Harry Connick Jr. Blows Up at Blackface Michael Jackson Impersonator

Asked to appear on the Australian variety hour Hey Hey It's Saturday as a guest judge, Harry Connick Jr. sputters in disbelief when a Jackson 5 impersonation group entirely in blackface appears onstage. He first gives the group a 0 scorecard for the performance while the audience boos; later, at about 4:40 into the clip, Connick launches into an impassioned race-relations lecture explaining why blackface is a bad thing. "If I knew that was going to be a part of the show, I definitely wouldn't have done it," Connick declares on live TV.  The host appears genuinely surprised.

Because, Because, Because: We Love the Munchkins

In what they describe as "probably the last time [they]'ll be together," the five surviving actors who played Munchkins in 1939's Wizard of Oz—celebrating its 70th anniversary this year—reveal set secrets and reflect on their roles in the Oscar-nominated film. Learn why Toto banked more cash than the Munchkins, how Judy Garland handed out gratis candy on the set, and more in this installment of 7 Things. Click the player to view!

Zombies Are Not the New Vampires: They Don't Suck

Have you heard? Zombies are the new vampires. First it was the hit literary mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Last month it was Jennifer's Body, the Diablo Cody-written zombie movie starring Megan Fox. This weekend, movie-goers flocked to Zombieland, which became the first surprise hit of the fall season (it opened at No. 1 with $25 million, according to studio estimates). Starz premieres Zombiemania later in the month, reviving all the old zombie classics (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and more). Apparently there's even a self-help book for zombies on the way, dispensing "advice and etiquette for the living dead."  Zombies zombies zombies.Except, no. As annoying and ceaseless as is the vampire bonanza, zombies will never supplant it.  The vampire obsession is rooted in sexual attraction. Robert Pattinson and Stephen Moyer turn people on. Something about the powdery pallor, the intelligent brow, the drowsing accent....

Five Things to Know About the Michael Jackson Movie

He's still got it. The upcoming movie Michael Jackson's This Is It, due out a full month from now, has blown past several sellout benchmarks, outpacing Harry Potter and Twilight in sold-out shows, according to a rep for MovieTickets.com. It's also walloping the Hannah Montana concert movie, per Fandango. Each site reports hundreds upon hundreds of sold-out shows—over 700 showings of the film are already sold out. Pop Vox has the answers to five panicky questions you have right now: When can I see it? Not until Oct. 28—which is what makes these sellouts so unprecedented. Most movies don't sell out 500-plus theaters until the last week before they're released (if ever). On MovieTickets, This Is It hit 100 sellouts on the first day it went on sale (Monday), and throttled up to 500 by Wednesday. "The ticketing trend shows no signs of abating," Rick Butler, Fandango's chief operating officer, said in an e-mail from the site. How long is it out? Ju...

Hugh Jackman on Neil Patrick Harris: 'He's the Federer of Awards Shows'

We sat down for a 7 Things with an old Pop Vox pal this week, Wolverine and Australia star Hugh Jackman. First order of business: congratulating him on the big Emmy win for his Oscars writing team. He demurred, and in turn congratulated this year's Emmy and Tony host, Neil Patrick Harris, for possibly being the best host ever. Click the player to view! (If you missed the opening Oscar montage for which Jackman's writers won—or just want to relive the magic—click below to view.) [youtube:Terhj8mjPwY]

Eric Ripert's New Food Show: An Interview

"Pack your knives!" sounds so much less harsh in a honeyed French accent, non? Eric Ripert, erstwhile Top Chef guest judge and current top chef at New York's Le Bernardin, goes solo with Avec Eric on PBS. He spoke to Sarah Ball. ...

Eric Ripert's New Food Show: An Interview

"Pack your knives!" sounds so much less harsh in a honeyed French accent, non? Eric Ripert, erstwhile Top Chef guest judge and current top chef at New York's Le Bernardin, goes solo with Avec Eric on PBS. He spoke to Sarah Ball. ...

The Fowl Language Heard 'Round the World

Like Dan Brown before him, Fox 5 news anchor Ernie Anastos's way with words has been translated into  every language. Well, almost: in the gazillion multilingual Google results for the outburst, the famous phrase in question is mostly (hilariously) not translated. Does the fact that there's no Sanskrit for "chicken f--king" discredit the theory that Anastos was going for some well-known, folksy idiom?In Russia!... комплімент своєму колезі Ніку Грегорі, сказавши, що "тільки суворий чоловік може зробити м'який прогноз", а потім додав: "Keep f--king that chicken". ...In France! Au cours d'une lumière au cœur des échanges avec WNYW Fox 5 collègues, Anastos dit Weatherman Nick Grégoire à «garder f--king que le poulet". ...In Taiwan! 勵志、溫馨的國片「2分20秒」,導演薛少軒力捧泳技不錯、有陽光笑容的姪子薛宇庭當男主角,扮教練的黃.... 本日最夯. Ernie Anastos: "Keep f--king that ...In Sweden! Men tungan ville inte lyda och han råkade säga "keep f--king that chicken"....

'Jennifer's Body': Why Hollywood Apparently Can't Make a Feminist Slasher Movie

If Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody () hadn't given interviews declaring her script for Jennifer's Body to finally be a feminist entry in the horror genre─to openly "take back the knife," in gendered film-study parlance─we might have no beef with her movie. But she did. A lot.So we do. A lot.Over to the left of us on the timeline of cinema history, we have every horror movie ever made─most of them "drenched in taboo and encroaching vigorously on the pornographic," a 1987 turn of phrase from feminist film scholar Carol J. Clover. Guy goes psycho, engages in killing spree of largely female victims; sexual brutality and murderous double entendres are sprinkled heavily throughout (along with lots of bare breasts). Psycho is then finally knocked off by lone, pale-faced survivor in some sort of feeble, happy accident. However, survivor's trauma makes the conclusion less relieving that one might hope. In terms of convention, Cody doesn't devia...

SHRIEK! Happy Tweetin' Birthday, Nick Jonas!

Twitter is the new fan mail—which is totally awesome, because nowwe all get to giggle at the embarrassing, TMI-filled missives that you blast to your idols. (Breathlessly awaiting the day someone learns how to program perfume and stickers.) That's why yesterday's microblog mailbag gave us such particular cheer: in case you missed the HUGE news that the U.S. has abandoned its nuclear missile defense shield Nick Jonas turned 17, Twitter went bonkers with birthday well-wishing of an, shall we say, incredibly enthusiastic variety. Excerpts: The Panty-Throwers: "— "—  — "— The Jealous Haters: " --belovednewo in Raleigh, N.C. " —senshi v "—"— The Hilarious Non Sequiturs: ." —puddingrox_21 in Canada "— "

Jay-Z and 'Blueprint 3' Top Elvis in No. 1 Records

Jay-Z's new Blueprint 3 earned the rapper his 11th No. 1 berth on the Billboard 200 chart of U.S. album sales─enough to crush Elvis's record and become the solo act with the most No. 1 records in the chart's half-century history. Jay will also have the second-most No. 1 albums among all acts, ever─bested only by The Beatles, who have 19 No. 1 albums. Coincidentally, the slew of remastered Fab Four albums (which we reviewed here) also saw major coups over the weekend. While the rerelease of 1969's Abbey Road had the biggest take, with 89,000 units sold, the total sales for all Beatles music through Sunday night was 626,000. According to Billboard, "Since SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991, the Beatles have never sold less than 1 million albums in a year."You're just over halfway there, Jay!

Colin Firth Gets His Due

Colin Firth, to thee we sing: the Brit was named best actor at the Venice Film Festival last Saturday for his turn as a gay, English lit professor in Tom Ford's film adaptation of A Single Man, the Christopher Isherwood novel. And yesterday, the movie was snapped up mere hours after screening at the Toronto Film Festival, immediately sparking Oscar buzz for Firth's performance. (The awards-happy Weinstein Co. bought the movie for between $1 and $2 million.) Prior to this week, most of A Single Man's buzz has centered around its fashion-designer director, whose retro-sexy aesthetic permeates the trailer (click above to view). But we're more thrilled at what this means for Firth's career. In the past 15 years, the actor has played either an iteration of Mr. Darcy (a character he first immortalized in the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries), a novelty (dog collar-ed in Mamma Mia!; beret-ed in Girl With a Pearl Earring); or the semitragic, buffoonis...

Patrick Swayze, Dead at 57: A Life in YouTube

The American Film Institute named this immortal Swayze line from 1987's Dirty Dancing one of the top 100 most famous movie quotes of all time: "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." The native Houstonian was the son of a choreographer and a trained dancer, a skill he readily flaunted in this romantic-comedy classic.Swayze's hilarious (and, we admit, kinda sexy) Saturday Night Live Chippendale dance-off with Chris Farley is one of the variety show's most memorable skits. The crushing final scene of 1990's Ghost─one that feels all too eerie now. Swayze and Wesley Snipes get in touch with their feminine sides in 1995's To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. Swayze was nominated for a Golden Globe the following year for his (her?) performance, one of three Globe nominations he received.The theatrical trailer for 1991's Point Break, in which Swayze starred as a bleached-blonde, bank-robbing surfer dude opposite Keanu Reeves and Gary Busey....

Even Paul Bettany Can't Make Charles Darwin Sexy

The Telegraph has a story today about a floundering British film called Creation, which opened the Toronto Film Festival to fanfare, premieres in Britain this Sunday, and has been picked up by distributors in every area imaginable, "from Australia to Scandinavia." The movie homes in on the life of Charles Darwin at its most conflicted, when the 40-something scientist (Paul Bettany) mourns the loss of his young daughter and finds himself disenchanted with religion. But the biopic hasn't found a U.S. distributor yet─something The Telegraph and The Hollywood Reporter both hitch to America's conservatism. The former points out that "only 39 percent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution," while THR mourns that "[it] would be a great shame if those with religious convictions spurned the film out of hand as they will find it even-handed and wise." It's easy to blame ol' puritanical America, the land in which The Passion of the C...

Jay Leno's Photoshop Disaster

Image: NBC Retouched photos are a fact of life in the entertainment industry. But it's rare that you get something so shoddy from a respected source like NBC. The floating, poking hand isn't even touching Jay's face, and is of a completely different skin tone. And check out the jawline and shadows—we know Jay has a big head, but c'mon. It looks like his face was blown up, then transposed back onto tiny suit shoulders. In a bigger version of the pic, you can marvel at the liberal and oh-so-obvious application of the blur tool on his forehead and hand, where, our photo editors point out, all veins and age spots have been removed. (Either that or "it's a 30-year-old's hand," as one of them joked.) The nagging question here is, why? The dude's a middle-aged comedian, not Kelly Clarkson. Who's not going to watch him if he has wrinkles? And who can believe there isn't a normal, fairly recent headshot of someone who's been on tel...

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