As originally posted in The Hollywood Reporter


For the record I have never (regrettably) lived on the shores of America, nor am I an expert in its realm of television. I am, however, invested enough to have the passion for, and a fairly good knowledge of, the medium. With the Emmy nominations just a couple of days away, rather than make myself look a TV novice, I took to the streets to ask the regular people their views on the potential omissions from the nominations and who might surprise us by showing their face.


SNUB?   American Horror Story: Freak Show   “It was just too much for me. I didn’t mind the haunted house one, the prison one, or even the one with the witches and Kathy Bates’ talking head, but this is just a freak show now. Plus, ain’t nobody even asked me to be in it, and I got a third nipple.”

SNUB?   Killing Jesus   “The title alone I would say, very controversial. Good thing he came back for a sequel.”

SPOILER?   Gracepoint   “Really loved the first season of Broadchurch, so powerful, so emotional. But this is the American version, and I want to be patriotic. Though in truth, Gracepoint was piss poor.”

SNUB?   David Oyelowo (Nightingale)   “If the film academy can do it then so can the television academy.”

SPOILER?   Stephen Merchant (Hello Ladies The Movie)   “If Ricky Gervais can do it then so can his comedy writing partner.”

SNUB?   Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Freak Show)   “Because enough is enough now. I hear in American Horror Story: Sexy Ghost, Lange will be playing a bed-side lamp and will still be nominated.”

SPOILER?   Yaya Dacosta (Whitney)   “Woman director for one. Black director for two. Plus, if you can’t appreciate the life of Whitney Houston, we have a problem. Because I will always love her. Yes, I. I will. I will always love her.”

SNUB?   Damian Lewis (Wolf Hall)   “With the High Sparrow also in this show and hotly tipped, they could split votes. One big drawback, no wolves.”

SNUB?   Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Freak Show)   “Two heads is not always better than one.”

SPOILER?   Abigail Lawrie (The Casual Vacancy)   “In all seriousness, not as well known as Michael Gambon for sure, but bottom line she is the best thing in this.”


SNUB?   Downton Abbey   “Aren’t we a little tired of seeing that opening of the dog being walked. Though the poor dog did pass away, it was a rather sudden decision by the production team given the association with the name Isis. I can’t wait until next year when Lord Grantham drags her corpse along the green on a leash.”

SPOILER?   Bloodline   “Emmy liked Kyle Chandler in Friday Night Lights. They liked Linda Cardellini in Mad Men. They liked Sam Shepard in Dash and Lilly. They liked Sissy Spacek in The Good Old Boys. Plus, it is Netflix. Very tasty ingredients. Wait, what was the question?”

SNUB?   Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)   “He is just too funny in this. Surely they will forget it’s a drama. Though that scene when he kicks the door closed and almost breaks down. Nice. I’m not sure now, it’s confusing. Was he on meth?”

SPOILER?   Jamie Dornan (The Fall)   “He may have weird sexual methodology, his American acting might suck, but he is rather captivating as a killer in Northern Ireland. No, really.”

SNUB?   Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife)   “She makes me want to watch classic old episodes of E.R. but she has no room on her shelves at home for another Emmy. Take a year off Julianna, you’ve earned it. Plus, she gave me crabs.”

SNUB?   Jonathan Banks (Better Call Saul)   “It would be upsetting if the incredible Mike was not nominated, given a fleshed out narrative and screen time – which he fills expertly. If Emmy does not simply go for Saul then he could be out too.”

SPOILER?   Michael McKean (Better Call Saul)   “Is it unthinkable that Chuck could get in? There is no doubt he was great in the show. But can Emmy forgive him for what he did to Saul? His own brother! Worse things have happened.”

SNUB?   Lena Headley (Game of Thrones)   “So that was a body double the whole time? Why would she deserve an Emmy nomination for that? Sure, sure, she was pretty much flawless and had a great range to work with the entire season. Oh what, so Emmys are about good work now? If you want a nomination, then show me your boobs. Real boobs.”

SPOILER?   Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)   “There’s nothing like a supporting cast member of a snubbed regular to shake things up a bit. Plus, Archie is very decent in this and is in the mix of some of the juicy story-lines.”


SNUB?   Veep   “Politics? Boo!”

SPOILER?   Shameless   “Shagging? Yeah!”

SNUB?   Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)   “Is he not too humanized now Amy has her claws in him? We want robot Sheldon back. And he is not getting an Emmy nod until we do.”

SPOILER?   Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)   “Honestly, one of my favorite comedy shows around. I, too, was one of the few who was not surprised when he and the show scooped Golden Globe wins last year. Could it repeat here? Did I mention Saturday Night Live?”

SNUB?   Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer)   “Too funny. Too talented. Too empowering. Too current. Too fat.”

SPOILER?   Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project)   “It’s now or never, Kelly Kapoor.”

SPOILER?   Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation)   “What’s not to like? A very busy twelve months with the Lego, the talking tree, and the velociraptors. How does he even have a sense of humor after all of that? Plus, dreamy.”

SNUB?   Allison Janney (Mom)   “Not that funny, and who would want a mother like that?”

SPOILER?   Wendi McLendon-Covery (The Goldbergs)   “Very funny, and who would not want a mother like that?”

Author’s Note: Regarding the speaking to real people, I did nothing of the sort. This is mere fiction, an attempt at tongue-in-cheek humor disguising some possible snubs and spoilers come Thursday. Not all, I might add, my own opinion.

 Kudos to the PR team behind Jane the Virgin. No idea if it will work, but it’s definitely buzz-worthy. 


The Critic’s Choice Awards are kind of like the drunken cousin of the Emmys to me. Well, wait, that’s also the Golden Globes. Perhaps all television awards shows push me to drinking? Maybe I have some personal problems and I need to step away from the remote control…

Anyway, here is my snarky commentary on the winners of the television Critic’s Choice Awards!

Best Animated Series goes to Archer, and I don’t really have any complaints. Any one of these shows could have taken it, and I would’ve been fine with it. Wait, except Star Wars: Rebels. Kind of odd that Seth McFarlane is being awarded the Genius Award and his show isn’t nominated this year.

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Allison Janney takes Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and America collectively re-adds Mom to their DVR to see if they missed something.

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It’s a good thing Sarah Paulson was playing conjoined twins in American Horror Story: Freak Show. It enhanced her chance to shine in the worst season of the series. She’s always been stellar and underappreciated on AHS, so this win for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series is very well-deserved. Plus, this is the only backstage picture you need!

Did anyone else have a chance to win for Best Talk Show? It’s going to be bleak next year when Jimmy Fallon’s Dumb Celebrity Tricks inches closer to winning in years to come…

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I’ve heard he’s fantastic on the show, but I would’ve given him the award for being so utterly terrifying in the clip.

Bill Murray for Supporting Actor? Yes.

David Oyelowo for Best Actor in a Movie or Limited Series for Nightingale? Yes.

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Would anyone really deny Vee from Litchfield? This felt in the bag. Also, like her Supporting Actor counterpart, I’d be afraid she’d shank me in the parking lot.

I want to start watching Silicon Valley just because T.J. Miller went up to the podium with food in his mouth. I might have a crush on him now. Attention everyone who thinks they might win an away in their lifetime: take notice.

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His performance in Transparent is pretty sad and warm. No snark here.

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What the holy name of Viola Davis does Cecily Tyson have to do to win an award in this godforsaken town?! She’s shown up by Jessica Lange at last year’s Emmy’s, and now Sam Elliot takes Guest Actor in a Drama?! Why is this category mixed?! I’m going to make a trophy of my own and have Cecily over. Don’t worry, Ms. Tyson, I have your back.

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Oh, now people watch this show? It starts winning stuff after I give up on it. Story of my life.

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I quite seriously have no opinion about Shark Tank winning Best Reality Series.

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I want to see the security footage of Cat Deeley sneaking in ballots to win Best Reality Show Host. I kid, I kid. She’s charming and British and I am just bitter and an ignorant American. I’m currently seeing a therapist about RuPaul not being nominated.

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What a strong category! I wish McDormand would have been there to actually speak, because she’s always such a relaxed delight.

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This reminds me that I need to sit down and watch Bessie. Did anyone else think the music during the Killing Jesus clip was a little too jaunty? What a spirited musical interlude when the crown of thorns is placed on Jesus’ head! Just what those Biblical times needed!

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What’s better than Olive Kitteridge winning Best Limited Series? The adorable Tracee Ellis Ross mispronouncing the title and then sweetly apologizing. Give her an Emmy nomination.

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I CALLED IT!!! I only wish she were there to make a dildo joke in front of us all…

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We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Category Fraud. Seeing Tambor winning is rewarding, though.

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Remember when we didn’t think Taraji P. Henson might not be able to crack into the Emmy race? Well, we look like fools, and Taraji was gracious and genuinely surprised. Fingers crossed that she gets nominated!

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Cue the fanboy circle jerk for Better Call Saul.

All right! All right! I’ll watch and see what all the hubbub is about. Didn’t really expect Silicon Valley to take Best Comedy, but Orange is the New Black‘s move to Drama had to hurt it.

"The Americans"

So, The Americans wins Best Drama Series? Didn’t see that coming! I’m officially out of snark.


It’s that time of year again.

On a podcast a few weeks ago, we covered the current television series deemed by The Hollywood Reporter as “bubble shows,” or shows most likely to not return for the 2015-16 television season. Turns out, the annual Spring television blood bath ran a little heavier this year than most. Here is a list by network of the series that will not darken your screen on network television again.

Fortunately, ABC’s Agent Carter will love to fight another Marvel baddie.

Check back for updates as studios continue to wield the scythe.


Revenge – Not a surprise or really much of a secret. About two months ago, ABC started running ads heralding the “final four episodes” without the customary “of the season” tag. In my mind, ABC network brass called the producers and seethed through gritted teeth, “I will destroy you.”

Forever – Is it tempting fate to brand a television show with such an eternal title? Looks like Forever was really only nine months.

Cristela – This deportation was something of a disappointment and a very mild surprise as ABC seemed to be in the ethnic comedy business of late (re: Black-ishFresh Off the Boat), but this was not to be. Of course, we’re really surprised having never seen the show – the commercials were awful – and that says a lot.

Resurrection – Maybe it will come back as a better show.

The Taste – Audiences sampled this culinary-themed reality show and politely spit it out into their napkin.



Battle Creek – Breaking Bad‘s Vince Gilligan sold off his old dirty laundry to CBS. Let’s hope the money was used for good things like more Bad or Saul instead of Creek, which admittedly did see some positive reviews in its brief run.

The McCarthys – I’m assuming this was a wacky comedy about the family behind the infamous McCarthy Communist witch hunt in the 1950s. Whatever it was, it’s gone.

I would love to add other shows here – I’m looking at you Scorpion – but apparently nothing dies at CBS except its viewers.



State of Affairs – This was deemed a “bubble show,” but it clearly had no chance. It did spur arguments, though, as to which aspect was most reprehensible – the writing or star Katherine Heigl. Guess this was an Affair to forget.

Constantine – Somewhere, Keanu Reeves (star of the disastrous film version of the same character) is sitting on a stack of cash laughing manically, swaying back and forth.

Marry Me – I’m a little sad about this one. Casey Wilson is a huge talent, and she deserved better. And by better I mean the opportunity to star opposite anyone but Ken Marino, the spiritual love child of Ray Romano and a vat of Play Doh.

One Big Happy – If there was a network to grow and nuture a “lesbian-themed family comedy,” then I’m not sure NBC was the right candidate. Cue producer Ellen DeGeneres quietly dancing away from this bomb in a pre-teen boy’s suit.

About a Boy – This critical hit lasted two years but never caught on with audiences. It will potentially re-air on ABC next season as About an Asian Boy when everyone dies on Fresh off the Boat and Constance Wu adopts the titular boy. No, it won’t. That would make too much sense.



The Mindy Project – Zooey Deschanel’s ukulele just popped a string, and she gulped adorkably.

The Following – Graphic violence and gore and the timeless appeal of Kevin Bacon finally lost their combined allure after three seasons. Or maybe this killed it.

Backstrom – Who knew that the sunny disposition of Rainn Wilson wouldn’t sustain its own TV series? Apparently Rainn Wilson’s mother (because that’s the only person who would have put him in this show) couldn’t save it. The best thing about the show? Wilson’s reaction to its cancelation.

A favorite pasttime of ours when watching Saturday Night Live is anticipating the crack-ups, those moments when the comedy is too great even for the cast members to deliver their lines. Bill Hader’s Stefan character is the most popular recent example of a crack-up as he laughed through nearly every instance. Although crack-ups happened throughout the entire series, they are definitely more recent phenomenons, almost uniquely thanks to Jimmy Fallon.

Please remember, if you’d like more SNL discussion, then please check out the recent Awards Daily TV Water Cooler podcast on our SNL favorites or feel free to post your own on our Facebook page or through our Twitter feed.

Debbie Downer

Widely considered the perfect example of a cast crack-up, this “Debbie Downer” outing from 2004 starred Rachel Dratch as the title character accompanied by Jimmy Fallon (natch), Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, guest-host Lindsey Lohan, and Horatio Sanz as a family on a trip to Walt Disney World. We may have discussed this on our SNL podcast, but discussing/listening to the crack-ups cannot compare to seeing the real thing.

Extremely Stupid

It’s the mark of a great comic when a crack-up enhances an otherwise average skit. Gilda Radner plays the titular “extremely stupid” woman, but it’s guest-host Candice Bergen who flubs her lines, mistakenly calling Radner her own character’s name. Bergen spends the remainder of the episode watching Radner and laughing while Radner spins comic gold.

Jeffrey’s / More Cowbell / Lovers in the Hot Tub

I’m lumping three videos together as they all feature the apparent perfect ingredients for an SNL crack-up: Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell. Fallon was notorious for breaking character, erupting into laughter along with the audience. When filming the infamous Will Ferrell “Cow Bell” sketch, Fallon can be seen in the background barely holding it together. Apparently, Ferrell wore a different shirt during dress rehearsal, but on the live show, he wore a shirt about 3 sizes too small, hairy gut protruding just below. Ferrell’s dedication to comedy and Fallon’s inability to ever hold it together are two reasons we continue to love SNL.

Super Showcase

This skit – a take-off on The Price Is Right‘s showcase showdown – had almost nothing going for it on paper. It’s not particularly witty nor does it have any seriously funny written jokes. What it does have, however, are Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph clearly having an amazing time with these silly characters and their near-indesciperable accents. Toss in a golf cart, and host Bill Hader can barely hold it together. This skit is another perfect example of a crack-up that fully elevates the material, wringing laughs from a bad joke.

It’s said that whenever someone auditions for Saturday Night Live, they must prepare a series of comic impressions. There’s a reason for that – it’s an easy thing to fall back on for laughs. Some performers are incredibly gifted at impressions. Bill Hader. Dana Carvey. Phil Hartman. They’re all great, but perhaps no one on SNL disappeared so completely into an impression as Darrell Hammond. Within this chameleon’s repertoire are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton, Regis Philbin, Richard Dreyfuss, Donald Trump, James Gandolfini, and a brilliant Sean Connery among many, many others. Here’s a brief look at his greatness (plus a really amazing French Stewart by Jimmy Fallon).

Celebrity Jeopardy

Please remember, if you’d like more SNL discussion, then please check out the recent Awards Daily TV Water Cooler podcast on our SNL favorites or feel free to post your own on our Facebook page or through our Twitter feed.

The French Chef

Much like Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford impression, Dan Ackroyd’s Julia Child doesn’t really exist in the same impression universe as Meryl Streep’s Julia Child. That’s not the point though. Ackroyd’s brilliance in the role comes in the (then) unexpected blood spurting from the self-inflicted knife wound. It’s a trick widely used before and many times since, but the effect here is a shattering of the proper Julia Child imagery with gallons and gallons of fake blood.

Baba Wawa At Home

Way back in Season 2, the great Gilda Radner built a name for herself with wacky characters, driving her to become SNL‘s first breakout female performer. One of her greatest achievements is her impression of famed news reporter Barbara Walters, a frequent target of SNL‘s satiric eye (later, memorably portrayed by Cheri Oteri). Here is “Baba Wawa.”

Bein’ Quirky With Zooey Deschanel

The modern era of SNL continues to rely heavily on impressions, some more successful than others. There are hundreds of high profile examples, but one of our favorites is a lesser known skit performed only a handful of times: “Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel.” Here, Noelle Wells takes on Deschanel with Deschanel herself guest starring as Mary Kate Olsen joined by the brilliant Taran Killam as Michael Cera and Kristen Wiig as Bjork. It’s a mouthful to describe but pure joy to behold.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

SNL is, of course, an ensemble show, and their ensemble take on Charlie Brown is one of the more amazing recent skits. Led by Bill Hader’s classic Al Pacino as Charlie Brown performance, the piece imagines heavyweight dramatic actors in a must-see holiday show, “You’re a Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown.” You must see it right now.

Wayne and Garth. The Spartan Cheerleaders. Lisa Loopner and Todd DiLaMuca. Hans and Franz. Those are but a few of the greatest duos the series has offered. In fact, Saturday Night Live has spawned dozens of fantastic pairings over its 40 years – hardly surprising given that many of its greatest cast members come from the world of improv comedy.  Our favorites include two wild and crazy guys, swinging sisters, and two guys that… well… we don’t know what they’re up to. Awkward.

Please remember, if you’d like more SNL discussion, then please check out the recent Awards Daily TV Water Cooler podcast on our SNL favorites or feel free to post your own on our Facebook page or through our Twitter feed.

The Festrunk Brothers

Way back in 1977, Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd introduced two Czech brothers who relocated to American shores with a basic desire to blend. What resulted inspired Halloween costumes for 30-plus years with their hip-shaking walk and their the omnipresent catchphrases “two wild and crazy guys” and “big American breasts!” While many of SNL‘s greatest skits are very specific to particular moments in time, the appeal of the Festrunk Brothers is timeless despite being solidly rooted in the attitudes and fashions of the 70s.


The Sweeney Sisters

Even as a kid before I fully understood what cabaret singers were, I remember the brilliant, manic energy of Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn as The Sweeney Sisters. Hooks and Dunn took their natural chemistry and fashioned the perfect parody of bar singers, queens of puns and segues. The beauty of these skits is all the more bittersweet considering Jan Hooks was taken from us too early.

The Ambiguously Gay Duo

Flash-forward a decade or so to Robert Smigel’s stint on SNL with the “TV Funhouse” series of animated shorts. Where today’s Digital Shorts are the buzziest components of the show, Smigel ruled the water cooler conversation in the late 90s and early 2000s with his often hilarious points of view. Viral before “going viral” was a thing, Smigel’s Ambiguously Gay Duo, Ace and Gary (voiced by Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, respectively), originally debuted on the short-lived The Dana Carvey Show before becoming a recurring event on SNL. The joke is apparent from the first frame, but the humor comes (heh heh) in the various awkward positions Smigel employed the Duo. The skit eventually ran out of steam and culminated in a live-action version starring John Hamm (Mad Men) and Jimmy Fallon which couldn’t fully capture the hilarity of the awkwardly posing superheroes.

Today, Awards Daily TV takes a look at some of the greatest political skits offered during its 40-year run. The clips run the gamut from Chevy Chase’s take on Gerald Ford to Tina Fey’s triumph as Sarah Palin. In some eyes, Saturday Night Live has recently over-relied on their political sketches – especially problematic with The Daily Show and politicians themselves often upstaging SNL‘s players – but there’s no denying the power of a well-executed political satire.

Please remember, if you’d like more SNL discussion, then please check out the recent Awards Daily TV Water Cooler podcast on our SNL favorites or feel free to post your own on our Facebook page or through our Twitter feed.

Gerald Ford

Chevy Chase doesn’t really look like Gerald Ford. He didn’t really sound like Gerald Ford either. No one on SNL in that era really did, so Chase brilliantly made his own “Gerald Ford” persona – a bumbling fool who dropped papers or knocked over anything in his path. Chase even made the Ford bits a classic pratfall gag, something that later caused him great physical pain. Still, the bits are legendary even if they bare almost no resemblance to the real deal.

Bush-Clinton-Perot Debate

The 1992 Presidential Election is famous for delivering (what was once thought to be) the most viable third party Presidential candidate in recent political history in Ross Perot. It is also famous for inspiring the start of what is arguably SNL‘s greatest political skit run – the late, really great Phil Hartman’s turn as Bill Clinton. Hartman so perfectly nailed Clinton’s legendary Southern charisma that he overshadowed Dana Carvey’s brilliant double turn as both President George Bush and “diminutive Texas businessman” Ross Perot. Toss in Kevin Nealon’s always reliable Sam Donaldson impression, and you might have SNL‘s single greatest political sketch.

Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton

It remains to be seen what SNL will do with the upcoming Presidential primary season and with Hillary Clinton’s potential second run at the White House, but little could top the imagined interaction between Clinton (Amy Poehler) and Sarah Palin (Tina Fey). Poehler never really looked like Clinton, but she nailed Clinton’s disgust with anything blocking her path to political power – particularly that haughty “You don’t bother me” laugh. As good as she was, Fey seemed born to play Sarah Palin. The resemblance between the two women feels uncanny thanks to perfect hair and wardrobe, but it’s Fey’s Palinesqe (if that can even be a word) accent and plucky enthusiasm despite a penchant for saying idiotic things that probably won her the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.

Continuing this week’s look into Awards Daily TV’s favorite Saturday Night Live clips are three offerings, all simple concepts that, in the wrong hands, would have spelled disaster. Thanks to fantastic performances from talented cast members and committed guest hosts, each skit becomes a minor classic in SNL‘s canon.

As always, if you’d like more SNL discussion, then please check out the recent Awards Daily TV Water Cooler podcast on our SNL favorites.

Jingleheimer Junction

Cameron Diaz starred in this skit from 1998 in which she lead a cast of a children’s television show as they are determined to inadvertantly spell out the word “F-U-C-K.” Everyone does a fine job with the concept, but it’s Will Ferrell (as usual) who really sells the material as “Friendship” who deserves a spot at the front of the line while Tim Meadow’s Conductor tries to stop them. Ferrell excels by conveying a childlike naiveté why he can’t stand at the front of the line. After all, what goes better with Unity, Caring, and Kindness than Friendship?


The term “go for broke” applies to a few SNL cast members through its 40-year old history, but perhaps none went quite as far as the late, great Chris Farley. We already covered his brilliant Matt Foley character on the podcast, but even more daring is his appearance as a dancer auditioning for a spot at Chippendales opposite Patrick Swayze despite the obvious physical differences.

Tressant Supreme

Finally, a quick shout out to SNL‘s history of great commercials, including “Quarry Cereal,” “Super Colon Blow,” “Oops! I Crapped My Pants,” or “Happy Fun Ball.” But Kelly Ripa’s “Tressant Supreme” commercial is one of our personal favorites thanks to Ripa’s fantastic (and criminally underused) comic timing. And all that crack cocaine.

What’s your favorite SNL commercial. Post below and maybe we’ll include it in a future post!


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