Can SNL topple 45’s administration?


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By: Dean Obeidallah/CNN

Saturday Night Live is clearly no longer content to just comically fillet 45 As we saw again in this Saturday night’s episode, they are increasingly going after key members of his staff. And if recent media reports are accurate, this seems to be rattling Trump and causing dissension within his administration.

When I worked on the production staff of SNL for eight seasons, we never knew if the politician or the celebrity the show would be mocking that weekend would be watching. But of course with Donald Trump, we do know. It appears he can’t help hate-watching the show. Trump has taken to Twitter on multiple occasions to slam the iconic comedy show, even demanding back in October that it be canceled because he was outraged by the way Alec Baldwin and the show depicted him.
Baldwin hosted the show this past Saturday, and if the sole goal of SNL was to drive Trump to Twitter to lash out, they could’ve featured many sketches with Baldwin lambasting the President. After all, Trump offers comedians an abundance of material. But instead, the show made a decision to focus more on key members of his administration like Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway.
The show opened with Melissa McCarthy reprising her hilarious role from last week as Spicer. This time Spicer tried to remain in control but as time went on he lost it. Soon Spicer was hawking goods for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, which Nordstrom pulled this week for poor sales. And Spicer even comically commented on the racist underpinnings of Trump’s “extreme vetting” plan by using a white Barbie doll who easily walks by TSA security agents before a brown skinned “Moana” doll is immediately subjected to a pat down.
Assuming the media reports are accurate that last Saturday’s SNL depiction of Spicer got under Trump’s skin since a woman was playing Spicer, then the next moment of the cold open must really have angered Trump. That’s when his newly sworn-in Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, entered the sketch, played by the amazing Kate McKinnon. And she delivered a great comic line, touching on Session’s alleged racist past, “We all know there are two kinds of crime…regular and black.”
In the span of a few short minutes, SNL had again undermined Spicer, depicted the “Muslim ban” as racist, and spotlighted Sessions’ controversial past. That’s great political comedy.
But SNL was far from done with Trump’s team. Next came an entire sketch about Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway, which began with CNN’s Jake Tapper, played by Beck Bennett, commenting on how he didn’t want Conway on his show because of her peddling of fictitious stories, including “The Bowling Green massacre” that never happened.
Moments later when Tapper arrives at his apartment, he’s confronted — in a loose parody of the classic film “Fatal Attraction” — by an angry lingerie-clad Conway played by McKinnon. She declares she’s “not going to be ignored” by Tapper or any in the media because, “I just want to be part of the news.”
It wasn’t until the Weekend Update segment where Trump really became the brunt of the jokes. One of the most cutting came from Update co-anchor Michael Che when he commented that Trump looked miserable as President and noted that Trump was eating a truly unhealthy diet of KFC fried chicken. Che wryly added that Trump should quit now as President, “I mean, Donald, is this really how you want to spend the last two years of your life?!”
And finally, one hour into the show, we saw Baldwin as Trump. This time it was in a People’s Court parody of Trump appealing the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision. Sure, it was funny — especially when Trump calls as a character witness a shirtless Vladimir Putin — but clearly, SNL had made a conscious decision to not use Baldwin as Trump in sketch after sketch in this highly anticipated episode.
Giving comedic airtime to parodies of Sessions, Conway, and Spicer instead of wall-to-wall Baldwin was both funny and an important commentary on the volatile first weeks of the Trump administration. Obviously SNL alone can’t undermine the credibility of a presidential administration. But it can play a key role. (Hence Trump lashing out at SNL.) And given that SNL is at a 22-year high in ratings this season, the show is off to a good start. Its reach has not been this great in decades.
So in a time when polls show many Americans distrust the mainstream media, it may just take SNL and comedians to be the voices of reason. Here’s hoping that week after week SNL helps make America laugh again at Trump — and his administration.
Dean ObeidallahDean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @deanofcomedy. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
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6 Reasons Actresses Over 40 Are Hotter Than Ever in Hollywood


6 Reasons Actresses Over 40 Are Hotter Than Ever in Hollywood

By: Todd Cunningham/The Wrap

For decades, the age of 40 was the point of no return for the majority of Hollywood’s leading ladies of film. But there’s been a seismic shift in the way the industry and moviegoers view “aging” top actresses, and today their clout and box-office muscle have never been greater.

Forty-nine-year-old Sandra Bullock is getting a ton of attention for her starring role in the space epic “Gravity,” but this was already a great year overall for actresses over 40. Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and Melissa McCarthy all starred in breakout box-office hits.

And there are more high-profile movies with women over 40 in plum roles still to come. Emma Thompson will star opposite Tom Hanks in the Mary Poppins tale “Saving Mr. Banks,” due on Dec. 13. And later that month, 64-year-old Meryl Streep – who’s been an exception to the rule for some time – will be featured with Julia Roberts, who turns 46 on Monday, in the drama “August: Osage County.”

Their success has been artistic as well as commercial.

The five top contenders for the Best Actress Oscar, according to the GoldDerby.com experts, are Bullock, Streep, Thompson (54), Cate Blanchett (44) and Judi Dench (78). If those end up being the five nominees, the average age in the category will be almost 58.

There are a lot of reasons things have changed. Here are six:

The Box Office
Nothing breaks down barriers like a healthy bottom line and over-40 actresses have delivered this year.

Bullock and McCarthy were cop buddies in 2013’s biggest comedy “The Heat,” which has taken in $228 million worldwide. Jennifer Aniston drove the summer’s surprise hit “We’re the Millers.” And the popularity of 57-year-old Oprah Winfrey had a great deal to do with the success of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” an Oscar contender that has already served up $130 million worldwide.

Their success has crossed genres, too. Vera Farmiga starred in the year’s biggest horror hit, “The Conjuring,” and Halle Berry topped the box office with the dark thriller “The Call” in March.

Even Gwyneth Paltrow, who played Tony Stark’s gal pal in the year’s highest-grossing movie, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” is 41.

Audiences Are Getting Older
A lot of the people who saw Oprah in “The Butler” also saw her in “The Color Purple” back in 1985. The same goes for “Gravity” viewers, who recalled Bullock in 1994’s “Speed.” That gives moviegoers a sense of connection, as with long-time friends.

“The Baby Boomer generation has been going to the movies all of their lives and they’ve never stopped,” said Catherine Paura, chairman and chief  executive of Capstone Global Marketing and Research. “They want to see narrative-driven movies, with strong stories that they can relate to. They’re in the habit of going to the movies, and they like them, especially when their stars are in them.”

 

More than a third of all movie tickets purchased in the U.S. last year were by people past 40, so these actresses don’t seem old to them at all. And Baby Boomers now represent 28 percent of the populace, so the trend is here to stay.

They’re Getting Better with Age
People watched Julia Louis-Dreyfus yuck it up on TV’s “Seinfeld” back when they were in their 20s and 30s and she was, too. But anyone’s who’s seen her nuanced portrayal of a discombobulated single mother taking a tentative step toward romance in “Enough Said,” has to be impressed with how far she’s come since her Elaine days.

“You look at people like her or Sandra Bullock and people say they’re hitting their stride as actresses,” said casting director Marci Liroff, who specializes in feature films and TV, “but they couldn’t have excelled in these roles without the career and life experience that they developed when they were younger. And I loved Elaine.”

Hollywood Is Wising Up
A decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine a film like this year’s “Blue Jasmine” making $30 million. But the Woody Allen joint in which Blanchett plays a middle-aged woman struggling to find her footing after her swindling husband is jailed has done just that.

While roles designed specifically for women of that age group remain the exception, Hollywood is making more movies that appeal to older audiences of late.

 

“The studios are seeing there’s an audience out there and saying let’s make something for them to see,” said Paura. “Look at last Christmas, when you had ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Argo’ all out there at the same time, all doing great business. It’s a realization that this is an under-served and very viable audience.”

Where progress is most apparent is with movies like “The Heat” or “Gravity,” in which the protagonists almost certainly would have been male a decade ago. And “The Heat” showed that women can be as foul-mouthed, obnoxious – and funny – as men.

Young Actresses Aren’t Translating
Other than Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway, there aren’t many actresses under 40 who can sell tickets overseas, an increasingly critical component when movies are developed and cast today.

That’s not necessarily a gender issue – there aren’t many young men who can, either. But Roberts, Streep, Bullock, Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz can – while Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone and Amanda Seyfried generally don’t. But that’s nothing time won’t cure, according to casting director Liroff.

“These young women are at exactly the stage the legends we’re talking about were back then,” she said.

We Saw It on TV
“When you see a Robin Wright on ‘House of Cards’ or Jessica Lange on ‘American Horror Story,’ I think people and – and Hollywood — take notice,” said Martha Lauzen, executive director of theCenter for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

 

She gives the small screen a lot of the credit for women’s gains in film.

“TV has been leading the way recently. A few years ago, when Glenn Close was in ‘Damages’ and Kyra Sedgwick in ‘The Closer’ started showing how incredibly talented they were, I’m sure that some of that seeped into film.”

But Let’s Not Get Carried Away
While a number of elite over-40 actresses are making their mark as never before, the situation hasn’t changed that much for most of them. While 55 percent of film roles went to women in their 20s and 30s, just 13 percent went to women in the 40s, according to the 2012 report “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World.”

“Attitudes toward women, gender and age are deeply embedded,” said Lauzen. “These are very stable attitudes that take a long time to evolve, but with steady and continued success our culture will be moved.”

Sinead O’Connor,Apple, The end of live classical music,Kevin Hart,SMF, Just Sayin for Tues,April 24,2012


“Scene-Stealer”

An actor who draws attention from or overshadows other actors in the same production, as by charm or quality of performance.

Last year it was Melissa McCarthy in” Bridesmaids” and this year it Is Kevin Hart in “Act like a Lady,Think Like a Man.  In Bridesmaids she was the one you watched, you knew she would do or say something off the wall.    Kevin Hart elevates “Act like a Lady,Think Like a Man” from cute sitcom to an extremely funny movie.   His rapid fire delivery is reminiscent of Chris Tucker with more depth.  Act like a Lady isn’t a chick flick, its a movie women and men will enjoy. Note its not a date movie,subject matter could lead to unwanted conversations.(you know!)

Virgin America @ Sac International?

Kudos, to Sac country for Terminal B, it exceeded the expectations of most locals and it impresses travelers from out of town.   Eastbound non stop flights out of Sac International beyond Denver is challenging .     With the clouds slowly clearing for the airline industry.  SFO International  is adding more International flights and Oakland is growing domestically, the airport has recently become the west coast hub  for the discount carrier Allegiant.    Sacramento recently announced they where in negotiations with Virgin America  Airlines.. This relatively new airline flys to Florida, Boston, Philadelphia ,Chicago and other cities….However, if the county is successful they would fly from Sac to La (What da)!

With the absence of the old decrepid old Host Hotel at the airport a new hotel is needed, lets hope the new hotel will compliment the grander of the new terminal and not a Motel 6

Are you planing to buy a PC in the next year?

If the answer is no, your not alone.   Your seeing fewer laptops at the airports.  For many Smartphones have replaced the laptop. It is projected worldwide  sales of smart phones will exceed PC sales by next yea. .  More app are being written for smartphones then traditional software.

Facebook recently, bought the photo sharing company Instagram for a cool billion dollars..  The San Francisco based copy is eighteen months old and has 10 million users.  Using Facebook on I-phones and Androids is cumbersome and some Instagram will play in important role in making Facebook more user friendly.

A word on the attempts to Build a Downtown Arena

ENOUGH!

Sinead O’ Conner Cancels North American Tour on Twitter

Not Sure if Sactown was on her schedule…. Sinead O Conner remember this song…….

Citing doctor’s orders, in her struggle with bipolar disorder. After tweeting a farewell to her fans, the singer closed her Twitter account and erased her website. “This account will close tonight for reasons of wishing to be out of limelight and showbiz,” she wrote. “All [are] bad triggers for a woman with a mental illness.”

Sactowns Philharmonic could fade soon

Sacramento is more than a city with a professional basket ball team.  Nearly a half million people live here with varied interests.  As the city squanders hundreds of millions of tax dollars to  build an A****.    An public institution that employes Sacramenticans and benefits another segment or  is quickly fading.  The Sacramento Philharmonic,  if the orchestra doesn’t raise 150,ooo by may first.   Apparently the Philharmonic isn’t worty of local media attention $150,000.

The Yeah Right, We dont Care Section

Stunning actress S ofia Vergara looks so good for her 39 years, she was refused entry to the Ava Lounge at the Dream Midtown(NY) hotel because she didn’t have ID to prove she was over 21. Yeah Right!

 

In a new unauthorized bio about Simon Cowell, a woman said she and Simon had sex 18 times one night. Yeah right!  bark like a dog Simon?   Simon fetch….

The Kardashiaians will have a reality show in Europe.  Kim is dating Kanye West.  Kourtney Kardashian is preggers. Khloe hates Dallas cant wait to return to La.  Who Friggin Cares!

 

This is not a picture of Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson. Who Cares?

Just Sayin For Tuesday April 24.2012