TIME Television

No Such Thing as Too Many Hosts for SNL 40’s Epic Opening Monologue

Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and so many many more.

Saturday Night Live is pulling out all the stops for the 40th anniversary and that meant a high bar for the opening monologue. Steve Martin started the show, which was a brilliant choice. Despite never being an official cast member, he has appeared on the show a mind-boggling 27 times and is responsible for some of its most memorable sketches. (King Tut, anyone?)

Martin set out to give a rousing speech on the importance of comedians in SNL history, but was quickly interrupted by Tom Hanks demanding that actors be given the same status.

Never to be outdone, Alec Baldwin arrived (sans “Schweddy Balls”) on the stage to point out that he had hosted more than anyone else (16 times and counting!). To bust up the guys’ club, Melissa McCarthy arrived to remind the world that people other than “80-year-old white guys” had hosted the show.

Then Miley Cyrus, Chris Rock and Peyton Manning all arrived in rapid succession, followed by Billy Crystal, introducing himself to Martin: “It’s Steve, right?” Not satisfied with having a billion dollars worth of star power on stage, Sir Paul McCartney and Paul Simon arrived on the scene to play a few bars, too.

Even by SNL standards, that’s an impressive opener.

TIME Television

The Daily Show Staff Talks About the Future of the Show After Jon Stewart

The show will go on. The question is, who will helm Comedy Central's most important program

If you were surprised by Jon Stewart’s announcement that he was leaving The Daily Show after 17 years, so was the show’s staff. “We found out when the world found out,” said Travon Free, a staff writer on the satirical news program.

Head writer Elliott Kalan wasn’t quite ready to talk about what comes next: “Jon isn’t going for awhile, the show is continuing . The show itself is going nowhere and I assume we’re going nowhere.” Daniel Radosh, a staff writer, added: “The show is still going to need writers, so if nothing else we have the inside track.”

“Unless the new host is Colin Mochrie from Whose Line is it Anyway? And it’s all improv,” noted Kalan. “Then they wouldn’t need writers.”

When asked who his dream host would be, Free replied: “I’m working for the guy. That’s why I moved from Los Angeles to New York was to work for the dream host of The Daily Show. It’s sappy, but it’s true. I couldn’t ask for a better.” Kalan and Radosh both agreed with him.

Rory Albanese, who was a writer and executive producer at The Daily Show for 14 years, is also feeling nostalgic. “I grew up on The Daily Show,” he said at the WGA Awards Saturday night. “Whoever takes over takes the show, no matter how great they are going to be, they will never be Jon Stewart. I don’t mean that they won’t be as good or as talented, but it will be hard.”

Albanese is now the executive producer of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, providing a first-hand experience of the difficulties of following in someone else’s shoes. “Whoever takes over that job, initially people are just going to be mad at them,” said Albanese. “People were mad at Larry for not being Stephen [Colbert] for like an hour, before realizing he was good too. So whoever gets the job will have people angry that they are not Jon and then they will get over it.”

To ease the transition, Albanese thinks it would be helpful to give the show a little time off first. “The best thing to do would be to shut down the show for a little while, figure out what [the new host’s] style is going to be on the show and then bring that forth, whatever that is,” said Albanese. “I wouldn’t try to do what Jon’s done exactly, though, because it would be near impossible.”

Not that Albanese thinks the new host should shake things up too much. “The Daily Show is Comedy Central’s franchise like The Tonight Show. When Carson left it was still a talk show,” said Albanese. “The way [Jimmy] Fallon did it was smart, because he brought what he was good at—the musical stuff, the sketches—and put that on the show. Whoever comes to The Daily Show should bring their style to the show, but sitting behind the desk and commenting on politics is what The Daily Show is about, bare bones.”

That said, Albanese is ready for some change: “I feel like there has been a certain style that has saturated late night for a long time and it would be nice to have a woman in that spot. For me, not having one female in late night means there is a huge gap. There are so many brilliant comedians who are women and I would vote that way if I had a vote, but I have no say.”

Lizz Winstead, who co-created The Daily Show, isn’t sure that the format needs under a new host. “The show is important is because it really does use humor and speak truth to power, so I don’t think keeping the format is as important as making sure you stay as this relevant response to what’s happening in the news and how the media is dealing with it.”

“There is a strong woman’s voice on that show and has been since the beginning,” said Winstead when asked about who could replace Stewart as host. “My dog in the race is a long shot: Rachel Maddow. She’s a funny woman who will keep the relevance going. I also think Aisha Tyler would be great. They’ve both done extensive driving-the-show conversation work and they are both in the space of talking about the world.”

The Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore agrees, “I think a woman doing it would be fantastic. I think there’s a lot of good candidates for that, too.”

Whoever takes over hosting the show, Wilmore, who served as the show’s “Senior Black Correspondent” before getting his own show, knows how tough it can be to follow Stewart and Colbert. “I feel pressure following Stephen and following Jon,” laughed Wilmore. “There’s pressure to make sure the audience sticks around for what I’m doing.”

TIME animals

Most Loyal Dog Walks 20 Blocks to See Owner Who Is in the Hospital

The pup was caught on hospital surveillance cameras

Nancy Franck of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, had been in the hospital for two weeks receiving treatment for cancer when she got an unexpected visitor: her dog, Sissy. But Sissy was not smuggled into Franck’s hospital room by her family. She had walked to Mercy Medical Center by herself.

The miniature Schnauzer apparently took it upon herself to walk the twenty blocks to the hospital, even though she had never been there before. The devoted pet was caught on video cameras in the hospital lobby, trying to figure out how to find her owner.

“She was on a mission that night to see her mom,” Dale Franck, who had been caring for Sissy while his wife was in the hospital, told ABC News, “but she couldn’t find the right elevator to take.”

Franck noticed Sissy was missing around 1:30 a.m. and was hunting for the dog until hospital security called him. “She found my number and house address from her tag on her collar,” he said. “I was so relieved, and I asked my daughter go and pick her up.”

Franck’s daughter went to fetch Sissy and was able to secure permission to bring the devoted dog up to see her mom in her hospital room.

Read next: California Police Dog Killed in Action Gets Hero’s Farewell

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME viral

This Beck/Beyoncé Mashup Is What Really Should Have Won a Grammy

Screenshot Soundcloud

It was inevitable

One of the biggest upsets at this year’s Grammy Awards was when Beck’s Morning Phase beat out Beyoncé’s self-titled tour de force for Album of the Year. Kanye West was so shocked by the upset that he almost pulled another “Imma let you finish” Taylor Swift moment, going so far as to wander onstage before thinking better of it.

While the Internet continues to debate whether Beck or Beyoncé deserved the award, one clever sound engineer has taken the matter into his or her own hands. Working under the moniker “Beckyoncé,” the song blends Beck’s “Loser” with Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” into an Internet-worthy earworm.

Wonder if Kanye has heard this yet.

[via Stereogum]

TIME Television

Watch Hugh Grant and Charles Barkley Face Off in Hallway Golf

It's like the Masters, but in a hallway

Jimmy Fallon brought out the competitive spirit in actor Hugh Grant Wednesday night during a round of hallway golf. Fallon, who is not known for taking it easy in his face-offs with the celebrities who stop by The Tonight Show, made the game even harder for Grant by bringing in a ringer—NBA champion Charles Barkley.

The game kicked off with each player hitting a golf ball towards a green screen at the back of the studio and riding a golf cart to the starting line. From there it was a race as Grant, Barkley and Fallon chased their balls through the back of The Tonight Show studio, eventually making it back onto the studio stage where the hole was waiting.

While Barkley would normally be the favorite, due to his career as a professional athlete, he is not exactly known for his golf skills. Yet the champ managed to sink his ball first—until Grant, who had warned them that losing made him “very, very nasty” — knocked his ball out of the hole and hit it down the hallway. Fallon took advantage of the confusion to hit his ball in for the win.

TIME viral

Dr. Phil Without Dialogue Is Extra Dramatic

His looks say it all

If a picture says a thousand words, then one of Dr. Phil’s trademark real-talk looks says a million.

A new YouTube video posted by Bill Smith has removed all of the dialogue from an episode of Dr. Phil, yet somehow the high drama remains. The lack of context as the famed TV counselor helps a family navigate the turbulent emotions that came from their honor roll student daughter dating a controlling bad boy who got her pregnant makes the face-off seem even more tense.

Every shake of a head, every dead-eyed stare, every pursed lip and slow nod telegraphed many emotions. By the end of the video it seems clear that they accomplished a lot, even without uttering a single sound.

Read next: Judge Judy Without Dialogue Is Just One Big Staring Contest

 

TIME Music

A Pulitzer Prize Winner Just Annotated Kendrick Lamar’s New Song on Genius

State Farm All-Star Saturday Night - NBA All-Star Weekend 2014
Kevin Mazur—WireImage Musician Kendrick Lamar performs onstage at the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night during the NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 at The Smoothie King Center on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author takes on Lamar’s "The Blacker the Berry."

Kendrick Lamar’s new song “The Blacker the Berry” is a politically charged rap anthem race that touches on the murder of Trayvon Martin and the young rapper’s feelings about gang violence in the United States. It’s a powerful piece of rhetoric that shows off the impressive lyrical skill that has earned Lamar some big name fans, including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.

The author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Telegraph Avenue took to Genius — the annotation site that recently received millions in investment money — to comment on the song’s forceful final stanza.

In his annotation, Chabon connects Lamar’s lyrical twist to Common’s in “I Used to Love H.E.R.” and calls the “rhetorical move” he uses “devastating.” He writes, “Common’s ‘her’ is not a woman but hip hop itself; Lamar’s ‘I’ is not (or not only) Kendrick Lamar but his community as a whole. This revelation forces the listener to a deeper and broader understanding of the song’s ‘you’.”

“The Blacker the Berry” is expected to appear on Lamar’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city.

TIME Television

Here’s Proof Fifty Shades’ Dakota Johnson Can Make Anything Sound Sexy

Jimmy Fallon doesn't quite have the same effect

Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson can make anything sound sexy and she proved it Wednesday on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

The young star, who plays Anastasia Steele in the global phenomenon, was challenged to make sentences like, “Let me slip into my sweatpants” and “Excuse me, sir, this strawberry-flavored Chapstick just fell out of your fanny pack” sound alluring.

Johnson had no problem making those un-sexy lines sound like sultry come-ons. Fallon, however, could barely keep a straight face, let alone a come-hither look, while trying to work his magic on his lines like, “You’ll have to excuse the cloud of Gold Bond Powder.” Even a simmering over-the-shoulder look couldn’t give Fallon the same power Johnson (or even Steve Buscemi) has in one little wink, proving there’s a reason Jamie Dornan was cast as Christian Grey instead of Fallon.

Read next: Watch Jamie Dornan Read Fifty Shades of Grey in a Scottish Accent

TIME viral

The Only Thing That Makes Fifty Shades of Grey Sexier Is Steve Buscemi

Buscemi dominates the new trailer

Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan has a few things going for him — smoldering eyes, chiseled jaw, sizzling intensity and the ability to speak in a flawless Scottish accent. It’s easy to believe author E.L. James had someone similar in mind for the character of Christian Grey while she wrote the novel that became a global phenomenon. The only person who could, ahem, dominate Dornan as the buttoned-up business man with singular tastes is, of course, Steve Buscemi.

Luckily Internet heroes BooYa Pictures have taken it upon themselves to improve the original Fifty Shades movie trailer by replacing Dornan with the Boardwalk Empire star. In the vastly superior clip, perky college grad Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) comes to interview the CEO of Grey Enterprises and can’t help but fall in lust with the man behind the desk, who now played by Buscemi. Can you blame her?

Read next: This Fifty Shades of Grey LEGO Spoof Gives a Whole New Meaning to the Words ‘Sex Toy’

TIME Television

The Bachelor Watch: Battle in the Badlands

CHRIS SOULES, BECCA
Richard Carlso—ABC

Chris takes the women to the Badlands and it turns into the Wild West. With a tiny donkey

Welcome back to The Bachelor. Last week, the show suffered a dramatic Rose Ceremonus Interruptus when Kelsey had fallen and couldn’t get up. She fainted or had a panic attack or both simultaneously from the stress of Chris canceling the cocktail party. She really wanted a drink, apparently. As the EMTs gathered around her and an oxygen mask was strapped on her hyperventilating face, the show went dark and the audience has been on the edge of their seats for an entire week waiting to find out what would happen next. Without further ado, here’s what happened on The Bachelor:

The Drama, Continued: As Kelsey lies on the floor surrounded by EMTs, the women are very suspicious. As you may recall, Kelsey already had some private one-on-one time with Prince Farming after she snuck into his hotel room. Their suspicions seemed proven when the EMT asked Kelsey if she needed anything, and she asked for Chris. He rushed to her side and swept her off the floor, where she had remained until he could get a good look at how pretty she looked when she was vulnerable. The women were not impressed.

Bachelor Milestone: Ladies and gentleman, an enemy has risen: Kelsey.

Rose Ceremony, Continued: While Ashley I. cries and whines about Kelsey stealing time with Chris, the Rose Ceremony begins. Jade got the first rose. Kaitlyn, Meghan and Becca, are all called, and Ashley’s screed continues until Chris calls Ashley’s name. Then she starts ranting that she hopes Kelsey won’t get a rose. The final rose goes to … Kelsey. That means a brunette (Samantha?) who never got a date with Chris is going home, as is the woman who named her son Kale.

Road Trip: After the Rose Ceremony was finally completed, Chris took his houseful of women to a place where such things are accepted: Deadwood, S.D., which probably already has a brothel or two. Stay wild, Wild West! Deadwood is where Wild Bill Hickok died, where Calamity Jane “did her business” (which may or may not be a euphemism), and is where we first met Timothy Olyphant. As Chris says, it’s the perfect place to fall in love or get shot in the back. And on this show? Probably both at the same time.

First Date: Becca got the date card, which is not O.K. with Kelsey, who feels like she earned a one-on-one date. Chris disagrees, apparently. He is excited to take Becca because she is the only woman on the show that he hasn’t kissed. Yet. Because this is Deadwood, their options are limited, so they go horseback riding. That’s when we meet the real star of the show: a tiny little burro (pack mule?) who is carrying their picnic supplies. If Chris were smarter he would ditch the girl and spend some quality time with the tiny donkey. Instead, he and Becca ride through the badlands and make a campfire and make each other laugh, until Becca is forced to admit the unspeakable truth that Chris has a weird laugh. She does it later, though, so he still gives her a rose. Then he finally completes his Manifest Destiny and kisses the last woman standing.

Bachelor Milestone: Intervention! The women decided to share some of their feelings about Kelsey with Kelsey because that always goes well. Kelsey chalks it all up to unprocessed emotions over sharing her tragic back story with Chris. Then she promises to be more “mindful” proving her guidance counselor bona fides.

Group Date: Whitney, Jade, Britt, Carly, Megan and Kaitlyn are invited on a Group Date, which means that the dreaded two-on-one date is between Kelsey and Ashley. Maybe they will have a cry off! Before we get to witness those women test the limits of their waterproof mascara, we must watch these women on their group date. They are tasked with writing a country love song with a little help from country stars Big & Rich. Most of the girls decide to write about the fact that Britt and Chris are making out in front of them, which is pretty much Taylor Swift’s entire body of work. Carly, the cruise-ship singer, takes the top prize, but that’s just because Kaitlyn’s rap was bleeped out. Chris was very impressed with Jade too, because she was so shy but managed to overcome her fears.

The After Party: The women celebrate their new songwriting careers over some drinks while Chris takes some alone time with all of them. When it comes to his alone time with Britt, he grabs her and runs down the block to a Big & Rich concert. He gets her on stage and hands her a rose in front of the gathered crowd and kisses her for all to see. The other women just sit and wait for them to return. They are gone for over an hour, and when Britt returns with the rose in her hand, Chris quickly senses the seething anger of six women scorned and vamooses to his hotel room. The mood is dark and the women all glare at Britt, even though it’s really not her fault. Carly just sits and cries, and even tough-talking Kaitlyn cries a little. Whitney reminds the camera that her heart is pure and she’s on the show for the right reasons. Sadly, none of that matters right now.

The Two-on-One Date: If Chris thought the after party was awkward, the two-on-one date is like The Hunger Games but less family-friendly. For everyone’s safety, Chris takes the women to a remote location in a dusty corner of the Badlands. The second Ashley gets him alone, she stakes her claim by making out with him — and immediately telling him that Kelsey isn’t a team player and everyone in the house is suspicious of her. Chris boldly takes that tidbit directly to Kelsey. Kelsey looks very disappointed in everyone and announces that she doesn’t want to get sent home over “girl talk.” Then she dead-Ashley her for the rest of the date. Ashley goes to cry in the desert because Kelsey called her out. She grabs Chris because she needed a shoulder to cry on, and as she weeps, Chris admits that he doesn’t think she would be happy in Iowa, because duh. She walks off into the desert, but probably because she really needed a tissue and wanted Chris to chase after her. He doesn’t bother. As Ashley leaves a trail of tears and hair extensions across the Badlands, she shouts back that she was just trying to do him a favor. The most impressive thing is that her copious amounts of eye makeup remained completely intact. Chris returns to the cabana where Kelsey sits looking like she ate a canary. Then Chris dumps her too. Chris, not being a man of steel, hightails it out of there taking the last helicopter out of the Badlands and leaving the women to Mother Nature. Hopefully Ashley now has time to update her blog.

The Aftermath: Back in the hotel room, a producer comes to remove both Ashley’s and Kelsey’s luggage. The remaining women cheer, jump on the furniture while chanting, “Chris is smart! Chris is smart!” and then pop open the pink champagne and get to drinking.

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Chris takes the women to the Promised Land a.k.a. Iowa. Maybe there will be another tiny donkey.

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