Monday, June 17, 2024

Will Ferrell Explains History of Cutting Edge “SNL” Puppet Sketch” from Two Weeks Ago, Says Lifetime Parody Movie Among Favorites


EXCLUSIVE Suddenly, Will Ferrell is everywhere. He was at the “Hustlers” SAG screening and reception on Sunday night. Last night he was front and center at the IFP Gotham Awards.

The reason: he and Andy McKay are co-producers on “Hustlers,” and Will is being hands-on.

On Sunday I spoke with him at the “Hustlers” reception. Film critic Neil Rosen and I were tripping over each other telling the great comedic actor how much we liked his edgy ventriloquist sketch at the end of “SNL” last week.

Will told us: “That was actually an old sketch that never made it on air when I was part of the show. When I got there for this show”– which he hosted — “someone remembered it and said why don’t we try that? It must have been from about 20 years ago. But this time it made and it worked really well.”

The sketch (see below) absolutely did work well, and was a lot more interesting than a lot of the recent non political “SNL” sketches.

We also talked about Will and Kristen Wiig’s extremely dry 2015 Lifetime parody, “A Deadly Adoption.” This was actually a send up of Lifetime’s insipid movies of the week that usually involve a crazy nanny (or ex, or someone) preying upon unsuspecting, ignorantly blissful upper middle class people who live in a suburban bubble. “A Deadly Adoption” was a curio because even Lifetime didn’t understand whether it was a tribute or a knock on them.

Has it ever been shown again? “I don’t think so,” Will said. “I’m not sure they ever played it again. But it was one my favorite all time projects. I’d like to do it again and make sure they have to play it over and over.” I recommended a send up of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. They are now far worse than Lifetime. (But they must pay– Adrian Grenier is in one of them!)

Ferrell has two movies coming soon, both of which I’m looking forward to. In “Downhill,” he’s on a ski vacation with Julia Louis Dreyfus. It’s directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, of “The Way Way Back” fame. Ferrell is also in David Dobkin’s send up of The Eurovision song content with Rachel McAdams. Dobkin made “Wedding Crashers,” so “Eurovision” should be the best comedy of 2020. I’m counting on it!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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