It is roughly 201 days until the premiere of the X-Files revival on Sunday, January 24, and FOX is celebrating by kicking off a 201 day-long viewing party. Buried at the end of their event teaser are the first, very brief scenes of the revival.

The Truth is definitely still out there.

MTV has debuted the first eight minutes of its upcoming heavily buzzed thriller Scream, inspired by Wes Craven’s hit series of horror films. You guys will have to let me know how it is. I’m going to remain in the dark on this one.

In this Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead appears to heavily feature people running in terror from unseen foes. Gee, wonder what’s chasing this guy?

All kidding aside, it’s an odd teaser assuming the standard zombie masses used in the parent series will be similarly employed here. Perhaps the zombies are slightly different given their early outbreak stage.

Fear the Walking Dead premieres in August.

For those of you without Showtime or who (like me) cannot wait until May 3, Showtime has very generously made the Penny Dreadful Season Two premiere episode legally available on YouTube. I haven’t jumped into it yet but, if you’ve seen it already, feel free to comment on its horror or greatness below!

As originally reported in The Hollywood Reporter, a handful of popular cast members of the cult classic Twin Peaks come out in support of their writer/director David Lynch in his highly publicized budget battles with Showtime. This is in response to Lynch’s Twitter-based announcement over the weekend that he was stepping away from the project in his capacity as director because he did not feel he could deliver the highly anticipated 2016 reboot on the budget Showtime had allocated.

In the video, former cast members Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, James Marshall, Peggy Lipton in addition to others praise Lynch and say the revival without him would be “like pies without cherries.” They have also initiated a #SaveTwinPeaks campaign on Twitter to draw attention.

The only former cast member confirmed for the revival is Kyle McLachlan who does not appear in the video.

According to the article, Showtime remains firm that they were in contract negotiations with Lynch and is hopeful they can bring Twin Peaks back to the small screen in tact. With Lynch.

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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