Will Forte, Jason Sudeikis Have a Real Beef With Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig’s Garth and Kat (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis probably didn’t send Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig a Valentine’s Day card today.

Forte and Sudeikis, who formed Bon Jovi “opposite band” Jon Bovi during their “Saturday Night Live” days, found out some unsettling news Wednesday about one particularly tough time they got bumped from the lineup. As it turns out, the night Jon Bon Jovi himself hosted “SNL,” Armisen and Wiig’s own musical duo, Garth and Kat, made the cut instead.

Shot through the heart — err, stabbed through the butt. (That will make sense once you watch last night’s “Second Chance Theatre.”)

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The loss to Garth and Kat, new information that was delivered somberly by former “SNL” head writer and “Weekend Update” anchor Seth Meyers, was extra upsetting to Sudeikis.

“Will and I, we’d go and get the lyrics off the internet, and take HOURS writing the opposite lyrics to these preexisting lyrics,” Sudeikis said on Wednesday’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” ” [Armisen and Wiig], they would get decked out in their vests and their boffo wigs, and then they’d go and just make it up on the spot.”

When you put it that way, it does kind of sound unfair. Thank goodness Meyers currently has a platform to catch skits that fell through the cracks all those years ago.

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Watch Sudeikis and Forte’s Wednesday late (late)-night appearance via the video above. To make matters more awkward, Armisen was in attendance as Meyers’ bandleader.

Readers can enjoy the latest “Second Chance Theatre” installment below.



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‘SNL’: Alec Baldwin Returns As Trump With Appearances From Cohen, Putin And The Crown Prince Of Saudi Arabia

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How ‘Big Mouth’ Helped Planned Parenthood Fight Its Abortion ‘Stigma’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Last year, two creators of Netflix’s animated teen comedy “Big Mouth” went to a talk about Planned Parenthood — and heard about its frustrations with being known largely for abortions.

So they decided to help.

The two creators, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin, built an entire episode around Planned Parenthood’s other services — like providing birth control and STD testing and counseling. Along with fellow creator Nick Kroll, who also stars on the show, they created an episode that The Atlantic called “as bold as it is hilarious.”

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It was a huge win for Planned Parenthood, which in recent years has courted positive portrayals by Hollywood. The talk that Flackett and Levin attended was hosted by Planned Parenthood to try to win positive portrayals in entertainment.

“Big Mouth” was a perfect fit because the show — known for awkward adolescents haunted by outlandish Hormone Monsters and Shame Wizards — targets both teens and their parents, as they struggle with questions about sexuality.

In recent years, Planned Parenthood has also welcomed filmmakers like Joss Whedon and Jason Reitman, director of the 2007 teen pregnancy film “Juno.”

To write the “Big Mouth” episode, Kroll, Flackett, Levin and the entire “Big Mouth” writers room — including Emily Altman, who was once a Planned Parenthood intern — toured a Planned Parenthood with the organizations’s Los Angeles CEO, Sue Dunlap.

Their tour resulted in the Season 2 episode called “The Planned Parenthood Show” in which eighth-graders Nick (Kroll), Andrew (John Mulaney), Missy (Jenny Slate) and Jessi (Jessi Klein) school their sexually inexperienced sex ed teacher, Coach Steve. (The show’s second season debuted last week.)

In the episode, the students perform a series of skits, including one in which a girl must choose between different contraceptives that compete “Bachelor”-style to become her birth control of choice.

But the episode also underscores Planned Parenthood’s message that it can prevent pregnancies, not just provide abortions. 

“There is a lot of stigma around abortion,” Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Dinah Stephens told TheWrap. “So I was grateful when I saw that the ‘Big Mouth’ episode included a range of services.”

Stephens, who helped coordinate the “Big Mouth” visit, said that for all its sexual jokes, a show like “Big Mouth” can help change perceptions while entertaining. 

Kroll emphasized that entertainment, after all, is the show’s first priority. If families can laugh together, it will be easier for them to talk together. 

“My hope is that the show gives a platform and vocabulary for kids to talk to their parents, each other, their educators about what they’re going through,” Kroll said. “You feel very alone at that point in your life. It’s very helpful in general for kids who are at that age to see that this is happening to everybody.”

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Watch John McCain’s 2002 Turn as ‘SNL’ Host Tonight (Video)

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After an emotional day of tributes at the funeral of Sen. John McCain, “Saturday Night Live” viewers will get a chance to revisit his sense of humor, when NBC re-airs the Oct. 19, 2002 episode that featured the Arizona statesman as its host.

The Season 28 episode also included the White Stripes as musical guests.

McCain died last Saturday after battling brain cancer. In his life, he was known for his sense of humor that frequently lightened discussions of tragic events in his military career.

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The “SNL” episode with McCain marked the first time in the history of the show that a sitting senator played host. In his opening monologue on the show, he joked about then-president George W. Bush, only to find himself getting comedy tips from cast member Fred Armisen, who played a Venezuelan nightclub comedian Fericito. Armisen suggests McCain needs to make goofy faces to accentuate his punchlines, and tells him to get a catch phrase.

You can watch the video of the monologue above, and catch the entire episode at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.

In his political career, McCain was called a maverick. The last two years of his life saw him often sparring with Donald Trump after Trump’s win as the Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Trump did not attend McCain’s funeral, but three other presidents did — Bush, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, along with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Bush and Obama joined McCain’s daughter, Meghan, in eulogizing the senator.

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Why Carrie Brownstein Wants Another Season of ‘Portlandia,’ Too

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A version of this story on Carrie Brownstein first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

The sketch-comedy series “Portlandia” began with a series of comedy shorts made by actor-comedian Fred Armisen and musician Carrie Brownstein, one of the leaders of the pioneering all-female indie band Sleater-Kinney.

Over eight seasons that ended in March, the show turned into an Emmy favorite, landing its first nomination in 2011 and picking up Outstanding Variety Sketch Series nominations the last four years in a row.

Over the years, Brownstein directed four episodes, receiving her first directing nomination this year for the season opener, “Riot Spray.” In that episode, a former punk band reunites and finds that youthful anger has given way to more mundane middle-aged concerns.

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What was shooting the final episode like?
Fred [Armisen] and I could see the end of the show on the horizon, but we kept putting it off. We would have recurring guest stars come on, and they would experience their own sense of finality and loss. And Fred and I would think, “Well, this is your last day.”

And then finally the day for our last scene arrived — and yeah, it was a little strange. It was hard to feel the totality of the moment, but there were definitely tears. You go into it thinking that there’s going to be some kind of stoicism, but when it actually happens there’s a sense of immediate devastation.

As you were approaching the end of the final season, did you have more ideas than you could fit in the remaining episodes?
In the writers’ room, it always feels like a lack of ideas. I didn’t have the sense of needing more until a couple of months ago. And then I realized that “Portlandia” was a way I processed phenomena. I’m used to gathering with intelligent, funny people and dealing with our crazy world — and not having that this year, I do feel like I want another season.

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What was the biggest challenge in directing the episode you’re nominated for, “Riot Spray”?
The intimidation factor. We gathered a group of guest stars who hold a certain amount of cultural currency in the lives of Fred and myself, and they’re all these pillars of indie and alternative rock: Henry Rollins from Black Flag, Kris Novoselic from Nirvana, Brendan Canty from Fugazi …

We had these very powerful men, some of whom I’ve been admiring since I was a teenager. And when you’re a teenager, you feel very disempowered — so allowing myself to be the one who is in control on the set, despite the fact that part of me is looking at them through a teenage lens, was a mental challenge.

Being on the set directing, you need to feel powerful. So I had to just take a moment and say, “I’m fine. It’s OK.”

It’s not like you don’t have a little bit of indie-rock cred on your own.
Yeah, that’s true. I do have a little bit of indie-rock cred myself. But they’ve got a couple of years on me, and you’re always looking up to your mentors.

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It certainly looked as if those guys got a real kick out of what they were doing in that episode.
Yeah. I think “Portlandia” became a kind of playground for people who audiences were accustomed to see take themselves very seriously. It was a context where they could have some self-awareness, some self-reflection and dissection, and almost play with their reputations. So yeah, none of these guys were afraid to examine what happens to rebellion when it merges with aging and the needs of oneself and one’s family. They were very game, which I loved.

I guess I’m not surprised by that anymore, because I saw it so often on “Portlandia,” but I’m always grateful when people are willing to make fun of themselves.

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The Emmy directing categories have 40 male nominees and only four women this year. What’s wrong with that picture?
People assume that progress is inevitable, and it’s not. Progress is not a linear, upward trajectory, and it’s not something that can be a hobby — we can’t dabble in the betterment of society, we actually have to work at it.

We live in an unequal system, and we’ve been raised to value things that keep us unequal. We can’t just dismantle that with some news articles or a couple of meetings — it has to be an institutional shift, and those don’t happen overnight.

I think this is an important reminder, when we take a couple of steps forward and just as many steps back, that this can’t be a fad. It has to be a real, fundamental change.

See video from TheWrap’s interview with Carrie Brownstein above. To read more of the Down to the Wire issue, click here.

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Watch Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph Shake up Their Marriage in ‘Forever’ Trailer

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Everything starts off so well for Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph in the new “Forever” trailer until things take a turn.

The new Amazon comedy series, previously simply known as the “Untitled Fred Armisen/Maya Rudolph comedy series,” follows the comedians as Oscar and June, a married couple who are in a bit of a rut. They’ve been living the suburban dream in Riverside, California, for 12 years, but June feels like there’s more to life and convinces Oscar to take a ski trip — and that’s when things change.

In the trailer above, we get a glimpse into how the couple met and their day-to-day routine. But things quickly go south as we see Rudolph running on a beach, Armisen grabbing a knife, and some sort of crazy bonfire. Let’s just say Rudolph’s June is tired of talking about butterflies.

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“Forever” is created by the Emmy-winning writers Alan Yang (“Master of None,” “Parks and Rec”) and Matt Hubbard (“30 Rock,” “Parks and Rec”), and stars Catherine Keener, Noah Robbins and Kym Whitley in addition to Armisen and Rudolph.

Yang and Hubbard executive produce along with Armisen, Rudolph, Tim Sarkes and Dave Becky.

Watch the trailer above.

Season 1 of “Forever” will premiere on Amazon on Sept. 14. 

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Fred Armisen, Lorne Michaels Spanish-Language Comedy Ordered to Series at HBO

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A new half-hour comedy from Fred Armisen and “Saturday Night Live” boss Lorne Michaels has been ordered to series at HBO. And it’s in Spanish.

According to the logline, “Los Espookys” (working title) is set in a strange and dreamy version of present-day Mexico City and follows a group of friends turning their love for horror into a peculiar business. Formerly known as “Mexico City: Only Good Things Happen,” the series is written and executive produced by Armisen.

Bernardo Velasco will play Renaldo, the leader of Los Espookys. He’s noble, kind, serene and obsessed with gore. He’s always running out of cell phone minutes. Cassandra Ciangherotti stars as Ursula, a calm and collected dental assistant. She provides teeth for the group’s monsters. She loves horror and her sister Tati but above all, teeth. Ana Fabrega will play Tati, Ursula’s sister and Los Espookys’ test dummy. She’s constantly juggling several odd jobs, such as breaking in other people’s shoes and testing child safety locks.

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Julio Torres is Andres, Renaldo’s best friend. He’s a dark and mysterious heir to a chocolate empire. His only true nemesis is his gorgeous boyfriend. And Armisen stars as Tico, Renaldo’s reliable uncle who lives in LA. He’s a prodigious valet driver living his dream of parking cars.

Michaels and Andrew Singer are executive producing the Spanish-language comedy alongside Armisen. Fabrega and Torres are writers and co-executive producers. Alice Mathias is also a co-executive producer. Fernando Frias directed the pilot.

“Los Espookys” hails from Broadway Video in association with Antigravico and Más Mejor.

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Fred Armisen Spanish-Language Comedy ‘Los Espookys’ Gets Series Order By HBO

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