<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - TV, movies, music and celebrity news]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/entertainment-news http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usTue, 30 Aug 2016 19:13:35 -0700Tue, 30 Aug 2016 19:13:35 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Gomez Cancels Tour Dates As She Battles Depression]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 14:30:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/selena+gomez+gq.jpg

Selena Gomez is taking time off from her "Revival" world tour as she battles anxiety, depression and panic attacks following her Lupus diagnosis, which she made public in 2015.

"As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways," Gomez told People Magazine. "I've discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges."

"I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best. 

The singer was scheduled to perform in Canada in September before heading to Finland and Sweden in October, according to her tour schedule. It's unclear if those shows are going to be rescheduled and how much of her tour is going to be impacted.  The tour is currently scheduled to run through Dec. 18 and conclude in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for NARAS]]>
<![CDATA[Video Captures Solo Reaction As She Learns of Suspension]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:41:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-579179042.jpg

The cameras were rolling when Hope Solo first heard of her six-month suspension from USA soccer... and it wasn't pretty.

"Seventeen f------ years and it's over," Solo screamed upon hearing the news.

The soccer star was being filmed by a documentary crew when she learned of the decision to suspend her for comments she made following the U.S. team's loss in the Olympics to Sweden, calling the team "a bunch of cowards."

"Six months suspension," Solo said, hugging her husband, former NFL player Jeremy Stevens. "No pay. Terminated contract. Effective immediately."

Solo was being recorded for the Fullscreen documentary, "Keeping Score," which has chronicled her journey, along with teammates Crystal Dunne and Megan Rapino as they journeyed to and from the Rio for the Olympics games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Rodney Harrison Slams Kaepernick as 'Not Black']]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 12:30:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/harrisonKapernick.jpg

Of all the criticism 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick has received for his public stance against the National Anthem in recent days, perhaps the strangest came from NBC football analyst Rodney Harrison, who said during a radio interview Tuesday the biracial QB wasn't qualified to speak on issues affecting African-Americans.

"I tell you this, I’m a black man. And Colin Kaepernick, he’s not black. He cannot understand what I face and what other young black men and black people face, or people of color face, on a every single (day) basis," Harrison said during an interview with a local sport talk show in Houston

"I’m not saying that he has to be black," he said. "I said his heart is in the right place, but even with what he’s doing, he still doesn’t understand that we face as a black man or people of color, that’s what I’m saying."

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Harrison's remarks drew swift criticism across social media, including several posts from ESPN host Sage Steele, who slammed Harrison's remarks as a "racist, ignorant double standard."

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Steele, who is biracial and has three biracial children, has spoken previously about the challenges she's faced being a woman of mixed heritage. 

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"I’m experiencing stereotypes even to this day, from both sides," Steele said during an interview with The Huffington Post. "Sometimes it’s even tougher — and the words and comments are uglier — from black people … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called a sellout for marrying a white man and for having kids that look white."

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Harrison later apologized, saying he didn't realize Kaepernick was biracial.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Superwoman: Graf Makes 'American Ninja Warrior' History]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 10:59:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-ninja595016118sm.jpg

That's no Supergirl...more like Superwoman.

Jessie Graf amazed audiences Monday night when she made history becoming the first woman to compete the grueling stage 1 obstacle course on "American Ninja Warrior" during the national finals in Las Vegas.

Graf successfully navigated the course that includes the "Log Grip", "Propeller Bar", "Jumping Spider" and "Warped Wall" and hit the buzzer with 12 seconds to spare, placing fourth on the night.

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The 32-year-old who works as a stuntwoman for the CW's "Supergirl" told USA Today her previous experience competing on the show helped her better prepare for success during this current campaign.

"My first year doing Ninja Warrior, I didn’t really know what it was about. After that, when so many people were like, 'I didn’t know women could do that,' I thought, 'Then, we better show you," she said. "The main thing is just testing my limits, seeing how much you can do. Seeing how much you’re capable of."

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Chris Brown Faces Assault Charge]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:29:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ChrisBrown-AP_794273932217.jpg

Chris Brown was being taken to LAPD headquarters where he will be arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, following an hours-long standoff between the singer and officers at his Los Angeles home, police said.

Officers responded to the property northwest of Los Angeles around 3 a.m. following a 911 call from a woman requesting help.

The woman who made the call from outside the Tarzana residence told authorities Brown pointed a gun at her, NBC News reported.

Earlier Tuesday, police said several people were in the home, including Brown, who was posting videos on Instagram in which he described the police response. 

Brown's attorney Mark Geragos did not immediately return a call for comment. The attorney arrived at Brown's mansion early Tuesday afternoon, parking near a fleet of exotic cars that included three Lamborghinis.

"Right now, we still have to determine what actually occurred," said Lt. Chris Ramirez, adding that police had not interviewed the woman or witnesses as of late Tuesday morning.

Aerial video showed law enforcement positioned around the sprawling property and several police vehicles at the residence. 

The LAPD's robbery-homicide division, which typically handles high-profile cases and those involving celebrities, was assigned to the investigation.

Brown moved into the Tarzana mansion about a year ago. Police have responded to the location before, including for a home invasion robbery and a report that Brown and others were illegally riding ATVs on a neighbor's property.

Brown was the subject of a domestic abuse report involving former girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. He completed five years of felony probation last year after pleading guilty to felony assault in the February 2009 attack.

Earlier this year, authorities in Las Vegas announced Brown would not be charged with a crime after a woman reported a New Year's weekend confrontation in a hotel room. Police said the woman complained that Brown hit her and took her cellphone when she tried to snap his photo during a private party, an account his publicist described as a fabrication.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A mistake was made this morning, and a photo of Kid Ink was inadvertently used in an article about police responding to the home of Chris Brown. This mistake was replicated in some of our tweets about the story. As soon as the error was identified, it was corrected. We sincerely apologize for the error.

Photo Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Top Entertainment: Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:46:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_660964962993-kardash.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:13:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Tonight Show' 'Free Fallin' by Tom Petty]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 08:46:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s3e190_522_firstdraftsofrock_20160829_1200x675_754114115527.jpg First Drafts of Rock takes a look at the original version of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" entitled "Free Horses" with Kevin Bacon. ]]> <![CDATA['Late Night': A Closer Look at Trump and Clinton Debate Prep]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 03:48:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e150_410_closerlook_20160829_1200x675_754111043892.jpg The X-factor for this general election season is the debate, host Seth Meyers concludes. And with the first debating nearing, Meyers looks at how both candidates are calling each other racists and bigots.]]> <![CDATA['Late Night': An Interview with Donald Trump's Doctor]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 23:21:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e150_410_trumpdoctor_20160829_1200x675_754112067696.jpg Host Seth Meyers reevaluates Donald Trump's doctor and his claim that Trump is completely healthy.]]> <![CDATA['Tonight Show': Picture This, Bill Clinton, Melania Trump]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 23:16:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s3e190_522_picturethis_20160829_1200x675_754111043628.jpg Host Jimmy Fallon compares duplicate Instagram captions before revealing the very different images each account was captioning.]]> <![CDATA[Gene Wilder: A Manic Comic Genius]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 04:02:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GeneWilder-WillyWonkaChocolateFactory-1971-WarnerBros-sm.jpg

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman, but his stage name proved to be a well-chosen moniker.

The comic actor, in his greatest roles, earned via all-out commitment dangerous laughs by portraying the wild mood shifts of a man perpetually on the verge of a breakdown – and explosion.

In "The Producers," Wilder's milquetoast, blanket-toting accountant Leo Bloom transforms into a maniac who pounces on Zero Mostel's larger-than-life theatrical charlatan, Max Bialystock, punctuating each blow with a cry of "Fat! Fat! Fat!"

In "Young Frankenstein," Wilder's medical-school-professor-turned-mad-scientist, Frederick Frankenstein ("that's Franken-SHTEEN!"), goes gently into a cell to calm the hulking monster he wrought – only to frantically rescind his instructions not to be set free under any circumstances. "What's the matter with you people?" he screams. "I was joking!"

In "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Wilder's dancing, singing mood-swing in a top hat turns viciously on Golden Ticket recipient Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe, delaying the ostensible kiddie film's happy ending. "You get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!" Wonka rages.

Wilder, who died Sunday at age 83, produced a gamut of emotions for comic effect with an ability that exceeded even the purest of imaginations. While his manic, unpredictable characters changed from second to second, you could count on Gene Wilder, at his best, to give performances guaranteed to last forever in the collective pop cultural memory. 

During his 1960s to 1980s hey-day, he imbued his greatest screen creations, however varied, with an exasperated Everyman quality. That held true for Wilder’s washed-up gunslinger battling the bottle in Mel Brook’s "Blazing Saddles” as much as for his young doctor who throws away his idyllic life to guzzle Woolite over a fetching sheep named Daisy in Woody Allen's "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask).”

But Wilder was no solo act – from Mostel to Cleavon Little to Madeline Kahn to Teri Garr to even Daisy, he rarely stole a scene alone. He struck his greatest comic chemistry with Richard Pryor, producing the hits "Silver Streak" and "Stir Crazy," as well as the underrated "See No Evil, Hear No Evil."

The two seemingly very different personalities packed a common knack for pushing comedy to the edge. Case in point: The “Stir Crazy” scene in which Pryor’s and Wilder’s characters trade off meltdowns as they enter prison. Pryor’s attempted words of inspiration (“Don’t mess up – just think about our people”) can’t stop Wilder from freaking out on a guard who clubbed him: “No more hitting! Did you hear what just I said? No-more-hitting!”

Wilder's strongest behind-the-scenes collaborator, of course, was Brooks, who skillfully tapped the frizzy-haired actor’s deepest angst while directing him in "The Producers," "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein." They teamed on the script for "Young Frankenstein," which drew hilarity as much as from a spot-on parody of 1930s horror movies as from one unhinged doctor’s very 1970s identity crisis.

In the end, Wilder's Frankenstein discovers his true gift as he gleefully shares the sweet mystery of life with Garr’s Inga. Fans will be forever grateful that Wilder shared his talent for mining the mysteries of the inner life, yielding unfettered emotions that made us laugh until we cried.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects 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: Warner Bros.]]>
<![CDATA[Wilder's Nephew Releases Heartfelt Statement ]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:47:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GeneWilder-YoungFra-1974-Twentieth-sm.jpg

The nephew of legendary comedy actor and writer Gene Wilder released a heartfelt statement Monday on his 83-year-old uncle's death. Wilder died late Sunday in Stamford, Connecticut, due to complications with Alzheimer's disease.

Wilder starred in classic comedy films including "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Blazing Saddles" and "Young Frankenstein." 

"He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen," wrote his nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman. "He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones."

The letter in its entirety is included below:

It is with indescribable sadness and blues, but with spiritual gratitude for the life lived that I announce the passing of husband, parent, and universal artist Gene Wilder, at his home in Stamford Connecticut. It is almost unbearable for us to contemplate our life without him. The cause was complications from Alzheimers Disease with which he co-existed for the last three years. The choice to keep this private was his choice, in talking with us and making a decision as a family. We understand for all the emotional and physical challenges this situation presented we have been among the lucky ones—this illness-pirate, unlike in so many cases, never stole his ability to recognize those that were closest to him, nor took command of his central-gentle-life affirming core personality. It took enough, but not that.

The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity, but more so that the countless young children that would smile or call out to him “there’s Willy Wonka,” would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world.

He continued to enjoy art, music, and kissing with his leading lady of the last twenty-five years, Karen. He danced down a church aisle at a wedding as parent of the groom and ring bearer, held countless afternoon movie western marathons and delighted in the the company of beloved ones.

He is survived by Karen, Jordan, and the Webbs (Kevin, Gretchen, Tucker, Spencer), along Jordan’s wife Elizabeth. Gene's sister Corinne, predeceased him in January of this year. He was eighty-three and passed holding our hands with the same tenderness and love he exhibited as long as I can remember. As our hands clutched and he performed one last breath the music speaker, which was set to random, began to blare out one of his favorites: Ella Fitzgerald. There is a picture of he and Ella meeting at a London Bistro some years ago that are among each or cherished possessions. She was singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," as he was taken away.

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation]]>
<![CDATA[In Memoriam: Gene Wilder]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:27:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_7906260679-WilderG.jpg Take a look back at the people we've lost in 2016, including politicians, artists and other public figures.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gene Wilder Remembered: 'As Funny as They Come']]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:39:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MelBrooks-TeriGarr-GeneWilder-MartyFeldman-YoungFrankenstein-1974-sm.jpg

Gene Wilder, star of comedy classics like "Young Frankenstein," "Blazing Saddles" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," died Monday at the age of 83 from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Fans and friends of the star — including legendary comedy director Mel Brooks, who worked with Wilder on many of his films — took to social media to mourn the loss.

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
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<![CDATA[Gene Wilder: Comedy Genius of the Silver Screen]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:23:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GeneWilder-PeterBoyle-YoungFrankenstein-1974-Twentieth-sm.jpg Gene Wilder was best known for his roles in the movies "Young Frankenstein," "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "Blazing Saddles," among other classics. He died on Aug. 29, 2016. Here are a few highlights from his career.

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation]]>
<![CDATA[Marc Anthony Cries in Concert Over Juan Gabriel's Death]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 10:38:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/marc-anthony-radio-city.jpg

The death of legendary singer Juan Gabriel this weekend moved people around the world to tears - including fellow icon Marc Anthony.

Anthony grew emotional Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall while performing "Abrazame Muy Fuerte," a Gabriel hit from 2000 that Anthony covered on a 2010 album.

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"They just don't write songs like this anymore," Anthony told Billboard in 2010 of the Gabriel tune and others on his "Iconos" album.

With tears in his eyes and wiping his face repeatedly, Anthony performed Gabriel's song in front of a giant projection of the beloved Mexican singer.

Gabriel died Sunday morning. (For photos and memories of Gabriel in Spanish, click here for more from Telemundo 47).

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Photo Credit: EFE
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<![CDATA[MTV VMA Red Carpet Looks]]> Mon, 29 Aug 2016 08:55:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/vma-red-carpet-6.jpg Take a peek at stars strutting their stuff on the red carpet at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, 2016.]]> <![CDATA[Tim McGraw Surprises Newlyweds]]> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 04:01:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Tim+McGraw+serenade+wedding+main+photo+collage+CREDIT+Adrienne+Marie.jpg

A country music singer brought some star power to a local couple's downtown Philadelphia wedding this weekend, making the day even more unforgettable for the newlyweds and their guests.

David White, the father of bride, Lisa White, arranged for Tim McGraw to make a surprise visit and performance at his daughter's wedding to Paul Getz.

McGraw didn't disappoint: He stopped in at the wedding, held at Philadelphia's Vie on North Broad Street Saturday night, and performed a number of songs as excited guests captured the unexpected concert on social media.

Both newlyweds are from Delaware County.

One song McGraw performed was a special serenade for the father-daughter dance.

Photo Credit: Adrienne Marie
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<![CDATA[Bruce Springsteen Stops Concert for Marriage Proposal]]> Sun, 28 Aug 2016 07:19:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/BruceSpringsteen-AP_506149291660.jpg

Bruce Springsteen stopped his show to invite a couple on stage during his concert at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey Thursday night, “Today” reported. 

Springsteen stopped singing after he noticed something going on by the side of the stage. His guitarist, Steven Van Zandt, pointed to his ring finger, indicating the couple got engaged mid performance. 

The couple, who has been together for eight years celebrated their engagement on stage. 

“This is my girlfriend, Jill," the groom-to-be said after Springsteen handed him the mic. "We've been to a ton of shows together. This is by far the highlight of them all." 

They stayed onstage as Springsteen serenaded them to the rest of “Jersey Girl” as they slow-danced and took selfies. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA['Tonight Show': Thank You Notes for Tim Tebow, Parallel Parking]]> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 06:37:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_tjf_hlt_s3e189_521_thankyounotes_20160826_1200x675_752562755766.jpg Jimmy Fallon thanks Tim Tebow, among others, in his latest edition of his Thank You Notes.]]> <![CDATA['Tonight Show': Jessica Alba, Jeff Foxworthy Try Roomba Beer Pong]]> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 06:24:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-595427954.jpg Watch Jessica Alba and Jeff Foxworthy take their best shots at the ever-popular Roomba Beer Pong competition on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."]]> <![CDATA[Woman Shoots Down Drone Hovering Over Robert Duvall's House]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:00:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/082616+robert+duvall+Jennifer+Youngman.jpg

A Virginia woman says she shot down a drone after she spotted the device flying over her famous next door neighbor Robert Duvall's house and it veered onto her land.

Jennifer Youngman said she was cleaning two guns on her front porch in Fauquier County when she saw two men park in front of the actor's home. 

The men set up a table and began operating the drone over "The Godfather" star's property.

The device buzzed about 75 feet in the air and disturbed his cows, Youngman said. 

But when the men appeared to have lost control of the drone, Youngman took action.

“They were going a little too fast and they went over my airspace," she told The Fauquier Times, which was first to report the story. "I had my .20-gauge there, so I put two 71/2 birdshot shells in it, and there you are.”

Youngman, who said she does a lot of clay shooting, took down the drone with a single shot, she said.

The men were angry but fled when Youngman threatened to call police.

“They were kinda mad, but they knew to not come on my property,” she told the Times about the incident, which she said occurred a few weeks ago.

The Fauquier County Sheriff's Office said no one had filed a criminal complaint related to the incident. Police said they had not heard from the men with the drone.

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Courtesy of Jennifer Youngman]]>
<![CDATA[Primetime Preview I: 'The Voice' Returns, 'Timeless' Debut]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 13:02:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/preview-voice.jpg Primetime Preview I: It's The Return of 'The Voice,' Debut of 'Timeless'

Photo Credit: NBC Universal]]>
<![CDATA['Really Sad': Perry Expresses Sympathy for 'Catfish' Victim]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:58:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/463155768.jpg

Maybe a face-to-face meeting would've cleared things up.

Katy Perry is offering her sympathies to Spencer Morrill, a Tennessee man who appeared on a recent episode of the MTV series "Catfish: The TV Show," who believed he was in a six-year online relationship with the singer, reports US Weekly.

"My heart goes out to him actually, because anybody that’s been fooled like that or just, you know, people have dreams, and people live in different parts of world where not everything is always so accessible,” Perry said during an interview Tuesday on SiriusXM's "The Morning Mash Up." "We live on the coast, and we get stuff in a way that some other people don’t get, and I feel bad for him, and … I empathize."

In the Aug. 17th episode, Morrill sought help from the show’s hosts, Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, to find his online love 'Katy.' The Knoxville native never met Perry in person and the two only communicated via text, email, text and various messaging apps. He also believed they had once talked on the phone.

Sadly, the "Catfish" crew discovered the person Morrill was in fact talking to was a Canadian woman named Harriet, living in London.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Obamas: The First Couple of Pop Culture]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:43:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ObamasNordicStateDinner-AP_16135016872598.jpg

Major Hollywood depictions of White House marriages, idealized and otherwise (plenty of Kennedy-related material falls into both categories), usually track some distance from their subjects' hey-day. One prominent, unofficial exception: "Primary Colors," the thinly veiled Clinton-inspired political satire that hit theaters in 1998 during Bill Clinton's second term. 

The acclaimed 1976 TV miniseries "Eleanor and Franklin," chronicling the future first couple's kissing-cousins courtship, came more than three decades after FDR's death. 

The more recent HBO effort "John Adams" landed nearly two centuries after the second president and his beloved Abigail exchanged their last by turns witty and sweet letters addressed to "My Dearest Friend."

In keeping with our fast-paced media age, "Southside With You," a film about Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson's 1989 first date, arrives this week – five months before the couple vacates the White House. The movie isn't only an expression of the producers’ confidence in the Obamas’ appeal – it also underscores their status as history's most entertainment-media friendly president and first lady.

Barack Obama made his first late night TV comedy appearance as president with Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," and later slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon. President Obama sat between Zach Galifianakis’ two ferns and tooled around the White House grounds in a 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window Coupe with Jerry Seinfeld. 

Michelle Obama recently took a "Carpool Karaoke" ride with James Corden, belting Stevie Wonder and Beyonce tunes. She went "mom dancing" – twice  – with Fallon.

The Obamas’ entertainment-world forays reflect their recognition that it sometimes takes embracing the celebrity-obsessed culture to advance their agendas (the president’s Galifianakis appearance encouraged young people to sign up for healthcare; Michelle Obama's dance stints were in sync with her Let’s Move! fitness campaign).

History will judge whether their pop cultural ventures represent an extension of the modern-day made-for-Hollywood glamour epitomized by the Kennedys and Reagans – or a dubious sign of the times in an era when a former vice presidential candidate became a reality TV star and a former reality TV star became a major party candidate for president.

The success or failure of "Southside," which comes amid a highly partisan presidential race, could offer a hint of the Obamas' long-term position in the annals of the political-pop cultural intersection.

The film's producers, among them Obama supporter John Legend, recently upped the ante by expanding the opening run to more than 800 theaters – marking a national debut for what started out as film festival fare, The Hollywood Reporter noted this week.

The movie garnered some good advance notices at Sundance and its stars, Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter, enjoy a winning chemistry, as evidenced by their recent appearance on "The Late Show.” Sawyers showed off his uncanny Barack Obama imitation while Sumpter flexed her First Lady-like toned upper arms.

But the film's real strength is a couple who could have never known 27 years ago that their first date – a coupling they initially tried to hide from their Chicago law firm colleagues – would lead to a seemingly never-ending close-up.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects 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[Spears on Carpool Karaoke: Done With Men, Wants More Kids]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 07:47:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SPEARS_GettyImages-591604326.jpg

Britney Spears couldn't say what her song "Oops!...I Did It Again" was about during her appearance on James Corden's Carpool Karaoke on "The Late Late Show" Thursday night.

"I think it's just a song," she said.

Spears sang many of her famous hits dating back to the '90s during her ride with Corden, who harmonized and belted out the tunes while in the driver's seat.

The two sang hits from "Oops!...I Did It Again" to "Toxic" to "Baby One More Time." 

During the ride, Spears said she wanted three more children — without the baggage of a partner. 

"I think I might not ever go to men again," she said. "I think, ever do the whole men thing again anymore. I'm just done with men." 

She continued, "I don't believe in marriage anymore." 

Spears paid tribute to her first hit by sporting a gray cardigan and white oxford shirt that echoed her famous schoolgirl uniform from the music video.

Spears noted that she employs some subterfuge when staying at hotels by using aliases.

One example is "Anida Dick."

Britney's Carpool session was timed with her new album, "Glory", which officially released right before she stepped into Cordon's car.

"Glory" marks Spears' ninth studio album and the pop star released the first single off the highly anticipated body of work back in mid-July with the track "Make Me."

Spears recently spoke to E! News about the making of the album.

"It's very exciting...I've been working on this project for a year and a half now, almost two years so it really means a lot to me," she said. "It's my baby."

"It's a little melodic, a little more not so poppy," she added. "It's kind of chill. Very chill."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[‘Late Night’: Lochte Fan Interrupts Meyers]]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:36:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e149_409_lochtefan_20160825_1200x675_751513667954.jpg A Ryan Lochte fan, played by a "Late Night" staff member, interrupts host Seth Meyers to ask why the American Olympian hasn’t been a guest on the show.]]> <![CDATA[‘Late Night’: A Closer Look at Trump Going Soft]]> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 23:54:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/nbc_myr_hlt_s3e149_409_closerlook_20160825_1200x675_751516227700.jpg Donald Trump’s attempt to appeal to more voters by changing his stance on immigration is not going well for the GOP’s presidential candidate, host Seth Meyers surmises.]]> <![CDATA['Tonight Show': Barbra Streisand Duets With 'Donald Trump']]> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 08:36:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NUP_175160_0671.JPG It's no secret Barbra Streisand is #WithHer. But on the "Tonight Show" Thursday night the music icon did some bi-partisan crooning with an unlikely partner: Donald Trump.

Photo Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC]]>