Author

Aly Semigran
Staff editor Aly Semigran is a New York City native who grew up in Philadelphia and spent the better part of her youth trying to figure out what the Philly Phanatic was (an anteater?), quoting 'The Simpsons,' and learning all about movies from her dad. After graduating from Temple University, where she studied journalism, she moved back to NYC and began her career as a freelance entertainment journalist. Her work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, MTV.com, and iVillage.com. She is thrilled to be a part of the Hollywood.com team and she is still quoting 'The Simpsons.' ('I'm Idaho!')
  • The Comedy Conundrum: Are We Too Sensitive? Or Are They Too Insensitive? 
    By: Aly Semigran August 07, 2012 8:39am EST
    Did you hear the one about the comedian who made a button-pushing joke and got everyone riled up? If you've been on the Internet in the last month, then, yes, you've most certainly heard that one. After Daniel Tosh's rape joke firestorm and Dane Cook's backfired crack about the Aurora, Colo. shootings, Comedy Central Roast veteran Jeffrey Ross is igniting the comedy debate yet again this summer after he, too, attempted to make a joke about the tragic massacre that took place during a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20.  During the taping for Roseanne Barr's Comedy Central Roast in Hollywood Saturday night, Ross — who made it clear he was there to toe the line when he arrived dressed as the late, disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, accompanied by two young men dressed only in towels and football helmets — joked to fellow roaster Seth Green, "Congratulations. This is actually a really big night for you. You haven’t gotten this much attention since you shot all those people in Aurora.”  Ross continued, "I’m kidding!” You’re not like James Holmes. At least he’s doing something in a movie theater that people remember.” The joke, which reportedly received a mostly negative reaction at the typically game-for-anything Roast, won't be heard by anyone outside of that room. Comedy Central announced on Monday that the network would remove Ross' remarks from the final broadcast. If the question of "Too soon?" was still lingering in the air Comedy Central just answered it.  Still, the issue at hand in the comedy debate here isn't really a matter of "too soon." It's not simply about poor timing, but tact. The unforgiving, yet utterly brilliant South Park wasted even less time than Ross getting around to the Paterno scandal with their 2011 episode "The Poor Kid." While the controversial episode (which, ironically enough, made fun of someone trying to make light of the horrors of sexual abuse) was met with cries of "too soon" and "too far," the show is still widely regarded as one of the best pieces of modern satire.  And let's not forget that groundbreaking comedians like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce — who have been name-checked as a defense for Tosh and Cook following their respective scandals — were held in the highest esteem because of their willingness to broach controversial topics like religion and politics. (Take, for instance, Carlin's famous takedown of pro-life conservatives: "Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.") Would Carlin have been too afraid to go near something like the Aurora tragedy? Probably not, because Carlin wasn't afraid of anything. But Carlin would have likely given a rousing, whip-fast, hit-the-nail-on-the-head dissection of how f**ked up gun violence is in this country. Carlin may have been "shocking," but he certainly never went for shock value just for the hell of it. But also, are we really putting these guys in the same sentence as Carlin and Bruce? That is shocking.  Still, there's something to be said about the current climate of unrest in our nation and the reaction to the arguably insensitive jokes made by Tosh, Cook, and Ross. The beauty of great comedy is when it works as a unifier, be it through pointing out the absurdities of life to making light of something that is too heavy for us all to bear. But judging by foul cries of censorship and "too soon" criticism following Ross' joke, we're hardly unified. Are we as a people simply becoming too sensitive? Maybe. But our sensitivity is also a defense mechanism, since we also now live in a world where we can't go to the movies or our place of prayer. We live in a world where women do legitimately have to fear they will be sexually assaulted or raped.  Unlike Tosh and Cook, it's difficult to imagine Ross will make an apology on Twitter for the hot water he's found himself in. Not just because Ross is a more "daring" comedian than those two, but because it feels like a line is being drawn in the comedy sand. With Comedy Central's decision to edit out Ross' joke comes the fear of censorship or the concern that every off-color joke won't be followed by a rimshot, but an apology to overly sensitive crowds. Take away a comedian's freedom of speech and the ability to get under someone's skin at one time or another, and you've pretty much robbed them of what makes them them.  But the problem here isn't that these comedians are making jokes about these terrible things. That's their job. It's that it feels like they're laughing in our face, not in the face of these horrors.  There will always be certain taboo topics in comedy that can really only be handled by the most gifted talents in the business. But, hell, even the best of the best get it wrong sometimes.  Take The Onion: The satire newspaper recently used the image of a plane crashing into a tower as a sight gag, which was met with a variety of upset and angry reactions on the Internet. While some argued that the gag — even 11 years after the fact — was "too soon," the problem wasn't that someone was offended (someone will always be offended), it was how the comedy was handled. Can a 9/11 joke be funny? Like any controversial topic, only if and when it's done right. But the unshakable, terrifying image of a plane going into a tower? That likely never will be.  It's true that great comedy is a high wire act of making an audience step out of their comfort zones while getting lost in the blissful escapism of laughter. But when you're met with an overwhelming response of groans, it's not the audience that's doing something wrong, it's you. Comedy shouldn't be pretty, but lately it's just felt too damn ugly. [Photo credit: WENN.com]  More:  Jeffrey Ross' Aurora Shooting Joke Will Be Cut From Comedy Central Roast  Daniel Tosh's Rape Joke Firestorm: Are You Havin' a Laugh?  Dane Cook Makes Dark Knight Rises Shooting Joke, Internet To Hate Him All Over Again
  • Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies at 68 
    By: Aly Semigran August 07, 2012 7:39am EST
    Hollywood and Broadway has lost a legend: Marvin Hamlisch, the celebrated composer behind such masterpieces as the beloved Broadway staple A Chorus Line and the score for classic films including The Sting, Sophie's Choice, The Way We Were, Bananas, Ice Castles, and Ordinary People has passed away at the age of 68.  According to a statement released by Hamlisch's publicist to the Associated Press, the Oscar, Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, and Pulitzer Prize-winning artist died on Monday, August 6 in Los Angeles after a brief illness. No other details were given. He recently penned the score to a musical of The Nutty Professor, which, according to his publicist he was scheduled to fly to Nashville this week to see in production.  Hamlisch, a Julliard graduate, ran the pop culture gamut from Hollywood to Broadway and beyond. In addition to the more than 40 films that he scored (including, most recently, 2009's The Informant!) and his famous Broadway efforts (in addition to A Chorus Line, he also wrote the music for The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success) the prolific star wrote pop hits for the likes of Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand (the timeless theme song to "The Way We Were"); appeared on screen (he played himself in the romantic comedy How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days); and was a principal pops conductor for symphony orchestras in Pasadena, New York, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Dallas, Seattle and San Diego. His final film score was for Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!. According to the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena Symphony and Pops President Melinda Shea said Hamlisch's death was unexpected. "He'd pulled a back muscle recently, but there was nothing serious. He had some really wonderful new endeavors," Shea told the Times, adding, "It's just such a tragedy that this has happened, when he was still so young." Hamlisch, who famously caught the eye of Gilda Radner's nerdy Lisa Loopner on Saturday Night Live, is survived by his wife of 25 years, Terre Blaire who he resided in New York with. On his official website there's a quote from Hamlisch that reads, "Music can make a difference. There is a global nature to music, which has the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an international language, and I hope to contribute by widening communication as much as I can." It's safe to say with the unparalleled legacy he leaves behind, Hamlisch did just that.  [Photo credit: WENN.com]  More:  Tonys 2012: The Winners  Nora Ephron, Writer and Director, Dies of Cancer  Maeve Bincy, Circle of Friends Author, Dies
  • Michael Clarke Duncan is Out of Intensive Care
    By: Aly Semigran August 07, 2012 5:55am EST
    Some hopeful news out of Hollywood this week: Oscar-nominated actor Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile, Talladega Nights, Sin City, The Green Hornet) has been taken out of the intensive care unit in the hospital nearly a month after suffering a heart attack.  Duncan's rep told Hollywood.com in a statement on Tuesday, "His family are firm believers in the power of prayer and have asked that you keep him in yours during this time." But, Duncan isn't totally in the clear yet. The booming-voiced 54-year-old actor — pictured here with his fiancée, reality star Omarosa Stallworth (The Apprentice), who performed life-saving CPR on Duncan in the midst of him going into cardiac arrest on July 13 — still remains in the hospital.  Earlier this week, Stallworth posted a picture of herself with Duncan from her Twitter page in a post that read, "Everyday GOD continues to smile upon my luv Michael Clarke Duncan on this arduous road to recovery." [Photo Credit: DailyCeleb.com]  More:  Michael Clarke Duncan Suffers Cardiac Arrest  Michael Clarke Duncan Joins Veggie Campaign  A Brief History of Sin City 2 Rumors
  • NASA Mars Rover Landing Reaction Is the Best NASA Reaction Without Clint Howard
    By: Aly Semigran August 06, 2012 11:13am EST
    Finally, a Mission to Mars we can all actually get psyched about. According to CNN.com, NASA's $2.6 billion Mars rover Curiousity successfully landed on the red planet early Monday, with the help of a sky crane and the world's largest supersonic parachute. (And Michael Phelps. Probably.)  When Curiousity — which is now transmitting images back to Earth, helping NASA discover if Mars ever supported life forms (which, as Alien and Prometheus and Red Planet and every other movie set in space has ever told us tell us, should bode spectacularly for us humans) — actually did land, NASA employees understandably went into orbit themselves. Space puns! The jubilant scene of cheering, hugging NASA scientists, looked like, well, a scene from a movie. Watch the real moment which transpired earlier this morning (seriously guys, well done) and then compare them to Hollywood's take on NASA celebrations from movies like Armageddon and Apollo 13. Since a Curiosity movie is pretty much inevitable, filmmakers should pay close attention to the clips below. And you should probably cast Clint Howard in it.  Here are the real life space buddies who made the Curiousity landing a success:  And here's a scene from Apollo 13, when Houston no longer has a problem:  Armageddon worried that Michael Bay might nab the rights to the Curiousity movie? Don't be: A more subdued reaction in Contact:  Let's be honest, this was NASA's greatest mission to space:  Did you get excited watching the NASA reaction video or are you way too freaked out about them intruding on our alien overlords? What's your favorite space/NASA movie? [Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls]  More: The Mars Landing: Is There Movie Potential?  Ashton Kutcher Headed to Outer Space  Prometheus Review
  • 'Celeste and Jesse' Co-Writer and Director On Working With Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg
    By: Aly Semigran August 04, 2012 1:16pm EST
    Who better to write a movie about two best friends than, well, two best friends? After all, no one knows the ins and your outs, ups and your downs of the dynamic quite like they do. So, it made sense for Will McCormack and his best friend of 13 years, Rashida Jones, to team up and write Celeste and Jesse Forever, a deeply personal indie romantic dramedy about friends and the trials and tribulations about love and heartache in your thirties. As McCormack explained to Hollywood.com during an interview, on why they made this movie in particular. "All we do is talk about relationships and love and heartbreak, we decided we need to write a movie [about it]."  As much as the titular Celeste (played by Jones herself) and Jesse (an against-type Andy Samberg) mirror their real-life connection ("We know each other so well, we finish each others sentences, we're like brother and sister," McCormack says fondly of his writing partner) the on-screen duo's story is a much more complicated one. As Jones explained during an interview on The Daily Show, she and McCormack very briefly dated and amicably decided on friendship, but in the film, Celeste and Jesse are separated childhood sweethearts who are trying to navigate the tricky, complicated waters of love, loss, friendship, and heartache in your thirties.  While Celeste and Jesse try to cope and deal with drifting apart, the experience of writing the film, did the exact opposite for McCormack and Jones. "[Writing] Celeste and Jesse Forever was a pretty, sorry to be corny, enchanted experience," McCormack (pictured left, in a scene from the film) says, "It was a very bonding time. We both had a lot of fear about being professional screenwriters, so we were able to sort of hold each others hands and I think it was such a formative thing in our friendship. We really supported each other and were encouraging. It made us closer as friends."  It was an experience that was an important one on many levels for McCormack (who, like Jones comes from a Hollywood family, as his sister is actress Mary McCormack), perhaps best known for his work on the small screen on series such as Brothers & Sisters and In Plain Sight. "I wanted to be a writer my whole life and when I was little everyone thought I was going to be a writer. Then I went to college and started acting and I really loved it and writing just felt so hard and I felt scared showing people my writing," he admits, "Then I got older and I got sick of talking about it and it really happened organically.... Now I'm addicted and obsessed and can't stop, but it took forever." (In fact, McCormack's writing partnership with Jones went so smoothly, the two worked together again to write a pilot and a film based on a comic book she created called Frenemy of the State.)  Of course, it's one thing to write a movie with your best friend, it's another entirely to get it made and get the right people on board to make your labor of love a reality. McCormack, who has a supporting role in the film playing a stoner buddy named Skillz ("It's totally an L.A. person. I have two friends in LA whose names are Skills, but we added the 'z'. We took artistic liberty," he jokes), notes that Celeste and Jesse Forever, like so many indies, took some time to get off the ground. "It took four years to get the financing, but it was really worth it," McCormack says of Celeste and Jesse Forever, which after its long road, premiered at Sundance.  While eventually they got an impressive supporting cast on board (which includes Ari Graynor, Eljiah Wood, Emma Roberts, and Chris Messina) it was getting director Lee Toland Krieger (The Vicious Kind) on board as the puzzle piece that made the collaborative film come together. Krieger, who also separately spoke with Hollywood.com about his experience being at the helm of Celeste and Jesse Forever, says that it was a mutual trust between himself, McCormack, and Jones that made the movie work, despite certain things working against them on a small budget feature in Los Angeles. ("It was challenging — and I'm not trying to slam L.A. — in that the great irony is that L.A. is not the most film-friendly place," he explains.)  "I think part of it was daunting, certainly, taking on someone else's material, but also material that is from your lead actress," Krieger (pictured, right) who read the script back in 2010, admits. "But fortunately for us, we had a lot of time in pre-production for Rashida and Will and I to get to know each other and the good part for me was, they knew this story so well and so intimately that if we ever got into a jam when we were prepping it or shooting it, or even when we were cutting it, they'd have ideas on how to fix it or if I had missed something they were very quick to say, 'No we've gotta make sure this beat lands this way.' To have that sounding board in your corner all the time it was, for me, really beneficial and kind of spoiled me. There were certainly conversations about what's best for the movie, but generally speaking, they were so great in terms of handing over the reigns and really trusting me."  Part of what helped form the bond early on, not only as filmmakers, writers, and actors, but friends on this project Krieger explains, was the music. (Celeste and Jesse Forever is scored by Jones' nephew Sunny Levine and his musical partner Zach Cowie.) "Before we got started, Rashida, Will, and I would make each other mixes. We would end up getting together a few days later and saying, 'Oh, I love this song from the mix, but I don't know if this one's really right for the movie' so we started to really know one another through the mix process, he says. "Rashida, for obvious reasons coming from such a musical family, but Will, too. We really got to know each other and get on the same page for what the movie should really sound like. We were always determined, Rashida in particular, to make sure it didn't sound like another indie movie. We really wanted to give it, for lack of a better description, a soulful energy."  So with Krieger, Jones, and McCormack were all on the same page for the overall feel of their film ("I think Lee really understood the tone of the movie. The first time we met with him he was talking about When Harry Met Sally and Husbands and Wives and all these movies that we, of course, aspire to be like," McCormack says) but what about the other half of Celeste and Jesse Forever: Andy Samberg? The Saturday Night Live vet, who is also a longtime friend of Jones' ("They have sort of a built-in intimacy that we have as well," McCormack says of their relationship) seemed to surprise everyone by switching gears from comedy goofball to serious actor.  McCormack admits, "I was not sure [about Andy] and then he read it and I was like, 'Oh my god, he's amazing.' Because he's never done anything like this and he was confident. He read the script and was like, 'I got this' and we all knew he had that somewhere in him, but you never know until you see it." Krieger, who thinks Samberg could bounce between comedy and drama throughout his career in the vein of Robin Williams and Adam Sandler, says of his leading man, "He's just a guy who was so tailor-made for this part. Who else, physically, is better to play the 30-year-old man boy? But then you meet Andy and he's so sweet and there's this vulnerability that eminates from him all the time and this accesability and I think that was critical for Jesse."  In the film Jesse is, perhaps, the most vulnerable of the pair, or at least the one early on most expressive of their pain from their split. But whether people find themselves relating more to Jones' Celetse's stoic, stubborn nature or Samberg's Jesse's hangdog wearing-his-heartbreak-on-his-sleeve, the universal themes in the film seem to be touching a nerve. "For me, the worst [breakups] weren't the ugly ones where we were screaming at each other, but the ones where you just feel like your heart got crushed and there's nothing you can do about it," Krieger admits.  It's a sentiment that's been resonating with those who have seen the film, something of a bittersweet accomplishment for McCormack. "I've had people come up to me sobbing about their love life and it feels... sort of good? Because you're like, 'I know, I'm with you, it's really hard!' People come up to us and tell us, 'You wrote our story'....It is a traumatic thing, to think your life is going to go a certain way and then it doesn't. You're like, 'Oh shit, what do I do?' .... I think people who love it seem to appreciate that we were honest about heartache."  Celeste and Jesse Forever is currently playing in select theaters in New York City and Los Angeles.  [Photo credit: McCormack: David Lazenberg/Sony Pictures Classic; Krieger: WENN.com] More:  Celeste and Jesse Forever Review  Celeste and Jesse Forever Star Rashida Jones: From Best Friend to Leading Lady  Emma Roberts and More Join Celeste and Jesse Forever
  • From Gabby Douglas to Ryan Lochte: Breakout Stars From Week 1 of the Olympics
    By: Aly Semigran August 03, 2012 2:19pm EST
    Exactly one week ago today, the 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off in London with Danny Boyle's star-studded opening ceremony which featured the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Daniel Craig, and a sky-diving Queen Elizabeth II. Of course, the real stars of the games were the ones walking in the Parade of Nations. Among the thousands of athletes who are competing in this year's games (as well as some particularly entertaining family members of the athletes competing in this year's games), some have stood out among the rest.  While we knew we'd have some established Olympic heroes going in (Michael Phelps, Misty May-Treanor among the lot), some of the most fun this week has been cheering on the breakout stars of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Just one week in and we've already got some bona fide super stars (welcome to our hearts, Gabby Douglas!) and meme-worthy celebrities (what did we do before you, Ryan Lochte?!). Here now are our 12 favorite breakout Olympians from the first week of the London games. Gabby Douglas The fabbest of the Fab/Fierce Five, 16-year-old wonder Gabby Douglas captured America's heart by becoming the first African-American woman in Olympics history to earn the women's gymnastics all-around title. With a nickname as adorable as she is (The Flying Squirrel!), a sunny disposition, awe-inspiring athleticism and winning spirit, this gold medal-winning gymnast embodies everything we love so much about the Olympics.  Jordyn Wieber What's the Olympics without some tears? Jordyn Wieber's heart-wrenching drama unfolded on Sunday when the gymnast didn't qualify to compete in the all-around competition. Still, the 17-year-old became an instant star (who doesn't love a good underdog story... and, okay, someone with a hot brother) and the definition of dignity and class when she congratulated her teammates, including Gabby, to whom she tweeted, "Congrats @gabrielledoug! You are the Olympic all around champion and you deserve it girl!" Aly Raisman's Parents Sure, the Fab/Fierce Five were the stars on the floor, but in the stands it was all about Aly Raisman's hysterical, vocal parents Ricky Raisman and Lynn Raisman. Instantly becoming viral sensations, the animated, Bah-ston duo are a Saturday Night Live sketch waiting to happen. Let's go... watch their breakout moment again. Ryan Lochte Like the Kanye West of the swimming world, Ryan Lochte's immense talent in the pool is just as entertaining as his wildly outrageous persona outside of the pool. The 28-year-old won his first gold medal this week (he now has 11 career Olympic medals), an unforgettable feat for the athlete. Fans, on the other hand, will never be able to forget the grills, or the shoes, or unintentional hilarious interviews and tweets. Never change, Ryan Lochte. Nathan Adrian There's plenty of room in the pool for more than one U.S. swimming hunk. (Hooray!) Even with spotlight-stealers like Lochte and Phelps around, 23-year-old Adrian stole our hearts (and got out heart rates going) by being a charming, adorable, fun, talented, adorable, and smart gold medal winner. Oh, did we mention adorable? Because he's totally adorable. Missy Franklin Spoiler alert: Missy Franklin is awesome! At just 17-years-old, Franklin is already a world-class, record-breaking (she crushed the previous 200-meter freestyle record) gold medal-winning athlete whose infectious smile and winning attitude gave girls everywhere a stunning new role model. Missile Missy rocketed to Olympics superstar and from the looks of things, there's no stopping her. Bradley Wiggins You've gotta love a hometown hero. Cyclist Bradley Wiggins, who helped kick off the opening ceremony by ringing the bell, has now become London's most decorated Olympian after his gold medal-winning race. The Tour de France tour de force won the gold medal in the men's individual time trial event, making him a seven-time Olympic winner. Well done, chum! Dong Dong and Destinee Hooker Because, come on... their names are Dong Dong and Destinee Hooker. No way was the Internet going to let that one slide. Still, they're the ones having the last laugh: Dong earned trampoline gold for China and Hooker is destined to bring the U.S. women's volleyball team the gold. Who's been your favorite breakout star so far in the 2012 Olympics? Who do you think will make a splash in Week 2 of the games? Sound off in the comments section! [Photo Credits: Doulas: AP Photo; Wieber: Getty Images; Lochte: Getty Images; Adrian: WENN.com; Franklin: Getty Images; Wiggins: WENN.com; Dong/Hooker: AP Photo] MORE: Olympics Round-Up: Missy Franklin Nabs First Gold, Britain Gets Bronzed Olympics Round-Up: Lochte Beats Phelps, Archers Take Aim at Silver Olympics Round-Up: Gabby Douglas and Other Team USA Dominations
  • Michael Phelps, the Most Decorated Olympian in History: What's Next?
    By: Aly Semigran August 03, 2012 12:32pm EST
    Michael Phelps may have gotten off to a shaky start at the 2012 Summer Olympic games, but the swimming superstar will be leaving London the most decorated Olympian in history. Phelps won his 20th Olympic medal (16 of which are gold) on Thursday when he bested fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley. The victory also made him the first man to win the same individual event at three consecutive Olympics. He broke yet another record on Friday when he earned his third straight gold medal in the 100m Fly, which marked his last individual race in the Olympics and brings his total to 21 medals. (Now, that's a way to go out.)  So what does one do when he retires at the ripe old age of 27?  Since moving to Boca Raton and taking up backgammon seems like an unlikely next move for Phelps, what can the guy with Most Decorated Olympian on the special skills section of his résumé possibly do next? Phelps could easily go by way of many other famous Olympians and take the reality television route. Michael Johnson, Apolo Anton Ono, Rulon Gardner, Evan Lysacek, Kristi Yamaguchi, Shawn Johnson, Johnny Weir, Summer Sanders, Jonny Moseley, and, lest you forget, Bruce Jenner are among some of the former Olympians who've done just that.  But before Phelps goes signing up for Skating With the Stars (hey, it could come back) we figured we'd show him what other options he has by following in the footsteps (or backstrokes) of some other famous, beloved Olympians.  Go Back To School: Unlike Phelps, U.S. gymnast and gold medal winner, Nastia Liukin's career ended before she intended it to. The 22-year-old failed to land a spot on the 2012 gymnastics team after a devastating mistake on the uneven bars. Still, Liukin took her disappointment in stride ("Thank you to the 18,000 people that gave me a standing ovation tonight. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life", she tweeted to her supporters) and plans to attend NYU. Though Phelps is already a college grad (he attended the University of Michigan) he could always become Dr. Phelps.  Become a Philanthropist: Many Olympians use their newfound fame and accolades for good after the games. Take, for instance, speed skater Dan Jansen who started the Dan Jansen Foundation in memory of his sister, which was founded to "to solicit financial support and distribute funds to charities, with an empasis on the fight against leukemia." There's also fellow speed skater Joey Cheek, the co-founder of Team Darfur, an athlete-lead organization devoted to raising awareness about the war in Darfur. (Sadly, Cheek's activism on behalf of Darfur caused him to have his visa revoked by China before the 2008 Beijing Games.)  Become an Entrepreneur: Everyone's favorite pink-haired freestyle skier may have never won the gold during the Olympics (she did, however, nab silver and bronze) but Shannon Bahrke struck business gold when she founded the successful Salt Like City-based coffee company Silver Bean Coffee in 2002. Bahkre may not compete in the games anymore, but she's keeping the Olympic spirit alive at Silver Bean with her Athlete Blend coffees, "for every bag of coffee sold $1 goes back to the athlete and also a charity they have chosen." (For the record, Michael, doing those Subway commercials don't count.) Launch a Successful Internet Company: In the athletic world, Jeremy Bloom was a force to be reckoned with. In addition to playing professional football, Bloom is a three-time World Champion, two-time Olympian and eleven-time World Cup gold medalist in freestyle moguls skiing. So it's no surprise that an overachiever like Bloom would be able to tackle another industry entirely: the Internet. Bloom co-founded the multi-million dollar online marketing company Integrate.com, a feat that earned him a spot on Forbes list of 30 Under 30. We get the distinct feeling fellow overachiever Phelps could pull something similar off.  Start a Family: Many Olympic athletes have gone from the podium to parenthood after their successful run(s) in the games. And much like their attitude in the Olympics, for some it's go big or go home. Olympic alpine skier Picabo Street has had three children in her time since the 1998 Nagano Games, but no one has the market cornered on Olympian families quite like gold medal boxer George Foreman. The champ has 11 kids, five of which are named, well, George. Hey, we're sure there are plenty of women out there happy to bring a gaggle of Michaels and Michelles into the world. [Photo credit: AP Images]  More:  Olympics Round-Up: Michael Phelps is a Golden God  Celebrate the One-Week Anniversary of the Olympics with More LOLympics  15 Americans to Follow on Twitter During the Olympics
  • The Three-Breasted Woman in 'Total Recall' and Other Creative Uses of Nudity in Films 
    By: Aly Semigran August 03, 2012 7:27am EST
    Gratuitous nudity and sci-fi/action flicks tend to go hand in hand. Or, in the case of Total Recall, hand in hand in hand. In the original Total Recall, actress Lycia Naff made for one of the most memorable nude scenes in movie history playing Mary, the Three-Breasted Alien Prostitute.  In the 2012 reboot, which arrives in theaters today, relative newcomer Kaitlyn Leeb (pictured) follows in Naff's footsteps by playing, well, a three-breasted woman. (And they say Hollywood has run out of original ideas!) Of course, Total Recall is hardly the only movie to get creative with nudity. From the helic***ter in Jackass 3D to the whipped cream bikini in Varsity Blues, there's been a variety of way characters have shown off (or in the case of Austin Powers, not show off) their naughty bits. Plural.  Click Here to Launch Our Gallery! [Photo credit: Splash News]  More:  An Ode to the Three-Breasted Woman of Total Recall  The Three-Breasted Woman in Total Recall and Other Pop Culture Twos Gone Awry  The Ladies of Total Recall and the Best Female Badasses in Movies
  • 'Louie' Recap: Adventures in Funerals and Babysitting
    By: Aly Semigran August 03, 2012 4:27am EST
    To be a fan of Louie, one must be almost be as manic and wonderfully unpredictable as the show itself. Because while one could easily tune in for a more structured and reliable comedy anywhere else on television, we still come back to Louie. To watch Louie is to jump into the unknown, to take a chance on television again. One week it can make your heart ache and your anxiety spike (like it did last week during the brilliant but emotionally exhausting "Daddy's Girlfriend, Pt. 2") and the next week it could make you laugh so hard you're in tears for a whole different reason, much like I was during last night's gut-busting one-two knockout punch "Barney/Never."  The start of "Barney/Never," however, looked to be anything but. Then again, no episode of Louie ever starts or ends in a place you expect it to. (The Simpsons was always great in that way, too.) Opening like a classic black and white film, we find Louie at a cemetery. He's alone at an open plot until he comes face-to-face with another funeral guest, played by none other than Robin Williams, who mercifully tapped into his dramatic side for the part. (I'll take Good Will Hunting Robin Williams and Dead Poets Society Robin Williams over comedy wild card Robin Williams any day.) It is clear these two men, who don't appear to know each other as they say nothing, are the only guests at this funeral. Leave it to Louie to make one of TV's funniest episodes of the year begin so melancholy.  The two meet later again, in color, at a diner. We come to find Louie and Robbie (Williams) were attending the funeral of a man named Barney, who was described, quite simply, as "the biggest piece of s**t I knew." While Louie knew Barney as a dreaded guy from the comedy world, Robbie had the great misfortune of being thrust into the recently deceased Barney's family, as he was his ex-wife's brother-in-law. The two swapped stories about the huckster and what made him "a prick and an a**hole". I could have honestly watched an entire episode of these two remembering this terrible man and that the idea of no one attending his funeral gave them nightmares.  But they didn't stay and chat at the diner; instead they paid their respects by finally going to the dreary strip club in downtown Manhattan that Barney frequented and always wanted them to go to. I didn't think there was anything more depressing than a strip club in the middle of the day, but as it turns out, there is. It's a strip club in the middle of the day in which all the strippers, employees, and patrons are crying at the news of the passing of one of their most beloved customers while Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" plays over the sound system. (Why is this song so damn perfect for bizarre comedy moments?) Louie may have just become the first man in history to make a stripper cry by not making her give a lap dance.  When Louie and Robbie eventually stepped out of the world's most depressing strip club, they couldn't help but burst into laughter at the absurdity of it all. The two men shook hands, promised each other they's attend one another's funerals, and go their separate ways. Perhaps because Louie and Robbie were so similar, there was no "Miami"-like misunderstanding here. For once, Louie had a perfect, untainted moment and connection with someone. A perfect, untainted moment that just happened to involve a funeral and crying strippers.  They say the only certainties in life are death and taxes. I'm pretty sure in Louie's life it's death, taxes, and moments of strange, soul-crushing happenstance. In the second half of last night's episode, Louie got saddled with a terrible, weird classmate of his daughter Lilly (much to the dismay, and understandably so, of Lilly) named Never after Never's terrible, weird mother had an emergency consultation to get her vagina removed. I always love how much Louis C.K. toes and blurs the line with reality and this scene — which included a brief, gut-busting cameo by Artie Lange as a terrified truck driver who gets in an accident after Never pushes a baby stroller into traffic — was no exception.  If hell is other people's children (something Louis C.K. has hilariously touched on in his stand-up routines, particularly in his Beacon Theater special from 2011) then Never is the seventh layer of hell. Louie wanted nothing more than to spend the day with Lilly (and vice versa) and because he's a nice guy always trying to do the right thing, despite the universe always telling him otherwise, instead got Never. Never, who can't have carbon in his diet ("It's from China!") but can eat a bowl of raw hamburger meat; Never, who wears a bowtie and suspenders to school and is never told "no" (which explains a lot about the bowtie and suspenders); Never, who throws Louie's Oriental rug out of his apartment window and eventually s**ts in his tub. I was fully anticipating Never to somehow ruin Louie's phoner with a god awful drive time radio show, but Louie wound up knee-deep in s**t all by himself on that one when he insulted the city he had trouble selling tickets to... while on the air in said city. I quickly lost track of how many times I erupted into DVR pausing laughter during the "Never" portion of this episode. From Louie's subtle moments of resignation when he realized he was in for a utterly horrible day with this kid to the line, "Nobody likes you because you eat raw meat and you s**t in the tub and you wreck everything", C.K. absolutely killed it. Perhaps it was so damn funny because we all know, or at least when we were kids, knew a weird kid like that, but mostly it's just always funny to watch Louie accept defeat. Case in point: when some punk kids on the street begin to take away the rug Never threw down, he yells for them to stop, only to have them flip him off. He does what just about any New Yorker would have done in that scenario: he shook his head in disbelief, shrugged it off, and continued to accept his fate as a New Yorker. Besides, Never was worse than anything going on outside his apartment. (Congrats, Mad Men's Marten Weiner, you've officially been dethroned as the most bizarre, uncomfortable kid on TV!)  Still, because Louie is a good guy, in the end he felt bad for Never. He sincerely tried to level with a kid who is living on another planet and let him know that if he needed a guy to talk to besides his clearly crazy mother, he could talk to him. He even tried to explain the flawed notion in the logic that one can always be right because they love themselves, but Never (in case the s**tting in the tub wasn't a dead giveaway) was a lost cause. Still, Louie tried. If nothing else, Louie always tries.  Oh, and just in case this episode wasn't already a killer, J.B. Smoove showed up in the end credits as a deeply annoyed grave digger who couldn't understand his coworker's thick accent.  His delivery of the lines "Oops, I farted", "This dude is being buried in an Ikea box", and "I hate you" was on par with anything Smoove ever said during on his time on Curb Your Enthusiasm, and on Louie it was in the closing credits. And speaking of credits, was this the first time in Louie's history there was no opening credits? No matter, this was still the most consistently funny and easygoing episode of this season. Louie, Louie, Louie, you made me die. Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran [Photo Credit: FX]  More:  Louie Recap: The Ballad of Tape Recorder  Louie Recap: 40-Love  Louie Recap: Welcome to Miami
  • Puppets Get In On the Web Series Phenom With 'Puppet High' 
    By: Aly Semigran August 02, 2012 10:58am EST
    Yesterday, we reported on a growing phenomenon in Hollywood: Celebrities are flocking to the Internet to stream their own web series. From Ricky Gervais to Amy Poehler to Jerry Seinfeld to Lisa Kudrow to Morgan Spurlock, stars have found a creative (not to mention, inexpensive) outlet to reach even more of their fans. But we forgot there was another part of the celebrity sphere that was getting in on the fun: puppets!  Puppet High, the web series from Groundlings stars Andrew Friedman (better known as Charlie's Uncle on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Mikey Day, and Michael Naughton (who you'll remember from those inspired David Blaine spoofs you watched a lot in college) imagines a world in which a virus turns 20 percent of humans into puppets. So, kind of like a zombie apocalypse, but way more adorable.  Luckily, they're only two episodes in, so if you missed out on all ridiculousness (including the latest installment in which puppet high school student tries, and fails, to play basketball) you can catch up now. But, as far as we can tell, there hasn't been a cameo by Franklin... yet. Make this happen, Puppet High.  Watch the new ep here and tell us what you think in the comments section below.  Puppets!  So, does this mean someone will, at long last, get a much-needed Avenue Q movie in motion? Make this happen, universe.  [Photo credit: NBC Universal]  More: Ricky Gervais Joins the Web Series Wave with Learn English Amy Poehler Adapting Web Series Broad City For FX Morgan Spurlock Says Hulu is the Future of TV — EXCLUSIVE