'SNL' Tidbits for February 5, 1999

By Sean Bradley

Sketches Scheduled to Air This Weekend

A source close to the show has revealed to me some sketches scheduled for tomorrow's live episode of "Saturday Night Live," with host Gwyneth Paltrow and musical guest Barenaked Ladies.

* a Mary Katherine Gallagher sketch
* "Biography," featuring Charles Gibson from "Good Morning America"
* "The How Do You Say? Ah Yes, Show with Antonio Banderas" (no mention of the real Banderas making a cameo)

If I hear of any other sketches scheduled to air, I'll put them up on the web page up to an hour before the show tomorrow evening, so hit reload on the main page to see if I've made any additions. While all of these sketches are scheduled for the dress rehearsal, any of them are subject to be cut prior to the live broadcast.

McKinney & Other 'Kids' to Reunite?

Former "SNLer" Mark McKinney, and the rest of the "Kids in the Hall" comedy troupe -- Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson -- are being wooed by Montreal's Just for Laughs comedy festival to do a live reunion show this summer.

The planned reunion would mark a rare appearance by the entire troupe, which got together 10 years ago but has not worked as a team since the 1996 box-office dud "Brain Candy." The original "Kids in the Hall" TV show, produced by "SNL" mastermind Lorne Michaels from 1989 to 1994, still airs in reruns on Comedy Central and maintains a loyal cult following. The show served as a springboard for members of the group, helping them land key roles in hit shows like "NewsRadio" (Foley) and "SNL" (McKinney).

Murray Asked to Help Groundhog

Bill Murray, who will host "SNL" on February 20 to promote his starring role in the critically acclaimed Wes Anderson film "Rushmore," was sent a letter from officials at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asking for the actor's help.

PETA wanted Murray to request that an animatronic version of a groundhog be used in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for their Groundhog Day ceremony instead of the famous woodchuck Phil.

"Most people don't know the Murray film mainly relied on mechanically minded man-made groundhogs," PETA spokeswoman Jennifer O'Connor told E!. "In fact, when PETA learned that keen bit of movie trivia, the letter to Murray was drafted."

PETA thinks that Murray was contacted too late to respond.

Lovitz Hosts 'Billboard 40'

VH1 and Billboard are teaming up to present "Billboard 40 Top 40 Singles," spotlighting the number one hits of the past forty years.

"SNL" alum Jon Lovitz will host the special highlighting the top hits from Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" in 1959 to The Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" in 1998, and featuring interviews with Nile Rodgers, Billy Joel, Shawn Colvin, and John Mellencamp.

"Billboard 40 Top 40 Singles" premieres Monday, February 8 at 8 p.m. on VH1.

Sweeney Honored

Comedian Julia Sweeney introduced an unforgettable character to "SNL," when she was a regular -- the sexually ambiguous "Pat." When she battled cancer, she turned it around into a Broadway show and a book. Sweeney was among those honored yesterday by "Cosmopolitan" magazine at the third annual Fun Fearless Female awards at the Waldorf-Astoria. She was cited for "God Said, 'Ha!'" her book, Broadway show and now movie about her battle with cancer.

The room was awash in pink: pink lighting, pink programs, pink Champagne and pink outfits worn by Cosmo staffers, and country singers sang the refrain, "Fun, fearless and female." During her acceptance speech she said, tongue, firmly in cheek, "Cosmo taught me so much about being a woman."

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