Dave Itzkoff’s terrific oral history of “Saturday Night Live” auditions arrived this morning. I realize some people might look at it and say “Haven’t we had enough of this already?” — enough about the history of “Saturday Night Live,” or enough oral histories, or both — and I completely sympathize with that made-up mindset I just described. But this one is still really entertaining! Itzkoff spoke with 22 cast members (and Marc Maron, who didn’t make the cut) about their auditions, and while some of these stories (like Will Ferrell and the briefcase) are probably very familiar to those of us who are interested in this sort of thing, it’s still a very fun read.
Good news from Kristen Wiig world. The actress, about to headline her own hit when “Bridesmaids” comes out, is going to retire two of her annoying “Saturday Night Live” characters. She will no longer do Penelope (who one-ups people) or Gilly (who smiles weirdly). Perhaps she recognizes that while these characters have brought some measure of joy and humor to some people, there comes a point where it’s best to say goodbye to them before they get old or stale. Also, it is worth noting that she plays roughly 20 characters who are very similar to Penelope and Gilly, so this really means very little. But “Bridesmaids” still looks terrific!
Jeff Bridges will host “SNL” on Dec. 18, the day after “TRON: Legacy” hits theaters and a week before “True Grit” comes out. Bridges hosted once before, with his brother Beau in 1983. Over/under on “Big Lebowski” sketches? Whatever, this is probably the only “SNL” I will watch all the way through this year, I don’t care if it’s all dumb “TRON” jokes. [LAT]
A new deal between Netflix and NBC Universal will vastly increase the amount of quality programming available for instant streaming via Netflix. Among the shows that are part of the multi-year deal (which kicks off next week): hundreds of episodes from every single season of “SNL,” episodes from the next three seasons of “SNL” (available the morning after broadcast), every episode from the 2009-2010 seasons of “30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Law & Order: SVU” (plus older episodes of those shows), every episode of “Friday Night Lights” (including, eventually, the upcoming fifth and final season), every episode of “Psych” and episodes of “Battlestar Galactica.”
It’s worth noting that the deal does not appear to involve every single episode of “SNL” ever aired, as some reports have stated; rather, it appears the deal just involves hundreds of the 680 episodes that have aired over the years. The wording of the press release leaves this a bit ambiguous.