Amy Schumer Doesn’t Need Your Permission To Decline A Selfie

Amy Schumer will no longer be taking photos with fans unless they’re especially nice after one got out of hand and demanded she pose for a picture.

While visiting Greenville, South Carolina, a man “scared the shit” out of her when he abruptly approached the comedian, she wrote. Schumer declined his request but he persisted, allegedly telling her “it’s America and we paid for you” in front of his daughter.

On Saturday, she shared a photo of him on social media, identifying the guy as the reason why snagging a Schumer selfie might be more difficult in the future. 

Read her full post below: 

She followed up the post with a tweet thanking fans for their support and further explaining that she’ll “still take pictures with nice people,” but on her own terms. Schumer also reiterated that the man’s harassment was “not right.”

A representative for the “Trainwreck” star told The Huffington Post that Schumer is “grateful to people who like my work and support me but not the ones who think that behavior is ok.”

Thanks for the kind words and support. I know there are bigger problems in the world. But this was not right pic.twitter.com/8fqoIm7sHC

— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) April 30, 2016

Only an hour before the encounter, Schumer shared a clip from her performance in the city on Friday night, singing the praises of the South. “Greenville makes you feel like mmmmmmm,” the caption reads.

Greenville makes you feel like mmmmmmm

A video posted by @amyschumer on Apr 30, 2016 at 7:58am PDT

Although she was clearly shaken by the incident, it looks like Schumer’s day turned around. She followed up the post with photos of herself laughing with friends and enjoying the perks of country life. Apparently, she’s also gotten over her fear of horses

We gon be alright!

A photo posted by @amyschumer on Apr 30, 2016 at 11:29am PDT

Day turned around with Harley. Photo by @marcusrussellprice

A photo posted by @amyschumer on Apr 30, 2016 at 2:30pm PDT

Lexington, Kentucky is Schumer’s next stop on her tour. Let’s hope her visit to BFF Jennifer Lawrence’s home state goes a bit more smoothly.

This piece has been updated with Schumer’s tweet and comment from her rep.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Amy Schumer will no longer be taking photos with fans unless they’re especially nice after one got out of hand and demanded she pose for a picture.

While visiting Greenville, South Carolina, a man “scared the shit” out of her when he abruptly approached the comedian, she wrote. Schumer declined his request but he persisted, allegedly telling her “it’s America and we paid for you” in front of his daughter.

On Saturday, she shared a photo of him on social media, identifying the guy as the reason why snagging a Schumer selfie might be more difficult in the future. 

Read her full post below: 

She followed up the post with a tweet thanking fans for their support and further explaining that she’ll “still take pictures with nice people,” but on her own terms. Schumer also reiterated that the man’s harassment was “not right.”

A representative for the “Trainwreck” star told The Huffington Post that Schumer is “grateful to people who like my work and support me but not the ones who think that behavior is ok.”

Only an hour before the encounter, Schumer shared a clip from her performance in the city on Friday night, singing the praises of the South. “Greenville makes you feel like mmmmmmm,” the caption reads.

Greenville makes you feel like mmmmmmm

A video posted by @amyschumer on

Although she was clearly shaken by the incident, it looks like Schumer’s day turned around. She followed up the post with photos of herself laughing with friends and enjoying the perks of country life. Apparently, she’s also gotten over her fear of horses

We gon be alright!

A photo posted by @amyschumer on

Day turned around with Harley. Photo by @marcusrussellprice

A photo posted by @amyschumer on

Lexington, Kentucky is Schumer’s next stop on her tour. Let’s hope her visit to BFF Jennifer Lawrence’s home state goes a bit more smoothly.

This piece has been updated with Schumer’s tweet and comment from her rep.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Podcast Review: <i>Schmoozecast</i>

2016-04-30-1462047452-2269040-comedyUSAschmoozecast.jpgBringing it old school, New York comedian and former publisher of Comedy USA magazine Barry Weintraub has begun meeting up with comic buddies at a tiny studio that’s been built at the Comic Strip to talk about the biz on his Schmoozecast. (To prove how long the Comedy USA concept has been around, there’s an interview on the site with Jerry Seinfeld from 1986!)

Weintraub’s guest in the most recent drop is John Mulrooney. Mulrooney started doing standup in the late 70’s and, like many of his East Coast brethren, heard the siren’s song of television and was lured out to Los Angeles during the comedy boom of the 80’s and early 90’s.

And he ended up doing his share of TV stints — from appearances on The Tonight Show and taking over the reins of a late night talk show on Fox Television that had been hosted by Joan Rivers, to getting another gig at the same network for two years of hosting Comic Strip Live and many other TV spots as well.

Given their shared history coming up through the comedy ranks of New York, though, it isn’t long before Weintraub and his guest are recalling the early days of hell gigs and one nighters (often the same thing) in clubs long gone that once stood within a gas tank’s load outside of town.

There are also rollicking tales of shooting handguns outside Las Vegas (Mulrooney is a gun enthusiast) and the sorts of things he’s up to now when he’s not still popping up on stage along the Eastern seaboard. It seems he’s always been a fan of law enforcement, to the extent that he got himself a part-time patrolman gig with a small police force in a town with a name only a comic could love: Coxsackie, New York.

It seems old comics never die, their lives just get more ironic.

(Note: This podcast is not yet available via iTunes.)

• • •

Podcasts I’m also listening to this week: Chillpak Hollywood Hour — #467: The LA Breakfast Club, and Taboo Tales — Diane Pershing & The Illegal Transaction

• • •

The Schmoozecast review and other podcasts mentioned originally posted as part of This Week In Comedy Podcasts on Splitsider.com.

Marc Hershon is the host and executive producer of Succotash, The Comedy Podcast Podcast, featuring clips from comedy podcasts from across the Internet as well as interviews with podcasters, comedians, and assorted show biz folk.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

2016-04-30-1462047452-2269040-comedyUSAschmoozecast.jpgBringing it old school, New York comedian and former publisher of Comedy USA magazine Barry Weintraub has begun meeting up with comic buddies at a tiny studio that’s been built at the Comic Strip to talk about the biz on his Schmoozecast. (To prove how long the Comedy USA concept has been around, there’s an interview on the site with Jerry Seinfeld from 1986!)

Weintraub’s guest in the most recent drop is John Mulrooney. Mulrooney started doing standup in the late 70’s and, like many of his East Coast brethren, heard the siren’s song of television and was lured out to Los Angeles during the comedy boom of the 80’s and early 90’s.

And he ended up doing his share of TV stints — from appearances on The Tonight Show and taking over the reins of a late night talk show on Fox Television that had been hosted by Joan Rivers, to getting another gig at the same network for two years of hosting Comic Strip Live and many other TV spots as well.

Given their shared history coming up through the comedy ranks of New York, though, it isn’t long before Weintraub and his guest are recalling the early days of hell gigs and one nighters (often the same thing) in clubs long gone that once stood within a gas tank’s load outside of town.

There are also rollicking tales of shooting handguns outside Las Vegas (Mulrooney is a gun enthusiast) and the sorts of things he’s up to now when he’s not still popping up on stage along the Eastern seaboard. It seems he’s always been a fan of law enforcement, to the extent that he got himself a part-time patrolman gig with a small police force in a town with a name only a comic could love: Coxsackie, New York.

It seems old comics never die, their lives just get more ironic.

(Note: This podcast is not yet available via iTunes.)

• • •

Podcasts I’m also listening to this week: Chillpak Hollywood Hour — #467: The LA Breakfast Club, and Taboo Tales — Diane Pershing & The Illegal Transaction

• • •

The Schmoozecast review and other podcasts mentioned originally posted as part of This Week In Comedy Podcasts on Splitsider.com.

Marc Hershon is the host and executive producer of Succotash, The Comedy Podcast Podcast, featuring clips from comedy podcasts from across the Internet as well as interviews with podcasters, comedians, and assorted show biz folk.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

My Encounter With Merle

Dean Opperman here the story of my encounter with the great Merle Haggard.

It was 1983, i was co hosting the Dean & Don Show on KKDJ Fresno where the Fresno State basketball team had just won the National Invitational Tournament.

Our morning show crooner, Bobby Volare, had cut a song commemorating the achievement, a parody of Merle Haggard’s Okie From Muskogee called I’m Proud To Be a Bulldog From Cal State Fresno. It wasn’t great but it was timely and with the Bulldogs getting national attention we had something of a hit on our hands.

One of the local ad agencies saw this as a great promotional opportunity and offered to press a red vinyl picture disc of Bobby’s song for commercial release but for perfectly valid legal reasons they wanted permission from the composer of the original song.

Suddenly I was on the phone with Merle Haggard playing the song for him and his manager, Fuzzy. Now, I don’t know if they were just being nice or what but they laughed like a couple of hyenas.

“Son of a bitch,” Merle said, “that kicked my ass!”

“Wow, Merle,” I said. “Thank you! That’s high praise indeed!”

“I’m not blowing smoke– I mean it!”

“So, it’s OK if we use it then?”

“Are you kidding? Merle said. “It’d be an honor.”

“Thank you Merle,” I said, “We really appreciate this.”

“Now, hang on, Fuzzy wants to talk to you about the legal shit.”

“Yeah, Dean?” Fuzzy said. “We got a little problem here, buddy. Merle sold Okie From Muskogee to Buck Owens a few years back so you’re gonna have to call Blue Book Music in Bakersfield and get the OK from his sister, Dotty.”

Dotty Owens wasn’t friendly or receptive nor was there anything to indicate she had a sense of humor. I don’t suppose I was ten seconds into Bulldog From Cal State Fresno when a roar came down the line that would have impressed Siegfried and Roy.

“HOW DARE YOU MAKE FUN OF OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE,” she said. THAT’S THE SONG THAT MADE MERLE HAGGARD A HOUSEHOLD NAME AND I SHUDDER TO THINK WHAT HE’D DO IF HE EVER HEARD WHAT YOU DID TO IT!”

“Well, as a a matter of fact,” I said. “I played it for him a few minutes ago and he laughed his ass off.”

“WAS HE DRUNK?”

“I don’t know, Dotty. We were on the phone.”

“WELL, IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYHOW CAUSE MERLE DOESNT OWN MUSKOGEE ANYMORE, I DO. AND IF YOUR VERSION EVER SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY I’LL SLAP YOU WITH THE BIGGEST GOD-DAMNED LAWSUIT THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER SEEN… COMPRENDE?”

Oh, I comprende’d all right. Deeply and thoroughly like a barium enema.

We never released Bulldog From Cal State Fresno. Dotty Owens scared me so bad we burned the master tape. In fact, up till now there’s been no evidence the song ever existed in the first place but now that Dotty and Fuzzy and Merle have all donned the pine overcoat, friends have convinced me its safe to go public with the story though I’ve got to say I do so with reluctance because there was something in Dotty’s voice that convinced me she was not only capable of slapping me with the biggest god-damned lawsuit this country’s ever seen, she might even do so from beyond the grave.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Dean Opperman here the story of my encounter with the great Merle Haggard.

It was 1983, i was co hosting the Dean & Don Show on KKDJ Fresno where the Fresno State basketball team had just won the National Invitational Tournament.

Our morning show crooner, Bobby Volare, had cut a song commemorating the achievement, a parody of Merle Haggard’s Okie From Muskogee called I’m Proud To Be a Bulldog From Cal State Fresno. It wasn’t great but it was timely and with the Bulldogs getting national attention we had something of a hit on our hands.

One of the local ad agencies saw this as a great promotional opportunity and offered to press a red vinyl picture disc of Bobby’s song for commercial release but for perfectly valid legal reasons they wanted permission from the composer of the original song.

Suddenly I was on the phone with Merle Haggard playing the song for him and his manager, Fuzzy. Now, I don’t know if they were just being nice or what but they laughed like a couple of hyenas.

“Son of a bitch,” Merle said, “that kicked my ass!”

“Wow, Merle,” I said. “Thank you! That’s high praise indeed!”

“I’m not blowing smoke– I mean it!”

“So, it’s OK if we use it then?”

“Are you kidding? Merle said. “It’d be an honor.”

“Thank you Merle,” I said, “We really appreciate this.”

“Now, hang on, Fuzzy wants to talk to you about the legal shit.”

“Yeah, Dean?” Fuzzy said. “We got a little problem here, buddy. Merle sold Okie From Muskogee to Buck Owens a few years back so you’re gonna have to call Blue Book Music in Bakersfield and get the OK from his sister, Dotty.”

Dotty Owens wasn’t friendly or receptive nor was there anything to indicate she had a sense of humor. I don’t suppose I was ten seconds into Bulldog From Cal State Fresno when a roar came down the line that would have impressed Siegfried and Roy.

“HOW DARE YOU MAKE FUN OF OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE,” she said. THAT’S THE SONG THAT MADE MERLE HAGGARD A HOUSEHOLD NAME AND I SHUDDER TO THINK WHAT HE’D DO IF HE EVER HEARD WHAT YOU DID TO IT!”

“Well, as a a matter of fact,” I said. “I played it for him a few minutes ago and he laughed his ass off.”

“WAS HE DRUNK?”

“I don’t know, Dotty. We were on the phone.”

“WELL, IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYHOW CAUSE MERLE DOESNT OWN MUSKOGEE ANYMORE, I DO. AND IF YOUR VERSION EVER SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY I’LL SLAP YOU WITH THE BIGGEST GOD-DAMNED LAWSUIT THIS COUNTRY HAS EVER SEEN… COMPRENDE?”

Oh, I comprende’d all right. Deeply and thoroughly like a barium enema.

We never released Bulldog From Cal State Fresno. Dotty Owens scared me so bad we burned the master tape. In fact, up till now there’s been no evidence the song ever existed in the first place but now that Dotty and Fuzzy and Merle have all donned the pine overcoat, friends have convinced me its safe to go public with the story though I’ve got to say I do so with reluctance because there was something in Dotty’s voice that convinced me she was not only capable of slapping me with the biggest god-damned lawsuit this country’s ever seen, she might even do so from beyond the grave.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Will Ferrell Finally Celebrates His 15th Birthday With An Epic Celebrity Drum-Off

Will Ferrell and his celebrity doppelgänger, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, just made good on their promise to deliver another epic drum-off.

After raising raising $500,000 for charity in a drum battle during their “Tonight Show” appearance last month, they reunited for the “Will Ferrell & Chad Smith’s Red Hot Benefit, Comedy + Music & Quinceañera” and upped the ante. 

The event raised funds for Ferrell and Smith’s respective charities, Cancer for College and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, as comedians Nick Offerman, Jim Gaffigan, and Roy Wood Jr. also performed.

But the highlight of the night was the duo’s all-out celebrity drum battle. This time they let some star friends, including Tommy Lee, Fred Armisen, Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood and, in a surprise twist, a “14-year-old from from Brentwood, California,” do the heavy lifting. 

Thankfully, Funny Or Die captured the night on Facebook Live. 

The charity event hosted on Friday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles also doubled as a chance for Ferrell to fulfill his lifelong dream to have quinceañera. No, seriously. For once, he wasn’t joking. 

“I have only one great regret in life and it’s that I never actually celebrated my quinceañera,” Ferrell said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. “I’d like to think it was just a simple oversight by my mother, but there has been a void inside me for many years. Growing up on the mean streets of Irvine, California, I have vivid memories of all my friends celebrating their quinceañera. Well, on April 29th at the Shrine Auditorium, with Red Hot Chili Peppers and a bunch of other really talented comedians and musicians by my side, we are going to right that wrong, and everyone is invited.”

Righting that wrong, of course, meant that Ferrell appeared on stage at one point dressed in a sparkly blue princess gown. 

We could have sworn he wasn’t over 14. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Will Ferrell and his celebrity doppelgänger, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, just made good on their promise to deliver another epic drum-off.

After raising raising $500,000 for charity in a drum battle during their “Tonight Show” appearance last month, they reunited for the “Will Ferrell & Chad Smith’s Red Hot Benefit, Comedy + Music & Quinceañera” and upped the ante. 

The event raised funds for Ferrell and Smith’s respective charities, Cancer for College and the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, as comedians Nick Offerman, Jim Gaffigan, and Roy Wood Jr. also performed.

But the highlight of the night was the duo’s all-out celebrity drum battle. This time they let some star friends, including Tommy Lee, Fred Armisen, Fleetwood Mac’s Mick Fleetwood and, in a surprise twist, a “14-year-old from from Brentwood, California,” do the heavy lifting. 

Thankfully, Funny Or Die captured the night on Facebook Live. 

The charity event hosted on Friday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles also doubled as a chance for Ferrell to fulfill his lifelong dream to have quinceañera. No, seriously. For once, he wasn’t joking. 

“I have only one great regret in life and it’s that I never actually celebrated my quinceañera,” Ferrell said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. “I’d like to think it was just a simple oversight by my mother, but there has been a void inside me for many years. Growing up on the mean streets of Irvine, California, I have vivid memories of all my friends celebrating their quinceañera. Well, on April 29th at the Shrine Auditorium, with Red Hot Chili Peppers and a bunch of other really talented comedians and musicians by my side, we are going to right that wrong, and everyone is invited.”

Righting that wrong, of course, meant that Ferrell appeared on stage at one point dressed in a sparkly blue princess gown. 

We could have sworn he wasn’t over 14. 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Actor Jason George From Grey’s Anatomy Talks About Gun Violence and Social Justice

Jason George is in the upcoming thriller Kidnap with Halle Berry; release date May 13, 2016. You’ll recognize Jason as Dr. Ben Warren from Grey’s Anatomy and Dominic Taylor in ABC’s Mistresses.
Jason George’s Twitter.
Photo by Benjo Arwas.

Jason Geo…

2016-04-29-1461956717-1726296-Jason_George_657_Small_PhotoByBenjoArwas.jpg

Jason George is in the upcoming thriller Kidnap with Halle Berry; release date May 13, 2016. You’ll recognize Jason as Dr. Ben Warren from Grey’s Anatomy and Dominic Taylor in ABC’s Mistresses.

Jason George’s Twitter.

Photo by Benjo Arwas.

Jason George – I just love how his name rolls off my fingers.

I must tell you that I couldn’t even concentrate when interviewing Jason because he’s so dreamy. Even now as I write this intro, I had to shut his picture down so I could focus.

Jason has quite a resume. In his early acting years, he was known as Jason Winston George. (I love tidbits!) But I first saw Jason in the ABC series Mistresses. I knew I had to interview this guy.

Please visit NYCastings to see my other interview with Jason George, which goes more in depth into his acting career! Really good stuff!

What was your favorite trip to NYC like?

My favorite trip to New York City… Last summer, my wife and I left the kids with her mom and flew to New York, just the two of us. We woke up that Friday morning and had almost forgotten that it was September 11. I turned on the television and regular programming was interrupted by the local memorial ceremony. I was truly moved by all of the regular people reciting the names of people lost in the Twin Towers almost a decade and a half ago. We dressed and went down to the Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Memorial which had throngs of people milling about. I wouldn’t call the mood sad but rather sobering. It was also electric in the way that everybody there felt connected. I don’t know if it was just a common understanding of the value of life or a deeper sense of patriotism or a united determination that we will not be intimidated, but nobody felt like a complete stranger at the memorial that day.

Then we took a lazy walk through Central Park. After laying on the grass watching kids play and watching street performers dance and flip over each other, we heard that Serena Williams had lost at the US Open. We were wrecked. The whole inspiration for the NYC trip in the first place was to see Serena make tennis history. We went from a low to the highest of highs though because I had walked over broken glass to get us tickets to see the Broadway show HAMILTON that night and meet the cast after the show. I have since been accused of being a paid publicist for the show but it really is that good. You actually can believe the hype. #Bam4Ham is no joke. If it were just a good play I wouldn’t mention it here but I honestly think it should be required viewing for every high school student in this country. Sure, students will see history come to life and become proud of and more curious about the founding of their country, but most important it will remind all students – especially the black and brown ones – that this is their country, too. Hamilton was the bastard son of a single mother prostitute who immigrated to this country without a dime to his name. Swagger, a quick mind and a quick pen made him one of the most successful and powerful people in the country. True for Hamilton. True for Barrack Obama, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey and maybe it’ll be true for that kid from the hood.

The next day we got up went to the US Open’s women’s final to watch two Italian women we had barely heard of play each other. Then we had fantastic dinner, drinks and laughs at my boy Binh Douglas’s restaurant, Henri on Fifth. The next day we watched Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in a phenomenal finals match.

Best New York trip ever.

Whose idea was it to keep your facial hair?

I’ve just always rocked the goatee. Maybe a beard for a minute or some thick sideburns but I’ve only been clean shaven for like two days in my adult life. Maybe it goes back to that time I shaved before going back to Ma’s house from college. She opened the door, looked at my smooth face and said “I just wanna smack you!” I laughed and asked what did I do wrong. She said, “You look just like your damn father – about the time I divorced him!” Maybe that memory stuck, maybe I just like the goatee.

You’re very outspoken with your political views. Which issues do you want the next President to concentrate on?

I need my President to be prepared to handle all the critical issues our country faces. National security, International relations, the rising cost of education, comprehensive immigration reform that supports kids who are American in the hearts. She needs to be ready to do the job on day one. I’m sorry, did I say she…yeah, I did.

Gun Violence and Social Justice are near and dear to my heart. And they are so connected it’s sad. Gun Violence takes disproportionately more black and brown lives. Too many women’s lives in domestic violence situations. And Congress is so afraid of NRA money the government doesn’t even track gun violence — not even gun violence involving law enforcement. It took investigative journalists to find out that 25% of unarmed suspects shot by LA police in a five year period were black. Call me crazy but I think whenever a cop shoots somebody, right or wrong, that it should be recorded.

You appear to be quite the charmer. Give us some childhood background. Did anything from your childhood help shape your acting career?

I’m one of three boys raised by a single mom in a military beach town in the South. You learn colorful language and phrases but you also learn manners, how to swim well, and how to hold your own in a fight. Ma was an educator so a sharp mind was valued more than a three pointer. We didn’t have much money so a sense of humor was necessary because laughing is hella more fun than crying.

We had the Star Wars album — not just the music from Star Wars but literally every sound from the movie including dialogue, sound effects and music. We wore that thing out. And then we took a tape recorder and some toys that made crazy sounds and made about six hour’s worth of our own science fiction radio play. Probably the start of my acting career. Probably best that they stay lost in a storage box at Ma’s place.

2016-04-29-1461957585-4211696-Jason_George_171_Small_PhotoByBenjoArwas.jpg

Jason, I want to hear that six hours of tape you and your brothers made! But I’ll settle for dessert with you and your wife on your next trip to NYC 🙂 — ILANA

Be sure to check out my NYCastings interview with Jason George!

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Celebrities, Politicians Meet Up For 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – With seven performances under his belt, U.S. President Barack Obama will try one last time to bring the house down at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner on Saturday, a night of playful ribbing of both politic…

WASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – With seven performances under his belt, U.S. President Barack Obama will try one last time to bring the house down at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner on Saturday, a night of playful ribbing of both politicians and the news media.

The black-tie event, which Obama has previously joked is “a night when Washington celebrates itself,” brings together journalists and media moguls, Hollywood stars and policy wonks and the powerbrokers from Capitol Hill.

For Obama, who is scheduled to speak around 10:20 p.m. ET (0220 GMT Sunday), it will be his final correspondents’ dinner as a sitting president. Comedian Larry Wilmore, who hosts a show on the cable outlet Comedy Central, will take to the podium after the president’s remarks.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday not to rule out surprises from Obama, who has polished his comedic timing over seven prior dinner appearances.

“I know that the president will certainly poke a little fun at himself,” Earnest said, adding that he thought some “good-natured ribbing of his friends will occur as well.”

In previous years, Obama has taken on Washington gridlock, political rivals and presidential hopefuls with usually light-hearted, but sometimes pointed, jokes.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who won’t be at the dinner, could surface in Obama’s monolog.

Back in 2011, when Trump was weighing a 2012 presidential run and was in the ballroom, Obama skewered him for questioning whether the president was born in the United States. He then speculated about the change the real estate mogul would bring to the White House, including bikini-clad women in the front fountain and gold columns by the entryway.

Wilmore, who has been working on his jokes with a small team for the last month, said he plans to talk about the presidential election and Obama’s legacy. “I’ll definitely bring up race,” Wilmore, who is African-American, told cable network C-SPAN. “That’s going to be an issue in a lot of different ways.”

The dinner, a long-standing tradition, has morphed from a relatively low-key gathering of journalists and their sources into a glamorous red-carpet affair.

Invitees this year include singer Aretha Franklin, actor Morgan Freeman and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller of the Denver Broncos. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is expected to attend, but his rival Hillary Clinton is not.

The dinner has drawn criticism from some who feel that partying with sources is not conducive to hard-hitting journalism.

C-SPAN and a number of other cable outlets plan live coverage.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Bill Maher Reveals ’25 Things You Don’t Know’ About Bernie Sanders

Last week, Bill Maher revealed “25 Things You Don’t Know” about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
The “Real Time with Bill Maher” host spoofed how the Republican presidential candidate may reply to the Us Weekly magazine’s segment.
I…

Last week, Bill Maher revealed “25 Things You Don’t Know” about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

The “Real Time with Bill Maher” host spoofed how the Republican presidential candidate may reply to the Us Weekly magazine’s segment.

It was in response to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s recent appearance in the publication.

On Friday night, in the interest of “equal time,” Maher did it again — and this time mocked up how Clinton’s rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would respond to the questions.

Maher unleashed some hilarious one-liners, including Sanders purportedly revealing how he was the “only candidate who uses a typewriter to Tweet” and had something his wife referred to as “Resting Kvetch Face.”

Check out the clip above to find out what else was included in the list.

And below you can see how Maher spoofed Cruz’s answers on last week’s show:

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Theater: Slight Yet “Fully Committed;” Pretty Solid “Long Day’s”

FULLY COMMITTED ** out of ****
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ** 1/2 out of ****

FULLY COMMITTED ** out of ****
LYCEUM THEATRE

Becky Mode’s very successful one-person show Fully Committed is very familiar. In this showcase for a real actor, they play a would-be actor stuck in his day job: taking reservations from bitchy, super wealthy clients who all want and demand and expect to get a table at the hottest restaurant in New York City. On Saturday night. During the Christmas season. At their favorite table. They are not used to hearing the word “no” — or more specifically their assistants are not used to hearing the word no.

You can chart what will happen, even if like me you missed this comedy during its extended run Off Broadway and in regional theaters around the country. We’ll meet a colorful cast of characters, from the egotistical chef to the harried manager. We’ll watch him deal with all sorts of customers, from the grumpy to the amusing, the desperate to the (rarely) kind. The would-be actor will naturally also have some career goal in mind, in this case a hoped-for call-back for a role in a play at Lincoln Center. And we’ll get a little heart, in this case from the actor’s sweetheart of a dad calling from “back home,” just hoping his son can make it home for Christmas.

Though the play is filled with little surprises along the way, essentially there are no surprises, just a chance for a talented performer to play everyone from elderly women of privilege to scatter-brained assistants for Gwyneth Paltrow. Since that performer is Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family, you will probably think “Oh, I like him!” If seeing Ferguson in a show of this sort appeals, by all means go.

Just as predictable as the play is a review of this play on Broadway. No, it doesn’t belong on Broadway. Yes, Ferguson is appealing. No, this revival doesn’t reveal the play as anything more than a competent showcase.

First, no, it doesn’t belong on Broadway. Even at its best, this is a small piece. It would never be a great play, but it would certainly play better in a tiny little venue rather than a big Broadway house. The scenic design of Derek McLane has to fill up the space somehow but it just doesn’t work. The story takes place entirely in a cramped, miserable little basement office with exposed pipes and miserable lighting. But there’s a stage to fill so McLane must fill it. He offers up a flowing waterfall of wooden restaurant chairs flowing up the roof, a long ramp and a backlit wall filled with wine bottles rising up to the sky. Your eye is constantly drawn away from the tiny little space where all the action takes place and frankly as the tension mounts you can’t help wondering why our hero doesn’t uncork a bottle or two.

Yes, Ferguson is very appealing. He’s been a reliable mainstay at the Public Theater in recent years, charming in all sorts of parts. But this showcase of a play isn’t a good showcase for him. Ferguson actually doesn’t fill the stage with dozens of characters with his vocal characterizations topping out at about seven or eight. For example, I actually confused two elderly women he plays, thinking the woman who was bringing Malcolm Gladwell as a guest was the same woman insisting she needed a table because she had a major cultural figure dining with her. Turns out I was missing a key element of suspense. Many other characters sort of just blurred together.

It really doesn’t matter. Ferguson is so innately appealing you just go with it. So he’s not the master of a thousand voices. Who cares? Or so you can imagine his legion of fans saying and rightly so. And he does exude palpable warmth as our hero’s dad. Mind you, I was sitting in the fifth row. A fan sitting in the second balcony would have a notably inferior experience however much they liked him. And Laurence Olivier in that role on Broadway wouldn’t make it work either.

Mode’s play is a solid if workmanlike effort. It leans a little heavily on the revenge fantasy aspect of a peon enjoying their moment of triumph over the bigwigs. It’s never more than brisk and amusing. But it accomplishes exactly what it wants: offer up a few chuckles, a few tears and a decent showcase for an actor. It’s just a pity Ferguson didn’t return to Broadway in a better showcase for his significant skills as an actor.

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ** 1/2 out of ****
ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY AT AMERICAN AIRLINES THEATRE

If someone has just run a marathon, the last thing you want to do is patronizingly pat them on the shoulder and say, “Not bad!” Unfortunately, that’s my response to a solid if not earth-shaking revival of Eugene O’Neill’s towering family drama Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The play is a masterpiece, of course, and its rambling repetitive nature and almost punishing length is part of its brilliance. It has four extremely difficult roles but if they’re all perfectly matched that nearly four hour running time flies by. Here the first act is a brisk 90 minutes. To the credit of the cast, the second act of two hours actually passed even more quickly. As Jessica Lange slipped into her final monologue and the lights dimmed, I realized with a start that it was about to end. Three hours and 45 minutes in and I was caught unawares that it was over? Not bad.

It’s certainly a bad day for the Tyrones. They’re walking on eggshells because Mary Tyrone (Lange) is back from rehab and already showing the warning signs of yearning for another fix of morphine. If that weren’t bad enough, Edmund (John Gallagher, Jr.) is coughing away while waiting for confirmation from the doctor that he has consumption and must leave for a sanitarium if he hopes to live. Faded stage actor James Tyrone (Gabriel Byrne) sees his wife slipping away again and the miser in him can’t keep from worrying about the expense his son’s medical crisis will create. And the drunken older son Jamie (Michael Shannon, on fire) is the only truth teller around, at least when he’s not too drunk to stand upright.

They fight. They bicker. They make small talk. They pretend everything is fine. They dance around the obvious. They repeat old grievances and old jokes, almost without knowing the difference between one and the other. In short, they behave like family, albeit an especially poisoned and sad one.

Jonathan Kent directs this enjoyably traditional production with vigor and care, from the slightly askew set of Tom Pye to the mournful sound design of Clive Goodwin. The one odd touch was indicating scene changes by having a section of curtain slide across the stage, obscuring perhaps a third of the set at its peak, a sort of physical “scene swipe.” I went with it.

So we’re left with the four leads (Colby Minifie is fine as the servant). Since they didn’t gel and scale the heights, one can’t help thinking of them individually. John Gallagher Jr. is a terrific actor but somehow simply doesn’t feel “period,” the way a character from 1912 should. It’s his very intonation and spirit, somehow, like Winona Ryder in the film The Age Of Innocence where you immediately thought, “No.” Despite this, he does nail the fading Edmund’s lovely monologue about losing himself when on a ship or alone on a beach, a speech that had the audience quietly captivated.

Gabriel Byrne is also a masterful actor and one who can indeed embody people from different eras. However, I can’t describe his James Tyrone very satisfyingly because I don’t think Byrne nailed this part down in any specific way. He’s not the faded theatrical giant nor is he a broken old man. He’s not much of anything, though Byrne did seem most alive when pinching pennies.

The other half of this family fare much better. Lange is using every trick at her disposal to capture the fluttery, fragile Mary Tyrone. Her voice hits about 20 different registers, from childlike to flirtatious to vengeful to bitter to pathetic to resigned and just about any other emotion you can name. it doesn’t eclipse the grand eccentricity Vanessa Redgrave seared into my brain during the last acclaimed revival of this work on Broadway. But it’s her own wonderful take on one of the great roles in drama.

And Michael Shannon is a joy to behold as the irascible, frustrated Jamie. He’s a big hulking presence for much of the show, seeming ungainly and uncomfortable in his body, almost apologizing for being in the way. That is, until he lashes out brutally and uncomfortably, from labeling his own mother a dope fiend to telling his beloved younger brother to beware of the bad influence Jamie is having on him. He’s so fully alive in every scene he’s in that everyone else raises their game. Whenever Mary is upstairs, the rest of the family nervously awaits her return. Whenever Shannon is offstage, the audience eagerly awaits his. His triumph shakes you out of your complacency and makes you admit that when it comes to an all-consuming work like Long Day’s Journey Into Night, “not bad” simply isn’t good enough.

THEATER OF 2016

Employee Of The Year (Under The Radar at Public) ***
Germinal (Under The Radar At Public) *** 1/2
Fiddler On The Roof 2015 Broadway revival with Danny Burstein ** 1/2
Skeleton Crew ***
Noises Off (2016 Broadway revival) ** but *** if you’ve never seen it before
The Grand Paradise ***
Our Mother’s Brief Affair * 1/2
Something Rotten ***
Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam revival) *** 1/2
Broadway & The Bard * 1/2
Prodigal Son **
A Bronx Tale: The Musical **
Buried Child (2016 revival w Ed Harris) **
Nice Fish ***
Broadway By The Year: The 1930s at Town Hall ***
Hughie **
Pericles (w Christian Camargo) * 1/2
Straight ** 1/2
Eclipsed ***
Red Speedo ***
The Royale ** 1/2
Boy ****
The Robber Bridegroom ***
Hold On To Me, Darling ***
Blackbird ** 1/2
Disaster! *
The Effect ** 1/2
Dry Powder ** 1/2
Head Of Passes ** 1/2
Broadway By The Year: The 1950s *** 1/2
The Crucible (w Ben Whishaw) ***
Bright Star **
She Loves Me (w Laura Benanti) ***
Antlia Pneumatica ** 1/2
RSC at BAM: Richard II (w David Tennant) ** 1/2
RSC at BAM: Henry IV Part I and II (w Antony Sher) ***
RSC at BAM Henry V (w Alex Hassell) ** 1/2
Nathan The Wise ** 1/2
The Father **
American Psycho **
Waitress ** 1/2
Fully Committed ** 1/2
Long Day’s Journey Into Night ***

_____________
Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. Trying to decide what to read next? Head to BookFilter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter? Wondering what new titles came out this week in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

FULLY COMMITTED ** out of ****
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ** 1/2 out of ****

FULLY COMMITTED ** out of ****
LYCEUM THEATRE

Becky Mode’s very successful one-person show Fully Committed is very familiar. In this showcase for a real actor, they play a would-be actor stuck in his day job: taking reservations from bitchy, super wealthy clients who all want and demand and expect to get a table at the hottest restaurant in New York City. On Saturday night. During the Christmas season. At their favorite table. They are not used to hearing the word “no” — or more specifically their assistants are not used to hearing the word no.

You can chart what will happen, even if like me you missed this comedy during its extended run Off Broadway and in regional theaters around the country. We’ll meet a colorful cast of characters, from the egotistical chef to the harried manager. We’ll watch him deal with all sorts of customers, from the grumpy to the amusing, the desperate to the (rarely) kind. The would-be actor will naturally also have some career goal in mind, in this case a hoped-for call-back for a role in a play at Lincoln Center. And we’ll get a little heart, in this case from the actor’s sweetheart of a dad calling from “back home,” just hoping his son can make it home for Christmas.

Though the play is filled with little surprises along the way, essentially there are no surprises, just a chance for a talented performer to play everyone from elderly women of privilege to scatter-brained assistants for Gwyneth Paltrow. Since that performer is Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson of Modern Family, you will probably think “Oh, I like him!” If seeing Ferguson in a show of this sort appeals, by all means go.

Just as predictable as the play is a review of this play on Broadway. No, it doesn’t belong on Broadway. Yes, Ferguson is appealing. No, this revival doesn’t reveal the play as anything more than a competent showcase.

First, no, it doesn’t belong on Broadway. Even at its best, this is a small piece. It would never be a great play, but it would certainly play better in a tiny little venue rather than a big Broadway house. The scenic design of Derek McLane has to fill up the space somehow but it just doesn’t work. The story takes place entirely in a cramped, miserable little basement office with exposed pipes and miserable lighting. But there’s a stage to fill so McLane must fill it. He offers up a flowing waterfall of wooden restaurant chairs flowing up the roof, a long ramp and a backlit wall filled with wine bottles rising up to the sky. Your eye is constantly drawn away from the tiny little space where all the action takes place and frankly as the tension mounts you can’t help wondering why our hero doesn’t uncork a bottle or two.

Yes, Ferguson is very appealing. He’s been a reliable mainstay at the Public Theater in recent years, charming in all sorts of parts. But this showcase of a play isn’t a good showcase for him. Ferguson actually doesn’t fill the stage with dozens of characters with his vocal characterizations topping out at about seven or eight. For example, I actually confused two elderly women he plays, thinking the woman who was bringing Malcolm Gladwell as a guest was the same woman insisting she needed a table because she had a major cultural figure dining with her. Turns out I was missing a key element of suspense. Many other characters sort of just blurred together.

It really doesn’t matter. Ferguson is so innately appealing you just go with it. So he’s not the master of a thousand voices. Who cares? Or so you can imagine his legion of fans saying and rightly so. And he does exude palpable warmth as our hero’s dad. Mind you, I was sitting in the fifth row. A fan sitting in the second balcony would have a notably inferior experience however much they liked him. And Laurence Olivier in that role on Broadway wouldn’t make it work either.

Mode’s play is a solid if workmanlike effort. It leans a little heavily on the revenge fantasy aspect of a peon enjoying their moment of triumph over the bigwigs. It’s never more than brisk and amusing. But it accomplishes exactly what it wants: offer up a few chuckles, a few tears and a decent showcase for an actor. It’s just a pity Ferguson didn’t return to Broadway in a better showcase for his significant skills as an actor.

LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ** 1/2 out of ****
ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY AT AMERICAN AIRLINES THEATRE

If someone has just run a marathon, the last thing you want to do is patronizingly pat them on the shoulder and say, “Not bad!” Unfortunately, that’s my response to a solid if not earth-shaking revival of Eugene O’Neill’s towering family drama Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The play is a masterpiece, of course, and its rambling repetitive nature and almost punishing length is part of its brilliance. It has four extremely difficult roles but if they’re all perfectly matched that nearly four hour running time flies by. Here the first act is a brisk 90 minutes. To the credit of the cast, the second act of two hours actually passed even more quickly. As Jessica Lange slipped into her final monologue and the lights dimmed, I realized with a start that it was about to end. Three hours and 45 minutes in and I was caught unawares that it was over? Not bad.

It’s certainly a bad day for the Tyrones. They’re walking on eggshells because Mary Tyrone (Lange) is back from rehab and already showing the warning signs of yearning for another fix of morphine. If that weren’t bad enough, Edmund (John Gallagher, Jr.) is coughing away while waiting for confirmation from the doctor that he has consumption and must leave for a sanitarium if he hopes to live. Faded stage actor James Tyrone (Gabriel Byrne) sees his wife slipping away again and the miser in him can’t keep from worrying about the expense his son’s medical crisis will create. And the drunken older son Jamie (Michael Shannon, on fire) is the only truth teller around, at least when he’s not too drunk to stand upright.

They fight. They bicker. They make small talk. They pretend everything is fine. They dance around the obvious. They repeat old grievances and old jokes, almost without knowing the difference between one and the other. In short, they behave like family, albeit an especially poisoned and sad one.

Jonathan Kent directs this enjoyably traditional production with vigor and care, from the slightly askew set of Tom Pye to the mournful sound design of Clive Goodwin. The one odd touch was indicating scene changes by having a section of curtain slide across the stage, obscuring perhaps a third of the set at its peak, a sort of physical “scene swipe.” I went with it.

So we’re left with the four leads (Colby Minifie is fine as the servant). Since they didn’t gel and scale the heights, one can’t help thinking of them individually. John Gallagher Jr. is a terrific actor but somehow simply doesn’t feel “period,” the way a character from 1912 should. It’s his very intonation and spirit, somehow, like Winona Ryder in the film The Age Of Innocence where you immediately thought, “No.” Despite this, he does nail the fading Edmund’s lovely monologue about losing himself when on a ship or alone on a beach, a speech that had the audience quietly captivated.

Gabriel Byrne is also a masterful actor and one who can indeed embody people from different eras. However, I can’t describe his James Tyrone very satisfyingly because I don’t think Byrne nailed this part down in any specific way. He’s not the faded theatrical giant nor is he a broken old man. He’s not much of anything, though Byrne did seem most alive when pinching pennies.

The other half of this family fare much better. Lange is using every trick at her disposal to capture the fluttery, fragile Mary Tyrone. Her voice hits about 20 different registers, from childlike to flirtatious to vengeful to bitter to pathetic to resigned and just about any other emotion you can name. it doesn’t eclipse the grand eccentricity Vanessa Redgrave seared into my brain during the last acclaimed revival of this work on Broadway. But it’s her own wonderful take on one of the great roles in drama.

And Michael Shannon is a joy to behold as the irascible, frustrated Jamie. He’s a big hulking presence for much of the show, seeming ungainly and uncomfortable in his body, almost apologizing for being in the way. That is, until he lashes out brutally and uncomfortably, from labeling his own mother a dope fiend to telling his beloved younger brother to beware of the bad influence Jamie is having on him. He’s so fully alive in every scene he’s in that everyone else raises their game. Whenever Mary is upstairs, the rest of the family nervously awaits her return. Whenever Shannon is offstage, the audience eagerly awaits his. His triumph shakes you out of your complacency and makes you admit that when it comes to an all-consuming work like Long Day’s Journey Into Night, “not bad” simply isn’t good enough.

THEATER OF 2016

Employee Of The Year (Under The Radar at Public) ***
Germinal (Under The Radar At Public) *** 1/2
Fiddler On The Roof 2015 Broadway revival with Danny Burstein ** 1/2
Skeleton Crew ***
Noises Off (2016 Broadway revival) ** but *** if you’ve never seen it before
The Grand Paradise ***
Our Mother’s Brief Affair * 1/2
Something Rotten ***
Sense & Sensibility (Bedlam revival) *** 1/2
Broadway & The Bard * 1/2
Prodigal Son **
A Bronx Tale: The Musical **
Buried Child (2016 revival w Ed Harris) **
Nice Fish ***
Broadway By The Year: The 1930s at Town Hall ***
Hughie **
Pericles (w Christian Camargo) * 1/2
Straight ** 1/2
Eclipsed ***
Red Speedo ***
The Royale ** 1/2
Boy ****
The Robber Bridegroom ***
Hold On To Me, Darling ***
Blackbird ** 1/2
Disaster! *
The Effect ** 1/2
Dry Powder ** 1/2
Head Of Passes ** 1/2
Broadway By The Year: The 1950s *** 1/2
The Crucible (w Ben Whishaw) ***
Bright Star **
She Loves Me (w Laura Benanti) ***
Antlia Pneumatica ** 1/2
RSC at BAM: Richard II (w David Tennant) ** 1/2
RSC at BAM: Henry IV Part I and II (w Antony Sher) ***
RSC at BAM Henry V (w Alex Hassell) ** 1/2
Nathan The Wise ** 1/2
The Father **
American Psycho **
Waitress ** 1/2
Fully Committed ** 1/2
Long Day’s Journey Into Night ***

_____________

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. Trying to decide what to read next? Head to BookFilter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter? Wondering what new titles came out this week in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.