Tag: “Saturday Night Live”

Michelle ‘Flow-tus’ Obama and SNL’s Jay Pharoah Rap About Going to College (VIDEO)

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Jay Pharaoh (via COLLEGE HUMOR)

Just call her “Flow-tus,” because Michelle Obama has flow and bars. The first lady teamed up with Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah in a new rap song that encourages teens to attend college.

In the video, produced by College Humor, Pharoah and Obama rap about the benefits of attending college, minus the student loans, of course.

“South Side Chicago, we all know, we had to do overtime every night to make it tomorrow,” Obama raps. “And everyone could really make their dream true. Hey, kid listenin’ in Michigan, that could be you!”

Check it out below:

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

Chance The Rapper Makes SNL History as Its 1st Independent Musical Guest

Chance The Rapper (photo via allhiphop.com)
Chance The Rapper (photo via allhiphop.com)

The year 2015 is ending on a high for Hip-Hop. Earlier in the week, Kendrick Lamar was nominated for 11 Grammy Awards, the most ever for a Hip-Hop performer in a single year. And, tonight (12/12), Chance The Rapper became the first independent artist, in any genre, to perform on the 40-year old sketch comedy franchise, “Saturday Night Live.”

Chance performed 2 songs on the SNL stage. The first was “Somewhere In Paradise” with Jeremih. As is often the case, the song was part rap, part singing and all Chance catching the spirit, as he showed his jubilation for being on stage, both vocally and physically. His lyrics were joyous, even stating that there were people in his life who said he’d never reach this point, and yet, here he was. He also covered every inch of the stage with spirited dance moves. Jeremih joined halfway through and was the recipient of a bear hug at the end from the MC who seemed overwhelmed by the moment. Chance also was supported by a full band, which included his longtime collaborator, Donnie Trumpetwith whom he released the Surfalbum earlier this year, under the collective name of The Social Experiment.

Chance’s second song was “Sunday Candy,” his sweet love song from Surf. Unlike the first performance, this one was much more staid, with Chance seated while backed by his band and choir. Even still, his joyousness shone through the rain about which he sang. To take a look at both performances, click here.

article by Parfit via ambrosiaforheads.com

 

“SNL” Comedian Sasheer Zamata Named ACLU Celebrity Ambassador on Women’s Rights

Sasheer ZamataActress and comedian Sasheer Zamata, known for her breakout role on the cast of Saturday Night Live, will partner with the American Civil Liberties Union to support women’s rights. She joins the ACLU as a celebrity ambassador on the heels of her recent promotion to repertory player for SNL’s 41st season, her third season with the show.

In her role as an ambassador, Zamata will elevate the ACLU’s work to fight gender inequality and structural discrimination against women in employment, education, healthcare, housing, and criminal justice through advocacy and public education. The ACLU Women’s Rights Project was co-founded in 1972 by U.S. Supreme Court Justice  Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who called women’s rights “an essential part of the overall human rights agenda.”

Zamata is featured in Sasheer Zamata Says Women’s Rights “Still a BFD!” a new ACLU video that puts the spotlight on gender inequality and privilege.

“It’s so wonderful that women continue to break down barriers and change societal expectations, but women still suffer discrimination for their gender, class and race,” says Zamata. “I am honored to continue the fight for equal economic opportunities, the right to choose, and an end to gender-based violence by serving as an ACLU Celebrity Ambassador.”

Though strides have been made in the past several decades to advance and protect the rights of women and girls, there’s a lot left to do. In the U.S. today:

  • Women make only 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man; African-American women only earn 64 cents; and Latinas, only 55 cents for each dollar earned by a white man;
  • A woman’s right to choose is threatened by extreme lawmakers who have introduced more than 100 abortion restrictions in 2015 alone;
  • Few legal protections exist for pregnant workers and new mothers, putting families in danger of economic instability, though women are the primary breadwinners in 4 out of 10 families with children.

“We are thrilled to name Sasheer Zamata as our newest celebrity ambassador,” says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “She is the perfect voice for the next generation, and especially for those looking to effect real and lasting change on women’s rights issues.”

Zamata—who was named one of Cosmopolitan’s “13 Funny Women to Watch in 2014,”—joins Harry Belafonte, Michael K. Williams, Lewis Black, Marlee Matlin, and others, to amplify the ACLU’s work on priority civil liberties issues, including mass incarceration, voting rights, disability rights, and LGBT equality.

Read more about the ACLU Ambassador Project at:
https://www.aclu.org/feature/aclu-ambassador-project

Be a friend and share the video Sasheer Zamata Says Women’s Rights “Still a BFD!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqL9onVybW0

More information about the ACLU’s women’s rights work is available at:
https://www.aclu.org/issues/womens-rights

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

Tracy Morgan Makes Return to “Saturday Night Live”, Boosts Ratings (VIDEO)

tracy morgan (snl screenshot)
Tracy Morgan hosts “Saturday Night Live” (photo via nbc.com)

If by chance you missed it, last night (10-17-15) – for the first time since a multi-vehicle crash left him in a coma – funny man Tracy Morgan returned to “Saturday Night Live” to host the long-running show.

“I’m back. It feels so good to be here. You may have seen on the news I was in a terrible car accident a year ago. It was awful. But it also showed me how much love and support I have in this world,” Morgan said during the show.

Morgan’s return to “SNL” also lifted ratings for the latenight show, which, according to Variety.com, was up week-to-week and matched its top overnight demo score since last winter.  Compared to its October 2014 average, “SNL” was up 8% in overnight household rating (from 3.9) and even in adults 18-49. The show hasn’t done a higher 18-49 overnight rating since the Jan. 31 show hosted by J.K. Simmons.

In his opening monologue, the comedian observed that some folks have been wondering if he has full mental capacity after his June 2014 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. Well, he just used that as fodder and cracked this response:

“People were wondering, ‘Can he speak? Does he have 100-percent mental capacity?’ But the truth is I never did. I may even be a few [IQ] points higher now.”

He was joined in one sketch by “30 Rock” co-stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer. Fey broke character to inject a serious note: “We’re so happy you’re OK. We’re even happier you’re ready to make people laugh again.”

During the show Morgan also brought back two of his familiar characters — Astronaut Jones and animal expert Brian Fellow.  To see his opening monologue, click below:

article via eurweb.com; additions from Variety.com

Eddie Murphy Honored with Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize

Eddie Murphy Emmy Awards
Eddie Murphy (photo via GETTY IMAGES)

Thirty-five years ago an unknown teenager from Brooklyn made an uncredited cameo in a lackluster episode of a network variety show on the verge of collapse. By the next episode that kid got his first real shot on screen and he never looked back. Soon enough, the only thing keeping “Saturday Night Live” from dying in the post-Lorne Michaels era was legendary-comedian-in-the-making Eddie Murphy.

Within two years Murphy was performing standup on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, and turning in iconic parodic performances on “SNL” as Buckwheat, Gumby and Mr. Robinson in sketches that would be forever emblazoned in the annals of American pop culture. By 1984, Murphy was a hugely bankable movie star, making his mark in comic masterpieces like “48 Hours,” “Trading Places” and “Beverly Hills Cop,” which catapulted Murphy to international fame and spawned two sequels.

On Oct. 18, the man with one of the most infectious laughs in comedy will receive the 18th annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.  Kathy Griffin, who will present clips of Murphy’s 1982 “Tonight Show” debut at the Kennedy Center gala event, says Murphy’s brilliance stems from his gutsy approach to standup comedy.

“In an era when everyone is apologizing for everything, it is fun and liberating to go back and watch him express anything that he thinks is funny without filters,” she says. “He is not a safe comedian and isn’t that what standup comedy is really about?”

Of course, Murphy is also one of the most commercially successful African-American actors in film history. His movies have averaged $100 million at the box office, including such hits as “Coming to America,” “Shrek” and “The Nutty Professor.” Although he’s been absent from the big screen for several years, Imagine Entertainment is reportedly developing a Netflix comedy feature with Murphy.

“Eddie is an icon and a terrific actor who has been making us laugh for 35 years,” says Cappy McGarr, executive producer of the Mark Twain Prize.  He adds that Murphy’s early films were brilliant not only because they were funny, but also because they tackled themes of racism in America. “Trading Places,” released in 1983, explored the divide between the haves and have-nots.

“That movie is just as relevant now as when it was made,” McGarr says. “Like Richard Pryor, who received the first Mark Twain Prize, Eddie has been an incredible influence on all those who followed him.”

Comedians Murphy influenced and inspired include Arsenio Hall, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock, who’s called Murphy his “idol.” He will be among the presenters at the Kennedy Center ceremony, along with fellow “SNL” alumni Will Ferrell, who received the Mark Twain Prize in 2011, and Tina Fey, who was honored with the award in 2010.

Griffin says the Mark Twain Prize is the ultimate award for comedians, especially since they are typically overlooked at the Oscars. (Murphy’s one nomination is for his dramatic turn in Bill Condon’s 2006 musical “Dreamgirls.”)

“This is a huge honor for Eddie,” Griffin says. “Everyone in comedy wants this. The ones that have it all brag about it and the ones that don’t are pissed. This is it.”

Per McGarr, the Mark Twain Award may not be enough validation for a genius such as Murphy: “I just wish we could give him more than one medal.”

article by Stuart Miller via Variety.com

Tracy Morgan Marries Megan Wollover – See the Beautiful Couple!

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Tracy Morgan and Megan Wollover (photo via people.com)

Tracy Morgan is a married man!

Fourteen months after a horrific highway crash left him fighting for his life, the comedian wed his long-time fiancée Megan Wollover in an intimate and moving ceremony Sunday night, Morgan’s rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“After almost losing Tracy last year, I am so grateful to finally be married to the love of my life,” Wollover tells PEOPLE.  As close friends and family, including Maven, Morgan’s 2-year-old daughter with Wollover, 28, looked on, the couple exchanged vows during an emotional ceremony.

“We have been through so much and our love is stronger for it,” says Wollover, an emotional lifesaver for the comedian after his June 7, 2014, accident when a Walmart tractor-trailer slammed into his limousine on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Morgan, 46, whose painstaking road to recovery included learning to stand, sit and walk again, has been determined “to walk my wife down the aisle” by his wedding day, he told PEOPLE in June.

“I don’t want to walk my wife down the aisle with a cane or in a wheelchair,” he said. “So I had to go hard with the therapy … I had to get better. There was no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

Having made it to the altar – with not a cane in sight – the newlyweds are looking forward to sharing many more milestones together.  As Wollover tells PEOPLE, “I’m so excited to see what our future holds and feel so blessed to spend the rest of my life with Tracy!”

Morgan also recently announced he is returning to host “Saturday Night Live” in October, which is also expected to be another milestone in his recovery.

article by Elizabeth Leonard via people.com

Tracy Morgan Returning to “Saturday Night Live” as Host on October 17

Tracy Morgan performs at Mount Airy Casino Resort on Feb. 1, 2014, in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania  (BILL MCCAY/GETTY IMAGES)

Tracy Morgan has been on the mend from last year’s accident — and will be ready to return to TV this fall.

The actor/comedian will host “Saturday Night Live” on October 17, marking his first major appearance since suffering extensive injuries in a deadly accident — involving a Walmart truck and a limousine-bus — that killed his good friend, comic James McNair.

“SNL” announced this exciting news on Monday in a tweet.  In June, Morgan, a former “SNL” cast member, told NBC’s “Today” show that he hoped to return to work as soon as he could, saying, “When I’m there, you’ll know it. I’ll get back to making you laugh. I promise you.”

Looks like he’s keeping his promise.

Hopefully before or soon after his “SNL” appearance, Morgan will accept his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – an honor that was announced this June.  Recipients of  Walk of Fame awards have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are normally announced ten days prior to dedication on the official website www.walkoffame.com.

article by Lauren Morass via cbsnews.com; additions by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

“Empire” Star Taraji P. Henson Reigns as “Saturday Night Live” Host on April 11

Taraji P. Henson as "Cookie" in FOX's 'Empire'
Taraji P. Henson as “Cookie” in FOX’s ‘Empire’

According to usatoday.com, “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson will make her “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut on April 11, 2015.  On that day, Henson will join the short list of black women who have taken the SNL reins:  Cicely TysonKerry Washington, Queen Latifah, “Empire” castmate Gabourey Sidibe, Janet Jackson, Halle Berry and Oprah Winfrey, to name the few.

Mumford & Sons will be the show’s musical guest – their second time.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

 

“SNL” Writer and Cast Member Leslie Jones On Tap for All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot

Leslie Jones

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones is in final negotiations to sign on for the all-female version of the classic 1980s film “Ghostbusters.”

Joining Jones for the reboot will be her fellow SNL’ers Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon, in addition to “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” star Melissa McCarthy. Although negotiations are still ongoing, the film’s director Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids”) tweeted a picture of the ladies, which suggests they’re in it for the long run.

Jones’ involvement in the “Ghostbusters” reboot could mark a major milestone for the funny lady, who has been making people laugh for more than 30 years. Jones’ achievements, as noted by Vulture.com, include opening for Jamie Foxx and Katt Williams as well as starring in her own Showtime stand-up comedy special in 2011. Last January, Jones joined the cast of SNL, becoming one of two Black female cast members currently on the show’s roster. Jones also recently appeared in Chris Rock’s film “Top Five.”

article by Qwest7 via eurweb.com

Check Out Trailer for Chris Rock’s Upcoming Release, “Top Five” (VIDEO)

Chris RockAs GBN reported last month, Chris Rock’s new film Top Five sparked a bidding frenzy at the Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount Pictures emerging as the winner for distribution rights to the tune of $12.5 million. Last week, the studio dropped the first trailer.  Written, directed by, and starring Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he’s left behind.

Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah also star.

The movie is set for a limited release on December 5, going wide a week later on December 12.

If you can’t wait to see Rock in action before then, check out him and musical guest Prince as he hosts “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)