Couldn't stay up to see best moments of the late night talk shows? Check out what you missed this past week right here.
A Presidential PortraitFormer President George W. Bush's painted portrait of The Tonight Show host Jay Leno proves that he needs to pick a new hobby.
Throwing Gamers an XboneOn the eve of the worldwide release of Microsoft's new all-in-one entertainment and gaming console, Jimmy Fallon showed off the Xbox One by playing Kinect Sports with Will Forte.
A New Holiday TraditionWill Tracy Morgan's unique spin on "Elf on a Shelf" be a hit with the consumers?
Playing DeadBy holding his interview on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on the floor of the studio, Bill Cosby showed that he's either still a comedic genius or lost his marbles.
Lawrence of HysteriaAlthough she fought to save her life in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence may have indicated in her interview with David Letterman that she might be fighting a severe case of hypochondria.
Like a Fine BurgundyLegendary anchorman Ron Burgundy bestowed upon Conan O'Brien an entire cornucopia of sage-like advice, such as using one's excrement to survive a prison riot.
Over a Slice of PieJon Stewart made peace with the city of Chicago over their dispute about the legitimacy of Chicago's deep dish pizza.
Never Coming Back to AmericaWondering why they never made a sequel to Coming to America? On The Arsenio Hall Show, Eddie Murphy blamed actual African princes and their insistence to collect their, ahem, royalty checks.
Thanks for NothingRelish in the ignorance of common Americans by watching Jay Leno fruitlessly asking random pedestrians about Thanksgiving.
Cruelty in Under 140 CharactersAnonymity at its worst was on fully display with Jimmy Kimmel's latest installment of "Celebrity Mean Tweets."
Director Uwe Boll has struggled to find audiences for his controversial films. He started his career with critically-panned video game movies like House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, and Bloodrayne before shifting his crosshairs to topical subject matters. In 2009, he adapted his bloody genre aesthetic for a film about the genocide in Darfur. In 2011, he did the same for the horrors of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz.
This week, Boll releases his next pointed piece of cinema: Assault on Wall Street. Dominic Purcell stars as Jim, a blue collar New Yorker who loses everything in the 2008 financial crisis. As Wall Street bankers shred every bit of evidence of their wrongdoings, Jim watches as his life is destroyed. Witnessing his wife lose a battle with cancer pushes him over the edge, and Jim decides to pick up a few guns and deliver bloody payback aimed at the suits that wronged him.
Striking controversy is Boll's objective. The German director wants Assault on Wall Street to wake up audiences to the fact that they're being swindled by the political system and provoke them to take action. But he knows he's fighting a losing battle against his past. Will anyone take him seriously in a world where Argo (what he calls "an advertising [movie] for the C.I.A.") wins top prizes at the Oscars?
We sat down with Boll to hear him out. Read on for a boatload of contentious opinions on Wall Street, gun control, Hollywood, and his filmmaking career:
Hollywood.com: Many of your films have relied on over-the-top action but Assault on Wall Street strikes me as a calmer film.
Uwe Boll: I wrote it and I really wanted to show the deconstruction of a human being in the financial crisis fallout. I had the feeling if I make this more like Rampage, I lose all possibilities that people take it really seriously. That stuff like this can really happen. So I decided to go into the details and try and tell a love story. Unusual for my movies.
Did the financial situation in America rile you up on a personal level?
Boll: Look, everything that happened in the bailout… they lifted off everything we ever learned about economy. Especially the people who always talk about free trade. 'No socialism.' Then they pump all the tax payers money in savings and investment banks. The consequences of the bailouts were written on the wall from all financial experts. They said, 'You have to regulate the baking systems.' If you have $5000 in your checking account, it can not be that they are on the hook if the investment side of the bank is gambling and losing money. It can not be! So they have to divide it up. The normal, classical banking — mortgages, normal loans, deposits — can not be infected by the casino, basically.
It didn't happen. It's still the same like it was before. They make the profits still because the stock market exploded from cheap money from the feds. They get the money for free! This is the thing that is crazy. All experts say we're in another balloon. But next time, there will be no bailout. You can't say, 'We print another $5 trillion,' then we file for bankruptcy five minutes after the bailout because no one can pay that back. It's so obvious they had to do self-regulations and they didn't.
Do you feel that Hollywood has properly taken the government to task over the bailouts? Is Assault on Wall Street your response to that? It exudes anger.
Boll: Exactly. Too Big to Fail, Margin Call — I like those movies, but the brokers and the politics are in the middle. There's no normal guy who makes $50,000 a year in those movies. Wall Street 2 was a complete failure because it doesn't show the age of greed on Wall Street. It just shows Josh Brolin (who played [George W.] Bush in another [Oliver] Stone movie [laughs]), being one bad guy saving it all with his stupidity. I love Wall Street but the second was a good looking insult. So I wanted to make a movie where a guy holds people accountable because no one else is doing it.
Was extreme violence an essential part of getting that message across?
Boll: When I cast the movie, many agents said, 'Oh, my actor can not play that. He's just shooting too many people. He can only shoot one or two.' And I said, 'No, it has to be the system.' Like in the beginning, when the guy says 'dump the certificates' and the whole broker room start dumping. They know they've damaged the clients and they don't go to the feds and they're happy and they know they've destroyed peoples' lives. I think this is important that he goes against everybody. If people who watch the movie are feeling uncomfortable in their seats, on Wall Street, I've reached my goal. 'Oh, maybe I should have bodyguards.'
That's a bold wish.
Boll: It's absurd. We have so many people running amok for absolutely no reason, like the Batman screening. Then you have absolutely 100,000 reasons to go after the bankers and nobody did it so far. It's obvious.
Movies are often accused of promoting violence as a solution to life's problems. Though that's Assault on Wall Street's goal. Did you consider those acts of gun violence when making this film?
Boll: I think movies are there for this. To be a catalyst. To show what you want to do but can't do for real. My idea with guns is don't sell it to people under 30. I'm not pro-someone randomly gets a gun. I know how hard it is to change things in America. But it would omit 17-year-old psychopaths from running amok. In Canada, where I live, there are guns everywhere and no one runs amok. It's not a movie about gun control. This guy is able to get a gun and he goes for it.
I feel like you attempted to stick it to the man before with Darfur. Was that a success?
Boll: I think Darfur is an excellent movie. I think it's so brutal that most of the people can't watch it. It's like, 'Oh f**k, I have to switch it off.' Children being impaled, mass rapes, everything. I did it on purpose because that's exactly what happens in Darfur. I thought, OK if we don't stop the genocide but we have money to go to Iraq… here we have facts. I show what's out there. Children being hacked to pieces. 'Oh let's wait another year.' NATO or whatever. The blue helmets or whatever.
I showed it to the German army in a big multiplex in Germany. They got vert emotional about it. Then a big, four star general in Germany said in front of the crowd, 'If something like this happens, it doesn't matter what the order is. Because we're first human beings and have to stop it.' They were surprised he said that. We talked to blue helmets that were there that were not fighting. Why didn't you help? 'We were observing mission.' How absurd.
Why wasn't the movie taken seriously? Does it have to do with the route in which it arrives to America? Do you need the respect of Cannes or Sundance to back it?
Boll: I'm with you. The problem is that if something was said by George Clooney… he's everywhere. I say something, nobody cares. Especially with Wall Street. It's the most important subject matter on Earth. There's no bigger subject matter than the bailout crisis. Why will it get on one screen? Why is it not a movie that gets a 250 print release with some real money behind it?
I imagine it's because you're also the guy who made Postal.
Boll: My past haunts me. They don't take it seriously. The guy who made House of the Dead or Alone in the Dark can't be serious as a filmmaker. It's disappointing, but all I can do is keep trying to make movies that matter. At least on DVD or VOD people say, 'Oh wow.' A guy came up to me at the American Film Market and said, 'I'm the Showtime President and I want to tell you that Darfur is the best movie I've ever seen on our channel.' I said, 'Yeah, and you only $40,000!' They know they can lowball you.
A lot of things getting a lot of attention… look at Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. These are advertising movies for the C.I.A.. They're good films because they have good actors and they make them properly, but what is the f**king subject matter of Argo? It's a minor case. Who cares about eight people?
But would you be open to making a studio movie like that if given the opportunity?
Boll: That's the thing. I could never do the super patriotic point-of-view. Olympus Has Fallen or White House Down. I could do a big action movie, but it would be a little more balanced. I can not make myself do something where I'm political, where I think, 'This is so wrong. S**t.' The Wall Street 2… I can't do that.
Do video game and genre movies scratch that itch? Hollywood is kind of moving in on your territory now.
Boll: I just got calls that a studio has bought the rights to Far Cry. I lost the rights and they want to do a big, big Far Cry movie. Spent like $5 million on the game rights. I spent $150,000. I bought the rights early when they were developing it and bet on the game being a success. It is what it is. I don't have a problem making a genre movie like Far Cry or Bloodrayne because I don't feel I sell out with it.
Your genre films are also R-rated, which I'm guessing isn't the direction a studio wants to go with most properties.
Boll: What they're doing is all PG-13. Paramount watched Assault on Wall Street and I got an e-mail, 'We love it! This is so good! He kills everybody! But we can never acquire it' [laughs]. There was a point where studios acquired the movies they actually like. People go on the wrong track and constantly release movies that are half-cooked. I watched Jack Reacher on the airplane and it's an OK movie, but I don't even know why that guy shot people in the beginning of the movie. I have no f**king clue why they shot that guy. The whole case doesn't make sense. A lot of the movies coming out are good filmmaking, but without substance.
What's the next genre movie you're making?
Boll: Last December, I shot Suddenly, the remake of the Frank Sinatra movie with Ray Liotta and Dominic Purcell. It's a thriller and plays on one day. I hired an Obama double who almost (or maybe) gets shot in the end. I wanted to do that.
Why the hell would you want to do that?
Boll: Everyone said, 'Don't do it!' But I wanted to do it. I wanted an Obama double. And I was preparing to shoot a movie in India. A thriller about organ trade — but I have huge problems in India. I have tons of Indian guys who want to produce with me and I tell them I want to shoot that movie and they're like, 'Oh f**k!' Because it's real. They want me to come to India and shoot dancing.
I could see you doing a Bollywood movie.
Boll: Where everyone gets shredded in the end.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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It used to be that to become a painter, you would apprentice with an old master for decades in order to master the tiniest, most delicate brushstrokes, subtle shades of lighting, and mathematically-based perspective tricks. That's how Vermeer and Rembrandt came to anchor the Dutch School. How the Renaissance maestros learned to imbue breathtaking realism into Biblical or mythological settings. Or you could just teach yourself to paint via an app on your smartphone.
That's the way George W. Bush learned to apply brush to canvas. In an interview with NPR's David Greene, former first lady Laura Bush talked about her husband's recent foray into the fine arts and the daring subjects he's rendered in oil and acrylics: his pets. "He was looking for a pastime," Mrs. Bush says. "He got an app on his iPad where he could draw pictures. Like, he’d draw a picture of him in bed with Barney and the cat." The fact that Barney has now died lends a poignant streak to his work.
To deepen his connection to his chosen medium and place himself in the context of politicians turned painters of yore, Bush turned to presidential historian John Lewis Gaddis, his wife says. Gaddis recommended that Bush read Winston Churchill's book Painting as a Pastime, since the legendary prime minister liked to dabble in watercolors himself back in the day when he wasn't fighting Nazis. So now, he paints for several hours a day and bombards his wife and daughters with pictures of his handiwork, even when they're on the road.
This is what can happen when you're no longer the leader of the free world.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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Do you enjoy watching the President of the United States on television but hate anything to do with politics? Well, this is your special day. While an interview or two (plus all those State of the Union addresses) has become par for the course, less so are the instances of presidents appearing on popular television shows to not talk about their political agendas, but instead cause a laugh or just have a little fun.
In honor of President's Day, we've rounded up the best cameos from our presidential pals present and past to celebrate the way that they're always on the job: even if they're not in the oval office.
Barack Obama on Mythbusters
Leave it to our current POTUS with the MOTUS (did that work?) to go on one of the nerdiest-yet-educational shows out on television today. Obama was featured in an episode that dissected the probability of the ancient legend of Achimedes' solar death ray. (Because ancient Greeks were very smart — but could they really harness the power of the sun to set a bunch of Roman ships aflame? So Obama tasked Mythbusters hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage with proving or debunking the idea that Archimedes could used giant mirrors to reflect the sunlight onto attacking Roman ships in 212 BC. Unfortunately, Obama's myth? Busted.
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George Bush on Deal or No Deal
President Bush (the younger) was featured on an episode of the highly-rated Howie Mandel show when the purple-hearted Army Captain Joseph Kobes appeared as a contestant on April 21, 2008. Mandel introduced the President via satellite, where Bush thanked Kobes for his service — but not before making a joke about his own popularity. "I am thrilled to be anywhere with high ratings," Bush explained.
Gerald Ford on Saturday Night Live
President Ford has the honor of being the only current sitting president to tackle the iconic "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" when his Press Secretary, Ron Nessen hosted the show on April 18, 1976. After being slayed by Chevy Chase on the show for his frequent snafus, Mr. President decided to take it upon himself to show his own sense of humor about the whole situation. If you're fancy enough to have a Hulu Plus account, watch the episode in full, below, or read a highlight from Ford's ability to take a joke.
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Ron Nessen: Thank you, sir. Now, the producer suggested you might like to do something on the show yourself.
President Gerald Ford: Well, I can take a joke just so far.. [ stands up and walks behind desk ] ..but I won't have this high office ridiculed. I won't have me stumbling around.. [ walks into window ] ..making a fool of myself.. [ walks into flag and fumbles with it, trying to keep it from falling ] ..for some late night comedy show. [ picks up football helmet and puts it on ] I don't need to prove that I can fall down like Chevy Chase or be an athlete. Everyone knows I'm an athlete. [ accidentally kicks wastepaper basket and chases it, soon giving up and returning to his desk ] I'll never forget those wonderful days.. [ picks up tennis racket, throws it in the air to try and catch it, but misses. Walks over to "Liberty", cups his hand near the dog's tail ] Gimme the ball, Liberty! [ takes off helmet, tries to drop-kick it but misses. Returns to desk and sits down ]
Richard Nixon on Laugh-In
Nixon's appearance on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in order to show the world that this New Nixon was no longer the sourpuss downer vice presidential man he was believed to be. And how does one do that? By appearing on an unlikely television show — enter: Laugh-In. It would be an understatement to say the core audience of Laugh-In was anywhere near the Republican sweet spot, but many say that the future president really made a name for himself when he did a self-effacing take on the show's signature line. Perhaps even winning him the election.
BONUS BIDEN: Vice President Joe Biden on Parks and Recreation
...Just because Uncle Joe is the best, and Leslie Knope would make a really great President.
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What do you think of our Presidents showing up on your favorite television show? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: WENN]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes.
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Kim Kardashian CONTINUED to talk about turning 30 on Leno last night, and the People Magazine profile article on her which expands upon the concept of being 30 and single, which she’s making out to be some sort of reason to sulk. She also told Leno she wanted to have 30 birthday parties to celebrate the milestone but only ended up having 5, which meant the woes kept coming. But at least she primed us for them by telling us she crashed her car when she was 16 and had to pay for it herself.
Jeff Goldblum, Biz Markie, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots performed a killer version of “Just a Friend.” Subbing for Justin Timberlake was Goldblum’s glasses.
Cher revealed to David Letterman a few of the men she’s slept with over the years. On the list? Warren Beatty, Tom Cruise, and Gene Simmons. Don’t you wish you could just keep her next to the platter of fake apples in your kitchen?
Jon Stewart talked about the interviews George W. Bush has been giving to promote his new book. Stewart seemed quite happy to return to the topic of Bush, and called him “an old pair of slippers.” Then he aired some pieces of Matt Lauer’s interview with the former President, and pointed out how he had two years to come up with the answers to these questions and it was like he spent all of his time remembering the time he poisoned someone’s goldfish by replacing his water with vodka.
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And Stephen Colbert touched upon one of the hottest topics these days, which is that Gene Shalit is leaving the Today show, and sent him on his way by absorbing all his opinions.
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Barbara Walters insists Danny DeVito is welcome back on her show The View, even though he appeared to be drunk during an interview yesterday.
The star was promoting his new movie Deck the Halls on the show, and admitted he was still tipsy after a night of partying with pal George Clooney.
Walters seemed far from impressed by the actor's behavior, but has quickly forgiven him after he apologized personally to her.
Speaking on the show this morning, Walters said, "We love him, we'll have him on again."
Walters found a message from DeVito in her office after the show. She says, "I called him back on his cell phone and he had already left on a plane, but he said he was not going to say anything until he had talked to me."
The 62-year-old star appeared on the live show slurring his words and ranting against President George W. Bush. He ended his appearance by sitting on co-host Rosie O'Donnell’s lap.
O'Donnell laughed off DeVito's disheveled appearance this morning, adding, "Danny DeVito is not an alcoholic. He's just a guy who had too many drinks with his friends. He had a wonderful night out, and he was a little drunk."
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Danny DeVito appeared on TV show The View yesterday morning still tipsy after a night of heavy partying with pal George Clooney.
The star was promoting his new movie Deck the Halls on the show, and admitted he hadn't been to bed the night before.
DeVito then cursed his seventh limoncello (a lemon liqueur) from the previous evening and launched into a boozy rant against President George W. Bush, much of which was bleeped out by network censors.
The former Taxi star also revealed he and his wife Rhea Perlman made sure to "utilize every surface available" in the famous Lincoln Bedroom when they stayed at the White House as overnight guests of former President Clinton.
The show's co-hosts, Rosie O'Donnell and Joy Behar, seemed to be amused by DeVito's antics, while Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a staunch Republican, tried gamely to switch the conversation to non-political topics, but failed as DeVito continued on his political tirade.
The show's creator, veteran newswoman Barbara Walters, appeared visibly uncomfortable as the interview progressed.
DeVito's representative, Stan Rosenfield, tells entertainment Web site TMZ.com his client has requested Walters' phone number and that he would say "what needed to be said privately" to her.
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George Clooney is throwing his weight behind Senator Barack Obama for a 2008 presidential run before the African-American politician has made his White House dreams official.
Obama hinted he was thinking about joining the race to replace President George W. Bush in a recent TV interview and just the mention of the fact has Hollywood buzzing.
Democrat Clooney has been one of the first to offer his public support, emailing the Los Angeles Times from Europe, ahead of Obama's book-signing appearance in California this Friday.
Clooney writes, "If Senator Obama became ‘Presidential Candidate Obama’ it would be the most electrifying thing to happen to the Democratic party since (President John F.) Kennedy."
When Harry Met Sally director Rob Reiner, a fellow Democrat, is also a big fan of Senator Obama, comparing his possible run for office to Abraham Lincoln's presidency.
He adds, "How poetic would it be that a one-term congressman from the state of Illinois could be elected President and free the slaves and now a one-term African-American Senator from that same state could become the next President?"
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Entourage star Jeremy Piven lashed out at TV host Billy Bush on the red carpet of the Emmys on Sunday, telling the presenter, "You have potential as a human being."
Piven has just finished filming The Kingdom with Jennifer Garner, where he came into contact with the actress' baby, Violet.
After asking Piven about young Violet, Bush--cousin of President George W. Bush--then began barraging the actor with questions about celebrity babies during the interview for Access Hollywood.
When Bush asked if he had seen Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's baby, Shiloh Nouvel, in his Malibu, California, neighborhood, Piven replied, "No... I have 116 other things to do... I don't go hunting for celebrity babies, thank you, Billy."
After then being grilled about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter, Suri, Piven snapped, "You need another job. You have potential as a human being. This may not be right for you. Seriously--can you focus on other things?"
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A U.S. war veteran has filed a $85 million lawsuit against Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore for falsely portraying him in the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.
Sergeant Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Massachusetts who lost both his arms in the Iraq war, claims the film caused him "a loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation" after it featured a clip of an interview he did with NBC's Nightly News.
Damon claims the way Moore edited the clip made him look to be anti-war by depicting him as "voicing a complaint about the war effort", when he was actually complaining about "the excruciating type of pain" from his injuries.
Damon is seeking damages in the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Massachusetts, claiming Moore never asked for his consent to use the clip, adding, "(Damon) agrees with and supports the President (George W Bush) and the United States' war effort, and he was not left behind."
Damon's lawyer, Dennis Lynch, says, "It's upsetting to him because he's lived his life supportive of his government, he's been a patriot, he's been a soldier, and he's now being portrayed in a movie that is the antithesis of all of that."
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