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Saturday Night Live 2000 rewind: Molly Shannon

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Molly Shannon’s record-setting run at Saturday Night Live ended in season 26

Molly Shannon’s Saturday Night Live resume can be put up against any other performer in the show’s 45-year history. From original characters to celebrity impressions, there was nothing Shannon couldn’t do.

Shannon’s talents were clear from the moment she started at Saturday Night Live through her final season in 2000-2001. She left the show as the longest-tenured female cast member in show history, surpassing Victoria Jackson. That record would later be broken by Amy Poehler but Shannon’s impact on SNL remains undeniable.

Shannon joined SNL midway through season 20 in 1995. She was one of only five cast members who returned for season 21 as the show went through one of the biggest overhauls in its history. Shannon was joined by Norm MacDonald, Mark McKinney, Tim Meadows, and David Spade. The group was bolstered by the additions of Will Ferrell, Cheri Oteri, Darrell Hammond, Nancy Walls, David Koechner, and Jim Breuer. Chris Kattan and Colin Quinn would be added later.

Season 26 would be Shannon’s last, leaving after the Feb. 17, 2001 episode. With it came the end for fan-favorite characters like Mary Catherine Gallagher, NPR host Teri Rialto, and Sally O’Malley as well as her impressions of celebrities like Courtney Love and Monica Lewinsky.

Shannon’s Saturday Night Live career saw her start as a repertory player on a cast that included Spade, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Ellen Cleghorne, Mike Meyers, and Al Franken. She ended her run as a featured player alongside Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, and newcomers Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Rachel Dratch.

She would return to Saturday Night Live two months after leaving for a surprise appearance in a sketch featuring Renee Zellweger. She played Molly Shannon across from Will Ferrell’s eccentric, offensive, and insane doctor.

As mentioned, Shannon finished SNL as the record holder for the longest-tenured female cast member with 116 credited episodes. She also earned a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program in 2000. And she entered rarified air when her original character Mary Catherine Gallagher got a feature film with 1999’s Superstar. Like we said, a resume that can go toe-to-toe with anyone else in SNL history.

Where is Molly Shannon 20 years later?

Molly Shannon returned to host Saturday Night Live in 2007. She’s also gone on to appear in a number of film and television projects featuring fellow SNL alumni. Her television credits include appearances in 30 RockThe New Adventures of Old Christine, and Mulaney. On the film side, she’s been in Talladega NightsHotel Transylvania, and Casa de Mi Padre.

Outside of working with SNL friends, Shannon has earned critical praise for her work in the 2016 film Other People as well as the television series Will & Grace and Enlightened. Most recently she co-starred in the 2020 Netflix movie Horse Girl.

Shannon’s ability to just about everything in comedy and do it exceptionally well has ensured that she will never be off the screen or stage for long. Her impressive run at Saturday Night Live laid the foundation for a career that continues going strong.

She helped usher in an era of Saturday Night Live where women got more opportunities and became, for lack of a better term, superstars on the show. Her work followed by Tina Fey’s run as the head writer changed SNL’s course for the better and helped it become the silly, sharp, and unique show that it was during the start of the 21st century.

What is your favorite Molly Shannon sketch? Where does she rank on your list of all-time Saturday Night Live greats? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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The Antebellum Star on Memories

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Janelle Monáe, star of the new Antebellum, has strong memories of the horror movies she watched growing up.

“I don’t know how you could have been Black when Candyman came out and either not been afraid of it or excited about it. And I was both,” she recalls. “I grew up on horror. I grew up on Nightmare on Elm Street. I grew up knowing what Robert England looked like, outside of Freddy Krueger. That’s how deep I was. When he showed up in New Nightmare I was super excited about that. I grew up watching all the Halloweens. Michael Myers. Jason. I know about Tales from the Hood. Child’s Play. The original Charles Lee Ray.” (Charles Lee Ray, as only true Child’s Play fans would know, is the name of the serial killer who comes to embody the Chucky doll.)

“All of this,” Monáe adds, “was stuff that I would watch with all my cousins, and our noses would bleed, and we would love it.”

We’re talking about Candyman, the 1992 film being revived this year, because it, like Antebellum, uses the horror genre to make America look into the mirror at its hideous racial legacy.

“I love when you can shake people to their core,” she continues. “And they go to sleep thinking about something, wake up thinking about something. I love when the energy of a genre or film can stay with you. And that’s what you want. You want people to remember your work and I think horror does allow me, like so many people, to remember the work. If it’s good, especially. I’ll never forget Candyman. I’ll never forget Chucky. I’ll never forget Freddy Krueger.”

But here’s what she doesn’t remember, from all those hours of watching movies: She doesn’t ever remember seeing a Black woman superhero.

With Antebellum, she combines the horror she saw on-screen with the horror of what she never saw on-screen. She plays a character named Veronica Henley who is, Monáe says, very much a superhero.

Janelle Monáe in Antebellum. Main image: Janelle Monáe and London Boyce in Antebellum. All photos by Matt Kennedy, courtesy of Lionsgate.

“I hadn’t seen a Black woman portrayed in this way. And it was something I’ve been itching to see for years, when I would watch. You know, I will watch films centered around men and them being heroes. I just hadn’t seen that role created for a Black woman in the way that Veronica Henley’s role is. I don’t want to give too much away from the film… but I would say for me that Veronica is a survivor, but she’s also a super-hero. But not a superhero in a Marvel Universe or DC Comics kind of way. And I think when you watch the film, my hope is that you’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for the Black woman.”

Monáe grew up in the ’90s in Kansas City, Kansas, in a religious household just unorthodox enough to let her watch all those scary movies, and, she says, “music with cursing in it.” She started out, of course, in music, and paid homage to her roots with her trademark black-and-white outfits.

“What my black and white uniform represents is working-class people,” she says. “Like my parents and grandparents and people who have been building this country, community by community, every single day, and not really getting too much acknowledgement.”

In keeping with that work ethic, Monáe is the rare modern music star who made a name for herself not by working for a barrage of laptop-equipped producers, but by writing her own songs and playing with a tight, punchily professional band in the tradition of Prince and James Brown. Which isn’t to say she’s anti-computer: Her music embraces sci-fi and android imagery, paying homage to the likes of Fritz Lang and Philip K. Dick.

Add to this her deadpan wit, which arises in response to a question about her style. “Prince had the assless pants,” she says. “I have the black-and-white.”

Of course Hollywood came calling.

Monáe was ready. Her movie knowledge extends far beyond horror and sci-fi—she lists Jordan Peele, Stanley Kubrick, the Wachowski sisters, Tim Burton, and Ari Aster among her favorite filmmakers, as well as Nia DaCosta, director of the upcoming Candyman reboot.

While she prefers not to say too much about her friendship with Prince, she notes that they “always” talked about movies.

Janelle Monáe Antebellum

Janelle Monáe in Antebellum. All photos by Matt Kennedy, courtesy of Lionsgate.

“He’s the one who told me to watch Black Orpheus. I had never seen the film before,” she said. “He loved movies. He encouraged me to make more movies as well.”

The movies love Monáe, too. This past year the Oscars invited her to perform an opening number that doubled as a celebration of some films that the Academy overlooked, including Us, Queen & Slim, and Midsommar.

Monáe said during the performance that she was “so proud to stand here as a Black, queer artist” and pointedly celebrated “all the women who directed phenomenal films.” It was a notable observation, given that no women were nominated for best director — and only one female-directed film, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, had been nominated for Best Picture.

“There are certain things that I didn’t say in rehearsals that I did say live,” she noted with a laugh.

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Draymond Green Says The Warriors’ 2015 Title Was The Most ‘Gratifying’

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Draymond Green once again joined the Inside the NBA crew for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and the Nuggets on Friday night, and as usual, he didn’t disappoint. Green is threatening to become a regular fixture on the mega-popular NBA show with his unfiltered approach, which matches the show’s off-the-cuff vibe.

Green’s previous appearance ended up resulting in a hefty fine for his comments about Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns, which the league said amounted to tampering as Green publicly called for Booker to leave the organization. And on Friday, the crew didn’t waste any time before the fireworks started up once again.

Charles Barkley was the one to tee things off this time around, pointedly asking Green whether his 2015 championship with the Warriors, i.e. the one before Kevin Durant arrived, means more to him than the titles they won together in 2017 and 2018. Here’s Green’s response.

In the end, Green readily admits that the Warriors’ first title was indeed the most gratifying, but it was still a mostly diplomatic response, as he explained that the first title is always the most difficult and therefore the most meaningful.

Of course, the subtext of the question has more to do with Green and Durant’s fraying relationship over the course of their run together. The two had some high-profile dust-ups that many believe led to their breakup last summer. Still, Green stopped short of diminishing the championships they won together and managed to preserve the integrity of those titles and avoid any further bad blood.

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Revolver Teams With Nothing for Exclusive Limited-Edition Vinyl of New Album

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It’s no secret that we’re big-time fans of Philly shoegazers Nothing. Bandleader Domenic “Nicky” Palermo appeared on one of the covers of our first-ever “Rule-Breakers” issue, and we’ve captured Nothing in action across numerous original videos. As longtime champions of the band, we’ve teamed with them now for an exclusive “Swamp Green/Clear Half and Half With Splatter” vinyl variant of their new LP, the Will Yip–produced The Great Dismal, which sold out of its initial array of collectible editions in just three days. Get your Revolver-exclusive variant — strictly limited to just 100 worldwide — before they’re gone. The Great Dismal is due out October 30th via Relapse Records.


The Great Dismal track listing:
1. A Fabricated Life
2. Say Less
3. April Ha Ha
4. Catch a Fade
5. Famine Asylum
6. Bernie Sanders
7. In Blueberry
8. Memories
9. Blue Mecca
10. Just a Story
11. Ask the Rust

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