Like most, when I heard that SNL was going to be hiring more women, I thought “Great, with these additions, the cast will almost be an even-steven men to women ration”. But, instead of that and to make room for the new ladies, they’ve actually shitcanned two female cast members that barely even got to serve six months time on SNL last year–Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson. Now, I’m not saying these newbies won’t be good. I hope they are. Also, at least we’ve only taken a step sideways and not a step back in the female to male ration on SNL. But, this is still pretty craptastic news. So, I’d like to honor one of those fallen cast members with today’s great thing:
99. Michaela Watkins
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not unmoved by Casey Wilson’s termination. I think she kind of had an unfair shake on that show. It’s like they didn’t know quite what to do with her ever and she was rarely offered a time to shine. One sketch that she did stand out in, for me at least, was the one where Zac Efron is a soldier on a train going off to war. Casey plays the doggedly determined girlfriend that he is leaving behind. She was great in it and it’s one of the only occasions that I can recall where she was a lead in a sketch instead of just part of a pleasantly curvy backdrop. Casey, wherever you are going, I hope you are received well!
But, as bad as I feel for Casey (reportedly a very nice person), I’m outright angry about Michaela Watkins. I suppose it’s because it’s so unexpected and soooooo very underserved. She’d been so prominent in her short time on the show.
She was a wonderful impressionist–playing repeat performances of Ariana Huffington, Ann Coulter, Hoda Kotbe, and Barbara Walters. The View sketches and Kotbe/Gifford sketches were especially popular.
The thing about Michaela that I really liked was that she knew how to play a scene. Much like Kristen Wiig, she could find comedy in even the small bits but much like Jane Curtain, she could also expertly play a straight woman. She’s a woman who has slogged away for many years in pursuit of comic performance. She studied acting at Boston University, had a stint with the highly respected LA based improv troupe, The Groundlings, and even did her time in regional theatre including stage productions in Portland, OR. Her dismissal from the show makes this interview from when she was first hired that much more depressing:
So, yes, I’m looking at this firing as a huge loss for fans of good comedy. Her Angie Tempura character was one of the best original creations to come out of last year’s season. I’d even go as far to say that it was one of the most topical and nuanced–yes nuanced–characters to ever recur on Weekend Update. Did you ever notice how she’d start to say one word and then awkwardly change it up? For example: “Nice shir–tie, Seth”. Hilarious. I loved her interaction with Seth Meyers. Some loyal fan even started a bitchpleeze website!: angietempura.com Check it out as it features a recent interview with Michaela about her dismissal. For that whole EW article, click here. It’s a crime worth reading about: Entertainment Weekly
Man, I am supremely bummed..her catch phrase was so accessible. “Bitch pleeeze” is a suitable for response for just about anything I can think of! For example:
Some interloper– “Hey Kate, how’s that soup?”
Me– “Bitch pleeze”.
See? It’s easy.
More importantly, come on SNL. You can have more than four women in the cast at one time. I’ll never figure this firing out. I’m left to wonder if this is actually Lorne suffering signs of dementia. Because unless there’s a reason that we don’t know about, this shit is crazy.
Anyway, let’s end this on a happy note. Here’s an Angie Tempura clip:
Now please, somebody in film and/or television give this woman a job.