Saturday, December 24, 2005

Saturday Night's Alright...

Now if only an SNL rerun were on. I mean, seriously, is there any programming on for us Jews? I remember when, on the 25th, I knew half the people at the theatre. These days, I'm lucky if I know three families at the theatre.

Apparently, "Red Scare" is no longer running at The Second City. A new review with much of the same cast that I saw is starring in "Iraqtile Dysfunction" as I read the Tribune. Second City is hilarious. I saw Tour Co in the fall of 2003 and I took my family to a mainstage show this summer. Chicago is the mecca of improv. If you're on vacation there sometime, check them out. Or Improv Olympic.
This is a new, mainly young cast. And while they've come up with some stellar material, they still need to snag a consistent acting style. Here you've got a couple of performers -- Matthew Craig and Molly Erdman -- who tend to slightly underplay and need more attention. And in the cheerfully ebullient Maribeth Monroe, the show has a woman capable of creating splendidly eccentric characters -- the kind beloved by Saturday Night Live devotees -- but they all tend to be a just a tad overcooked. She should fix that.

Antoine McKay and Claudia Michelle Wallace create a knockout piece of satire wherein "mystical black people" (familiar from Hollywood movies) solve white people's problems when white people are unable to solve them on their own. They find a much better balance of style. And I suspect the others will mesh in time.

But this show totally belongs to a new performer -- Brian Gallivan, who dominates the night. He reads as a good bit older than the typical mainstage discovery (nothing wrong with that), but, boy, is he a major talent. Thin, arch and intriguingly introspective at times, he can look like he just stepped out of Queer Eye. But then he can veer on a dime to the opposite place -- at one hilarious point, he plays a guy from the Catholic Church weeding out possible gay priests.
Even before Al Franken will announce that he will run for Senate, it's no surprise that Norm Coleman is running for re-election. Coleman is expected to retire when Franken beats him the election.

G-d willing, I will recieve one of them. I did get an e-card only because I signed up on the email list.
The Democrat's political campaign has mailed 30,000 cards to friends, family, supporters and people the Bayhs have met across Indiana and the nation, according to his office.

"This is more than last year," said spokesman Dan Pfeiffer, "but the list goes up every year." He said cards were sent to folks from Iowa, New Hampshire and the 20 other states Bayh visited.[...]

Both Bayh and Lugar used photos of their family on their cards. Both paid for their mailings with political funds. And both used nonreligious holiday greetings.

The Bayhs sent "warm wishes for a joyous holiday season and a healthy and happy new year."
Needless to say, I made sure to mail out his birthday card as soon as I got home from campus.

Walt Jocketty has been busy during the off-season. The St. Louis Cardinals just signed Juan Encarnacion and Junior Spivey. Encarnacion has agreed to play for a 3-year, $15-million deal. Spivey signed a one-year contract worth $1.2 million.
Cardinals' projected 2006 lineup
A look at what the club's regular batting order may look like next year:
SS: David Eckstein
LF: Larry Bigbie*
1B: Albert Pujols
3B: Scott Rolen
CF: Jim Edmonds
RF: Juan Encarnacion*
2B: Junior Spivey*
C: Yadier Molina
P: Starting pitcher
Not a bad lineup.

Josh Levin at Slate gives his take on the Narnia rap featuring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell.
If you haven't seen Saturday Night Live's Chronicles of Narnia rap, then you don't have any friends. Or at least any friends with Internet access. The two-minute video, which debuted on SNL last Saturday before resurfacing as a much-forwarded "digital short," has accomplished what seemed impossible a week ago—making Saturday Night Live a cultural touchstone for the first time since Christopher Walken pleaded for "more cowbell." The popularity of the Narnia rap might augur a reawakening at SNL—in fact, there are already T-shirts that parrot the song's catchphrases.
The Cowbell sketch was one of the best ever. No one could forget Will Ferrell plating Gene Frenkle and Christopher Walken as Bruce Dickinson. Will played the character once again during the last show he hosted. Needless to say, Will is a talented comedian.

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