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The Lorne Supremacy: how Lorne Michaels reshaped the world of comedy

The Saturday Night Live honcho is the ultimate Hollywood kingmaker. Here, a who’s who of his star system

The Lorne Supremacy

Lorne Michaels, the Toronto-raised creator of Saturday Night Live, has plucked dozens of unknowns from obscurity and turned them into stars. He’s created box office heavyweights like Will Ferrell and Mike Myers, whose films can net $200 million worldwide. He transforms people like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler into prime-time icons. And last month, he took over The Tonight Show—a comedic brass ring—and placed his protégé Jimmy Fallon in the host’s chair. Here, the people who owe their careers to the prescient producer.


Photographs: Michaels courtesy of NBC; Meyers, Rock, Crystal, Morgan, CK, Arnett, Samberg by David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons; McKay, Wayans, Daniels, Schur, Odenkirk, Smigel, Kids, Short, Aykroyd, Rich, Strong, Glover, Mulaney, Taccone by Getty Images; Fallon by Montclair Film Festival, Colbert by Steamoc, O’Brien by Mrlaugh, Myers by Caroline Bonarde Ucci; Ferrell and Carell by Eva Rinaldi, Sandler by Angela George, Chase by Jesse Chang, Reitman by Skeezix, Murray by George Biard, Rudolph by Media TV Network, Poehler by Peabody Awards, Wiig by Rachel Sklar, Baldwin by Tomdog, Fey by Gage Skidmore, Schaffer by Awesometown, All Wikimedia Commons

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Five things you didn’t know about Will Arnett, including his favourite thing to do in Toronto

Five Things You Didn't Know About Will Arnett of Arrested Development and The Millers

(Image: Getty Images)

1 | He was Lakefield College School’s resident badass
“I used to get caught smoking in the woods, and they would make me stay late at the beginning of Christmas break and chop wood right where the buses came to pick everybody else up. Honestly, I wish I could go back to high school now that I’m a non-smoker—I quit six months ago.”

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TIFF Talk

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TIFF 2013 Trend: Stars getting friendly with fans

(Image: Kayla Rocca)

It felt like the celebs at this year’s festival were engaged in a no-holds-barred competition to be the sweetest star at TIFF. Everywhere we looked, we saw actors obliging autograph seekers, grinning for iPhone photos and emitting powerful aw-shucks vibes. Perhaps the current crop of A-listers is just especially nice—or perhaps they heard Canadians were polite and were trying to fit in. Either way, we liked it. (We imagine the fans did too.)

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TIFF Red Carpet

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TIFF Red Carpet: Amy Poehler is just as cool as you’d expect at the premiere of You Are Here

TIFF Red Carpet: You Are Here

As we learned outside the Ryerson Theatre on Saturday, it takes more than a pesky downpour to drive fans away from Amy Poehler. The Parks and Recreation star joined Mad Men creator and first-time director Matt Weiner in the pouring rain yesterday for the premiere of You Are Here, a buddy comedy also starring Owen Wilson (whose expected appearance was, we learned, a flub) and Zach Galifianakis, who reportedly bailed last-minute when his wife went into labour (a fairly decent excuse, we admit). The rest of the cast, including co-star Laura Ramsey, more than compensated by turning the film’s red carpet into the festival’s biggest, wettest autograph session ever. We always find it heartening to see mega-stars taking time out to engage with fans. Score one for the good guys!

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The 2012 Met Ball red carpet will stream live for the first time ever

Karl Lagerfeld and Yoko Ono share a moment at last year’s Met Ball (Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Film Magic)

The Met Ball, thrown by the Metropolitan Costume Institute at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, is one of the splashiest fashion parties of the year. A-list celebrities like Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Yoko Ono, Beyonce, Rihanna, Anna Wintour and more get dressed in their best duds to fraternize with designers and the glamorously wealthy. While most people in Toronto don’t have a golden ticket to get inside, Vogue and Amazon will be livestreaming the red carpet for everyone to see, which means people on their computers will no longer have to wait until midnight to play Fab or Fug. The red carpet feed can be streamed live on May 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the Met’s website.

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Drake returns to acting on this past episode of Saturday Night Live (spoiler: he isn’t in a wheelchair)

For those of us that remember his humble roots as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi, Drake’s performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend marked a return to acting for the “Best I Ever Had” rapper. He was even sort of good, starring in an Inside the Actor’s Studio–style parody video with Andy Samberg and rapping about stealing candy as a teenage werewolf alongside Seth Meyers on Weekend Update. We have to admit we enjoyed the Samberg skit the most and were left wishing Drake could have brought some of Amy Poehler’s swagger to his musical performance.

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