'SNL' Tidbits for March 30, 1999

By Sean Bradley

You Look Mahvelous!

"Saturday Night Live" is celebrating its upcoming 25th anniversary with a clothing line named after the show, "The Los Angeles Times" reports. The line of casual clothing, manufactured by Generra, will be in stores by late summer/early fall. Hmmm ... does this mean we can look forward to Church Lady orthopedic shoes?

Gellar Got Even

Sarah Michelle Gellar used her "SNL" hosting gig last season to get even with a certain musical group. When The Spice Girls didn't deign to meet her in a first-class airport lounge, she used her "SNL" guest-hosting gig as payback by overseeing two skits mocking the U.K. girl group.

"They dissed me!" she says. "I believe that what goes around comes around. And sometimes you are lucky enough to see it happen!"

Franken Explains 'SNL' Departure

In an interview this week, Al Franken told the "Canadian Press" why he left "SNL."

After 15 seasons as a writer and featured player on the show, Franken said he left after the 1994-95 season when his request to anchor the "Weekend Update" fake news segment was rejected. "It was not a sore point but probably the best thing that ever happened to me."

Franken says he never became a leading cast member because executive producer Lorne Michaels didn't want to lose him as a writer.

Today, he disagrees with those who say that after nearly 25 years the show should be put out of its misery. He says there are few places on network TV for sketch comedy especially when it's being done live. "I root for it every week. I'm disappointed a lot but ... I really think there's a place for the show and there are some really talented people working there."

'Norm' A Hit

"The Norm Show," which got less than spectacular critical reviews, won its 9:30 p.m. time period Wednesday night, averaging 13,874,000 viewers. More important, the Norm Macdonald sitcom held a whopping 100% of the lead-in audience delivered by "The Drew Carrey Show." Both "Carey" and "Norm" are executive-produced by Bruce Helford.

ABC currently has ten "Norm Show" episodes ordered.

Sitcom Writing Not the Norm for Norm

In addition to being an executive producer, co-creator, and star, Norm Macdonald is one of the six writers of his new ABC sitcom, "The Norm Show." He does most of his writing at night (old "SNL" habit).

"A lot of the jokes I think of I have to jettison because you're not allowed to do them in primetime, and that's a drag," Macdonald, who once unleashed the verboten F-word during an "SNL" telecast, recently told the "New York Daily News." "On 'Update' they let me do whatever I wanted. Whenever they did censor me, they were right."

So far, he's had no run-ins with the ABC suits. "I just tell them to count the money, I'll handle the jokes. Why should I have a comedy discussion with a businessman? I would never presume to have a discussion with them about hostile takeovers."

Garafolo's Gone 'Mad'

Wednesday's episode of "Access Hollywood" had an interview with Helen Hunt in which she revealed that one-season "SNL" cast member Janeane Garafolo will play Mabel Buchman, Paul and Jamie's daughter, in the "Mad About You" series finale this May.

"I will leave it at that," Hunt teases. Wow!

KCOP Gives 'Short' Shift

KCOP Los Angeles has picked up "The Martin Short Show" for a fall debut.

The deal is one of the first major programming moves by KCOP's new general manager, David Woodcock. There's no word yet on a timeslot for the King World Prods. syndie talk-variety hour fronted by the Second City and "Saturday Night Live" alum.

The KCOP pickup brings "Martin Short's" total national clearance tally to 71% of U.S. TV households. Gotham remains the crucial gap in the lineup, but King World has pledged to move forward with a September bow even without a New York outlet.

"The Martin Short Show" could air in daytime hours or in late-night, depending on the open slots in the fall schedule.

'SNL's' GQ Men

Start choosing your favorite guys, because GQ magazine is conducting its fourth annual "Men of the Year Poll." Readers may choose from lists of nominees published in the magazine's April issue, or visit the GQ Web site to vote online.

"SNL" veterans Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Bill Murray are all nominated in the Film Actor category.

Another former "SNL" cast member, David Spade ("Just Shoot Me" ), is among the actors nominated in the Best TV Comedy category, alongside the likes of Drew Carey ("The Drew Carey Show" ), Michael J. Fox ("Spin City" ), Kelsey Grammer ("Frasier"), and David Letterman ("Late Show with David Letterman").

Ballots are due by April 26th.

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