8 items from 2016
With voters heading to the polls in two weeks to bring a merciful end to the presidential election, perhaps taking stock of the history of the Oscars as viewed through the lens of other election years will help offer insight into this year’s race.
The Oscars were first held in 1929 to boost the industry in the wake of an election in which Herbert Hoover claimed the presidency at the end of a booming economic period. The Academy celebrated William A. Wellman’s “Wings” at that ceremony, an extravagant production that was the epitome of everything possible on the big screen at the time.
The subsequent Depression years brought character studies to the fore. “Grand Hotel,” “The Great Ziegfeld” and “Rebecca” won as Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to the highest office for 16 years. But in 1944, with the country embroiled in World War II, it was “Going My Way” — a »
- Kristopher Tapley
Donald Trump’s rise on the national stage was fueled by Twitter, letting him circumvent the mainstream media by tweeting directly to his 12.6 million followers.
By the same token, in this election year unprecedented numbers of celebrities are using the tools of internet video and social media to voice their unfiltered political leanings — which, generally speaking, have been against Trump and for Hillary Clinton.
In past election years, popular actors and musicians stumped for their favored candidates on the campaign trail. For example, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Gwyneth Paltrow and Scarlett Johansson were among those supporting Barack Obama in 2012 with in-person appearances.
That’s still the case today, but increasingly celebs have been using YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms to express their political viewpoints, either humorously or earnestly. The latest anti-Trump salvo to go viral: Kathy Griffin’s F-bomb-laced parody of the Clinton campaign’s “Mirrors” ad. The original spot shows a series of girls »
- Todd Spangler
Influential Hollywood publicist David Horowitz, who worked with the biggest names in movies, music and politics including Barbra Streisand and Bill Clinton, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles, his wife Lynn confirmed. He was 86.
Among the impressive list of talent he worked with were Woody Allen, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, and Steven Spielberg. In his later years, he worked as an Oscar strategist on numerous successful campaigns.
Horowitz began his association with Streisand starting with “Funny Girl” and continued through her films such as “Hello, Dolly!” and “What’s Up Doc?” Horowitz also worked on promoting high-profile films including “The Graduate,” “The French Connection” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
- Pat Saperstein
28 years ago today, Tom Hanks and Penny Marshall delivered us the sweet and charming story of a 12-year-old who wished to be big. It was on June 3, 1988 that Big opened in theaters. It was the film that solidified Hanks as a major Hollywood talent and earned him his first Oscar nomination. Big is also significant for being one of the earlier success stories for a female director. It was the first feature film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million at the box office. Other notable June 3 happenings in pop culture history: • 1955: Marilyn Monroe film The Seven Year Itch opened in theaters. • 1969: Star Trek, the original series, concluded on NBC. • 1983: WarGames opened in U.S. theaters, after premiering out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. • 1987: The Untouchables opened in theaters. • 1992: During his presidential campaign, Bill Clinton played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. »
- Emily Rome
ABC and Arsenio Hall are making a straight-up* play for viewer nostalgia this summer. (*See what we did there?)
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The network announced on Wednesday that it’s launching Greatest Hits — a concert-style series reliving the biggest songs of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. (Tick tock ya don’t stop!)
Hall and current country chart-topper Kelsea Ballerini will serve as hosts for the six-episode, one-hour series, premiering Thursday, June 30 at 9/8c.
According to the network, each episode will feature »
The series will feature iconic music artists and current chart-toppers performing hits from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Each episode will focus on a five-year period in time and feature duets, tributes and solo performances.
Hall was the host of the pioneering late-night series “The Arsenio Hall Show,” which ran from 1989 to 1994. The series was briefly revived in 2013 after Hall appeared on the NBC reality competition series “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Ballerini is a country-music artist whose most recent »
- Daniel Holloway
Arsenio Hall is currently suing Sinead O’Connor for libel, but 25 years ago they had a charmingly flirtatious relationship: O’Connor joked about Hall spanking her during a 1991 interview on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” He called her “a very attractive woman.” She near-whispered back that he was “gorgeous.” And then it all went to hell. Hall sued O’Connor Thursday after O’Connor wrote a Facebook post accusing him of providing Prince with drugs, and called him “Prince and Eddie Murphy‘s bitch.” She also said she had reported Hall to Carver County, Minnesota authorities investigating Prince’s April 21 death, »
- Tim Molloy
Music royalty has died. Prince, the massively influential and superlatively talented musician and personality, has died at 57. As complicated and strange as mourning a celebrity's death has become in 2016, it's especially fraught in the case of Prince, who for years fought a strangely noble war to keep his music offline. Recently, with the removal of his music from all online streaming services except Tidal, it's become nearly impossible to share his music, as a gesture of mourning or otherwise. So this is by no means a complete list of the Purple One's iconic performances, it's just the best ones that you can find. »
- Alex Heigl, @alex_heigl
8 items from 2016
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