Extreme Makeover: Clueless Edition

When Clueless director Amy Heckerling was casting the movie back in the early 90s, she came across a number of up-and-coming actors and actresses who are now household names. In an interview with Vanity Fair for the 20th anniversary, Amy revealed the shortlist for Cher, which included young talents like Cybill’s daughter Alicia Witt, Kelly Kapowski aka Tiffani Thiessen, #HairGoals Keri Russell, and the actress Amy recalls the casting director told her she ‘had to see the girl in Flesh and Bone’, who turned out to be Gwyneth Paltrow.

But the one person that could’ve donned the Alaia dress is Legally Blonde herself, Reese Witherspoon.

“I had my heart set on Alicia… But Fox … wanted me to explore all the options… I met with Reese because everyone said, ‘This girl is amazing. She’s going to be huge.’ I saw some movie where she had a southern accent. Maybe it was on TV, a movie of the week. But I did see some scenes of hers and went: ‘Wow. She’s amazing.’ But Alicia is Cher.”

As for Cher’s love interest Josh, Fox casting director Carrie Frazier was really gung ho on a young Ben Affleck, and was “heartbroken” when he wasn’t cast. Other tidbits – Dave Chappelle could’ve been Murray (Donald Faison) and Sarah Michelle Gellar had to turn down the part of Amber due to her obligation to All My Children at the time.

With the infinite amount of permutations that could’ve happened with casting back then, we could’ve seen an entirely different Clueless – but we think they got it right. But moving forward in an era where there seems to be an announcement for a reboot of some 90s TV show or movie every day (hi, Fuller House, The X-Files, and Twin Peaks), we got to thinking what it would be like if Clueless, which is itself loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma, what would a modern day BevHills Clueless look like with some of today’s hottest and up-and coming actors? Here are our personal picks for Clueless 2.0 – do you agree?

Kiernan Shipka as Cher Horowitz

What Alicia Silverstone was in 1995, Kiernan Shipka is in 2015. A likable blonde teen who looks impossibly polished, but can still pull off the Girl Next Door thing. Plus if you watched Mad Men, you know that Kiernan is such an incredible actress that she would bring out whole new layers in the character.

Besides, when you think about it, Cher Horowitz is the logical extension of a 16-year-old Sally Draper.

Alternate casting: Amandla Stenberg

Zendaya as Dionne Davenport

In real life, Zendaya is a smart, well-spoken, fashionista. Some of the characters she’s played have a bit of sass, and Dionne is kind of a mix between the two Zendayas. Dionne is also a girl who knows who she is and comes across as super confident, without being arrogant, and that’s Zendaya to a T.

Alternate casting: Maia Mitchell

Rowan Blanchard as Tai Frasier

You’re going to need to bear with me on this one. Do you watch Girl Meets World? No, because you’re a grownup? Fine. Maybe you watched Boy Meets World. Rowan plays Cory’s daughter, and she’s the perfect 2015 answer to Cory Matthews. A little awkward, sort of wide-eyed and naive, but above all a smart kid with a heart of gold. Another 90s character that shared those traits: Tai Frasier. She’s a bit younger than the rest of the prospective cast, but so was Brittany Murphy. It made it all the more believable that she was the fish out of (New Jersey) water.

Alternate casting: Maisie Williams

Dylan O’Brien as Josh Lucas

TBH, Paul Rudd could just reprise his role as Josh because THE MAN HAS NEVER AGED. In 20 years, the son of a gun looks exactly the same. But I guess it would be weird if he romanced a teen Kiernan Shipka. I don’t watch Teen Wolf. Nor have I seen The Maze Runner. But I know a good looking teen idol when I see one. Dylan is one of those folks who is part of multiple fandoms and is big on the Internetz (like the Tumblrs and whatnot). He can be charming and romantic and perfect as Josh.

Alternate casting: Gregg Sulkin

Michael B. Jordan as Murray Duvall

Through Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, and Fruitvale Station, we became Michael B. Jordan superfans. To the point where we will cast him in Clueless although his teen years are long past. I mean, having at least one actor in his or her late 20s is a teen movie tradition, right? While we usually see him in dramatic roles, we’d give anything to see the former Vince Howard explain that he shaved his head “cause I’m keeping it real!”

Only problem: somehow, in some way, he’d manage to make us cry. He always does.

Alternate casting: Tyler James Williams (He’s funny. And he grew up!)

Jaden Smith as Elton Tiscia

First of all, Elton has a last name, apparently?

Second, I feel about Jaden Smith the same way you would about a little brother or cousin. I’m sure he’s overall a good kid who will turn into a great grown up, but Lord, do you want to punch him sometimes.

Punchability, I would argue, is the hallmark of Elton Tiscia.

Plus, not that I doubt Jaden’s acting skills, but it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to play a rich kid who’s so used to getting what he wants that he can’t even imagine that Cher isn’t into him.

Bella Thorne as Amber Mariens

It’s not just the red hair. Bella is just so awesome at playing the girl you love to hate, but she could also bring out the genuine wackiness that is Ambular. But even with atrocious hair and outfits, it’s clear that she belongs in Cher’s tier.

Alternate casting: Mae Whitman

Miles Heizer as Travis Birkenstock

Not to typecast, but did you watch Parenthood? Miles is amazing as a sensitive, lovable stoner. I feel like the 90s teen pothead stereotype (Birkenstocks, ponchos) is a bit of a thing of the past. Now Travis would be a more mainstream skater who made up for in heart what he lacked in motivation.

Ezra Miller as Christian Stovitz

Christian needs to be handsome in an old-school way, the kind of debonaire gent that never courts ladies anymore … you know, because he’s not into them. Ezra Miller seems like a natural choice for lovable Rat Pack wannabe Christian. He’s so pretty a teen girl would swoon over him,  but with the same “I don’t care” attitude that makes Cher think he’s playing it cool and taking their relationship slow. Really, really slow.

Alternate casting: Ross Lynch, Asa Butterfield

Hailee Steinfeld as Summer

They didn’t really give Summer much to do, did they? That makes it the perfect role for a bit of stunt casting. The only requirement: that she be traditionally pretty enough that she makes sense in the Noxzema ad that is Cher’s circle of friends. Our pick is Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld, a fantastic actress who could maybe hopefully get a few lines this time around. After Pitch Perfect 2, we’d also like to request a song or two.

Alternate Casting: Ariel Winter, Cara Delevingne

Bob Odenkirk as Mr. Horowitz

 

My problem with Dan Hedaya as the OG Mr. Horowitz was that he made me think he had a secret life as a gangster – like Al Capone gangster – in the past. I feel like Cher’s dad of course needs to be stern and strict to a certain point, but also obviously caring for his daughter. Bob Odenkirk, while playing a scummy lawyer on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, has a heart to him that can take that gangster feel away. He’s also obviously very funny without even trying, so saying just one line in the dryest of tones will make him a stand out star.

Alternate Casting: Jeff Daniels, Michael Keaton

Leslie Jones as Ms. Stoeger

I love Leslie Jones. If you’re not familiar with her work, you probably don’t watch Saturday Night Live. But get to know her because she’s going to be huge. She’s been in the comedy game for a long time, but didn’t become a more recognised name until she was promoted from writer to cast member on SNL. She’s in the new Ghostbusters movie alongside Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon, so you know if you are in their squad, you have to be able to be just as funny, if not funnier. The role of the Ms. Stoger the gym teacher may be small, but in this fake reboot, it could have potential to be big.

Zach Galifianakis as Mr. Hall and Kristen Wiig as Miss Geist

I would like to say for the record that prior to choosing these two, I totally forgot they have a movie coming out later this year called Masterminds in which they play a couple of dumb criminals. Maybe it was in my subconscious, but let’s just face the facts here – I’m a casting genius. Anyways, 20 years ago, Miss Geist and Mr. Hall were 40ish and 50ish in real life, but as a nine year old, they looked so old to me. In our reboot, I think the way to go is to play up the comedy. If we have a cast of teens who are good at comedy, we need adults like Leslie Jones and Bob Odenkirk to knock it out of the freaking park with jokes. The pairing of Kristen and Zach just makes me laugh looking at them and thinking of what could possibly come out of their mouths when paired up together. Kristen also plays shy well, and Zach can play shy confidence. It’s a match made in blog fake movie heaven.

Questions, Comments, and Concerns: A Deadly Adoption

Back in April, it was leaked that Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig, two of America’s best awards show presenters, had secretly filmed a Lifetime movie and Will released a statement saying, “We are deeply disappointed that our planned top-secret project was made public, Kristen and I have decided it is in the best interest for everyone to forgo the project entirely.”

Fast forward to earlier this month, when a huge billboard for A Deadly Adoption popped up in Hollywood, saying the movie will air for reals on June 20 and had the tagline, “The birth of a plan gone wrong.” It debuted on Saturday night, and 2.1 million viewers tuned in, with nearly triple that during the repeats over the weekend. And we were one of those viewers.

When the secret came out in April, Will said he and Kristen were true Lifetime movie fans and the project was made out of love, but didn’t really disclose whether it was going to be a parody or a serious Lifetime-style drama. But this is what the logline is per Time Warner Cable:

A successful couple (Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig) house and care for a pregnant woman in the hopes of adopting her unborn child, but things quickly go awry.

This sounds like every other TV movie on this network, so I was still lost. Throughout the course of the movie, I found myself asking questions and making comments outloud, since the entire thing had me quite puzzled. If you were one of the nearly 6 million viewers or are planning to watch it soon, let me know if you have similar questions, comments, concerns from A Deadly Adoption.

Question: Why does the beginning of this look like a faux commercial on SNL?

The movie starts out at the birthday party for Robert (Will) and Sarah’s (Kristen) baby daughter, and it all just seems like a set-up for a fake drug the writers on SNL are about to peddle to me. Baby Spanx, anyone?

Question: Should I be laughing at a pregnant Kristen Wiig falling into the lake?

Preggo Sarah is leading against a wooden railing on a dock over a lake, but it bows out and she falls back in slow-mo, hits a boat and falls into the water. Robert immediately runs into the lake to save her, and after a few tense seconds, she comes to – but the baby doesn’t survive. The fall was so dramatic that I wasn’t sure whether to be laughing or cry at their loss?

Concern: Robert is an alcoholic

We flash forward five years later, and we see Robert is a recovering alcoholic. I feel like this is going to come back into the main story somehow.

Concern: Robert and Sarah plan to adopt

Photo Jun 23, 10 59 03 PM

Now that Sarah can’t have a baby, she and Robert are hoping to adopt, and they meet a girl named Bridget (Jessica Lowndes) who’s six months preggo and lives in a shelter. When Robert goes to shake her hand, she somehow accidentally breaks a picture frame, leading me to think this shattered glass might mean something.

Comment: Bridget likes kids, apparently

“I’m really overprotective when it comes to kids” – Bridget, the woman giving up her baby for adoption.

Comment: WHO THAT IS, MY BABY DADDY?

“Oh Robert, what a mess.” – Bridget says to herself while ripping Sarah’s face off the cover of a magazine.  iS THAT ROBERT’S BABY IN THERE

Concern: Bridget’s boyfriend is an actual concern

The baby daddy is a tatted up bad boy who has a slight Southern drawl – why do they always have a Southern drawl. He also has a pick up truck. He is trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stand for Pool! (a little Music Man humor for you nerds).

Comment: THIS BITCH IS FAKING HER PREGNANCY

I knew her bump was too big to be six months!

Comment: Robert finds a book that he signed which reads, “To Joni: Don’t stop daring”

Okay I should’ve written this down earlier, but I so called this: Robert was out on a book tour years ago and got drunk and slept with one of his groupies – aka Bridget in a red wig. So it’s NOT Robert’s baby since she’s sans baby, but she’s definitely crazy and has infiltrated their life because she’s TOO MUCH.

Question: Why are Robert and Sarah leaving their daughter alone with Bridget?

Bridget/Joni’s on the lamb after Sully sees her wearing a fake pregnancy belly. Because she’s a genius, B/J lies to Sarah and tells her she’s taking Sully to the park, all the while telling Robert she’s taking Sully to meet Sarah at the farmer’s market. We also find out B/J planned this kidnapping with her Shane West Wannabe boyf because they want Robert and Sarah’s money. Again, WHY LEAVE YOUR CHILD WITH THIS QUESTIONABLE CHARACTER.

Concern: Sarah’s Gay Best Friend Charlie is getting too involved in the case

Sarah’s biz partner/GBF Charlie realized something was up when he saw B/J having a public couple fight with her boyfriend Dwayne. After Sully goes missing, he sees Shane West Wannabe and decides to follow him himself, opting not to tell authorities. GBF trails him to the shack they’re keeping Sully and again decides not to call for backup because this is a Lifetime movie and there’s stil 40 minutes left.

Question: WHY?

WELL THEY KILLED CHARLIE THIS IS THE WORST

Comment: Sully has diabetes, Robert makes this clear throughout the movie

Sully’s missing poster says “NEEDS INSULIN ASAP” in all caps in Impact font

Concern: B/J is going full Snapped

B/J shows up disheveled and threatens Sarah with a gun in her garage and claims Robert loves her and is gonna leave her. She also reveals she WAS pregnant after drunkly sleeping with Robert, but lost the baby a few months later. A fight ensues and B/J kills Sarah, puts her in the driver’s seat of her car, and does the good old fashioned carbon monoxide set up.

Question: Where is Robert?

B/J then goes into the house to find Robert, but honestly, he didn’t hear the commotion going on in the garage?? They had a full out girl fight. Anyways, B/J finds Robert in the house and confronts him about sleeping with her, etc. and she accidentally shoots him…?

Comment: Robert must have iron arms because he managed to save Sarah

Photo Jun 24, 1 28 41 AM

By lifting her out like the Pieta.

Question: Why does the shot of Will Ferrell in a boat last for so long?

Photo Jun 24, 12 11 15 AM

Robert acquired a phobia of boats and lakes and docks since Sarah’s accident, but he managed to put that away to save Sully, but all I can think is why does he look like Robert Goulet crossing a river to battle an army?

Concern: Sully’s mental state after this entire ordeal

B/J tells Sully, who is sick because she needs her insulin, that “her daddy is dead”, and when Sully tells her she’s mean, B/J’s response is, “Stop it! I am not mean! I am the only nice one! Everyone else wants to hurt us!”, like a mature woman faking her pregnancy would say to a child she kidnapped.

Comment: The commercials on Lifetime don’t even seem real

There is a real commercial for Osphena, which is a medicine for women who are having troubles having sex after menopause. Like, come on.

Comment: At least this girl has a future career on Lifetime

Photo Jun 24, 12 15 27 AM

Seriously, she convincing for a kid actor. There’s a showdown on the bridge where B/J tells Robert to hand Sully over or else she’ll shoot him. Robert whispers something in Sully’s ear, and she starts walking towards B/J who has a gun in her hand. Then Sully suddenly runs towards the edge of the bridge and jumps into the river below and Robert soon follows. B/J is dumb and doesn’t try stopping them by shooting, but once Robert and Sully are in the speedboat, the motor doesn’t turn on.

Question: Is this Lana Del Rey in a gun fight with Wiig?

Photo Jun 24, 1 46 53 AMTurns out Sarah’s not dead and before B/J has a chance to kill both Sully and Robert, Sarah shoots the bitch and she falls into the river.

Question: Real or Not Real?

The end card says “inspired by a true story” … is it really? I don’t think so, but ok then.

Laughing All The Way: The Best SNL Holiday Sketches

The holidays are a time for being with friends and family, giving presents, getting presents, eating too much, etc. etc. And at the root of all this is something so simple – cheer. We revel in being around people and doing things that make us happy, because that’s what this time of year is all about.

One of the things that make us joyful, not only during Christmas but all year round, is Saturday Night Live. It has a storied history of making viewers laugh every Saturday night, and in December, there are sketches that dreams are made of. For our final December playlist installment, we present to you the sketches that make us laugh, make us cry from laughing, that just make us happy. And hopefully you’ll catch the contagious cheer this season and all year round.

Molly’s Picks

Consumer Probe (1976)

I’m going to yank you back into memory lane for a second. I started watching SNL regularly when I was 10 or so, because I’m the fourth kid and my parents DGAF. But before that, I’d get to stay up and watch when my family swarmed my grandparents’ house for the holidays. Around Christmas, that often meant ancient repeats or compilation episodes, which is how I got acquainted with the original Not Ready For Primetime Players. This sketch, with Dan Aykroyd schilling unsafe children’s toys like Bag O’ Glass and Johnny Switchblade, played right into my silly little-kid comedy sensibilities. As a grownup, I find it even funnier. [watch here]

Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood (1984)

Would I find this one so funny if, during the Cabbage Patch craze, my uncle hadn’t sold my parents a bootleg Cabbage Patch Kid that was stuffed with gasoline-soaked rags? They took the rags out, restuffed it, and gave it to my siblings. We’re all adults now so I think I can write that without fear of us being removed from their custody. Anyway, I think the answer is yes. Yes, I would still find it so funny.

Steve Martin’s Holiday Wish (1986)

At Christmastime, we all say stupid stuff about wanting world peace and for the children of the world to join hands in perfect harmony or whatever, but deep down, we all want stuff. Stuff, and revenge.

The Sweeney Sisters Bells Medley (1986)

Watching Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks’ characters try a bit too hard to sell the unfunny Christmas banter and the Carol Of The Bells now just makes me think of how darn funny Jan Hooks was. Which reminds me of another family Christmas tradition – my pessimistic grandmother chiming “laugh today, cry tomorrow!” over the laughter of children.  [watch here]

Dysfunctional Family Christmas (1990)

Is your family passive-aggressive, or just aggressive-aggressive? Is your only family tradition disappointing your parents and drinking to forget? Does someone always call someone else fat? Then screw Jingle Bells, this should be the soundtrack to your family festivities. [watch here]

Mary Katherine Gallagher’s Christmas Concert (1996)

This is 90s as heck: Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher character, Rosie O’Donnell as a Catholic school nun, Penny Marshall on piano, and Whitney Houston as that one girl who gets all the solos. This is the cast that was on SNL when I started watching religiously, and rewatching this sketch reminds me that I came in at a good time. [watch here]

Martha Stewart’s Topless Christmas Special (1996)

Once again, take yourself back to the 90s. Before the market was saturated with celebrity chefs and DIY empires, Martha Stewart was the WASP-y face of American perfectionism. Ana Gasteyer posing with a boys’ choir while wearing just a dickie cracked me up in 1996 – and it still does.

The Narrator That Ruined Christmas (2001)

We were all so unmoored those first months after 9/11 that it felt disrespectful to do anything without acknowledging that something awful had happened. Even our high school homecoming t-shirts had an American flag on the back that year. I was reminded of that last month, when my family drove through an outdoor light display. There, in megawatt glow, were the twin towers with the words “Never Forgotten” underneath. I’m sure that display was purchased in Christmas 2001, when it felt like even a charity light setup should nod to our collective grief. Anyway, that’s how my 5-year-old nephew learned about 9/11.  This Saturday TV Funhouse takes you right back to that feeling, with the stop-motion snowman narrator giving up on holiday joy. Writers of this one included Stephen Colbert and Louis CK.

Two A-Holes In A Live Nativity Scene (2007)

The two a-holes are recurring characters that never really got their due. They played off the mid-2000s reality tv, conspicuous consumption, vocal fry trope, and you will never hear “myrrh” the same way again. [watch here]

Do It On My Twin Bed (2013)

This music video highlights how solid the current female cast is. Lil Baby Aidy and the gang are the stars of this “funny because it’s true” new classic: everything, from surly neighbor Jean to a high-status family member sprawling out in the guest suite, from the awkward junior high photos to the time capsule-like childhood bedroom, is part of the Christmas experience when you’re spending the holidays with your family.

Traci’s Picks

Motivational Santa (1994)

I got into SNL around middle school, so like the Cheerleaders, Superstar, Leon Phelps, Mango era. I didn’t do my research before that and admittedly have only seen a select sketches from anything before like 1996. Among those select sketches was Chris Farley as Motivational Speaker, Matt Foley. You know, the guy who lives in a van down by the river? He sometimes moonlights as a Santa, therefore making him a Motivational Santa that is even more frightening and alarming than ever before. Screen your Santa before taking your kids to them, folks. {watch video here}

Delicious Dish (1998)

This sketch is not only one of the most famous holiday sketches but SNL sketches of all time. As NPR hosts, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon have the perfect tone to their voice as they talk about culinary delights on their talk show. When Alec Baldwin joins them, the NPR ladies secured themselves in the SNL Hall of Fame. Of course throughout the sketch, they make double entendres left and right, but it isn’t until Alec says, “No one can resist the taste of my Schweddy Balls”, did the audience go crazy and millions of viewers knew the skit would go down in history.

Wish it Was Christmas Today (2000)

I am a total FalPal (Jimmy Fallon fan, obvs). My love for Jimmy started around his era on SNL. This particular sketch I remember finding so ridiculous, yet so catchy. My friend and I used to crush of Jimmy  so hard and just sing this song a lot, which is definitely not annoying at all. While it started as a Christmas sketch, they went on to do it multiple times, altering the lyrics for different holidays. While I am a purist and enjoy the OG one from 2000 the most, the 2011 version when Horatio, Chris and Tracy surprised everyone while Jimbo was hosting, comes in at a close second.

Weekend Update Characters

It was already extremely hard for us to pick our favorites for this list because we are insane and just love SNL, so here’s a group of the best recurring characters of Weekend Update and their Christmas-themed visits to the desk.

This segment has everything – Tranderson Cooper, Taylor Negron, Kite Enthusiasts and human parking cones (it’s that thing of when two jacked midgets paint themselves orange and you have to parallel park between them).

Kids today just leave Santa almond milk and Instagraham crackers. Can you put some quinoa in my spin class, please?

Look, I loved when Cecily was at the desk with Seth, but I’m also glad she’s not on the desk anymore so she can do this character. Everything coming out of her mouth is ridiculous and perfect.

Oh, how I love Garth and Kat. Fred and Kristen make a great team as it is, but when you put them in substitute teacher outfits and make them sing songs, it’s even better. On top of that, there’s not only the element of improv on Fred’s behalf, but like double improv with Kristen just copying every word of improv Fred’s saying. It’s a masterclass in Yes, and.

Taran Killam plays a newspaper movie critic from the 1800s and he hates everything. And he’s not afraid to say it. And the audience is also not afraid to let him know when they don’t like a joke. The best part might be when Seth laughs when one of the jokes gets absolutely no response from the crowd.

Glengarry Glen Christmas (2005)

Alec Baldwin is obviously brilliant every episode he’s done (16, the record for most times hosting), and per this list, he’s a staple in class holiday sketches, too. This one is a Christmas spoof on his popular role in Glengarry Glen Christmas, but this time, he’s taking over Santa’s factory and having a talk with the elves. I had seen this version before the original, which I suggest you watch here, but I still thought it was hilarious. After having seen the scene in the movie it was based on, it’s even more hilarious and spot on. Rachel, Fred, Amy, and Seth (who wrote the sketch!) are all perfect in this scene, and so is Alec, who accidentally makes a perfect slip-up in the middle.

Christmas for the Jews (2005)

One of the best ‘modern’ Christmas songs IMO is Darlene Love’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home). It’s not the holidays until you hear this song, which is why she was the perfect choice to sing this tune for Saturday TV Funhouse. Christmas for the Jews tells a tale of how Jews revel in the fact all the Gentiles are inside celebrating Christmas, and they are free to ‘go see King Kong without a line’ or ‘Eat in a Chinese restaurant and drink some sweet wine’. Darlene’s legit-ness is what makes this song so good and another ‘modern day’ Christmas classic.

Dick in a Box (2006)

There was a period of time when I was in college that I wasn’t able to watch SNL as religiously as I had been before, which was sad for me, but also, it meant I had a some semblance of a social life? (LOL) I was at my friend’s apartment when she asked if I had seen Dick in a Box yet, and I hadn’t. We immediately watched it online (because this was when the whole YouTube/viral thing was just becoming a thing), and I basically died. Like Christmas for the Jews, Dick in a Box is actually a great song, lyrics aside. Lyrics included, still a great song. Speaking of lyrics, don’t mind the Spanish subtitles. Or do, it’s take D in a B to a whole new level.

Santa’s My Boyfriend (2006)

Just like Dick in a Box, I may know all the words (and maybe some harmonies) to this cold open from the SNL queens, including Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig. You think at first it’s going to be a cute song about Santa and Christmas, but alas, this is SNL.

The Kissing Family: Holiday Affection (2010)

Like a bad car wreck, the Vogelcheck family is something that you should drive right past and not pay attention to, but you just can’t look away. Paul Rudd is the best at this sketch, because he just goes for it. I mean, anyone who agrees to do this sketch has to go for it, but he just goes.for.it. And so does Hader. Bless. {watch video here}

Jimmy Fallon’s Monologue (2011)

When Jimmy Fallon walked on stage as a host for the Christmas show in 2011, it was the first time he had been in Studio 8H since he left in 2004. I made no plans the night he hosted, and watched this episode ‘live’ west coast time in my bedroom, standing next to my TV 90% of the time because I was just SO EXCITED. And it all started with his monologue, because as soon as he hit his mark, you could tell it was a big moment for him. And just like Jimmy, he just wanted the monologue to be Fun with a capital F. I have a feeling he came up with the idea to just have the entire cast sing and dance with him at the end and if you’re not watching this without a big smile on your face, you’re a big ol’ grinch. By altering the lyrics to Darlene Love’s hit song, this cold open embodied exactly what’s at the heart of the holidays – ‘It’ so good to be home’. {Watch video here}

Pop Culture Inspo for Yo’ Mo(vember)

We’re more than a week into the month so for you fellas participating in Movember, perhaps you’re at the point where you’re thinking what exactly to do with that cool ‘stache of yours (BTW, if you aren’t familiar with Movember, it’s an annual event in which men grow their mustaches to raise awareness of men’s health issues. It might explain why your weird co-worker is even weirder this month). There are so many directions to go with the newly acquired batch of facial hair that you want to make it perfect for the rest of the month.

And since there have been plenty of iconic mustache designs in television, film, theater, etc. it’s worth looking for some inspiration from some of the manliest of men on stage and screen. While I obviously can’t list all of them here, I have compiled a list of some of my personal faves who rocked the ‘stache loud and proud.

Gordon from Sesame Street

Aw, Gordon and Elmo! He’s first in honor of Sesame Street’s anniversary this week. Also, I have this vision of me meeting Gordon as a tot at some kind of book signing, but I actually think I stole a friend’s childhood memory. If this is your anecdote, reveal yourself. Also I am sorry.

Chandler Bing as Dr. Richard Burke on Friends

It goes without saying that if you do a word association with Tom Selleck, most of the time you’ll think ‘mustache’. I figured that putting him on this list might be a cop out, so here’s the next best thing – Chandler attempting to grow a Richard mustache. Obvs this was pre-Mondler, and Joey and Chan thought Richard was the coolest, hence trying to look and act like him. Not quite the same effect.

 

Ron Burgundy from Anchorman

You stay classy, San Diego/whatever city you live in/Movember dudes everywhere.

Paul Rudd during the Admission press tour

Speaking of Anchorman, Paul Rudd was in the middle of filming the sequel when he has to go off and do press for his movie with Tina Fey, Admission. And of course, Brian Fontana sports a sweet ‘stache in the film, and since hair doesn’t grow into a beautiful handlebar like Rudd’s overnight, he opted to wear it loud and proud. Paul Rudd: American treasure.

Kristen Wiig in the one sketch of The Californians

I’m 90% sure this was from the time Kristen went back to host SNL and she came back from the dead. Or at least in The Californians world. There have been some epic mustaches on SNL, but for some reason this one stuck out to me.

Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York

I’ve never actually seen Gangs of New York (ugh, I know, I’m a horrible Leo fan), but damn DDL can grow a mustache. In any film that requires some sort of lip blanket, he’s on point. Also, remember Daniel Day-Lewis? It’s like he goes into hibernation every 5 to 7 years and comes back to collect an Oscar.

Carl Winslow from Family Matters

Guys. This picture of a faux video game. I cannot.

Borat

**it’s creepy but niiiiiicee*

Captain Kangaroo

*it’s creepy but… nope still creepy. I DON’T REMEMBER CAPTAIN KANGAROO BEING THIS SCARY*

 Gene Shalit from Today

Anyone else a random watcher of the Today show and understand the magic that is Gene Shalit and his magnif bow ties and ‘stache?

Walter White from Breaking Bad

This sweet photo was taken from the actual Save Walter White website (caution, comic sans ahead).

Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation

“Leslie, you need to understand that we are headed to the most special place on earth. When I’m done eating a Mulligan’s meal, for weeks afterwards there are flecks of meat in my mustache and I refuse to clean it because every now and then a piece of meat will fall into my mouth.”  *Nick Offerman thanks you for your time.

Seven Minutes in (Comedy) Heaven

With three (soon to be four) SNL cast members not returning this fall, Lorne and co. is on the hunt for the next big sketch comedians. A few names have been released, but most importantly among them is Mike O’Brien – or as he’s being listed now, Michael Patrick O’Brien. Irish much? Mike/Michael has been a part of SNL since 2009, when he audition to be a player on the show, but was ultimately hired to be a writer. Seems like Lorne is changing his mind and putting Mike in the forefront just like he did Tina Fey. So if you’re not already, let’s get acquainted with this guy.

Don’t know who Mike/Michael is? Maybe if you’ve got a keen eye, you’ve seen him on SNL before:

Screen shot 2013-08-24 at 1.03.29 AM

Or you might know him as the guy who hangs out with celebrities in closets and tries to make out with them in the hilarious web series, 7 Minutes in Heaven. He started in 2011, and it’s slowly become popular over the years. He’s interviewed everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to Patricia Clarkson to a Juggalo from the Insane Clown Posse. Here are just a few to get you pumped up for his (reported) debut as a featured player on SNL this September. And yes, kissing is involved…22famous1-articleLarge

Kristen Wiig

In another life, Kristen Wiig makes soup in California.

Amy Poehler

Honestly, some of Amy’s best hat work she’s ever done.

Jason Sudeikis

Jason was Mike’s office buddy at SNL (bc NBC can’t afford to give EVERY cast member & writer their own office), and it looks like that they proved the unimaginable – they got even closer than ever before.

Ellen DeGeneres

Still can’t believe Ellen agreed to do this.

Jack McBrayer

In another world, Jack McBrayer and Mike O’Brien are brothers. In this world they’re two guys who awkwardly kiss in a closet.

John Hamm

Ron Draper is Dick Whitman’s alter ego.

Seth Meyers

In which Mike quizzes Seth in alllll the movies he’s been in and his lines in the said movies.

Paul Rudd

Rudd’s got a lot of experience in kissing men – especially thanks to the Vogelchucks sketch from SNL.

Tina Fey

I know the queen Tina Fey is in this video and everything, but Mike’s pornstache is wayyy too distracting.

Best SNL Sendoffs

Remember the pomp and grandeur of high school and college graduation? Saturday Night Live sendoffs are nothing like that, thank God. It’s more like that last get-together before all your friends took off for freshman year of college, or the final walk-through of your college house the week after graduation. It’s informal, and everyone is trying to be light-hearted. In most cases, you are genuinely happy for the opportunities ahead for your friends. But underneath all of it, there’s that knowledge that you have reached the end of the life you’ve gotten used to. A few tears, some laughs, and a lot of gratitude – here are a couple of my favorite goodbyes from cast members leaving Studio 8H.

Seth Meyers and Bill Hader

I wrote this post last week hoping against hope that I would be able to add another great goodbye from this weekend. I wasn’t disappointed. This included Stefan’s club attractions brought to life, Anderson Cooper, Amy Poehler, and the wedding of Stefan and Seth, who were sent off by all of the great Weekend Update regulars of the past several years. I loved it, and keep seeing new callback club characters every time I watch it. Which has been … some times.

Kristen Wiig

I cried watching this. I cried re-watching it. Then, I cried just thinking about it as an emotional Kristen Wiig took the stage as an SNL host this month. Everything about this was perfect. Poehler and Dratch even show up, which is exactly how I plan to leave every job ever.

A note: a few articles after the fact talked about how Jason Sudekis was clearly pissed off because he wasn’t clapping and dancing. I disagree – am I the only one who sees the man fighting back tears? I recognized the need to hang back, as another person who is terrible with permanent goodbyes. Seriously. When I said a prayer over my grandmother’s coffin, I think I told her “I mean, we’ll still get coffee sometimes or something.” When I visit graves of loved ones, I pray “don’t worry, we’ll totally keep in touch.” I get it.

Jimmy Fallon

We were just teens in the early 2000s, when this blog would have probably been hosted on Livejournal and called Cookies + Juiceboxes. And man, did we spend our fair share of study halls and lunch periods discussing the merits of Jimmy Fallon. So, how much did I love it when Jimmy went out on a parody of a classic high school flick right before we graduated high school for real?

On a related note, for all of you cringing at the YouTube video clearly snagged off of someone’s tv screen, let me tell you this. When I was in high school, we would have watched this as a camcorder video made of someone’s home VHS recording of the episode. And it would have been posted on Kazaa. And that’s if we were LUCKY, because we usually had to wait for someone to get off the phone so we could use the internet. I mean, we were practically accessing the internet via a tin can and string. You kids don’t know how comparatively okay you have it.

Gilda Radner

On my well-worn childhood VHS tape of The Best of Gilda Radner, there was the classic sketch “Dancing in the Dark.” I didn’t learn that it was also used as a farewell until years later. As fate would have it, Gilda’s dancing/comedy partner Steve Martin was hosting SNL the day she died, and this is how he said goodbye. Radner passed on early on a Saturday and there was time to assemble a tribute by showtime. Of course. In fact, she even would have been ready for prime-time.

A note: I wrote this post last week, as well as another mentioning Gilda that will be posted later in the week. I didn’t realize it at the time, but today marks the 24th anniversary of her death. The subconscious is a funny thing. Not funny “ha-ha,” like this classic song I’ll throw in for good measure:

Phil Hartman and Chris Farley

[http://www.buzzfeed.com/stacylambe/the-top-5-snl-departures?sub=1578360_309810]

Sorry for all of the tragedy and heartbreak in this post. I didn’t mean to. I still remember how shocked I was by both of these deaths.

All sorrow aside, this is by far the most ’90s thing you’ll probably watch all week.

Do you spy Sarah Silverman looking exactly the same 20 years ago as she does now? I think she bathes in the blood of virgins.

The only place I could find this video online was a Buzzfeed article with the exact same thesis as mine. No surprise there — Buzzfeed is always one step ahead of me. When I order a special at a restaurant, and they “just ran out,” I am almost positive that Buzzfeed ordered the last one. It’s like that.

Amy Poehler

As always, among the best of the best.

The Best (and Worst) of the Met Ball

Monday marked the annual Met Ball in New York City, and it’s regarded as one of the biggest fashion events of the year. Some have even touted it as the Academy Awards of the East. Which is weird but okay. It’s where fashion and Hollywood meet at the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and we’re not just talking Gossip Girl.

What’s great about the Met Ball is that the stars aren’t afraid to wear grand, elegant, edgy, head-turning gowns. I mean they’re rubbing elbows with the likes of Anna Wintour, Vera Wang, Tory Burch, Zac Posen, etc. etc., so they have to be on top of their game.

To help you get acquainted with the festivities, here’s some of the best and worst dressed at the Met Ball over the past few years.

Best Dressed

Solange in Rachel Roy, 2012

Emma Stone in Lanvin, 2012

Kristen Wiig in Stella McCartney, 2012

Michelle Dockery in Ralph Lauren, 2012

January Jones in Versace, 2012

Camilla Belle in Ralph Lauren, 2012

Emily Blunt in Calvin Klein, 2012 (and bonus JKras bc they’re just too cute together!)

Worst Dressed

Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen, 2006

Victoria Beckham in Valentino, 2003

Diane Kruger in Prada, 2012

Shaliene Woodley in Christopher Kane, 2012

Chloe Sevigny in Miu Miu, 2012

Mary Kate Olsen in The Row, 2012

Elizabeth Banks in Mary Katrantzou, 2012