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Celebritology 2.0: September 26, 2010 - October 2, 2010

Celebritology Weekend: Spike Lee calls Tea Partiers fanatics; Tony Bennett's advice for LiLo

Three celeb-centric stories on our radar this weekend... Spike Lee at Friday's Washington Ideas Forum. (AP) Lee speaks out: The always quotable Spike Lee was in town this week for the Washington Ideas Forum, a series of interviews with newsmakers and big thinkers co-presented at the Newseum by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. In keeping with Lee tradition, he dished out a few juicy sound bites during a Friday morning conversation with historian and journalist Douglas Brinkley. Of the Bush administration’s performance during Hurricane Katrina, he said: “People are dead now because they did not do what they needed to do.” On the BP oil spill, which made its way into his recent HBO documentary, “If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise”: “BP dictated to the United States of America how this thing was going to be run.” On President Obama, a man who took First Lady...

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | October 2, 2010; 5:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Celebritology Weekend  
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Pop Culture Pulse: A 'Beach Boys' musical in the works?

The Beach Boys -- following Abba to the silver screen? (Capitol Records) Moviegoers could soon be picking up “Good Vibrations” from the big screen. According to a report in Variety, 20th Century Fox has snagged the rights to a musical based on the songs of the Beach Boys. The script has not been written -- Susannah Grant of “Erin Brockovich” fame has been tasked with that job -- but reportedly it will unfold “Mamma Mia!” style, with the tracks punctuating the moments in a fictional story. Let's just hope that former Interior Secretary James Watt -- the man who got the Boys banned from the National Mall in the early '80s -- somehow makes a cameo appearance. [Deadline.com]...

By Jen Chaney  | October 2, 2010; 4:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Celebritology Weekend  
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Mario charged with assault on mother

"Let Me Love You" singer (and one-time "Dancing with the Stars" contestant) Mario was taken into custody Friday after allegedly assaulting his mother, Shawntia Hardaway, in their Baltimore home. According to The Baltimore Sun, the R&B singer was charged with second-degree assault and released on $50,000 bond. Hardaway told police Mario had pushed her in the chest and shoulder and that Friday's incident was not the first time he had touched her. The singer's lawyer, William "Hassan" Murphy III made this statement to MTV News: "This is an unfortunate incident between a loving son and a mother who continues to struggle with a devastating addiction." Hardaway's relationship with his mother was chronicled in the MTV documentary "I Won't Love You to Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom," an account of his attempt to help her beat heroin addiction. [Baltimore Sun, MTV News]...

By Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney  | October 2, 2010; 4:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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'A-Team' creator Stephen J. Cannell dead

Stephen J. Cannell in 2006. (AP) Could this week get any deathier? Stephen J. Cannell -- creator of juggernaut TV shows, from "The A-Team" to "21 Jump Street" -- has died of complications from melanoma, becoming only the latest in a series of high profile deaths this week, including actor Tony Curtis, comedian Greg Giraldo, director Arthur Penn and actress Gloria Stuart. Cannell started out as a writer on "Columbo" and "Adam-12" before evolving into a producer. He created (according to Wikipedia) nearly 40 television series with credits including "The Rockford Files," the afore-mentioned "21 Jump Street" (where a guy named Johnny Depp got his start), "Wiseguy" and "The Greatest American Hero," to name just a few. He also acted, and most recently appeared as himself on "Castle" as one of Castle's poker buddies (along with writers James Patterson and Michael Connelly). In addition to his TV credits, Cannell...

By Liz Kelly  | October 1, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  TV  
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J.K. Rowling tells Oprah Winfrey she 'could' write more Harry Potter books. But should she?

J.K. Rowling and Oprah Winfrey. (Harpo Productions via AP) In an interview scheduled to air today on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," J.K. Rowling tells the Queen of All Media that she "could definitely" write more books in the Harry Potter series. She doesn't say she will, mind you, just that it's possible. Which is a big deal to Leaky Cauldron lurkers since, in the past, Rowling has insisted that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" marked the definitive end to the story of the Boy Who Lived. While speaking with a British filmmaker for a 2007 Rowling documentary that aired on ABC in 2009, she made that point clear. "I think no, it's definitely time to stop, it's time to stop now," said Rowling. "It gives me a certain satisfaction to say what I thought happened, and to tell other people that, because I would like my version to...

By Jen Chaney  | October 1, 2010; 2:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Books, Oprah Winfrey, Pop Culture  
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The eight horror movies most likely to wreck a childhood

The power of Christ compels us to share this list of childhood-wrecking horror flicks. (Warner Bros. via Reuters) We have officially entered the month of October, a time to bask in the joys of fall foliage, brisk autumnal days and stuff that scares the heck out of us. Yes, this is the month of Halloween, perhaps Celebritology's favorite holiday. In keeping with the spirit of all things creepy, kooky and/or ooky, our October Friday lists will all have some sort of Halloween-ish theme. Starting today, with our list of eight horror movies most likely to wreck a childhood. We're not necessarily talking about masterfully crafted, works of Hitchcockian art -- although "Psycho," among others, certainly qualifies as a childhood-wrecker. We're talking about movies that have proven their ability to imprint horrifying images on young minds, thereby forcing little boys and girls to stay up all night, staring at the...

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | October 1, 2010; 1:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Friday Lists, Movies, Pop Culture  
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Fashion Statement: Tyra Banks, caught in her own web

(AP Photo)...

By Liz Kelly  | October 1, 2010; 1:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Fashion  
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'Titanic' to get 3-D re-release

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet: Their hearts will go on ... in 3D. (Paramount Via AP) "Titanic" -- like the "Star Wars" movies, as we learned just two days ago -- is definitely getting the 3-D treatment. The love-on-a-doomed-ocean liner movie is now officially scheduled to be converted to 3-D in time for a 2012 theatrical re-release, according to an item in The Hollywood Reporter. And Paramount is looking to roll out their James Cameron blockbuster -- now the second highest grossing film of all time, right behind Cameron's "Avatar" -- into theaters around the same that Darth Vader and Co. are scheduled to make their triumphant return: between February and April of 2012. Right away, some may see an irony in Cameron converting one of his own movies to 3-D when he's criticized the practice before. (He has also, however, been saying this would happen with "Titanic" for...

By Jen Chaney  | October 1, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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Rumor Mill: Did Oksana Grigorieva accuse ex of abuse, too?

Oksana Grigorieva. (AP) Multiple sources -- who may or may not be on the payroll of one Mel Gibson -- are telling TMZ.com that Gibson ex Oksana Grigorieva once accused Timothy Dalton of abusive behavior. Dalton is the father of Grigorieva's teenage son. (You know, the kid Gibson called an [expletive].) According to the sources, Grigorieva (who is expected to land on Oprah's couch in the near future) complained to Gibson about the prior abuse and TMZ claims that “the L.A. County Sheriff's Department is in possession of at least one email from Oksana to Mel in which she claims Dalton physically abused her.” Grigorieva's lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, says the accusations are complete fabrications. “Tim is a wonderful father,” commented Grigorieva to TMZ. “We have a great relationship. Any implication that he ever struck me is untrue. He is a very private person and I would like people to...

By Liz Kelly  | October 1, 2010; 10:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Britney Spears to remain under conservatorship; No divorce for Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt

Britney Spears in 2009. (AP) It's Britney's Sitch: Britney Spears, despite being of sound enough mind to make a splashy "Glee" guest appearance, is apparently not ready to handle her own finances. At a Thursday hearing, a judge ruled that Spears's financial affairs will remain in her dad's control indefinitely. Although judge Reva Goetz agreed that Spears seemed to be in good health, she remained "susceptible to undue influence." [BBC News] Celebrity Beat: After 13 years, Heidi Klum breaks up with Victoria's Secret... Heidi Montag/Spencer Pratt divorce proceedings dismissed... Alec Baldwin wants to see Blake Lively naked... Leave it to Gilbert Gottfried to make the first tasteless joke about Greg Giraldo's death... Whoopi Goldberg defends pal Mel Gibson... Katie Holmes wears the least attractive dress ever... Bacon Kevin Bacon (no, it's not edible). Rumor Mill: Jennifer Lopez and Ryan Seacrest feuding on "Idol" set?... Mel and Robyn Gibson close...

By Liz Kelly  | October 1, 2010; 8:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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'Paranormal Activity 2': New trailer and new viral shenanigans

"Paranormal Activity" became a surprise box office hit at this time last year because of some smart viral marketing on the part of Paramount Pictures. Now the studio is trying to repeat that same model with the movie's sequel. Viral clips have begun circulating in recent days, and a new promo for the movie has also been released, finally giving audiences a clearer sense of what the horror flick, which arrives in theaters Oct. 22, might actually be about ... you know, besides being about earning more money for Paramount Pictures. So here's what we know, based on the clip above and the additional viral clips that follow....

By Jen Chaney  | October 1, 2010; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon break down the history of rap

Justin Timberlake may be concentrating on his acting game lately as he hops from talk show to talk show promoting his new movie, "The Social Network," which opens in theaters today. (Jen wrote about it earlier this week.) But on Wednesday's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" Timberlake reminded us that he's all kinds of musically gifted, too. Timberlake and Fallon teamed up to perform "The History of Rap" and, almost 48 hours later, the clip is going viral. So whether you're a Timberlake fan, a Fallon fan or (like me) a lifelong rap aficionado, enjoy: Reminder: This isn't Timberlake's first musical collaboration with an "SNL" cast member. He and Andy Samberg made comedy history in 2006 with the incomparable "[Expletive] in a Box."...

By Liz Kelly  | October 1, 2010; 7:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  
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A Q&A with Kodi Smit-McPhee, star of 'Let Me In'

Kodi Smit-McPhee at the L.A. premiere of "Let Me In." (Getty Images) In his first role in a major American motion picture, Kodi Smit-McPhee took on a major challenge: playing the son of a barely surviving Viggo Mortensen in the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road." Now, with his second starring role in a big Hollywood release, he's tackling an adaptation of a different sort: "Let Me In," the remake of the acclaimed Swedish vampire film "Let the Right One In," also based on a book. In it, Smit-McPhee, 14, plays Owen, a young, alienated boy who -- as in the original -- falls hard for a girl (Chloe Moretz) who happens to have a serious thirst for human blood. During my visit to Comic-Con earlier this year, I spent some time talking to the young Australian about why he chose to star in "Let Me In," his feelings...

By Jen Chaney  | September 30, 2010; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Comic-Con, Movies, Pop Culture  | Tags:  Fall Movies, Q&As  
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Yabba Dabba Doo: 'The Flintstones' mark 50th anniversary

Remember when Fred Flintstone ticked off that hothead Mr. Slate? Wilma's elephant faucet (just one of her living, breathing, complaining appliances)? That utterly annoying and condescending little alien the Great Gazoo? No? In that case, you may not be that interested in learning that Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of "The Flintstones" -- you know, the animated misadventures of a modern stone-age family and staple of after-school cartoon-watching for generations of kids, including this one. Even Google has marked the occasion with a "Flinstones" Google Doodle. More clips after the jump......

By Liz Kelly  | September 30, 2010; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  TV  
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A possible 'Munsters' return; 'Lone Star' goes to late night?; the Oscars, with even less diversity

Three pop culture-related stories on our radar this afternoon, including a possible time slot for the remaining "Lone Star" episodes and a look at a very Caucasian Oscar field: 1. 'The Munsters' is back (maybe): If you harbor sincere affection for both Eddie Munster and the sweetly wacky, defunct series "Pushing Daisies," here's some good news: Bryan Fuller, the man who created "Daises," is currently working on a "Munsters" reboot for NBC. Michael Ausiello of Entertainment Weekly says the series has been described as, "'Modern Family' meets 'True Blood,'” and that Guillermo del Toro may be involved in some way. So just to recap, that would be a merger of the video above, with a little of this: A little of this: And a little of this: Okay, I'm in. [Entertainment Weekly]...

By Jen Chaney  | September 30, 2010; 1:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Midday Mix, Paris Hilton, Pop Culture  
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Greg Giraldo tributes keep coming; Lindsay Lohan at Betty Ford Clinic

Three celeb-centric stories on our radar this afternoon... 1. Tributes for Greg Giraldo, who died Wednesday as the result of an accidental overdose, continue to flood the Web. He remains a trending topic on Twitter, and comics, including Denis Leary, Daniel Tosh and Aziz Ansari have added their tweets to the memorials. Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" was able to scramble yesterday afternoon to include a nice bit of eulogizing from Stewart, and the usual show-ending "Moment of Zen" was replaced with a "Moment of Greg": The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10cMoment of Zen - Our Moment of Greg Giraldowww.thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity 2. Lindsay Lohan is rehabbing at the celeb-friendly Betty Ford Clinic, according to TMZ.com. Here's hoping the fifth time is the charm. Meanwhile, father Michael -- who yesterday berated ex-wife Dina for attempting to establish a conservatorship over Lilo...

By Liz Kelly  | September 30, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Midday Mix  
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Tony Curtis dies: mourning the loss of a legend

Tony Curtis, dead at the age of 85. (AP) | More Curtis Photos In the wake of the sad news that Tony Curtis has died of a heart attack, fans and celebrities from various corners of Hollywood are paying their respects to this fine actor, true movie star, six-time husband and man who, courtesy of “Some Like It Hot,” turned dressing in drag into a touchstone for cinematic comedy. Curtis's daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis -- who lost her mother and Curtis's first wife, Janet Leigh, to cardiac arrest in 2004 -- issued the following statement....

By Jen Chaney  | September 30, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Celebrities, Obits  
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Wayne Brady's 'Every Little Step' remake

And the hits keep on coming. On the heels of Spencer Pratt's trailer and Courtney Love's animated short, Wayne Brady debuted a shot-for-shot remake of Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step" at FunnyorDie.com. The problem is, there isn't much funny there. Unless you are easily amused by Mike Tyson as a back-up dancer, retro biker shorts or Bobby Brown's cameo. I did enjoy it, though. Maybe because I like the song. Maybe because it distracted me from concerns about my house floating away. Or maybe because Brady has inaugurated a new art form: Celebrity karaoke. For comparison's sake, here's the original video: Also for comparison's sake, Wayne Brady actually being funny: Chappelle's ShowThe Wayne Brady Showwww.comedycentral.comBlack Comedy...

By Liz Kelly  | September 30, 2010; 9:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki of 'Big Bang Theory': Secret lovers?

Kaley Cuoco has admitted that she and Johnny Galecki -- who play hot-girl-meets-geek lovers on "The Big Bang Theory" -- secretly dated for two years. In an interview with CBS Watch magazine, she opens up about the relationship, which she says the two committed to keeping under wraps. "It was a wonderful relationship but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together," she tells the network publication. "We were so protective of ourselves and the show and didn’t want anything to ruin that. But that also made it sad, too. That’s not the kind of relationship I want -- I don’t want to be hiding. We couldn’t do anything. It wasn’t as fun as we wanted it to be. Everyone was always asking, and we deny-deny-denied." Cuoco implies that other people connected with the show preferred that the two not share their real-life romantic feelings...

By Jen Chaney  | September 30, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Celebrities, Pop Culture, TV  
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Spencer Pratt debuts trailer for his first feature film

You can't keep a good man down. Or, apparently a cheesy publicity hound like Spencer Pratt. It's almost endearing the way he just keeps pushing himself back into the spotlight. Even if that spotlight is his own YouTube channel. On Wednesday, Pratt debuted the trailer for his upcoming feature film, "Tower 69: Malibu Beach Patrol." And when I say "feature film" I mean something that will likely bypass both actual theaters and DVD release to go straight to the afore-mentioned Spencer Pratt YouTube channel. All snark aside, Pratt gets some props for actually producing something that doesn't look as if it was shot with his iPhone. Warning: The trailer itself contains lots of NSFW language and shots of women jiggling around aimlessly in bikinis. But the more disturbing part is the intro, in which "Robber Baron Spencer Pratt" stares unblinking at the camera as he explains a contest tied to...

By Liz Kelly  | September 30, 2010; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Celebrities, Daily Mix  
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Report: Comedian Greg Giraldo dead at 44

TMZ is reporting that comedian Greg Giraldo, who was hospitalized over the weekend after an apparent accidental overdose, has died. "RIP Greg Giraldo" is already the top trending topic on Twitter as fans and other comedians mark his passing. Close friend and fellow comedian Jim Norton: "Greg Giraldo passed away today. This is the last photo of us together, taken June 28 at Noam's wedding. RIP buddy." Sarah Silverman: "RIP Greg Giraldo. Belly-laugh hilarious, prolific, good & kind. A thousand oys can't express." Jamie Kennedy: "greg giraldo. the world has lost a brilliant mind. i was very fortunate to watch greg at the laugh factory many times. he was gutbusting.RIP" Dane Cook: "Greg Giraldo may you RIP. My thoughts & prayers go to his family, friends & fans." Giraldo was a reliably funny regular on Comedy Central roasts and had most recently served as a judge on NBC's reality competition...

By Liz Kelly  | September 29, 2010; 5:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Celebrities, Obits  
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Rumor mill: Oksana Grigorieva to sit down with Oprah?

Oksana Grigorieva, possibly headed to Oprah's show. (AP) TMZ and Us Weekly are reporting that Oksana Grigorieva -- ex-girlfriend of Mel Gibson and official preserver of all audio recordings of their allegedly ugly arguments -- will make an appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Us Weekly reports that Winfrey's people have been battling with bookers from "60 Minutes" to get the sought-after interview, and that the Oprah team has prevailed. TMZ also confirms the story. Meanwhile, however, Harpo Productions has made no official announcement about the interview, so a date and time for the supposed televised confab remain unknown. If and when more information becomes available, we will share it, as a public service to those seeking to set their DVRs to capture all can't-miss daytime programming. You're welcome. Sources: Us Weekly and TMZ...

By Jen Chaney  | September 29, 2010; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Celebrities, Mel Gibson, Oprah Winfrey  
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Paying tribute to Arthur Penn, dead at the age of 88

Filmmaker Arthur Penn has died, just one day after his 88th birthday. He was known for directing many films, including "The Miracle Worker," "Little Big Man" and "Alice's Restaurant." But it's indisputably "Bonnie and Clyde" for which he'll be best remembered. Of all the moments in that hugely influential 1967 movie -- a movie that presented many challenges for Penn, including constant battles with Warren Beatty and his ego -- none is more memorable than the climactic killing that closes the film. Even though you know what's coming, it still stands as a shocking, masterfully edited, gorgeously conceived piece of cinema, one that set a standard for shoot-'em-up scenes for decades to come. Or, to put it in the words that "Bonnie and Clyde" screenwriter Robert Benton once used, that violent finale remains "a masterpiece of a ballet of death." Watch, assuming you can handle all the bullets and blood,...

By Jen Chaney  | September 29, 2010; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Movies  
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Courtney Love gets animated

My obsession with dirtbags is no secret. So it shouldn't be that shocking to learn that Courtney Love is one of my favorite distaff dirtbags. Why? Because in addition to writing some amazing Hole songs, she's kooky (and embraces it, as you'll see below). Any followers of Love's Twitter ramblings will be familiar with her unapologetic take on her own shortcomings (of which there are many). Sure, she may completely meltdown on stage and be incapable of raising her own child, but hey, she's interesting and she owns it. Today Love debuted an animated video, "The Dark Night of the Soul," by Michael Mouris (creator of such NSFW classics as "Previously on Britney" and "It's a Wonderful Lohan") that traces her path to enlightenment with the help of a Birkin Bag, Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Stipe, Andre Leon Talley and some noodles. It is utterly worth watching, but take care to...

By Liz Kelly  | September 29, 2010; 2:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Madonna ads manipulated?; 'Jersey Shore's' Snooki pens boardwalk romance

The alleged Madonna before and after pix. (Courtesy of Jezebel.com) Three celeb-centric stories on our radar this afternoon ... 1. Manipulating Madonna? Another day, another accusation of photo retouching being used to tweak the image of a celeb. This time, Madonna is the target. Specifically, the ads she recently shot for Dolce & Gabbana, in which she does her best impression of a miserable, yet beautiful, hausfrau. The 52-year-old Material Girl appears to be ageless -- with smooth skin, a bod that rivals her own 14-year-old daughter's and nary a wrinkle. But the folks over at Yeeeah! claim to have scored versions of the images prior to retouching. To quote Yeeeah's! anonymous blogger, "She looks like a cross between Courtney Love and Bea Arthur on roids." I'm not sure I'd go that far, but there's a marked difference. [Yeeeah via Jezebel] 2. Amy Fisher, porn star. Three years after...

By Liz Kelly  | September 29, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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A pair of 'Mad Men' make casting news; 'Star Wars' movies to get 3-D re-release; 'Lone Star' cancelled

Three pop culture-related stories on our radar this afternoon -- scroll down for information on "Lone Star's" cancellation, "Star Wars" in 3D and more: 1. "Mad Men" in the movies: Good news for two of the partners at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Vincent Kartheiser, who plays the often-oily Pete Campbell on "Mad Men," has been cast as the father of Amanda Seyfried in an upcoming, still-unnamed thriller, also starring Justin Timberlake. Yes, the ages of these two actors are pretty close together. According to New York Magazine's Vulture blog, some of the characters don't mature beyond age 25. Which should explain everything, but doesn't really. Also newly cast: Jared Harris, otherwise known as Lane Pryce, who reportedly will play Moriarty in the upcoming "Sherlock Holmes 2." Presumably the role of Holmes's nemesis will not involve Harris's character delaying dinner with a Playboy bunny so he can get knocked around...

By Jen Chaney  | September 29, 2010; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Midday Mix, Pop Culture  
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Kanye West is Tracy Jordan? On Twitter. Kind of.

As if there weren't already enough Kanye West-related Internet memes, on Friday, Seattle-based game designers John Horner Harper and Scott Dierdorf astutely observed that the addition of "Liz Lemon" to almost any of Kanye West's tweets results in the kind of irresistible nonsense talk usually uttered by "30 Rock" character Tracy Jordan. Or by Tracy Morgan in real life. So, this of course resulted in a flurry of Kanye/Tracy mash-up tweets. Behold: Harper discussed his inspiration with the Seattle Times yesterday: "I just started following Kanye a couple weeks ago, and was just falling in love with his tweets. They're just so unselfconscious and hilarious. I think it was something during fashion week — it reminded me of a Tracy Jordan line from "30 Rock" where he says, 'Live every week like it's shark week.' Soon a hashtag (#Kanyeistracyjordan) and several parody accounts were born -- Kanye_Jordan, TracyKWJordan, KanyeJordan. And,...

By Liz Kelly  | September 29, 2010; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Celebrities, Pop Culture  
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Justin Bieber, in action figure form

Justin Bieber, in doll form. (Justinbiebertoys.com) It's unclear why it's taken this long for Justin Bieber action figures to hit the market place. But at least those suffering from Bieber Fever don't have to wait much longer to buy them. As Reuters reports, two lines of Bieber dolls -- one that focuses on his style, and another, dubbed the Music Video Collection, that features a pair of singing Bieber figures -- are slated to arrive in stores in early December, just in time for holiday shopping. (On a personal note, this definitely makes choosing a Christmas present for Liz soooo much easier.) The best thing about having a Justin Bieber doll, obviously, is that it will allow people to reenact all those Bieb-related Internet memes and classic moments in doll form. So you can make like Todd Haynes directing "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" and create YouTube videos featuring...

By Jen Chaney  | September 29, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Justin Bieber, Pop Culture  
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Christina Aguilera, curvier than ever?

Is Christina Aguilera packing on the pounds? The New York Daily News and the U.K.'s Daily Mail, among others, are describing Aguilera as "curvier" and "full-figured." In fact, the Daily Mail describes the star's physique as "the heaviest she's ever been, barring her pregnancy in 2008." Based on the photo comparison below (that's Aguilera in June on the left and, at right, on Sept. 25) I'm not so sure. Maybe she's put on a little weight, but the day-glo orange tan, pageant hair and bias cut dress may all be conspiring to make her appear heavier than she actually is. (Left, Getty Images; Right, Reuters) What say you? Sources: New York Daily News, Daily Mail...

By Liz Kelly  | September 29, 2010; 9:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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The Britney Spears episode of 'Glee': Is it time to lose the celeb-focused tributes?

The Britney Spears episode of "Glee" gave us the full "Hit Me Baby, One More Time" routine Tuesday night. And as the Post's Emily Yahr notes in her full recap of the episode, it delivered lots of Britney music, and even more of Brittany (Heather Morris) and her deadpan loopy dialogue, but not much face time from Spears. As "The Power of Madonna" did last season, it also raised a question: is it in "Glee's" best interest to focus entire episodes around a major musical and celebrity icon?...

By Jen Chaney  | September 29, 2010; 8:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities, TV  
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Seth Rogen engaged; 'Ferris Bueller' principal pleads guilty to sex offense

Seth Rogen and fiance Lauren Miller in April. (AP) Some stories on our radar this morning... Seth Rogen is engaged to real life girlfriend Lauren Miller, according to Life & Style. The couple has been dating since 2004, and according to a "friend" quoted in the article, Miller had "started giving up hope that he would pop the question." [Life & Style] Jeffrey Jones (a.k.a. "Ferris Bueller's" Principal Rooney) pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of failing to update his sex offender registration. In 2003, Jones pleaded no contest to inducing a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photographs, requiring him to register yearly. [TMZ.com] Michael Lohan tells Radar he's learned of a diabolical plot hatched by ex-wife Dina to place troubled daughter Lindsay under a conservatorship. Because it's all about him, Lohan pere speculates that the legal bid is the latest effort to keep him out of...

By Liz Kelly  | September 29, 2010; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Josh Holloway joins cast of 'Mission: Impossible 4'

Josh Holloway, choosing to accept "Mission." (ABC) James "Sawyer" Ford, you now work for Mr. Tom Cruise. According to an item in the Hollywood Reporter, Josh Holloway has been cast as a member of the Impossible Mission Force in "Mission: Impossible IV," where he will appear alongside the aforementioned Cruise (leader of said Force) and Jeremy Renner, among others. This is the first major motion-picture role for Holloway, who filled the small screen with pop-culture-inspired nicknames and dirtbag hotness for six seasons on TV's "Lost." For those keeping score, let's adjust our tallies. This marks our second major casting announcement of the day involving a former "Lost" star and the second time a J.J. Abrams project (he's the producer of "M:I IV") recently has provided a job for a former "Lost" cast member -- third time if you count Terry O'Quinn and Michael Emerson as separate entities in their...

By Jen Chaney  | September 28, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Lost, Movies, Pop Culture  
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Report: Lindsay Lohan checks back in to rehab

Lindsay Lohan in a booking photo from her brief jail stay last week. (Getty Images) After a brief weekend of freedom (wisely spent in an attempt to hawk pictures of herself for cash), Lindsay Lohan has checked in to an undisclosed Southern California rehab facility, TZM.com is reporting. Lohan spent 15 hours in jail last week after testing positive for cocaine in a routine drug screening before coming up with $300,000 in bail money. According to TMZ, she's expected to remain in rehab until her next court hearing on Oct. 22. Source: TMZ.com...

By Liz Kelly  | September 28, 2010; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Lindsay Lohan  
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'The Social Network': Will the Facebook movie hurt Facebook's business?

Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, plotting Internet dominance with Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker in "The Social Network." (Sony) After emerging from a screening last week of the highly anticipated "The Social Network" -- the dramatization of the evolution of Facebook that, for the record, is every bit as compelling as all the buzz suggests -- I overheard two women engaged in animated chatter. "Such a jerk," I heard one of them tell the other, clearly referring to Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder who, as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg in the movie, comes across as an opportunistic, speed-talking, insecure little weasel. Then I overheard this same, clearly agitated woman say something really interesting. She told her movie-going companion that she would "never spend time on that Web site" again, implying that Zuckerberg's behavior -- again, at least as portrayed in the film -- had completely turned her off of...

By Jen Chaney  | September 28, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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Mackenzie Foy may join 'Breaking Dawn'; Sally Menke, editor for Quentin Tarantino, dies suddenly

Three pop culture-related stories on our radar this afternoon: 1. More "Breaking Dawn" casting news: First we learned that Maggie Grace has signed on to play Irina in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn." Now Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Mackenzie Foy may be cast as Renesmee, the product of the most heralded romantic union of our time, the one between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Foy, 9, is a newcomer, but you may recognize her from TV appearances on "Flash Forward" and "'Til Death," or random tribute videos on YouTube like the one above. [Entertainment Weekly] 2. A sad passing: Sally Menke, Quentin Tarantino's longtime editor, reportedly died Monday while hiking with her dog near L.A.'s Griffith Park, the L.A. Times reports. Menke went missing Monday after heading out for that hike and was discovered early Tuesday morning by a search party. The 56-year-old worked on every one of...

By Jen Chaney  | September 28, 2010; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Midday Mix, Pop Culture  
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A Snooki alcohol-poisoning scare?; admitted Orlando Bloom burglar Alexis Neiers shopping book

Snooki poses for a picture at the Hampton Chic launch Party on Monday in Marina del Rey, Calif. (Getty Images) Three celeb-centric stories on our radar this afternoon ... 1. Snooki scare. Nicole Polizzi, better known to the world as “Jersey Shore” smidget “Snooki,” apparently had an alcohol-related situation (hehe) described by Radar Online as a “near-death” experience. The incident reportedly happened back in May when Polizzi had to be hospitalized after a night of heavy drinking at Miami club Dream, but was kept under wraps until last week's episode aired. The episode did include footage of a seemingly drunk Snooki harassing roommate J-Woww and her boyfriend while they attempted to get it on in the same room. Did I mention that this show is super classy? [RadarOnline] 2. Steal this book! No wait, don't. Apparently, burgling Orlando Bloom’s house and co-starring in the dippiest reality TV show ever...

By Liz Kelly  | September 28, 2010; 12:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Midday Mix  
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Bret Michaels bares all for Billboard

(Image courtesy Billboard.com) I love me some Bret Micheals. There's the whole guilty pleasure factor: treacly Poison power ballads, the utter camp of “Rock of Love.” And his odds-defying recovery from a freak brain hemorrhage. You kind of have to admire the guy for hanging on to at least C-list celeb status while many of his contemporaries (where's Enuff Z'nuff now, I ask?) have faded into the dustbin of hair band history. But glam rock's man of steel may have taken things a bit too far with his buff-save-for-a-bandanna cover shot on the latest issue of Billboard magazine. Although Michaels appears to have abs that would totally crush Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino's, the pic comes off looking way too air-brushed. I dunno. Maybe it's the fake-bake tan. Or the body oil. Or, you know, the air-brushing. Michaels does get points, though, for graciously explaining how Aerosmith's Steven Tyler ended...

By Liz Kelly  | September 28, 2010; 11:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Britney Spears on 'Glee': How will she do? Let's go to the video clips!

The Britney Spears episode of "Glee" -- which, as I reported back in July from Comic-Con, puts Cheerio Brittany (Heather Morris) side-by-side with Miss "Toxic" herself -- airs tonight and promises to be the biggest celebrity TV cameo since ... well, certainly since Justin Bieber showed up on "CSI" last week. But will Spears rise to the occasion? Let's look at clips from her TV past and decide....

By Jen Chaney  | September 28, 2010; 10:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities, TV  
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Jamie Lee Curtis cheers on Jennifer Grey on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Updated at 9:32 a.m. ET Jamie Lee Curtis, No. 1 'Dancing' fan. (AP) Regular viewers of ABC's cerebral "Lost" legacy show "Dancing with the Stars" may have noticed a familiar face in the audience last night. Yes, Sarah Palin was on hand to support daughter/contestant Bristol and possibly make herself the target of some spirited booing, but quietly enjoying the show from the sidelines -- again -- was Jamie Lee Curtis, who we got peeks of during Jennifer Grey's performance. (UPDATE: As per Lisa de Moraes: "Contacted for comment, an ABC spokeswoman insisted the audience had been booing to express their displeasure over the score that had been doled out by the judges to Jennifer Grey." Though Grey got the highest score of the night, so go figure.) What's the deal? It's as simple as Curtis showing up to support longtime friend Grey, although Curtis herself reportedly turned down offers...

By Liz Kelly  | September 28, 2010; 8:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  
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Maggie Grace joins 'Breaking Dawn' cast

Maggie Grace, "Breaking Dawn"-bound. (AP) First Boone became a vampire. Now it's Shannon's turn. Maggie Grace has been cast in the role of Irina in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn," the final chapter in the Bella Swan saga, Entertainment Weekly reports. Irina is a "vegetarian" vampire -- meaning she doesn't feast on human blood -- who is a cousin of the Cullens and happens to be a bit bitter over the death of her lover. Like Edward, her skin sparkles in the sun in a way that puts basic body glitter to shame. For those keeping score, this is the second former "Lost" cast member to be cast in a film with Robert Pattinson. Emilie de Ravin, who played Squirrel Baby Mama Claire Littleton on the show, was a pioneer in this field, having appeared opposite Pattinson in "Remember Me." Source: Entertainment Weekly...

By Jen Chaney  | September 28, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Movies  
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Lindsay Lohan shopping SCRAM pix?

While Lindsay Lohan is expected to check herself in to rehab (again) any moment now, US Weekly is claiming that the actress/train wreck tried to make a quick $10,000 by shopping around pix of herself taken over the weekend, including one in which Lohan is clad only in a tacky one-piece bathing suit and her court-ordered SCRAM ankle bracelet. "Lindsay Lohan was calling around the pap agencies all weekend trying to get $10,000 up front to pose up in the SCRAM bracelet," a source told UsMagazine.com. "All of the major players passed, and she ended up doing the setup with a small agency." Lohan could indeed be cash-strapped after posting $300,000 in bail to win release from jail over the weekend. But despite some reports, bondsman David Perez said Lohan had no problem coming up with the funds. "Putting her behind bars was unfair," he added, to radaronline.com, instantly...

By Liz Kelly  | September 28, 2010; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Lindsay Lohan  
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'True Grit' trailer: Three reasons the clip makes us want to see this Coen Brothers film

A short trailer for the Coen Brothers' version of "True Grit" has arrived online, revealing three things (at least) that reinforce the film's must-see status. 1. The epic, Western sweep and gorgeous cinematography are reminiscent of the Coens' "No Country for Old Men." No surprise, since the director of photography is Roger Deakins, a frequent Coen collaborator who also set the visual tone for the aforementioned Anton Chigurh saga. 2. Matt Damon appears in his first major Coen Brothers role -- and he's brought a mean pair of sideburns and a killer 'stache with him. 3. Best of all, Jeff Bridges -- aka the Dude -- is deliciously scraggly as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, the role played by John Wayne in the 1969 original. He doesn't have a White Russian in his hand. But he has an eye patch. And that's almost as good. Watch and enjoy --...

By Jen Chaney  | September 27, 2010; 7:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Awards Season, Movies  | Tags:  Movie Trailers  
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George Lopez divorcing wife of 17 years

Lopez and wife Ann attended a White House state dinner in May. (Bill O'Leary for The Washington Post) Sorta kinda funny late-night talk show host George Lopez is single and, we assume, ready to mingle. Monday, Lopez and his wife announced that their marriage had come to a friendly-ish end. "George and Ann Lopez have made the decision to end their 17-year marriage," said a rep for the couple in a statement to People.com. "The decision is amicable and by mutual agreement. They remain dedicated parents, and committed partners in business and their philanthropic organization, The Lopez Foundation." The couple has one child, 15-year-old Mayan. Lopez will be keeping one part of his ex close -- a kidney she donated to the comedian in 2005 after both of his own deteriorated due to a genetic condition. In May, the National Enquirer published a story claiming Lopez had exchanged text...

By Liz Kelly  | September 27, 2010; 6:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Celebrities, Splits  
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Greg Giraldo reportedly in critical condition after drug overdose; Wyclef Jean hospitalized for stress, fatigue

Wyclef Jean hospitalized. (AP) Posted by Sarah Anne Hughes Comedian and "Last Comic Standing" judge Greg Giraldo is reportedly in critical condition after suffering a drug overdose, the New York Post reports. According to an unnamed source, Giraldo accidentally overdosed Saturday evening in a hotel room in New Jersey and was rushed to a New Brunswick hospital. In other celebrity-ailment related news, hip-hop star Wyclef Jean has been hospitalized for "stress" and "fatigue," according to his rep. In August, Jean announced he would run for president of Haiti -- the country of his birth. He withdrew his bid last week after he was excluded for, presumably, not meeting constitutional residency requirements....

By Sarah Anne Hughes  | September 27, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Octomom Nadya Suleman sells nursing bra, kids' Halloween costumes

Octomom for sale. (Fox) Posted by Sarah Anne Hughes Just when you thought it was safe to go onto the Internet... She's back! Nadya Suleman, better known as the controversial Octomom, held a garage sale last Saturday on the lawn of her La Habra home to raise money for the bare necessities. "It's just a matter of survival: Food, shelter and clothing," Suleman told the Orange County Register. "There are financial troubles." I'll say. Suleman's home will go into foreclosure Oct. 9 if she can't come up with a $450,000 mortgage payment. So obviously the best way to come up with nearly half a million dollars is... a garage sale! Items for sale included an autographed nursing bra, a fridge and eight devil costumes worn by her children. While the children themselves weren't for sale, photographs with the octuplets were available for $100....

By Sarah Anne Hughes  | September 27, 2010; 1:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
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Paris Hilton's 'hot' lawsuit victory

After Paris Hilton sued Hallmark three years ago for printing a greeting card that used her likeness and the now utterly retro catchphrase "That's hot," the case has been settled.

By Jen Chaney  | September 27, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Celebrities, Paris Hilton  
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How Liz spent her summer vacation

Me and my guy. (Photo by Matt Nelson) For the past three months I have done my utmost to NOT pay attention to the world of celebrity. I have some general awareness of a few of the bigger stories (Mel Gibson reinforced the conventional wisdom that he is, indeed, a first-class jerk, turns out Lindsay Lohan isn't a fashion designer/actress/singer, but a chronic drug abuser, Paris Hilton's new leaf looks a lot like her old leaf) that filled the summer, but remain blissfully unaware of most celebritological goings on since late June. Why? As most of you know, I had a baby, Desmond, who literally burst into my life and pretty much turned everything upside down. Three months later, everything is rightside up again. In fact, things have never been righter, but it's been a bit of a journey. One I want to share with you. At least a...

By Liz Kelly  | September 27, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (51)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Weekend box office: 'Wall Street' is on top

The box office potential of "The Owls"? Not what it seemed. (Warner Bros.) "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" -- the sequel to Oliver Stone's 1987 insider-trading drama -- debuts at No. 1, Zack Snyder's animated family film takes second place, Betty White doesn't win over moviegoers and two movies perform solidly in limited release. Find out the details in this week's box office rundown....

By Jen Chaney  | September 27, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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Emily Deschanel gets married, and so does Johnny Knoxville; Lindsay Lohan plans to check into rehab; Katy Perry to guest star on 'The Simpsons'

Celebrity Beat: "Bones" star Emily Deschanel marries David Hornsby, actor and executive producer of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," in small ceremony in Pacific Palisades, Calif.,... Johnny Knoxville also ties the knot with girlfriend Naomi Nelson, two days after buying the engagement ring... Lindsay Lohan plans to voluntarily check into rehab after winning release from jail over the weekend; she spent Sunday doing volunteer work at a homeless shelter with her mom and sister... Demi Moore reaches settlement with Australian magazine over photos taken at her private 2008 post-Oscars party... Lady Gaga's grandfather dies... Nicole Scherzinger could become host on U.S. version of "X Factor"... John Lennon's two sons, Sean and Julian Lennon, reportedly reconcile... Pop Culture: Katy Perry to guest star on "The Simpsons," in live-action segment featuring puppets... "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" leads weekend box office... Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day temporarily joins the cast...

By Jen Chaney  | September 27, 2010; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Celebrities, Daily Mix, Pop Culture  
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Katy Perry on SNL: Sticking it to 'Sesame Street'

Katy Perry was the musical guest on the premiere of "Saturday Night Live," but of course she couldn't let the evening pass without taking aim at her recent "Sesame Street" controversy. During the "Bronx Beat" segment -- which reunited host Amy Poehler and former cast member Maya Rudolph in a reprise of one of their regular sketches -- Perry played a suddenly developed young library employee who just so happened to be wearing a tight-fitting Elmo T-shirt while bouncing around repeatedly in her seat. The subtext: "You want to remove me from the broadcast of a children's show for allegedly wearing inappropriate clothes? Fine. Let me show you how to get to real cleavage, 'Sesame Street.'" Well played, Ms. Perry....

By Jen Chaneuy  | September 26, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  
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