CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 13, 2013 |
Comic great Jonathan Winters was struggling to make a name for himself in the early 1950s when a man at the nightclub where he was performing offered some life-changing advice. Winters had a talent for channeling the voices of celebrities like Gary Cooper and Boris Karloff but, the man observed, "All you're doing is shining their shoes. You'd best think up your own characters. " That, Winters told TV Guide many years later, was "the best hunk of criticism I ever got. " With his rubbery, moon-shaped face and pitch-perfect ear for speech patterns, Winters began to unleash a cavalcade of charmingly twisted characters, including a redneck ballplayer, a lisping child and a prissy schoolmarm.
April 12, 2013 |
Jonathan Winters, who died on Friday at age 87, had a talent ideal for the small screen. Though he did appear in several comedic classics, including "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming," it was the less constrained world of TV that allowed him to flit and morph between comic bits at lightning speed. One of the first great venues on TV where the comic rose to prominence was on "The Jack Paar Program. " This appearance from 1964 demonstrates Winters' ability to improvise at a moment's notice, in this case with the prop of a simple stick.
March 20, 2013 |
In May 2005, DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman Animations announced that, following their collaborations on "Chicken Run," "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and "Flushed Away," their next joint venture would be "Crood Awakening," a stop-motion comedy about a caveman living in a small village with a prehistoric genius. John Cleese of Monty Python fame and Kirk DeMicco ("Racing Stripes") were hired to write the script. And now nearly eight years later, a vastly different version of the tale is opening Friday.
March 17, 2013 |
From a distance, wearing plaid and slightly grizzled, Sam Lipsyte looks like a grumpy lumberjack -- although there are not many lumberjacks standing at the gate of Columbia University in Manhattan. And up close, it's clear he's not grumpy at all: Lipsyte has an air of restrained amusement that's perfect for one of America's best satiric writers. His writing often features arrested-development characters similar to Judd Apatow's heroes -- but Lipsyte's guys don't get gorgeous girls or happy endings.
March 7, 2013 |
MOSCOW - The acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin was shocking when it happened and turned even more bizarre when police said it elicited a confession from a Bolshoi dancer known for playing the Evil Genius in one of the most beloved ballets of all, "Swan Lake. " Details came to light early Wednesday when Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko confessed to organizing the January attack, and police announced two other men confessed to carrying it out. "I organized the attack, but not to the extent of the damage that happened," Dmitrichenko said to Russia's Channel One. The dancer planned the assault for "personal resentment related to his work," the police said, according to reports in the Russian media.
March 6, 2013 |
On Tuesday, we offered you our thoughts on "Welcome Oblivion," the sensual new electro-rock album by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor's latest band, How to Destroy Angels. And Wednesday we alerted you to the fact that Carly Rae Jepsen had canceled her appearance at this summer's National Scout Jamboree in response to an online petition asking the "Call Me Maybe" singer to "denounce the Boy Scouts' policy banning gay youth and parents. " What we neglected to mention until now, though, is that these two great North American artists have joined forces for an Internet mash-up that might be the best we've heard since the Freelance Hellraiser's 2001 classic " A Stroke of Genie-us . " First posted Monday on Reddit by a user calling himself pomDeter , "Call Me a Hole" pairs "Call Me Maybe" with "Head Like a Hole," from Nine Inch Nails' 1989 debut, "Pretty Hate Machine.