Tag Archives: comedy

Will Ferrell experiments with dad comedy in The House

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

In Will Ferrell’s new movie The House, the comic actor plays the father of an incoming college freshman. Age-wise, this makes perfect sense; Ferrell is nearly 50, and having his daughter be a burgeoning adult probably more accurately reflects typical parent ages than, say, Adam Sandler, who is only a year older than Ferrell but has been stuck parenting mostly tweens on-screen for about a decade. Sandler is a major comparison point not just because of his age, but because of that tenure as a movie dad, which has by now amounted to around a dozen movies, many of which are explicitly about fatherhood (or Sandler’s sitcom-sentimental version of it, anyway).

This happens to most big comedy stars as they get older, especially guys – they need to pay tribute to their real-life families, reflect their real-life priorities, and nod to their aging fanbase by rejecting their youthful vigor/anger/anarchy in favor of gentler dad antics. Ben Stiller spent a whole comedy trilogy preparing himself for the rigors of family life; Sandler made a movie about dads screwing around and busting each other’s balls on vacation, and it’s his only live-action project so far to spawn a sequel; as early as 1997, just three years into his career as a superstar, Jim Carrey was playing a liar who needs to learn to be a better parent to his disappointed moppet.

Ferrell, though, has resisted this role, at least in movies. During his seven years on Saturday Night Live, he was a go-to father figure. His very first showcase sketch had him manning a barbecue, pausing every so often to scream, with increasing frustration and intensity, at unseen off-camera children to “GET OFF THE SHED.” Ferrell was a natural fit in these parts, with his height, soft belly, and slightly beady eyes – he could appear cuddly or menacing, sometimes within the same sketch. Later in his run on the show, he had a recurring bit where two parents made inane conversation over dinner, a symphony of plate-clinking silverware their backing track, until their teenage daughter would interrupt them and send Ferrell into an apoplectic but impotent rage.
Continue reading Will Ferrell experiments with dad comedy in The House

HALFTIME REPORT: Four Lions (2010)

Nathaniel

Nathaniel

SportsAlcohol.com cofounder Nathaniel moved to Brooklyn, as you do. His hobbies include cutting up rhubarb and laying down. His favorite things are the band Moon Hooch and custard from Shake Shack. Old ladies love his hair.
Nathaniel

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With Halftime Report, your good friends at SportsAlcohol.com revisit some of their favorite films from the first half of this decade.

It’s become part of the conventional wisdom about Paddy Chayefsky’s great 1976 satire Network that modern viewers will miss the comic exaggeration in its depiction of a craven and amoral American media landscape. The darkly absurd predictions it makes about ratings-hungry producers and networks have been rendered commonplace (or even quaint) by reality in the last four decades. I had this in mind when sitting down to watch the woefully under seen terrorism comedy Four Lions again for the first time in a few years. I figured the character comedy would still work, but I wondered if the recent horrifying attack in Paris and incredible brutality of ISIS, along with their bizarre success in recruiting westerners, would render the film’s group of buffoonish Al-Qaeda dead-enders similarly quaint or outdated. Continue reading HALFTIME REPORT: Four Lions (2010)

The SportsAlcohol.com Podcast: The Donald Trump SNL

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Several SportsAlcohol.com founders are regular viewers of Saturday Night Live, and not especially fans of Donald Trump. So when the Trump SNL aired, Marisa, Jesse, and Nathaniel got together (with founding baby Eloise serving as a silent partner) to discuss the show so far this season, and the Trump SNL in particular. We touch upon impressions, political satire, expectations of the show, and the best and (lots of) worst of the Trump episode.

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The Worst SNL Characters of All Time

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Saturday Night Live celebrated its fortieth anniversary over the weekend with a three and a half hour special full of clips, former cast members, special guests, music, and, of course, recurring characters. As much as the show gets credit for its political and celebrity impressions, pioneering fake news, and occasional forays into edgy music, what most people associate with SNL is its four decades’ worth of characters and catchphrases. Most of the ones revived for the special were respectable (Wayne’s World; What Up with That; Stefon); a few were unnecessary (Garth and Kat). But any longtime SNL fans probably maintain a mental list of the recurring bits that they never ever want to see again (and will probably see again, even if the cast members in question are gone, during compilations, anniversary specials, and when those cast members return to host). It’s an inevitable byproduct of (a.) having recurring characters at all and (b.) doing recurring characters often as a clear concession to casual fans. Not everyone watches SNL every week and even fewer people have been watching it every week for decades.

But some of us do and have and this is my list of beloved recurring characters I absolutely despise. To keep it a little positive — it’s the show’s birthday, after all — I’ll suggest alternatives for all of the hacky, overplayed, irritating torture I’ll be discussing. I considered an accompanying list of my favorite recurring characters, but we’re already working on a Best of Will Forte post. That’s basically the same thing.

Feel free to chime in with your own least-favorites, or to defend these terrible sketches, in the comments.
Continue reading The Worst SNL Characters of All Time

The SportsAlcohol Podcast: Sunday Morning Quaterbacking Saturday Night Live

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Many SportsAlcohol.com staffers and contributors are united in their hardcore Saturday Night Live fandom. The show, somewhat erratic even in its best years, has gone through some transitional pains over the last year or two, as beloved cast members have departed, new cast members have stepped in, and others have been let go. Season 40 began with yet more cast tinkering, especially around Weekend Update. Marisa, Jesse, Nathaniel, and Michael discussed the season premiere immediately after it aired, touching upon favorite cast members, the new guys, Chris Pratt’s hosting skills, Arianda Grande and the state of Saturday Night Live music booking in general, dream hosts for the upcoming season, and plenty more. We’ll be checking back in with Saturday Night Live periodically during the season, and offering plenty of more hot takes timed to its 40th anniversary season.

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Photo credit: Dana Edelson/NBC