Brendon McCullin
  • 10 Fun Facts About 'Major League'
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 11, 2014
    Paramount via Everett Collection It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since Charlie Sheen's Ricky Vaughn emerged from the bullpen to the strains of "Wild Thing" to help the Cleveland Indians win a division title. Coming out during an era of more high minded baseball movies like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, Major League was pure goofy fun… more interested in laughs than in the game's potential life lessons. For many baseball fans, an annual viewing of Major League is as much a part of spring as Opening Day. As with Caddyshack, there are fans that can quote the movie's best lines from memory. Even if you have your own home shrine to voodoo god Jobu, here are some fun facts about the movie that you might not know: 1. Although the movie is set in Cleveland, the scenes inside the ballpark were shot at Milwaukee's old County Stadium. Bob Uecker, who played announcer Harry Doyle, has really worked in Milwaukee since 1971 as the play-by-play man for the hometown Brewers... a fact that writer-director David S. Ward didn't know when he cast him. He had based the casting strictly on Uecker's work on the sitcom Mr. Belvedere and in a series of Miller Lite commercials (if you look closely, that's the beer that Doyle is drinking in the movie). 2. Sheen really was a pitcher in high school for Santa Monica High. He now claims that he took steroids prior to doing the movie so that his fastball would be more realistic. Dennis Haysbert, who later became famous as President David Palmer on 24 and played Cuban slugger Pedro Cerrano, was a football and basketball player in high school before switching to fencing at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 3. Haysbert's hitting as Cerrano looked real because it was. Even though he didn't play baseball past Little League, Haysbert actually cleared the fences multiple times during filming. 4. Despite playing a speedy outfielder in the movie, Wesley Snipes was so slow that they ended up showing him running in slow motion in the film to provide the illusion of speed. 5. The original ending featured the scheming owner played by Margaret Whitton — the widow of the beloved former owner — as secretly being behind the team's winning, with her devious threats meant to bring the boys together. When test audiences hated it, they reshot it to keep her as the bad guy. 6. Entourage's Jeremy Piven shot multiple scenes for the movie, playing a bench player who likes to heckle the opposing team. When they started editing, they realized that the scenes didn't work, so they completely cut his character from the film. 7. Prior to making her film debut as Lynn Wells, the ex-girlfriend of Tom Berenger's character, Rene Russo was known primarily as one of the top models of the '70s. A Los Angeles native, one of Russo's classmates growing up was sitcom-star-turned-director Ron Howard. 6. Pete Vuckovich, who plays evil Yankees first baseman Clu Haywood, was actually a star Major League pitcher who won the American League Cy Young Award in 1982. Playing largely in games with a designated hitter, Vuckovich only rarely batted during his career. 7. According to Ward, during the celebration scene at the end where Corbin Bernsen's third baseman Roger Dorn punches Sheen for sleeping with his wife, Bernsen actually connected with the shot, leaving a welt on Sheen's face. 8. Neil Flynn, who went on to bigger roles on television as the Janitor in Scrubs and a suburban father in The Middle, plays one of the long-suffering Cleveland fans complaining about the state of the team. 9. Flynn and Stacy Carroll, who plays Dorn's wife who has revenge sex with Ricky, both also appeared in a short-lived TV show called Sable, which starred Russo as the girlfriend of a children's book writer who transforms into a superhero at night. 10. The song that plays at the beginning of the movie is "Burn On" by Randy Newman. Written in 1972, it is an ode to an incident in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire due to an oil slick and other debris floating in the polluted water. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • 12 Fun Facts About 'The Terminator'
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 10, 2014
    Orion Pictures via Everett Collection It's been 30 years since The Terminator first hit movie screens. Not anticipated to do very much, the movie became a surprise hit, turning Arnold Schwarzenegger into a bankable star and launching the careers of director James Cameron and the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton. In the years since 1984, there have been multiple sequels and television projects that have built upon the lore of the time traveling cyborgs, but how much do you know about the one that started it all? Here are some fun facts about a modest movie that turned into one of the most influential hits of the last 30 years. 1. Cameron has said that he got the inspiration for a killer cyborg from a dream that he had while he was in Italy to promote his directorial debut, the justifiably forgotten Piranhas II: The Spawning. Just the same, science fiction writer Harlan Ellison sued the production claiming that the script plagiarized his work. 2. Franco Columbu appears briefly in the film in the sequence set in the future. Columbu is a former bodybuilder and one of Schwarzenegger's best friends. Besides The Terminator, Columbu appeared with Arnold in the documentary Pumping Iron, which first brought Schwarzenegger national attention, as well as Conan the Barbarian and The Running Man. 3. Schwarzenegger didn't want to say his iconic line "I'll be back." He was self-conscious about the way that he pronounced "I'll" with his Austrian accent and tried to convince Cameron that a futuristic cyborg wouldn't say something like that. Cameron, thankfully, refused to change it. 4. The "I'll be back" line represented three of the 58 total words that Schwarzenegger says in the film. 5. In a Sylvester Stallone/Rocky move, Cameron sold the script for the movie for exactly one dollar. The measly amount was agreed upon with the stipulation that he be allowed to direct. (Hey, what would you have done if your main claim to fame was Piranhas II?) 6. The studio originally wanted to cast O.J. Simpson in the role of the Terminator, but the director successfully argued that no one would buy the former football star as a killer. 7. In one of the early pitch meetings to get financing for the film, Cameron brought along his actor buddy Lance Henriksen dressed as the Terminator for effect. The character actor ended up playing Detective Hal Vukovich in the movie. 8. Schwarzenegger was originally considered for the role of Kyle Reese, the soldier sent back from the future to protect Connor. That role eventually went to Michael Biehn, an idea that Cameron reportedly hated. While he was taking the forced meeting with the former bodybuilder, the director made the actor stop talking so that he could sketch a picture of him with the new idea of making him the Terminator.   9. Bill Paxton had a small role in The Terminator as a blue-haired, switchblade-wielding punk who makes the mistake of messing with the time-traveling (and naked) Schwarzenegger. The actor earned a bigger role appearing with both Henricksen and Biehn in Cameron's follow-up project, the 1986 blockbuster Aliens. 10. The motorcycle that the Terminator rides to chase Sarah and Kyle is a used Honda CB750, utilized for no other reason other than it's what the production could afford. In the sequel, Schwarzenegger upgraded to a significantly cooler new Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. 11. Production had to be delayed so that Schwarzenegger could finish filming Conan. What did Cameron do while he waited? He helped Stallone complete the script for Rambo: First Blood Part II. 12. The movie had a budget of $6.4 million, not a particularly large amount even in 1984. It went on to gross just under $40 million at the box office in the U.S. and just short of $80 million worldwide, surpassing the expectations of everyone involved. Things wouldn't be so low-budget on the sequel. Seven years later, Terminator 2: Judgement Day had a budget of right around $100 million and grossed over $500 million worldwide. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • An Ode to 'Heathers,' and the Beginning of the Queen Bees
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 10, 2014
    New World Pictures When Heathers hit movie theaters in 1988 there wasn't even a phrase yet to describe the A-list alpha clique that Winona Ryder's character found herself a part of. Rosalind Wiseman's book Queen Bees and Wannabes was still 14 years away from being released, and Tina Fey's Mean Girls, based in part on said book, was an even more distant entity. With an off-Broadway musical version of the dark teenage comedy just debuting, and Mean Girls streaming on Netflix for its 10 year anniversary, it's time to throw some love at the original that spawned it all. Heathers was not a hit movie. The film had a modest $3 million budget and still didn’t make it all back, earning a little over a million dollars at the box office (for comparison, Mean Girls made $129 million, though inflation is responsible for part of that discrepancy). Even in the days when the subject matter of high school murders was less "taboo," it wasn't an easy concept to market. It took word-of-mouth at the local video store — remember when that was a thing? — to start the movie on its way to a cult following. While almost no one saw the movie in the theaters, by the early '90s, seemingly everyone under the age of 30 had seen it either on video or cable. Heathers shined a light on a different kind of high school clique: one where the girls had little to no regard for other people's feelings and seem to be on a track that will either lead to them marrying rich or running a fortune 500 company, or both. Boys were just kept arond as playthings. Lesser students were to be used and abused. Heathers showed us a side of high school that other movies hadn't... but that we all had seen in the flesh growing up. That's why the film was so effective: we knew, and understood, so much of it. When Ryder's Veronica wanted to be like the Heathers (Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk, and Shannen Doherty), we understood. And we understood why she hated herself for wanting to be like them, too. And when the lead Heather vowed to ruin Veronica for not putting out at a frat party, we understood why she wanted to hit back… hard. Of course, what makes Heathers different from other teen revenge flicks is the way in which she gets back at her rivals. Hooking up with Christian Slater's psychotic J.D., suddenly Veronica is staging murder-suicides and starts a trend that has local counselors working overtime. Veronica figures out that she has power and then soon has to come to terms with the ramifications and responsibility. It's a coming-of-age teen revenge fantasy played out to the Nth degree. Heathers ended up giving us language to start the dialogue about how teenage girls interact. It quickly became apparent that many wanted to be a Heather but felt like a Veronica — or one of the cast-aside "others" — and a few too many saw the Heathers as role models.  Its influence can be seen in everything from Clueless to Jawbreaker to Jennifer's Body.   So, before you stream Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan fighting for supremacy in Mean Girls, go back to the original and rewatch Heathers. All these years later, it will still blow you away, especially its explosive conclusion. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • The Most Hated Series Finales Ever
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 09, 2014
    CBS Broadcasting Not every show can go out on a good note. Sure, some shows like Breaking Bad come up with a conclusion that feels right and true to most fans. But usually, when a show has been on the air for a while, finding a tidy way to wrap things up can be a chore. Even if it's been planned out since the beginning, as was the case with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother, it's hard to make people who have invested time in the characters feel like they've said goodbye in a satisfying way. While the fury swells over the HIMYM's controversial ending, it's helpful to distract ourselves with other epic finale fails Ted and his stupid blue French horn are up against. The Sopranos It's like the start of a joke… Tony Soprano walks into a diner. That's how David Chase sets up the finale of his landmark HBO series. The Mafia boss made famous by the late James Gandolfini rifles through a jukebox at his table and picks out Journey's "Don’t Stop Believing." His wife Carmela (Edie Falco) joins him, soon followed by his son A.J. (Robert Iler). The diner is full. A guy in a hat sits at a nearby booth and may have eyed Tony when he was alone. Another guy in a Members Only jacket enters right before A.J. and seems kind of twitchy.  Another pair of guys lingers near the counter. Tony's daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) is late because she can't parallel park. The jacket guy walks past the Soprano's table and goes into the bathroom. Meadow, finally out of the car, walks towards the door of the diner. She reaches out to open it, the bell rings above the door and… nothing. Cut to a black screen. Millions of Americans reached for their remote, sure that their TV sets had just completely screwed them over and were poised to call their cable company... when suddenly the credits started to roll. The shock that the series ended with a cut to black set fans howling and looking for answers. Did we go black because a bullet just went through Tony's head? Did the bell mean something? Were the potential threats in the diner just a part of Tony's normal paranoia? What the heck does any of it mean? Chase has steadfastly refused to provide much in the way of explanation, leaving a large section of the fan base furious over the ambiguity. Seinfeld The show about nothing decided to make the end about something. That's a problem. With Larry David back to write the final episode of the show that he created with his friend Jerry Seinfeld, the group is about to have some good fortune. The show-within-a-show created by Jerry and George (Jason Alexander) finds new life and the duo, along with Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Kramer (Michael Richards), are jetting off to Paris to celebrate in a private jet courtesy of NBC. But, some mechanical issues ground them and while they wait, they stand around making jokey comments about a car-jacking that they're witnessing. Next thing you know, we're in a court room with every ancillary character in the history of the show, each with his or her own story of how horrible Jerry and his friends are. The foursome is led to a single jail cell after being convicted under a Good Samaritan law and, essentially, starts having a conversation the same as they would at Monk's or Jerry's apartment. As the credits role, Jerry, dressed in prison orange, performs a stand-up routine for the other inmates. The finale was bloated, lazy, and worst of all, not funny… with jokes falling flat left and right. Apparently most of the humor was supposed to come from the audience seeing the Soup Nazi or Newman one last time. For a show that had delivered consistent laughs throughout its entire run, not remaining true to the style of humor that had made it a cultural phenomenon was the ultimate sin. St. Elsewhere The critically acclaimed '80s medical drama had a very loyal fan base that kept it on the air. It's hard to remember but the Boston-based show was the career launching pad for a number of actors, Denzel Washington and Mark Harmon chief amongst them, and was a major influence on later hospital series like ER and Grey's Anatomy. In the finale, a bearded Howie Mandel leaves after finishing his residency and David Morse's soulful Dr. Morrison collects his young son to depart as well. As the show's moral center Dr. Westphal (Ed Flanders) returns to his office, his autistic son (Chad Allen) stares out the window at the falling snow. Cut to: Westphal now dressed as a construction worker entering an apartment where his son is on the floor staring at a snow globe. What's inside the globe? A replica of St. Eligius Hospital, or St. Elsewhere, as it's more commonly called. So, the whole show was just something that played out in the mind of an autistic boy? Is that it? Really? The whole "it was all fake" ending worked exactly once with the brilliant final reveal on Newhart, but that's it. Dexter The closet serial killer played by Michael C. Hall is getting out of the game. With his girlfriend Hannah (Yvonne Strahovski) and son Harrison (Evan and Luke Kruntchev) in tow, he's going to skip out to Argentina and lead a more peaceful life... then a criminal shoots Dex's sister Debra (Jennifer Carpenter). Even though she seems fine, she suddenly lapses into a coma after a massive stroke. Dexter kind of matter-of-factly kills Saxon while he's in police custody, sends Hannah and Harrison off to Buenos Aires, and then takes Deb off life support. He steals her body and dumps it into the sea, before faking his own death. Except when we see Hannah and Harrison way down south, Dexter isn't with them and Hannah is reading a news story about his presumed watery demise. We hear Dexter in a voice-over explaining how hard it is to be him. So, where is he? Well, why don't we let every fan of the Showtime hit take over from here: "A lumberjack?! He's a f**king lumberjack?! What do you mean he's a f**king lumberjack?!" Before that final scream-inducing reveal — seriously, how many TV sets were broken when remotes went sailing into them immediately after the shot of bearded Dexter? — the episode was pretty lifeless, moving from point A to B to C in a paint-by-numbers kind of way. Roseanne Just like with Seinfeld, the ending to Roseanne Barr's long-running sitcom felt like a cheat. Really it was a case where the show probably should've ended a couple of seasons before it actually did. The final season was an unmitigated disaster as the Connors won the lottery and the entire premise of the show changed, becoming a distorted rumination on the meaning of life. In the final episode, we see the cast of the show gathered around the kitchen table eating, laughing, and joking. Then a voice-over from Rosanne tells us that what we've been watching was a figment of her imagination. She's changed things from real life as she's written, including having Dan survive the heart attack that actually killed him two years prior. Worse, she calls into question what parts of the show going back before the heart attack were real (what do you mean David is really Becky's boyfriend?). Considering that the show became a ratings juggernaut with its funny portrayal of the real issues that face lower-middle class Americans, being told that it was just the main character's alternate reality was a slap in the face. And, while it's fine for a finale to be packed with emotion — plenty of fans cried at the end of M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show — the final shot of Roseanne sitting alone on her couch was unnecessarily depressing.   Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • The Sexiest Moms in TV History
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 08, 2014
     ABC Back in the early days of television, mothers were portrayed as pearl-wearing masters of the kitchen, content to spend their time at home waiting patiently for their husband and children to return from their days at work and school respectively. Even a former starlet like Donna Reed became desexualized in TV's perfect suburban world.  Eventually, however, moms got the chance to be sexy. And before too long, teen boys were wondering about the strange feelings that they were having for Shirley Jones' pop singing Mrs. Partridge, or Florence Henderson's Carol Brady. The hotness of the actresses that have played mothers since on television is truly stunning. Who are the sexy women that have launched thousands of MILF fantasies? Take a look. GALLERY: The Sexiest Moms in TV History S\Follow @hollywood_com sss
  • Do Tween Show Stars Have a Responsibility?
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 08, 2014
    Nickelodeon The recent dustup between Jennette McCurdy — star of the current Nickelodeon series Sam & Cat and former costar of the hit iCarly — and her employer brings up an on-going question: what, if any, responsibilities do actors in shows aimed at children have? While there has yet to be clarification on why McCurdy, 21, has started to boycott Nickelodeon events — and there is a plausible explanation involves the discrepancy between the salaries of the actress and her costar Ariana Grande — there was plenty of speculation that one of the factors was the network's reaction to pictures that were posted online of McCurdy in her underwear. Nickelodeon has had relatively few issues with its young stars, but the viral explosion over the leaked photos is something that rival Disney is well acquainted with. The media giant has worried over the public images of a series of young actresses — Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens — while they were working for Disney.  (Lest they be accused of gender bias, the Mouse suits also fretted over Zac Efron's behavior as well.) While she was between movies in the High School Musical series, a nude photo of Hudgens emerged online and put Disney into spin control. While McCurdy's pictures were tame by comparison, the reaction to the seeming transgression was about the same: low-key generic support for the star mixed with an undercurrent of disapproval to appease the parents of young fans. Trying to sell Hollywood products as "family friendly" is a tricky situation. Both Nickelodeon and Disney have to protect their respective brands and assure parents that their children can safely watch the content being put on the air. During her Hannah Montana days, it wouldn't have been acceptable for Cyrus to go on stage in Europe and light a joint the way that she did earlier this year. There are certain boundaries that are just part of the price of being involved in children's programming. The problematic area, however, is two-fold. First, criticizing young performers for capitalizing on their sex appeal is hypocritical, especially when it comes from studios that continuously market the attractiveness of those same stars. Neither Nickelodeon nor Disney shies away from capitalizing on the fresh-faced good looks of the young actresses (and actors) that they employ. The companies have produced music videos for in-house stars like Victoria Justice and Bridgit Mendler that show them seductively singing to the camera and partying into the night. While it's all fairly chaste, in reality it's also not much of a ideological leap from doing a Maxim cover. If a studio can use someone's looks for their advantage, they can't then be concerned if that person uses it for their own. The other part has more to do with the oftentimes unrealistic expectations of the public. Just because someone was on a show aimed at youngsters, that doesn’t mean that they have to continue to live up to some arbitrary standard of "purity." The outcry over Cyrus' more recent behavior — which has included showing far more skin than McCurdy — was ridiculous whenever it veered into concern over the impact it may have on the young people that used to watch her Disney show. Once they're no longer directly working on products being marketed to tweens, then the choices that actors make stop being tied to that. Hudgens and Gomez starring as bikini clad thrill seekers in Spring Breakers has no bearing on the TV shows and movies that they did as teenagers. Both Nickelodeon and Disney have become launching pads for actors to break into the business, but it's hard to bemoan young adults from acting like… well, young adults. Follow @Hollywood_com
  • The Ultimate Teen Movie High School Clique
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 07, 2014
    Paramount via Everett Collection We all know the saying about how you can't pick your relatives but you can pick your friends. Unfortunately, in high school, most people are limited to those other poor souls that are slouching through the halls to get from class to class. Every teen movie made has seemingly adhered to some form of the cliques that occur in high school, those groupings based on looks, interests or intelligence that make up the social caste system. What if, however, you could make your own clique, using characters from those films that fit into those stereotypical profiles? It would certainly have made for a more entertaining high school experience, as well as at least one killer party. Who would we pick? Here's our choices... VIEW GALLERY: The Ultimate Teen Movie High School Clique Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • 'Turn' Series Premiere Review: Can the AMC Drama Make the Revolutionary War Sexy?
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 07, 2014
    AMC AMC's new period drama, Turn, hopes to show that spies were cool, even in the 18th Century. While that's probably true, the show needs to quickly pick up the pace if it wants to keep its modern audience engaged. Based in part on Alexander Rose's best-seller, Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring, the show stars Jamie Bell, a Long Island farmer named Abe Woodhull, who is caught between his father (Kevin McNally) who is loyal to the crown, and his childhood friends Ben Tallmedge and Caleb Brewster (Seth Numrich and Daniel Henshall, respectively), Continental Army regulars who are trying to recruit Abe as an informant in British occupied New York during the summer of 1778. What's more, Abe is married to Mary (Meegan Warner) and has a young son, but his heart truly belongs to local tavern-keeper Anna Strong (Heather Lind), who broke off their engagement over his family's loyalist beliefs. The pilot does a decent job of setting everything up, with McNally's Quaker judge explaining  his son's romantic backstory as he partners with the local British commanding officer, Major Hewitt (Burn Gorman) to keep Abe out of the gallows after he stops a British officer from killing Anna's husband. The fact that the husband is arrested and shipped off anyway provides the impetus for Abe and Anna to renew a closer relationship, as well as for her to assist with the espionage efforts. The show is beautifully shot and does a terrific job of bringing home the horrors of a war fought up close, as blood flows freely and dead bodies litter every field. The producers have done as good a job as you possibly can in recreating the look and feel of the Revolutionary War era. They also, thankfully, don't spend too much time explaining where we are in terms of historical context, figuring that if viewers don't already know what was happening in 1778 they can go on their website and look it up (something that AMC actively promoted during commercials). Bell, barely recognizable from his Billy Elliott days, is fine as Abe, even if he did come across as a little too anxious to make sure that we understand the character's internal conflict. The first episode bounced him around so much as we learned where we were in Abe's  story that it was hard to get a true read on him. In particular, with the British officers being played as either foppish (Gorman) or brutal (Samuel Roukin's menacing Captain Simcoe) it's hard to understand why Abe's father is on their side. Since this is a series instead of a movie, it would be helpful to explore why they were loyalists in the first place. Lind as Anna, though, is a keeper. Displaying all of the inherent tension of a woman who is forced to be nice to the resident British Army — especially the lecherous Simcoe — when she's a staunch supporter of independence, Lind helped establish the conflict with her body language better than anything in the script. The stage is set for plenty of drama, as besides being in love with a woman who isn't his wife, Abe's father more or less disowns him and his buddies Tallmedge and Brewster knowingly betray his trust for the greater good. There's also a subplot involving a band of Scottish mercenaries led by Angus MacFadyen's Robert Rogers that, while only briefly added to the mix in the first episode, hints at the cat-and-mouse game to come. It's obviously limited by the actual history behind the story — let's face it, we all know what the war's outcome will be — but that doesn't mean that the story can't come quicker.  The show is done well enough that it will appease the target audience, like fans of the HBO's miniseries John Adams, but for everyone else there probably needs to be more hooks that propel the story and keep viewers interested in what comes next. Otherwise, the audience might just turn away.   Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • What Does David Letterman's Retirement Mean for Late Night?
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 07, 2014
    CBS As it was with Johnny Carson, it's impossible to underestimate the impact that David Letterman has had on late night television. Letterman, who announced last week that he will be retiring in 2015, bridged the gap between Carson and the old Hollywood guard and the Internet generation in ways that are still clearly evident in the shows that followed. From the pre-taped bits that he made a staple of his shows, to putting staff members on camera, to having a house rock band, everyone that has followed — including his primary competitor and former friend Jay Leno — stole liberally from Letterman. The man created not one but two different long-running network shows in Late Night and The Late Show that have made boatloads of money for NBC and CBS respectively.  He may never have been warm and friendly, but there's no arguing with his results. His decision to leave The Late Show after 22 years behind the desk (speculation is that he had promised his wife that he would leave at the end of his current contract), puts CBS on the clock to come up with a plan for his replacement. The network seems inclined to move quickly to announce a course of action so that they don't end up in the quandary that NBC did when Carson retired. After some initial murmurs that CBS might go after one of NBC's castoff hosts, either Leno or Conan O'Brien, speculation has increased that Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, whose contract for The Colbert Report runs out at the end of this year. Considering that at one time it was Colbert's former boss Jon Stewart that was seen as the eventual successor to Letterman, the rumors have some weight. (Even though the network's own Craig Ferguson has been following Letterman's in the 12:30 a.m. time-slot, it also seems pretty clear that CBS won't seriously consider the oddball comic for the gig, which could lead him to leave when his contract expires.) The bigger question becomes if Colbert, or any of the other potential choices that would seem acceptable to the fairly conservative suits at CBS, has the ability to compete against The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel Live! As those two shows consistently raise the stakes with their competition (not just on the air, but in using social media), it seems clear that the landscape of late night is going in a younger, more interactive direction. Still, if there's one other comic who has maintained a healthy Internet presence, and media-active fanbase, throughout his time on TV, it's Colbert. It seems unlikely, but might CBS be better served by going completely outside of the box and taking a chance on a lesser name, the way that NBC did when it replaced Letterman with the completely unknown O'Brien? They don't have to go quite that far, but someone like Comedy Bang! Bang! creator Scott Aukerman, or Comedy Central star Keegan-Michael Key, might be more willing to jump into the fray with Fallon and Kimmel and compete for younger viewers. Better yet, they each have established cohorts in Reggie Watts and Jordan Peele, respectively, who could come along for the ride. As it has been since the days of Carson's departure, the late night shuffle will provide plenty of intrigue as CBS tries to sort out a succession plan. One thing that's certain, however, is that whoever may sit behind the desk at The Late Show is going to have to do some amazing work to someday approach Letterman's considerable legacy. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //
  • 'Sixteen Candles' vs. 'Pretty in Pink': Which John Hughes Movie Is More Relevant Today?
    By: Brendon McCullin Apr 04, 2014
    Universal Pictures  Writer-director John Hughes was the master of the teen movie in the '80s, scoring hits with The Breakfast Club, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, and Weird Science, and working with a veritable "who's who" of young '80s actors (Matthew Broderick, Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey Jr., John Cusack, Bill Paxton, Charlie Sheen, etc.). His teen muse, however, was Molly Ringwald. The young redhead was the star of his directorial debut, Sixteen Candles, and was the inspiration behind Pretty in Pink, which Hughes' wrote and produced. It's been 30 years since the release of Sixteen Candles and 28 since Pretty in Pink, yet each movie has maintained an audience across the decades. Which one, though, is more relevant if you were seeing it for the first time right now? Sixteen Candles Ringwald's Samantha Baker is having a terrible 16th birthday. Her parents forgot it entirely. Her grandparents, who are in town for her sister's wedding, are commenting about her "boobies" and bring along a horndog foreign exchange student (Gedde Watanabe). She's got a freshman geek (Anthony Michael Hall) chasing after her, and in exchange for leaving her alone takes a pair of her panties to show off to the other nerds... for a dollar apiece. Worse than all of the other indignities, though, is the fact that she's totally in love with a senior (Michael Schoeffling) who's dating the most popular girl in school (Haviland Morris). In other words, it's just about every teen girl's worst nightmare, something that really hasn't changed much in the ensuing years. The film is fanciful and fun, with jokes that are both clever and corny. It's the sort of movie that provides mothers and daughters talking points for everything from love to sex to body image issues. Feeling like you're completely on your own as a teenager and that nobody really cares about or appreciates you is a rite of passage for everyone, as are those first heart-stopping crushes. Youthful insecurity is fairly timeless. Pretty in Pink Hughes took a (slightly) more grounded view of a young girl's high school experience in Pink. Ringwald plays Andie, a girl from the poor side of town who makes her own clothes and has to take care of her down-on-his-luck father (Harry Dean Stanton). She works in a music store and hangs out with an eccentric friend named Duckie (Jon Cryer), as she tries to just make it through until she can go to college for fashion design. But then she falls for one of the rich kids (Andrew McCarthy), and has to deal with the very obvious class distinctions that are continually pointed out by his obnoxious friend (James Spader). Unlike the lead in Sixteen Candles, Andie doesn't need recognition from anyone, definitely doesn't want to be pitied ,and is perfectly capable of standing up for herself. She's conscious of Duckie's feelings, but she neither patronizes him nor leads him on. When McCarthy's Blane backs out of their prom date, she goes it alone (and, okay, with a little help from the Duck). Essentially, Andie is that quiet girl in high school who blossoms in college and doesn’t go to reunions because she's too busy with a great career. It's a little hard to get past the very '80s wardrobe, although it has a killer soundtrack (OMD's "If You Leave" still makes anyone over 40 nostalgic for their own prom). In the end, though, Andie is a realistic teen heroine who, unlike say Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, navigates through a world that is not terribly different from the present and does it by empowering herself. That's not a bad lesson for any young woman to learn. Both of the teen classics have relevance to a modern audience in their own way, although the jokiness of Sixteen Candles probably helps it translate a little bit easier. That’s what we think, but now it's your chance. Vote below to tell us which of Hughes' teen comedies has remained more relevant. Follow @Hollywood_com // Follow @LifeAsSitcom //