Today's News: Our Take

Napoleon Nerd Makes Good

The first thing we noticed about Jon Heder — star of the current indie comedy Napoleon Dynamite — is that he looks nothing like the title character. Heder's improbably named high-school outcast (with a heart of something resembling gold) sports thick glasses, droopy eyes and a hairstyle that would worry even Ted Koppel. In real life, the 26-year-old actor-animator looks like a normal guy. Get him talking, though, and you'll see where his wacky character comes from...

Like Napoleon, Heder sprinkles his sentences with exclamations like "Sweet!" and "Gosh!" "Growing up, I totally said a lot of the things he does," Heder admits. "And I have memories of very Napoleon-esque moments. I was freakin' 15 years old when I did a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stop-motion animation on my video camera. I was like 'Dude, I'm supposed to be hooking up with chicks! This isn't going to help me score!'"

Heder spent his own geeky teen years in Salem, Or read more


Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin is once again under attack — this time for breaching regulations governing how close people can get to wildlife in the Antarctic. While swimming with two whales in the ocean off Antarctica, Irwin allegedly got too close to penguins and seals. The loony thrill-seeker claims he merely climbed onto an iceberg after his dry suit ripped. Likely story. read more


Rap mogul-turned-Broadway star Sean Combs left A Raisin in the Sun during intermission on Saturday after suffering stomach pains. Understudy Billy Eugene Jones stood in for him during the second half. Combs — who called in sick again on Sunday — hopes to return for Tuesday's performance. read more


The MPAA has assigned an R-rating to Michael Moore's anti-Dubya doc, Fahrenheit 9/11, for "violent and disturbing images and for language." Distributor Lions Gate plans to contest the ruling. The film opens June 25. read more


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fended off a trio of newcomers to maintain its hold atop the box office. Despite tumbling a steep 63 percent from last weekend's debut, the third chapter in the boy-wizard saga brought in $35.1 million for a 10-day total of $158.1 million. Vin Diesel's Pitch Black follow-up, The Chronicles of Riddick, opened at No. 2 with a so-so $24.6 million, while Nicole Kidman's black comedy remake of The Stepford Wives — alright, were they robots or not? — exceeded expectations by taking in $22.2 million for fourth place. Rounding out the top five was Garfield: The Movie, which survived a critical pummeling to gobble up a pretty fat $21.7 million. read more

JoJo a Superstar No Mo'!

When WB crowns (or is that "beheads"?) its Superstar USA tonight (9 pm/ET), three things are certain: 1.) Our ears will bleed. 2.) The "winner" will cry, if not from excitement, then from embarrassment. And 3.) JoJo will be sad. As the ambitious platinum blond tells TV Guide Online, he doesn't care that Tone-Loc, Vitamin C and the entire viewing audience were laughing at him; he was just happy that we were looking at him at all.

TV Guide Online: How did you find out that Superstar USA had turned you into a punch line?
One of the producers called and was like, "I need to talk to you." I'm thinking, "It's just to tie up loose ends," and then he said, you know, "You were the butt of a joke."

TVGO: Ouch.
To be honest with you, I laughed! I had such a fun time doing it that even though it was a joke, you know what? I still have the experience. I always had a suspicion that something was going on, but I could ne read more


WB's Jordan Levin is out as the Frog net's CEO. According to Variety, Levin — coming off one of WB's worst years ever — bolted after he was asked to take on a reduced role. He will be succeeded by WB chairman Garth Ancier. Producer David Janollari, meanwhile, is reportedly the frontrunner to be named WB's entertainment president. read more


Ali Landry has filed for divorce from Saved by the Bell's Mario Lopez after just six weeks of marriage. I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda wish The Other Half was still on the air. Speaking of celeb splits, Rush Limbaugh announced Friday that he and wife Marta are going their separate ways after 10 years of marriage. I never thought I'd say this, but I kinda wish Rush Limbaugh: The TV Show was... oh, who am I kidding, no I don't. read more


Friends star Courteney Cox and her hubby, David Arquette, became the proud parents of a baby girl early Sunday — one week ahead of schedule. Continuing the weird baby-naming trend sweeping Hollywood, the couple named her Coco. But Cox may have a good excuse: According to published reports, the 39-year-old actress, like Gwyneth Paltrow before her, endured a long labor and therefore was probably out of her freakin' mind. read more


Here's a quick Courtney Love update, folks: The 39-year-old singer is still in the throes of a major meltdown. Meanwhile, the basket case surrendered to police Friday on charges she assaulted a woman with a liquor bottle at the home of her former manager. She posted $55,000 bail and was released to go do something else stupid. read more

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