'SNL' Tidbits for October 5, 2003

By Sean Bradley,

Coming Soon to 'SNL'

Oscar winner Halle Berry will host the October 18 episode of "Saturday Night Live," with musical guest Britney Spears, according to NBC.

Berry will make her "SNL" debut, while Spears is appearing for the fourth time, including one cameo appearance last season.

"SNL's" celeb line-up beyond October is still unknown, although it has been confirmed that Dave Matthews will perform on November 8.

'SNL' Tech Crew Takes Home Emmy

Congratulations to the hardworking Technical Crew of "Saturday Night Live," who earned themselves a Creative Arts Emmy last month.

"SNL" won in the category of Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Series. The episode submitted was hosted by Christopher Walken with musical guest Foo Fighters.

Honorees included technical director Steven Cimino; senior video controllers Susan Noll and Frank Grisanti; cameramen John Pinto, Richard B. Fox, Brian Phraner, Michael Bennett and Jimmy Mott.

Why McKean's 'SNL' Stint Stunk

In an interview published recently on FilmForce.com, Michael McKean explained why he and "SNL" were not a perfect match.

"I think the time to do 'SNL' is when you're in your late 20's and really hungry," he said. "I was brought in basically to replace Phil Hartman, who was leaving the show. I was there to be kind of the adult ­ to be David Spade's dad - which was okay."

McKean appeared on the show during the disastrous 1994-95 season. "I was on 26 shows and I managed to get 20 sketches on ­ either as sole writer or co-writer. So I can't say that I was completely miserable. But I also felt that the shows weren't as good as they could have been.

McKean says the show has improved since his departure. "The last few years have been a remarkable recovery on that show, and it was mainly because of the writing staff."

Ferrell Dons Yellow Hat for 'George'

Will Ferrell has signed on to provide the voice of The Man in the Yellow Hat for the upcoming animated film, "Curious George."

"Having Will Ferrell on-board gives us a superstar voice that is uniquely appealing to both kids and adults," said Scott Stuber, president of Universal Pictures.

"Curious George" is expected to hit theaters November 4, 2005.

Ferrell will first be seen this November in the comedy "Elf," in which he plays a man raised from birth as an elf. He's currently at work on the next as-yet-untitled Woody Allen film, and in a feature remake of the television series, "Get Smart."

Ex-Writer Koren Goes Gay for Fox

Fox has recruited former "SNL" writer Steve Koren to develop a sitcom for the network to air next fall, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The comedy will center on two straight men who move into an apartment building that rents exclusively to gay men and women.

Koren's writing credits include the "SNL" spinoff features "A Night at the Roxbury" and "Superstar," as well as "Bruce Almighty."