SNL en­joys new-found rel­e­vance

Ottawa Citizen - - ARGUMENTS - ALEX STRACHAN

Fame is fleet­ing, the old say­ing goes. It can also strike out of the blue, and land on the un­like­li­est peo­ple. Take Ja­son Segel, for ex­am­ple.

The artist for­merly known as “Freak” Nick An­dopo­lis on the short-lived se­ries Freaks and Geeks is host­ing Satur­day Night Live tonight, just as SNL is be­com­ing rel­e­vant again.

The mu­si­cal guest — an­other un­likely chart-top­per, and vir­tu­ally un­known a year ago — is Florence + The Ma­chine.

SNL’S new-found rel­e­vance is thanks to some timely pol- it­i­cal sketches, and a tal­ented cast — Bill Hader, Kris­ten Wiig, Andy Sam­berg, etc. — that has fi­nally had time to gel and ma­ture as a com­edy troupe.

Segel comes by his com­edy roots hon­estly. He counts Vancouver na­tive Seth Ro­gen, film­maker Judd Apa­tow and Goon scriptwriter and Un­de­clared sur­vivor Jay Baruchel among his con­tem­po­raries.

“Was I the class clown? I don’t know. I’ve been six-foot four since I was 12. And I was the only Jewish kid at a Catholic school,” said Segel. “Kids would stand around me in a cir­cle and chant, ‘Ride the oaf! Ride the oaf!’ And then they would jump on my back, and I would have to shake them off. I think you ei­ther be­come funny or a se­rial kill- er. I went with funny.”

Ex­pect more oafish be­hav­iour tonight on SNL. With luck, it’ll be funny, too. (11:30 p.m., NBC, Global)

■ It’s R&B night on The SingOff, which con­tin­ues to strive for the high notes, even as rat­ings reach a new low on its par­ent net­work.

The evening kicks off with a group med­ley — The Jack­son 5’s I Want You Back, Bey­oncé’s Crazy in Love and James Brown’s I Got You (I Feel Good) — and it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. Then it’s on to the com­pe­ti­tion por­tion. (8 p.m., CTV2)

■ W5 in­ves­ti­gates the strange case of Toronto teen Mariam Makhni­ashvili, who van­ished with­out a trace while on her way to school, two years ago al­most to the day. (7 p.m., CTV)

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