Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stephen Colbert to replace Letterman

CBS announced Thursday that the Emmy-winning Comedy Central host will replace its 33-year vet.

Posted by on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Stephen! Stephen! ... It's a no-brainer that the man with the chant has paid his dues. Stephen Colbert's time has come. He's poised to hit for the big leagues, aka network TV  (if you can even call it that anymore).

CBS announced Thursday that it is snatching the Comedy Central host from his basic cable gig to replace outgoing David Letterman, who's retiring in 2015.

In our feature, "So long Letterman; hello ...?, " CL said that "Stephen Colbert has proven that his talents extend beyond the shtick of his right-wing caricature and has a knack for big surprises."  Apart from his gags, he's a great interviewer and brought high-profile recognition to a show with a potentially limiting and often tiresome premise.

Though I and many others felt that CBS should have given the Late Show gig to a woman (like Chelsea Handler or Tina Fey) or African American man, we can live with this pasty white dude. The multitalented, Emmy-winning actor, comedian, writer and host of The Colbert Report, Colbert has a solid shot against the Jimmies.

Colbert, incidentally, was CL contributor Nicole Abbett's pick to succeed Letterman because "he's a real fucking American."

It will be fun to see how Colbert breaks the news to his fans. We're sure he will frame it in the most patriotic, winner-takes-all, self-congratulatory fashion. "Nation, there comes a time in a gifted celebrity's career ... "

A Mad Men wish list for the final (sort of) season

Fans tell us what they want to see happen before the season 7 premiere on AMC this Sunday.

Posted by on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM

  • AMC
Last season's Mad Men gave us some of the messiest, most embarrassing and tragic — and humorous — moments of SC&P history. Smooth-talking Don Draper's knack for discretion backfired in the worst of all possible ways — in his daughter Sally's face. 

The series' final season — or rather, the first seven episodes of its final season (the final seven airing in spring 2015) — premieres this Sunday on AMC. The farewell to the 1960s continues with a travel motif — one last flash of glamor for the show's adoring legion of aesthetes.

Rather than just delving into another round of predictions, CL asked Tampa Bay's Mad Men Round Table and other fans for a wish list of what they'd like to see happen before the series draws to a close.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tenacious and tender: A Q&A with Lily Tomlin

The showbiz icon is headed to Tampa Theatre to share stories about her career and re-animate her famous menagerie of characters.

Posted by on Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 3:56 PM

  • A TIP O' THE HAT TO TOMLIN: Lily visits Tampa April 3.

I’ve grown up admiring Lily Tomlin. When we were kids, my friend Kelly and I used to pinch our noses and mimic Ernestine, Tomlin’s snooty operator on Laugh-In, and we watched The Incredible Shrinking Woman over and over. The comedy icon and character actor born Mary Jean Tomlin brings a kaleidoscope of idiosyncrasies and emotional depth to her roles. She popularized the one-woman show genre with The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, co-written by her and her longtime partner Jane Wagner, and worked with the late Robert Altman in Nashville, Short Cuts and Prairie Home Companion.

In the past few years Tomlin has turned in a memorable performance as Kenny Powers’ feisty mom in Eastbound and Down, she married Wagner, her partner of 42 years, and has signed on for  a new Netflix sitcom with Jane Fonda, premiering next year.

The consummate character actor and "exponential threat" will be at Tampa Theatre next Thursday night to tell stories, do some stand-up and interact with her menagerie of characters via video screen.

While on tour in Tucson, she took time to have a phone conversation with CL, sharing tales about her childhood in inner-city Detroit, her biggest inspiration, the greatness of "Bob" Altman and how Madeline Kahn helped land a gig when they were both unknowns. Oh, and she gave me some homework too.   

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

True Detective Finale: Why the backlash?

Posted by on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM


It was never about the case. Dora Lange, the Yellow King, Carcosa. Interesting, all of them. But the real story of the season was the relationship between Rust and Marty, which was more ways a traditional buddy cop movie than many realized. The investigation was just a vehicle. Each man, broken as he may be, helped make the other a better person.

And the backlash the finale is getting is a damn shame.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

HBO releases Normal Heart trailer

Larry Kramer's 1985 play has finally been adapted for the screen.

Posted by on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 3:56 PM


HBO has just released the trailer for The Normal Heart, the first screen adaptation of Larry Kramer's incendiary 1985 play about the ignorance, bigotry and government foot-dragging that exacerbated the AIDS pandemic. Ryan Murphy of American Horror Story and Glee fame is directing the adaptation, which premieres May 25.

Tampa Bay audiences got the chance to experience the power of Kramer's play this spring in an acclaimed production at freeFall with Eric Davis in the lead. If the trailer is any indication, the HBO version will also pack a punch, not least because of its terrific cast, which includes Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Taylor Kitsch, Alfred Molina, Matthew Bomer, Jonathan Groff, Jim Parsons, Denis O'Hare, and Joe Mantello.

Adding to the impact, not to mention increasing the production's credibility: Five of the actors in that list (Bomer, Groff, Parsons, O'Hare, Mantello), plus director Murphy, are openly gay.


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Youtube's Gayle-force comedy

Q&A with Gayle Waters-Waters, the star of the new hit YouTube series Gayle.

Posted by on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 11:00 PM

If you’re a fan of non-sequitur, ultra bizarre humor (of course you are), then you should probably be watching the YouTube series Gayle. I originally discovered Gayle via Twitter account through her hysterical updates (she founded “Mothers Against Road Head”). and quickly binged watched the first two seasons, pausing only to laugh to the point of wheezing.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Comedy fans mourn the loss of Harold Ramis

The actor, writer, director and Second City vet was 69.

Posted by on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Harold Ramis, one of Hollywood's most successful comic filmmakers from the late 1970s through the late '90s, died early Monday morning after a long bout with a rare autoimmune disorder, according to his wife, Erica Mann Ramis. He was 69.

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