Hack Comedy Writers, Fire Up Your Joan and Melissa Rivers Jokes

“Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai of Kenya will be feted at a Dec. 11 concert to be hosted by Tom Cruise and Oprah Winfrey that will air on E!
“Festivities will be held in Oslo the day after the award ceremony, where Maathai will become Africa’s first Nobel laureate for her contributions to the environment and women’s rights.
“E! has secured exclusive rights to the telecast and will show the two-hour concert Thursday, Dec. 23.”
(From, E! to broadcast starry concert for Nobel winner, Variety, Nov. 28, 2004.)
Double hack score for implying that E! will be broadcasting the actual Nobel ceremony. Triple hack score for working in a Scientology joke, an Oprah “You get a Nobel! You get a Nobel!” joke, or a dig at Polyphonic Spree for being not unlike a cult. (Joss Stone joke, optional.)
[via TVTattle]


Wonder Boy

Don’t Say a Word: Douglas let’s his breath do the talking, Nov. 30, 2004.
Congratulations to Michael Douglas on his “Walk of Fame” star! You’ve earned it, big guy.
Now, who’s up for pizzas at Spago?


Entertainment Alert: Orange

Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture: Um, again.


No shit, Sherlock

2004.11.30 19:42:42 Search: query for ‘jean sherlock’
2004.11.30 19:42:59 Search: query for ‘ratner’
2004.11.30 19:50:01 Search: query for ‘jean sherlock’
2004.11.30 19:50:35 Search: query for ‘Brett Ratner’
2004.11.30 19:52:07 Search: query for ‘Brett Ratner and Jean Sherlock’
2004.11.30 20:00:06 Search: query for ‘Brett Ratner’

In case you were wondering, Brett Ratner never did cocaine with Jean Sherlock. Jean Sherlock is a private citizen.


Don’t Invite Bush to Your Wedding

While it may be unrealistic to have expected former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to be anything but partisan when he was asked to write a behind-the-scenes “commentary” on the recent opening of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock earlier this month, some of the various quotes and anecdotes which appear in the resulting piece in the UK’s Guardian Observer are, well, rather incriminating in their indictment of the current Bush administration, to say the least.
So, here we are then…reporting from the library’s opening ceremonies, Blumenthal puts forth the following top-notch, choice, and oh-so-prime snippets (in that order):
Scene 1, in which the President tips us off to his penchant for reading Ian Fleming spy novels before going to bed at 9pm each night:

Bush appeared distracted, and glanced repeatedly at his watch. When he stopped to gaze at the river, where secret service agents were stationed in boats, the guide said: “Usually, you might see some bass fishermen out there.” Bush replied: “A submarine could take this place out.”

Scene 2, in which the President reveals his disregard for Israeli politicos not named “Sharon”, as well as his adherence to a low-calorie drink diet:

At the private luncheon afterwards, in a heated tent pitched behind the library, Shimon Peres delivered a heartfelt toast to Clinton’s perseverance in pursuing the Middle East peace process. Upon entering the tent, Bush, according to an eyewitness, told an aide: “One gulp and we’re out of here.” He had informed the Clintons he would stay through the lunch, but by the time Peres arose with wine glass in hand the president was gone.

Scene 3, in which the President’s chief adviser (née “Brain”) shows off his sardonically conservative mindset, all while failing to make anyone laugh (because, frankly, this shit’s not that funny, and it’s really quite sad that this nation’s going to hell, but, hey, who are we to judge, and let’s just get on with the Blumenthal documentation, shall we?):

According to two eyewitnesses, Rove had shown keen interest in everything he saw, and asked questions, including about costs, obviously thinking about a future George W Bush library and legacy. “You’re not such a scary guy,” joked his guide. “Yes, I am,” Rove replied. Walking away, he muttered deliberately and loudly: “I change constitutions, I put churches in schools …”


Bitten by the Humbug

Christmas Time in Ames, Iowa: Leslie Hall and a friend.
Yes, Christmas begins before Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s a marketed, commodified celebration of consumption. Yes, the true meaning of the holiday has been forgotten. (Some Jewish kid was born in a barn, or something…) Yes, it’s just totally cheesy.
But it’s kind of awesome, too. Like, when hardcore heads get into the Christmas spirit and release holiday raps. Remember Run-DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” or Doug E. Fresh, The Treacherous Three, and The Magnificent Force’s “X-Mas Rap” in Beat Street, or P. Diddy’s “Bad Boy for Life (Santa Gave Me a Lump of Coal, Yo)”? Classics, all.
Add to the hip hop Christmas canon the latest from the Canadian rap ‘n’ racism bible-approved Iowa-reared MC supergroup, Leslie and The LY’s. Watch “Christmas Rap” and prepare to have your planet rocked.
If the Missy Elliott-inflected lyrics don’t make you smile, the Flash-meets-Rodney Alan Greenblat video will. And if that doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, your soul is dead and you embody everything that is wrong with this country, and shame on you.


Dude, They Stole My Band’s Name!

“The International Committee of the Red Cross has charged in confidential reports to the United States government that the American military has intentionally used psychological and sometimes physical coercion “tantamount to torture” on prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba…”
Red Cross Finds Detainee Abuse in Guantánamo, by Neil A. Lewis, The New York Times, Nov. 30, 2004.
Not cool, Red Cross. Well, there’s always my backup band name: The Motoboys.


Sir Corky RomanoKnockaround BlokesMickey Blue Blood!

Today’s ‘let’s git’ high concept pitch comes courtesy of Done Deal:
Title: Jersey Dukes
Log Line: A New Jersey mob boss sends a crew over to England to check on his daughter’s impending wedding to a royal. The mobsters discover that England is perfect for mob expansion, especially once they are offered help by some dukes and duchesses in need of money to hang on to their country estate.
Writer: Fred Wolf
Agent: UTA
Buyer: Paramount Pictures
Price: High six against low seven figures
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Logged: 11/30/04
More: Pitch. Lorne Michaels will produce.

So, we’re looking at James Caan, Jim Broadbent, Kiera Knightley, Vanessa Redgrave, jokes about bad English food, a scene where a New Jersey chef is flown in to make ‘gravy’ in an old Manor House kitchen, an uptight British dude handling a gun with ease (since he dueled back in Oxford), and a set piece inside Big Ben? Works for me.


And he can order all the stationery he wants, as long as it’s limited to one box

Buried within a much larger discussion of the reconfiguration of President Bush’s second-term economic program, comes this ominous little nugget of semantics regarding future cabinet shake-ups, from “Bush to Change Economic Team”, the Washington Post, November 29, 2004:

One senior administration official said Treasury Secretary John W. Snow can stay as long as he wants, provided it is not very long.


An Eye For Trends

One’s a Trend: Gwen Stefani on i-D‘s Dec./Jan. cover…Val Kilmer as Philip in Alexander.
Related: Sammy Davis, Jr.; Murray Wilson.