Tag Archive | Saturday Night Live

Photos from Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition!

SNL The Exhibition Signage
All Photos By Gail

It’s funny to think that so many adults have never known a life where NBC’s late night comedy sketch program, Saturday Night Live did not exist, but it’s not so weird considering the show is currently celebrating its 40th year on the air. If you’re even a casual fan of the show and you live anywhere near NYC, you should make a point to see Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition, an independent and ridiculously comprehensive showcase collecting sets, props, photos, costumes, film clips and every type of random ephemera covering the show’s history, from the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players up to today.

SNL Skyline

Just as the exhibit takes chronological journey, let me guide you through some of the highlights with photos I took when I went to see it with Geoffrey last weekend.

Introductory Room

Entry to the exhibit hall is very loosely timed, so that they can send groups in together and create a cohesive, immersive experience. When you first enter, a short history of the show’s highlights plays on the screen seen in the above photo, and you can sit and watch it and get all excited for what  you are about to experience. Consider it a kind of “warm up act” for the exhibit.

Wayne and Garth

If you’ve been to a taping of SNL, you might recall that as you walk into Studio 8H you pass through a hallway lined with photos of the show’s many memorable characters from the past and present, such as Wayne and Garth, or Stefon. They have that here as well.

Stefon

Just looking at a photo of Bill Hader portraying Stefon, Weekend Update’s Nightlife Correspondent, makes me laugh out loud.

Monday Schedule

There are galleries dedicated to the activities of each of the six days that it takes to produce each show: from pitching sketch ideas to writing and revising the scripts, to set design and building (which takes place in a warehouse in Brooklyn), costume design, rehearsal, the live broadcast, and through to the after show party; there aren’t any details left out of what you’ll learn regarding the behind-the-scenes goings on of SNL.

Lorne Michael's Desk

This is producer Lorne Michaels actual desk from one of his two offices at 30 Rock.

Original Cast

The original Not Ready for Prime Time Players, before Billy Murray joined after the departure of Chevy Chase at the end of season one.

Land Shark
Land Shark Costume

Nick Winters Lounge Singer
Jacket Worn By Bill Murray’s Nick the Lounge Singer

Stuart Smalley
Costume of Stuart Smalley, Originally Portrayed by Al Franken, Now a Senator from Minnesota!

Mock Up of the Writers Room
Mock Up of the Writers Room

Schedule
The Night’s Schedule for Each Show is Created with Index Cards on a Cork Board, for Easy Changes!

Wayne and Garth
Wayne’s World! Wayne and Garth Costumes Worn by Mike Myers and Dan Carvey

Wayne's World Set

You can take photos of yourself and friends on the Wayne’s World Set. If you are by yourself, an exhibit employee will happily snap one or two for you. Excellent!

Dooneese
Dress Worn By Dooneese, the Girl with the Creepy Voice and Teeny Tiny Hands, Portrayed By Kristin Wiig

Dick in a Box
Dick in a Box

Bobby Moynihan as Yoda
Yoda Cowl Prosthetic Worn by Bobby Moynihan

Racial Tension Headache
Excedrin Racial Tension Headache Formula, Tressant Supreme Hair Color with Crack Cocaine

There’s a large display case filled with the various Fake Products featured in SNL Commercial Parodies over the past 40 — years, many of which I am sure you will remember with a chuckle!

Corn Chip Nail Tips
Chewable Pampers, Short & Curly Pubic Shampoo, Shirt in a Can, Corn Chip Nail Tips

Balz Off
Balz-Off Testosterone Blocker

King Tutt Costume
King Tut Costume Worn By Steve Martin

When the exhibition Treasures of Tutankhamen toured in the 1970s, the US was gripped by Tut-Mania. My parents even took us to see it! Steve Martin parodied the craze when he hosted in April of 1978. At the time, the King Tut sketch was SNL’s most expensive production. It became one of the show’s most iconic sketches and the song was  a million-selling single for Steve Martin, who resurrected the character for the 40th Anniversary Special.

Hans and Franz
Costumes Left to Right: Donatella Versace, Hans and Franz, Stefon

Seeing all of these great costumes from so many memorable characters that Saturday Night has brought into our lives, it is also a poignant reminder that some of the actors and comedians who portrayed them are, sadly, no longer with us.

Matt Foley , Opera Man
Costumes Left to Right: Matt Foley (RIP Chris Farley), Opera Man, (Behind Opera Man) Coneheads, Mary Catherine Gallagher

Sweeney Sisters
Costumes Worn by the Sweeney Sisters (RIP Jan Hooks)

Fire Bad
“Fire Bad!” RIP Phil Hartman

John and Gilda
RIP John and Gilda

Stack of Cue Cards
A Stack of Cue Cards for Just One Show!

Assorted Cue Cards
Assorted Cue Cards. Can You Name the Sketch Each One is From?

Cue Card

This one is my favorite: from Martin Short’s opening monologue for the 4oth Anniversary Special. Hilarious.

Control Room

This is a replica of the studio’s control room, where you can experience a 10 minute virtual recreation of what goes on during the live show! So cool!

Stage with Tina Fay

And here we are in an exact, smaller-scale replica of Studio 8H, where a virtual Tina Fay comes out to give a fun monologue created just for this exhibit! As you can see, the experience is quite immersive and interactive.

Weekend Update Desk Set

Get your photo taken on this old Weekend Update set from some random year in the 1980’s for $20! To be fare, they also superimpose your favorite Weekend Update Anchor into the shot with you! Almost worth it!

Gift Shop Overview

Exit through the gift shop – it is massive!

Californians Mug

Buy some swag, like this mug from The Californians’ sketch, which is insanely right on!

Ambiguously Gay Duo Magnet

Or an Ambiguously Gay Duo Magnet!

As you can see, we had a fantastic time at Saturday Night Live: the Exhibition, which is sponsored by Premier Exhibitions, and Located at 417 5th Avenue New York, NY 10016. Adult tickets are $31 (includes a $2.00 service charge) which you can book at This Link, or buy on site, but you should definitely do some Internet footwork before you pay full price, because I’ve seen significant discounts offered through GoldStar, Gilt, and Groupon. The exhibit is expected to run though the holidays!

Yes, It Exists: Dick in a Box Hard Candy

Dick in a Box
Photo By Gail

This Official Saturday Night Live hard candy will be a sweet surprise for the lady in your life.

1. Cut a hole in a box.
2. Put your junk in that box.
3. Make her open the box.

And that’s the way you do it!

8 Ounces for $9.99 at It’s Sugar!

Yes, It Exists: Colon Blow

Colon Blow
Photo By Gail

During Saturday Night Live‘s Season 15, way back in 1989, the late Phil Hartman starred in one of the series more hilarious commercial parodies for a fictional product called Colon Blow, spoofing the new wave of high fiber cereals. In the spot, Phil is a typical man sitting down to have a bowl of cereal when an off-camera announcer asks him, how many bowls of his regular oat bran cereal would he have to eat to get as much fiber as Colon Blow. It turns out to be something like 30 thousand bowls, which then form a towering pyramid, with Phil perched atop of them all. Priceless.

I took this photo of a box of Colon Blow, perfectly emulating the original fake product package, in the candy emporium, It’s Sugar, located downtown on Broadway in NYC’s Greenwich Village. Actually filled with Nature’s Best crispy energy granola, a 16 ounce box sells for $15.99!

Colon Blow SNL

Phil Hartman (RIP) in original Colon Blow Skit

Dine and Dream at NYC’s Row Hotel!

Row Hotel District M
District M Image Courtesy of Row Hotel. Food Images By Anne Raso. Other Interior Shots By Gail. (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail).

Just mention the name Milford Plaza to anyone who’s lived in or visited New York City (or ever watched an original cast episode of Saturday Night Live) and they’ll likely offer an enthusiastic and nostalgia-tinged memory of that hotel’s Iconic TV Commercial featuring the popular tune “The Lullabye of Broadway.” I know this, because that is exactly what happened to me this past week when I started telling friends about my visit to the new Row Hotel, formerly the Milford Plaza, which reopened on March 1st following a years-long renovation to the tune of $140 million dollars. To call the transformation wildly impressive is an understatement.

We started off our visit with dinner at The Row’s hip and chic Restaurant and Lounge, District M, where the limited menu is simple but highly satisfying. We started off the evening with one of The Row’s seven signature cocktails, “I’m Walking Here,” made with the can’t-miss combination of vodka and Elderflower liqueur plus white grape juice and lime ($13). This refreshing elixir is as delicious as it potent! I had two of them.

District M Cheese Plate

We wanted to sample a good cross section of the menu, so ordered way more than we could comfortably eat, starting with the Cheese Plate ($15), featuring selections procured from Murray’s cheese shop in Greenwich Village. This is an excellent choice as a snack with evening cocktails before heading out to a Broadway show!

District M Charcuterie Plate

The hearty Charcuterie Platter ($16) also provides a generous portion of gourmet cured meats for sharing with one or more companions.

District M Croque Monseur

We couldn’t resist indulging in the absolutely gorgeous Croque Monsieur sandwich (grilled Gruyere and thinly sliced ham with béchamel sauce, $16), accompanied by a small field greens salad and a creamy herb sauce for dipping. It tastes even better than it looks.

District M M is for Musroom Pizza

A specialty of District M is a selection of Neapolitan-style, hand-stretched pizzas, so we had to add one of those to our order. On our waitress’s recommendation, we chose the M is for Mushroom ($16), a thin crust white pie loaded with Fontina cheese and generously topped with fresh cremini mushrooms and “melted” leeks. I was expecting a smaller “Personal” sized pizza, but this one was huge – more than enough for two people to share. We could only eat one slice each after our meat and cheese fest, so most of this pie came home with me, where it fed me for two additional meals!

While you’re drinking, dining and relaxing in cool comfort, you can also enjoy the digital art gallery projected on District M’s rear wall featuring famed paparazzo Ron Gallela’s most infamous shots. For additional dining options, The Row will open City Kitchen, a food market similar to the popular Chelsea Market, in the Fall of 2014.

Animated Light Sculpture by video artist Yorgo Alexopolus

These two Animated Light Sculptures by Video Artist Yorgo Alexopolus are located on the wall behind the concierge desk and directly across the check in area on the opposite wall. The images change continuously.

Animated Light Sculpture by video artist Yorgo Alexopolus

After our extremely satisfying dinner, the hotel’s super friendly and accommodating Guest Relations Manager took us on a fun tour of select guest room. All I can say is, Wow, what a cool hotel! If you are planning a trip to NYC and want a comfortable and modern hotel that has an ideal location and terrific rates, look no further than The Row.

NYC Slogan
Assorted Clever Sayings Adorn the Walls Behind Most of the Beds

Conceived and executed by architectural and interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates, The Row Hotel’s 28 floors feature 1,331 rooms and suites of various sizes that maintain a contemporary, “Boutique” feel while offering a generous amount of space at surprisingly reasonable rates. All rooms feature Complimentary Wi-Fi, iPod Docking Station, Flat screen LCD TVs, Cable and HBO and a Desk with Ergonomic chair.

Tortilla Flats Mural
Tortilla Flats Restaurant in the Meat Packing District

While the hotel is located “In The Center of It All,” the idea is to inspire guests to explore Manhattan’s many compelling downtown neighborhoods through streetscape photographic murals showcasing images of Soho, Greenwich Village and Lower East Side hot spots painted directly on the walls of guestroom floor corridors.

Balthazar Mural
Balthazar Restaurant, Greenwich Village

Yellow RoomBright Red Room
Bold Room Colors Match those of the City’s Subway Lines

Times Square View

It goes without saying, but you can see I am about to, that the higher floor rooms have an unbeatable view of Times Square!

Rates on standard room can start as low as $150 per night or even lower (what a bargain!) so be sure to consult travel sites like Priceline to see if they are running any specials before booking.

King Room

The Row Hotel, Featuring District M Restaurant and Lounge, is Located at 700 Eighth Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets in Times Square, NYC. More cool photos and lots of additional information is available at Row NYC Dot Com. Email reservations@rownyc.com, or call Toll Free in the U.S. and Canada: 888-352-3650 or 212-869-3600 for Reservations.

Executive Suite Livigg Area

Executive Suite Living Area (Above) and Bedroom (Below).

Row Hotel Suite Bedroom

DVD Review: Darnell Dawkins, Mouth Guitar Legend

Darnell Dawkins DVD Cover
Ross Patterson Stars As Darnell Dawkins

If the cast of Saturday Night Live set out to make a feature-length skit that aspired to be the This is Spinal Tap of the Woodstock generation, they might come up with something similar to Darnell Dawkins: Mouth Guitar Legend. This fairly clever and rather historically accurate (as satires go) ultra-indie Mocumentary traces the remarkable story of “mouth-guitar” legend Darnell Dawkins (played by Ross Patterson, who also wrote the script).

The story goes that Dawkins was a childhood friend of Jimi Hendrix (played by comedian R. Ernie Silva), who ended up filling in for the legendary guitarist at Woodstock after Hendrix missed his flight. Sadly, Dawkins’ disapproving father suppressed much of the filmed footage of Darnell’s performance career from public release – until now. The confusing thing is that, while Dawkins is described as a “Mouth Guitar” legend, he does not actually play the instrument with his mouth (as Hendrix famously did) but, rather, he made the sounds of the guitar with his mouth. So, no guitar playing is actually involved, and “mouth guitar” is somewhat like air guitar, in a way. While it’s probably funnier to not be entirely clear on this until you see the film, I think I am okay with this degree of a spoiler, since it’s easy to figure out pretty early on, and it makes the film’s tagline, “He only spoke with his mouth” seem worth a few extra laughs.

Considering the slim budget on which the film appears to have been made, the filmmakers pulled together a cast with a remarkable number of recognizable faces, including Ray Wise (Laura Palmer’s Dad from Twin Peaks) as Darnell’s Dad, Christine Lakin as Wilhemina, Darnell’s muse, William R. Mapother (Lost, who is also Tom Cruise’s Cousin!), Michael Raymond-James (Rene from True Blood), Curtis Armstrong (Booger from Revenge of The Nerds) and Veteran B Movie Actor Richard Riehle.

Darnell Dawkins Jimi Hendrix
Darnell Dawkins with Jimi Hendrix

Darnell Dawkins: Mouth Guitar Legend, which could be compared to a bare bones budget version Walk Hard, is not a genius film or anything, but it’s pretty funny (funnier than Walk Hard, to be honest) and especially endearing if you’ve seen the Woodstock concert film and know your stuff when it comes to classic sixties acts such as Hendrix, The Jefferson Airplane and other bands of that time. It’s a film that would be fun to watch with a small group of like-minded friends at a house party where you are perhaps drinking and smoking a bit too much and just want to be silly. I enjoyed it.

The disc can be purchased for under $12 on Amazon.com and it’s worth that price just to have it around the house so you can whip it out when your friends who like this kind of film are over and say, “Hey, check out this crazy thing!” Also there’s lots of nudity (read: naked chicks) in it, if that’s something that interests you. Run Time: 87 Minutes.

The Worley Gig Gives Darnell Dawkins: Mouth Guitar Legend 3 out of 5 Stars

RIP Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch

Ed Koch in Manhattan
Image Source

Early this morning (February 1st, 2013), a true icon of New York City passed away when former Mayor Ed Koch succumbed to congestive heart failure at the age of 88. More than any other politician or public figure, Koch personified the New York spirit. Koch was Mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989 and, prior to that, served in the House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977.

Ed Koch’s entertainment ties included a stint as a judge on The People’s Court and as a film critic via his Web show Mayor At The Movies. He also appeared in more than 60 Hollywood films and TV shows as himself, including The First Wives Club, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Sex And The City, Spin City and Saturday Night Live.

The New York Times has a lengthy but utterly fascinating obituary detailing Koch’s impressive life and career at This Link. RIP, Ed!

Remembering John Belushi

John Belushi Laurel Wreath and Toga

On This Date, March 5th in 1982: Actor / Comedian John Belushi died of an accidental drug overdose in the Chateau Marmont Hotel in West Hollywood, California. He was 33 years old. He’s been gone so long now that it’s easy to forget just how gifted and funny John Belushi was, and many people reading this may be too young to remember much at all about John. But you can remember some of his achievements and read about projects he never lived to see completed, at This Link. RIP, John.