<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - ]]> Copyright 2015 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 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:36:32 -0800 Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:36:32 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA["SNL" Tackles "Deflategate" Controversy]]> Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:34:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SNL_Deflategate.jpg

"Saturday Night Live" took aim at the New England Patriots "Deflategate" scandal, mocking the way the team has handled accusations it under-inflated 11 of 12 footballs used against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

In the cold open sketch, rumpled Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (Beck Bennett) held a press conference in which he denied any knowledge of the decision to allegedly deflate the footballs. Then he blamed quarterback Tom Brady (Taran Killam).

"I never really trusted the guy. Someone that good-looking and rich — well, you've seen 'American Psycho,'" Belichick grunted. "I love him like a son — just more of an estranged son that I wouldn't trust around footballs," before shoving the oblivious quarterback toward the podium.

Only Dougie Spoons (Bobby Moynihan), the Patriots' assistant equipment co-manager, defended Brady.

"This man is a legend, a hero, and one day he is going to be the father of my child!" Dougie said before spiraling into an "A Few Good Men"-inspired admission of guilt. "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!" he shouted at a reporter (Kate McKinnon).

Colin Jost and Michael Che likewise took a swipe at Belichick and the Patriots on "Weekend Update."

"Man, that Bill Belichick always has a trick up his no-sleeves," Che said. "The Patriots of course denied the cheating accusations, saying the only deflated balls they have are because of steroids."

Blake Shelton pulled double duty in his first "SNL" appearance, both hosting the show and performing as a musical guest. And while the country star admitted he felt like a fish out of water in New York, he brought plenty of his own heartland style to the Studio 8H set.

In his opening monologue, Shelton attempted a re-hash of the country-fried variety show "Hee Haw," although the "SNL" cast was slow to catch on.

"So Pete," Shelton said to cast member Pete Davidson, "I was at the saloon the other day."

"Yeah I know," Davidson said, before taking a dig at Shelton's sister.

"Dude, this isn't a roast!" an exasperated Shelton insisted.

"That's what I said to your wife when she tried to make me dinner," Davidson shot back.

Shelton, who also splits time as a coach on NBC's "The Voice," appeared in a music video alongside Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon called "Wishin' Boot." ("It's the little black boot that makes your dreams come true.")

But Shelton's guitar wasn't just tuned for satire. He played "Boys 'Round Here" from his album "Based on a True Story..." and "Neon Light" from “Bringing Back the Sunshine," his latest album.

In "Farm Hunk" — a rural version of "The Bachelor" — Iowa farmer Ryan Coles (Shelton) fielded romantic advances from a cascade of women (Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Aidy Bryant, Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones) bearing handfuls of spaghetti, a live macaw and bundles of pent-up emotional issues.

"If you're ever in New York, gimme a call and I'll shuck your corn all night long," Jones purred to him.

“SNL” returns Jan. 31 with host J. K. Simmons and musical guest D’Angelo.

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<![CDATA[Celeb Baby Boom]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 17:48:39 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/170*120/KieraKnightly_AP325553966708_2_sm.jpg See which celebrities are gearing up for parenthood in 2015.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/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[Fallon: Blake Shelton's "Whisper Challenge" Fail]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 07:53:49 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/461980302.jpg

Blake Shelton isn't up for playing games that don't require keeping score.

“The Voice” coach stopped by “The Tonight Show” Thursday ahead of his “SNL" gig this weekend, where the country crooner will double as host and musical guest.

Fallon congratulated Shelton on another “Voice” win,  encouraging the singer to stand up and take a bow as the crowd cheered him on.

“You don’t have to stand up,” said Fallon.

“Well, you don’t have to tap it down,” replied Shelton. “Why Can’t you just celebrate it with me?”

Shelton revealed the he will be singing “Neon Lights” and “Boys Around Here” during his “SNL” performance, prompting Fallon to sing the songs mimicking a country accent.

“That is not even close to how that song is sung,” Shelton joked. “I seriously can’t stand you.”

Shelton, who is known to always be down for some fun and games, begrudgingly agreed to play a new game called the whisper challenge after learning that Fallon wasn’t going to keep score.

“It’s fun,” said Fallon said. “Everyone’s having a good time. Have fun for once.”

“I just want to keep score,” complained Shelton as he put on his headphones.

The whisper challenge requires that each contestant attempts to lip-read what the other player is saying while wearing headphones blaring loud music.

Fallon had a hard time trying to say “pumpkin spice latte” without laughing, making it difficult for Shelton to lip-read.

"My pee pee's stretched out?" guessed the country star. "I swear to God, this is, what is this?"

"Stop yelling at me!" cried Fallon.

"This is the stupidest thing. Literally, I have ever been a part of in my entire career," said Shelton.

Fallon fared much better at reading Shelton’s lips when it was his turn to guess “Benedict Cumberbatch,” who Shelton apparently has never heard of.

"That doesn't even mean anything!" said a baffled Shelton who thought the Oscar winner’s name was a combination of nonsense words.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hines Ward on "Deflategate": "It's Cheating"]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 06:55:35 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Meyers+Hines+Ward+Deflategate.jpg Former NFL wide receiver Hines Ward stopped by "Late Night" Thursday and chatted with Seth Meyers about his own Super Bowl wins as well as what he really thinks about the "deflategate" scandal.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fallon's Favorite #MyTouchdownDance Vines]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 07:14:38 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Vine+Hashtags+MyTouchdownDance.png As Super Bowl XLIX approaches, Jimmy Fallon shares some of his favorite Vines with the hashtag: #MyTouchdownDance.]]> <![CDATA[Watch: Whisper Challenge with Blake Shelton]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 03:36:43 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Whisper+Challenge+with+Blake+Shelton.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Blake Shelton play a game of Whisper Challenge, where each player takes turns guessing what the other one is saying while wearing noise-canceling headphones.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DreamWorks Animation Cutting 500 Jobs]]> Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:56:31 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/106730288.jpg

DreamWorks Animation said Thursday it is reducing the number of films it produces each year from three to two and cutting 500 jobs as it tries to improve its profitability.

The company, known for animated movies such as "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda," said it is narrowing its focus to one original film and one sequel each year.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said that the company's film plans had grown too ambitious and led to inconsistent performance.

The company has struggled with a weaker-than-expected performance from some films, such as "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which contributed to a loss in its most recent quarter.

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will take a $290 million pre-tax charge in connection with the restructuring. It expects the moves will save $30 million in 2015, growing to roughly $60 million by 2017.

The job cuts represent 18 percent of its workforce. They are expected to be complete by the end of the year.

The company says some of the employees at its Redwood City facility will be offered jobs at its Southern California headquarters.

DreamWorks also announced a number of management departures, including Vice Chairman Lewis Coleman, Chief Operating Officer Mark Zoradi and Dawn Taubin, who is primarily responsible for the company's marketing activities.

Movies remaining on its slate include "Home," which is set for release in March, followed by 2016 releases of "Kung Fu Panda 3," and "Trolls." In 2017, it plans to release "Boss Baby" and "The Croods 2," followed in 2018 by "Larrikins," and "How to Train Your Dragon 3." The company said that "Captain Underpants" will be produced outside of its pipeline at a significantly lower cost.

Shares of the Glendale, California, company rose 3 percent to $22 in extended trading following the announcement.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Will Ferrell Hurls Basketball at "Cheerleader's" Head]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 19:47:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP25271001815.jpg

Will Ferrell gave a Los Angeles Lakers game an unexpected halftime show when he pegged an apparent cheerleader in the face with a basketball Wednesday, in a stunt set to become a scene in his new movie.

The comic was supposedly going for a half-court shot but wound up knocking the dancer — well, stunt woman, really — off her feet mid-routine instead, video shot courtside showed.

Security quickly descended on Ferrell and hauled him off the court at New Orleans' Smoothie King Center, where the Lakers were taking on the Pelicans.

The entire kerfuffle was part of the shoot for Ferrell's upcoming movie "Daddy's Home," which the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported he's been filming in the Big Easy since November.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Julie Brown Brings "Homecoming" Show to SF Sketchfest]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 15:31:15 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/julie-brown.jpg

Social media is all a flutter this week since “Weird Al” Yankovic announced a world tour, but you can see the queen of ’80s comedy music Saturday night as part of SF Sketchfest.

Julie Brown is bringing her successful “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Musical” to the Brava Theater, 2781 24th St., at 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24. The stage comedy is based on her hit 1984 tune, “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun.”

Turning a school shooting-related song into a full-blown musical came with its challenges, the subject matter being the main one, Brown said.

“We sort of padded the shooting on the parade float with more deaths,” she said. “It’s not like there’s one horrible moment. There are several.”

“We made it sort of an ’80s horror satire,” Brown added.
The song sees Julie’s best pal, Debbie, taking out the cheerleaders and glee club with a machine gun, done in the style of a weepy ’50s teen tune.

“The homecoming queen is played by Drew Droege. He’s just genius. So the homecoming queen is a guy playing a girl. There are so many layers of non-reality in it,” Brown said.

Brown wrote the show with Kurt Koehler who directed and cast it with clearly non-high-school-aged actors and comedians and cast herself as the lead, of course!

“I made my character the star. Her name is Julie. It’s the same as the song, as it’s kind of through my eyes, through my point of view,” Brown said. “The character is a little Valley Girl-ish.”

The Van Nuys native who belted out “Cause I’m a Blond” actually helped bring the Valley Girl character to the mainstream, thanks to her comedy albums “Goddess in Progress” and “Trapped in the Body of a White Girl,” her meta MTV show, “Just Say Julie,” and the movie she wrote, “Earth Girls Are Easy.”

That flick, with its bubbly theme song and colorful extraterrestrials, seems ripe for the stage, and Brown agrees.

“Kurt and I had been working on that, but I got a job on a show, and he started casting ‘The Middle.’ So we had to stop. It bums me out. If it was up to me, this is all I would do,” Brown said. “It is coming eventually.”

Like her contemporary, Yankovic, Brown has continued to pen and record humorous ditties. Her Madonna documentary spoof, “Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful,” has a rabid cult following, and she updated her Medusa parodies on the recent album, “Smell the Glamour.”

Brown’s debut at SF Sketchfest was last year when she reprised her starring role of Judy in a live read of Bobcat Goldthwait’s red-nose epic “Shakes the Clown.” Brown assured that her cast from “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Musical” will be more practiced than Goldthwait’s troupe was in 2014.

“We didn’t really rehearse. Bobcat didn’t give us the scripts until like the day before. Bobcat was the worst!” she laughed. “It did have that quality of we’re just up there goofing around. … That is so Bobcat’s style.”

Brown got permission from MTV to edit and release episodes of “Just Say Julie,” which are available on DVD via her website at juliebrown.com. Visit sfsketchest.com for ticket info for all their shows. The three-week festival kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 22.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Super Bowl 2015 Teasers, Commercials]]> Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:35:04 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2015-01-22+at+11.36.10+AM.png

The Super Bowl 2015 commercial madness has already begun.

Although few full commercials have been released, many companies have revealed teasers ahead of the big game. The New England Patriots are set to take on the Seattle Seahawks live from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona on Sunday, Feb. 1, airing on NBC.

Seven full commercials are available:

Victoria's Secret

Bud Light


Old Spice

Dove Men+Care

Carls Jr.



[[289776961, C]

Doritos is holding its annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, where fans will vote on which two of the 10 finalists will air on the big day. You can vote on the finalists here

Check out teasers released ahead of the Super Bowl:


Nationwide Insurance



Mercedes-Benz USA





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<![CDATA[San Jose Doc Tells History of Silicon Valley]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 13:25:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/11-19-2013-san-jose-city-hall.jpg

For the first time, San Jose has its very own feature-length documentary.

"Changing Boundaries: The History of San Jose" is opening Jan. 22 at the California Theatre, according to Silicon Valley Community Newspapers.

And how San Jose has changed.

Apricot orchards made way for Silicon Valley over a period of time. Exactly how Ohlone Indian tribes were replaced by Google and Apple at "the dawn of the 21st century" is expounded upon by "20-plus" interviews, according to filmmakers.

Director/producer Tricia Creason-Valencia's film is narrated by actor Daniel Wilson, a local favorite who replaced actor Peter Coyote, who pulled out due to illness.

Tickets are $25 for the first screening. Click here for info.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA["Saved by the Bell" Actor Pleads Not Guilty]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 09:49:34 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Dustin_Diamond_mugshot1.png

The actor who played Screech in the 1990s TV show "Saved by the Bell" has pleaded not guilty to charges resulting from a bar fight in southeastern Wisconsin.

Dustin Diamond and his fiancee, Amanda Schutz (SHUTS), appeared in Ozaukee County Circuit Court Thursday morning on charges stemming from Christmas Day scuffle at a bar in Port Washington.

Diamond is accused of stabbing a man at the bar after Schutz became involved in an altercation. The man who was stabbed told police he had shoved Diamond forcefully and didn't realize he had been cut until later.

The 38-year-old Diamond entered the not guilty pleas to second-degree reckless endangering safety, a felony, and two misdemeanors. Schutz entered the same plea to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

Diamond has been free on bond. The judge set a $500 signature bond for Schutz.

<![CDATA[How They Reported It: The State of the Union]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:40:50 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Meyers+SOTU+How+They+Reported+It.png The State of the Union is a big event and almost every news outlet had something to say about it. Seth Meyers reads out some of his favorite headlines in a new segment called "How they reported it."]]> <![CDATA[Lip Flip: Jennifer Aniston Interviews Herself]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:38:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/461917012.jpg

Jennifer Aniston may have revealed what team she is rooting for during the Super Bowl.

The “Friends” actress stopped by “The Tonight Show” Wednesday to promote her latest project, “Cake,” and learned that Jimmy Fallon is “a little jealous” that Aniston vacations with "the other Jimmy” — Kimmel that is.

“I’d be fun on vacation, I can go,” said Fallon. “I have a one piece bathing suit and everything.”

Fallon assumed that he was missing out on a “raging” good time and was shocked to learn that Aniston’s guests, which include radio shock-jock Howard Stern, sit around and do arts and crafts.

“Howard is painting beautiful landscapes these days,” the Golden Globe winner revealed. “And Jimmy takes pictures off the internet and draws them.”

“I can draw too,” said Fallon. “I don’t even need the Internet, I have an imagination.”

The “Tonight Show” host praised Aniston for her performance in the critically acclaimed “Cake,” which features a makeup-free Jennifer as a woman struggling with chronic pain, an addiction to prescription pills and the death of a member of her support group.

After joking that she has always wanted to interview herself, Fallon suggested they should play a game of “Lip Flip," during which they did impressions of Billy Bob Thornton in “Sling Blade” and ended up in a heated debate about whether the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks will win the Super Bowl.

“Yo Jen! Who do you want to win the Super Bowl?” “Fallon” asked as the Actress' mouth was superimposed over the host with the help of CGI techonology.

“I’m going with the Pats all the way bro,” said “Aniston” as Fallon spoke with a very thick Boston accent. “Who are you rooting for?”

"Seattle, dude,” the Cake star replied as she mocked the host. "We got all the weed, man. We got the Starbucks, we got the Space Needle…Oh hey! Did I said we got the weed?"

The interview quickly turned into a split-screen back-and-forth debate where each person tried to come up with popular things associated with their respective chosen cities.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Mets Bucket Hat Guy Word Challenge]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 03:18:14 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Mets+Bucket+Hat+Guy.png Jimmy Fallon faces off against the Mets Bucket Hat Guy in a bizarre word-association challenge.]]> <![CDATA[Watch: "Lip Flip" With Jennifer Aniston]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 06:09:24 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Lip+Flip+Jennifer+Aniston.jpg Jennifer Aniston expresses an interest in interviewing herself, so she and Jimmy Fallon swaps mouths and end up in a debate over who will win the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots or Seattle Seahawks.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bradley Cooper Visits Soldiers]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:43:20 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cooper4.JPG

"American Sniper" star and Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper paid a surprise visit to military members and hospital patients in San Antonio.

Cooper stopped by Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Jan. 14 to meet the service men and women.

About 260 service members and staff got to preview Cooper's new movie, in which he portrays North Texas military sniper Chris Kyle.

The film is based on the life of Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history and a U.S. Navy SEAL.

While the movie was playing in the auditorium of the hospital, Cooper visited patients, staff and soldiers in the Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center Rehabilitation Gym. He signed movie posters and t-shirts for them.

Cooper was joined by Chris Kyle's father, Wayne, and two veterans who were also in the movie.

A Marine tearfully thanked Cooper for his portrayal of Kyle.

CLICK HERE to see photos of Cooper's visit on the Brooke Army Medical Center's Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Brooke Army Medical Center, Robert Shields, photographer]]>
<![CDATA["Why?" Ellen Asks Yosemite Free Climbers]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:03:00 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/ellen28.jpg

In their first sit-down interview after becoming the first pair to climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan using only their hands and feet, the pair of free climbers sat down with host Ellen DeGeneres to talk about their unprecedented achievement.

But first, DeGeneres had a question for Kevin Jorgeson, 30, of Santa Rosa, California, and Tommy Caldwell, 36, of Estes Park, Colorado.

"I, like the entire world was watching you trying to accomplish it, and I just thought...'Why'?" she asked straight-faced.

Caldwell had a ready quip: "I think I gotta quote Johnny Cash. 'If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough.' " (Editor's note: It's actually a line from a song by Roger Alan Wade)

Then, speaking in a strong voice - a change from after he lost it after the 19-day climb that ended on Jan. 14 - Caldwell said that he grew up climbing with his father, a mountain guide who was also his mentor.

For Jorgeson, too, climbing has long been a part of him. In an earlier interview with NBC Bay Area, his mother, Gaelena Jorgeson, said her son never liked team sports, but became entranced when she took him to a climbing gym when he was 11. She described his movements as ballerina-like, when he climbs a wall, putting his entire body into the solo sport.

The two shared with DeGeneres how they woke up leisurely in the mornings, drinking coffee and watching the sun rise. And then they put their most intense climbing efforts - using no gear except to catch them when they slipped - into nighttime climbing to maximize on the cooler weather.

They also divulged what they did on New Year's: Watching Netflix and drinking "just a bit of whiskey," Jorgeson said.

Caldwell then downplayed any real danger, like when ice chunks whizzed by his head while he was gripping the Dawn Wall with his battered fingers, when DeGeneres asked him what was his scariest moment.

And then she summed up what probably most land-loving mortal have to say about their free climb:

"There's nothing about this that wasn't super dangerous," DeGeneres said with a laugh.

Photo Credit: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros
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<![CDATA[Wrestler Consoles Crying Fan at Match]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 01:18:16 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP100328043649.jpg

It turns out even professional wrestlers have hearts.

WWE star Triple H consoled a crying fan at a Monday Night Raw show in Dallas, according to a wrestling fan at the match.

“The kid was sitting in a seat in front, and during the final match he went up to the wall,” Chris Olds explained. “Triple H turn and look at him, and the kid was crying.”

But the wrestler, whose real name is Paul Levesque, decided to console the fan despite his rough and tough demeanor in the ring, according to Olds.

“Triple H stood up and gave him a hug, talked into his ear and patted him on the head,” Olds said. The kid also received a bandana, shirts and even got to go backstage.

Triple H is not only a wrestler, but also doubles as Executive Vice President of the WWE.

You can check out Olds' photos of the interaction below.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Lauren Graham on "Gilmore Girls" Cancellation]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:41:44 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Lauren+Graham.jpg Lauren Graham stoped by "Late Night" to chat with Seth Meyers about wrapping up production on the show “Parenthood" and how she found out "Gilmore Girls" was cancelled.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Inflatable Flip Cup with Keri Russell]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:27:09 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Keri+Russell.jpg Jimmy Fallon takes on first-timer Keri Russell in a game of flip cup while wearing inflatable fat suits.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Pros and Cons of the State of the Union ]]> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 08:38:39 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Pros+and+Cons+SOTU.png In honor of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evening, Jimmy Fallon weighs in on the good and bad of tuning in to hear his agenda for 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Grateful Dead Fans Mail Decorated Envelopes for Ticket Orders]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 17:14:25 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/85921011.jpg

Grateful Dead fans are going the extra mile as they try to get tickets to the band’s highly anticipated farewell anniversary performance at Soldier Field in Chicago this summer.

As the band’s traditional mail order ticketing system began Tuesday, diehard fans, also known as Dead Heads, started sending in intricately designed envelopes in hopes of scoring a ticket to the three-night event in July.

The fan art is a known tradition for Grateful Dead fans and is even the subject of a book called “Dead Letter: The Very Best Grateful Dead Fan Mail.” Thousands of works have also been documented on the Grateful Dead Archive Online website.

Some envelopes from the latest round of mail orders have been posted by fans on social media with the hashtag #Dead50.

The four living members of the Grateful Dead announced last week plans for a celebratory performance at Soldier Field for the band’s 50th anniversary, a star-studded show that is set to be the original members' “last-ever performance together.”

The “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” performance will see Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir reunite at Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the band’s final performance, which took place at the venue roughly one month before Jerry Garcia’s death in August 1995.

The three-night event is scheduled for July 3-5 with each night seeing two sets of music.

The band will be joined by Phish's Trey Anastasio on guitar, Jeff Chimenti on keyboard and Bruce Hornsby on piano.

Tickets will be available via the first come first serve mail order system beginning Jan. 20, followed by an online pre-sale through Dead Online Ticketing Feb. 12 and will open to the general public Feb. 14 on Ticketmaster, according to dead50.net.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[ "Vieira": Paula Deen Talks Racial Discrimination Lawsuit]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:59:12 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NUP_167066_0339.JPG Paula Deen sits down with Meredith Vieira to discuss her comeback and how she coped during her racial discrimination lawsuit.

Photo Credit: Paul Zimmerman/NBC]]>
<![CDATA["American Sniper" Labeled as "Murder"]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 09:15:40 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sniper1.jpg

Not everyone is happy with the Academy Award-nominated film "American Sniper," with at least one prominent billboard in West L.A. defaced with the word "murder" and a number of high-profile Hollywood players appearing to denounce the Clint Eastwood-directed movie.

The billboard, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Bundy Drive, was tagged with the word on Sunday.

"American Sniper" stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL confirmed as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history. The film has come under fire for glorifying someone who killed for a living.

Comedian Seth Rogen compared the movie to Nazi propaganda and a German sniper killing Allied soldiers in a Quentin Tarantino movie, before backing off his critique of the movie. Rogen tweeted: "American Sniper kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing the third act of Inglorious Basterds."

The "Interview" actor later said he liked the film, tweeting: "I just said something 'kinda reminded' me of something else. I actually liked American Sniper. It just reminded me of the Tarantino scene."

The R-rated war drama shattered box office records over the holiday weekend becoming the biggest January opening on record. "American Sniper" took $105.3 million over the Martin Luther King Jr. four-day weekend, surpassing "Avatar" to become the biggest January weekend ever.

The film also delivered its director a weekend record. 84-year-old Eastwood's previous best weekend was $29.5 million for 2009's "Gran Torino." The box office haul makes "American Sniper, with six Academy Award nominations, the top grossing best-picture nominee.

A tweet from director Michael Moore was also viewed by social media followers as criticism of the film. "My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren’t heroes. And invaders r worse," Moore wrote.

The "Fahrenheit 9/11" documentarian later backtracked, saying he never directly referenced the film: "Hmm. I never tweeted 1word bout AmericanSniper/ChrisKyle. I said my uncle killed by sniper in WWII; only cowards would do that 2 him, others."

Photo Credit: @remroum]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Catchphrase with Jennifer Lopez]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 04:09:51 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Fallon+Jennifer+Lopez+Catchphrase.jpg Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lopez team up against actor Anthony Mackie and announcer Steve Higgins for a very intense game of Catchphrase.

Photo Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Cheadle on "Fake Smiling" at the Golden Globes]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:17:37 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Meyers+Don+Cheadle+Golden+Globes.jpg Don Cheadle and Seth Meyers explain why the Golden Globes is "one of the weirdest rooms in show business."

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<![CDATA[Controversial “Phantom of the Opera” Casting]]> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:25:36 -0800 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/phantom+controversy.jpg

An actor who once served jail time for endangering the welfare of a minor is Broadway’s newest “Phantom”—and there are some people who are extremely unhappy about it.

Last week, James Barbour, 48, was named to succeed actor Norm Lewis --the first black man to play the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical figure on Broadway. A stage veteran, Barbour has appeared in a number of shows before, including “Assassins,” “Urinetown” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

But in 2006, he was indicted on nine counts of engaging in criminal sexual acts, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child after activity between Barbour and a 15-year-old female fan back in 2001, following a performance of “Jane Eyre.”

Barbour would admit to a judge in 2008 that he fondled the girl in his dressing room before the final curtain call, and engaged in oral sex with her the following month in his Upper West Side apartment.

He plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, which absolved Barbour from having to register as a sex offender. He served a 60-day jail sentence and received three-years probation.

After the casting announcement, fans took to social media to express their outrage.

“The fact that James Barbour was chosen as the new Phantom makes me sick,” wrote Patricia Ferragamo, on Twitter. “There are plenty of talented actors who aren't confessed criminals.”

Aileen McKenna, a reporter and co-founder of the popular theater site The Craptacular, argued that Barbour’s casting alluded to a bigger problem.

“As a woman, I feel uncomfortable with, and alienated by this casting decision,” McKenna wrote. “It makes me wonder if this Broadway -- the one that casts men who confessed to sexual conduct with a minor -- is a Broadway that I personally want to be a part of, or financially support.”

Barbour’s defenders were equally vocal on social media.

“It’s healthy to want people to learn from their mistakes and move forward,” added Katie Lott on Facebook. “I’m sure he’ll do a fabulous job.”

Many wondered why “Phantom” casting was bringing so much controversy this time around. The actor previously appeared, post conviction, in 2008’s “A Tale of Two Cities.”

It could have something to do with the worldwide success of “Phantom” -- the longest running show on Broadway. Or it could be because the character of the Phantom obsesses over a young girl he can’t have.

“The Phantom of the Opera” defended the move, in a statement appearing on the musical’s Facebook page. “James fully accepted the responsibility of what happened 14 years ago,” they said. “While we know some will disagree, we believe James has completely honored the second chance he was given beginning 7 years ago.”

Barbour’s run begins Feb. 9.

Photo Credit: AP]]>