<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:36:04 -0800 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:36:04 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Craig Ferguson's Farewell to "Late, Late" Night]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:20:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/late+late+show.jpg

There's little doubt that David Letterman's influence is stamped, like an indelible Top 10 list, all over late night TV. The imprint of Letterman’s irreverent humor can be found in the playbooks of Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien, Chelsea Handler and Jimmy Kimmel, to name a few.

Less obvious — and less celebrated — is Letterman’s impact on Craig Ferguson, beyond giving him a shot on the Worldwide Pants-produced CBS "Late, Late Show." Ferguson, more than any current host — even O'Brien — embodies the ethos of using the 12:30 a.m. slot as a comedy laboratory, as Letterman did for 11 years on NBC before moving to CBS.

Ferguson ends his nearly decade-long run Friday night with a legacy as an under-the-radar innovator who put his own smart and fanciful mark on late, late night TV comedy.

The Scottish entertainer, best known previously to US audiences for playing the unctuous boss Mr. Wick on "The Drew Carey Show," gently mocked talk show conventions even as he embraced them.

He employed a snarky, robotic skeleton, Geoff Peterson (the quick-witted and rubber-voiced Josh Robert Thompson), as his sidekick. Ferguson’s monologues largely eschewed jokes in favor of stream-of-consciousness forays into whimsy, often involving studio audience members. He didn’t have a band — but he did have a dancing pantomime horse, a nod to his UK roots.

Ferguson’s bits — like his “Dear Aquaman” and “Michael Caine in Space” routines — provided light, goofy wee-hours fun. Always an affable interviewer, he showed some gravitas in his 2009 sit-down with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, helping the show earn a Peabody Award for deftly mixing the serious and humor. (“I think you’re crazy,” a laughing Tutu affectionately told Ferguson.)  

But Ferguson was at his best when he was at his most personal. He let the show’s cameras follow him to his 2008 swearing in as a US citizen — signaling that sometimes when he declared, “It’s a great day for America!,” he wasn’t kidding. In 2006 and 2008, he transformed his openings into touching, emotional eulogies for his father and mother.

“I pride myself on being honest when I come out and do this,” Ferguson said of his monologue approach before sharing memories of his dad in 2006.

Ferguson’s finest week — when he took the show to his hometown of Cumbernauld, a suburb of Glasgow, in 2012 — also drew on his life. Instead of renting a studio, he variously set up in a pub, at his old school and in his childhood living room, taking guests like Mila Kunis, Rashida Jones and the much-missed Michael Duncan Clarke along for the ride.

Ferguson announced he was stepping down after CBS tapped Stephen Colbert as Letterman’s replacement. “The Late, Late Show” star expressed no public animus about being passed over — this, after all, was the host who welcomed Fallon to late night by waving to him, on-air, with a Mickey Mouse glove. Fallon returned the greeting.

Perhaps it’s just as well that Ferguson didn’t get the “Late Show” gig, and move into a far more scrutinized earlier post, like Letterman, O’Brien and Fallon before him. Even in an on-demand era where time slot doesn't matter like it used to, Craig Ferguson distinguished himself as an act made for the late, late shift.

Ferguson ended most of his 2,000-plus shows with a bit called “What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Craig?” another gentle knock on TV conventions, specifically sitcoms that all-too-neatly wrap up with a lesson.

But there is a lesson — one that incoming host James Corden would be smart to heed — to be reaped from Craig Ferguson’s “Late, Late Show” stint: Be yourself, don’t be afraid to shake up the formula and search for laughs in unlikely places.


Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" Trailer]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:08:33 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/night-at-the-museum-secret-of-the-tomb-NATM3-185R_rgb.jpg "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" is in theaters December 19, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Robin Williams' Blockbuster Final Ride]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:49:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Robin-Williams-Night-at-the-Museum.jpg

“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” which opens Friday, won’t be Robin Williams’ last, posthumous movie-house outing. He provided the voice of a talking dog in next year’s sci-fi comedy, “Absolutely Anything,” and it’s possible the drama, “Boulevard,” eventually will reach an audience beyond April’s Tribeca Film Festival. 

But it’s safe to say the third “Night at the Museum” movie will mark Williams’ final, in-the-flesh appearance in a big-budget, mass-market, holiday season comedy. More significantly, the film offers an opportunity for fans to say goodbye to the comic in the same way he first greeted us nearly 40 years ago: with laughter.

Some four months after Williams took his own life, many of us are still trying to reconcile how the great comic died with the force-of-nature legacy he forged as our fastest and one of our funniest sources of humor.

From “Mork & Mindy” to his stand-up routines to his movies, Williams seemingly joked his way through his demons with a rapid-fire, multi-personality style that made him a box office star and a figure beloved by many. His lofty spot in movie comedy history never dropped, even if the final years of his career didn’t maintain the heights scaled in the likes of “Moscow on the Hudson,” “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

The “Night at the Museum” franchise, which debuted in 2006, exposed Williams to a younger audience that perhaps knew him only from his vocal acrobatics as the genie in the animated “Aladdin.” He didn’t get top billing in “Museum” flicks – neither did the late Mickey Rooney, once the most popular film star in the world, who takes his final bow in the Ben Stiller comedy.

But there’s no such thing as small parts when it comes to movie giants. Williams returns for his third and last go-around in the pivotal role of Teddy Roosevelt, another larger-than-life figure and far from a museum piece.

“Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” which caps the film comedy series, offers the promise of a bittersweet, fresh burst of humor from Williams amid the lingering sadness from his tragic demise. Check out a preview as Williams charges onto the big screen for the last time, taking us for one final ride into his manic, comic world. 

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Fox]]>
<![CDATA[A Chilling "Interview"]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:52:01 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP403927102058.jpg

If someone ever makes a movie about the possible permanent freezing out of "The Interview" from theaters amid terror threats, an appropriate title would be "The Big Chill."

Sure, the name's been used before, but it fits: Sony Pictures' decision to cancel the Christmas release of the comedy about assassinating Kim Jung-un after major exhibitors balked represents a frigid, ill wind from the North that’s destined to linger in Hollywood and beyond for years to come.

The reaction to the terror threats that uprooted the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy about the North Korean strongman presents a serious threat to filmmakers — and moviegoers.

Studios likely will steer even further away from movies that might offend — perhaps films with far more to say than escapist fluff from the affable duo who puffed their way through "Pineapple Express." Even more troubling, some moviemakers no doubt will censor themselves, knowing that edgy films risk a tepid reception from big studios, potentially impacting documentaries as much as popcorn flicks.

Left in the cold will be audiences, robbed of fare that might make them think, or in the case of "The Interview," make them laugh at the absurdity of a certain basketball-loving, dangerous dictator.

The flap, at first blush, invites comparisons to the protests against Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" in 1988 and Monty Python's "Life of Brian" in 1979. But those films, which affronted some religious sensibilities, spurred demonstrations and boycott threats — not cyber attacks or vows of widespread physical attacks on moviegoers.

"The Interview" mess is unspooling more like as an extension of the violence waged over cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad, which inspired a memorable "South Park" two-part episode in 2010 that lambasted censorship even while ultimately bowing to it. Comedy Central bleeped and obscured any references to Muhammad, helping “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker make their point. The duo, it’s worth noting, created the bawdy 2004 puppet flick “Team America: World Police,” which mercilessly mocked Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, with a minimum of controversy.

Censorship, self-imposed or otherwise, isn’t the hallmark of a democratic society. In this age of exported terror, the threats sparked by “The Interview” prompted understandable concerns, if unfortunate actions, by movie exhibitors and Sony, which now has a much bigger problem on its corporate hands than an embarrassing and potentially financially harmful computer hacking and leaking. Major filmmakers could wind up taking projects to other studios. 

Rob Lowe, who appears in “The Interview,” likened Hollywood in a tweet Wednesday to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister whose appeasement policy toward Nazi Germany proved one of the last century's major disasters. Lowe’s passion-driven hyperbole aside, Sony’s at least temporary shuttering of “The Interview” opens the door to more cranks and real terror mongers now emboldened to target movies and media they don’t like with threats.

The studio could just suck up its losses and give audiences a present by simply putting "The Interview" online on Christmas Day — foiling the film's foes and making a defiant statement in the face of intimidation. There also would be some poetic justice in Sony responding to a leak with a leak of its own.

Giving away “The Interview” would ensure a wide audience gets to see a movie that, under other circumstances, might have just faded away as another goofy comedy. Either way, "The Interview," is destined to become the symbol of an insidious chilling effect that won’t blow over anytime soon. 


Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 05:39:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[McCartney, Fallon Do Beatles Impressions]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 07:56:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/460607608.jpg Paul McCartney talks to Jimmy Fallon about Ringo Starr finally getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and what he thinks of "The Tonight Shows” host Beatles impressions.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ya Burnt!: Secret Santas, Rudolph, Santacon]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:12:06 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Ya+Burnt+Part+1.png Seth Meyers has a bone to pick with secret santas, egg nog, Santacon and more in this Holiday edition of "Late Night" Ya Burnt! ]]> <![CDATA["Tonight Show" Dictionary: Snail Mail, Prison]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:02:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Tonight+Show+Dictionary.png Jimmy Fallon takes a look at the latest definitions added to existing words in the dictionary.]]> <![CDATA[Aniston, Hart Set for First People Magazine Awards]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:14:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/aniston_722x406_2198340808.jpg

Just in time for the Holidays People and NBC are joining forces to give pop culture fans a big Hollywood A-lister-packed gift in the from of the first ever People Magazine Awards.

The two hour special event will be hosted by "America's Got Talent" emcee Nick Cannon. "It's People Magazine, the most iconic magazine of our culture," said Cannon. "To be a part of it, to be the host, I am truly excited. We're going to have fun with this."

Airing Thursday, December 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, the live show will celebrate the best in celebrity and entertainment, and feature appearances by Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Bridges, Billy Eichner, Josh Gad, Josh Groban, Diane Guerrero, Ryan Guzman, Jon Hamm, Kevin Hart, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Michael Keaton, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Messina, Chloë Grace Moretz, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Sean Hayes, Karlie Kloss, John Krasinski, Lisa Kudrow, Elisabeth Moss and Ryan Phillippe.

"Voice" coaches Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Adam Levine (with Maroon 5) are set to perform alongside Aussie pop punk band 5 Seconds of Summer. 

The Hero of the Year Award will be presented to Nora Sandigo, the legal guardian of more than 800 American children of undocumented immigrants. Should a parent be deported, Sandigo steps in to arrange care for the child or children they leave behind. In many cases she cares for them herself, temporarily.

Readers and viewers had their chance to get in on the excitement by voting for the Best People Cover of the Year. By tweeting their pick with the hashtag #PEOPLEMagazineAwards, participants got to weigh in on whether little Prince George, the wedding of Amal Alamuddin to George Clooney or Chris Hemswoth's Sexiest Man Alive cover is the best of 2014.

<![CDATA[The Final “Word” on "The Colbert Report"]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 09:14:39 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP763373860260.jpg

Stephen Colbert's scheduled guest for the final edition of "The Colbert Report" Thursday is his “colleague and lifelong friend,” known as "Grimmy” – as in the Grim Reaper.

That's a sign Colbert is ready to kill off the conservative blowhard character he embodied for the past nine years – 17 years counting the embryonic iteration that began as a "Daily Show" correspondent in 1997.

But there's nothing to be sad about: It’s time to give Colbert's bloviating alter ego a sendoff as big as his ego. Colbert, who created the character as a takeoff on Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly, pulled off the amazing feat of becoming a bigger TV icon than the figure he satirized.

From the start, Colbert's run defied and exceeded expectations. As previously noted, he set the bar high on his first show on Oct. 17, 2005, when he introduced "The Word" segment and the concept of "truthiness" – something that feels or sounds true, but might not be.

Few would have guessed that Colbert could keep up the quality, especially considering his disadvantage compared to his Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart and other late night hosts who essentially play themselves as they play off the news of the day. Colbert dug in a level deeper, reacting to the news as, well, a reactionary rather than a straight-out joke teller.

Colbert took his act on the road early on, serving up his most daring moment in 2006 when he roasted then-President Bush at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in the guise of a supporter. “I stand by this man, because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things, things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares,” Colbert said, with Bush just feet away.

Along with Stewart, Colbert blurred the lines of comedy and activism when they took to the Washington Mall for their 2010 “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear,” which wasn’t as much a parody of Glenn Brock's supposedly nonpolitical  “Restoring Honor” rally as a rebuttal.

Colbert bounded over lines when he testified – in character – before Congress in 2010 on the plight of migrant workers, and when he started his own PAC to protest the power of PACs.

But no matter what side of the Fox-MSNBC divide you sit on, it's difficult to argue with Colbert’s support of veterans, which, as previously noted, made him the Bob Hope of the era of comic irony. Colbert mounted a week of shows from Iraq in 2009, backing the troops while mocking the war through his hawk persona.

By making fun of self-styled patriots of the right, he became, in the eyes of fans, a patriot of the left whose quick-witted comedy proved his devotion to a nation worthy of his love and his parodist's critical and clever eye. Or, as he put it in the title of best-selling book, “I am America (And So Can You!)”.

Colbert's lived his shallow character so deeply, he could out-O'Reilly O'Reilly – his "Papa Bear" – in their face-to-face TV powwows. Their first meeting, in which O’Reilly suggested that just maybe some people were taking him too seriously, ended with a classic Colbert quip: “If you’re an act, then what am I?”

Colbert faces a new identity crisis as he gives up his character and replaces David Letterman on CBS's "Late Show" next year, presumably as himself. Grimmy might take away the version of Stephen Colbert that we've learned to laugh at and with over the last nine years. But we're left with stellar performer and satirist, who is ready for a new phase in which truth just might finally trump truthiness.


Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multimedia NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Vanessa Bayer's Gives Drake "Sound Advice"]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 04:10:56 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Vanessa+Bayer+Drake.jpg Vanessa Bayer talks to Seth Meyers about her webseries "Sound Advice," in which she plays a media coach who give successful people condescending career tips.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon: Christoph Waltz Explains Krampus]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:21:52 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Christoph+Waltz+Explains+Krampus.jpg Christoph Waltz and Jimmy Fallon discuss the differences between Austrian and U.S. holiday traditions, including the Elf on a Shelf and Krampus.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon and Timberlake Sing "Jumper" at Summer Camp]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:09:56 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Camp+Winnipesauke.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake are bff’s at summer camp, where they play truth or dare and sing "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Craig Wayne Boyd Wins Season 7 of "The Voice" ]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 06:12:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NUP_166041_1905.JPG

Craig Wayne Boyd was named season 7 winner of "The Voice" Tuesday night.

The victory marked the fourth "Voice" win for Team Blake over Team Adam.

Second place went to Matt McAndrew with third going to Chris Jamison. #VoiceWildcard recipient Damien Lewis came in fourth after the votes were tallied. All three runners-up hailed from Team Adam.

After struggling for more than 10 years to make it in the music industry in Nashville, winning "feels like validation that all the hard work that I put in up to this point has been worth it," Boyd told reporters during a post finale news conference. "I remember more than a year ago ... saying 'listen I may have to quit because it's not paying my bills. I'm losing my house, lost my pickup.' I didn't know what I was going to do."

Appearing on "Today" Wednesday morning a still jubilant Boyd told Matt Lauer winning "feels wonderful." Asked if his coach offered any post-win advice, Boyd revealed Shelton simply said, "Hold on tight. It's going to be a crazy ride."

Host Carson Daly kicked Tuesday's star-studded finale with some big news, the four finalists made history following Monday's showdown episode when each of their original songs made the top 10 on iTunes.

To open the live proceedings, the four contenders took to the "Voice" arena stage and performed Bastille's hit "Pompeii" alongside the season 7 top 20 finalists.

Coach Adam said there were "no secrets" regarding how his team came to furnish three of the top four competitors vying for the Universal Music recording contract and $100,000 grand prize. Ultimately his team's strength in numbers was not enough to overcome country singer Boyd's all-or-nothing style.

In the first bring back song of the evening, Texan Boyd joined DaNica Shirey, Sugar Jones and fellow Team Blake alum Taylor Brashears to deliver a rocking performance of Georgia Satelites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself."

For his bring back number Philadelphia son Jamison enlisted fellow competitors Ryan Sill, Luke Wade, Ricky Manning and Taylor Phelan to assist him in a fun rendition of Lloyd's "Dedication to My Ex."

New Jersey born music teacher Matt McAndrew formed his own supergroup with Taylor John Williams, Jones, Phelan and Mia Pfirrman to belt out the Fleetwood Mac classic "Go Your Own Way." For Marvin Gaye's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" Damien brought back 18-year-old Elyjuh Rene, Shirey and Anita Antoinette.

Ahead of the twice stolen Boyd joining Rock ’n’ roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd for a driving interpretation of the group's classic hit "Sweet Home Alabama," season 7 mentor and Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump returned to the arena with his band to partner McAndrew on a version of their hit "Centuries."

Damien teamed with Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson for a scorching hot take of her single "It's Your World," before Jamison took the stage with Jessie J. to duet on her new release "Masterpiece."

To bring the curtain down on Tuesday's performances, coaches Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Levine and Shelton took to the stage for a heartwarming and traditional rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," complete with twinkling lights and falling snow.

The star-studded finale also included performances by Ed Sheeran, Meghan Trainor, Hozier, and a collaboration by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, the latter crooner sporting a full set of curlers in his hair.

Twitter was quick to comment on Mars' new 'do.

"The Voice" returns to NBC in 2015 for season 8, featuring the return of original series coach Christina Aguilera, who will join Adam, Blake and Pharrell in the big red chairs.

Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
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<![CDATA[Probation for Chris Brown Bodyguard]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:57:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1107-hollosy.jpg

A bodyguard for singer Chris Brown has been sentenced for punching a man outside a D.C. hotel last year.

Brown's bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, was sentenced Thursday to a 90-day jail term on a misdemeanor charge of simple assault; however, the judge suspended all jail time on the condition that he successfully complete a year of probation.

Judge Patricia A. Wynn also ordered Hollosy to perform 24 hours of community service.

Both Hollosy and Brown were arrested after the incident in October 2013 outside the W Hotel near the White House.

Hollosy told police he punched the man after he tried to enter Brown's tour bus. But the man, a Greenbelt resident who was 20 at the time, said Brown and Hollosy punched him when he tried to get into a photograph with Brown.

Court papers say the man's nose was broken.

Hollosy was convicted of misdemeanor assault in April. Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in September and was sentenced to time served.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice": Greatest Moments]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:19:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Vocie+logo+cropped.jpeg Click through to see the greatest moments from "The Voice." From performances to surprise appearances, the singing reality show competition kept the audience cheering for more.]]> <![CDATA[Carlos Santana Lays Down Guitar, Authors New Book]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:52:47 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carlos+book.jpg

Even as a kid, Carlos Santana was already consumed by music. It was everywhere. First in his native Mexico, then in his adopted home of San Francisco where the sounds of jazz and rock soaked in.

His introduction to music, came via his father Jose Santana - a violinist who introduced his son to Hungarian gypsy music and Western chamber music.

The younger Santana’s first axe was actually a violin - absorbing his father’s classical music lessons. Then there was a different musical aesthetic as his father turned to the traditional music of the mariachi.

“So he would play that music in order to feed us,” Santana said in an interview this week. “He became a mariachi with the whole attire and everything.”

After taking up the guitar, Santana followed a musical path that wound through nightclubs of Tijuana and San Francisco - eventually delivering him on the stages of Woodstock and world stardom. His album "Supernatural" sold 30 million copies and picked-up three Grammy Awards.

You’d figure after that, Santana would’ve done it all. Instead, he laid down his guitar and took up the pen - authoring a new book called "The Universal Tone."

“It’s about completing a certain chapter in my life,” said Santana, sitting in the conference room of a building in Chinatown, waiting to take part in a Q & A session for the book. “Being in the present right now I feel I have completed this whole bushel of stories.”

That bushel of stories includes tales of his early days playing guitar to accompany strippers in a strip club. The tales forge through his early schooling - first in San Francisco’s James Lick Middle School and Mission High - then in the many clubs on San Francisco’s garish Broadway.

"There were so many jazz clubs around,” said Santana, “and every time you went to one you would learn a particular subject.”

The teachers providing the musical schooling during his early days were numerous; Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, BB King. As his own band began to take notice, Santana forged a friendship with promoter Bill Graham that would last until Graham’s death in a helicopter accident in 1991.

“Coming to San Francisco was really incredible in the early sixties,” Santana said, “because on the radio you could hear everything from Willie Nelson to Monk.”

"The Universal Tone" hits on the personal milestones of Santana’s life; the birth of his children; his long marriage to Deborah Santana which ended in divorce after 34 years; his deeply infused spiritual life - the many musicians who’ve made up his musical family.

“The main reason is for healing,” he said, when asked why he decided to try his hand at writing. “I think everyone on this planet needs healing.”

Even now, Santana continues to forge a musical stew of jazz, Latin and pop influences. But unlike the sixties, he doesn’t find much inspiration on the radio.

“You hear a lot of nothing,” he said. “We forgot how to listen to the sound of the clouds moving, and now all we hear is disharmony, disenchantment, fear.”

These days Santana lives in Las Vegas with his new wife, drummer Cindy Blackman - but still returns regularly to a home in Marin.

Before he’s summoned to the stage, where he’ll pepper the crowd with tales from his book, occasionally gazing upward to choose his next words, as if they’re written on the ceiling, - he ponders a question about the meaning of the book’s title, “universal tone.” Beneath a ubiquitous hat, he puts his hand to face - and allows his spiritual preacher side to take over.

“Universal tone,” he said, “is about inviting people to reconnect with their own light.”

Photo Credit: Joe Rosato Jr.
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<![CDATA[A Public Service Announcement From "50 Cent"]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 08:55:15 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Meyers+50+Cent.jpg Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson offers a public service announcement on when it is appropriate to pronounce his name, "fifty" and when you can say "fiddy."

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oprah, Jimmy Fallon Star in Soap Opera]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 07:18:03 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Oprah+Fav+Gift.jpg

Did you know Oprah Winfrey and Jimmy Fallon starred together in a soap opera in the 1980s?

Well, not really, but the "Tonight Show" host and "Selma" star pretended to be husband and wife in a 80s soap opera comedy sketch titled "Midnight Meadows." “Meadows” featured big hair, big shoulder pads, and auto-tuned voices.

Monday's episode marked the queen of audience gift giving's first “Tonight Show” appearance, appropriately on the day that Jimmy Fallon kicked off a week of audience gift giveaways.

“Are you familiar with giving things away?” asked Fallon. “Wonder where we got that idea.”

“I’m glad, because it made the audience happy,” Winfrey said. “I can see everybody so happy.”

Winfrey chatted with Fallon about her own excitement when she would surprise audience members during the famous “Favorite Things” segments, and how she “literally” could not sleep the night before the big car giveaway.

“I was so particular about it, I even thought the bows weren’t big enough,” said Winfrey.

“If you are going to get a car, you need a giant bow,” Fallon joked.

Fallon also surprised Winfrey by gifting her dogs ugly Christmas sweaters.

"They are so cute!" she gushed.

Winfrey admitted that she missed doing her show, and revealed that she used to shake everyone’s hands after the show for the first 10 years on air. One day, an OB-GYN appointment forced her to skip the meet-and-greet after a taping, but made her realize that she had more energy to tape the second show of the day.

“That's when I started to spend time with the audience instead,” she said. “Everyday, after the show, I would sit with the audience and talk for 45 minutes.”

Fallon also talked with Winfrey about her new movie “Selma,” and asked the former talk show host how she became interested in acting. Oprah revealed that when she wanted to do the movie “The Color Purple,” her bosses at “The Oprah Winfrey Show” gave her two weeks off to work on the project --  which required a two-month commitment.

“I gave up all of my vacations for the entire duration of my contract in order to do the movie,” Winfrey said. “So when it came time to negotiate my contract, my lawyer said that I would never want to be in that position again, and that I should be my own boss. That’s how I ended up owning the show.”

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jimmy Fallon & Oprah Winfrey's Vocal Effects Soap Opera]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:41:52 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Oprah+Soapopera.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Oprah Winfrey show clips from their short-lived '80s soap opera, "Midnight Meadows."

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2015 Inductees]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:32:48 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/457742206.jpg

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has released its list of inductees for next year. The class of 2015 includes: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Green Day, Lou Reed, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, and Bill Withers and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Ringo Starr will be also receive the Award For Musical Excellence. Starr — the former drummer for The Beatles — is the last of his bandmates to receive the honor from the Cleveland-based museum.

The 1950s R&B group the "5" Royales will receive the Early Influence Award as well.

The list includes many artists who have passed away. Paul Butterfield died back in 1987, Stevie Ray Vaughan died in 1990, and Lou Reed died last year.

Artists become eligible for induction into the museum 25 years after the release of their first record. Although very few bands are inducted the first year they are eligible, Green Day managed to land the honor, according to Rolling Stone.

"I had to go for a walk," the punk rock band’s frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said to Rolling Stone. "I wound up at this cafe and I sat down and my son met up with me. I told him and he was like, 'Oh my God. No way.' It just took some time to sink in. We're in incredible company and I'm still trying to make sense of this. It's just incredible."

So far, 726 acts have been inducted across 29 ceremonies, according to the museum’s website.

The 2015 induction ceremony is set to take place April 18.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon Gave Oprah Winfrey Her Favorite Gift]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 04:43:02 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Oprah+Fav+Gift.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Oprah discuss her famous "Favorite Things" audience giveaways and which one kept her up all night fretting over bows.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Recap: Season Finale Showdown]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:29:54 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NUP_166038_1060.JPG

Four singers stepped into the spotlight Monday night with the dream of becoming "The Voice."

After a last minute #VoiceWildcard save a week earlier, Damien Lewis joined final three competitors Craig Wayne Boyd, Chris Jamison and Matt McAndrew in "The Voice" arena for the season seven live showdown ahead of the star-studded finale reveal Tuesday from 9/8c on NBC.

Each singer was tasked with three performances: one song chosen by their coach, a duet with their coach, and to debut an original, previously unreleased single. All before a live studio audience of their families, friends and fellow top 20 "Voice" artists, with America watching at home.

Battling it out on the coaching panel were Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

"I got three times the firepower," coach Adam boasted during the episode intro. Adam and coach Blake kept their verbal sparring to a minimum Monday as Damien, Jamison and McAndrew (all Team Adam), and Boyd (Team Blake) laid their musical talent on the line in effort to win the Universal Music recording contract grand prize.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to get that record deal," said Damien, who got the competition started with the heartfelt "A Song For You" by Donny Hathaway, chosen for him by his coach.

Blake praised the Monroe, Louisiana native's ability to "float through a melody" but still retain the power of his voice. "It feels like a record you would make after this show," Gwen told the artist, who previously worked as a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport.

"It's so freakin' hard to sing," Blake said of his reason for never recording his original song "My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face." But Blake believed Nashville resident Boyd had the ability to "shred it."

"That song was meant for you," Blake told Boyd, who was stolen twice during the season and competed for both Team Gwen and Team Blake. "You're ripe and ready to pick," Gwen told Boyd, adding she believed he had a big future as a touring artist.

The first duet of the finals saw coach Adam and Jamison tackle the Robin Thicke falsetto-fest "Lost Without You."

University of the Arts Philadelphia alum and music teacher Matt McAndrew was looking forward to the challenge of performing an original song and not having to sing in the shadow of other singers' fame. He sang "Wasted Love," a soul-searching ballad his coach said they had been working on "24/7."

"I completely got lost in that performance," said Gwen of McAndrew's effort. Coach Adam went so far as to describe his charge's single as "one of the best songs I've ever heard in my life."

Country boys Boyd and coach Blake next took the stage for their duet of Randy Houser's driving guitar hit "Boots On."

Damien then returned to the "Voice" arena alongside his coach for a performance of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Elton John.

Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, university mailman Jamison debuted the original single "Velvet."

Shushing the cheering crowd, Pharrell told Jamison he believed "a star was born on this televison show," and watching Jamison change and grow as an artist is the reason America keeps voting him through each week

For their duet, coach Adam and McAndrew teamed for a performance of "Lost Stars" from the movie "Begin Again."

Craig Wayne Boyd dedicated his moving performance of Alabama's "In Pictures" to his two-year-old son.

Boyd's former coach Gwen said she knew had a "magic" when they worked together. His current coach descrbed the song – about the relationship between a father and a son – as a perfect statement for Boyd's life right now.

For his original single debut Damien chose the fist-pumping anthem "Soldier."

"I'm bursting with pride for all three of these guys," said Adam, adding he was the "happiest coach, win or lose."

Jamison, who professed to being shy when he started season seven, was charged by coach Adam to sing Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River." "Chris has one of the best falsettos," said Adam.

Closing out the finals was pop rocker McAndrew performing the 1939 classic  "Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz."

Gwen called the performance "beautiful," while Pharrell described McAndrew as "magical." For coach Adam it was "pure, so simply bittersweet."

Voting for "The Voice" final is open until noon eastern Tuesday, December 12, with the season seven winner set to be revealed during the star-studded "Voice" finale featuring Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Jennifer Hudson airing live from 9/8c on NBC.

Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC
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<![CDATA[WATCH: Latest "Insurgent" Trailer]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 13:07:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/I_D024_10238_R.jpg "Insurgent," starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Kate Winslet, arrives in theaters on March 20, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Prince George's Holiday Photos Released ]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 10:12:29 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP10042432684.jpg

Prince William and Kate Middleton released three official Christmas photos of their 16-month old son Prince George on Saturday.

In the images, the third-in-line to the British throne looks cheerful, wearing a navy sweater vest with Coldstream Guardsmen in bearskin hats and red tunics, over a long-sleeve white shirt, plus dark shorts. Knee-high socks and black shoes complete his adorable outfit.

The prince sports light blond hair and rosy, chubby cheeks. He was photographed last month, sitting on a flight of stairs in a courtyard at Kensington Palace in London. 

His attire prompted U.K.'s Sunday Times to call him, "Mummy's Little Soldier Prince" and The Sunday Express chimed in with "Little Prince Charming", according to The Associated Press.

The last time the royals released images of the prince was in July, just before his first birthday.

The release of new images ahead of Christmas is being seen as a "thank you" note of sorts to Britain's media, which have so far allowed George to grow up largely free from intrusions, according to AP.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have recently returned from a three-day trip to the United States. William and Kate, who is pregnant with their second child, spent most of their time in New York City, where they visited an education center, the Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The couple also attended a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as an NBA basketball game.

William also met with President Barack Obama at the White House.

Kate will not be traveling with her husband on his next official visits to Japan and China early next year as she is due in April.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Martin Freeman Mixes "The Hobbit," "The Office" on "SNL"]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 05:55:22 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Martin-Freeman-Bilbo-Office-SNL.jpg

In his first hosting appearance on "Saturday Night Live," Martin Freeman summoned his deadpan humor from "The Office" and his hobbit ears from "The Hobbit" — and that was just in one sketch.

The British actor combined the two in a clever mashup. In "The Office: Middle Earth," Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) played practical jokes on Gollum (Taran Killam) and contended with his absurd boss Gandalf (Bobby Moynihan) at the U.K.'s worst-run paper company.

"Moreso than a boss, I'm more of a chilled-out entertainer slash wizard," said a shirt-and-tie-and-wizard-hat wearing Gandalf, in a perfect facsimile of Ricky Gervais' character in the original British TV series.

Gollum, wearing a shirt collar and cuffs, fell for stunts dreamed up by Tauriel (Kate McKinnon) and Baggins.

"You don't choose the people you work with," Baggins said, as Gollum devours a raw fish.

"Oh, there's now giant spiders in the parking lot," he mused as his co-workers dashed through the office brandishing axes and swords.

In his opening monologue, Freeman poked fun at a different fellowship: British actors. "All British celebrities know each other and are friends," he said as "Harry Potter" actors Maggie Smith (McKinnon) and Alan Rickman (Killam) tiptoed onstage.

"We all live in a single mansion," wheezed Smith. "Martin and I split a bunk bed. I sleep on the tip tippy top."

The cold open featured a spoof of "Charlie Rose," as the venerable host (Killam) interviewed two psychologists (Moynihan and Kyle Mooney) who got paid $80 million to devise CIA torture tactics outlined in a recent Senate report. It turns out they moonlight devising other "methods" of more everyday torture.

"We don't want to be known as the 'rectal feeding guys,'" one says. For example: "We do all the customer service" for Time Warner Cable. "It was our idea that when you call on the phone you have to ask a robot to talk to a human."

And: "We created the concept of self-checkout. That's the beaty of it: People don't realize it's torture."

"Weekend Update" co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che kept their monologues short — although they did take aim at the Senate report on CIA torture.

"You don't need torture to get people to admit stuff," Che deadpanned. "Just get them really drunk and log them into Facebook."

Sasheer Zamata visited the "Weekend Update" desk to talk about the lack of diversity in the tech industry. Her target: emojis, the tiny graphics that double as their own smartphone hieroglyphics.

"There are over 800 emojis available on Apple products, and not one of them is of a black person," she vented to Jost. "There are two dragons, nine cat faces, [and] three generations of a white family. Even the black power fist is white."

Zamata's only option for a black emoji stand-in: A "dark moon," as Jost put it. "Yeah, that's the closest thing they have," Zamata said. "It looks like a baby Charles Barkley."

To recognize the beginning of Hanukkah on Tuesday, Che welcomed his podiatrist's son, Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy (Vanessa Bayer). Wearing his typical New York Yankees yarmulke, Jacob explained Hanukkah prayers, gave thanks for his bar mitzvah dancers (Tornado and Sky) and issued a tearful thank-you for his hero, former Yankee Derek Jeter.

British pop star Charli XCX also performed her singles "Break the Rules" and "Boom Clap," her first Billboard Top 10 hit as a solo artist.

"SNL" returns Dec. 20 with Amy Adams and musical guest One Direction.

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<![CDATA["Thank You Notes": Gingerbread Man, Rico Suave]]> Sat, 13 Dec 2014 12:11:28 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2014-12-13+at+1.40.04+PM.jpg Jimmy Fallon pens thank you notes to cardigans, holiday cards and other things.

Photo Credit: Tonight Show]]>