Entourage creator Doug Ellin spent part of his Valentine's Day weekend (14-15Feb15) stranded in the California desert with his new fiancee after a tyre on his car burst. The TV writer/producer treated his bride-to-be, Madeleine Diehl, to a romantic retreat at the Madison Club near Palm Springs, California, but the couple's journey back to Los Angeles on Sunday (15Feb15) turned into a disaster as Ellin had to pull his Mercedes-Benz over in the middle of the desert.
Without a spare tyre to hand and representatives at Ellin's roadside assistance firm AAA only willing to tow him seven miles (11.26 kilometres), the writer decided to turn to Instagram.com to moan about his bad luck.
Sharing a photo of his flat tyre against the backdrop of the desert, he wrote, "You can see the windmill what you can't see is that there is no spare tire in this car. Ahhhhh helpppppp!!! 120 miles from home no service stations open. AAA will only tow me seven miles. To what??? In and out burger (fast food chain)???"
His desperate post caught the attention of Rambo producer Randall Emmett, who also happened to be driving back to Los Angeles from Palm Springs, and he came to Ellin's rescue.
Shortly after his initial post, Ellin returned to Instagram and shared a snap of himself with Emmett, standing beside the producer's Rolls-Royce. He captioned the snap, "I now know why instagram is worth a billion dollars. Twenty minutes of a post and I get the mogul in a Rolls to drive me home."
Ellin's car is still stuck in the desert, waiting to be towed, but Emmett tells TMZ.com, "We were all in shock that the timing worked out and we were mostly blown away by the power of social media. We couldn’t believe it."
Entourage creator Doug Ellin enlisted his funnyman pal Andrew Dice Clay to help him propose to his girlfriend at a show in Las Vegas on Friday (19Dec14). The writer/producer attended the comedian's concert in Sin City with his partner of almost four years, Maddie Diehl, and he had a big surprise in store.
During the show, Dice Clay - who starred in a feature-length episode of Entourage in 2011 - stopped his routine to pay tribute to his pal before making a big announcement.
According to New York Post gossip column Page Six, he told the audience at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, "(Ellin) brought my entire career back with his hit show Entourage... (He is) one of the finest f**king guys I've met in my entire life... At this moment, at this time, he wanted witnesses. Maddie, your boyfriend Doug Ellin wants to ask you right now in front of this crowd, will you be his wife?"
The couple confirmed the engagement on Tuesday (23Dec14) and Diehl posted a photograph on Twitter.com showing her and Ellin, alongside the caption, "Happiest day of my life!"
The 1990s were a virtual golden age of televised animation... at least as far as the people who grew up during that decade are concerned. Nickelodeon was no doubt the principal force in churning out quality cartoon programming during the '90s, giving us generation defining entertainment in its slate of original Nicktoons. But which of these memorable entries are our favorites and least favorites? Check out our complete ranking of '90s Nicktoons, and chime in below with your own preferences!
"What if... a cat and a dog were Siamese twins?""Oh, yeah! I guess... I guess that could be something."It wasn't. It was nothing.
12. Oh Yeah! Cartoons
This anthology series is easily the least memorable entry from the '90s Nicktoons slate, but escapes the last place slot for introducing the world to some of the next generation's stronger entries, most notably The Fairly Odd Parents.
11. The Wild Thornberrys
Despite an interesting premise and the whimsy that is Tim Curry's voice over work, The Wild Thornberrys never felt quite like it was on our level. Unlike some of its favorable company, the series always felt like a show that some displaced adults thought that kids would like, but never quite understood why they should.
10. Rocket Power
Call it my lasting aversion to bro culture, but Rocket Power always seemed a little much. Never proving itself particularly clever, funny, or original, the show banked way too hard on just trying to be cool. It was, I guess, but not that cool.
9. Aaahh!! Real Monsters
Once in a while, Aaahh!! Real Monsters was enjoyable enough to check in on. A wide variety of weird, crudely drawn creatures living beneath the Staten Island's Fresh Kills Landfill, surfacing only to scare the wits out of humans (not out of malice, but out for the academic merit in the trade) is good for an occasional chuckle, but wore thin pretty quickly.
For the blossoming comic book fan, KaBlam! had a special appeal. But while the anthology series had a few consistently delightful shorts (like Action League Now!) it was very clear why most members of its ensemble never earned their own series proper.
7. SpongeBob SquarePants
Though really a cartoon belonging to the post-'90s youth, SpongeBob's debut in '99 makes it viable for ranking. In truth, the show has evolved into something relatively impressive, even if its unfathomable giddiness can deter viewers brought up on the darker fare of Nickelodeon's earlier days (as you'll see below...).
The only real fault of the technically stellar and remarkably earnest cartoon is that we got too old for it. Sure, Rugrats never talked down to its audience, nor did it insinuate that a young slate of stars entailed a young demographic of viewers. But the show, a very funny exercise in embracing new perspectives on the day-to-day, just didn't do quite enough to keep us hooked as we went onto more mature fare.
5. The Ren & Stimpy Show
Easily the most divisive show on the list, Ren & Stimpy can be respected even by those who find it disgusting for its sheer ambition... and weirdness. Though heavy-handed and abrasive in its comedy, the show had no shortage of imagination.
Required viewing for anybody growing up with a double dose of anxiety, Doug has earned a very special place in the heart of most children of the '90s. The original Nicktoon was sweet, ethical, and effectively wacky while maintaining unmatched sincerity. Though a viable contender for the top tier of this list, Doug is given the No. 4 spot for not quite managing to escape the myopic, claustrophobic feeling that its superior brethren were able to dash to pieces. But still one of the greats.
3. Hey Arnold!
In a way, Hey Arnold! was the precise complement to Doug. Whereas Arnold's Bluffingtonian predecessor struggled with the neuroses within him, the football-headed stoic played the sane man in a world of crazy. Cool, calm, and good-hearted, Arnold navigated a New York City filled with abject lunacy, charged with maintaining justice and order throughout each of his journeys. Colorful and funny, though always a bit melancholy, Hey Arnold! is Nickelodeon's answer to beat poetry.
2. The Angry Beavers
A dark horse No. 2, but truly the most clever and mature cartoon to air on Nickelodeon. Riddled with whip-smart dialogue and ahead-of-its-time pop culture parody, as well as unparalleled devotion to continuity as far as these series go, Angry Beavers is an overlooked gem among the more flashy or earthy Nicktoons.
1. Rocko's Modern Life
There are many programs on this list that rival Rocko's Modern Life in weirdness, that come close in mania, that top it in empathy, and that give it a run for its money in wit. So why, then, does it stand out in our minds as the very best work of art to come out of Nickelodeon's animated community to date? Why is some small-scale, scatterbrained show about a mild-mannered wallaby dealing with mundane qualms like laundry, food shopping, recycling, romance, and breaking his pal out of Heck the most piercingly lovable title that the network has to its name? We don't know what gives Rocko that wow factor, but we can guess.
Which is your favorite Nicktoon?
On Saturday Night Live, the cast member who anchors Weekend Update has always had a special role to fill on the show. Guaranteed a showcase, they are the one constant in an otherwise ever changing group of sketches.
The originator of the role, Chevy Chase, left after one season to find stardom in movies, setting an example that would be followed going forward: Weekend Update anchors moving on to bigger and better things. You may have heard of Chase's immediate successors — Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray — all of whom (along with Chase) continue working regularly in film and television 30-plus years later. But how about everyone else who's held the desk?
THE LOST YEARS
When first Jean Doumanian and then Dick Ebersol took over as executive producer after Lorne Michaels exited the show following the 1979 - '80 season, the segment went through a number of changes, including sometimes being called Newsbreak and Saturday Night News. The most prominent host during the early '80s was Brad Hall — known to most, now, as Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband — who anchored from 1982 - '84. Many of the other anchors during that time — Charles Rocket, Christine Ebersole, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Mary Gross — did the segment for just a year (or less). Most members of this group have faded into the background, although Rocket, who famously dropped an F-bomb during a SNL sketch, made regular appearances on television and movies (Moonlighting, Dances with Wolves) until his death in 2005. Doyle-Murray (Bill's older brother) and Guest were established character actors before joining the show and didn't miss a beat after leaving. Doyle-Murray has been in everything from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to ABC's The Middle, usually playing some variation of a blowhard. Guest most famously played the six-fingered Count Rugen in The Princess Bride and earned additional praise for directing ensemble comedies like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show.
THE GOLDEN AGE
Since Michaels took back the reins of SNL in 1985, the format of Weekend Update has remained largely unchanged and the comics that have sat behind the desk have become some of the biggest names in entertainment. But, who's having the best post-SNL career? Starting with the mid '80s, we rank them from worst to best below:
Kevin Nealon (1991 - '94) and Colin Quinn (1998 - 2000)
Most non-hardcore SNL fans would have difficulty remembering anything about either Nealon's or Quinn's stint on Update, so maybe it's not surprising that they've had the least success since leaving the show (although they've still done significantly better than most of the Ebersol folk). Quinn was a stand-up comic before the show and just returned to doing more of the same when he left. He did host a show on Comedy Central for a while, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Nealon's biggest success came playing hapless accountant Doug Wilson on Showtime's Weeds. Each is friends with fellow SNL alum Adam Sandler, so Nealon and Quinn also show up occasionally doing cameos in Sandler's films. Lately, we've seen Quinn show up on episodes of Girls as a boss and friend of Alex Karpovsky's character Ray.
Norm Macdonald (1994 - '97)
Like Quinn, Macdonald came to SNL with an established background in stand-up. He had the good fortune to be behind the desk during the O.J. Simpson arrest and trial, which provided endless fodder for the comedian… and possibly led to his dismissal after running afoul of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson. Macdonald had his own sitcom on ABC for three years (Norm), and keeps a steady schedule of stand-up dates. Besides doing voice-over and commercial work, he's also a frequent guest of Conan O'Brien and, like Quinn and Nealon, has a habit of showing up in movies that Sandler produces.
Seth Meyers (2006 - '14)
Meyers sat behind the Weekend Update desk longer than anyone, and is the only anchor that worked both solo and with a partner. He has only been gone a few months, so it's hard to grade him, but he's off to a rousing start as the host of NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, maintaining his 30 Rock residence and boss Michaels. We're rooting for you, Seth.
Dennis Miller (1985 - '91)
Miller was the one responsible for returning Update back to something closer to Chase's original version. Unlike most of the others, Miller's sole role on the show was hosting the fake news segment, very rarely taking part in any of the show's sketches. Miller also might be the most controversial of the former anchors. After leaving SNL, he hosted Dennis Miller Live on HBO from 1994 - 2002, winning five Emmys. He also did a disastrous two-season stint as a commentator on ABC's Monday Night Football. After 2001, Miller's political views became increasingly conservative, leading to him to a gig at Fox News with a regular spot on Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Since 2007, Miller has also hosted a syndicated radio show. Oddly, when Miller is on vacation his frequent fill-in both on radio and with O'Reilly is Macdonald.
Amy Poehler (2004 - '08)
One of the founders of the influential improv group Upright Citizens Brigade, Poehler joined with Tina Fey to form the first all-female team on Weekend Update, and the two have been joined together ever since. Poehler was such a powerful presence on the show that she managed to make an appearance on the segment by frequent target Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin come off as charming instead of forced. Since SNL, Poehler has starred in the movie Baby Mama and has done the voices for more animated characters than we can count. She also just completed her sixth season starring in NBC's Parks and Recreation. Time magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2011 and, oh yeah, and she has a little awards show hosting gig that she does with Fey.
Jimmy Fallon (2000 - '04)
Fallon teamed with Fey to turn Update back into a buzz-worthy segment, with the two of them trading quips at which Fallon would frequently crack up. He tried his hand at movies after leaving the show, starring in Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Taxi with Queen Latifah. It was when he returned to television, however, that he really hit his stride. Starting with taking over for O'Brien on Late Night, Fallon has steadily grown into one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry as a late night talk show host. In February, he took over for Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, moving it back to New York from Los Angeles and earning accolades for his mix of goofy humor, music, and social media interaction.
Tina Fey (2000 - '06)
During her time on SNL, in addition to co-anchoring Update with first Fallon and then Poehler, Fey was the show's first female head writer. While still on the show, Fey wrote the hit teen comedy Mean Girls, and since leaving has starred in a group of comedies, including Baby Mama with Poehler and most recently Muppets Most Wanted. She wrote, produced, and starred in NBC's 30 Rock for seven seasons, and her book Bossypants was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks. She's won eight Emmys, most recently for her work hosting the Golden Globes with Poehler, and she was the youngest ever recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Dazzlingly smart and funny, it's hard to find many people that can match resumes with Fey.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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A timely workout at the gym helped rapper/actor Common land a cameo in the Entourage film. Filmmaker Doug Ellin ran into The Light hitmaker at Equinox in Los Angeles last week (ends02Mar14) and asked him if he would like to appear in the movie.
Common obliged and filmed his one-line cameo on the spot, according to the New York Post.
The rapper is not the only celebrity to make a surprise appearance in the movie - last week, actor Liam Neeson was photographed on set while filming his cameo.
The Entourage movie, which stars Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon, is set to hit theatres next year (15).
Director Doug Ellin has lost over 500 behind-the-scenes photographs from the Entourage movie set after dropping his camera in the ocean. Ellin shot the pictures while the crew for the highly anticipated movie was filming scenes on a yacht in Miami over the weekend (18-19Jan14).
After the shoot wrapped, Ellin lost the camera in the water while making his way back to the shore.
He offered divers $1,000 (GBP625) to retrieve the equipment, but they insisted it would be like "finding a needle in a haystack," according to the New York Post.
Cult sports movie Cool Runnings is repeating in real life after Jamaica's bobsleigh team qualified for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games and a crowdsourcing campaign was launched to fund their trip to Russia. The popular 1993 comedy, starring Leon Robinson and Doug E. Doug, was loosely based on the Jamaican national team's debut in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, during which they crashed and failed to reach the finish line.
The film is now back in the news after it was announced the Jamaican national team has qualified for next month's (Feb14) games in Sochi, Russia, but has been struggling financially.
One of the original Jamaican bobsledders, Devon Harris, has thrown his weight behind a fundraising campaign to get the two-man team to the Olympics, calling the drive Cool Runnings 2, and it has exceeded the initial $80,000 (£50,000) target after garnering overwhelming support from the public.
The campaign had raised more than $111,000 (£69,375) on Tuesday (21Jan14), and Harris admits he is thrilled with the response, writing in a post on the Crowdtilt.com website, "Let me take a minute to say a big thank you to all the friends and well-wishers of the Jamaica bobsleigh team... We are grateful for your overwhelming show of support. The monies you donated will be used to cover training expenses (food, board, travelling, track fees, etc), and equipment purchases as they team (sic) completes its final preparation for the Games. Funds will also be earmarked to ship the sled and related equipment to Russia."
Cool Runnings was voted the most heart-warming movie of all time in a Lovefilm poll last year (13).
Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Paramount via Everett Collection
So the holiday season isn't over, but you've already exhausted your holiday entertainment library. What to do? First, watch Love Actually a second time. (Hugh Grant and the Pointer Sisters, guys.) Then turn to these regular old movies that just happen to host some of the best Christmas scenes in film. Finally, congratulate yourself for being so gosh darn resourceful.
The guys show up to a post-heist Christmas party with new coupes and gals draped in furs. Jimmy is not pleased. "Are you stupid or somethin'? What's the matter with you?" Sounds like the holidays to us.
The Cutting Edge
The deliciously '90s and saxophone-drenched New Year's Eve scene may be flashier, but we prefer this understated gift exchange between the figure skater and the hockey player. Kate, because she's insufferable, gives Doug an unwieldy copy of Great Expectations. Doug, because he's falling in love with her anyway, gives her his lucky jersey.
Featuring Christan Bale in novelty reindeer antlers; a pot-bellied pig named Snowball; and a very PC Reese Witherspoon telling everyone to have a "Merry X-Mas!"
The Plastics perform a sexy dance for their school's holiday show; Amy Poehler still manages to steal the scene.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Who wouldn't want to pull on a Weasley sweater and spend Christmas at Hogwarts? The Great Hall looks even more magical than usual and a festive John Williams score follows everyone around. Plus, Harry getting his very first presents from his new friends gets us every time.
Not a scene, perhaps, but we can't snub a cameo by Peter Jackson as a demented Father Christmas.
Life of Brian
Brian is just Brian, so this scene may not actually count as a Christmas one. But the Monty Python classic is one of the most hilarious movies of all time, so we actually may not care.
Lady and the Tramp