In most of these Weekend Box Office Reports, it’s clear who the victor will be. Even when the early estimates are a little off and the numbers shift between now and Monday, the basic layout of the top 10 is generally pretty accurate. But this week is a real race and the top two films are neck and neck, and we won’t know who will actually win this thing until tomorrow. But right now, early estimates have Melissa McCarthy’s new comedy The Boss barely edging out Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by less than $50,000. That’s crazy and, whether it actually claims the top spot tomorrow or not, very bad for Batman v Superman.
With Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage hosting SNL, there was no way the show wasn’t going to parody HBO’s beloved fantasy series in some way. After all, this wouldn’t be the first time SNL has taken on the most popular tale of intrigue and violence and dragons and sex. But you’ve got to give the writers credit — creating a fake “making-of” featurette is a fresh concept, especially since past sketches have been more straightforward riffs on this material.
Peter Dinklage hosting last night’s SNL meant that the upcoming sixth season of Game of Thrones hung over the entire evening like a specter. Even when the show wasn’t specifically calling out and calling upon HBO’s series, you were constantly aware of it. After all, why else would Dinklage be hosting the show at this specific time? But when the show did turn its aim on Game of Thrones, it was on-point with an opening monologue where Dinklage asks A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin to write some jokes.
Last night’s episode of SNL felt a little unfocused, like it didn’t quite know what to do with guest Jonah Hill. However, when the sketches connected, they really connected, with the best of them truly utilizing Hill’s acting chops (he is a two-time Oscar nominee, after all). So it shouldn’t be too surprising that the high point for Hill came in a pre-filmed sketch — he’s funny in regular sketches, but he really shines when things get a little cinematic.
Last year, SNL was hosted by Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump and the response was unkind, to say the least. Back then, he still seemed like a big joke — just a loudmouth who was surely going to drop out at any moment. And now, as he wins primary after primary, the beloved sketch show has slowly turned on Trump, culminating in a faux campaign ad that lands like a punch to the gut.
Last week, Beyoncé released a surprise new music video for her new song “Formation” and the world temporarily hit pause on itself so everyone could watch it, as is often the case when she does just about anything. However, this song and its video instantly courted controversy, as far too many white commenters and writers and what-have-you found themselves churning out think pieces and hot takes about how the beloved pop singer used this opportunity to embrace her heritage. In other words, a bunch of white people suddenly found themselves deeply uncomfortable that Beyoncé was black and SNL has parodied this with a fake movie trailer.
If you're going to have the great Larry David host a full episode of SNL, there are two obvious areas of parody. First, you simply have to give him more to do as Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, whose unlikely showing in the recent Democratic presidential primaries have made David a regular guest star this season. Second, you need to riff on Curb Your Enthusiasm, his (possibly) late, great HBO sitcom that redefined cringe comedy. And in this case, SNL found a a way to combine the two.
And like that, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders became the third presidential hopeful to appear on SNL this season. While Donald Trump hosted an entire episode last year and Hillary Clinton put in a brief appearance as a bartender counseling Kate McKinnon’s version of her, Sanders’ cameo is a bit more disconnected and bit weirder. Most importantly though, it puts him right next to guest host Larry David, who has been playing him in the show’s political sketches this season.
Around this time last year, SNL presented a commercial parody centering around Totino’s Pizza Rolls, just in time for the Super Bowl. And it was a nasty piece of business, tearing apart the image of the NFL’s biggest game as a day for men and imprisoning Vanessa Bayer’s indefatigable housewife in the kitchen, where she was simply tasked with warming up more disgusting food. So when SNL aired another Totino’s sketch in last night’s episode, we simply assumed it would be a carbon copy of the first one. Boy, were we wrong.
The moment former Alaskan governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for President of the United States, you know the producers at SNL hurried to get Tina Fey on the phone. The beloved former cast member, who just hosted the show last month, famously took on the role of Palin eight years ago and many people believe that her scathing imitation actually did lasting harm to the real Palin’s political chances. In any case, this event allowed SNL to pair Fey’s Palin with Darrell Hammond‘s Trump. Thanks, reality!
When the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced nearly two weeks ago, the response to the overwhelmingly white line-up of talent proved instantly controversial. Film fans and industry veterans alike gathered around the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to make their voices heard, especially decrying how films starring black actors and directed by black filmmakers — like Creed and Straight Outta Compton — somehow managed to only receive nominations for the white people involved in making them. With material this ripe, of course SNL was going to take a swipe at the Academy Awards this week.
The late, great David Bowie inspired countless artists of all stripes during his time on planet Earth. As a musician, an actor, a personality, and an encapsulation of all things odd, weird and wonderful, he touched countless lives...including former SNL star Fred Armisen, who returned to the stage during last night's episode to pay homage to Bowie in the most appropriate way possible: by sharing a clip from his appearance on the show back in 1979.
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