The Saturday Night Live skit with Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as zany celebrity interviewers gesticulating wildly in front of their confused guests: hilarious. But how much of it is rooted in truth? We watched every celebrity talk show last night — The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood, and E!’s News and Daily 10 — to find out. You’re welcome. Here are some of the most egregious cliches we uncovered:
1. Serious music: All four shows covered the suicide of Marie Osmond‘s son, but not without switching from peppy background music to slower, much more solemn (but still peppy) background music. When the tempo slows, that’s when you know they’re talking about something un-fun.
2. Awkward transitions: Some shows were able to transition from the Osmond story to something a little more upbeat without seeming completely disingenuous. Others were not.
- Best: Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush, but he was already talking about something serious.
- Most Inappropriate: Entertainment Tonight‘s Mark Steines: “It’s such a tragedy Mary. BUUUUT! We have some television news to get to!”
3. Obligatory Reporter Guest Commentator: Having one to four other celebrity reporters employed on the show just really isn’t enough to deliver the day’s gossip news. We need to hear from a magazine reporter too.
- Best: The Vanity Fair reporter on Access Hollywood. Because at least they were discussing the Michael Douglas article that’s running in Vanity Fair.
- Most Ridiculous: As if four anchors and guest panelist Dr. Drew at one table wasn’t too crowded, The Insider threw to a reporter from US Weekly not once but twice to weigh in on the day’s non-Osmond celebrity news.
4. Ben “Hey bro, I really enjoyed your movie” Lyons: E!-specific, but a category all his own.