'SNL' Tidbits for May 6, 1999

By Sean Bradley

Shannon 'Committed' to 'SNL' in Fall

"Saturday Night Live" cast member Molly Shannon will be racking up frequent-flier miles come August, when she begins a three-month shoot on "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" with Jim Carrey. Shannon will have to juggle L.A. shooting of the live-action movie with her fifth season of "SNL" in New York.

"I'm going to be working so hard, flying back and forth ... but it's the same thing I did with 'Superstar,"' notes Shannon, referring to her upcoming star vehicle produced by Lorne Michaels. In the Paramount film, Shannon reprises her popular "SNL" character, Mary Katherine Gallagher, an eccentric young girl following her dreams to reach stardom. "Superstar" could be the film that propels Shannon to her own superstardom.

However, she says, she's "committed to 'SNL' as long as they want me. I'm excited about going back. It's such an amazing training ground for anything I do in the future."

Ferrell Rumors Untrue

Rumors have been flying around the Internet that Will Ferrell will end his four season stint with "SNL" at the conclusion of this season.

Well, breath easy folks. "Variety" reports that Ferrell, who has created some of the show's most popular characters in recent years, plans on returning to "SNL" in September as the program begins its 25th season on the air.

The 30 year-old comic has two movies being written now with him in mind as the star, one of which is expected to be filmed over the summer for Paramount. He will also star opposite Molly Shannon in "Superstar" this fall, appear in the political comedy "Dick" this summer, and he can be heard on Norm Macdonald's upcoming comedy album.

Gellar 'Honored' to Host Finale

As reporter here weeks ago, Sarah Michelle Gellar, star of The WB series "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," will host the season finale of "Saturday Night Live." She was the first WB star to host "SNL" when she slayed audiences on January 17, 1998.

"Hosting 'SNL' was a blast and I feel honored that Lorne Michaels would ask me back to host the season finale," Gellar said this week.

The season finale of "SNL" airs May 15 with musical guest Backstreet Boys. 

Kattan Gets 'Lame'

Chris Kattan has been announced as a celebrity panelist for "MTV's 25 Lame Special," in which the music cable channel airs some of the lamest music videos of all time. Check it out on May 8 at 1 p.m., ET.

Sweeney to 'SNL': You're Ugly!

"Two years ago, when I came to 'Mad TV,' it was like we were Juliette Lewis in 'The Other Sister' -- the retarded one that nobody talked about," Terry Sweeney told the "New York Times" this week. Sweeney was an "SNL" cast member from 1985-86 who's worked as a "Mad TV" staff writer since 1997. "Now we're like Cinderella. We're just trying to get past our big, ugly stepsister, 'Saturday Night Live,' and get to the ball."

In the typically male-dominated sketch-comedy world, Sweeney believes "Mad TV" has an edge.

" 'Mad TV' is just more woman friendly; on 'SNL,' the men are always being characterized as a woman's victim," said Sweeney, whose most notable character during his brief "SNL" term was that of Nancy Reagan."Here, we're not hostile to women. We just make them powerful in themselves, and the world is just going to have to deal with them."

O'Connor 'Sorry' for Tearing Pope Pic on 'SNL'

Sinéad O'Connor, who tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a 1992 "Saturday Night Live" appearance, has been ordained as the first female priest in a Roman Catholic splinter group. O'Connor says she's had a change of heart.

"I do apologize for [ripping up the photo]. I am sorry I did that. It was a disrespectful thing to do," she said. "I have never even met the pope. I am sure he is a lovely man."

Helihy Done with Sandler?

Tim Herlihy may have penned his last Adam Sandler film. Buzz around studio 8H is, now that Sandler is a $20 million man, the studio's have told Herlihy that the studios or producers will use their "own" writers in the future.

Herlihy wrote or co-wrote Sandler's most successful films: "Billy Madison," "Happy Gilmore," "The Wedding Singer," and "The Waterboy." He was also one of four writers behind "Big Daddy," Sandler's latest flick due out this summer.

A college roommate of Sandler's, Herlihy has been with "SNL" since 1994, serving as writer, head writer, and now as producer.

Myers Action Figures

McFarlane Toys and New Line Cinema are teaming up for a shagadelic line of talking Austin Powers action figures, to tie in with the June 11 release of "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," starring former "SNL" cast member Mike Myers as Powers. Already announced are: Austin in his velvet suit, hairy-chested Austin in his underwear, Felicity Shagwell and Dr. Evil (complete with Mr. Bigglesworth).

Other "Austin" merchandise ready to hit stores include a "Shaguar" toy car; a plush doll modeled after Dr. Evil's pet cat, Mr. Bigglesworth; and, for grown-ups, Austin Powers martini and shot glasses.

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