The Jewish Canadian rapper Drake was seen on the New York set of “Anchorman: The Legend Continues” last Saturday afternoon. Kanye West also has a cameo in the sequel, which stars Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Sacha Baron Cohen. In other words, most of the funny people currently working in Hollywood.
Using his preternatural smoothness, Justin Timberlake last week saved the Coen brothers from some serious awkwardness at a Cannes Film Festival news conference for their folk singer film, “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
“Jewish humor, does it exist? If so, what does it consist of?” a reporter asked after suggesting that World War II and the Holocaust were perhaps responsible for the German people’s lack of humor. Timberlake, who plays a folk singer in the film, shot right back with, “I smell a trap.” Joel Coen chimed in, squashing the conversation for good.
“There’s nothing like the Holocaust to put the stake in a certain kind of humor,” he said.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has landed an interesting sounding gig at New York University. Clinton, 33, is taking on the role of co-founder and co-chair of the new Of Many Institute, the New York Post reports. The purpose of the program, which is part of NYU’s Center for Spiritual Life, is to “develop multifaith dialogue and train multifaith leaders,” the university says. [Read more…]
It looks like things have gone from bad to worse for actress Amanda Bynes. Bynes, who lives in New York City, was arrested last Thursday for drug possession, reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence. Bynes underwent a psychiatric evaluation before being booked and processed by police. Sources are claiming that Bynes’ concerned parents are looking into getting a conservatorship for their troubled daughter.
Israeli viewers love their reality TV; the country’s highest-rated shows are “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” “MasterChef” and “The Voice.” Facing tough competition, new contenders need to bring their A game. The “X Factor Israel” is doing just that by signing Bar Refaeli as host. The Israeli supermodel will earn about $227,000 for looking good and talking to competitors, who are showing off their talent to the judges — famous musicians in Israel, none of whom are being paid as much as Refaeli, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Promotion ads for the new show are running in Israel and feature the show’s creator, Simon Cowell.
Indie film directors — during interviews — inevitably bring up something they have learned from Woody Allen. So it was refreshing to hear from Vulture that the young Jewish filmmaker, Zach Braff, taught his veteran counterpart a thing or two about how the kids are raising money these days to fund their projects. Braff happens to be an expert on the subject, having raised nearly $3 million on Kickstarter for “Wish I Was Here,” his follow-up to “Garden State.”
Jewish day school student Jake Davidson lost one supermodel prom date and gained another. Davidson, a senior at Milken Community High in Bel Air, Calif., had asked Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Kate Upton to be his prom date via a YouTube video in March that went viral and ultimately landed him on “The Today Show.” Upton called the show to say she’d love to go but would have to check her calendar. Alas, in the end, she was tied up in New York filming “The Other Women,” a comedy also starring Cameron Diaz, Nicki Minaj and Leslie Mann.
It looks like FOX-TV is going to be injecting some more humor into its lineup. Billy Crystal will star in the network’s new half-hour series, “The Comedians,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Crystal will play a veteran (Jewish?) comedian forced to work with a younger, edgier comedian on a late-night comedy sketch show. As if Crystal alone weren’t enough to give us faith, the show will be funny. “The Comedians” has some other comedic heavyweights behind it. Producing and writing the series are Larry Charles of “Seinfeld” fame and Ben Wexler from “Community” and “Arrested Development.” Crystal was a regular on “Saturday Night Live” for a season and on the ABC series “Soap.” “The Comedians” is scheduled to air this summer.
B.J. Novak, the head writer and a former actor in the hit TV series “The Office,” has been signed to a two-book deal by Knopf Publishers, reportedly with a seven-figure advance. Novak, better known as Ryan the temp, will start with fiction.
Alexa Ray Joel allegedly was the victim of a stalker, and the daughter of Grammy Award-winning singer Billy Joel is pretty shaken up by it.
A Sheryl Finley of Minnesota allegedly sent Alexa more than “60 messages via Facebook, with some involving pedophilia, sadistic-sexual behavior, violent physical assaults and murder,” the New York Post reported. Alexa, a 27-year-old songwriter, was “afraid to leave her Manhattan home.”