Category Archives: Actors

‘House of Cards’ Spurs Interest in Rowing Machines, Studios

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The popularity of rowing workouts has surged since Netflix’s hit House of Cards debuted, featuring star Kevin Spacey rowing while contemplating his next ruthless move, observes SneakerReport.com. The site says Manhattanites are now “flocking” to trendy new “rowing studios.”

Spacey’s Congressman Frank Underwood was less than thrilled by a gift of a rowing machine from his wife in the first season, to be set up in his man cave in the basement. Continue reading

True Detective’s Yellow King – The Secret Revealed

True Detective Rust VHS Tape The final episode of True Detective has aired, but the Internet is still asking: Who is the Yellow King? Errol Childress doesn’t seem powerful or evil enough to lead a cult that ritually murders women and children in the secret place called Carcosa. At most, he’s the last withered remnant of a clan that mixed voodoo, Santeria and witchcraft into a fearful Lovecraftian brew. So if Errol is not the Yellow King, who is? I think I know and soon you will too. Continue reading

Meth Cook Arrested in ‘Breaking Bad’ Shirt

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Meth cook arrested in ‘Breaking Bad’ shirt.

Life imitated award-winning television when Chicago police arrested Daniel Kowalski, whose mugshot shows the 21-year-old in a Breaking Bad-related shirt. Police were acting on an anonymous tip when they allegedly found a methamphetamine lab in his home. The shirt, of course, features the logo of the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant from the hit TV series starring Bryan Cranston. You can get your own Los Pollos Hermanos shirt here. But don’t get carried away with it. It’s just a show.

(Mugshot courtesy Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

Ghostbuster Harold Ramis: Egon Away

Ghostbusters star and cowriter Harold Ramis, who passed away Feb. 24 at the age of 69, leaves behind a treasure trove of comedy gold, starting with his turn on Canadian sketch show SCTV in the mid-1970s. He went on to write and direct several cult classics, and appeared in a few, including as Egon Spengler in the two Ghostbusters movies alongside pal and long-time collaborator Bill Murray.

Of course, Ramis’s passing likely closes the chapter on the long-in-development Ghostbusters 3, which is probably for the best. In the 2009 interview below, Ramis talks about working on the third installment. (You can buy the Ghostbusters Double Feature Gift Set at Amazon for less than $14.)

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Infomercial GIFs Expose Terror of Everyday Life

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Everyday life is fraught with peril at every turn!

In the infomercial universe, horrors lurk around every corner!

The cold, hard reality of everyday life, the dark underbelly just beneath the surface of the mundane, the lurking horrors that await us at every turn of our workaday lives, are exposed by the brilliant actors in this series of infomercial GIFs.

Infomercials are a public service announcement warning us of what’s about to leap out at us from behind that closed kitchen cupboard, the nasty spill that’s going to destroy everything you’ve worked so tirelessly for your entire miserable little life, the countless hidden household dangers that threaten to embarrass, to maim, to force you to jump out a plate-glass window—on fire!

The horror of exploding tacos!

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Among our favorites of these infomercial GIFs is the woman with the exploding taco. The horror! The terrorists have clearly won.

Never attempt to pour a beverage!

But wait, there’s more! A big lesson of infomercials is that you should never, ever attempt to pour a beverage without using some kind of As Seen on TV device.

God did not intend for iron to go in dryer.

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If you’re this stupid, no product  can help you. Everyone knows this won’t work unless the iron is still plugged in.

A word on containers and depth perception

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In the infomercial universe, people are dumb and have terrible eyesight and depth perception. Witness the hands attempting to place a lid on a container overflowing with food. Will it work? Well, no—you’re going to wind up with a gigantic, soul-killing counter mess. Surely there’s a product that will come to your rescue.

View the complete series at imgur.com.

Masters of Heavy Metal Parody Spinal Tap’s 1978 TV Debut

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The idea for the cult classic Spinal Tap gestated from a conversation overheard by co-creator Christopher Guest in 1974, according to Legs McNeil’s excellent blog, Please Kill Me. Guest was hanging out at the chic Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont when he heard:

Manager: All right, well, we’ll take our instruments up to the room.

Bassist: Don’t know where my bass is.

Manager: I beg your pardon.

Bassist: I don’t know where the bass is.

Manager: Where is it?

Bassist: I think it’s at the airport.

Manager: You have to get back there, don’t you?

Bassist: I don’t know, do I?

Manager: I think you better.

Bassist: Where’s my bass?

Manager: It’s at the airport.

Spinal Tap the band made its debut on a late-night ABC sketch comedy called The TV Show, in which they parodied NBC music show The Midnight Special, complete with Spinal Tap writer and director Rob Reiner introducing the band in his best Wolfman Jack impersonation.

“To relieve the tension of that moment, we started ad-libbing these characters.”

“We were shooting a takeoff on ‘Midnight Special,’ just lying on the ground waiting for the machine that was supposed to make the fog effect to stop dripping hot oil on us,” says Harry Shearer, who plays Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls. “And to relieve the tension of that moment, we started ad-libbing these characters.”

To relive the glory years of this great fake band, get the Special Edition DVD or Blu-ray for less than 10 bucks at Amazon, or stream it there for a few dollars less.

‘Secret Project’: ‘Seinfeld’ Reunion Confirmed

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It’s unclear exactly what form it will be in, but the cast of Seinfeld has definitely reunited to film . . . something. Creator and star Jerry Seinfeld called it a “secret project.”

“I think it’s one-and-done.”

Seinfeld and costar Jason Alexander (George Costanza) were recently spotted walking into Tom’s Restaurant in New York City, the gang’s hangout for nearly a decade, for some sort of shoot. Larry David, a writer and creator of the show, was also there, Seinfeld confirmed on the sports talk radio show Boomer & Carton. Seinfeld was cagey about what exactly they were filming, but did answer in the affirmative when asked if it would be a one-time thing. “I think it’s one-and-done,” he said. 

“Very, very soon.”

Seinfeld also said that whatever they are making will be available for viewing shortly: “Very, very soon,” he said.

So does that mean they’re merely reuniting for a Super Bowl commercial? Nope. He said it’s definitely longer than 60 seconds.

Our favorite minor ‘Seinfeld’ characters

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J. Peterman

Elaine’s boss J. Peterman (played by John O’Hurley) was always smartly attired, even when hanging out in Far East opium dens.

 

 

 

Uncle Leo
Uncle Leo

Uncle Leo (played by Len Lesser, who passed away in 2011) was one of TV’s greatest cheapskates.

 

 

 

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Mr. Wilhelm

A shining moment of the series was when George’s boss Mr. Matt Whilhelm (played by Richard Herd) joined a carpet-cleaning religious cult.

 

 

 

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“Crazy” Joe Davola

Perhap’s TV’s greatest sociopath is “crazy” Joe Davola (played by Peter Crombie, and named after a TV producer of the same name).

Get free shipping on Seinfeld: The Complete Series, now for $79.99 at Amazon.

50th Anniversary of ‘Dr. Strangelove’

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When it was released on this day 50 years ago, director Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb became an instant countercultural classic.

This satirical take on the Soviet-U.S. arms race and the Cold War stars British comic actor Peter Sellers in several roles, including that of the titular character, who eventually finds it impossible to restrain the impulse to give the U.S. president a Nazi salute with his leather-gloved hand.

‘Strangelove’ trivia

  • The film’s first test screening was delayed two months because it had been scheduled on Nov. 22, 1963—the  day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  • George C. Scott, who played General Buck Turgidson, vowed never to work with Kubrick again after the director goaded him into his over-the-top performance by filming what he said were practice runs that would not be seen.
  • The  Dr. Strangelove character’s accent was inspired by Kubrick’s Austrian-American photographer, Weegee.
  • Sellers was initially supposed to play Major T. J. “King” Kong, the role that went to country crooner Slim Pickens after Sellers was injured.
  • Set design was handled by Ken Adam, who had worked on several James Bond movies, including Dr. No.
  • Among the other titles Kubrick was considering for the movie were Dr. Doomsday or: How to Start World War III Without Even TryingDr. Strangelove’s Secret Uses of Uranus and Wonderful Bomb.
  • Kubrick had originally planned the ending to be a massive pie fight in the war room. The scene was actually filmed, but then cut out.

Own Dr. Strangelove now for less than eight bucks at Amazon.com.

Facebook, Google Unkind to Marijuana Advertising

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Facebook, Google cold to pot ads

The big Internet companies are behind the “high” times when it comes to legal weed. Even though they’re able to localize advertisements to niche geographical markets, Google and Facebook currently refuse to run ads from the burgeoning marijuana industry in places like Colorado and Washington state, where it’s now legal to buy and sell the once taboo drug for recreational use.

“It’s pretty ridiculous and short-sighted — not to mention hypocritical — for them to leave those legitimate ad dollars on the table,” wrote Taylor West, of the National Cannabis Industry Association, to GigaOm.com. “We are told that our posts ‘violate content guidelines,’ or something along those lines.”

Facebook cites — but does not define — “risk” associated with running pot ads. “The risk of attempting to allow ads promoting the drug in certain states or countries where it is legal is too high (no pun intended) for us to consider at this time,” Facebook rep Tim Rathschmidt wrote to GigaOm.

Twitter is also cold to pro-marijuana advertising, reports AdWeek.com. But  marketing insiders tell AdWeek they expect this to change when the industry’s huge returns become evident. And when the celebrity endorsements start going viral.

“Snoop Dogg can be the Michael Jordan of the weed market,” said Nick Adler of lifestyle marketing firm Cashmere Agency.

It’s only a matter of time until Snoop and other pot luminaries, like Woody Harrelson and Willie Nelson, are being courted with huge deals to endorse what was once the scourge of society.