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Caryn James

John Oliver Plays 'Where in the World is Edward Snowden?' (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 25, 2013 10:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments
During the reassuringly funny Jon Oliver era at The Daily Show, the substitute host has begun every night by telling us why Jon Stewart isn't around. Last night Oliver explained Stewart "is currently in Moscow, or Ecuador, or on a flight somewhere or has escaped from the National Zoo -- we don't know." That intro set up a later segment tracing not leaky Edward Snowden's travels, but the U.S. ineptitude in getting him back -- Oliver imitated a sad former boyfriend trying to call Hong Kong -- and the television coverage that has been almost entirely based on filling time with maybes. His commonsensical yet outraged response: if you don't know where he is, stop guessing!

Gillian Anderson's Tense, Don't-Miss Netflix Series, 'The Fall' (Review)

  • By Caryn James
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  • June 7, 2013 9:00 AM
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  • 9 Comments
Early in her enthralling new series The Fall, Gillian Anderson -- as a detective named Stella Gibson -- indulges in what she calls a "sweet night," a concept she has borrowed from an African tribe. A woman asks a man to her bed for the night, knowing she'll kick him out for good in the morning. Of course it's a lot harder to escape a sweet night without repercussions if you're a London detective in Belfast searching for the serial killer of young professional women.

Jimmy Fallon's 'Game of Thrones' Update: Watch 'Game of Desks'

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 25, 2013 1:24 AM
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  • 4 Comments
I am not a Game of Thrones fan. For two seasons, I really tried, but gave up when some unbearably awful line of dialogue sent me running. In season 1, the line was "I am a Khaleesi of the Dothraki." As one irate comment pointed out at the time, that's the equivalent of "I am the Queen of England," which was pretty much my point - that's a terrible line. My GOT aversion comes with some exceptions, though: Peter Dinklage, just because he's fantastic as the wily Tyrion, and now Jimmy Fallon, whose parody Game of Desks premiered last night. Guess who announces herself as the Khaleesi?

Seth and Stefon's Big SNL Wedding, and Iran's Reply to Argo (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • May 19, 2013 11:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Stefon -- the guide to New York's hottest, most twisted clubs - was never my favorite Bill Hader character, but he grew on me. And since last night's SNL was Hader's last, it was inevitable that Stefon would pop up on Weekend Update. But who could have guessed that, tired of his unrequited love for Seth Meyers, Stefon would leave to marry another man, only to have Meyers run after him like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate? Take a look at Stefon's big wedding, with Amy Poehler and Anderson Cooper.

Watch Comedy From Obama, O'Brien, Spielberg at the White House Correspondents Dinner

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 28, 2013 11:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
This year's White House Correspondents' Dinner gave us a few insights about comedy:

'Mad Men' Event: What Do Betty and Megan Really Think of Each of Each Other?

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 8, 2013 9:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
What do the ex and the current Mrs. Don Drapers have to say to each other? I'm not sure, but I know how to find out: join me on April 24th at the 92nd St. Y for a conversation with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, along with January Jones (Betty) and Jessica Pare (Megan) for a wide-open conversation about the series, the season, and everybody's favorite cheating husband. Or is he?

Melissa McCarthy Gives Physical Comedy a Good Name On SNL (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 7, 2013 11:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Even if you're not a fan of physical comedy - and I'm usually not - the brilliant Melissa McCarthy makes it hilarious and sophisticated. She began her latest SNL hosting gig by entering on sky-high, red-sequined platform heels, stumbling her way on stage in a routine that was also a goof on the absurdity of actress' shoes today.

Watch Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno's Duet 'Tonight,' About 'Tonight' (UPDATED)

  • By Caryn James
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  • April 2, 2013 1:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Here, ironically enough, is the ultimate proof that Jimmy Fallon should take over for Jay Leno: a congenial duet between the two men commiserating about the media flap and speculation that Fallon will replace Leno in 2014, singing "Tonight" from West Side Story rewritten to suit their story. It's a bit of satiric and public relations genius, acknowledging and trying to defuse the rumors at the same time. (UPDATE: Two days after this video appeared, NBC announced that Fallon would take over Tonight in February; everyone obviously knew this was coming and decided to spin the transition right this time.)

Al Pacino, 'Phil Spector,' and Media Justice

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 21, 2013 9:12 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The gigantic frizzed-out wig on Al Pacino's head might be enough to make you curious about Phil Spector, the new HBO drama written and directed by David Mamet. In a multitude of wigs as conspicuously creepy as the actual Spector's, Pacino plays the fantastically successful music producer and reputed loony-tunes guy convicted of the 2007 murder in his home of Hollywood wannabe and club hostess Lana Clarkson. The first question the film raise isn't about the murder though. It's an issue that comes up with both Pacino and with Mamet today: are you getting the good or the evil twin? Pacino the actor who can still dazzle, or the over-the-top sputtering blowhard? Mamet the disciplined writer of The Untouchables and Glengarry Glen Ross or the self-indulgent filmmaker (The Winslow Boy) who dictates that everyone to speak in artificial, terse Mamet-talk?

Justin Timberlake's All-Star, All-Good SNL (Video)

  • By Caryn James
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  • March 10, 2013 12:13 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Justin Timberlake was totally aware of the high expectations for his hosting gig on SNL - "Thank you, Internet," he said during the monologue - but there was no need to worry. He was so on, he even gave just the right sly, I-know-it's-hokey reading to the line "Five Timers Club" when announcing his membership as a five-time host.

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