In a night of the anti-apartheid leader's favorite songs, a lifetime of photos, and his best speeches, former pal President Clinton and Morgan Freeman paid tribute to Mandela.
A memorial tribute concert doesn’t get into full swing until former President Bill Clinton reveals some practical jokes pulled by the deceased. And so it was on Thursday evening at the majestic Church of St. John the Apostle on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where a group of 100 or so had braved the piles of snow outside to gather for a tribute of late South African President Nelson Mandela.
Michael Stewart/WireImage, via Getty
In a night blending the anti-apartheid leader’s favorite songs, a lifetime of photos, and his best speeches, Oscar-winner and Mandela-impersonator Morgan Freeman, South African TV and radio host Gareth Cliff, and former President Clinton joined the Soweto Gospel Choir for what was called the first official international tribute since Mandela passed away at age 95 in December.
After such an assured first night, Jimmy Fallon already looks like a happy, permanent fixture in the Tonight Show pantheon.
Jimmy Fallon has scaled the highest height in television and is now posed proudly at the pinnacle. Having risen very visibly through the ranks of TV fame—from featured player on Saturday Night Live to host of his own very-late-night TV show, he is host of the newly renovated, Manhattan-based, blindingly shiny Tonight Show, the premiere of which proved emphatically and immaculately entertaining on NBC last night.
“Even if I weren’t involved, I’d be so psych’d to watch it,” Fallon said of his own first show, and it’s understandable if he doesn’t think of the series as “his own” yet, even understandable if he never does. The Tonight Show is an entitlement bestowed on a privileged few, with the host more the custodian of a showbiz heritage than the actual owner of anything.
What happens when two women interview ex-lovers about sex? ‘Guys We F@#ked’ is the anti slut-shaming podcast telling ladies they should be proud to do it.
The format is simple. Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson, collectively known as the comedy duo Sorry About Last Night, contact former lovers and invite them to an hour-long podcast interview about sex. As they describe in their first episode “It was slutty, and then we pulled it back. We’re saying ‘Have a lot of sex… and be proud of it.’ There’s a real double standard. Christina Aguilera likes to sing about it.”
“There are many times in life to be shy, but my vagina is not shy,” Fisher says in the episode. “So this guy, his idea of dirty talk was to ask when was the last time I had sex with someone and I said yesterday, because it was after midnight and—it had actually been that morning—and he was not taking that well. So mid-sex, he stopped having sex with me because I have too much sex. ”
A Japanese woman traveled to America in search of the suitcase of money that was buried beside a snow-capped fencepost in rural Minnesota. She didn’t know ‘Fargo’ was just a movie.
The Coen brothers’ classic Fargo opens with the message: “This is a true story.”
Of course, it isn’t a true story but in 2001 it was reported that a Japanese woman had been hoodwinked by the claim and traveled to the U.S. in search of the suitcase full of money that Steve Buscemi had buried beside a snow-capped fencepost in rural Minnesota.
Jimmy Fallon can do sketches, he can interview celebrities, he can ad-lib snappy banter with his sidekick and eclectic house band—but can he be ingratiating simply by being himself?
Johnny Carson once compared the delivery of his nightly monologue to the plight of a man threatening suicide from a skyscraper window ledge “while down on the ground, the crowd is yelling ‘Jump! Jump!’”
Jack Paar lamented one night long ago that after years of struggle in show business, he’d ended up as “a night-light to the bathroom” for millions of viewers.
From vampire hunter to car salesman, America’s 16th president continues to resonate with the public—through pop culture.
Abraham Lincoln has had a busy afterlife. As if saving the Union wasn’t enough, the former president is now spending his time selling cars, provocatively chopping wood, and starring on Saturday Night Live. It may not always be pretty, but here’s how Lincoln is being portrayed in pop culture.
Louis C.K. and ‘Saturday Night Live’
You probably often find yourself wondering: what would Lincoln’s stand up routine have looked like? Well, thanks to Louis C.K. and Saturday Night Live, you can now breathe easy. (And spoiler alert: he’s hilarious.)
A band of renegade therapists has been treating patients with something a bit unorthodox: superheroes. Just think of them as the Justice League of comic book treatment.
A young boy sits in a psychologist’s office, playing with action figures in a sand tray. There’s an epic battle on the horizon, one that crosses traditional DC/Marvel lines. On one side there’s Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman. On the other, there’s an unpredictable fire-breathing dragon, with big eyes and sharp teeth. In an attempt to vanquish the monster, the superheroes step in and pummel him, knocking him to the ground. The dragon, now dangling by a claw from the edge of the sand tray, is on the cusp of defeat. But then comes a faint glimmer of hope: Wonder Woman swoops in to save the day, rescuing the monster from his bullies.
For that boy, the dragon is a filter, a way of depicting the impulsivity and loneliness he faces outside the confines of a doctor’s office. Wonder Woman represents his mother, the one constant in his life.
Leonardo DiCaprio, one of our finest actors, is about to turn 40—and he still hasn’t won an Oscar yet. It’s time the Academy get their heads out of their wrinkled asses and do the right thing.
Gisele Bündchen was not impressed. It was the night of Feb. 27, 2005, and the Brazilian über-model was playing the role of ultimate arm candy, strutting down the red carpet of the Kodak Theatre in a strapless white Dior gown. She was escorting her boyfriend of five years, Leonardo DiCaprio, who had just been nominated for his second Academy Award—and first since 1994—for his electrifying turn as industrialist-cum-filmmaker-cum-schizo Howard Hughes in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. Many believed that the 31-year-old would take home the Best Actor prize, not only for his stellar turn, but as fair recompense for perceived nomination snubs (see: Titanic, Catch Me If You Can). Alas, it was the star of another biopic—Jamie Foxx for Ray—that took home the little gold statuette, leaving Leo with an empty Oscar mantel once more.
“I figured I should go and support my man so I went there just for that reason,” said Gisele following the ceremony. “I don’t think he was expecting to win. I think I was more upset because I thought he deserved it more than [Foxx]. I was like, ‘He did a better job than [Foxx]!”
The Daily Beast
Now, Gisele is always wont to speak her mind—her fabulous post-Super Bowl rant (“My husband cannot fucking throw the ball AND catch the ball!”) is the stuff of legend—but on both occasions, well, she was right.
Things get metaphysical in one of the most masterful hours of television since ‘Breaking Bad.’ The HBO series' creator explains the secrets behind the episode. Spoiler alert!
Earlier this month, I interviewed True Detective creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto. At that point, only three episodes of Pizzolatto's gripping crime drama had aired on HBO. But the guy couldn't help himself. He was excited about what was to come—especially in Episode 5. "They’re like children," he told me. "I love them all for different reasons. But for me, Episode 5 is the most special of the children."
Michele K. Short/HBO
Fast forward a few weeks. On Sunday night, "The Secret Fate of All Life"—a.k.a. Pizzolatto's beloved Episode 5—finally premiered on HBO. It turns out Pizzolatto wasn't exaggerating: "Secret Fate" was the best installment of True Detective yet. In fact, it might have been the most masterful hour of television I've encountered since the series finale of Breaking Bad —and one of the most thought-provoking since, well, ever.
The 1976 movie darkly foretold the future of television news. Dave Itzkoff’s new book describes the drama behind the scenes, and the making of its screenwriter’s mordant vision.
You know the phrase even if you don’t know, or have never seen, the film. You may have have seen it on a best-film-clips-ever TV show. You may have heard it bellowed parodically by a comic, bug-eyed and sweating: “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” It was originally spoken by Peter Finch in his most famous scene as Howard Beale, the distressed, exploited newsreader of the 1976 movie Network, who is murdered live on-screen by his bosses for ratings.
The film, about a TV corporation’s ruthless, extreme determination to sensationalize its news show for a higher audience share, is both satire and—as it depressingly turned out—prescient prophecy. Dave Itzkoff’s book, Mad As Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies, both meticulously reconstructs the making of the film and sketches, with depth and sensitivity, the complex, troubled life of its screenwriter-creator Paddy Chayefsky.
TV’s ‘Real Time’ host has promised to target one awful incumbent in the next congressional election and drive that person out of office. This is an excellent idea.
Bill Maher’s liberal fan base has a new reason to cheer (and tune in): this season, he’s using his show’s considerable leverage to flip a congressional district. “There are 435 districts,” Real Time executive producer Scott Carter explains. “Most have incumbents running for re-election. We think our fans can help us narrow down the field of villains, hucksters, and boobs. But, in the end, the choice will be Bill’s.”
Janet Van Ham/HBO
Spoiler alert: The crosshairs probably aren’t going to land on a Democrat. That’s got conservatives predictably up in arms. Sure, the mockery-fest to come might be painful. It might also be unfair. It could even be occasionally stupid. But in at least three ways, Maher’s initiative marks a great leap forward in liberal-leaning entertainment activism. It’ s not just good for the left—or for ratings. It’s good for Republicans, conservatives, and, yes, the United States of America.
He does dozens of takes. There is no improvising and no tinkering with the script. The cast of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ on Hollywood most uncompromising general.
Almost every actor craves a role in one of Wes Anderson’s movies but working for the Texan auteur is no picnic according to the cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel who spilled the secrets of Hollywood’s most uncompromising “general” to The Daily Beast.
Whimsical and playful by the time they reach the big screen, Anderson’s projects are created in a surprisingly autocratic style. The actors who star in his latest, possibly greatest, film revealed the truth about working for the filmmaker at the Berlin film festival in Germany. Admiration and affection are never in doubt but the cast said it’s the tenacious approach that makes Anderson unique. “He’s so specific in what he sees and what he wants that you better give it to him,” said Willem Dafoe. “He’s tough.”
In 1975, Mel Brooks became the first person Playboy had interviewed twice. Read this Q&A, which covers everything from childhood to America’s problems with the fart, and you’ll see why the magazine went back for seconds.
Forty years ago, Francis Ford Coppola released The Godfather II and The Conversation. It’s hard to imagine another director having two memorable movies come out in the same calendar year, but Mel Brooks did it, too. And in the same year. Blazing Saddles came out in February, Young Frankenstein in December. They are arguably his two best movies and they surely put him over the top as a Hollywood star. The next year he gave what I think is the best print interview of his career. So in the afterglow of Valentine’s Day, when love and laughter are still paramount, please enjoy an American legend in his prime.
Anne Bancroft and her husband, American actor, writer and director Mel Brooks, smile as American actor Dom DeLuise peers over their shoulders at the opening of the play, 'Vanities,' at the Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, California. (Frank Edwards/Getty)
This article originally appeared in the February 1975 issue of Playboy. To read every article the magazine has ever published—from 1953 until today—visit the complete archive at iplayboy.com. For more Playboy, check out PlayboySFW.kinja.com. —Alex Belth
Thirty years after the HIV virus was identified, the modern face of the epidemic—predominantly black and female—remains hidden. Filmmaker Hannelore Williams’ new docu-series wants to change that.
The statistics are upsetting and well known. Despite an encouraging recent drop in transmission rates, black women still represent two-thirds of all new HIV infections among women. In fact, they are 20 times more likely to seroconvert than white women—a greater level of disparity than ever before. The cavalcade of AIDS anniversaries over the last few years has spawned a corresponding interest in producing museum exhibits, documentaries, and feature films about the early years of the crisis. But with a few notable exceptions (Frontline’s “Endgame: AIDS In Black America;” Precious; Tyler Perry’s despicable Temptation), there has been no similar rush to tell the stories of the (black, female) face of the modern epidemic.
Hannelore Williams, filmmaker, actor, and creator of the new docu-series “Dirty 30,” is hoping to change that.
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