Entertainment behind the scenes
from Tales from the Trail:
Here's a clue: German summer pants for little William? (10 letters)
Stumped? The answer is "Will Shortz". He's editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, which today devotes no fewer than eight clues to the Daily Show host, his fellow satirist Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report and the joint rally they're planning for Saturday on the National Mall.
For anyone flummoxed by the clues to 54 and 65 Across, Colbert's version of the event is called the "March to Keep Fear Alive."
The Stewart-Colbert gathering is a reaction to Fox News commentator Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally, which was held at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on this year's anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Stewart is also a big fan of Shortz and appeared in the 2006 documentary Wordplay, which focused on the Times crossword puzzle editor and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
Do Stewart and Colbert need the fiery presence of thousands of crossword puzzle enthusiasts? Now that's a question. But the idea may be too inside the box for rally organizers.
Singer and actress Bijou Phillips has weighed in on her half sister Mackenzie’s claim of a 10-year incestuous affair with their father, The Mamas & The Papas singer John Phillips, and while Bijou’s reaction shows that she has some doubts about her sister’s credibility, she has not dismissed the story either. John Phillips died in 2001, so for now it’s been left to his surviving family members to speak out about Mackenzie’s story.
“”When I was 13, Mackenzie told me that she had a consensual sexual relationship with our father,” Bijou Phillips, 29, said in a written statement sent to “The Oprah Show,” where Mackenzie spoke about her relationship with her father earlier this week.
Is it really a surprise? Simon Cowell, the king of mean judge on U.S. TV talent show “American Idol,” was voted Hollywood’s most obnoxious celebrity in a pop culture poll conducted by Parade magazine’s website, Parade.com.
Cowell, known for acidic comments aimed at contestants on the show after their performance has been less than adequate, topped the list followed by real estate mogul turned reality TV star Donald Trump, “Hell’s Kitchen” cook Gordon Ramsay and “The Hills” star Spencer Pratt, in that order.
Media mogul and talk show host Oprah Winfrey had gifts for Stanford University’s graduates when she spoke at their commencement on Sunday – but they didn’t include new cars.
“I really wanted to give you cars . . . just couldn’t pull that off,” said Winfrey. Instead, the roughly 2,600 grads in attendance got two books: Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” and Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.”
In, September 2004, Winfrey made headlines and stunned 276 audience members of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” with gifts of Pontiac G6 sports cars donated by General Motors.
O.K., so self-help books aren’t as great as a car — especially for grads. They just finished at least four years of study. More for graduate students. But as far as gifts go, they are less likely to get you in trouble with the tax man.
Winfrey delivered the prestigious university’s commencement address on Sunday and was among friends. Her goddaughter Kirby Bumpus, daughter of her Oprah’s BFF Gayle King, was among the graduates.
Winfrey in June topped Forbes Celebrity 100 Power list after earning $275 million in the past year. And for the longest time, she was not a college grad.
Winfrey, speaking on Father’s Day in the United States, said her dad never let her forget that she was one credit short of a college diploma. Even after she had her own TV show, she remembered him saying, “Oprah Gail, I don’t know what you’re going to do without that degree.”
In 1987, when she was asked to speak during Commencement at her alma mater, Tennessee State University, she finished her course work, turned in her final paper, and earned her degree.
“I know if anything happens that one credit will be my salvation,” she said.
Who could forget it? Tom Cruise, jumping up on talk show queen Oprah Winfrey’s couch and proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes in 2005. Some thought Mr. Cool had lost his cool. Others thought it was a rare and tender display of human emotion from an A-list Hollywood celebrity whose personal life is shrouded in mystery.
Whatever the outcome, three years later Cruise is headed back to Winfrey’s couch. Cruise will be interviewed by Oprah on May 2 from his home in Telluride, Colorado. A statement from the “Oprah” show says he will discuss “his family, his life and the future.” Then, on Monday May 5, he is headed to Chicago and Oprah’s studio where he will tape a new show celebrating 25 years of his Hollywood films since his breakout role in “Risky Business.”
Simon Cowell plays the King of Mean on the panel of judges on “American Idol,” telling some wannabee stars they must be deaf if they think they can sing, calling others’ dancing hideous, and telling one female contestant she looked like the Incredible Hulk’s wife. But a story emerged this week that shone a new light on 48-year-old Cowell — he gave a couple whose three-year-old daughter is suffering cancer a check of $162,000 to pay off their mortgage.
The bombastic Brit, who was recently estimated by Forbes magazine to earn about $43 million year, was so touched by the story of Madelaine Stoen when she appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s U.S. TV chat show that he declared he would be her “guardian angel.” Madelaine’s parents Amy and Randy Stoen from Claremont, Minnesota, were struggling financially after the youngster was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and would take turns traveling more than 100 miles from home each day so she could get treatment.