10 Questions We Have for the Updated ‘SNL’ Oral History

The fabulous “SNL” oral history “Live from New York,” which was first published in 2002, is getting a 200-page update with plenty of inside scoops about Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, and the origins of Bill Hader's Eliot Spitzer impression. We can't wait for the new edition, and we hope we learn the answers to these 10 questions about the show's run from 2002 up until the present. 

1. Did anyone else fear that Ashlee Simpson would flub on TV? How often do performers lip-sync?

Lip-syncing on TV is no scandal, but it's rare that you see “SNL” artists attempt it. When Ashlee Simpson's “wrong tape” debacle foreshadowed by anyone in the studio? I remember watching her MTV docuseries where she seemed pretty sick before the performance. 

2. How terrible was it dealing with Paris Hilton during her hosting stint?

Tina Fey claimed on Howard Stern's show that Paris Hilton was a nightmare. She contributed nothing except the meek urge to roast Jessica Simpson. 

3. And what about Adrien Brody?

On “Watch What Happens Live!,” Tina Fey admitted that Adrien Brody was one of the most horrible guest-hosts who ever came on the show. Lorne Michaels reportedly banned Brody for improvising an introduction to musical guest Sean Paul on the 2003 show. Is this all true? Why is Brody so weird?

4. What can I know about Rev. Al Sharpton's hosting duties? I'll take anything.

Seriously. He hosted in 2003. I forgot all about it. What the hell happened there? (Kathy Griffin once said he's one of the nicest celebrities she's ever met.)

5. How out of control was Darrell Hammond?

Darrell Hammond wrote a memoir about his history of drug abuse and psychiatric issues. Once during a particularly bad episode he was reportedly carried out of the NBC building. While many other legendary “SNL” cast members' woes have become well-known, Hammond's problems aren't quite as iconic. What did his fellow castmates think of him on the show?

6. Is Jenny Slate secretly proud of her F-bomb?

Sure, dropping an accidental f-bomb on your first “SNL” episode is probably horrifying. But it's such a kickass way to screw up, particularly on Day 1. Hope Jenny Slate appreciates her snafu.

6. Is Jason Sudeikis mad that Kristen Wiig got a farewell moment on her last show but he didn't?

We'd heard he was a little angry about the Mick Jagger-led lionization of Kristen Wiig that went down on her final show. Was he? 

7. Was there resistance to the dominance of the Lonely Island/Digital Short segments?

I know I was weary when I realized the pre-taped segments of “SNL” were gaining more traction than the rest of the show. Wonder how the rest of the cast members felt about getting less “live” stuff in.

8. How do past cast members react to the popularity of Justin Timberlake as a host?

I'm not saying Justin Timberlake is an overrated or bad host, but I have to say that I find his energy on “SNL” a little smug — a little “prom king who thinks he's funny” as opposed to “game cast member who's willing to be funny alongside everyone else.” I'm hoping for any sympathy on this matter. 

9. Does anyone ever want to rejoin the show?

Sometimes you leave “SNL” and your movie/Senatorial career doesn't happen. Is there such a thing as wanting to go back? Would anyone do it?

10. What casting tactics went into the (emergency) hiring of Sasheer Zamata?

Zamata was cast in the middle of last season after the uproar about the limited racial diversity among the cast. How did Zamata find her way to Studio 8H?