We spent an hour listening to today’s episode of Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing so you don’t have to.
Disclaimer: All quotes from Thom Yorke were spoken in a British accent. We advise the use of your imagination.
- Alec Baldwin asks listeners: “What’s in your wallet?” (A whopping $2, Al, what’s in yours?)
- Radiohead Read More
Saturday Night Live
We knew this weekend’s Saturday Night Live would be good–Justin Timberlake being to the variety show what fruit and sprinkles are to plain frozen yogurt … just something that you know will make the whole supposed treat actually delicious–but did we know it was going to be history-making? Probably not. From Lorne Michaels lifting the Chevy Chase ban to the Jay-Z duet, the return of Stefon, Andy Samberg AND the classic Festrunk brothers, Mr. Timberlake proved once again he’s the consummate entertainer: a song-and-dance man who also can also land a punchline.
Which is more than we can say for the majority of guest hosts this year. Below, the five best moments from this weekend’s show, along with our favorites.
“We’re pedaling as fast as we can,” the New York Philharmonic’s still-newish executive director Matthew VanBesien told the Transom with a laugh, when asked how things had been going since he took over from Zarin Mehta last summer. “There’s a lot to do.”
It was a brutally cold January morning, and Mr. VanBesien and his Read More
The Eight-Day Week
Lifetime achievement awards usually go to those who are, well, fairly far along in a lengthy lifetime of achievements. Not that he hasn’t done a lot in his career, but should we be worried about Hugh Jackman’s health?
Stephen Baldwin was arrested on Thursday for alleged repeated failures to file his New York state personal income tax. Mr. Baldwin, an actor, conservative Christian and younger brother to 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin, allegedly failed to file taxes for three years–2008 through 2010–and he may owe the state over $350,000.
CBS New York quoted a statement from Rockland County, N.Y., D.A. Thomas Zugibe, who said Mr. Baldwin’s “repetitive failure to file returns and pay taxes over a period of several years” was just another element contributing to “the sweeping cutbacks and closures in local government and schools.”
Alec Baldwin’s 30 Rock character, Jack Donaghy, was revealed in a 2010 episode to have recorded every word of the English language onto a university linguistics department website in order to preserve American diction for future generations.
And, though he hasn’t yet been named a General Electric executive, Mr. Baldwin’s putting the show’s surrealist plots into action.
Tony Bennett’s wasn’t the only gala dinner in Manhattan last Thursday, but that’s where Shindigger was, arriving at Cipriani 42nd Street for cocktail hour, just in time to catch a glimpse of Alec Baldwin. “Oh my God, he’s lost so much weight—I didn’t even recognize him!” we heard one guest whisper to another, eyeing the star who would kick off 30 Rock’s final season later that night. Mr. Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria Thomas, flaunted her Hebrew for the night’s honoree, entertainment lawyer Allen Grubman, before the couple headed off to the Norman Mailer Center benefit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Mr. Bennett, whose nonprofit Exploring the Arts operates in New York public schools, apparently lacked Ms. Thomas’s linguistic talent. Or so we learned when we asked the 86-year-old crooner, whose third Duets album pairs him with the likes of Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan, about his Spanish. “No habla Español,” answered his 46-year-old wife, co-host and translator, Susan Benedetto. We changed the subject to Mr. Bennett’s next album, a recently announced full-length collaboration with Lady Gaga. “I know that she’s one of the great singers of all time, but people don’t know that,” Mr. Bennett explained. “They just see another, you know, big new star coming up, but she is one hell of a singer. She can improvise as great as Ella Fitzgerald.”
We stopped at the bar to take in the student artwork, alongside photographs of Mr. Bennett (himself a talented painter) with young dancers and musicians. A disembodied voice urged us to our table, where pink paintbrushes matched the flower arrangement.
A veteran press agent assesses the week in ballyhoo.
FAKE FEUD: Desperate for attention after ratings for last year’s duo of big butt (JLo) and big lips (Steven Tyler) began dropping faster than Justin Bieber’s voice, American Idol took a page from the WWE playbook and decided to stage what appeared to be a Read More
And in a shocking upset, Edward Norton beat out Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, Jonah Hill and Eva Longoria in Zynga’s first-ever celebrity competition of Words with Friends, a game that we had all previously assumed Alec Baldwin was the hands-down champion of. As it turned out, Mr. Baldwin didn’t even enter the ring, basically throwing the fight to the Fight Club actor, who won $132,500 for his charity, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.
Mr. Norton did give a shout-out to the WWF master in his acceptance speech:
Big Apple Idolatry
- Fresh off his Broadway run in Chicago, Usher will be kicking his feet up in one of those swivel pods on the third season of The Voice. He and Shakira will be taking over for Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green, who are vacating their judges’ chairs on NBC’s hit music contest. Of coorse, Usher has an ace card up his sleeve to win over any waffling young talent. It’s two words, and rhymes with Bustin Tweezer.