Today's News: Our Take


Question: What's the name of ...

Question: What's the name of the actress who played Bull's girlfriend on Night Court? She is short with short hair and has a nasally voice. — Amy O.

Televisionary: That was Denny Dillon, who later went on to do a season of Saturday Night Live and then as a regular on Dream On. You may also have caught her in guest roles on such shows as Nash Bridges, Designing Women and Fame. On the big screen, she did voice work in Ice Age and appeared in such movies as Saturday Night Fever and read more

Question: I remember that a ...

Question: I remember that a few of years ago Keri Russell was in a muppet remake of Cinderella. What was this TV movie called? — Mark, Westmont, N.J.

Televisionary: If Russell's the one you remember, I guess Cinderelmo had you looking at the wrong doll, huh, Mark?

I'm betting there were more than a few dads in the audience doing much the same thing while their kids were watching their beloved high-pitched Elmo cavort across the screen in Fox's 1999 TV movie. As you may remember (though I doubt it), he was a male Cinderella, while Russell was the princess and Kathy Najimy was his wicked stepmother. Oliver Platt was his "fairy godperson" and read more

South Park's Creators Speak Out!

How many 80-year-olds can say they've helped inspire a potty-mouthed preteen? Maybe just one, TV legend Norman Lear, whose beloved All in the Family bigot Archie Bunker was the prototype for South Park's Eric Cartman. So, it should come as no surprise that Lear's been collaborating with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the Comedy Central cult hit's thirtysomething co-creators, on the show's seventh season and 100th episode (which airs April 9, at 10 pm/ET). What's the real secret to their friendship, which dates back to 1998, when Lear's then 10-year-old son Benjamin introduced him to the show? A lot of laughs, and just a little liquor, appar read more

Happiness Creep Stuck in the Pitts


Since starring in 1998's Happiness, actor Dylan Baker has made 11 major feature films. But people just can't seem to forget his indie-movie turn as a psychiatrist and family man who's secretly a predatory pedophile. Fortunately, his unsavory — however critically praised — image often proves a blessing in disguise. It sure helped when he auditioned to play Chris Rock's presidential campaign manager in Head of State.

"I walked in to meet with Chris Rock and [screenwriter] Ali LeRoi, and they were giggling away!" says Baker. "I thought my fly was down. They said, 'You're that guy from Happiness.' They were laughing and giggling like read more

STOP THE PRESSES

Fred Durst and his Limp Bizkit bandmates are in agreeance: Capitalization and spacing are way overrated. Durst announced on the group's website that the band will now be known as limpbizkit. thatisfreakinbrilliant. read more

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Moviegoers elected Chris Rock's political spoof Head of State the most popular film in the country over the weekend. The comedy, co-starring Bernie Mac, opened at No. 1 with $14 million. Bringing Down the House slipped to second with $12.5 million, followed by new action flick The Core (No. 3 with $12.4 million) and John Travolta's latest career killer Basic (No. 4 with $12.1 million). Oscar winners Chicago and The Pianist, meanwhile, received nice boosts. Chicago (No. 5 with $7.4 million) was up 20 percent from last weekend, and The Pianist (No. 9 with $2.4 million) entered the top 10 for the first time. read more

THE KONG SHOW

Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson has signed on to helm Universal's upcoming remake of King Kong. According to Variety, Jackson will begin work on the update after he completes the third Rings installment, Return of the King. My spies, meanwhile, report that Sopranos don James Gandolfini has expressed interest in playing the title role. read more

DEAL GOES SOUTH

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have inked a deal with Comedy Central to produce another three years of South Park. The show's 100th episode airs April 9. For an exclusive Q&A with Parker and Stone, click here. For a glimpse of my adorable mug, scroll to the top of this page. read more

GREAT COMEBACK?

Embattled rock band Great White will perform a benefit concert on April 29 in Los Angeles to raise money for a memorial fund in honor of guitarist Ty Longley. This is the band's first gig since a Feb. 20 nightclub fire in Rhode Island killed 99 people, including Longley. read more

DAVE'S BACK!

David Letterman returns to Late Show tonight after a month-long medical leave. The gap-toothed funny man — who was recovering from shingles — had been relying on a series of guest hosts since Feb. 26. (Megan Mullally? Great. Paul Shaffer? Not so great.) Among tonight's guests: Billy Crystal and 18-year-old world whistling champion Michael Barimo. read more

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