Tag Archives: Second City

Judging Amy

I don’t think Amy Poehler should be the guest host for the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.”

In the two years since she left the show, she’s been back numerous times to do stints on “Weekend Update,” imitate Hillary Clinton, and guest star on the Betty White special.  She still seems like a member of the cast.

Why bring her back now as a “guest host,” especially when the show is introducing four new cast members?

The two new girls — Vanessa Bayer from Second City and Taran Killiam from The Groundlings — will already have to fight tooth and nail for every moment on stage, since most female roles seem to go automatically to Kristen Wiig.

Now you’re adding Amy Poehler to the mix…so all they can hope for is the rudimentary waitress role or maybe the face-in-the crowd scene.  If they get lucky, they’ll be a reporter asking a question from the audience.

Wow — that rocks.

Don’t get me wrong.  When you consider all “Saturday Night Live” femmes — current and former — Amy is near the top of the list.  She’s not only an amazing improviser, character actor and comedienne, but in all interviews and conversations, she appears to be a down-to-earth, nice person.

That is a rare compliment indeed in that business.

But half the fun of “Saturday Night Live” is bringing in an A-list celebrity who’s not the first name in comedy and seeing what they can do.  Remember how unexpectedly great Peyton Manning was as a guest host?  Or Brian Williams from “NBC Nightly News”?  Even a great dramatic actor can quickly lose his footing on SNL — or be amazing like Christopher Walken.  And that’s what we want to see…not a very-very-recent cast member who seems like she never left.

So, while I’m sad Amy’s sitcom “Parks and Recreation” is on hiatus until mid-season — and she’s no doubt looking to fill her schedule — I think there are plenty of other celebs out there (not to mention the new cast members, hello) who are chomping at the bit for the opportunity to show what they can do in the comedy arena.

But Amy?  Girl, you’re good to go.  Give our best to Will and the boys.

Next “SNL” Star

Dear Lorne Michaels:

It’s been over a decade since we never met in your office at “Saturday Night Live.”  I conferred instead with your creative director on the greeting card line Hallmark was developing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show.

However, I did sit in your chair, so I think we made a connection.

That’s why, lo these many years later, I feel I can talk casting with you…now that Will Forte has announced he’s leaving the show after eight seasons.

Hire Tim Mason.

You know Tim.  He’s  a comedian on the main stage at Second City in Chicago.  I recently saw him perform in the new show “Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies,” and was blown away by his command of the stage and range of characters.  He was funny, funny, smart.

Plus, I know SNL has to cast by type — just like any other show — and I think Tim is a ringer to fill Will’s slot.  I mean, seriously — take a look.

Perfect, right?

Full disclosure: I know Tim from his early improv days in Kansas City. You know Kansas City — the town that produced Jason Sudeikis, Paul Rudd and Rob Riggle.

That’s a pretty impressive pedigree.

Return to the well, Lorne.  You won’t regret it.