Can’t Stop Watching: Yep, Diversity Definitely Not ‘SNL’s’ Biggest Issue, Patti LaBelle, Terrell Owens & More

by | November 4, 2013 at 6:37 PM | Black Entertainment, Boardwalk Empire, Can't Stop Watching, Oprah Winfrey, Oprah's Next Chapter, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Saturday Night Live

Kerry Washington and Jay Pharoah as First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama, respectivley. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Kerry Washington guest-hosting “SNL” has been a top discussion for the past 36 or so hours. Overall, I found Washington’s appearance a welcomed surprise. She showed her acting range by allowing her comedic talents to come forth. I liked the cold open addressing the show not having any black female cast members. In the skit set at the White House, Washington, being the only black female featured in the episode, ended playing First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce Knowles.  When it was announced that Matthew McConaughey was visiting,  six white cast members, all impersonating the actor, walked in, emphasizing that there isn’t a short supply of white male talent to play celebrity roles. It was funny. And I thought it was clever to add Rev. Al Sharpton because, as we’re reminded with the Barneys racial profiling incidents, where there’s a fire, he’s there with a hose (or fuel, depending on who you ask, LOL). A couple of the other skits were OK—surprised there wasn’t a “Scandal” spoof—while others lacked in creativity and humor ( I’m sure writing for the show isn’t easy but it is what it is). And so this brings me back to my original observation from two weeks ago: Diversity isn’t SNL’s biggest issue. The skits could be a lot funnier.  I know people have varying comedic tastes. Apparently enough people think “SNL” is a hoot because it’s still around and pretty much unchanged. But a quick scan of Twitter reveals that several Tweeple find the 39-year-old sketch comedy show to be “boring,” “lame” or “unfunny.” This points to a need for diversity among the show’s writing staff as well. The show seems, well, stuck. This seems more obvious with race-related material.  There are shows that have a predominantly white writing staff (from what I know) that have handled race-sensitives topics with more wit and humor. Hopefully, “SNL” decision makers, including creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels who recently said the he’s sure the show will add a  black female cast member, ts to become more diverse, will also consider diversifying the writing staff. Check out Saturday’s episode here.

Here’s what else is happening …

The past few days may have been dominated by Washington’s pregnancy news and “Saturday Night Live” appearance, but Sunday night clearly belonged to one lady: Ms. Patti LaBelle. LaBelle was one of seven women honored during BET’s “Black Girls Rock!” awards show and she turned it out onstage, performing her classic  “You Are My Friend.” Her performance touched the audience so much that even the oft-reserved Marian Wright Edelman, also an celebrant, waved her hand like she was in church. The two-hour broadcast aired at 7 p.m. EST and immediately following, LaBelle was featured on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” at 9 p.m. EST on OWN. She and Oprah talked about her 50 years in entertainment. Fun fact: Her 1970s group, Labelle, was the first black act to land the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and the first black group to play at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. I just love it when we honor our legends while they’re still living.  And if you’ve never been to a Patti LaBelle concert you don’t know what you’re missing. Oh, honey, she gives a show and never, as she shared with Oprah, performs a song the same way twice.  Missed the “Black Girls Rock!” awards show? Don’t worry, it rebroadcasts  at 7:30 p.m. EST Tuesday on BET.

Oprah shows Patti LaBelle why she was the “original Lady Gaga”

Did you catch “Boardwalk Empire” last night? As you’ve probably have guessed, I have so many thoughts on the episode but I’m going to keep it brief today. After Daughter Maitland deviated from Dr. Valentin Narcisse’s plan by ensuring Dunn Purnsley demise instead of Chalky White’s, we knew he had it in for her. Narcisse is a wildcard, not quite like Gyp Rossetti from last season, but still unpredictable.  I just knew he was going to torture, maim and kill her. Nope, he just viciously beat her, which we learn he’s done before. She’s obviously suffering from some form of Stockholm Syndrome. and while we learn they originated from New Orleans, westill aren’t to clear on the exact nature of her relationship with Narcisse. We do know that Chalky’s wife definitely knows about his affair with Daughter Maitland as does his daughter Maybelle. There’s more going on but I’ll just let you catch up here.  After a brief hiatus, Fox’s new hit, “Sleepy Hollow,” returns with an new episode tonight. This show’s been getting a lot of buzz and I encourage you to check it out if you already haven’t. If you have time today, catch up on previous episodes here. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” returned Sunday night. My review of the episode? Meh. Was I expecting drama? No, though there was a dust-up between former Miss USA Kenya Moore and NeNe Leakes and Porsha Williams Stewart along with her mother and sister raised more questions about her (ex?) hubby ex-NFLer Kordell Stewart’s sexuality. It just seems like the same ol’, same ol’—adults arguing over nonsensical things. And that 2-plus minute season preview shown at the episode’s conclusion only amplifies this point.  I admit, I find Mrs. Leakes’ one-liners hiarious!… Watch it here. Why we’re on troubled ex-football players, Terrell Owens appeared on “Iyanla: Fix My Life” Saturday. I remember when T.O. was at the top of his game loved by everyone. To see him financially-stressed and publicly struggling with personal demons is unfortunate. It was an emotionally charged episode with Iyanla Vanzant doing what she does best: pulling back the layers to reveal the source of the pain. “Fix My Life” reveals a lot at the core of Owens’ pain, including issues with his mother and father that are impacting how he interacts with his four children. An encore presentation airs tonight at 10 p.m. EST on OWN. Check out more clips here.

Terrell Owens talks to Iyanla Vanzant on colorism in his childhood

On my watchlist tonight? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand with…
“Sleepy Hollow”: It returns tonight and I”m definitely going to check it out. It airs tonight at 9 p.m. EST on Fox. [Watch here]
“Once Upon a Time”: As you see, my plate was full last night so I’m catching up today. It airs at Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. [Watch here]

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: “Today” show hosts Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Carson Daly and Willie Geist participating in “No Shave November” (yes!
Finally male anchors on TV with facial hair!)
NOT: A University of Michigan fraternity thought it was OK to have a “hood ratchet” party (When will people learn?)

HOT:  The bus driver Darnell Barton who coaxed a woman off the ledge of a bridge (Yes, Al Roker, angels do come in all forms!).
NOT: “Dr. 90210″ couple Drs. Brian and Susan Evans caught in an ugly custody battle where allegations of child sexual and physical abuse are being slung and denied (As ugly as it is to falsely accuse someone of child molestation the act of abusing a child is even uglier. I hope they can work this out appropriately).


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.