Bill Hader SNL and the Lost Art of Autocue Reading

Bill Hader SNL and the Lost Art of Autocue Reading

Having not watched SNL between 1982 and 2014, it was a surprise to learn that Bill Hader, a very talented comic actor, was not only a regular on the show but the man was also nominated for an Emmy for his work on Saturday Night Life impressive stuff but what is not impressive on the show is the apparent lost art of auto cue reading. Or cue card reading, or auto prompt, what ever title it given the lines of dialogue to be read by regulars and guests on a live comedy show. As this is the 40th season of the long running comedy series it does not seem too much to ask for the participants to have mastered the ability to read and emote.

SNL Still Crazy After All These Years

SNL Still Crazy After All These Years

Watching Canadian singer/songwriter and actor Drake on season 39 episode 11, it becomes clear that SNL is still crazy after all these years. Despite its longevity the show feels the same. After the obligatory introductory skit, which ends with the excited delivery of “It’s Saturday Night,” followed by the dulcet tones of 95 year-old Don Pardo calling off the names of this episode’s players; it almost feels like the viewer has stepped into a time machine and gone back to 1975 when the show first started.

iSteve From Funny or Die

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Anyone who’s read my blog (or conversely, watched my YouTube channel) will know that I am about as obsessed with YouTube as your average young person. And yes before you point it out, I’m not that young. But having a daughter who has a fairly successful channel on the old “Tube” introduced me to another world of entertainment.

I won’t be climbing on my YouTube soapbox here, but it was through them that I discovered Funny or Die. A channel that hails from Los Angeles; Hollywood specifically, and they are brilliantly funny.

These guys are consistent, witty masters of the tongue in cheek delivery of some very humorous short films, videos, and skits. They use “real” actors (versus folks that just want to be actors) and they have great production values on all they produce.

iSteve is their latest effort and it is 78 minute film that is a “Bio” of the late Steve Jobs and his rise, fall and rise in the world of commercial computing. It is a combination satire/parody with a good bit of imaginative “reworking” of real events to give it a comedic edge.

Although, not everyone , it seems, can get the joke.

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But this particular nay-sayer  need not feel alone. There were more than a few people who just “didn’t get it.” The same type of people who would never watch Saturday Night Live (SNL)  or say a Chevy Chase film. In the case of humour and the sense of, not everyone is created equal or as I like to say, “Did it hurt when they removed your funny bone?”

Justin Long plays Steve Jobs, resplendent in fake hair colour and beard. He also sports a very trendy pair of rimless eye-glasses and a turtle neck top that completes his Steve costume.  He is, of course, excellent as the faux Steve Jobs. I mean after all this is Justin Long we’re talking about here. How could he be anything but perfect in any role?

Actor Jorge Garcia (Lost, all seasons) plays Jobs’ best friend Steve Wozniak, a long-suffering fellow computer nerd. Garcia makes this brilliantly touching and funny. All the actors do great jobs (get it!) in this film.  Like all projects these guys do, it looks professional (hell, it is professional) and streamlined. If you’ve not seen anything they’ve done before, check out their American Psycho with Huey Lewis and Weird Al:

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I’m going to give this YouTube masterpiece of humour a 5 out of 5 stars.

Why?

Well, for one thing, it’s got Justin Long in it and I’ve been a fan since DodgeBall. In addition, these guys (Funny or Die) are damned funny.

So watch iSteve, because you can and it’s free.

Justin Long as Steve Jobs.
Justin Long as Steve Jobs.