'SNL' Tidbits for August 4, 1999

By Sean Bradley

Season Premiere Line-Up: Still No Official Word

Jerry Seinfeld is still rumored to be the front-runner to host the "SNL" season premiere on October 2. NBC insiders let it leak to the media early this summer that Seinfeld had been approached and was "seriously considering [hosting duties]." The stand-up comedian and sitcom legend hosted once before on April 18, 1992.

Sting, an "SNL" favorite, seems a likely candidate to serve as musical guest of the evening. The Grammy winner will be in town a week earlier to perform on the "Today" show's Summer Concert Series.

No Mary Katherine in Fall ?

Rumor has it Molly Shannon could miss as much as the first half of this coming "SNL" season to finish filming her role as Betty Lou Who in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." If this is so, Shannon won't be around to promote the October 8 release of "Superstar," the feature based on Mary Katherine Gallagher, her catholic school girl "SNL" character.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is currently slated to open on November 22, 2000 in the United States. The Ron Howard-directed film stars Jim Carrey, the rubber-faced comedic actor who worked with Shannon when he hosted "SNL" in May 1996, and Verne Troyer, the pint-sized 30 year old most famous as Mike Myers' Mini-Me sidekick in the "Austin Powers" sequel.

Macdonald Attending 'SNL' Anniversary Special

Norm Macdonald entertained millions on "SNL" as the anchor of "Weekend Update" from 1994-1997, until then-NBC West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer fired him in January 1998. But since Ohlmeyer is no longer NBC's top dog, Macdonald may get a last laugh on "SNL" this fall. The "Winnipeg Sun" reports that Macdonald says he plans to return for the show's 25th anniversary special on September 26.

As of now, Adam Sandler is the only other former cast member who has publicly announced that he plans on being in attendance. As more "SNL" alumni let their intentions of showing up be known, you can be sure to hear about it here at

Stiller On Why He Quit 'SNL'

The son of comedy veterans Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Ben Stiller has been making a name for himself ever since he landed a coveted berth as a featured player on "SNL" 12 years ago.

In an interview with the "Los Angeles Times," Stiller responded to a question asking why he quit "SNL" after less than a year. "It's very live oriented, very performance oriented," the actor said. "Dennis Miller was on, [Jon] Lovitz, Mike Myers, and I'm more interested in putting things together with lots of takes and trying to do short films like what Albert Brooks had done."

During "SNL's" first season, Brooks frequently contributed short films. "His short films on 'Saturday Night Live' were brilliant, really innovative, conceptual stuff," Stiller commented.

Why Was Goodman a Tripp?

The 19-day preview of the fall season known as the Television Critics Association Press Tour came to a close on Sunday. In an article yesterday, "The New York Daily News" relived some of the tour's funnier moments, and a quote from "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels was mentioned.

Michaels explained the rationale behind casting bulky actor John Goodman in the recurring role of Monica Lewinsky's "friend," the recently indicted Linda Tripp: "I think you looked at the picture and you looked at John Goodman [thoughtful pause].... It was an incredibly mean thing to do -- and I think that had some appeal."

Fallon in Crowe Project

Jimmy Fallon has signed on to join the cast of Cameron Crowe's untitled rock 'n' roll project for DreamWorks, it was confirmed yesterday. Fallon will play band manager Dennis Hope in the flick which marks his first feature role.

Fallon, who recently completed his first season on "SNL," is also the co-author of a humor book titled "I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life," which he wrote with his sister Gloria, and will be published by TV Books.

Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand ("Fargo" ), Kate Hudson, and Jason Lee also star in the Crowe project.

Gasteyer Chats Online

Ana Gasteyer will hold an online chat at TV Guide Online tomorrow, Thursday August 5, at 8:00 pm/ET. Chat with her about "SNL" and her new movie "Dick," which opens nationwide tomorrow (Wednesday, August 4).

Oteri to 'Scream' This Fall

"Variety" reports that Cheri Oteri has joined the cast of Dimension Films' ensemble comedy "Scream If You Know What I Did Last Halloween."

The comedienne, who begins her fifth season as an "SNL" cast member this fall, joins a cast including Jenny McCarthy, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, Jon Abrahams, Shannon Elizabeth ("American Pie"), and Lachlan Monroe ("A Night at the Roxbury," "Dead Man on Campus").

The film is a parody of the horror genre, from the classics to the contemporary, and caters to every cliche audiences have learned to associate with it. Shooting begins August 11, with a national release date tentatively scheduled for October 15, under the helm of director/writer Keenen Ivory Wayans.

Murray an 'Angel'?

Columbia is trying to get former "Not Ready For Primetime Player" Bill Murray to sign on to the "Charlie's Angels" movie. The Golden Globe nominated comedic actor would likely step into the shoes of John Bosley (played by the late David Doyle in the 1970s TV series).

The film, which stars Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, may start production as early as October.

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