Here's what's new and interesting in the world of entertainment and the arts today:
Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day... but the sexiest? That’s new.
At least, that’s what Oprah Winfrey said during her Tuesday appearance on “The Late Show” with host Stephen Colbert. The mighty O was promoting her first cookbook, “Food, Health and Happiness,” and went step by step through her “sexy breakfast” recipe.
“What makes breakfast sexy?” Colbert asked. For this particular recipe, jalapeños added a kick.
The two bantered while whipping up eggs with salsa and avocado. “We have a reluctant tomato,” Colbert said while attempting to make salsa in a food processor. “Which was actually my stripper name when I was younger."
Winfrey, a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers, also discussed the weight-loss company's point system. In 2015, Winfrey announced that she bought a 10% stake in Weight Watchers. And last month, Winfrey appeared in two new ads celebrating dropping more than 40 pounds through the program.
But healthy definitely doesn't mean bland. When Colbert took a bite of the dish, after adding a bit of truffle zest, he had this to say:
“That is extremely sexy, and I’m in a relationship right now."
Michelle Obama will make her final talk show appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Jan. 11, arriving on the heels of President Obama's farewell address in Chicago.
FLOTUS first appeared on "The Tonight Show" in 2014, as a guest on the recurring "Ew!" sketch with Fallon and Will Ferrell. A year later, she returned to bust out her best dance moves for an "Evolution of Mom Dancing" sketch, in honor of her "Let's Move" campaign.
Obama has been making the television rounds as her time in the White House comes to a close. She recently sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a special interview in which she reflected on the topic of hope.
And President Obama will also be making a final TV appearance on History's two-hour special, "The 44th President: In His Own Words," on Jan. 15.
A few hours before midnight, the West Coast got the warning: Mariah Carey's New Year's Eve debacle on ABC was headed this way, and it wasn't going to be pretty.
There were, ahem, technical difficulties.
Those difficulties, on a show that aired live in the EasternTime Zone, left Carey hanging out on stage frustrated and unable to sing as her backup dancers went through the motions around her.
The performance on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest" was billed as "the last big performance of 2016 by Mariah Carey," who in 2005 was the show's first act to go live from Times Square.
Problems were evident from the start of the set, with Carey unable to hear the music she was supposed to be singing along with. She called for audio technical help.
That help never came.
Ultimately, as the backing track finally ended, the singer turned on a heel, amid a frame of feathers, and booked it offstage as fast as she could in heels that high.
The critics online — where everyone's a comedian, and some people are quite funny — cut Mariah no slack.
At least Mariah appeared to know how badly it had gone, signing off in true diva fashion and putting a fork in 2016 along with the rest of us.
But in the spirit of a fresh start in 2017, at least a few people found something nice to say.
Theater loves metaphor, so let’s call John Perrin Flynn, the artistic director of the Rogue Machine theater company in L.A., our Ghost of Christmas Future as we face the big question for 2017: As controversial new wage rules kick in for the city’s small theaters, will the local scene thrive or decline?
It’s a question that has hovered since April 2015, when Actors’ Equity Assn. passed the 99-Seat Agreement for local companies performing in Los Angeles County theaters with fewer than 100 seats. The change prompts small companies to increase actor pay from a tiered stipend system (often $7 to $25 per performance) to a minimum hourly wage for all work, including rehearsals as well as time spent on set for performances.
Somewhere in all of this is the idea that commerce must come first. Theater is not commercially viable in and of itself, so art loses.
The Debbie Reynolds tributes continue. TCM has announced it will air a 24-hour film tribute to Reynolds starting Jan. 27. The 84-year-old actress died Wednesday, just one day after the death of her daughter, Carrie Fisher.
Reynolds, of course, was known for her breakout role opposite Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in the 1952 musical "Singin' in the Rain," as well as her Academy Award-nominated performance in 1964's "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."
For fans hoping to catch Reynolds on the silver screen, TCM Big Screen Classics and Fathom Events will be hosting nationwide showings of "Singin' in the Rain" on Jan. 15 and 18 (ticket are available online).
Here is the schedule for TCM's Debbie Reynolds marathon (all times Pacific):
- 3 a.m.: "It Started With A Kiss" (1959)
- 4:45 a.m.: "Bundle of Joy" (1956)
- 6:30 a.m.: "How the West Was Won" (1963)
- 9:30 a.m.: "The Tender Trap" (1955)
- 11:30 a.m.: "Hit the Deck" (1955)
- 1:30 p.m.: "I Love Melvin" (1953)
- 3 p.m.: "Singin’ in the Rain" (1952)
- 5 p.m.: "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1964)
- 7:30 p.m.: "The Mating Game" (1959)
- 9:30 p.m.: "The Catered Affair" (1956)
- 11:15 p.m.: "The Singing Nun" (1965)
- 1 a.m.: "How Sweet It Is!" (1968)
A member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has resigned because of the group's decision to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration.
The singer, Jan Chamberlin, shared her resignation letter on Facebook on Thursday explaining that she felt "betrayed" and that she "simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events."
"Since 'the announcement,' I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony," wrote Chamberlin. "I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul."
Chamberlin, who said she has been with the choir for five years, explained that sitting out the inaugural performance was not enough.
"Looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man," said Chamberlin, which she believes would damage the choir's image and networking.
Chamberlin echoes the sentiments of more than 21,000 people who have signed an online petition disagreeing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's decision to perform at the inauguration. According to the organizer of the campaign, most of the signatures are from members of the Mormon church.
"I hope that we and many others will work together with greater diligence and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens," Chamberlin added in her letter. "I hope we can throw off the labels and really listen to each other with respect, love, compassion, and a true desire to bring our energies and souls together in solving the difficult problems that lie in our wake."
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has previously performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson (1965), Richard M. Nixon (1969), Ronald Reagan (1981), George H.W. Bush (1989) and George W. Bush (2001).
In the wake of the tragic deaths of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher this week, HBO announced Friday that it has pushed up the debut of the mother-daughter documentary “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” to Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
HBO describes the film, which had showings at several film festivals including Cannes and Telluride, as “an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty in all its eccentricity.” It chronicles the complex relationship between the dynamic duo, who lived next door to each other in the same Beverly Hills compound.
From the coverage of the big ball dropping above an overcrowded Times Square to the N.Y.E.L.A. celebration scheduled for Grand Park downtown, there are plenty of festive means to see off 2016.
But for all your end-of-year plans that may not involve forced toasts and funny hats, television has you covered with a variety of programming marathons to keep your spirits up. Follow the link below for a rundown of some ways to wait out — or avoid entirely — the start of any party plans you may have to greet 2017.
Friends and fans alike took to social media to mourn Carrie Fisher’s death on Tuesday, including Steve Martin, who shared a message over Twitter. But Martin deleted his tweet soon after accusations that it was sexist.
“When I was a young man, Carrie Fisher was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She turned out to be witty and bright as well,” Martin wrote.
Some called out Martin for focusing on her physical appearance, a topic Fisher spoke out against throughout her career. Others noted that Fisher likely wanted to be remembered for more than just being pretty.
Fisher, of course, was outspoken in her feminism, especially in regards to her legacy as Princess Leia. She did not hesitate to call people out on their perceptions and sexualization of the character.
Then again, Fisher herself reduced Martin to a one-night stand in a 1999 interview she conducted with the actor for The Times. "I slept with Steve Martin once and once only, 20-some years ago. And I interviewed Steve Martin once and once only, 20-some days ago," she began the piece. "You do the math."
"This interview will be the last in the series I did in my upcoming book, titled 'Famous Men I Have Slept With So I Could Interview Them Later,' due out in the fall for Simon & Schuster," Fisher added.
Rob Kardashian was reportedly hospitalized overnight after a diabetes flareup Wednesday but was released Thursday morning.
The 29-year-old "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star was not feeling well Wednesday and checked himself into a hospital after realizing his symptoms were diabetes-related, according to People.
TMZ reported that Blac Chyna and Kris Jenner rushed to the hospital to join him in the emergency room Wednesday night.
In December 2015, Kardashian was hospitalized and diagnosed with diabetes but declared earlier this year that he was "completely free" of the disease. Kardashian also credited Chyna for helping him to focus on his health.
Kardashian and Chyna recently welcomed their first child, daughter Dream Renee Kardashian, but have since hit a rough patch, including a brief (but public) split. The strain in their relationship has reportedly caused Kardashian to slip back to old, unhealthy habits.
Kardashian left the hospital Thursday morning, according to TMZ.
The reaction to the death of Debbie Reynolds was swift on social media, with most commenting on the timing of her passing, just a day after her daughter Carrie Fisher died.
Debbie Reynolds’ life was the stuff of movie legend, from her start as an ingenue playing opposite Gene Kelly in the classic 1952 musical “Singin’ in the Rain,” to her part in one of Hollywood’s most notorious scandals.
And her death Wednesday at the age of 84 had the kind of tragic story line Hollywood made famous, coming only one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher, died at the age of 60.
Reynolds’ son Todd told media outlets that his mother was under stress over the death of her daughter and suffered a stroke at her home at about noon. Reynolds told him she missed her daughter and wanted to be with her.
On Tuesday, Reynolds had posted a statement on Facebook about the outpouring of grief about her daughter’s unexpected death. Fisher, a well-known actress and author in her own right, died four days after suffering a cardiac incident on a flight from London back to Los Angeles.
"Thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter," she wrote. “I am grateful for your thoughts and prayers that are now guiding her to her next stop. Love Carries Mother.”
Reynolds’ singing and dancing in “Singin’ in the Rain” and other musicals and frothy entertainment turned her into America’s Sweetheart and a potent box office star for years. She became famous near the end of the Golden Age of Hollywood and was a link to the great studio era.
And like the stalwart heroines she played, Reynolds never quit. She continued performing for the rest of her life on screen and stage, including a one-woman revue highlighting her remarkable life on screen and off. She was also a major collector of Hollywood memorabilia.
Memorials for Carrie Fisher -- who died on Tuesday -- are ramping up as Downtown Disney in Anaheim hosted a lightsaber vigil, screenings are planned at multiple Alamo Drafthouse theaters and a tribute parade is in the works in New Orleans.
The Downtown Disney event drew about 100 people who, with lightsabers raised, honored the memory of Fisher. The 501st Legion of "Star Wars" fans is already working to put on a big demostration at Star Wars Celebration in April, with other events in the early stages of planning.
Other lightsaber vigils and screenings of Fisher’s non-“Star Wars” hits -- “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Blues Brothers” and even “The ‘Burbs” -- will take place in multiple locations for Drafthouse denizens in Texas, Virginia and Nebraska. The first of which is Wednesday night at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin and numerous other locations in Texas. There is a list below of the places and screenings.
On Friday, the Leijorettes, a squad of more than 100 costumed Princess Leias, are expected to lead the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Carnival marching group in a tribute parade in New Orleans honoring Fisher. Chewbacchus, one of the fastest-growing Mardi Gras organizations, was inspired by the “Star Wars” franchise. The gathering is still finalizing permits for the march, and a Facebook page has been set up to get further details about the event.
Other Drafthouse locations and activities:
-- Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (Austin, Texas) is holding a lightsaber vigil Wednesday, which started at 6:30 p.m. (you can read more about what that will entail here).
-- The Winchester Alamo Drafthouse (Winchester, Va.) will hold a screening of “When Harry Met Sally” Saturday at 10 p.m., and a memorial event will be launched that screening.
-- The Drafthouse in Omaha will be holding two in memoriam screenings: “The Burbs” (Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.) and “When Harry Met Sally” (Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.). Tickets to both of those screenings will be on sale soon.
-- Non-Austin Drafthouse locations in Texas (New Braunfels, Stone Oak, Park North, Westlakes, and Laredo) are holding lightsaber vigils Wednesday that started at 6:30 p.m. Houston's Mason Park location will hold a lightsaber vigil at 6:45 p.m. Friday, and the Lubbock location will be holding its lightsaber vigil Friday as well, at 7 p.m.
-- Additionally, Park North (San Antonio), Laredo and Market Place (New Braunfels) locations will be holding free memorial screenings of “The Blues Brothers” throughout the weekend. These theaters will be accepting donations before and after the show to DBSA San Antonio, a nonprofit support group for people with mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression (learn more about DBSA at www.dbsalliance.org).
Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds was rushed to a hospital Wednesday after falling ill, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Times.
With just a few days remaining in the year, one man has decided to make it his mission to protect Betty White from 2016's evil ways.
It's no secret it has been a rough year in terms of celebrity losses. From David Bowie and Alan Rickman in January to George Michael and Carrie Fisher in recent days, many high-profile, generation-defining stars have died in 2016. Prince, Florence Henderson, Gwen Ifill, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Alan Thicke and Muhammad Ali are just some of the notable figures we've lost over the last 12 months.
But as far as Demetrios Hrysikos is concerned, our nation's beloved grandmother will not be among them. On Tuesday, the South Carolina resident launched a crowdfunding campaign to protect the 94-year-old White, and promptly reached his $2,000 goal. (Within nearly 24 hours, 276 people had contributed abouty $2,900.)
"If she's OK with it, I will fly to where ever Betty White is and keep her safe till Jan 1 , 2017." Hrysikos promised on the GoFundMe page.
Known for her roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Golden Girls," White's recent credits include starring in the series "Hot in Cleveland" as well as a guest spot on "Bones."
In the event that White would prefer not to have "a strange Greek standing guard outside her door," Hrysikos said all proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the Spartanburg Little Theatre.
"2016 has taken so many great artists, and SLT helps support and nurture new budding talent in our town," Hrysikos explained in an update on GoFundMe. "I'd like to think that Betty, Carrie [Fisher], and [David] Bowie would be happy with any proceeds going to that cause, which I assure you it will!"
Not everyone was buying Hrysikos' generosity, though. "Such a scam. Donate to the theatre directly if you want to," one detractor wrote on the GoFundMe page.
But others defended the seemingly random act of kindness. As another commenter put it, "If I had the funds, I would donate just based on the fact that this wonderful man made me laugh during what is obviously one of the worst years."
Are Drake and Jennifer Lopez dating? Perhaps.
What is certain is that Lopez and Drake shared the same photo showing them cozied up on Instagram on Tuesday night. Neither star captioned the photo, leaving fans to speculate about the nature of their relationship.
The snapshot has sparked new innuendo about their potential romance, which first started making the rounds earlier this month when Drake attended one of Lopez's Las Vegas shows.
The two also commemorated that occasion by sharing a matching Instagram selfie, with Drake including a heart-eyed emoji in his caption. Fans who stumbled on the photo were left to decide whether this was professional admiration or a subtle confession of his true feelings.
The 30-year old rapper was then spotted at Lopez's show the following week, before the 47-year old singer and actress apparently joined him in West Hollywood for a private dinner (with 20 or so other people).
Though neither Drake nor Lopez have actually confirmed (or denied) rumors, eagle-eyed social media watchers have noticed that Rihanna has stopped following both stars on Instagram since the speculation first ignited.
Lopez shared some thoughts in her Christmas message to fans over on Instagram.
"This year I can honestly say my heart is full," wrote Lopez. "This year had its ups and downs, but as I sit here in my living room ... I feel surrounded by love and overflowing with gratitude for the many new blessings in my life!"
Earlier this year Lopez split from her longtime beau, Casper Smart.
Last year, months before “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” officially reunited the original cast and crew of the Millennium Falcon, there was a small disturbance in the Force. A disgruntled father on the East Coast, outraged over an action figure depicting Princess Leia in her infamous “slave” bikini costume, had denounced the toy as “inappropriate,” sparking a heated debate among fans and critics about the political implications of the outfit.
The woman behind the bikini, actress Carrie Fisher, answered the controversy in typical frank Fisher fashion. “The character is wearing that outfit not because she's chosen to wear it. She's been forced to wear it. She's a prisoner of a giant testicle who has a lot of saliva going on. She does not want to wear that thing and it's ultimately that chain, which you're now indicating is some sort of accessory to S&M, that is used to kill the giant saliva testicle.… That's asinine."
And just like that, Fisher reclaimed the “slave Leia” look for feminism.
Converting a Frank Frazetta-inspired, barely-there metal two-piece into a flag for female empowerment was just one small example of Fisher’s ability to change the narrative in Hollywood — a career-turned-calling that tragically ended with her death Tuesday
By most accounts, particularly in Peter Ames Carlin's new biography, "Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon," the iconic musician had a topsy-turvy relationship with Carrie Fisher, his onetime flame whom he married in 1983 and divorced less than a year later.
On and off, Simon and Fisher were together for more than a decade, and in her 2008 memoir "Wishful Drinking," Fisher claimed her former husband had written a number of songs about her, including "She Moves On." Their romance is also the subject of "Hearts and Bones," and Fisher appeared in the video for Simon's "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War" (see below).
"If you can get Paul Simon to write a song about you, do it," she wrote in "Wishful Drinking." "Because he is so brilliant at it."
On Wednesday morning, Simon tweeted a short statement on Fisher's sudden passing on Dec. 27, keeping his sentiments short but sweet.