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The Silly Con War on Colbert

Colbert’s rise to replace Letterman on ‘The Late Show’ has sparked hyperbolic outrage from the usual conservative suspects. But the right is wrong.

Will Stephen Colbert be a great network television host, or the greatest network television host?

Honestly, it could go either way. 

Given all the of “can you believe this?” coverage he has received the last few days from the perpetual commotion machine that is cable news, you'd have thought Stephen Colbert was chosen to replace Kathleen Sebelius, not David Letterman. And given the talent Colbert wields, frankly I’d trust him with my medical and dental plan. (And that brings us to tonight's word: toothiness.) 

Son of Parkyakarkus

Albert Brooks, the Early Years

The comedian and filmmaker has been the smartest and funniest person in the room since he was in high school (maybe even earlier). Here he's profiled just after making his first film.

Albert Brooks’ second album, A Star is Bought, is the best comedy record most of you have probably never heart. It was never released on CD and it’s not available on ITunes. And that’s a shame because the record—which was made in collaboration with Harry Shearer—is one of the finest comedy albums ever made. Never mind that it was nominated for a Grammy or that it was in many ways a precursor to faux-documentary style of This Is Spinal Tap, it Albert in top form. You know, hilarious.

Albert Brooks

Paramount Pictures/Everett Collection

According to Paul Slansky, who wrote “Everybody Should Have an Albert” for The Village Voice in March 1979, Brooks owns the rights to A Star is Bought, he just isn’t motivated to re-release it. What would get Brooks to reconsider, I wonder?

Interviewed

James Cameron Tells All

The Oscar winning visionary filmmaker opened up during a Reddit AMA on Saturday afternoon.

James Cameron, the acclaimed filmmaker behind sci-fi classics like Terminator, Aliens, and Terminator 2, as well as the blockbuster behemoths Titanic and Avatar, participated in a surprisingly candid Reddit AMA on Saturday afternoon.

Avatar

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

The self-proclaimed “king of the world” was online promoting Years of Living Dangerously, a 9-part documentary series about the filmmaking styles of top directors, which will premiere on Sunday, April 13 on Showtime.

Pay-Per-View

Fight of the Decade?

For Manny Pacquiao, losing this fight—a rematch against the man who robbed him of victory two years ago—will probably mean the end of one of the most sensational boxing careers ever.

When Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas this Saturday night for a rematch with Timothy Bradley, there will be more on the line than the welterweight title of the World Boxing Organization. Thirty-five-year-old Pacquiao is fighting for his country, the Philippines, where he is worshipped; he devotes a substantial chunk of his purses to charities there, as he did two years ago to victims of the super typhoon and earthquake. And Manny’s purses may well represent one of the most substantial flows of cash going into the Philippine Islands.

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Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines celebrates his victory over Brandon Rios of the U.S. during their World Boxing Organisation (WBO) International 12-round welterweight boxing title fight at the Venetian Macao hotel in Macau November 24, 2013. (Siu Chiu/Reuters)

Pacquiao is one of the great pay-per-view draws boxing has ever seen, ranking with Oscar De La Hoya, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., who currently holds several titles, including the WBC welterweight championship belt. But Pacquiao is the only one in that group who is not an American.  By most estimates, after this fight he will trail only Mayweather in pay-per-view revenues.

Watch This!

The Week in Viral Videos

From ‘would you have sex with Paul Rudd?’ to the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme song performed by screaming goats, watch our countdown of this week’s buzziest videos.

5. Incredible Spherical Panorama Timelapse

In this surreal video, redolent of a Salvador Dali painting or perhaps an acid trip, Jonas Ginter uses six GoPro cameras to create a 360 degree view of his immediate world. It’s difficult to describe, and it’s impossible to not be amazed. 

All in the Family

Stars Who Divorce Their Parents

You’re fired, mom and dad! That’s what Selena Gomez told her parents (and former managers).

Mom and dad, you’re fired. That’s essentially what Selena Gomez did when she reportedly split with her managers. Sources say that the actress, singer, and sometime Justin Bieber girlfriend had “outgrown” her parents. Mandy Teefey and her husband, Brian (Gomez’s stepfather), had managed the star since her 2007 breakout role in Wizards of Waverly Place. Some say the rift in the relationship might’ve been caused by the return of the Biebs into Gomez’s life. 

But she's not the only star to “break up” with their parents.  

Selena Gomez

John M. Heller/Getty

Heresy

Why the Five-Percenters Hate You

After Jay-Z wore a medallion linked to the obscure 5 Percenter religion, best known through prison stories and hip hop songs, we give you some background on the group and its beliefs.

Usually Jay Z’s bling simply means ‘I am so rich that conventional taste is out the window’. Not at a Nets game a few weeks ago when the rapper sported a heavy gold medallion engraved with the symbolism of an obscure religious cult that’s well known in hip hop circles and behind the wall, but a mystery to most. To those in the know, Hova’s pendant, an eight-pointed nautical star with the number 7 inside, a crescent and another star close by,  symbolized the Five Percenters.

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USA Today Sports/Reuters

I was in a unique position to recognize it, having seen the image tattooed on plenty of black men in prison and having learned something about the doctrine during my incarceration. In fact, I even had a bit of interaction with the 5 Percenter Nation of Gods and Earths. I’ll never forget my introduction:

Son of a Gun

He Left Nirvana for Iraq

On a night when his former Nirvana band mates were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jason Everman just wanted to drink in a quiet bar.

It’s a little past 1 am on Friday morning and the weekend warriors are trying to hail cabs on the streets in Brooklyn. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just held a big concert and I’m on my way to meet a member of Nirvana, one of the bands in the hall’s newest class.

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Kurt Cobain, Jason Everman, Chad Channing and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana photographed in Hoboken, New Jersey in June 1989. (Ian Tilton/Camera Press, via Redux)

Jason Everman played with Nirvana in their early days but hasn’t had much time to look over his shoulder and reminisce about his punk rock youth before the ceremony tonight. He spent much of the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, serving as a special operations solider.

Do Not Enter

Avoid Coachella At All Costs

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Jason Sheldon/The Daily Beast

Each year, as the Ides of April approaches, a deluge of douchebags, trust fund babies, and payment plan-enticed artistes join a gaggle of celebs in donning wacky, barely-there duds (think: Dazed and Confused on MDMA) and head out to the desert of Indio, California, for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. What was initially intended to be a celebration of music has degenerated into a weird marriage of fashion and commerce.

This year’s edition is spread out over a pair of weekends—April 11-13 & 18-20—and features headlining acts: Outkast, Muse, and Arcade Fire. But the music, these days, is really more of a backdrop when it comes to Coachella. It’s about the scene and being seen.

But more on that later. To fully wrap your head around this behemoth, let’s take a walk down memory lane of an event brimming with moments that range from the resplendent to the downright bizarre.

Banter With the Beast

Bourdain Isn’t Calling in Sick

The chef-turned-adventurer’s CNN show ‘Parts Unknown,’ returns for a third season Sunday. He talks about ‘definitely iffy’ meals, food he’d ‘prefer not to revisit,’ Cinnabon, and more.

Anthony Bourdain —who has popped everything into his mouth from a raw seal’s eyeball to the nasty bits of a cobra, and lived to tell the tale—had a feeling he was going to get very sick this time.

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Mario Tomo/CNN

“I was in Liberia, and I think it was a tribal situation,” says the celebrity chef-turned-sociocultural adventurer, whose Emmy and Peabody award-winning CNN show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, launches its third season this Sunday at 9 p.m. “They were eating out of one bowl full of unrecognizable protein. It was hot, very poor hygiene, definitely iffy. To be polite, I joined in. I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen.”

Watch This!

Viral Vid: Nirvana’s Secret Show

Surprises Brooklyn bar after Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Fresh off the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 Induction Ceremony, the remaining members of Nirvana decided that one face-melting performance just wasn’t enough for Thursday night. So Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear headed to Saint Vitus bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to rock out some more.

Joined onstage by Joan Jett, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, and other musician friends, they treated the lucky crowd to a surprise 19-song set list that included “Lithium,” “All Apologies,”  “Heart-Shaped Box,” “In Bloom,” and this high-voltage version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

Congratulations, Internet

Welcome to #Latenight

That time slot after the local news doesn’t matter. As Kimmel, Fallon, and Colbert will soon show, Late Night’s all about YouTube, Twitter, and engaging with audiences on the Internet.

In a deleted scene from Pulp Fiction, Mia Wallace tells Vincent Vega her theory that the world is made up of only two kinds of people: Beatles people and Elvis people. “Now Beatles people can like Elvis, and Elvis people can like the Beatles, but no one likes them both equally,” she explains. “Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice tells you who you are.”

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The Daily Beast

For decades, the late-night talk show landscape operated in much the same way. You were either a David Letterman person or a Jay Leno person, and your choice reflected both your comic sensibilities and what you wanted in a late-night host: comfortable and reliable (Leno) or prickly and edgy (Letterman). Sure, you might occasionally switch to the other show if a big star was dropping by the couch, but otherwise, you were either a Letterman person or a Leno person.

‘You Never Know’

Baseball Books Bring the Heat

Wrigley Field, Ted Williams, Nolan Ryan, Sabermetrics, the Pete Rose controversy—a fine new crop of baseball books looks at the old, the new and the very weird.

Sounds of leather hitting leather and leather smacking wood apparently also translate into sounds of pages turning as Major League Baseball (known around the planet as the “the Bigs,” ”Las Grandes Ligas) opens its 162 game regular season. Our National Pastime occasions a plethora of books and monographs dedicated to an array of baseball-related subjects. You can look to George Plimpton and Jacques Barzun for explanations about the attraction that baseball holds for writers. And there is a notion that many people enjoy reading about the sport more than watching it. In any case, the healthy sampling below confirms the narrative-friendly qualities of hardball.

WRIGLEY FIELD STADIUM

Walter Arce/Landov

This year there are biographies and biographical memoirs for Hall of Famers Ted Williams, Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Nolan Ryan, veteran pitchers Jerry Reuss and Jamie Moyer, and 30-year MLB umpire Al Clark. There are books on landmark years, special stunts, Moneyball-inspired statistics, a couple of novels and a handful of anthologies.

Judy Blooms

Confessions of a Co-Star

After starring in over 90 movies and TV shows—from ‘Arrested Development’ to ’27 Dresses’ to ‘The Descendants,’ it’s about time Judy Greer got the recognition she deserves.

There’s a game that Judy Greer plays every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Though at times it’s less of a game, really, then it is a chore: helping strangers on the street figure out who the hell she is.

Judy Greer

Doubleday/Random House

Because everyone recognizes her. Don’t you?

Why the GOP Is Angry About Colbert

When Stephen Colbert was announced as David Letterman's successor, Rush Limbaugh and company both criticized and politicized the move. Keli Goff discusses whether they're actually mad.

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