The Essentials (TCM)
The Essentials is a weekly film showcase on Turner Classic Movies airing Saturdays at 8pm EST, spotlighting a specific movie and containing a special introduction and post-movie discussion.
The Essentials began airing in April 2001, and was originally hosted by Rob Reiner. Reiner was followed by fellow producer/film director/actors Sydney Pollack and Peter Bogdanovich. In May 2006, hosting duties were taken over by Robert Osborne and Molly Haskell. Carrie Fisher replaced Haskell when The Essentials returned for its new season in March 2007 following its annual "31 Days of Oscar" festival. Rose McGowan replaced Fisher for the 2008 season starting in March after the 2008 "31 Days" festival. On October 23, 2008, TV Guide reported that Alec Baldwin would replace McGowan for the 2009 season. He remained on the program for the 2010 season. In March 2012, Drew Barrymore took over the role of co-host for the program's twelfth season.
A spin-off showcase, Essentials, Jr., airs in the summer months on Sunday nights at 8 pm ET. The featured film is chosen for its appeal to families with young children. The original host was Tom Kenny; he was replaced for the second series by co-hosts Abigail Breslin and Chris O'Donnell. John Lithgow hosted the 2009 and 2010 seasons. The summer 2011 season was hosted by Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live fame, and he returned in 2012.
Saturday Night Live Parody
Beginning in 2010, Saturday Night Live started doing a recurring parody of this show with Robert Osborne (Jason Sudeikis) as the host (though one episode had Bill Hader as Ben Mankiewicz. Coincidentally, Hader is actually a host for the Turner Classic Movie installment show The Essentials, Jr.). In the sketch, Osborne would talk about a movie and present some found footage that ended up on the cutting room floor.
- November 11, 2010 Anne Hathaway/Florence and the Machine - Deleted scenes from The Wizard of Oz featuring a weather vane (played by Fred Armisen) as one of the characters Dorothy (Anne Hathaway) meets on her way to see the Wizard.
- December 18, 2010 Jeff Bridges/Eminem and Lil' Wayne - It's a Wonderful Life shown in its original form: as a Hanukkah movie called This, You Call A Wonderful Life?!
- January 29, 2011 Jesse Eisenberg/Nicki Minaj - The Bride of Blackenstein, a very short blaxploitation movie where Dr. Funkenstein (Jay Pharoah) builds his monster (Kenan Thompson) a bride (played by musical guest Nicki Minaj) that has a curvaceous butt and a sassy attitude.
- March 5, 2011 Miley Cyrus/The Strokes - Deleted scenes from The Sound of Music featuring a Hispanic stand-up comic (Fred Armisen) as one of the Von Trapp family members.
- October 1, 2011 Melissa McCarthy/Lady Antebellum - The films of Lulu Diamonds (McCarthy), a Mae West knock-off who kept falling down the stairs in all of her movies.
- May 5, 2012 Eli Manning/Rihanna - Deleted scenes from the Cheech (Fred Armisen) and Chong (Bill Hader) movies, featuring a goody-two-shoes third wheel named Richard Armstrong (Eli Manning).
- John Dempsey, "TCM enlists Reiner for pic series", Variety, January 14, 2001.
- Bridget Byrne, "Pollack lays out 'Essentials' of moviegoing", Associated Press in Chicago Sun-Times, April 4, 2003 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Bridget Byrne, "Bogdanovich Channels 'The Essentials'", Associated Press, March 8, 2005 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Hal Boedeker, "Carrie Fisher fills essential role for Turner Classic Movies", The Buffalo News, March 15, 2007 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Todd Leopold, "Carrie Fisher's 'Essential' new job", CNN.com, March 9, 2007.
- Phil Villarreal, "Essentially Rose", Arizona Daily Star, February 28, 2008 – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Alec Baldwin to Co-Host TCM's The Essentials" TV Guide. October 23, 2008. Retrieved on October 24, 2008.
- "Hosts". TCM Presents: The Essentials. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Bobbin, Jay (February 29, 2012). "Drew Barrymore on co-hosting TCM's 'Essentials': 'I just wanted to make it happen'". Zap 2 It. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Bill Hader Joins Turner Classic Movies This Summer as Host of TCM ESSENTIALS JR. Turner Classic Movies press release (May 4, 2011). Retrieved on May 21, 2011.
- "'SNL' funnyman Bill Hader returns as host of TCM movie series". LA Times. June 1, 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- Gray, Ellen (June 1, 2011). "SNL funnyman makes some serious picks for TCM". Philly.com. Retrieved 28 November 2013.