Saturday, August 21, 2010

THIS EMMY IS NOW DIAMONDS! The Creative Arts Emmys handed out tonight included some complete non-surprises (Betty White and John Lithgow winning for guest acting were foregone conclusions), but also NPH's first (and second!) Emmys (as part of the producer team for the 2009 Tonys and as guest actor for his work on Glee), Anne Hathaway's first step toward a potential EGOT (for her voiceover work as Princess Penelope on The Simpsons), Jeff Probst continuing his streak for Reality Host, and yes, an Emmy win for The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. Discuss whatever's worth discussing here--I expect we'll have something next Sunday for live discussion.

ETA: Hitfix has red carpet photos, including the good (Christina Hendricks, unsurprisingly), the bad (Miranda Cosgrove tying to be Miley), and the ugly (Alan Cumming's blue plaid ensemble).

Friday, August 20, 2010

BINGO, BANGO, BONGO AND IRVING: Potentially coming to the silver screen -- a Gilligan's Island film with Michael Cera and Seth Rogen as Gilligan and the Skipper, with Beyonce as Ginger. Further baseless speculation includes the rather inspired choice of Hugh Laurie as the Professor, while show creator Sherwood Schwartz, 93, (premorse, begone!) wants Warren Beatty and Annete Bening to play the Howells.
I LIKED IT BETTER WHEN MEGASHARK WAS INVOLVED: If you were guessing which major movie release this weekend were getting the best reviews, would you go with the one based on a Jeffrey Eugenides short story, the one starring and written by a person who's won Academy Awards for both writing and acting, or the one about giant mutant fish eating half-naked co-eds starring Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O'Connell, Jessica Szohr, and Adam Scott? The answer (at least as of now), may surprise you.
THAT SHOW, THE AMAZING RACE. IS THAT ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE? Continuing my milking of the GQ Comedy issue for a third post, there's also a conversation between Zach Galifianakis, Tracy Morgan and Paul Rudd on the nature of comedy, and what things (and people) are always funny.

GQ: What guys out there now do you pay attention to?

PAUL: Zach was one of my favorite stand-ups. Patton Oswalt is hilarious. Louis C.K. is one of my absolute favorites. One of the funniest jokes, and it's so politically incorrect, was this one he told right after September 11. The joke was about how you could gauge how good a person you were by how long you waited before you felt comfortable masturbating. He said, "It took me a while. For me it was after the first tower fell but before the second one."...

TRACY: All I watch is the Dean Martin roasts. And last night I found out The Honeymooners is back on TV. Jackie Gleason. Never went to rehearsal. Made the cameraman stay loose and stay wide. That's it: Stay loose and stay wide.

PAUL: You know who's old-school funny and, in my opinion, never wavered as the funniest? Don Rickles. That guy is just funny.

TRACY: I saw him at the Emmys. He just tore it apart.

ZACH: There's a clip of Don Rickles. Still unbelievable. It's in the '70s, I imagine. He's filling for Johnny Carson. And he's in the audience, doing crowd work, and there was this attractive black woman. He stands her up and asks her a few questions. He's not done talking to her, but she just decides to sit back down on her own. And he turns to the audience and he says, "Ever since Roots, they do what they want." And of course the audience starts laughing. If that had happened now, it would have been such a crazy knee-jerk reaction.

A decade from now, I can see Rudd still working, albeit a lead on television. What are the other two doing?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

RUBEN STUDDARD, YOU'RE NEXT: Seriously, is the announcement that Justin Guarini will be in the upcoming Broadway production of Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown (as the son of Patti LuPone and Brian Stokes Mitchell) going to sell a single additional ticket? In fact, while my interest was high (in addition to LuPone and Mitchell, cast includes Sherie Rene Scott and Laura Benanti, and a score by David Yazbek), if anything, this lowers it.
THEY NEVER MEANT TO CAUSE YOU ANY SORROW:We already know Glee is doing a Britney Spears-centric episode this fall, and plans another "single artist" episode for their post-Super-Bowl episode, but haven't been able to announce it yet due to music rights negotiations. Current rumor, which makes sense given his protectiveness of his songs, is that they want to do a Prince episode. Do you want to hear Mercedes musing on "When Doves Cry?" Kurt proclaiming his affection for "The Most Beautiful Boy In The Room?" New Directions proclaiming that they would like us to all go crazy?
MY LEFT FOOT: Of all the misguided trends in athletic wear -- the butt-floss unitard; the spider-web designs on ski-racing suits; the weird advertising fetish of bicycle-clothing designers; the wearing of skin-tight UnderArmour by anybody who is not built like an NFL wide receiver -- the most disturbing certainly must be the advent and burgeoning popularity of the shoes with separated toes.

Most of us use our feet for little more than walking and running. We do not tend to use them for things like sign language, penmanship, or ship-in-bottle modelry. I cannot fathom the need for separate toe compartments on a shoe, and whatever that need might be, it does not outweigh the sheer disgustingness of these foot-gloves. I may lose my lunch the first time I see someone wear these things into a public restroom.
MARGE, SOMEONE SQUEEZED ALL THE LIFE OUT OF THESE KIDS. AND UNLESS MOVIES AND TV HAVE LIED TO ME, IT'S A CRUSTY, BITTER OLD DEAN: Our regular commenter Maddy is starting college next week. Any words of wisdom to share?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WE'VE KNOWN HER SINCE ... IN UTERO: Ready to feel old(er), Generation X? Frances Bean Cobain turns 18 today. She matriculates at Bard College next month, where she may indeed be the girl with the most cake.
THE RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF THE DONG SHOT: Will Leitch, the founding editor of Deadspin, did two things for Internet sports blogs. First, he showed that they could be both hugely successful and broad -- publishing posts in a number of voices (from Leitch's own measured wit to others' frattier hijinx) and on a number of topics (ranging from serious to trivial or scandalous). Second, he gave a platform to a bunch of people whose popularity bloomed in direct proportion to their crudity. Bissinger famously blamed (and blames, judging from his podcast with Simmons a few weeks back) Leitch for Deadspin's crudity, and there's at least some validity to that because Leitch egged his charges on, but in the post-Leitch era it's clear that Leitch also limited them. His successor, AJ Daulerio, has done nothing of the sort.

A couple of weeks ago, Daulerio ran a story (apparently a popular one, judging from Deadspin's roundup) that I just read, because I'm no longer a regular Deadspin reader. You all know that I hate Brett Favre. I also am irritated by Jenn Sterger. But the story that Daulerio ran, which accused Brett Favre (a married man) of sending Sterger pictures of his equipment (not the team-issued kind) in an attempted seduction, based on information that Sterger told Daulerio in a friendly conversation (not an interview) and said was not for publication, is just shameful. It's a harmful story certain to impose real personal consequences on both of its subjects, it lacks confirmation, the source didn't think was for publication when discussing it, and she isn't standing behind it. I don't think that Sterger is a bad person (just irritating and insubstantial), but Daulerio seems to be unwilling to entertain the notion that anything she said in unguarded conversation might be untrue or exaggerated.

Gawker Media's current publication threshold seems to be "if anybody at all said it, we'll print it and hide behind a CYA explanation of the shady circumstances under which it came to us (or we'll claim that the fact that a quasi-celebrity said it is news itself); then we'll repeatedly allude to the allegations as fact for months or even years afterward, without subsequent reference to the flimsy evidence." One of the allegations in the story is that one of the offending pictures featured Favre in Crocs and not much else. Now all Favre posts are accompanied by pictures of Crocs. If I ran a widely-read publication and Sterger said to me, in a casual conversation about something unrelated, "AJ Daulerio is a child molester -- wait, I shouldn't have said that, don't print it," you know what I would do? I would not print it. For all the fun that Gawker was when Leitch, Coen, and Lisanti were editing its flagships, it really deserves a good hard legal spanking right now, whether on libel or copyright grounds.

At least I finally have an answer to the question, "what would it take to get Isaac to side with both Brett Favre and Jenn Sterger and to agree with Buzz Bissinger, all in the same post?"
ON WHAT MAKES ZACH GALIFIANAKIS LIKE HARPO MARX AND THE COOKIE MONSTER: John Landis, Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, Todd Phillips and Edgar Wright talk comedy with GQ, including Landis' story of how Richard Pryor helped get Animal House released after the studio objected to the Dexter Lake Club scene. A slightly NSFW excerpt after the fold:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SOMETIMES A FANTASY IS ALL YOU NEED: Due to a remarkably low attrition rate from 2009, there's only one slot available in the 12-team ESPN non-keeper ALOTT5MA Fantasy Football League. If you're interested in joining us, please make the best case for yourself in the comments below, and everyone's accumulated Like voting over the next 24 hours will determine whether Alicia or Cary who gets the offer to join the league. I have the right to be arbitrary if anything weird seems to be going on.

We intend to draft on Monday, August 30 at 9pm eastern, and the current plan is for it to be an auction format draft. [In addition, if folks want to self-organize into a second league, using the comments section as well as our generally dormant Facebook page, go for it.]
AND A CERTAIN FUN-LOVING GUNSLINGER HAS ALWAYS BEEN A STARTING NFL QUARTERBACK: The last time we talked about the Beloit College freshman "mindset list" (2006), I focused on how much of the list was based on "technological advances today's kids are accustomed to," as opposed to things which our generation got to enjoy or learn which theirs did not.

Witness, then, these highlights of the mindset of this year's entering Class of 2014, the majority of whom were born in 1992:
#1 COMBO, CHICK-NO-PICK WITH A SWEET TEA, NO LEMON: Zagat has received more than 6500 responses as to Americans' fast food and full service chain restaurant favorites, and here's just some of what the Survey SAYS!
Fast Food – Large Chains (less than 5000 US locations)
1. Panera Bread
2. Chipotle
3. Five Guys
4. Chick-fil-A
5. In-N-Out Burger

Full-Service Chains
1. P.F. Chang's China Bistro
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Cheesecake Factory
4. California Pizza Kitchen
5. Maggiano's

Best Milkshake - Fast Food
1. Dairy Queen
2. Cold Stone Creamery
3. Sonic Drive-In
4. Chick-fil-A
5. Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops

Best Breakfast - Full Service
1. Cracker Barrel
2. International House of Pancakes
3. Bob Evans
4. Waffle House
5. Denny's
The Best Burger list was topped on the Fast Food side by Five Guys, In-N-Out and Wendy's, and on the Full Service side by Red Robin, Steak 'n Shake and ... Cheesecake Factory? Also, Starbucks beats Dunkin' Donuts for Best Coffee. Much to discuss.
HERE AM I, YOUR SPECIAL ISLAND -- COME TO ME, COME TO ME: Set your TiVos, all: the Paulo Szot/Kelli O'Hara revival of South Pacific airs live on your local PBS affiliate this Wednesday. Matthew Morrison is unavailable as Lt. Cable, but Danny Burstein makes a hell of a Luther Billis. Simply put, American musical theater gets no better than this production:

Monday, August 16, 2010

WILL SHE LOSE HER DIGNITY? WILL ANYONE STILL CARE? Admittedly, we've left our You Shouldn't Throw Urine At Entertainers, No Matter How Shitty They Are desk vacant for quite awhile. I'm only occupying it temporarily in order to direct your attention to Nathan Rabin's first-hand account of Tila Tequila's trip to the Gathering of the Juggalos, including this apt reference:
I was reminded of the moment in Nashville where Gwen Welles performs a similarly unexpected, impromptu striptease in a tragic attempt to overcome a similar lack of talent.
"I expected Tequila’s performance to be met with critical brickbats and possibly actual bricks, but I also wondered if the combined forces of celebrity, boobs, and a pretty girl might collectively overcome the crowd’s intense contempt for an almost universally reviled bisexual Asian exhibitionist and her almost inconceivably awful rapping," Rabin writes. "Oh God was I wrong."
MY NEXT GUEST IS SOMEONE...YOU KNOW:Somewhat inexplicably, but also, completely naturally, Christopher Walken, unannounced, sat in for WNYC radio host Leonard Lopate this afternoon. Guests included director Jack O'Brien, actor Richard Easton, and dancer Jacques D'Amboise.
THE KEYBOARD CAT WANTS MORE MONEY: It was inevitable -- thank goodness -- that the trailer for The Social Network would inspire a series of parodies.
THE GIRL WHO SIGNED A THREE-PICTURE DEAL: After a search passing over various big names--Natalie Portman allegedly turned it down because of the nudity involved, Emma Watson allegedly cut her hair for it (and would have been an interesting choice), and Scarlett Johansson was rumored (though she would have been a horrible choice)--relative unknown Rooney Mara has landed the part of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, arriving in theatres next holiday season. Mara's main credits thus far are playing the lead in this year's Nightmare on Elm Street remake and having a smallish (but apparently quite crucial) part in The Social Network. Mara was apparently Fincher's top choice from the beginning, and certainly looks the part (though is maybe a little too conventionally pretty for it). Credit to the studio for giving the critical role in what I'm sure they're hoping will be a huge franchise to someone who's not already a big name.
#23 -- WARREN "POTSIE" WEBBER: The AV Club lists 22 "showblockers," "characters so grating—sometimes intentionally so—that even fans of the show heave a heavy sigh when they appear onscreen." The first one on the list, properly, is a douchetastic New Yorker on a Monday night sitcom with the middle name of Evelyn.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

MITTENS AND I ARE ON OUR WAY TO PENGUIN ISLAND. CAN YOU BREAK A FIFTY? Cue the Fiesta Trio: Dora the Explorer turns ten years old.

Query: given that Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is clearly the CSI: China to the Dora mothership, what international language/culture should be added next?