Host/executive producer Arsenio Hall holds up his phone to show how much the digital landscape has changed since he last signed on in 1994, while onstage during “The Arsenio Hall Show” panel discussion at the CBS, Showtime and The CW portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California
*The last time Arsenio Hall hosted his talk show, the Internet wasn’t even in its toddler phase, a tweet was just a noise uttered by birds and faxing something was all the rage.
On Sept. 9, the comedian ends his 19-year absence from late night with the relaunch of “The Arsenio Hall Show,” and he’s chomping at the bit to host in a landscape with web sites and social media at his disposal – marketing tools that didn’t exist during his run from 1989-1994.
“I remember one time Debbie Gibson sent me a fax and she had drawn a picture of herself holding a microphone. And at the bottom it said, ‘Mr. Hall I would like to sing on your show.’ That was a text back then,” recalled Hall Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.
(L-R) Executive producer Neal Kendall, host/executive producer Arsenio Hall and executive producer John Ferriter speak onstage during “The Arsenio Hall Show” panel discussion at the CBS, Showtime and The CW portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills
“I remember Barbara Streisand called me once because she had a Bill Clinton question. She can tweet me now,” he said. “That’s how it was done back then – to get me on the phone, you call a guest, you call each other, you have a fax. [The digital age] has actually made it interesting and more unique. I’m excited to jump back into it.”
Below, Arsenio explains each step of his road back to late night, and the help he’s received along the way from future rivals, including an assist from his good friend Jay Leno.
Steven Spielberg (L) and Tom Hanks in Washington DC to promote ‘The Pacific,’ HBO’s 10-part miniseries (March 13, 2010) The two co-produced the project.
*A group of former military and C.I.A. officers launched a campaign to trash President Barack Obama over alleged security leaks by appearing on seven TV shows on Thursday – all to draw attention to their 22-minute video that has been viewed about 400,000 times since it posted Wednesday on YouTube, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The administration and liberal organizations quickly denounced the group, known as OPSEC, as a clone of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that helped derail the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry. The OPSEC team, however, is using Hollywood figures in the campaign against the Democratic president.
A component of OPSEC’s effort is the accusation from some Republican lawmakers that director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal were afforded access to classified details about the killing of Osama bin Laden, which is the subject of “Zero Dark Thirty,” a feature film Sony will release in December.
In the video, titled Dishonorable Disclosures, OPSEC member Fred Rustamann, a 24-year veteran of the C.I.A., complains of Obama taking credit for killing bin Laden, then he says:
“Days after the raid, Hollywood was invited into the White House so that they could receive a briefing on exactly how the raid took place, what kind of sources we had, what kind of methods we use.”
Director Kathryn Bigelow (R) accepts Best Director award for “The Hurt Locker” from presenter Barbra Streisand onstage during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood
As he speaks, Barbra Streisand is shown presenting to Bigelow the Oscar she won for directing “The Hurt Locker.” [See above photo.] More suggestively, Obama is seen speaking to a room full of Hollywood notables just as Rustamann delivers his line about a presidential briefing. The image, though, is an official White House photo taken in March 2010, of Obama speaking in the Family Theater of the White House before a screening of the HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” Sitting in the front row are Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, two of the miniseries’ executive producers. [See below photo.]
President Barack Obama delivers remarks before a screening of “The Pacific” in the Family Theater of the White House, March 11, 2010. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the two executive producers of “The Pacific”, sit in the front row. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
While using stock footage and B-roll video is a hallmark of documentary filmmaking, Spielberg and Hanks likely won’t appreciate that their likenesses are being used as a battering ram against Obama, given their support for the president. Spielberg, for example, has donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 while Hanks stars in a 17-minute video promoting the re-election of Obama.
OPSEC, military shorthand for “operational security,” is also shorthand for the full name of the group, which is Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund. The nonprofit group bills itself as nonpartisan, though some members have been involved with conservative Tea Party groups and OPSEC member Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL, ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for Congress in 2010.
Dishonorable Disclosures (scroll down to watch) begins with several well-known journalists and opinion-makers reporting on security leaks. Chris Matthews asks on MSNBC, for example, “Drip, drip, drip. What’s with all this leaking during the first year of the Obama administration?”
Beyond the video, the group’s website lays out several specific complaints of classified information they say came from the White House that, if known by terrorists, would get American military personnel injured or killed.
A sort of slideshow on the site lists 10 alleged damages as the result of leaks. “Damage #4” reads: “Obama administration gave Hollywood special access to DOD and C.I.A. details of the operation.”
The slide also contains a couple of lines from a Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times, one reading, “The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history,” and the other reading, “It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently – to the surprise of some military officers – at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero SEALs.”
View the entire video below. The portion about Hollywood begins at the 11:50 mark.
*The family of five-time Grammy winner and disco diva Donna Summer released a statement regarding her passing, as condolence messages from her colleagues in the entertainment industry continue to pour out.
“Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith,” her family said Thursday. “While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can’t express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time.”
Below, read what Quincy Jones, Nigel Lythgoe, Kelly Rowland, Nicki Minaj and more are saying about the late legend.
Barbra Streisand: I was shocked to hear about Donna. She was so vital the last time I saw her a few months ago. I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented. .. It’s so sad.
Janet Jackson: We will miss Donna Summer! She changed the world of music with her beautiful voice and incredible talent.
Erykah Badu: “… Last dance , last chance , for love” – Donna Summer/ goddess
Nicki Minaj: Wow, another legend gone. Rest in peace to the beautiful disco queen Donna Summer.
Quincy Jones: Rest in Peace dear Donna Summer. Your voice was the heartbeat and soundtrack of a decade.
Kelly Rowland: Donna Summer. Icon! Legend! Her voice! Her spirit! Rest In peace, you truly inspired me! I love you!
Nigel Lythgoe: One of my favorite singers of all time, Donna Summer, is dead. She defined dance music in the 70′s and had a wonderful voice and personality
Perez Hilton: Disco will never die! #DonnaForever!!! R.I.P. Ms. Summer!
Ryan Seacrest: I remember sitting in the front seat of my mom’s toyota while she sang Donna Summer’s “she works hard for the money” songs were just classic
Stephen Hill (President of Music and Special Programming, BET): Not her biggest hit, but a powerful song showcasing her velvet-wrapped voice….my favorite. RIP Donna Summer [Links to a video of 1977’s “I Love You”]
Adam Lambert: RIP Donna Summer. glorious disco Goddess.
Melanie Amaro: #RIP Donna Summer
Kylie Minogue: One of my earliest musical inspirations, RIP Donna Summer #BadGirlsForEver #TootTootHeyBeepBeep RIP Donna Summer
Gloria Estefan: Few singers have impacted music & the world like Donna Summer!It’s the end of an era.Peace& prayers 2 all who loved her
Dolly Parton: “I can’t believe we’ve lost another wonderful singer. Donna, like Whitney, had one of the greatest voices ever. I loved her records. She was the disco queen, and will remain so. I knew her and found her to be one of the most likable and fun people ever. She will be missed and remembered.”
Gloria Gaynor: “I am deeply saddened personally for the loss of my dear friend Donna Summer. She and I have been friends for a very long time, we were both known as the ‘Queen of Disco,” but Donna always referred to me as the “First Lady of Disco.” A fine lady and human being she was. She will be missed dearly by her colleagues, friends and family. She notonly made her mark in my heart as well as others, but she forever changed the way of how America danced and enjoyed themselves. She may have had her ‘Last Dance’ here on earth, but ‘Heaven Knows’ it is dancing with joy for her arrival.”
Garry Shandling: When I was starting I toured frequently with Donna Summer as her opening act, I’ll never forget the sheer power of her voice or her kindness
President Barack Obama steps off Air Force One May 10, 2012 upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles.
*With the tailwinds of a fresh same-sex marriage endorsement at his back, President Barack Obama flew into Los Angeles on Thursday to attend a star-studded fundraiser hosted by George Clooney.
Chef Wolfgang Puck fed the roughly 150 guests, including Barbara Streisand and her husband James Brolin, Billy Crystal, Selma Hayak and Robert Downey Jr. The event, held under a stretched transparent tent outside Clooney’s sprawling tudor-styled canyon home, raised nearly $15 million, a record for a single fundraiser.
The guests paid $40,000 to attend, accounting for about $6 million of the evening’s financial haul for Obama’s campaign and the Democratic Party. The remainder came from a raffle for small dollar donors. Two winners — both women — got to take part in the dinner and, even though Clooney was the host, they brought their husbands.
The presidential SUV is seen outside of the house of actor George Clooney May 10, 2012 in Studio City, California.
According to the AP, Obama didn’t even need to mention gay marriage to get a vigorous applause. “Obviously,” the president said obliquely, “yesterday we made some news.”
After a round of applause, Obama continued: “But the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be. It grew directly out of this difference in visions. Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly and is that going to make us stronger. Are we welcoming to immigrants? Are we welcoming to people who aren’t like us, does that make us stronger? I believe it does. So that’s what’s at stake.”
He also told the crowd that his iconic Hope poster from the 2008 campaign was derived from a photograph of him sitting next to Clooney when Obama was a U.S. senator. Clooney had been in Washington advocating on behalf of Darfur.
“This is the first time that George Clooney has ever been photo-shopped out of a picture,” Obama said. “Never happened before, never happen again.”
In fact, the artist who created the poster, Shepard Fairey, used another photograph of Obama but said he relied on the Obama-Clooney picture to avoid a copyright infringement case with The Associated Press. He pleaded guilty in February to criminal contempt for fabricating and destroying evidence.
“We raised a lot of money because people love George,” Obama said. “They like me; they love George.”
Then seriously, he added: “He seems to occupy a constant state of grace, and uses his extraordinary talents on behalf of something truly important.”
Puck’s dinner menu included an artichoke salad followed by roasted duckling “Peking style” with tiny buns, a duo of lamb and beef cheek with potatoes and Brussels sprouts, and sweet corn tortelloni.
Also attending the dinner were actors Jack Black and Tobey Maguire, who shared a table with Clooney and Clooney’s girlfriend Stacey Kiebler.
People cheer and wave flags as President Barack Obama's motorcade drives by in Los Angeles, California May 10, 2012.
Heading to Clooney’s house, along the exclusive canyon roads, families gathered at dinner time to gawk, wave and cheer the presidential motorcade. Children manned a lemonade stand with a sign: “Presidents drink free.”
Around the corner, a boy held up another hand-drawn piece of cardboard: “Will trade Lakers for Bulls if you stop.”
And yet one more: “Our gay family says thanks Mr. President.”
*If you’re fien’in for another big screen appearance from Beyonce it looks like you’re about to get your wish.
News reports say that the queen of pop looks to be teaming with Russell Crowe for a remake of the 1937 classic “A Star is Born.”
The original 1937 version starred Fredric March and Janet Gaynor as an aging Hollywood actor and the bright young ingenue he takes under his wing. It was remade in 1954 with James Mason and Judy Garland. The 1976 version featured Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristoffersson and a storyline that was moved to the record industry from the film world.
Reportedly Nick Cassavettes is on board to direct and the film will supposedly feature appearances by Alicia Keys and Rihanna.
The latest overhaul apparently casts Crowe as a down-on-his-luck musician who embarks on an affair with a rising young singer.
Also it’s worth noting that a Beyonce/Crowe pairing would serve as the most visible onscreen interracial romance since Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston’s love affair in “The Bodyguard” in 1992.
At EUR press time there was no word on when production would begin.