Entertainment behind the scenes
In the same broadcast that saw him apologize to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for a joke about her daughter, late-night TV host David Letterman was back on controversial ground again during his show on Monday night, when comedian Jack Black inserted an “F-word” into his impromptu song.
It was the kind of “fleeting expletive” that recently became the subject of a high profile case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided that the federal government can fine broadcasters for airing a single expletive blurted out on a live show. Fortunately for Letterman, his guest’s brief foray into profanity aired after 10 p.m., which means that it does not risk a fine from the Federal Communications Commission.
Black’s use of the “F-word” can be heard at the end of the video in the link below (warning: Fan Fare has not edited it out). He was talking about a song that he would like to record, and then things turned blue.
Normally, “Late Night with David Letterman” and similar talk shows bleep out profanity of the kind Black used on the program. But apparently they just missed it on Monday night.
Batman movie “The Dark Knight” has been a box office behemoth with four straight weekends atop ticket sales charts, but some industry watchers expect the new comedy adventure “Tropic Thunder“ could knock it off its No. 1 perch this weekend.
“Tropic Thunder,” which stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr., opened in theaters on Wednesday with a healthy $6.5 million for the one night, slightly above expectations, said the DreamWorks movie studio which is behind the movie.
That was about half the $12.15 million first-day total of stoner comedy “Pineapple Express” last Wednesday, and ”Express” failed to beat ”Dark Knight” this past weekend when ticket sales were tallied. “Express” had $23 million for the weekend to $26 million for “Dark Knight.”
Hollywood has long been populated by egocentric actors, actresses, directors, writers, producers and other narcissists who are easy to poke fun at. This week “Tropic Thunder,” directed by Ben Stiller and starring him, Jack Black and Robert Downey, Jr., is the latest film to take a satirical look at high-profile stars. But is there any joke that goes too far when Hollywood insiders are making fun of Hollywood?
Not really, said Justin Theroux, a co-writer with Stiller on the movie. ”The good thing about Hollywood is that I don’t think you’d be able to show this to anyone and have them go, ‘God that’s so me,’ They’ll all go, ‘That’s that guy,’” Theroux, 37, told reporters in recent interviews.
Comedian Jack Black, 38, has emerged as a major comedy star with the success of movies such as “Kung Fu Panda” and “Nacho Libre.” Along with Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller, he is a virtual card-carrying member of the so-called Frat Pack of Hollywood funny men.
In upcoming movie “Tropic Thunder,” which opens on Aug. 13, the portly Black plays a comic actor named Jeff ‘Fats’ Portnoy, who is known for playing several parts in films that revolve around flatulence.