The New York Times/YouTubeJames Franco's extra-curricular activities have become so increasingly bizarre that hardly anyone bat an eyelid when he paraded around with a shirtless Seth Rogen to recreate Kanye West's video for "Bound 2" last month. Here's a look at five of his biggest oddball moments.The Justin Bieber ParodyTwo years before setting his sights on Kanye, Franco parodied another pop culture icon in the shape of Justin Bieber with a slightly creepy spoof of the teen idol's hit single, "Boyfriend," recorded with a little help from Ashley Benson. The pair then did the same for Spring Breakers co-star Selena Gomez's "Love You Like A Love Song."The Kickstarter campaignJoining the Kickstarter revolution with art duo Praxis in 2011, Franco asked fans to cough up their hard-earned cash in return for pieces of art that were completely conceived in their own imagination. Incredibly, the project dubbed the 'Museum of Non-Visible Art' inspired one woman to spend $10000 on a piece titled "Fresh Air."The New York Times videoInvited to record a one-minute video for the New York Times' 'Fourteen Actors Acting' series, a moustached Franco used the opportunity to seduce a mirror image of himself while portraying the 'chronic narcissist,' a role he then returned to while promoting his Comedy Central roast.The Candy magazine coverFranco has recently dressed as Psycho's Marion Crane and channelled his inner Cindy Sherman for various art exhibitions. But his first venture into drag – the Terry Richardson-shot cover for transgender magazine Candy which saw him pose in slicked-back hair, thick red lipstick and blue eyeshadow – remains his most striking.The Obama poemWhile most celebrity fans of Obama took to Twitter to express their feelings on his second inauguration, Franco decided to upload a typically baffling five-minute poem onto YouTube titled "Obama in Asheville" which was as unintentionally amusing as it was pretentious.
As part of his quest to adapt every great American novel ever written, James Franco will be making his Broadway debut in a new production of Of Mice and Men. He will be playing the role of George, the uneducated and ill-tempered migrant worker in 1930's California, while his good-natured but simple-minded friend Lennie will be played by Chris O'Dowd, which officially makes this the weirdest pairing since Lady Gaga and the Muppets. Rumors about the production have been circulating for some time now, but Franco finally confirmed them on Oct. 20, during a live Q&A session at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, CA.
The play will be directed by Anna Shapiro, who is best known for directing the Tony Award-winning August: Osage County. There is no set timeframe for the play yet, and so far Franco, O'Dowd, and Shapiro are the only cast and crew to have signed on. Though knowing Franco, we wouldn't be surprised if he decided to take on all of the production roles as well.
There's a good chance this production will either be a smashing success or a terrible failure. While Franco has proved his acting chops in the past with his Oscar-nominated turn in 127 Hours, he's mostly followed that up with career choices that make him seem more like a punchline than a capable actor. And since nobody's forgotten about the terrible job he did hosting the 2011 Oscars, he will have to give a pretty spectacular performance in order to wipe it from everyone's minds. He has recently been winning over audiences recently with his stint on The Mindy Project and his Comedy Central Roast, but with early reviews of As I Lay Dying coming in negative, maybe Franco should have attempted a comedy for his Broadway debut. At least, that's where his trademark squinty-eyed grin seems more at home.
Of Mice and Men will also be a more serious undertaking for O'Dowd, who is primarly known and beloved for his work in comedies like The IT Crowd. Physically, O'Dowd seems to be a good fit for Lennie, and he has a great deal of experience playing characters who are dopey but well-meaning. However, while O'Dowd will definitley be able to nail the charm and kindness of the character, he'll have a hard time with the more phsycial aspects of the character. O'Dowd has also mostly played characters who have a sarcastic edge to them, and it will be interesting to see if he carries that over to his portrayal of Lennie.
Fans may be forced to wait a long time for Of Mice and Men to hit the Great White Way, however, as Franco has 14 films in the works in addition to his recently published book, Actors Anonymous, and he'll most likely be picking up a few more doctorates in between. O'Dowd is also pretty busy himself, with 5 films on his plate, inlcuding a lead role in an upcoming Lance Armstrong biopic and a part in Thor: The Dark World. On the bright side, the longer it takes for the play to open, the longer the rest of us have to come up with a clever way to work IT Crowd jokes into Steinbeck.
Anything can happen on live TV. A slip of the tongue can mean the difference between a F-bomb or a Freudian slip, but sometimes broadcast news can fail spectacularly in all sorts of ways. While some guffaws are fodder for blooper-reels, others are just bad journalism and not-so P.C friendly. While our insider knowledge of broadcast news is largely based on watching too many episodes of Newsroom —just remember these screw-ups got by an entire team of people.
Apparently CNBC Squawk Box Host Joe Kernen just could not contain his hilarious Indian joke, much to the horror or his fellow co-hosts. During the discussion about the value of rupees, Kernen adopted a fake Indian accent and mumbled something original about 7-Eleven. As Aziz Ansari would say, "I think it's so cool that some of you guys were able to travel back in time to 1995 for those Indian jokes you did."
As if that were enough, sometimes it's not just the anchors that play fast and loose with racial stereotypes. After the Asiana Airlines crash in San Francisco, Fox affiliate KTVU ran a list of fake pilot names that seemed dreamed up by Bart Simpson and not the largest Fox local station. Along with displaying the names, they were also read by the anchors on air after being fact checked by an intern. Proving what we knew all along — that interns are really running the show.
Sometimes we can blame the graphics department for many a mix-up. The tragic case of a missing teenager made viral history, after the new suspect was revealed to be hamster by WFSB in Hartford. The furry "mug shot" was also accompanied the rodent holding a film slate — at least it wasn't pictured in a crime-evading wheel.
We get it, it's hard to say pianist — we do it all the time. Our nicknames for naughty bits seem to have a knack for making it on broadcast more often than not. Reporting from the field, this one reporter slips up some friendly chitchat with a particularly busty-anchor back at the station and ends up congratulating her on her giant rack.
Ladies (and Gentleman) don't pretend to hold an object up near your mouth unless there is a microphone in it. Poor Canadian news anchor Lisa Dutton was excited to share her "mom-preneur" idea about using a vibrating toothbrush for teething newborns. The result is exactly what happens when you try to demonstrate anything vibrating on live television.
James Franco has mocked constant speculation about his sexuality by smooching a man in a series of set-up paparazzi-style snaps. The Milk actor has been hounded by gay rumours since he shot to fame, and regularly responds to the speculation by insisting he does not care if people believe he is attracted to men.
He has now made light of the gossip by posting a number of pictures on his Instagram.com page, which show him kissing and strolling hand-in-hand with a mystery man.
The images have been produced in the style of blogger Perez Hilton, who often writes his thoughts on celebrities over their photographs.
The 35 year old only recently had to face jokes about his sexuality from his celebrity pals Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill during his Comedy Central Roast last month (Aug13).
At the event, Rogen quipped, "He once told me he worked for 36 hours straight, which I didn't believe. The straight part, of course."
Comedienne Sarah Silverman was shocked and hurt when her age became a target for jokes onstage at James Franco's TV roast. Silverman, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Bill Hader were among the famous faces who took part in the Comedy Central Roast, during which the stars mocked Franco and also took shots at one another.
The funnywoman, 42, brushed off the insults about her acting career and looks, but she admits she was faking laughter when the panel poked fun at her age during the TV special, which aired in the U.S. earlier this month (Sep13).
Appearing on talk show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, she says, "I think the secret about roasts is everybody laughs... and then I was in bed for two days. It's brutal! I think that everyone who does the roasts is probably in bed for two days trying to remember their self-esteem...
"I wish so much that (age jokes) didn't cut me to the core. I don't want young girls to see me be hurt by jokes about age because I feel like it's not a good example. Me being old, first of all, at the roast? Completely took me by surprise... It's a roast, so I feel like a hypocrite even addressing it, but it touched on something because it's personal. It's so woman-based. I feel like... as soon as a woman gets to an age where she has opinions and she's vital and she's strong, she's systematically shamed into hiding under a rock. And this is by progressive pop-culture people! It's really odd! I feel bad that it cut me... I feel like your joke is that I'm still alive. My crime is not dying."
However, Silverman is adamant stand-up stars should never be censored: "I'm hurt all the time but I would die defending people's rights to say anything."
"Now a major motion picture" is the worst thing that can ever happen to a book — short of, say, an open flame. And in this day and age, no one is safe. It happened to Life of Pi; it happened to The Great Gatsby; heck, it happened to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And now it has happened to William Faulkner. James Franco's scowling mug now takes up 70% of the cover for As I Lay Dying.
Since our copies of the novel are lovingly battered, dog-eared, and annotated, and, that being the way we like it, we haven't been in the market for a new edition recently, we didn't make this discovery until Time Out New York's Keith Uhlich tweeted the travesty (below). A facepalm has never been so well deserved.
Oh for fuck's sake. pic.twitter.com/3V0dMgB9fI
— Keith Uhlich (@keithuhlich) September 12, 2013
We've been skeptical of this adaptation for a long time, due less to Franco's involvement than to the seemily unadaptable nature of the book, but now we hate it. We hate the whole project and what it's doing to American literature. We hate James Franco's stupid face. (Well, not really, but it's about as close as we've ever come.) We need someone to blame for this crime against literature, and he's literally the poster boy.
More:James Franco Gets Intense in 'As I Lay Dying' Trailer12 Best Lines from James Franco's Comedy Central Roast Check Out James Franco’s LinkedIn: He’s Had Every Job Ever
| Follow @abbeystone
From Our Partners:A Complete History Of Twerking (1993-2013) (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
After losing his wife and the mother of his young daughter in the new crime drama Homefront, undercover cop Jason Statham decides it's time for a change. So he packs up and moves himself and the youngster to the countryside. A fresh start, free of the criminal burdens that have left his life a wreck. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the good lawman, this particular town has its own demon. It operates under the greasy, blood-covered thumb of a drug dealing James Franco. And as Statham works his way deeper into the town's barrel of secrets, he learns more about his new adversary. "They call him Gator," explains an in-the-know local, adding, "for some reason."
Open Road Films
For some reason. A colloquial phrase perpetrating one grand question: what is the reason? Why does Franco's criminal go by Gator? Why does he sport a gator tattoo on his forearm? What nefarious, reptilian implications are at play here?
Does Franco have a romantic relationship with a gator that he's trying to keep a secret from the paparazzi (a la his role on 30 Rock)? Perhaps he was raised by gators, vowing once and for all to take back society for his scaled family? Or maybe he, himself, is a gator, evolved to human form after years of nuclear waste corroding the nearby waters? He could very well be just a zany criminal who thinks gators are neat. But we're going to go with the evolution thing.
More:12 Best Jokes from the James Franco RoastNow James Franco Has a Real FYC Ad for 'Spring Breakers'James Franco Jumps on the Crowdsourcing Bandwagon
Follow @Michael Arbeiter
| Follow @Hollywood_com
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
Actress Jennie Garth has moved on from her marriage split and is now dating businessman Michael Shimbo. The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star divorced actor Peter Facinelli in June (13), but was spotted getting cosy with Planes, Tranes & Automobiles CEO Shimbo at the taping of the Comedy Central Roast of James Franco last month (Aug13).
A source tells Us Weekly the new couple has been together for "a couple of months".
Garth has confirmed the dating news by posting a picture of Shimbo on her Instagram page alongside the caption, "I mean... @shimbo #luckylady."
Seen enough of James Franco? Well, too bad! In lieu of his recent Comedy Central outing, we countdown five of the best roast moments in history...none of which feature Franco. Turns out I've seen enough of him too.
1. Gilbert GottfriedGilbert Gottfried was the last comedian to perform at the 2001 roast of Hugh Hefner, and killed it with a foul-mouthed version of "The Aristocrats." Rob Schneider's reaction is absolutely priceless.
2. Courtney LoveShe may have told the audience she was one year into sobriety, but Courtney Love was clearly on something during this 2005 roast of Pam Anderson. Watch how she nearly trips on her way to the microphone.
3. Norm MacDonaldKnown for his oddball style of comedy, Norm MacDonald lifted the majority of his set from a 1950s joke book. Only a deadpan comic like Norm can make the unfunny absolutely hilarious.
2. Snoop DoggThe multi-talented Doggfather railed on everyone from Larry King to Roastmaster Seth MacFarlane at this 2011 roast of Donald Trump, proving to be one of the more surprisingly funny acts of the night.
1. RoseanneShe may have been the roastee, but Roseanne's decision to sing the final two lines of the Star-Spangled Banner – thus redeeming herself once and for all after her embarrassing rendition of the same song at a 1990 San Diego Padres game – was clearly the highlight of the night.
More:5 Worst English Accents In Movies6 Up-and-Coming Young British ActorsVin Diesel Slams Gay Rumors
From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
This is a long way from Disney. Zac Efron and Seth Rogen get ready for battle in the raunchy red-band trailer for their upcoming comedy Neighbors. In this Apatow-esque comedy from director Nicholas Stoller, Rogen and Rose Byrne play a couple living the suburban dream. Everything's swell until a rowdy fraternity moves in right next door and terrorizes the neighborhood. What follows is nothing short of all-out college town warfare. The trailer is filled with gross-out humor, shirtless Efron, and even a surprising number of CGI-assisted gags featuring Rogen getting laughably injured. The comedy also features Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Lisa Kudrow.
Efron, who is playing the scummy leader of the frat, seems to be trying to distance himself from his image as a squeaky clean Disney star while diving headfirst into the raunchy comedy genre. With this film and the upcoming Parkland, Efron is clearly diversifying his choices in roles, and become not only a serious dramatic actor, but a force in the comedy world as well.
While it's a bit odd seing Efron play a sleazy fraternity brother, it’s possibly even more odd seeing Rogen play a responsible and devoted parent who is out of touch with the young college kids. If this movie was released five years ago, Seth Rogen would definitely be playing a shlubby college guy with a slight marijuana problem. It seems that times are changing for both of these actors.
More:James Franco Roasted By Comedy Central The 12 Best LinesWatch Seth Rogen, John Cho, & Adam Scott Audition For 'The Office'Watch Zac Efron in The 'Parkland' Trailer
From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)