Russell Crowe, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Join Peter Dinklage As ‘SNL’ Hosts

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ddRussell Crowe will join “Saturday Night Live’s” first-timers hosting club when he makes his debut on the latenight program next month, NBC announced Thursday. He’ll join another first-timer, Peter Dinklage, who’s hosting this week, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus is also set to return for a third time.

Crowe is set to host April 9, with musical guest Margo Price. The Academy Award-winning actor can next be seen alongside Ryan Gosling in the feature film “The Nice Guys,” out May 20. Country artist Margo Price, whose debut album “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” was released to rave reviews last week, is aboard as a first-time musical guest.

As previously announced, Dinklage will host this week’s “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest Gwen Stefani. It will be part of a busy April for the actor, who can be seen in the feature film “The Boss,” due out April 8, and is back on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” on April 24.

And on April 16, Louis-Dreyfus returns for her third time as host. The seven-time Emmy Award winner currently stars on HBO’s “Veep,” which begins its fifth season April 24. Nick Jonas will return as musical guest on April 16, but this will mark his first solo artist appearance.

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A Conversation With Marcia Clark

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ddOn the morning of Oct. 4, 1995, Marcia Clark awoke to find her life had changed.

She was in the Glendale home she shared with her two small sons, ages 3 and 5, still struggling to pay the mortgage. Twenty-one hours earlier, this single mother had lost the “trial of the century” when a jury of 10 women and two men rendered a not guilty verdict in the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, the case she had been prosecuting for 15 months. Clark no longer was the butt of jokes about her hair; she was, however, a loser in America’s eyes and perhaps her own.

“I didn’t go to work that day,” she says. “I didn’t have to. The case was over. I got the kids off to school. I drove up the coast to meet my friend for lunch. I was numb. I wanted relief.”

She knew her career as a prosecutor was over, and after a leave of absence, she resigned in 1997. “I couldn’t even think of going back there,” she says. “The misery was so profound. The only thing I wanted was, ‘Get me away from there’ — the ugliness I had been through. When my overtime and vacation time ran out, I had my office packed up. I never went back.”

Twenty years have passed since that low point, and Clark, now 62, has gone from being vilified (“bitch” was a frequent epithet) to being admired and even lionized, most recently thanks to Sarah Paulson’s portrayal of her in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.

Even after years in the spotlight, she still has the ability to surprise. Following the trial, she reveals, she battled depression and even sought a therapist’s help, though it has been years since she last saw him, and she stayed close to several colleagues, including Christopher Darden. She also speaks without blame or regret about her past participation in the Church of Scientology.

Most shockingly, she says, her desire for justice was shaped by a brutal experience that occurred decades before she ever heard the name O.J. Simpson.

Clark was raped at age 17. “There was a group of us at this resort in Eilat,” she says, describing a trip she made to Israel, which she mentioned in her 1997 memoir, Without a Doubt, but has rarely discussed since.

“It was all girls, and there were two male waiters that were trolling us, serving our group but trolling us, and one asked me out and one asked my roommate out. I said no. I didn’t like the cut of his jib, you know? Always trust your gut, kids. I was tired, and they were going to this cafe. So I went back to the hut where I was staying, to lie down, and woke up to find him sitting on my bed.”

The man was older than she, around 27, and seemed quite relaxed despite breaking in. “How he got in, I didn’t know. He had a master key. And he goes, ‘I just like to watch you sleep.’ It was 7 in the evening, it was early. I was really scared, but then he’s talking — ‘No, no, no, I just wanted to make sure you were OK.’ ”

She agreed to accompany him to the cafe, where he was funny and charming, and everyone appeared to be having a good time.

“He seemed totally harmless,” she says. “I let my gut be overridden, and afterward he says, ‘I’ll walk you back.’ I didn’t want him to walk me back, so we’re sitting outside and talking, and the wind — it was what they call hamsin, a very hot and dry wind — was blowing, like the Santa Ana winds but 10 times worse. And so the wind is screaming past our ears, and we were screaming, and we couldn’t hear each other. At some point, he said: ‘Why don’t you come to my room? I’ll play you some music. I feel like a big brother to you. I’ll teach you all the fun things to do around here.’ And, idiot that I was, I went.”

In his room, they listened to his music, and when it was still relatively early, Clark (or Marcia Kleks, as she then was) got up to leave.

“I said, ‘Well, I think I’ve got to go,’ ” she continues, “and I start to head for the door, and then he grabbed me and said, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’ He sucker punched me, threw me on the bed. And I screamed and screamed, and he laughed and laughed and said, ‘No one can hear you.’ And they couldn’t.”

The rape was violent; her clothes were torn; she was bruised and hurt, though not so visibly that people noticed. More than anything, she felt ashamed and for years did not tell anyone. Throughout the Simpson trial, the assault remained her secret.

After the rape, “He wanted to walk me back to my room, and I just pushed him aside,” she says. “By then, other people were walking to the huts, and they could see him. He melted away. And I just walked to a far end of the beach and thought, ‘This is it. I can’t live with this.’ And I walked into the ocean. It’s really calm, that ocean, it’s very warm, it’s almost like a lake. I got all the way up to about here [below her nose] because I was going to kill myself. I felt so worthless. And then I got mad. All I could feel was anger, which probably saved me.”

She never told anyone, including her first husband. “I blocked it for years,” she says. “I had nightmares about it, but that’s all.”

The incident came flooding back when she was working as a prosecutor and met a young woman who also had been raped.

“She told me her story, and literally within 10 minutes of her leaving, I got violently ill,” says Clark. “Violently. It was really weird. Scientology, they’re right about that: They say that negative emotion and rekindling old negative memories can make you feel ill, physically ill, and it did. They say, ‘Release the charge, confront it and deal with it.’ And I had to go home within an hour. I had a fever of 102. It was around 1981, and my then-husband said, ‘OK, so what just happened?’ And I wound up telling him.”

The rape propelled her away from her dream of becoming an actress and into the law. After attending UCLA, where she majored in political science and international relations, she studied at Southwestern School of Law and then worked as a public defender for the city of Los Angeles before becoming a prosecutor.

“Once I started representing violent criminals, it became a different story for me, very real,” she notes. “And then I thought, ‘I really want to take care of the victims.’ ”

Of the people she defended, how many did she believe were innocent, I wonder?

“None of them.”

Sitting with her on the balcony of an airy Calabasas restaurant on a late March afternoon, I’m surprised by her warmth. She grabs a fork so that I can dig into her salad, laughs easily and spontaneously and emanates well-being despite recuperating from the flu. “Don’t worry,” she says, eyes twinkling, “I’m not contagious.”

She gave up chain-smoking years ago, goes to the gym daily and is financially at ease thanks to a deal with Amazon to write two crime novels a year. (Her latest, Blood Defense, is out in May.) She was paid a reported $4.2 million for her memoir, vastly more than the high-five-figure salary she earned as a prosecutor.

Much as she likes the TV series, which she watches at home with friends, she says she was never approached by its writers and producers, including executive producer Ryan Murphy, and still has not seen the final episodes. She has had no contact with anyone involved, save Paulson.

“You don’t know Ryan?” I ask.

“I ran into him once,” she says.

“What about the writers?”

“I couldn’t pick them out of a lineup of one.”

“You weren’t invited to a screening?”

“No,” she says. “I wouldn’t have gone. To watch that in front of other people? Oh my God! Who’s going to hold me down when I run for the balcony and throw myself off?”

The day Clark embarked on her post-trial life, her brain was foggy. “There was some form of depression going on,” she says. “But I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I was very torn up. Everything I believed in was shredded.”

She saw a therapist in fits and starts — she had been seeing him occasionally since 1993 — but never took medication.

Those first few years, after working on thousands of cases, many settled out of court, “It was like I had cut off my arm,” she says. “That’s who I was, a prosecutor. I really loved it. But I couldn’t do it — I was afraid to do it, even, because I was afraid I’d go into court and juries would either hate me or be unfairly sympathetic.”

In 1997, she relocated to Calabasas in search of good schools for her sons, both in their 20s now and living in the Bay Area. She’s close to them; one works for a legal support firm, the other at a start-up. Twice divorced, she has no contact with her former husbands — the first, a professional backgammon player; the second, a computer programmer and systems administrator whom she met when he worked for the Church of Scientology.

She says she’s content being single: “I just think I’m at a place in my life where I’m pretty occupied with what I’m doing, and I’m really into it, and that’s good for me.”

Only gradually did she rediscover some sort of joie de vivre, which came through writing, “finding a new direction and also finding a way to tell the truth — there’s nothing like writing fiction to tell the truth.” In addition to her memoir, she has worked on scripts (FX bought a pilot, Borderland, “a very dark version of the DA’s office,” which it never made) and her crime novels.

A self-described workaholic, she also handles court appeals for the indigent and says she has not taken a vacation in years.

The FX series gets some things wrong, she notes, like the moment when Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro tries on the infamous glove in the courtroom, unseen by the judge. “Never happened,” she says. “Could never happen. They would never leave evidence out like that, and no one can touch [it] unless the bailiff is there, the judge, everybody.”

She hasn’t seen Darden for seven or eight years and declines to say whether their relationship ever was sexual, an issue the TV series skirts without reaching a conclusion. “We hung out for a few years after the trial,” she says. “We’d see each other occasionally, do stuff. But then I moved up here, and it got harder and harder to get together.” Darden, who has his own law practice, did not return calls.

Nor has Clark returned to the downtown Los Angeles courtroom where the trial took place — except once. In the early 2000s, “I went back to do a TNT pilot based on a novel I had written, Guilt by Association,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it before then. It was so painful, every memory of that courtroom was so horrifying.”

She’s surprised when I tell her that a court representative recently said the courtroom had not been used in two years; and she’s disturbed to learn that the jury members’ names were leaked to the media a day before the verdict, according to a recent THR report.

“No!” she says. “Oh my God!”

All this far is behind her now and has almost nothing to do with her day-to-day life, except during weeks like these when journalists come calling, clamoring for interviews.

Each day, she rises around 7, sits in her kitchen and types at her computer for several hours, then heads out to exercise. She works five days a week, but not sequentially, writing for two or three days, then taking a day off.

She has many close friends, including former Assistant DA Lynn Reed, an ex-colleague, and several in the entertainment business whom she won’t name. “They’re my Anonymous Industry Friends,” she quips.

She left Scientology in 1980 without repercussions. “I never got past the very low levels,” she says. She praises its early classes, though not its more abstruse theology. “It’s actually really instructive at the beginning because it’s the greatest hits of the best of meditation and all the best of psychology. It melds it all together, and it’s very helpful. Once you get past that and you start talking about the mythology …” She shrugs. As to founder L. Ron Hubbard’s writing: “Bad, isn’t it?” she says. “It’s so amateur hour.”

Born in Berkeley, Calif., she was raised Jewish, constantly moving around the country thanks to her father’s work in the Food and Drug Administration. She had a conservative Jewish wedding to her first husband, having married him in secret some time beforehand, but professes not to have any religious beliefs today. “I’m just not a religious person, not at all,” she says. “I consider myself a spiritual person. I was always very drawn to Buddhism, Hinduism. I still meditate.”

She’s a fan of the best television and loves shows from House of Cards to Orange Is the New Black. “I like cable stuff, I really do,” she says. “American Horror Story, American Crime Story.” She laughs. “I had to say that.” Criminal Minds, NCIS? “Not so much. But How to Get Away With Murder, occasionally. I love Viola Davis.”

Clark says that her work with poor defendants, along with motherhood and getting older, has made her more empathetic.

“Being back on the defense side reminds me: Most of the guys in prison are schlemiels, you know what I mean?” she says. “Or schlimazels. They can be the flotsam and jetsam of life because they didn’t have opportunities.”

She spends time with them in prison. “When you’re saddled with the kind of life they’ve had, it’s awfully hard,” she says. “So they wind up stealing or whatever they’re doing. They don’t want to hurt people — they just need to get what they need. I don’t mean the violent ones or the ones who kill.”

She questions the incarceration system that has left millions of men, especially young African-Americans, locked up. “Many of the prisoners just don’t belong there,” she says. She also admits to having “mixed feelings” about the death penalty. “I certainly was not in favor of it” for Simpson, she notes, adding that she never asked for it in that case.

She remains fascinated by crime, which drew her interest even as a child, during the years when she was uprooted and moved repeatedly from one city to another. She was appalled when George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the case of Trayvon Martin, the young black man who was shot and killed while walking alone in a Florida housing development.

“Trayvon Martin broke my heart,” she says.

But to this day, she never has doubted Simpson’s guilt. Asked whether his behavior might have been influenced by CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), the brain disease that recently has been exposed as a major problem for football players, she says: “I have thought about it. [But] from what I understand, it causes explosive behavior, unpredictable behavior. I have never heard that it promotes this kind of planned behavior.”

Given how greatly her public identity has been defined by the Simpson case, she is unexpectedly thrown when asked whether she would have used “the race card” had she been working for the defense.

“I’ve thought about it but not come to a decision,” she reflects. “It’s too hard to answer. I don’t know.” Then she rethinks and dismisses any such idea. “I could simply have [disqualified] all the evidence for being improperly collected, contaminated, messed up, mishandled. And that would have been enough.”

Since the verdict, she has not laid eyes on most of the people involved — except Simpson, whose armed robbery trial she covered for Entertainment Tonight. She spotted him in the courthouse cafe. “He was walking toward his area of the cafeteria, which was kind of cordoned off for him,” she recalls. “And as he passed by, he looked at me and said, ‘Ms. Clark.’ And I said, ‘Mr. Simpson.’ That’s it.”

Did she feel anything?

“No,” she says, and smiles.

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‘By Sidney Lumet’ Documentary – Tribeca Film Festival

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ddUnveiled at Cannes last spring, By Sidney Lumet shows the director, who died in 2011, telling his own story in a never-before-seen interview shot in 2008 and produced by the late Daniel Anker. With candor, humor and grace, Lumet reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being. The documentary features clips from Lumet’s 44 films made during a career that spanned half a century – including Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Network and Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead. Peabody And Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (Afternoon Of A Faun, The Loving Story) combines these elements to create a portrait of one of the most accomplished, influential and socially conscious directors in the history of cinema. By Sidney Lumet reveals the spiritual and ethical lessons at the core of his work. First and foremost a storyteller, Lumet’s strongly moral tales capture the dilemmas and concerns of a society struggling with essentials: how does one behave to others and to oneself?

The film will be shown on April 22 in the “Free Fridays” section at Tribeca.

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Patty Duke Passes Away At 69

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pdPatty Duke, the teen who won an Oscar for The Miracle Worker and later played “identical cousins” in her own TV sitcom, has died. She was 69.

The news was confirmed Tuesday by one of her representatives, Mitchell Stubbs.

“Anna ‘Patty Duke’ Pearce passed away this morning March 29, 2016 at 1:20 am,” his statement read. “Her cause of death was sepsis from a ruptured intestine. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a mental health advocate and a cultural icon. She will be missed.”

Acclaimed for her acting (her career dates back to the late 1950s), Duke became best known in later life as an advocate for mental health issues, after she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982 and wrote about it in her 1987 autobiography.

Duke won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the role, becoming the then-youngest person to win an Oscar. She catapulted to one of the most famous American teenagers ever playing blind-and-deaf American icon Helen Keller on stage and later in the

1962 film, The Miracle Worker, which told the story of how Keller learned to communicate as a child through her tutor Anne Sullivan (Anne Bancroft).

But Duke really impressed herself in American pop culture in 1963, when she was given her own series, The Patty Duke Show, created especially for her. At the time, no one knew, not even Duke, that she had bipolar disorder.

But producer Sidney Sheldon had noticed that she had two distinct sides to her personality and the two came up with the idea of a show about “identical cousins” with contrasting personalities, and even different accents.

The show, which ran from 1963-1966, was hard work: She played both characters, Patricia “Patty” Lane, a “typical” fun-loving American teenager who occasionally got into minor trouble at school and home, and Catherine “Cathy” Lane, her more well-behaved cousin from Scotland.

Duke’s life and career were tumultuous, and not just because of her bipolar disorder or the fact she worked so much (her Internet Movie Database page shows she has a movie, Power of the Air, coming out in 2017), but because of her personal life.

She was married four times and had multiple affairs, which led to some confusion over the father of one of her three children, actor Sean Astin (his dad turned out to be one of her lovers-turned-short-lived husbands).

Duke married her fourth husband, drill sergeant Michael Pearce, in 1986, after meeting on the set of a TV movie, A Time to Triumph, for which Pearce served as a consultant. They moved to Hayden, Idaho, adopted a son, Kevin, born in 1988. After her marriage, Duke used the name Anna Duke-Pearce in her writings and other professional work.

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Charlize Theron Says She Didn’t ‘Ghost’ Sean Penn

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fffWhat is ghosting? Yes, of course, ghosting is what ghosts do, which is to say ghosting is the mournful roaming of hallways at night, the rattling in attics, the clanking of chains, the moaning in the old pipes. That kind of ghosting has been well-understood, and well-documented, for centuries now, a fact as opaque and immutable as ghosts are translucent and ever-shifting.

But what of this newer use of the word “ghosting,” when people say that someone has ghosted another person? What does that mean? Answering this question was the great project of a New York Times article published last summer, back when we were all younger and knew less. The article endeavored to explain this phenomenon of modern romance, in which one party just up and disappears from a relationship, no Dear John letter, no blood scrawled on the wall, no burning of the other’s items in a white B.M.W. Nothing! You just . . . ghost.

It’s a simple enough concept, but for some reason the New York Times, that serious old gray lady, decided to complicate matters by involving Charlize Theron in its article, referring to gossip reports that the actress had ghosted Sean Penn when ending their engagement last year. That was the rumor, that Theron had quickly and unceremoniously disentangled herself from the hard-hitting journalist, leaving the relationship without so much as a long, hand-written scroll detailing every minute thought process that went into her decision to leave.

So what the heck happened? How did Charlize Theron, one of the more private big-ticket movie stars, get dragged into this mess, by the New York Times no less? Well, Theron says she has no idea. In a new interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine, Theron doesn’t mention the Times by name, but she says she was bewildered by the ghosting thing:

“When you leave a relationship there has to be some fucking crazy story or some crazy drama. And the fucking ghosting thing, like literally I still don’t even know what it is. . . . It’s just its own beast. We were in a relationship and then it didn’t work anymore. And we both decided to separate. That’s it.”

There you have it. There was no ghosting. You can’t mutually ghost. Or, wait, can you? I know—believe me, I know—that you can have twin phantasms howling through your home every night, driving you to the brink of madness, but dual ghosting in the other sense? Meaning, both halves of a couple just deciding to ignore the other and walk away? I suppose it’s possible. But no. No, Theron says “we both decided,” and doesn’t “we both decided” imply some sort of mutually stated agreement, like there was a discussion of some kind? It seems to me it does.

But I suppose not necessarily. Maybe Theron means that she and Penn both decided, independently of one another, to just not text or answer calls and avoid the Gelson’s on Santa Monica for the foreseeable future. And after a while there was a certain resignation in that, eventually getting to, “Oh, I guess we both decided to end this.” Imagine that! Trying to ghost someone and realizing that they, in turn, are ghosting you. You’d feel relieved, of course. A little less guilty. A little freer. But also, I’d imagine, there’d be some tingle of hurt, right? Of wounded pride, battered ego. You always want to be the ghoster and not the ghosted. Always the foul ghoul stalking the darkest rooms of the manor and not the young governess cowering in the night library with a Bible and a knife clutched in hand. I know that’s the other kind of ghosting, but it applies, I think.

Anyway. Whatever happened with her and Sean Penn, Charlize Theron says it wasn’t ghosting, and we owe it to her to believe her. She gave us so much last year, our proud, grease-painted Furiosa, so trusting that she didn’t ghost is the least we can do in return.

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Garry Shandling’s ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ To Return To HBO

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kkGarry Shandling’s The Larry Sanders Show is returning to HBO after Shandling’s unexpected death, a rep for the premium cable channel confirmed. The series will also be available via HBO Go and HBO Now.

The Emmy-winning series from Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, Columbia Pictures Television and HBO had limited availability online when Shandling died, not streaming on HBO Go or HBO Now.

The Larry Sanders Show was briefly available on Sony-owned, ad-supported streaming platform Crackle but was recently taken down. It had been on Netflix as recently as 2013 but was no longer there on Thursday. It’s not available on Hulu or Amazon Prime.

However, episodes are available for purchase through iTunes and Amazon Video.

Shandling co-created and starred in the series, set backstage at a fictional late-night talk show. The darkly comic show, which starred Shandling as a morose talk show host surrounded by a constantly scheming and bickering staff, took full advantage of its behind-the-scenes Hollywood milieu, with stars regularly appearing as parody versions of themselves, years before Entourage traded in the trope.

The show was the first cable series to be nominated in major Emmy categories.

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James Corden vs Trevor Noah

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mmLast year, many American TV watchers weren’t familiar with UK comedian James Corden or South Africa native Trevor Noah. But both have now settled into roles in two major late-night shows one more successfully than the other. The Wall Street Journal recently proclaimed Corden has “redefined” late-night, while a less flattering Slate article was titled “Why isn’t America paying attention to Trevor Noah?”

Corden celebrated his one year anniversary on “The Late Late Show” on March 23, and Noah has been the official host of “The Daily Show” for eight months. Corden’s show has been up 33 percent among adults 18 to 49 in comparison to his predecessor Craig Ferguson. However, Noah’s ratings on “The Daily Show” are down 38 percent compared to previous host Jon Stewart.

Variety’s Executive Editor of Television Debra Birnbaum praised Corden for his innovative take on “The Late Late Show.”

“Corden has made the ‘Late Late Show’ his own,” she said. “He’s completely reinvented the format with inventive games, his singing and dancing, and of course his Carpool Karaoke series — and then there’s that infectious laugh. It’s impossible to resist.”

Corden’s viral Carpool Karaoke segment has apparently struck a chord with audiences. For the segment, viewers watch as Corden drives around with all-star musical guests and prompts them to sing some of their biggest hits. Adele’s Carpool Karaoke video has reached over 88 million views while Justin Bieber’s turn in Corden’s car raked in 68 million.

Natalie Jarvey, of the Hollywood Reporter, wrote Corden may understand the power of online stardom more than anyone else. “The Late Late Show” YouTube channel has more than 4 million subscribers tuning in.

Dan Gainor, VP of business and culture for the Media Research Center, said Noah, meanwhile, isn’t appealing to the viral video audience.

“Corden is following the Jimmy Fallon route to success viral videos and fun instead of [the] allegedly biting wit that Noah has tried,” he said. “I think Corden’s offers a more unique late-night show, less political. Noah is just reheated Jon Stewart nowhere near as fun or funny.”

Corden and Noah are on at different times, and the shows formats differ and have little in common. While Noah plays to a satirical newsy show, Corden loosely follows the other late night formats. Still, in the end, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Myers still dominate the late night scene. The NBC hosts have been in the lead for the past 25 weeks straight in the key demo (adults 18 to 49) and total viewers.

Unlike Corden, Birnbaum suspects Noah is having a hard time trying to find his own niche within the late night crowd.

“There’s no way he could live up to his predecessor, Jon Stewart,” she said. “He’s been trying to find his own voice, stepping out from behind the desk, and experimenting with ways to inject himself into this unprecedented election season, but he’s getting drowned by the competition who are bringing a sharper perspective.”

One of the bigger threats to Noah may possibly be newcomer Samantha Bee. Bee has previously worked on “The Daily Show” and has proved to audiences she has what it takes to hang with the late night gang as well. A NY Post article claimed her to be the true successor to Jon Stewart, while weekly her show debuted at 2.2 million viewers.

On “The Daily Show” for the past few months, Noah has continually bashed president hopeful Donald Trump. Last week, Noah discussed the violence surrounding a cancelled Trump rally in Chicago saying, “Donald Trump didn’t just create an atmosphere for violence at his rallies. He basically engineered it as carefully and deliberately as Matt Damon did when he was growing potatoes on Mars.” In the past, Noah has also said Trump sounds like a fascist.

Cate Meighan, pop culture expert, believes the Trump bashing will make brief headlines but won’t get Noah the attention he may be hoping for.

“I don’t think that it will necessarily hurt Trevor Noah to bash Trump because just about everyone seems to, especially in late-night but it’s not going to help him in the long run,” she said. “Eventually the topic of Trump will lose its luster and then Noah is back to scrambling to find that thing that makes him connect with audiences.”

Gainor explained Noah’s attacks on Trump stem from his desperation to avoid criticism.

“Noah is attacking Trump because he’s feeling heat that he’s not being an effective liberal icon like Stewart was. His reaction is out of desperation to fend off criticism. He lacks Stewart’s talent, wit and delivery to target Trump, Cruz or anyone else in politics effectively.”

Meighan thinks if Noah should take a page out of Corden’s book.

“Noah needs to find something like [Corden’s Carpool Karaoke] so that he can grab viewers, be it a busy entertainment news day or a slow one. Creating a fun segment that really works is the key to Noah thriving in late-night, not relying on taking pot shots at a predictable target.”

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Robert De Niro Pulls Controversial Anti-Vaccination Documentary From Tribeca Film Festival

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llAndrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe has been officially pulled from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival lineup after criticism from filmmakers. The news comes just a day after Robert De Niro defended his choice to include the anti-vaccination documentary in the festival’s schedule.

De Niro, co-founder of the film festival, was criticized for including the film earlier this week by documentary filmmakers including Penny Lane, who wrote an open letter to the film festival calling Wakefield “the widely discredited and dangerous anti-vaccination quack.”

On Saturday, De Niro and Tribeca reversed course, removing the film from its lineup.

“My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family,” De Niro said in a statement sent to THR. “But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”

“The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”

De Niro defended the choice initially, saying that he did not personally endorse the film, but that “we believe it is critical that all the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined.” Vaxxed was originally scheduled to screen on April 24.

“In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming,” he said on Friday. “However, this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening Vaxxed. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.”

The film, according to Tribeca Film Festival, “features revealing and emotional interviews with insiders, doctors, politicians, parents and one whistleblower to understand the skyrocketing increase of autism diagnoses today.”

Filmmaker Wakefield is a leading voice in the anti-vaccination movement, as well as a former British surgeon and medical researcher. His 1998 research paper claimed to link the MMR vaccine to autism, but the study has since has been discredited and formally retracted in 2010 by the journal that published it.

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An “All That” Reunion Is Coming

Categories: Uncategorized

kkThe cast of “All That,” everyone’s favorite sketch comedy show from the ‘90s, made a glorious announcement on Tuesday. They’re getting back together for a reunion.

Nickelodeon will air the reunion special in April on their nightly programming block, The Splat.

Danny Tamberelli, Kel Mitchell, Josh Server, Lori Beth Denberg and Kenan Thompson are confirmed, as per The Splat’s video, but who knows who else we’ll get to see?! We can only hope they’ll bring back some of our favorite bits like “Good Burger,” “Detective Dan” and “Everyday French with Pierre Escargot.”

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan


Steve Martin Celebrates Musical ‘Bright Star’

Categories: Top Stories

stevemartinSteve Martin and Edie Brickell’s new bluegrass musical, Bright Star, opened on Broadway on Thursday night, and, surprisingly, the show includes a banjo-bashing joke.

“There’s an extensive history of banjo jokes, and I vowed never to make banjo jokes because I really respect the banjo,” Martin, a banjo player since his teens, told The Hollywood Reporter of writing the wink into the musical’s book. “It’s quite beautiful, and it’s misunderstood. But somehow, the temptation was too great!”

Directed by Walter Bobbie, the production at the Cort Theatre stars Carmen Cusack and A.J. Shively as two Southerners in the 1940s whose lives are more intertwined than they know. Martin, who made the banjo a regular part of his early comedy gigs and won a Grammy in 2010 for his first bluegrass album, also conceived the story and penned the music with Brickell, after already releasing two albums together.

While Brickell said the key to writing musical-theater-esque bluegrass tunes is to “write with a sense of personality without sounding inauthentic,” Martin said writing a show’s book is much more difficult than crafting a stand-up set.

“Comedy is immediate: It either works immediately or it doesn’t, and you abandon it right away,” he explained. “But a show takes a long time to figure out. You have to juggle a lot of characters, making sure they’re serviced and brought forth. The book is an ongoing process.”

At the curtain call of the opening-night performance — with an audience of Martin Short, Paul Simon, Andrea Martin, Paul Shaffer, Bebe Neuwirth, Diane Sawyer, Howard Stern, Jefferson Mays, Peter Asher and Kenny Leon, among others — Martin strummed a banjo while Brickell and star Cusack sang a few lines from “Sun’s Gonna Shine,” the song that opens the show’s second act.

And at the Southern-themed Gotham Hall afterparty — featuring a barbecue dinner and show-themed cocktails atop gingham tablecloths and wooden furniture — Martin jumped onstage with The All Male Bluegrass Boys to play a tune and share his thanks. “We had a wonderful performance tonight, and we’ve had great reviews — at least in the last 20 minutes! What a night.”

Presented by The Griper – E.Cowan

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