The comic legend died Wednesday at age 91. Watch five of his funniest moments.
A comedic legend and television pioneer, Sid Caesar passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91. In the 1950s, Caesar and Your Show of Shows, his television show with Imogene Coca, were household names. By modern day viewing standards, you need to have a little extra patience for some of the Your Show of Shows clips, which clock in around seven to 12 minutes each. But, they more than payoff as a chance to see classic, clever sketch comedy in its earliest days of television. Here’s a few of the best.
Turns out, ‘Japan’s Beethoven,’ who ‘wrote’ music for the Olympics, is a complete fraud—and his scandal threatens to derail his country’s figure-skating hopes.
When Daisuke Takahashi takes to the ice Thursday at the Sochi Winter Olympics, he’ll begin his quest to again make history for his country, as he did four years ago, when he became the first Japanese to medal in an Olympic male figure skating event by taking home the bronze. That same year, he became the first Japanese man to win a title at the World Championships, and in 2012 he took the gold at the Grand Prix Final in Sochi—again, he is the first man from his country to ever accomplish the feat. He’ll be hoping for an unprecedented Olympic gold on Friday after the free skating performance, but first he’ll have to start his campaign with a strong short program on Thursday’s primetime competitions (Thursday morning in America).
This picture taken on December 28, 2013 shows composer Mamoru Samuragochi dubbed "Japan's Beethoven" reacting to the audience after his symphony No.1 was performed at a concert hall in Hiroshima, western Japan. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty)
How fitting that the national hero will be skating to a piece of music written by Mamoru Samuragochi, a composer who’s cherished as the Beethoven of Japan. The comparison is not grotesque, since Samuragochi is, like Beethoven, deaf.
And 'How I Met Your Mother' spin-off casts its mother.
Catapulting ‘Achy Breaky 2’ from weird to disturbingly weird is the insane amount of young, naked cyborg flesh on display.
The best thing you can say about “Achy Breaky Heart”, Billy Ray Cyrus’ 1992 hit single, is that it’s only 3 minutes and 24 seconds long. That was all the achy and breaky we had to endure—until now. Billy Ray, who’s now more famous for being Miley Cyrus’s father, and Buck 22, who’s only ever been famous for being Dionne Warwick’s son, have collaborated on “Achy Breaky 2,” a hip hop remix of the ‘90s hit. This unholy marriage of faux country and pseudo hip-hop is literally the worst of both worlds. If “Achy Breaky 2” plays at even one bar mitzvah party, that’s one bar mitzvah party too many—even horny 13-year-olds deserve better than this.
“Achy Breaky 2” opens with a “comedic” introduction by Larry King. By helping to unleash this Frankenstein creation, Larry King is essentially leaving a flaming bag of something on America’s porch. The basic premise of the video is that Billy Ray and Buck 22 are partying on a spaceship. Of course, the idea of Billy Ray Cyrus being launched out into intergalactic exile is tremendously appealing—but that doesn’t mean we want to watch the footage. Rocking a man-tank, sunglasses, and sultry pout, Billy Ray looks both embarrassingly excited to be included and super confused. Basically, he looks like your dad would look if someone put a guitar in his hands and told him to make a hip-hop music video. Nobody wants to see that.
The Holy Trinity of YouTube—Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart, and Grace Helbig—head 40 minutes north of Los Angeles for their feature film debut. Welcome to ‘Camp Takota.’
“Every movie could be a camp movie,” says Mamrie Hart, one of the YouTube darlings who make up the Internet’s Holy Trinity. “Wolf of Wall Street could have been at a summer camp.”
A scene from "Camp Takota". (camptakota.com)
The digital trio of Mamrie, along with Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart, will release their first feature film, Camp Takota, this Valentine’s Day. The film is about Elise’s (Helbig) return to the summer camp of her youth after a traumatic quarter-life crisis, only to find that her childhood friends Maxine (Mamrie Hart) and Allison (Hannah Hart), never left.
Through his eyeholes, I could see LaBeouf's eyes moving around—staring at me. I could hear him breathing under the bag. I stood to go, and offered him my hand.
My first conversation today with Shia LaBeouf was a little one-sided, to put it mildly. My second conversation with the controversial Transformers actor was a lot more interesting.
In case you haven’t been on the Internet for the past few hours, let me fill you in on the latest in Shia-sanity. Starting this morning at 11:00 AM PT, LaBeouf ensconced himself in a tiny, empty art gallery at the corner of Beverly and Fuller in Los Angeles—directly across the street from the offices of BuzzFeed. The windows were glazed, with black letters affixed to them: #IAMSORRY Shia LaBeouf. The location suggested a work of art; the hashtag and seemingly strategic proximity to one of the world’s most successful viral content factories suggested an Internet stunt. It was a little bit of both.
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Shirley Temple was the biggest star in the Depression, had dolls and drinks named for her, and yet somehow managed to escape the pitfalls of child stardom with wit and grace.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be child stars. Not, that is, unless you wish for them an adult life—presuming they live so long—stamped by professional failure, revolving door rehab, and psychiatric counseling with no expiration date.
There are few exceptions to the downward spiraling after the age of 12, but the biggest would have to be Shirley Temple Black, who died Monday at the age of 85. (If, like me, you did a double take when you saw her age—only 85?—it took a moment of mental math to figure out that her movie career began when she was barely able to walk and ended, more or less, before she started high school.)
Silver Screen Collection/Getty
Carole Radziwill, one time princess, two-time Real Housewives star, debuts her first novel and talks about sex and dating.
The period after a break-up, divorce, or separation where individuals struggle to start again and re-enter the dating world is always a challenge. There is the timing, the comparisons to exes and an overwhelming feeling that nothing feels the way it should. But, finding your place after the death of your partner is a completely different story.
In the new comedic novel, A Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating, Claire Byrnes’ life is left in a bit of a mess after the unexpected death of her husband, a sexologist and well known author with a penchant for extramarital affairs. After leaving behind some unfinished business, Claire navigates her life with a newfound “widow virginity” and the necessity to discover who she is as an individual with the occasional help of multiple therapists, a psychic, and a botanomanist, and a set of rules she’s made for herself.
Rule #1: Don’t screw around on a Monday.
Shirley Temple Black, the original child star, died at age 85. Remember her life through her most precocious, most beloved video clips. She was so darned cute.
Shirley Temple Black was the original child star, before “child star” was a bad word. As Shirley Temple, the precocious young actress was just 3 when she began her screen career, with her radiance and sunniness eventually exploding like a solar flare to make her Hollywood’s brightest and most beloved star.
Shirley Temple (Keystone/Getty)
Black died this week at age 85, after starring in over 60 films and later becoming a diplomat, meaning she had devoted her entire lifetime to one mission: making the world feel better. As anyone who’s sat with their grandmother to delight through a viewing of Curly Top or watched their daughter, granddaughter, or niece cheese their way through their own spunky rendition of “Good Ship Lollipop” knows, she accomplished that mission ten-fold with her bright, magnetic, always genuine on-screen glee.
"We don’t all look alike!”
This is why you love Samuel L. Jackson. The Pulp Fiction actor was being interviewed for his new film— the RoboCop reboot—when a television anchor apparently confused him with actor Laurence Fishburne. He asked Jackson about his recent Super Bowl commercial, meaning Fishburne’s Matrix-inspired ad for Kia. Jackson was confused at first and then said, “You’re as crazy as the people on Twitter! I am NOT Laurence Fishburne!” For good measure to make things extra uncomfortable, Jackson shouted, “We don’t all look alike! We may be all black and famous, but we don’t all look alike!”
Great Depression child star and ambassador.
One of America’s most beloved child stars, Shirley Temple Black, has passed away at the age of 85. She died Monday of natural causes at her home in California, surrounded by her family. Temple gained fame in the 1930s as a precocious young movie star who raised the country’s spirits during the Great Depression with movies such as Curly Top, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and Bright Eyes. Following an entertainment career that began at the age of 3, Temple went on to serve in various official government roles, including as ambassador to the United Nations, Ghana, and the former Czechoslovakia. A press release said “We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and… our beloved mother, grandmother [and] great-grandmother.”
Why is the drug lord of Harlan County so damn likeable? Walton Goggins, who plays Boyd Crowder on ‘Justified,’ on his character’s moral compass.
“All Shot to Hell,” was, as Walton Goggins put it, “a killer episode” of Justified. In a pivotal scene, drug lord Boyd Crowder responds to a threat: “Well, I have been called many things, but no one has ever called me inarticulate.” This is certainly true of Goggins.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Lithia Springs, Georgia, Goggins moved to California at age nineteen to pursue acting. In 1997, he hooked up with fellow Georgian, director and actor Ray McKinnon (O Brother, Where Art Thou), to form a production company, Ginny Mule Pictures. The company was to make movies that were uniquely southern. As Goggins puts it, “pictures about the archetypal not the stereotypical South.” One of them, The Accountant, a dark comedy won an Academy Award for best-live action short of 2002. That same year Goggins began as six-year runs as Detective Shane Vendrell in the FX series, The Shield.
Alexandre Desplat is having a bit of a moment, having scored ‘Philomena,’ ‘Monuments Men,’ and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ in quick succession. No other composer today has worked so consistently on such good, smart movies. How does he do it?
“I listen with my eyes and I look with my ears,” says Alexandre Desplat.
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The film composer and I are perched on stools in front of a black Steinway grand piano in Studio A—the hallowed, cavernous room at the base of the famous Capitol Records building in Hollywood, Calif. where Frank Sinatra (among other immortal artists) recorded “Come Fly with Me” (among other immortal tracks). Cymbals are arrayed on the floor to our left; a drum kit rests on a red Oriental rug; boom mikes wait patiently, like bony sentinels, while we speak. Desplat is wearing a black Maison Martin Margiela sport coat, a white v-neck t-shirt, black drainpipe jeans, discotheque sneakers, and a gossamery purple scarf. His black hair sweeps back from the crest of his high forehead and laps at the nape of his neck; his lips are pursed. Occasionally his fluent, French-accented sentences will conclude with a conspiratorial giggle. He looks like a Gallic Andy Garcia.
He’s corny, homophobic, manipulative, creepy, rude, boring, and not as attractive as ABC tries to convince me he is. Juan Pablo is a special kind of mean disguised as a nice guy.
As the smog that was “Juanuary” lifts, we can finally digest what happened in Vietnam. Clearly, Juan Pablo has ruined The Bachelor. He is a special kind of mean disguised as a nice guy. And that’s the worst kind.
The more he talks, the more he sucks, and viewers and critics have been hopping off the Juan wagon. Kate Dries at Jezebel wrote “he’s totally ruined himself as a sexy and viable life partner.” Willa Paskin at Slate called out both Juan Pablo and the show, writing, “The Bachelor continues to present itself as romantic, out to find a good man a life partner, a soul mate, a true love—all while behaving like a pimp.”
Conservatives used to recognize philosophy and religion in humanity’s frailties, like a heroin addict’s overdose. Now it’s all liberal culture’s fault.
Political questions cannot be answered well without reference to spiritual ones. For over two thousand years, this was the commanding precept of Western civilization—whether we spoke of the soul like Socrates or Jesus, or of the spirit like Hegel, or of the psyche like Freud.
And for several decades, this was the dominant view in mainstream, “movement” conservatism, too. At age 26, William F. Buckley pledged his faith that “the duel between Christianity and atheism is the most important in the world,” and “that the struggle between individualism and collectivism in the same struggle reproduced on another level.”
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