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'SNL' Recap: Kristin Wiig crashes Will Forte's monologue, MacGruber gets a right wing makeover

NBC/Will Heath

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Will Forte finally got his shot at hosting the long-running sketch comedy show, only to be upstaged by former cast mate Kristin Wiig.

After bemoaning that Wiig and fellow SNL alums Bill HaderAndy SambergJason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen -- and even Seth Meyers and John Mulaney -- all hosted the show at least once before he got the call, the MacGruber star joked that they "saved the best for last."

Before he could savor his "time to shine," Wiig appeared on stage, leading to a feigned argument between the two.

“Hi Will, I am so excited you’re hosting,” said Wiig, to which Forte responded, “Not a good time,” encouraging her in a not-so-subtle way to leave.

He then decided to take a question from the audience, with SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels appearing alongside actor Willem Dafoe.

“I’m so sorry, Will,” said Michaels, joking “There’s been a mistake.”

“Oh my God, this is not happening,” said Forte. “Wait, you texted me to come host, Lorne.”

“I texted Willem,” said Michaels, “and you know, autocorrect.”

Forte also brought back his MacGruber character in three vignettes -- joined by Wiig and Ryan Phillippe, his co-stars from the movie and the Peacock series -- this time with the titular character spouting right wing COVID-19 conspiracy theory-influenced takes on masks, vaccines, Ivermectin and Dr. Anthony Fauci, as well as Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Hollywood celebrities, women’s rights, cancel culture.

Måneskin were the musical guests. Dafoe hosts next week's show, with musical guest Katy Perry.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Spider-Man: No Way Home' crawls back to #1 at the box office with $14.1 million weekend

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Spider-Man: No Way Home reclaimed the top spot at the box office with an estimated $14.1 million weekend. The film also climbed into the sixth spot on the list of highest grossing movies of all time worldwide -- passing 2019's The Lion King and 2015's Jurassic World -- with $1.69 billion.

As for the rest of the weekend box office, Scream, which opened at number one a week ago, slipped to number two, earning an estimated $12.4 million. After two weeks, its total U.S. haul stands at $51.3 million, to go with $33.6 million overseas, putting its current worldwide total at $84.9 million.

Sing 2 grabbed third place with an estimated $5.7 million, bringing its total stateside haul to $128.4 million after five weeks. It's delivered $112.8 million overseas so far, bringing its worldwide total to $241.2 million, ranking it as the highest-grossing animated movie of the pandemic era, surpassing The Croods: A New Age’s $215.9 million.

Fourth place belonged to this week's only new major release, the romantic drama Redeeming Love, opening with an estimated $3.7 million. It has yet to open overseas.

Rounding out the top five was The King's Man, collecting an estimated $1.8 million in its fifth week of release. The Matthew Vaughn-directed prequel's domestic total now sits at $31.5 million, although its biggest success has been overseas, where it has delivered $73.8 million, putting the Kingsman-series film's global tally at $105.3 million.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


HBO's 'The Gilded Age' is 'Downton Abbey', American style

HBO/Alison Cohen Rosa

It’s Downton Abbey, American style. The Gilded Age is the new show from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, premiering tonight on HBO.

The Gilded Age, set in 1880s New York, dramatizes issues of class and race in the post-Civil War era. Fellowes tells ABC Audio he was fascinated by the new money titans of the time like J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie.

Notes Fellowes, "The whole culture that they developed with their wives and brought to New York and made a way of being rich that was America. It wasn't a pale copy of a European tradition. It was American."

That period in history, he calls "an extraordinary sort of training camp for when America dominated the coming century."

"I mean, thirty-five years later, President Wilson was saying what went at the peace treaty at the end of the First World War," he continues. "America...got to have the last word on practically everything. And by then, America's dominance of the world had established itself."

While the upstairs/downstairs nature of the storyline may feel similar to Fellowes' 2011 hit series Downton Abbey, Fellowes insists The Gilded Age is its own thing, pointing out that "the Downton curve was a downward one...It was about an aristocracy having to come to terms with the loss of power, the loss of control, worrying about the roof, you know."

"This is the opposite...a brand new civilization with all the money in the world and all the power and everything else landing on New York," he adds.

Fellowes' says there is one constant in everything he writes: "I always seem to have a sort of waspish older woman telling people what to do."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Regina King's son, Ian Alexander Jr., dies at 26

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for LACMA

Regina King is grieving the death of her only child.

The Oscar-winning actress’ son ​​Ian Alexander Jr., who had celebrated his 26th birthday on Wednesday, has died by suicide.

"Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement obtained by ABC News over the weekend. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you."

King shared Alexander Jr. with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander.

King’s son frequently attended red carpet events with his mom, telling E! News on the 2019 Golden Globes red carpet, "She's just a super mom. She doesn't really let bad workdays or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It's really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with."

King's co-stars and friends offered their condolences on social media over the weekend, including Octavia SpencerJanet Jackson, DL Hughley, Bernice King and more.

If you are in crisis or know someone in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Regina Hall, Sterling Brown, Keke Palmer featured in Sundance Film Festival virtual events this weekend; Mack Wilds hosts 'Profiled: The Black Man;' and more

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Regina Hall, Sterling Brown and Keke Palmer are among the stars featured this weekend in virtual Sundance Film Festival events. They are participating in the fifth annual Macro Lounge focusing on diversity, inclusion and people of color.

On Sunday, January 23, at 1 p.m. PT, Palmer will be featured in a conversation about her film Alice, which opens in theaters March 18. Keke co-stars with Common in the movie about a slave in the antebellum South who escapes from her plantation.

On Sunday at 6 p.m. PT, Hall and Brown will participate in a panel about their film Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. The comedy tells the story of a preacher and his wife attempting to rebuild their congregation following a scandal. Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul will premiere Sunday at 1:45 p.m PT online on the festival website, with a second screening on Tuesday, January 25, at 10 a.m. ET.

In other news, Mack Wilds will host Profiled: The Blackman, a four-part docuseries premiering February 12 on Discovery+. Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, is one of the executive producers of the series, which examines the widespread stereotypes Black men face on a daily basis in America.

Finally, AllHipHop.com reports that Dame Dash is preparing to shoot the sequel to the 2002 crime drama Paid In Full, which starred Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris and Cam'ron.The film was inspired by the true story of 1980s Harlem drug dealers Azie Faison, Rich Porter and Alpo Martinez. Dash, who co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z, co-produced the original film with Hova.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Mission: Impossible' movies move again because of COVID

Paramount Pictures

Release dates for the next Mission: Impossible movies are proving to be as elusive as Tom Cruise's spy Ethan Hunt. 

Paramount Pictures has announced that the already COVID-delayed Mission: Impossible 7 has been bumped from its September 30, 2022, debut to July 14, 2023. In turn, the release of an eighth M:I film, reportedly being shot back-to-back with 7, has been moved from July 7, 2023, to June 28, 2024.

Cruise made headlines early last year for very vocally enforcing COVID safety protocols on Mission: Impossible's U.K. set, but with Omicron now on the rise, Paramount and co-producer Skydance Productions decided to move the films "after careful consideration."

The seventh film in Cruise's $3.5 billion-grossing franchise was initially set to open in July of 2020, and was moved a few times throughout the pandemic.

Cruise's other project as producer and star, Top Gun: Maverick, had also been moved because of COVID-19, but as of yet, its new release date hasn't changed: May 27.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


94th Oscars will "likely" have multiple hosts, 'Variety' says

ABC and AMPAS

While the search goes on for who will fill the role of host of the upcoming 94th Annual Academy Awards, Variety reports producers are looking for more than one set of shoes to fill. 

The first hosted telecast since Jimmy Kimmel left the podium in 2018 "likely" will have multiple hosts, according to the trade, which says producers have reached out to "multiple celebrities" for "possible pairings" of emcees throughout show business' biggest night. 

The trade cautions, however, it's early on in the process. Variety also notes the 1983 telecast, which had four hosts -- Liza MinnelliWalter Matthau, Dudley Moore and Richard Pryor -- was one of the most-watched in Oscars history. 

By contrast, last year's host-free ceremony -- which ended with an unexpected posthumous snub of Chadwick Boseman in the Lead Actor category -- drew an all-time low audience of fewer than 10 million people.

As previously reported, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) recently asked fans on Twitter who they'd like to see host, and preliminary discussions have already reportedly happened with Spider-Man series star Tom Holland, and with reps for Pete Davidson.

The 94th Annual Academy Awards will air live on March 27 on ABC.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Jack Ryan' movie, TV producer Mace Neufeld dead at 93

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Producer Mace Neufeld, who had a long a varied career in Hollywood, has died. The Hollywood Reporter notes the producer passed away in his sleep at his Beverly Hills home at 93.

When Neufeld was still in high school, he became a finalist for a Pulitzer, with a photo he snapped of an injured G.I. returning to the arms of his family in New York City after World War II. 

In Hollywood, he not only represented musical acts including Neil Diamond and Lou Rawls, but also actors like James Caan and acclaimed writer Buck Henry

Neufeld's first job as an executive producer was the 1976 horror classic The Omen, and his credits went on to include the Cold War thriller No Way Out starring Kevin Costner and 2003's Gods and Generals among others.

Neufeld also made a household name of thriller writer Tom Clancy, by optioning the then-relatively unknown novelist's The Hunt for Red October for the big screen. The hit 1990 film starring Sean Connery as a rogue Soviet submariner and Alec Baldwin as CIA analyst Jack Ryan led to more Clancy-based films, including 1992's Patriot Games and 1994's Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford playing Ryan. 

Neufeld was also credited with Amazon Prime's ongoing Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hollywood takes to social media to remember Louie Anderson

Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage

Like millions of his fans, Louie Anderson's famous friends are remembering the Emmy-winning comic and Baskets actor on social media. 

Anderson passed away this morning at a Las Vegas hospital, from complications of cancer. He was 68. It didn't take long for his Hollywood colleagues to take to social media to mourn him. Here are some of their posts so far: 

Henry Winkler: "Your generosity of spirit will cover the world from above .. we are so lucky you were on earth for a moment , spreading your humor all over like bars of living gold .. Good Bye"

Jeff Ross: "When Meatloaf died Louie Anderson was like, 'What’s the point of living?' I loved them both."

Gilbert Gottfried posted a photo of himself with Bob Saget, who died earlier this month, and Louie Anderson. "This photo is very sad now. RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed."

George Wallace: "Heaven has a hell of an open mic night goin' right about now. Everybody gets the light. You'll be missed. Louie. What an awesome friend. One in a million. Also pictured, the very much alive @kathleenmadigan, who has promised not to die this year."

Kathleen Madigan posted a photo of she and Anderson, explaining, "Grateful I got to say goodbye. Loved him like a brother. My midwest king. Broken heartBroken heartBroken heart #RIPLouieAnderson."

Comic Ron White: "RIP to one of the true greats. Thinking of all of the nights laughing in Vegas with Louie and @kathleenmadigan. We’ll all miss his sweet soul."

Cobra Kai producer Jon Hurwitz: "RIP to one of our favorite comics since childhood. The guys and I were lucky enough to meet Louie Anderson in Vegas after one of his shows and he couldn’t have been cooler. We were delighted when he won an Emmy a few years later. Sending love to his family."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Nick Jonas announces he and Priyanka Chopra have welcomed a child via surrogacy

Lia Toby/BFC/Getty Images for BFC

Congratulations are in order for Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, who made the surprise announcement Friday that they are the proud parents of their first child.

The couple issued the joint statement on their respective Instagram accounts, which read, "We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate.  We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family."

The couple thanked their fans for their support, but declined to share further information at this time about their newborn.  Friends and family were quick to send in their well wishes, including Nick's brothers, Joe and Kevin Jonas as well as Ryan Tedder and Vanessa Bryant.

Nick and Priyanka, who celebrated their third anniversary in December, have previously spoken to the media about their future family plans.  Last February, the "Jealous" singer told E! News that he wants "many" children.

"It's obviously something we hope happens, and God willing, it comes together," he said at the time. "It's going to be a beautiful journey, and I hope for many, or whatever that is.  We'll go figure that out when they get there."

His words echoed what Priyanka told The Sunday Times the month prior, where she remarked, "I do want children, as many as I can have."

The two never shared plans on when they intended to start a family and, instead, would say they were content being a family of two.  Now, they're a family of three.

 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


In final video message, Betty White thanks fans "for your love and support over the years"

Photo by Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

new post on her official Facebook page is giving fans a final message from Emmy-winning icon Betty White, who died December 31, just shy of her 100th birthday.

Her voice hoarse, a smiling Betty says, "I just wanted to thank you all for your love and support over the years. Thank you so much." 

She added, "Stick around."

The message, the post explained, was meant to run on her social media to celebrate the animal loving Golden Girls legend's 100th birthday, which would have been on January 17.

"She was using the occasion of her 100th birthday to celebrate YOU - her fans," the post explained, "She knew how lucky she was; she felt the love, and she never took it for granted."

The post also thanked fans for donating in her honor as part of what became known as the #BettyWhiteChallenge. "As we continue to see number [sic] coming in from all over the world — it’s just absolutely amazing how much money all of you raised for the animals through #thebettywhitechallenge. She could never have imagined such an outpouring of love and would have been so grateful to everyone."

The video was posted, "as a thank from Betty and the animals."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Comedian and Emmy winner Louie Anderson dead at 68

Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Comedian and Emmy-winning Baskets star Louie Anderson has died, his rep confirmed to ABC Audio. He was 68.

"...Anderson passed away peacefully Friday morning," his agent Glenn Schwartz said, citing, "complications from cancer" as the cause of death.

It was revealed in January that Anderson was undergoing treatment at a Las Vegas hospital after he was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma, which is a common version of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Named by Comedy Central as "One of 100 Greatest Stand­-Up Comedians of All Time," Anderson's career spanned more than 30 years. The legendary comic was a mainstay of the '80s stand-up scene, making his Tonight Show debut with comedy career kingmaker Johnny Carson in 1984.

The second youngest of 11 children, who described his father as an abusive alcoholic, the St. Paul, Minnesota native used comedy as a defense against teasing over his weight as a child. Decades later, he mined his formative early years into Emmy gold, with the Saturday morning cartoon Life with Louie, which debuted on Fox in 1995 and ran for three seasons. He won two Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program category for his efforts.

A veteran of numerous comedy specials, Anderson's self-deprecating humor was a staple of his act, in which he often riffed about his weight. His stand-up career led him to Hollywood, first being cast in 1995 -- but ultimately replaced by Mark-Linn Baker -- in a series that became the ABC hit Perfect Strangers.

Anderson appeared in big screen roles as well, appearing in a small role in 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and later in a large supporting role as an ambitious burger flipper opposite Eddie Murphy in the blockbuster Coming To America.

Anderson later became the host of a reboot of Family Feud from 1999 to 2002, before being replaced by Home Improvement's Richard Karn, a reportedly bitter pill for Anderson.

From 2003 to 2012, Anderson starred in his own Las Vegas show, Louie Anderson: Larger Than Life, which played at various venues.

In 2016, he was cast as Christine Baskets, the mother to Zach Galifianakis' dual role as twin brothers in FX's comedy Baskets. He won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for his role. On his website, Anderson recalled, "It felt like it was divine intervention when I got the call to be on the show, that somehow my mom, from the great beyond, was finally getting herself into show business where she truly belonged in the first place."

Anderson's career was also touched by scandal: In 1997, he was blackmailed by a man named Richard John Gordon, who threatened to expose to the tabloids that the comic sexually propositioned him in 1993.

After reportedly paying Gordon hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money, Anderson eventually contacted the authorities in 2000, and Gordon was arrested by the FBI following a high speed chase in Santa Monica, California and charged with extortion

Anderson was also a bestselling author of four books, including Dear Dad – Letters From An Adult Child; the comedic self-help books, Good­bye Jumbo…Hello Cruel World and The F WordHow To Survive Your Family, as well as his most recent book, Hey Mom, in which he caught his late mother up on his successes she didn't live to see.

He is survived by his two sisters, Lisa and Shanna Anderson.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


'Girls Trip' sequel officially "underway," says movie producer

Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Girls Trip is officially getting a sequel.

Will Packer, who produced the 2017 film with the movie's director, Malcolm D. Lee, announced the news Friday on Good Morning America.

"Can't we all use a post-pandemic trip, my friend? I think that the time is actually right, and this is something that I will tell you and break right now at GMA: the Girls Trip 2 sequel, we are underway," Packer, who is producing the 2022 Academy Awards, told Michael Strahan. "We are absolutely in the stages, the ladies are in, I just talked to the director."

"We are underway with Girls Trip 2, and now it's just about what kind of trip do we take, right?" he continued. "Post-pandemic with all our favorite crazy ladies, what do we do with them? That's what we got to figure out."

Girls Trip, which starred Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Jada Pinkett Smith, told the story of four best friends who travel to the Essence Festival in New Orleans and rekindle their sisterhood after having drifted apart because of life.

The movie, which turns five this summer, was written by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver based on a story from the pair and Erica Rivinoja.

Girls Trip was a critical success, sitting at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a financial success, earning more than $140 million worldwide on a $19 million budget.

The film received numerous accolades as well, including two Black Reel Awards, two NAACP Image Awards and an MTV Movie & TV Award.

 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Weekend Watchlist: What's new on streaming

Ready, set, binge! Here are some of the new titles available to stream this weekend:


Netflix
Ozark (Season 4): Ozark is back for season 4 and will further explore the Byrde family’s descent into crime.

Too Hot to HandleFind out if the cast of Too Hot to Handle can stick to the rules in the third season of the reality dating show.

The Royal TreatmentFall head over heels for The Royal Treatment, a new romantic comedy about a hairdresser, played by Laura Marano, who meets a dashing prince, portrayed by Mena Massoud.


Hulu
How I Met Your Father: Watch Hilary Duff star in this new take on the popular show How I Met Your MotherFrancia RaisaKim CattrallTom AinsleyChristopher Lowell, Suraj Sharma, and Tien Tran also star. 


Apple TV+
ServantExperience the third season of M. Night Shyamalan’s chilling drama series.

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock: Jim Henson’s fun-loving friends are back for epic adventures.



Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pauly Shore said his "goodbyes" to Louie Anderson amid cancer battle

Shore, Anderson, with producer Michael Rotenberg in 1992 -- Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

It appears comedian Louie Anderson's cancer battle may have taken a turn for the worse. Comedian and actor Pauly Shore took to Twitter to call for prayers for his friend, after visiting the 68-year-old comic and Emmy-winning Baskets actor. 

"I say this with a heavy heart," Shore wrote. "[J]ust left the hospital in Las Vegas where Louie Anderson his sisters and close friend were kind enough to let me say my goodbyes."

Shore added, "he's still with us but keep him in your prayers." 

A rep for Anderson told ABC Audio earlier this week that the Coming to America star is battling diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and had been "resting comfortably" in the hospital. 

Shore addressed his comments to "comedians and @TheComedyStore alumni" -- Shore's mother Mitsi owned the iconic Los Angeles venue where Anderson and many famous stand-ups got their start.

Comedienne Kathy Griffin, who recently battled lung cancer herself, replied to Shore's post, noting, "Pauly. So sorry. Thinkin about nights with Louis and Judy Toll. Cant laugh harder than that."

Fans also responded, including one who urged Shore, "Please let him know that we love him," to which the Encino Man star replied, "I did." 

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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