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Celebritology 2.0: July 27, 2008 - August 2, 2008

Friday List: Casting a Celeb-Centric Presidential Campaign Ad

Thanks, John McCain, for reminding we average Americans that the most important determinants of our vote in the upcoming presidential election are not the same old tired criteria of election years past: the economy, candidate track records, platforms. No, you've rightly moved the election rhetoric into the TMZ-saturated present by comparing Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears: As a tireless celeb watcher, let me just say "Bravo!" for your choice -- because Paris and Britney are icky and you've potentially saved us from electing a man who might share qualities with these women. For instance, how embarrassing would it be to have a president who goes commando at state dinners or, like, starts dating a Madden brother? Still, in the interest of fair play, we here at Celebritology must step up and perform our civic duty by leveling the playing field. Since it's unlikely that the Obama campaign...

By Liz Kelly  | August 1, 2008; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (66)
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Morning Mix: Liz Taylor Hospitalized, But Fine Says Rep

Headlines: Elizabeth Taylor hospitalized but fine, says rep... Frequent target John Mayer wants paparazzi regulated... Jessica Simpson says Tony Romo appreciates her talent (for singing, we assume)... Hannah Montana's latest project: courtesy wake-up calls... Verne Troyer suing ex-girlfriend for abuse... Judge says Rob Lowe can't sue nanny for defamation... Paris Hilton launches line of shoes... "Welcome to the Dollhouse's" Heather Matarazzo engaged... Preview: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's coffee-table book cover... Ali Lohan's new single. Crime Watch: Two members of Snoop Dogg's entourage arrested on pot charges. Rumor Mill: Justin Timberlake tapped to host 2009 Oscars?... Paris Hilton hasn't seen McCain ad, says friend... Balthazar Getty trying to reconcile with estranged wife?... Pam Anderson building eco-friendly hotel in Abu Dhabi... Akon hints that Michael Jackson is recording on his label... Heather Mills buys New York condo. Say What? "If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is...

By Liz Kelly  | August 1, 2008; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Dreaming of Brad Pitt Dollar Bills? The Latest in Celeb Memorabilia

This morning's headline about a piece of Shia LaBeouf's car wreck debris being up for grabs on eBay reminded me that I hadn't checked in on celebrity memorabilia auctions for quite some time. And here we are only five short months away from the holidays. If you act now, you may have a chance to win of the following one-of-a-kind items and make yourself the talk of the neighborhood. (The talk may be along the lines of "I can't believe Madison paid for that piece of *#$%," or "I think maybe Frank needs to be on medication," but hey -- there's no such thing as bad press, right?). Let's not suffer the humiliation of missing out on primo merch, like this, again: Brad Pitt Dollar Bill: From the description: "...genuine uncirculated REAL mint US Dollar Bill which depicts BRAD PITT. The Image of Brad is superimposed over George Washington on...

By Liz Kelly  | July 31, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Celebrities, Extreme Fans, Miscellaneous  
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Morning Mix: Rosie O'Donnell Gives Up Blogging... For Now

Headlines: Rosie O'Donnell takes a break from blogging... Barack Obama bashes Ludacris's McCain-critical rap... John McCain compares Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in new ad... Attorney says Britney Spears doesn't want contact with Sam Lutfi... Kathy Griffin swears off plastic surgery... Alicia Keys and Jack White team up on Bond theme... Jonathan Rhys Meyers says celebs should stop whining about attention... Jennifer Aniston fits right in on John Mayer tour, say pals... Alleged Shia LaBeouf crash wreckage appears on eBay... Ali Lohan accidentally auditions for porn director... Amy Winehouse gets home delivery of blood?... Cheech and Chong reunite for comedy tour... Fergie cast as prostitute in "Nine"... Law firm says Ed McMahon owes $275,000... Wyclef Jean sued by jeweler to the stars. Rumor Mill: Britney Spears's father to stay in control through the end of the year... Elizabeth Taylor on life support, says National Enquirer... Tom Cruise's...

By Liz Kelly  | July 31, 2008; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (121)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Comic-Con Bonus Video: The Fans' Assessment

I can't speak for Liz. (Well, I could speak for Liz, but that would be rude and uncalled for.) But I suspect we both are still experiencing a Comic-Con hangover, that sleepy, headachy feeling that inevitably comes from imbibing too much pop culture in a brief period of time. From my perspective, last weekend was hectic, overwhelming and a total, complete blast. But I wanted to know what the attendees of Comic-Con thought of this year's big event. So I asked a few and captured their thoughts on video. Hence, I present this clip, which features, among other things, a dude dressed as Batman but whose actual name -- here comes the irony, kids -- is Robynn. And yes, there were thousands of people at Comic-Con who were not dressed in costumes. But they don't look nearly as cool on video....

By Jen Chaney  | July 30, 2008; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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Creative Captioning: Chris Martin's Got the Look

He's married to insouciant Gwyneth Paltrow and dreamt of by Miley Cyrus, so what could Chris Martin possibly have to fear? Perhaps he's horrified at yet another "mommy afternoon" visit from Gwynnie's pal Madonna? Whatever the case, it is up to you to diagnose Mr. Martin's major malfunction and craft it into the witty winning caption that will forever claim you the title of Official Celebritology Captionologist for the week of July 28 - Aug. 1. The best entries will be listed here Monday. (AP)...

By Liz Kelly  | July 30, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
Categories:  Creative Captioning  
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Morning Mix: Report -- Kate Hudson and Lance Armstrong Split

'Dark Knight' co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal speaks at a press conference in Japan Tuesday. (AP) Headlines: Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie and Tilda Swinton (who wore this to the Oscars) among Vanity Fair's "best dressed"... Rep says Madonna was victim of photo manipulation... Kevin Federline says he "can't complain" about life... Freddie Prinze Jr. gets new gig on WWE creative team. Crime Watch: Cops says Shia LaBeouf not to blame for weekend accident... Police take gun from Jerry Lewis at Las Vegas airport. Rumor Mill: Kate Hudson and Lance Armstrong split after three months... People magazine wins battle for Brangelina baby pix... Britney Spears spending $22,000 a month on fitness regimen... Jamie Lynn Spears planning to wed by year's end... Curtains for "Hannah Montana?"... Amy Winehouse's drink spiked with ecstasy, says dad... Dina Lohan booted from movie premiere?... Barron Hilton (Paris's little brother) hits Hamptons clubs with fake ID. In Case...

By Liz Kelly  | July 30, 2008; 7:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Celeb-Centric Art: The Etch-A-Sketchist

After news broke that Estelle Getty had passed away last week, the Etch-A-Sketchist got to work. (Image courtesy the Etch-A-Sketchist) Since my taste tends to run to the kitschy, some of my favorite art is celebrity inspired. I would be the first to dismiss my tabloid taste as lowbrow, if it weren't for the fact that Andy Warhol, too, found beauty in the faces of the famous -- beauty and something more: social commentary in its most bald (and bold) faced form. And so it is in the finest tradition of Warhol that we should view the work of the shadowy Etch-A-Sketchist, who has been rendering the faces of celebrities in aluminum powder since early 2007. Though, unlike Warhol's iconic works -- which now auction for millions, the Etch-A-Sketchist's works are fleeting -- each one disappearing back into the clouds of silvery dust inside the familiar red-framed toy, only...

By Liz Kelly  | July 29, 2008; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Extreme Fans, Miscellaneous, Pop Culture  
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More Comic-Con Bonus Video: 'Mystery Science Theater'

We did so much at Comic-Con that we still have a few pop culture morsels left to share. Juicy ones, too, especially (in this case) for fans of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Everyone involved with the series -- which, for those who don't recall, was a combination of sci-fi and snarky mockery of B-movies -- came together at Comic-Con for a 20th anniversary reunion, an event that will be celebrated further with a 20th anniversary DVD release in October. I got to sit down with three of the original guys involved in the series -- Trace Beaulieu, host Joel Hodgson and Jim Mallon -- to talk about the still fervent "MST 3K" fan base. The "MST" robots, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, were technically present as well, but could not speak on camera due to union regulations of some sort. No, I am not making that up. Anyway, hope...

By Jen Chaney  | July 29, 2008; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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Morning Mix: Amy Winehouse Briefly Hospitalized (Again)

Headlines: Amy Winehouse released from London hospital after overnight stay... "Transformers 2" co-star Isabel Lucas was in car with Shia LaBeouf... Miley Cyrus offered $1 million to become condom spokesperson... Kelsey Grammer hospitalized in New York... Miley describes her dream man (watch out, Gwyneth)... Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell expecting twins... Kyle MacLachlan and wife welcome new son... "24's" Mary Lynn Rajskub gives birth to baby boy... Maria Bello engaged... Mario Lopez to take over "Extra" hosting duties... Brooke Hogan gloats over outwitting the "press." Crime Watch: Former South African Oprah school official pleads not guilty to abuse. Rumor Mill: Shark samples Ryan Seacrest's toe, moves on... Cops don't recognize Shannen Doherty. Headline Envy Amy Winehouse: Long Day's Gurney Into Night...

By Liz Kelly  | July 29, 2008; 7:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (157)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Comic-Con Bonus Video: Shooting Stars in San Diego

Jen and I spent Saturday evening on the working end of a red carpet quizzing stars about their Comic-Con 2008 experiences and their latest projects. In case you missed it, we wrote about some of the highlights yesterday. Below, a little footage from some of our favorite interviews and, captured on tape, Nathan Fillion's abrupt dismissal of pleated pants: Meet me back here tomorrow morning when the blog returns to its regularly scheduled programming....

By Liz Kelly  | July 28, 2008; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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Comic-Con Bonus Video: Simon Pegg and Co. Speak

During my time at Comic-Con, I got to interview Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Jessica Hynes of the cult-favorite British series, "Spaced." After running into "Superbad" director Greg Mottola over at the Convention Center and finding out that Mottola planned to work with Pegg on a feature film partially set at Comic-Con, I attempted to get more information from the "Shaun of the Dead" star himself. Pegg would confirm nothing, including the fact that frequent collaborator Nick Frost will appear in the Mottola-helmed movie with him. He and his buddies did, however, address the idea of "Spaced" becoming a film, their impressions of Comic-Con and plans to complete the trilogy Pegg and Wright began with "Shaun" and the cop-movie-parody, "Hot Fuzz." See and hear it all for yourselves in the video interview below....

By Jen Chaney  | July 28, 2008; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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Morning Mix: Shia LaBeouf Recovering After DUI

Headlines: Paparazzi and police scuffle at Brangelina's French chateau... Halle Berry says paparazzi invaded her privacy to get pics of daughter... Britney Spears nominated for Video Music Award... Spears to pay K-Fed $20,000 a month in child support... We'll have to wait a bit longer for Russell Crowe's Robin Hood movie... Sick of "outbursts," Heather Mills's publicist quits... Dixie Chick Martie Maguire gives birth to third daughter... Singer Connie Francis hospitalized... Lindsay Lohan side-swiped by motorcycle...or was she?... Corey Feldman opens up about rift with Corey Haim... Pix: Daniel Craig on the cover of German Vogue. Crime Watch: Shi LaBeouf arrested for DUI after crash, recovering from "extensive" hand surgery. Rumor Mill: New Whitney Houston song leaked online... Kevin Smith says Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are expecting a second child... Keira Knightley says no to breast enhancement in movie promos... Madonna and Guy Ritchie to renew wedding vows......

By Liz Kelly  | July 28, 2008; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Comic-Con, Daily Mix  
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Morning Mix: Partying the Comic-Con Way

Nathan Fillion. (Liz Kelly for washingtonpost.com) At Saturday night's rooftop EW/Sci-Fi channel party, a relaxed Nathan Fillion, here to promote "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" and his voice work in the animated "Wonder Woman" series, said he's a flat-front pants kind of guy. "The only time I go with pleats," he said, "is when I'm wearing a kilt." -- Liz Meanwhile, "Pineapple Express's" Amber Heard arrived in full-on glamazon mode -- replete with micro-mini, sky-high heels and a gravity-defying updo. While she struck sultry poses for the assembled photographers, her publicist whisked her by the rest of us. Maybe she's all talked out? Also on the red carpet, "Chuck" stars Zachary Levi and Josh Gomez, commenting on Comic-Con's "nerd" factor, yelled in Amber's direction: "Look at that geek. Hey, your abacus is showing!" -- Liz More Zachary Levi love: He's hilarious, super-friendly and loves "Lost." What more could you...

By Liz Kelly  | July 27, 2008; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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Comic-Con: A Trio of Movies Worth Watching

Yesterday I stayed parked in the Convention Center's Hall H for virtually the entire day, ingesting movie presentation after movie presentation. I saw sneak peeks and/or panel discussions of eight upcoming flicks. These are the three that gave me the best reason to get excited: 1. "Terminator Salvation" The reboot of the "Terminator" franchise, starring Christian Bale as John Connor, should start generating positive buzz after yesterday's panel, in which director McG got everyone in the room fired up by calling Bale (who was in Japan to promote "Dark Knight") on his cell phone and convincing all 6500 of us to scream into his voice mail. McG suggested that the new "Terminator" may be R-rated, despite rumors of a PG-13, and strongly implied that Schwarzenegger's character will be part of the story. He was joined onstage by several key cast members, including Bryce Dallas Howard, Common and Anton Yelchin,...

By Jen Chaney  | July 27, 2008; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Comic-Con  
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