Aimee Mann! Michael Penn! J. Mascis!—for an emotional performance as his punk rocker alter ego Ian Rubbish.
If you’re anything like us, you still occasionally stop in the middle of the produce aisle or on the elliptical to ponder out loud, “Why did Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss have to break up?” Apparently the SNL star is finally ready to reveal at least part of the truth behind his divorce from the Mad Men star. How they hooked up in the first place…well, that’s still anyone’s guess. “I think I was a terrible husband, I think I’m a terrible boyfriend,” Armisen revealed on Howard Stern. Howard Stern went on to conjecture that Moss must “f—king hate” Armisen to have once commented “the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person.” Fred replied, “I imagine so.” Yikes. So…the answer seems to be that Fred Armisen is just the worst?
“I want it all — fast,” the Portlandia star said by way of explanation. “I want to be married . . . the amount of girls I’ve lived with right away . . . and then somewhere around a year, two years, I get freaked out.” Okay, well. We’ve probably heard enough. Oh, we haven’t? “Do you feel entitled to more women?” Stern inquired. “I don’t want to admit that out loud to myself, but that probably is it,” Armisen replied. Oh double yikes. We could read that Al Roker poop story while eating beef chili, but hearing Fred Armisen say he wants “more women” makes our insides frown.
As promised last week, Jay Pharoah made his debut as the new Barack Obama on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. His version of the president, which he’d been practicing on the road this summer, replaced Fred Armisen’s familiar impression. It was a pretty funny cold open, in which Obama told voters that his secret campaign weapon was actually his opponent, Mitt Romney, who can’t help but put his foot in his mouth. But we’re not sure if we’re sold on Pharoah entirely — we get that it seems important to have a black man portray our first black president, but this skit lacked the same ease of Pharoah’s other impressions. His Will Smith, for instance, never ceases to crack us up. Maybe it’ll just take more practice for him to erase the memory of Armisen’s “Obama Plays It Cool” ad…
While we’re on the fence, maybe you’ve made up your mind. Tell us!
The creator and producer of Saturday Night Life, Lorne Michaels, has confirmed that the show has got itself a new Barack Obama character. Jay Pharoah, who has been featured on the show two years running, is going to be portraying Obama, taking over from Fred Armisen. Armisen has played the Obama role since 2008 (from the election onwards.) Michaels explains the decision, saying, “Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own. I just thought it might be time to shake it up.” A previous criticism of Armisen’s character was an obvious one — that the African-American president was not being played by an African-American actor on the show. The new season begins on September 25 and Pharoah is now a full-fledged member of the cast. His impersonations of Obama have already gone viral on the internet, so we know he’s going to be re in the role. SNL’s had some pretty memorable political character sketchs so far — George Bush by Will Ferrell, Bill Clinton by Phil Hartman and Hillary Clinton by Amy Poehler and Sarah Palin by Tina Fey. Can Pharoah elevate the character to those ranks? Here’s hoping!
In a pink Effie Trinket wig, Vergara shimmied, laughed and gave a great Univision-worthy yell as the Capitol’s newest Hunger Games correspondent, Maria Gutierrez, reporting live from the arena and enjoying herself immensely as the kids stab each other nearby. And in the studio, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen yukked it up as Claudius and Caesar, echoing a number of silly sports news show SNL’s done over the years. Read more…
Portlandia returned for its second season last Friday, and VH1 was there on the red carpet to talk to its stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. We even bumped into movie legend Jeff Goldblum, who has a guest spot in this Friday’s episode. What did we talk to them about? Everything!
Ever heard of speed dating? Well our own Janell Snowden conducted a patented “speed interview,” and kept the questions flying. Very, very important questions. You’ll also find out what part of his body Jeff Goldblum is most proud of, Fred Armisen’s favorite SNL cast member of all time, and Carrie Brownstein’s secret girl crush. Check out the video below for the answers to these questions and so many more enlightening revelations!
Gillyyyyyy! While there’s no definitive word as to whether Kristen Wiig will stick around for another season of Saturday Night Live,Lorne Michaels‘s remarks last night at the second season premiere of Fred Armisen‘s Portlandia certainly left room for a question mark. You know, like the question mark you might put after the word “WHYYYYYYYYYY?”
When asked if the Bridesmaidsstar would return after this year, Lorne admits, “I really don’t know. We haven’t really talked about it. We still have 14 shows to do this season.” As for what the show will do without her, Michaels says, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I certainly don’t want her to leave.” Neither do we! Not so soon after she gave us flirting coach Rebecca LaRue! She has so much left to teach us!
Not everyone has the time or energy to run a feminist bookstore or accidentally join a polygamist cult whilst researching cruelty-free poultry, but that doesn’t mean Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein haven’t picked up their fair share of Portlandish habits. “I eat at these food carts,” SNL’s Armisen said at the show’s second-season premiere party last night in Manhattan. “These carts that just serve food out on the street? I love it.” Unlike the citizens of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, however, Fred will gladly spend all day with you in exchange for cold hard cash. And that, dear reader, is pure New Yorkish…ness…ery. You get our point.
His co-star, Wild Flag guitarist Brownstein, adds, “I do ride my bicycle when I can. I’m kind of a fair-weather biker. I refuse to bike in the rain.” However, she admits, “I’m not very crafty. I don’t do pickling. I don’t sew … I don’t usually put birds on things.” Oh no, does that mean Carrie has to give back her Portland passport? We imagine it’s assembled out of cork and salvaged handlebar mustaches.
If Helen Mirren‘s appearance in the hilarious When Harry Met Sally 2 trailer wasn’t enough viral goodness for you this week, the Oscar winner’s Saturday Night Live promo should satisfy your craving for more classy ridiculousness. While the first two bits of the above video are your usual brief zingers, things get a little wilder when Fred Armisen praises her work in a remake of an ’80s movie. “Oh, you mean Arthur?” she says. Fred shakes his head no, and Helen offers “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo?” “Yes!” cries Fred, as the two bust into moves that, while not technically breakdancing, certainly got our heads spinning. Can we expect more royal boogaloo when she hosts the show this weekend?