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Let me take you back to the summer of 1999. Facebook wasn’t around yet. Butterfly clips reigned supreme. And my friends and I were watching Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time” music video all day,…
Marcus Lattimore on NFL career: ‘It was hell’
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I had survived my childhood and now was an out of control, angry teenager. I wanted nothing more than parents that loved me and protected me. I wanted to be “Daddy’s Little Girl” or “Mommy’s Angel”. I wanted to be the big sister that everyone looked up to and respected. Sadly, I was none of those things. I was nothing more than a problem for everyone no matter where I went. When I didn’t get the unconditional love from my birth parents I was searching for or the therapy I needed I turned to drugs and wild ways. I thought I was punishing them, but in reality I was just punishing myself. It didn’t take long to learn how to play grownup games to get what I wanted from anyone I came in contact with, unfortunately for me I didn’t always win when I played. But I learned a lot of lessons. The most important lesson was just learning how to survive, again.
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Cavs fans should savor their ‘Hell of a Season’
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Does this hellish expansion honor the Saints Row name?
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(RNS) There’s never a better time for a bunch of holy avengers than when all hell actually breaks loose.
The Dynamite Entertainment series The Devilers debuts Wednesday (July 16) as an action-packed supernatural comic book full of demonic beasties, big-picture philosophies and heroes that have to put religious differences aside in order to save Vatican City – and the world – from being turned into brimstone.
“When suddenly it’s ‘Oh that is a giant hellmouth that opened up in front of me,’ that changes your beliefs,” said series writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Bunker, The Life After), who’s doing the The Devilers alongside artist Matt Triano.
The main conceit behind The Devilers is the Catholic Church, which has had an armistice with Satan’s forces for hundreds of years to keep the demonic element downstairs, but not surprisingly the deal doesn’t hold. Horrific creatures arise when they stop caring about what mankind and the heavenly host can do to them, thereby beginning a new war on Earth.
Father Malcolm O’Rourke, whose faith has waned since having an otherworldly encounter as a child, is called into action by the church’s head exorcist, Cardinal Michael David Reed, as well as other potential saviors from all over the world.
Every issue of Devilers focuses on a different character in the group, which includes Mossad agent and rabbi Brenda Davide, a pro at revealing true evil; the tricky and persuasive Samir Patel; Raab Al-Fayed, a noted demonologist who controls a powerful entity; Chun-Bai, a woman able to bend nature to her will; and the teleporting man-bear demon Rex.
“As we’re discovering the world, each of them is discovering the world, too, and you get a sense of who they are that way,” said Fialkov, adding that the team readers meet in the first issue may not be there going forward.
The cardinal is a pretty hardcore sort but he in a sense reflects the stakes involved with the hellish situation.
“You can have dogma as much as you like, but when the rubber hits the road, you have to be practical,” Fialkov said.
Even though he had a childhood experience that for most people would be proof positive that there are higher powers at work, Malcolm, the priest and exorcist, is still more practical than spiritual.
“He’s had time soften the one thing that really gave him faith, but now suddenly it’s jammed in front of his face,” Fialkov said. “There’s no arguing with the things he sees.”
While the Devilers has a philosophical side, it’s still as big and crazy as a 1970s X-Men comic, according to Fialkov.
Fialkov’s I, Vampire series for DC Comics merged vampires and a monster world into a landscape of superheroes, and he’s trying to do something similar with The Devilers, an inherently dark book that’s more funny than bleak.
Triano illustrates a frog flipping off the cardinal in the first issue, and the holy man tells an atheist who gets a little too close to Rex, “Don’t kick the demon, son.” “That’s just me being me,” Fialkov said. “Anytime anything feels pretentious, I have to take the wind out of the sails.”
The next couple of issues feature the protagonists journeying through hell, “literally heading toward Satan’s throne room,” Fialkov said. “But the question is, who’s actually sitting on that throne? It might be a surprise.”
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Some marriages are made in heaven . . . Some are not.What happens when “the happiest day of your life” turns into a nightmare? Forget the drunken best man or the bridesmaid dresses from the ’80s . . . none of these wedding day disasters can compare to a cursed bride determined to make it down the aisle, or a vampire who is about to disrupt your wedding.Join New York Times bestselling authors Maggie Shayne and Jeaniene Frost, USA Today bestseller Kathryn Smith, as well as Terri Garey in four unforgettable tales of unholy matrimony . . . where the grooms are dark, dangerous, and mostly dead, and to love and cherish till death takes on a whole new meaning.
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NEW YORK (AP) — It’s not so much “goodbye” as “on break.”
With Jimmy Fallon’s departure from “Late Night” on Friday after five years in the host chair, he will be off the NBC airwaves a scant 10 days before coming back as host of “The Tonight Show,” which was vacated Thursday by Jay Leno after 22 years. “I’m really going to miss being on TV at 12:37,” Fallon joked in his farewell monologue, noting that his “fierce rivals” have been CBS host Craig Ferguson “and a Veggie-Chopper infomercial.”
But if he was overjoyed at his promotion to a slot one hour earlier — and he radiated joy all through the finale (taped Friday afternoon) — at the same time he could hardly keep his tear ducts in check.
“I’m not gonna cry,” he vowed early on, “but I’m gonna get really close.”
“You got to pull it together,” teased his guest, fellow “Saturday Night Live” alum Andy Samberg. “You got to man up.”
“‘Irish Wuss’ was my nickname in high school,” replied Fallon.
The 39-year-old Fallon has promised that nothing much will change with his talk-comedy-music formula, except the new time slot and “Tonight Show” title.
But if it’s not so big a change for Fallon (or his house band, the Roots, or his announcer, Steve Higgins, who all are coming along), it’s a big change for “Tonight,” which is returning to New York’s Rockefeller Plaza after more than 40 years in Los Angeles, and returning to NBC’s Studio 6B, once the home of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
To complete this game of musical chairs, Seth Meyers (another “SNL” grad) becomes “Late Night” host starting Feb. 24.
“We’re gonna be a great team back-to-back,” Fallon said.
During his monologue, Fallon got nostalgic, with a dash of comedy. Since premiering in March 2009, he spun out 10,000 jokes, he announced, all of which he proceeded to sum up as: “Joe Biden needed Obamacare after Anthony Weiner texted Justin Bieber a picture of Chris Christie dating a Kardashian on the Jersey shore with Rob Ford.”
More sincerely, Fallon voiced thanks to David Letterman for starting “Late Night,” and to Conan O’Brien, its second host, as well as to his viewers, whose support “means the world to me. It makes me so happy.”
The hour ended with a big musical number: Fallon on drums and singing the Band classic “The Weight,” accompanied by a large ensemble of Muppets.
Then he made his exit from his longtime “Late Night” home, Studio 6A, and strode a few steps down a hallway to his soon-to-be new home. He opened the door to Studio 6B to find a cheering, welcoming throng. Fade out.
It’s awaiting him for real in just 10 days.
As I watched Jay Leno say goodbye on his final Tonight Show, I started thinking about all of my experiences with Jay, the stars on his show, the various wild animals roaming the halls and his incredible staff. You see, for a good part of my 12 years as host and correspondent on Access Hollywood, my dressing room was in the same hallway as The Tonight Show.
In fact, there were actually two main hallways, one on each floor. I was on the second floor. The musical guest of the night had the dressing room at the top of the stairs, mine was down the hall. It never ceased to amaze me what famous singer or band I’d run into, sometimes literally, at the top of the stairs as I headed down to our studio to shoot our show. Once, I nearly took out Prince. The things I have seen, heard and smelled coming out of that room remain a cornucopia of the times for me. Snoop. The Cure. Keith Urban. Rihanna. Slash from Velvet Revolver. John Mellencamp. Too many to count.
We shot Access Hollywood in Johnny Carson’s old Tonight Show studio. In fact, we even kept the star on the floor where Johnny would come out and deliver his monologue every night. (A monologue to roughly 15 million people — 15 million!!)
Jay shot his Tonight Show across the hallway from Johnny’s old studio. That ground-floor hallway was always a beehive of activity. Producers, writers and incredibly talented people in audio, lighting, make-up, wardrobe, grips and more racing about. Then you add into the mix of stars on the show that night, their handlers plus a wild animal or two, and you can see how that hallway — maybe five to six feet wide — was like an artery on a busy freeway. The doors leading to the stage were smack dab in the middle of the hallway, leading to more congestion. I’ve run into everyone from Tom Cruise, who was saying hello to every single person, including an NBC Page, to an NBC president by the name of Scott Sassa, who chased after, found and closed the door to talk to Jimmy Fallon way back in the day. It’s actually how we got to this point, nearly a decade later, of Fallon taking over The Tonight Show. I wrote about it here.
But even though I’ve seen United States presidents walking the hallways, movie stars and television stars, there was one other thing I always saw that I thought was pretty cool and it sticks with me to this day. The smiles. Sure, doing a show like The Tonight Show is tough, demanding and stressful. But, nearly every Tonight Show person I met over the years I liked and found to be friendly, funny and nice. Even the red-haired lady who had something to do with numbers and money was nice. Those people are never nice.
My point is, and Jay made the same point last night, is that you felt those who worked on the show were one big family. Jay was incredibly loyal to them and they to him. In fact, I can remember when Jay was going to leave the first time and I ran into some of the Tonight Show staff in the commissary. I’d come to know a good number of them fairly well by this point. There was a lot of worry at the time. Most of them were going to lose a job they loved. Plus, the economy was in the tank. But, one of staffers told me Jay held a private meeting with the staff and told them he was going to do everything he could to help them keep their jobs on the lot in some capacity. Turns out, they just went with him to his short-lived 10 p.m. show and then back to The Tonight Show.
I had a number of interactions with Jay over the years. I sensed he always found our show amusing. He’d always have some sort of wiseacre comment about some silly or insane thing we were covering. And he was usually right. Truth is in the humor. But, he was always nice. I gave him crap a number of times about brown-bagging it on his private jet he’d jump on after the show to head to Vegas for a quick gig that night. What? No chef to whip up a meal on your private jet? He had me on a couple of his shows, in the opening of the show, playing myself. Once in a Michael Jackson skit and once with Kim Kardashian. When I did those bits it was a blast because I got to work with his great producers and camera crews.
Much has been made of Jay’s workaholic lifestyle. I think it’s pretty simple. I feel it benefitted Jay and the show greatly. It allowed Jay to do the kind of comedy he could not do on The Tonight Show while getting a feel where the country was at any given moment. You can’t get that behind guarded gates in Beverly Hills. I always likened Jay’s Tonight Show to the Olive Garden, the mid-scale restaurant chain. It has that all-you-can-eat salad bowl, some above average dishes, and a surprise special every now and then all packaged in a nice, friendly setting. Comfortable. Digestible by the middle of the country. Not risky like the new, foie gras-servin’ hot restaurant down the street which may be gone in a year. Jay Leno, the comedian on Sunday nights at The Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach was a little different and riskier than Tonight Show Jay. But what wasn’t different was his ability to make everybody feel good. Just be nice to people. To care about them. At the club. At the studio. On the street after the show.
There is one hitch in all the love for Jay and it is his perceived handling of when he left The Tonight Show the first time and how many believe he firebombed any chance Conan O’Brien had of finding success as the new holder of the show’s flame.
I have my own, somewhat inside view. Remember, I was at Access Hollywood at the time, both in 2004 when it was announced that Jay would be fired five years later (WTF?, I thought at the time) and when it actually happened in 2009. I knew people in all three camps; Leno, Conan and the network.
Let’s start with this.
There is a saying in the industry that you never follow a legend. You follow the guy who follows the legend. That’s because the guy who follows the legend usually gets hammered, not only in the ratings, but in the press as well. It usually ends badly for the new guy. This is because the legend usually exits kicking and screaming and scorches the earth, leaving nothing that can grow in the legend’s absence, most of all ratings and goodwill. That’s Jay Leno Is Fired: Part One. Imagine knowing for five years that you are going to be fired, even though there is nobody in the country who is better than you. You are number one, yet, you need to be replaced. That has to burn for five years. So, when it finally happens, there is an incredible amount of buildup — anger, frustration and loss.
When Johnny Carson said goodbye to The Tonight Show and cleanly handed it off to Jay Leno, Carson was done. It had been a sensational 30-year run. Carson was 66 when he passed the torch to Leno. He didn’t throw it at him and light Leno on fire. He didn’t run around the studio and the media lighting everything on fire, burning it to the ground. Scorching the earth as it were. Carson said goodbye in a way that kept — what I assume Carson knew was the only thing bigger than him — The Tonight Show in tact, polished, tuned-up and ready for the new driver.
But, what if Johnny had suddenly decided to do a 10 p.m. show on the very same network, just as Jay was getting his footing hosting The Tonight Show? Carson would have cut Leno’s show business legs out from under him. Carson would have damaged The Tonight Show and buried Leno. It would have been a disaster.
That’s the one caveat in the career of Leno. He not only broke Conan’s legs, he tied one of Conan’s arms behind his back. By the way, I never thought Conan was the right choice. Did he deserve a shot? Sure. Was he the right fit? Never. Just like Ann Curry hosting the Today show. She deserved it. Great person. Just the wrong skill set to host a morning show. Jimmy Fallon. Right guy. Right skill set. Will do well.
Other than the Leno-Conan fiasco, Leno was brilliant at finding the right balance hosting The Tonight Show. He revered it and it’s place in the history of television and in the lives of millions of Americans. He was a good driver. He took care of the show, it’s guests and it’s staff incredibly well. It always put a smile on his face.
As Leno emotionally said when he closed out the last few minutes of his final Tonight Show, “I’ll tell ya’ something. The first year of the show, I lost my mom. Second year, I lost my dad. Then my brother died. And, after that, I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family.” Leno is saying goodbye to the only family he has.
I leave you with one of the thousands of images I have of seeing Jay during my 12 years on the NBC lot. Funny enough, it’s a time when I saw him away from The Tonight Show. And he scared the hell out of me.
My parking spot was directly across from Jay. I would turn right into my spot and he would turn left into his. I loved driving in everyday, wondering what amazing car Jay would have parked in his spot. In fact, I would often take pictures of his car and email them to my dad, also a car buff.
On this particular sunny Thursday, I finished shooting our show around 5:30 p.m. and left the studio to head up Buena Vista Street to stop at Lowe’s. I’m at a stop light. It’s a two-lane road each way. I’m in the right lane. I have my music pretty loud, windows closed. Suddenly, my SUV starts to vibrate slightly. Within seconds, the vibration continues to grow and grow. I turn off my music. There is an insanely loud rumble like a train is coming and my car is vibrating so much it is almost rocking. It alarms me.
“Holy Moly! It’s an earthquake!” I think.
I look for light poles, telephone poles and trees to see if they’re swaying. It’s what you do when you feel movement, hear a train-like rumble and live in California. However, nothing is swaying. By the way, this all happens in about 20 unsettling seconds. I’m confused. Then light turns green and the rumble grows louder and the vibration increases.
I’m looking around to see if I can go as the cars in front of me take off slowly. The lane to my left is going faster than my lane. Cars are passing me.
Then I see it.
It is Jay Leno.
He is in an open-cockpit, huge car that has an airplane engine. Yes, an airplane engine. Now, I’ve seen this incredible car in his parking spot but have never heard it running. Jay drives past me wearing old-school driving goggles and a scarf wrapped around his neck. The scarf is flowing in the wind. Jay is smiling. People are smiling and waving at Jay. Jay is waving back. I watch him drive away into the golden California sunset. Happy, with a huge smile on his face and firmly in the driver’s seat.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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