Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Daily Show Satires About Satire

In light of The New Yorker's Satiregate, The Daily Show got meta on satire's ass last night.

I suppose the really clever thing to do now would be for me to write something satirical about The Daily Show being satirical about satire. And then you could post a satirical comment about my satire about satire about satire. Like, I could recommend we solve social ills by feeding Daily Show correspondents to rich people. Unfortunately, I don't actually know what satire is. I don't really care for humor really. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a boner to fart on.

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Why TV Just Won't Die

By Betsy Schiffman

TvThose who predict the imminent death of TV might have to wait awhile. There's still a vast swath of land -- commonly known as "Middle America" -- where broadcast television works just fine, thanks.

New research suggests the people most likely to have an "Internet-connected digital living room" are relatively well-off families on the coasts, with household incomes of between $100,000 and $150,000. It's a fancy demographic, for sure, and it excludes much of the nation.

"These upper middle class households would ideally have children and be located in a metropolitan area on the East or West Coast," according to Multimedia Intelligence, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based market research firm.

The research group surveyed 25,000 people in both English- and Spanish-speaking households, and they found, contrary to popular belief, it wasn't the young, fabulous and tech-savvy who were most likely to digitally network their entertainment centers.

"Older households, those with a head of household age of 60 to 69, are among the fastest growing segments adopting data home networking. The number of US households in this category saw a compound annual growth rate of 29 percent between 2004 and 2007," according to Multimedia Intelligence.

Of course, Middle Americans are still free to turn to the web for their TV fix, but PCs and other portable devices are mostly unsatisfying for anything longer than 30 minutes. So, until most Americans have fully networked their living rooms, it's hard to imagine that broadcast television will evaporate or die any time soon.

We may be in the minority, though: In recent months, a number of industry watchers -- including TiVo CEO Tom Rogers and internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen -- have predicted a tragic, newspaper-like fall for network television (or old media). The problem is four-fold: The internet is cannibalizing TV audiences; pirated cable TV shows are readily available online; increasing numbers of people fast forward through the commercials now (thanks to digital TV); and finally, and this may be debatable, but critics say the programming just sucks.

Photo: Flickr/midnight-digital

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TV Bad Guys I Love to Hate

By: Cassandra Evanas (View Profile)

Normally I prefer to eschew all stereotypes, but there’s one that I just can’t shake—I like bad boys. There’s something alluring about guys who are rebellious, who don’t sugarcoat or mince words. In real life, this attraction can be a deterrent to long-lasting, functional relationships, so I have to enjoy them from the protection of a TV screen. I find myself drawn to the antagonists of my favorite shows; even if they’re not so terrible compared to other characters, a little treachery is enough to pique my interest. My favorites run the gamut from slightly villainous to full-blown nasty, yet they all show up on my bad-guy radar as the best that TV has to offer.

Dwight Schrute, The Office

Dwight is manipulative, annoying, and downright creepy. He makes sexist comments, rats out his coworkers, and hides random weapons around the office. He’s also one of the most beloved characters on TV right now, having won the hearts of viewers by tickling their funny bones. His antics keep his coworkers on their toes and keep me tuning in every Thursday.

Sylar, Heroes

A propensity for murder doesn’t usually make a character likeable, especially not when he uses the nasty methods that Sylar does. However, Sylar’s sinister, coldly calculating persona is completely hypnotizing to watch, making him a truly great bad guy. When he lost his powers and wasn’t the main villain, the show became downright boring.

Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons

Sideshow Bob is one of television’s most enduring villains. Thanks to his unique personal history—he’s both a Yale alum and a former clown—he’s capable of hatching the most ridiculously elaborate murder plots. Some of my favorite episodes (“Cape Feare,” for instance) revolve around Sideshow Bob. Frankly, Bart gets on my nerves sometimes; I’m not saying I want him to die, but a serious scare from time to time at the hands of Mr. Terwilliger is good for him and the show.

Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

As the former “Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming” at NBC, and the current “Homeland Security Director of Crisis and Weather Management,” Jack Donaghy will do whatever it takes to rise within the ranks of both the company and the Republican Party. In pursuit of this end, he covered up his company’s role in an orange children scandal and threw a Campaign to Re-Invade Vietnam dinner party. Occasionally he can be a good guy, but he’s better when he’s bad.

Ben Linus, Lost

I love complex villains, but it’s not just me. The creepy, manipulative leaders of the Others is on many critics’ lists of the best villains on TV right now. His mysteriousness—who knows what his agenda is?—keeps me riveted to the screen. He doesn’t even need to say anything to scare me—one of his chilling, intense glances is frightening enough.

Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development

The show’s not technically on the air anymore, but it’s still alive in my heart! Lucille is a bad gal, not a bad guy; but she can hold her own against any of the biggest, baddest boys on TV, so she has earned her place on this list. She’ll do anything to keep her fortune and expensive lifestyle, even if that means stealing, lying to her children, and keeping her husband in jail. Lucille always keeps things interesting, in addition to delivering some of the best one-liners on the show.

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Hendrix's burnt guitar up for auction

ONE of Jimi Hendrix's favourite guitars, set alight on a London stage more than 40 years ago and thought to have been lost forever, is to be auctioned later this year.

The guitar, a 1965 Fender Stratocaster, was famously doused with lighter fuel and set alight by the rock legend during a one-off performance at London's Finsbury Astoria in March 1967.

Hendrix had to be rushed to hospital with minor burns to his hands after the stunt, and the guitar, slightly damaged along the neck and pickboard, was recovered by his staff.

It eventually ended up in the hands of his press officer, Tony Garland, who stored it in his parents' garage, where it remained until it was unearthed last year by Garland's nephew.

The guitar is among a range of rock memorabilia to be auctioned by the Fame Bureau in London on September 4. It has an estimate of £500,000 ($1 million). Other lots include The Doors frontman Jim Morrison's last notebook of poems.

"When Hendrix set this guitar alight it marked a watershed in live performance," said Ted Owen, director of acquisitions at the auction house.

"He raised the bar of what could be expected and paved the way for a series of imitations and pastiche that exist to this day."

Hendrix, who died in 1970, burnt two guitars on stage - he repeated the stunt at a festival later in 1967 - but the one to be auctioned is the only example that survives intact.

A previous auction of a Hendrix guitar, known as the Woodstock Stratocaster, fetched $1.8 million.

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Shocking Musical Moments Caught on Tape

By Douglas

Awards ceremony broadcasts are usually dull, staid displays of self-congratulations. However, once in a while there are some entertaining, unplanned occurrences. Perhaps the Godfather (no pun intended) of all award ceremony shock tactics is Marlon Brando, who for his 1973 acceptance speech for The Godfather, sent a Native American woman, Sacheen Littlefeather, dressed in white buckskin and leather headdress, to read a speech blasting Hollywood for its treatment of Native Americans in film.

The music world has seen its fair share of amusing award ceremony hi-jinx in recent years.

“Soy Bomb” and Bob Dylan
The 1998 Grammy Awards ceremony’s first bomb occurs during Bob Dylan and his band’s arousing live performance of “Love Sick.” Too bad it’s ruined by Michael Portnoy, who decides to make his deep cultural statement about art (“soy bomb is what I think art should be: dense, transformational, explosive life”) during a particularly absorbing (and rare) television appearance by Dylan. I kind of like Portnoy’s ploy, but couldn’t he have done it during LeAnn Rimes’ performance?

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Ol’ Dirty Bastard “duets” with Shawn Colvin
In another tired display of rap star bravado (looking at you, Kanye), Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupts Shawn Colvin’s Song of the Year acceptance speech at the 1998 Grammy Awards to protest the Clan’s loss in the Best Rap Album category. “Wu Tang is for the children.

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Blow My Horn!
The inspiration for ODB’s stunt was most likely Nathaniel Hornblower, aka Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who crashed the stage at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards to protest R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” winning Best Direction over Spike Jonze’s video for “Sabotage.”

Rage Against the Set
In what is now becoming a tradition in the pop world, artists are continuing to find interesting ways to complain about their losing an award to less-deserving colleagues. Case in point, at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine climbs a piece of set scaffolding and refuses to come down after his band lost the award for Best Rock Video to Limp Bizkit.

Our Lord, Michael Jackson?
At the prodding of our trusty columnist, James, I’m including a less well known (at least on this side of the pond) awards ceremony shocker. At the 1996 BRIT Awards (the British equivalent of the Grammy’s), Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of Britpop band, Pulp, stormed the stage during Michael Jackson’s over the top performance of “Earth Song.” In it, the King of Pop portrays himself as a Christ-like figure surrounded by children. Cocker mounted his invasion in protest. Here’s the video to prove it, along with commentary by Cocker himself.

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For all intents and purposes, careerism has trumped bold political protests by musicians. The following are a few rare exceptions.

Sinead O’ Connor rips the Pope
I can see why this was a shocking and offensive act, but I also commend Sinead for her unflinching protest of the Catholic Church’s hypocrisy. An amazingly talented artist, Sinead has never shied away from controversy, and this is her crowning achievement in that realm. The incident effectively destroyed her career, at least as far as topping the charts, but Sinead has persevered and remains a powerful voice in rock and folk music today.

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Check out Sinead’s side of the story.

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Kanye Beats the Bush
I normally have little tolerance for Kanye’s childish antics, but his nationally-televised impromptu rant against George Bush and the media for its blatant racism in the face of Hurricane Katrina was absolutely priceless (and right on the mark). A Concert for Hurricane Relief, just another self-absorbed benefit spectacle, was suddenly made relevant with the unpolished, but unapologetic barbs from hip-hop’s biggest star. Check out Mike Meyers’ reaction. Not very impressive for a supposed improv master.

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Check out Kanye’s response to his off-the-cuff political rant.

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There have been many instances of rock stars freaking out when a performance is interrupted by misbehaving fans (Ryan Adams) or technical glitches (Kanye West). The following clip falls into the former category and will be hard to top.

A Queen of the Stone Age goes royally apeshit
I had written about this tirade in a previous post. Josh Homme’s epic tantrum after a fan throws a shoe at him is one for the ages. Apparently fighting a high fever, the sickly lead singer of Queens of the Stone Age wasn’t going to put up with any shit from a rowdy festival fan. While his words were way over the top (and even offensive), it’s hard not to sympathize with him. I mean, would you want a hard object hurled at you while you’re trying to work (or ever)?

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Luke, I Am Your Father: 8 Memorable Movie Misquotes

by Brady Sullivan

What would we do without memorable quotes to express our otherwise bottled up emotions? We might, for instance, have to actually ask for a raise rather than scream "Show me the money!" at our bosses. However, even though we use them so often, those movie quotes we hear repeated ad nauseum frequently aren't the real quotes at all. Years of repetition have turned them into easily recognizable, but inaccurate, misquotes. And none are more often mistaken than these 8 classics.

8. "Play it again, Sam!"


Casablanca may be one of the most well respected films of all time, but that doesn't stop people from misquoting it constantly. This line, supposedly said by Ingrid Bergman, may be what your drunken uncle yells at a wedding when he hears a song that gets his toes a-tapping, but you can scour the script of the film and never find it. Instead, you will find Ingrid saying "Play it Sam, for old times' sake, play 'As Time Goes By'." The misquoted line did show up in the Marx Brothers' movie A Night in Casablanca and acted as the title for Woody Allen's Play it Again, Sam, proving that as a culture we remember a lot more from people making fun of our classic works than the classics themselves.

7. "I'm out of order? You're out of order! This whole court is out of order!"

... And Justice For All

Has a greater, more dramatic line ever been uttered in a courtroom drama than this one? I guess so, since it was never said in ... And Justice For All, its supposed place of origin. In response to the Judge proclaiming he is out of order, Al Pacino actually snaps back "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!" The same point is made, but in a much less quotable way. Thank god courtroom parodies ever since have pounded this altered line into the popular subconscious.

6. "You dirty rat!"

James Cagney

This phrase has become the cornerstone of any 1920's gangster impersonator's vocabulary. Attributed to the late great (and easily impersonated) James Cagney, the line is even some times followed by the tag "You killed my brother!" But what Cagney movie is it really from? None, of course. Cagney once called another gangster a "dirty, double-crossing rat" in Blonde Crazy, but that's as close as he came to the famous accusation. The line actually comes from none other than the Riddler himself. Yep, Frank Gorshin, famous for playing the Riddler on the Batman TV show, created the line himself as part of his own impeccable James Cagney impression.

5. "If you build it, they will come."

Field of Dreams

When a voice in your head tells you to build a baseball field so that ghosts can come play on it, that voice better be saying something pretty damn convincing. And how much more convincing and ominous can you get than this oft-repeated quote from Field of Dreams? Too bad a single pronoun is off. Even though a horde of dead baseball players show up to play on the field, only one player really matters to the main character: his father, with whom he plays a tearful round of catch with in the movie's finale. Hence the actual quote if "If you build it, he will come."

4. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Yes, that line you say in front of your own mirror every morning to inflate your ego for the day might do the trick, but it's not an actual movie quote. The jealous Queen berating her magical mirror over the fact that it has proclaimed Snow White the fairest person in the kingdom is an incredibly memorable scene and the instigator for the entire plot of the film. However, the actual line is "Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" Until you get a magic mirror, you might as well stick with the altered version during your own narcissistic self-adoration.

3. "Hello, Clarice."

The Silence of the Lambs

Although this line from The Silence of the Lambs gets repeated constantly, much to the chagrin of anyone named Clarice, it's never actually spoken by Anthony Hopkins in the film. For a guy that eats human flesh, Hannibal Lector does have a classy disposition, so the only such greeting is the much more polished "Good evening, Clarice." They did manage to squeeze the line into the follow-up movie Hannibal after it was already in the popular lexicon, but who remembers anything from Hannibal besides Ray Liotta getting his brains eaten?

2. "Do you feel lucky, punk?"

Dirty Harry

Clint Eastwood is a badass. We all know it. And there really isn't a better line to have his entire, badass persona distilled into than this one. The only problem is that he never said it. The real line comes at the end of Dirty Harry, when Cagney's answer to whether or not he shot five or six bullets, which he ends with the query, "You've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, PUNK?" But unless you're a theatre major trying to brand yourself as the tough guy and using this during audition, who has the time to memorize an entire monologue? We just want to ask punks whether they feel lucky, in bad Clint Eastwood impressions.

1. "Luke, I am your father."

Star Wars

This is probably the most quoted line from one of the most famous trilogies of all time, but as any Star Wars nerd is quick to point out, most of us still haven't got it right. The moment when Darth Vader reveals himself to be Luke's father is one of the greatest twists in cinematic history, but the actual line Vader belts out between wheezes isn't quite as quotable as this condensed version with the inserted Luke so we all know who the hell the line refers to. The actual line following Luke's accusation of Vader about killing his father is "No. I am your father." Makes more sense in context, but without the same ring. But now you know. I hope I've managed to save some of your nerd cred.

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New Live Action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie In The Works?

Could the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles be returning to the big screen in a new live action film? The Playmates Toys website has the following statement:

“Following the success of the ‘TMNT’ theatrical release in 2007, Mirage licensing and Imagi studios have begun work on a new live-action TMNT film for 2010. It’s the turtles like you’ve never seen them before! Shellalicious!”

As much as I enjoyed the TMNT animated feature, I was left longing for the old live action films, as bad as they might have been (Remember the Ninja rap?). I really wish that with the expected success of The Dark Knight, that Imagi would consider making a darker TMNT, something closer to Kevin Eastman/Peter Laird’s original vision. But I doubt they will go in that direction. Also, Imagi is a computer animation studio, which makes me wonder if the live-action aspect is a typo or maybe that the turtles will be cg in a live action world.

Update: Following the publication of this story, Playmates removed the mention of “live-action” from their website.

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I Love It When A Plan Totally Doesn't Come Together

It happens to the best dashing science fiction hero: You come up with a preternaturally clever plan to stop the bad guys, involving a totally cunning bit of MacGyvering or hustle... and it totally fails. Your super-gadget blows up. Or your allies flake. The bad guys turn out not to be total idiots. Or all the random variables you totally had a handle on turn out different. It's what you do after your cunning plan fails that separates the good guys from the great guys. Here are our favorite failed plans.

Every other one of the Doctor's cunning plans, in Doctor Who. The Doctor is always hatching plans that fall completely flat. This is especially true in the original series, where stories had to last 90 minutes or longer. In "The Ark In Space," the Doctor plans to attack the Wirrn while they sleep — but they left a guard behind. And then he plots to stop them by electrifying the bulkheads — but they attack the electricity supply. In "Pyramids Of Mars," he builds a fancy anti-mummy machine, which the mummies wreck. Then he plants explosives on the mummies' spaceship, which fail to explode. In "Parting Of The Ways," he builds fancy Dalek-brain-busting machine... which he doesn't have the gumption to use. The Doctor has a clever scheme to get hold of the Master's laser screwdriver in "Last Of The Time Lords"... and it won't work for him. And so on.

The last battle against the Tripods, in The Pool Of Fire by John Christopher. The humans have a clever plan for attacking the domed cities of the alien Masters: sneak in and pour alcohol into the water supply, incapacitating the Masters so the humans can crack their protective domes. This works most places, but totally fails in the Panama Canal dome. There's a backup plan, which involves primitive airplanes and bombs. This fails too. And then there's a third backup plan, involving hot-air balloons and bombs. This almost fails as well, because the balloons just bounce off the dome — except that Henry lands his balloon on the dome and cradles his bomb against the dome's surface, sacrificing his life to make it blow up.

Pretty much every plan ever on Firefly. Let's rob a train — even though it turns out to be full of Alliance troops. Let's take on some passengers, what could go wrong? Let's crash a fancy society ball. Or better yet, let's team up with Saffron, the woman who double-crossed us last time. It'll be fine this time!

Whenever Sisko tries to get sneaky on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Captain Benjamin Sisko has many fine qualities, but subterfuge is not one of them. When he tries to trick the Romulans into joining the war against the evil Dominion by giving them a fake holo-recording of a meeting where the Dominion discusses invading the Romulans, it totally blows up in his face because Romulan senator Vreenak sees the fake for what it is. (But luckily for Sisko, Garak the "simple tailor" from Cardassia has a back-up plan, that blows up in Vreenak's face: literally. The resulting debris looks like the result of a Dominion attack, and the fake holo-recording looks much more genuine after it's been damaged in the explosion. Similarly, Janeway is always coming up with plans that fail on Star Trek: Voyager, including trying to shut down the evil clown in "The Thaw" and tricking the sentient missile into thinking they're in a minefield so they can shut it down in "Warhead."

In Ursula LeGuin's The Lathe Of Heaven, pretty much every well-intentioned attempt to use George Orr's reality-altering dreams for good purposes fails. Like when Heather tries to fix the problems George's dreams have already caused by inducing more world-warping dreams:

Heather begins to believe his story and seeks him out at his hideaway. Finding him in a state of exhaustion and desperation she says she will hypnotize him ( she learned it in college) and suggests that he dreams that the aliens are not on the moon and that Haber is really a good man who will cure George, not use him. This spontaneous plan backfires when George dreams that the aliens are no longer on the moon. You guessed it. George dreams that they came to the earth itself. Portland is nearly destroyed and civilians are killed by friendly fire as the military overreacts but it turns out that the aliens are peaceful beings without weapons, who are psychic and whose native element is the dream state itself.

Pretty much every escape attempt in The Prisoner. In the 1960s spy-village drama, the man known only as Number Six tries a whole variety of gambits to get away, from stealing a helicopter to getting elected Number Two to smuggling himself in crates to building a boat. He's the Wile E. Coyote of superspy escapees, and he meets with similar luck to Wile E.

That whole plan of sending soldiers into a nuclear reactor and not letting them fire their weapons when they're surrounded by alien monsters, in Aliens. Not to mention blocking off the bulkheads but not paying attention to the ceilings.

The whole trap-the-Predator idea in Predator 2. The feds have been tracking encounters with the Predator2 ever since the first movie, and they have a plan to capture a live specimen using a slaughterhouse that the Predator has been raiding for food. They think they can blind the Predator by blocking out the infrared spectrum of light — but the Predator just switches its helmet over to ultraviolet and wastes them all.

All of Horza's best-laid plans
in Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks. Infiltrating the pirates? Abandoning one of them to die (but leaving him the detonator of a nuclear weapon)? Impersonating the pirates' leader? Assuming the injured Idiran soldier who got away won't cause any more trouble? It all works out spectacularly badly.

Altering history turns out to be a flawed plan in the 2002 movie of The Time Machine. Our hero, Alex Hartdegen, wants to save his girlfriend from getting killed by a mugger by going back in time and changing history. But after he finally builds his time machine, he goes back and can't change the past. No matter how many times he changes things, Emma still gets killed.

The dinosaur trap in Planet Of The Dinosaurs. In this fine, wonderful movie, a group of space travelers are at the mercy of a vicious Tyrranosaurus Rex. First, they try to poison the creature by leaving some Allosaur meat outside its lair, laced with poison berries. The plan goes south because the creature attacks from the rear. Their second plan, to coat wooden stakes with the poison and impale the creature on them, fails... until it finally works.

The Iluminati and friends come up with a whole host of plans to stop the Hulk when he comes back from outer space to trash everything, in the comic series World War Hulk. Iron Man comes up with some incredibly fancy battle armor that lasts about five minutes. Mr. Fantastic creates a huge machine that simulates the feeling the Hulk gets from being pacified by the all-powerful Sentry... and the Hulk smashes it right away. Dr. Strange tries to reach the Hulk's friendly alter-ego Bruce... and the Hulk smushes his hands. Oh well.
Lili's gambit on Earth: The Final Conflict: Lili Marquette is among the Taelons, who are attacking Earth, and tries to sabotage the engines on their ship. She sort of succeeds, but Zo'or deals with it by expunging the extra energy out into space.

Stargate is full of failed gambits: Sheppard tries to distract the Super-Wraith with a flare and run to a puddle-jumper in the Atlantis episode "The Defiant One," but the Super-Wraith left the puddle-jumper's shields on. When that fails, he challenges the Super-Wraith to a pointless knife fight and early gets slaughtered. In the SG-1 episode "The Serpent's Lair," the SG-1 crew plants C-4 explosives around a Goa'uld ship, but then Apophis himself shows up and captures them. Meanwhile, Colonel Samuels has a plan to attack Apophis using special warheads... which totally bounce off. Oops.

There are like three attempts to stop the comet in Deep Impact. First, the spaceship Messiah is launched to drill into the comet's surface and plant bombs, which only split it into two still-destructive comet pieces. Then Earth tries to launch a ton of missiles, which only make the comet more pissed off and splodey. The smaller piece of comet hits and creates a mega-tsunami. Just as the much larger piece of comet is about to hit, the Messiah flies into a fissure in the comet piece and blow it up.

Every Terry Gilliam hero ever pretty much makes screwy plans that don't work out that great. Like Sam Lowry in Brazil, who has a plan to erase Jill from the records so they can escape — which doesn't work out that great, because Jill gets erased for real. And James Cole in Twelve Monkeys thinks he can avert the future plague by tracking down Jeffrey Goines and the Army Of The Twelve Monkeys, but they turn out to be a total red herring.

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Comedian Andy Dick arrested in drug, sexual battery case in Murrieta

Mug shot
From the Associated Press
Andy Dick, 42, was arrested today on suspicion of drug use and sexual battery in Murrieta.

By David Kelly, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Actor and comedian Andy Dick, who has a history of run-ins with the law, was arrested early Wednesday outside a Murrieta restaurant on suspicion of sexual battery and drug possession.

Police said Dick, who was heavily intoxicated, grabbed and fondled the breast of a 17-year-old girl before pulling her top down in the parking lot of the Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar about 1:15 in the morning.

"The victim was traumatized by this," said Lt. Dennis Vrooman, spokesman for the Murrieta Police Department.

Police later found one gram of marijuana and one Xanax anti-anxiety pill in Dick's pocket. He was arrested and later released on $5,000 bail.

It was the latest in a string of encounters that Dick, 42, has had with authorities. The former star of the comedy series "NewsRadio" was cited last year in Columbus, Ohio, for urinating in public. He was kicked off the set of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for repeatedly touching fellow guest Ivanka Trump. In 1999 he drove his car into a telephone pole and was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana.

Calls to his manager were not returned.

Vrooman said police had already warned Dick about his intoxication before he went to the restaurant. Officers had encountered the comedian while responding to an altercation at the Corner Pocket Sports Cafe in Murrieta about 9 p.m. Tuesday. They told him to leave or face possible arrest on public intoxication charges. He left with five or six friends.

Dick, who listed his address as Woodland Hills, told officers he was in town to attend the funeral of a friend's father.

Later that night, Dick and his entourage arrived at the Buffalo Wild Wings and began drinking, police said. He was recognized by several patrons, including the alleged victim, who approached him.

Vrooman said the girl, who is from Murrieta, tried to talk to Dick but backed off when she realized how intoxicated he was.

Sara Lidman, one of the restaurant managers, would say only that Dick was in the bar with friends.

Police said that when Dick left he spotted the girl and her friend in the parking lot and shouted, "There are the girls!"

"He groped her breast with his right hand, then pulled down her top," Vrooman said.

The teen's friend called police.

When they arrived, they found Dick in the front seat of a Honda pickup truck heading toward a nearby Sam's Club parking lot.

Officers stopped the truck and forced all the men inside to line up so the girl could identify the man who allegedly groped her. She pointed to Dick.

A search of his pockets turned up the Xanax and marijuana. He did not have a prescription for the Xanax, police said.

Vrooman said Dick was belligerent at first and then answered officers' questions.

On Saturday, Dick was spotted at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina in Canyon Lake in Riverside County.

"My understanding was that he was drinking soda water and was not drunk," said Pepe's owner Marty Gibson. "There was no altercation that I heard of."

Dick was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery, possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana, and he may yet be charged with public intoxication, Vrooman said.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 12 in Murrieta.

Times staff writer Harriet Ryan contributed to this report.

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Jack Nicholson 'Furious' Over Heath Ledger Playing The Joker In 'Dark Knight'

By Josh Horowitz

"Once I start talking, I can't shut up," Jack Nicholson told this writer recently in an extensive (and rare) conversation that covered everything from the Lakers to the late great John Huston.

In part one of the Nicholson interview, the icon recalled "Chinatown" and hypothesized about a conclusion to the yet-unrealized Jake Gittes trilogy. Here, in the conclusion of the conversation, the 70-year-old three-time Oscar winner talks about facing mortality in the movies (he portrays a cancer patient alongside Morgan Freeman in the upcoming "The Bucket List") and in his own life; why he's "furious" about Heath Ledger playing the Joker; and responds to Francis Ford Coppola's accusation that he, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are "living off the fat of the land."

Nicholson was the consummate gentleman and great storyteller in our conversation. An easy laugher (and is there a more famous laugh than his?), he managed to project graciousness and that legendary Nicholson self-confidence all in one fell swoop. Near the end of our time together, he whispered almost conspiratorially, "You asked interesting things, and I'm delighted with my answers." And why not? He's Jack.

MTV: I can't think of another actor who so embodies the Oscars. There's something comforting about seeing you there every year.

Jack Nicholson: I'm somebody that's always liked the Oscars. I always looked at them as being good for everybody. Win, lose or draw, it's a wonderful thing. It creates debate. Of course it's a collaborative form, so how could there possibly be such a thing as "best" in acting? There's always somebody else in the scene.

MTV: Your close friend, Marlon Brando, had some strong opinions about that very topic.

Nicholson: As do a lot of my friends. They don't like the competition. I've come to resent the fact that it takes three months of the year [to deal with the Oscars] if you're involved. I'm a nervous wreck when I'm around any public occurrence, actually. Most times [when nominated] I felt I knew whether I was going to win or not. It's the nights when you don't really know that are nerve-racking. [He laughs.]

MTV: I think it would surprise many people to hear that you are nervous at the Oscars.

Nicholson: I am. I have a good time, but it's the fact that if you're a nominee, you may have to make a speech. That's the thing that makes me really nervous.

MTV: "Chinatown" earned 11 nominations, including one for you as an actor. Only Robert Towne won, for his screenplay. Was that an enjoyable [Oscar] night despite all the losses?

Nicholson: [He laughs.] It wasn't that enjoyable. I thought that was what would happen. In fact, I told ["Chinatown" producer] Robert Evans, "We're going to get a lot of nominations. I don't know how much we'll win." Of course, I feel we should have won them all, myself included. In fact, I don't even remember who won the Oscar for actor that year. [Editor's note: Art Carney won for "Harry & Tonto."]

MTV: Your next film, "The Bucket List," could very well have you back in the running for awards.

Nicholson: It was a difficult thing for me. I wanted to work with [director] Rob [Reiner] and Morgan, but I got a little medical issue before it, and I kind of panicked. I didn't know if I'd have the endurance. I got crazy a little bit. [Editor's note: Nicholson was reportedly hospitalized for a gland infection in 2006.]

MTV: The film is about men facing their mortality. I'd assume those thoughts were all the more front and center for you then.

Nicholson: I won't say that I didn't use things that I found in my time in the clutches of medical situations. [He laughs.] For sure. I thought it was very adventurous of Rob to think about making a comedy about dying. And I like to be adventurous. It got to be a very personal film. It's got a lot of things in it that people think about that aren't articulated. For that reason, it's got some good spunk to it. And of course, if you're going to make a comedy, you better make them laugh. I don't want to jinx myself, but I feel pretty good about it.

MTV: You didn't become a star until your early 30s. Are you thankful that stardom didn't come earlier?

Nicholson: I think it was an advantage to me because you get to learn. I worked in [Roger] Corman pictures. Nobody expected much from them, but you expect a lot of yourself. I look at it in every sense as an advantage. I didn't look at it that way when I was living it. [He laughs.] In retrospect, I look at it that way.

MTV: Today it seems stardom is assigned to actors much earlier.

Nicholson: It's a different world in every way. I don't make lists, but there are a lot of young actors and actresses who are wonderful. The stardom part? A) you have to be good at it; b) it has to do with how people respond to you. This is an unpredictable element. You can't force it. It's who you are. It's the decisions you make.

MTV: What do you think of another actor, Heath Ledger, playing the Joker in next summer's "The Dark Knight"?

Nicholson: Let me be the way I'm not in interviews. I'm furious. I'm furious. [He laughs.] They never asked me about a sequel with the Joker. I know how to do that! Nobody ever asked me.

MTV: It was never brought up?

Nicholson: No. It's like, in any area, you can't believe the reasons things do or don't happen. Not asking me how to do the sequel is that kind of thing. Maybe it's not a mistake. Maybe it was the right thing, but to be candid, I'm furious.

MTV: I'm surprised to hear you sounding competitive about a role like that.

Nicholson: Well, the Joker comes from my childhood. That's how I got involved with it in the first place. It's a part I always thought I should play.

(What do you think of Jack's controversial Joker comments? Tell us at the MTV Movies Blog!)

MTV: Will you see the new film?

Nicholson: I'm not inclined to watch it because of what I said. But if it's a good movie, I'll catch up with it somewhere. I don't think they ever really captured Tim Burton's spirit [since he stopped being involved]. They kind of drove the franchise into the ground. Tim Burton's a genius. He had the right take on it. That's why I did the movie. I did the movie based on a single conversation with him. We both come from the cartoon world originally. We had similar ideas. Tim said [the Joker] should have a humorous dark side to him. [Burton is] one of the great moviemakers. I think the world of him. He's the most unassuming man. And he doesn't feel pressure. That's what I love about him. Once he's in there, he's smiling making the movie. That's it!

MTV: Are there other characters you've considered revisiting in sequels over the years?

Nicholson: Yeah. Last year I thought, "There are certain unresolved characters of mine." I'd like to do about three sequels right in a row. It was when they were talking to me about a "Last Detail" [sequel].

MTV: What were the others characters you considered revisiting?

Nicholson: Where did [Bobby Dupea] in "Five Easy Pieces" go? From my point of view, how you bracketed the time and these very American characters and what has happened with them is in a way with what has happened with America. I'm always looking for a fresh tangent to pursue. I think in theory that's a good idea. Where did this kind of restless spirit [in "The Last Detail"] go? Did [Billy "Bad Ass" Buddusky] go to Europe? I know the story ["Last Detail" author Darryl] Ponicsan wrote, and I think he came up with a brilliant idea [in the sequel book, "Last Flag Flying"] for it. It was just that thing where people are more polemically inclined [in a book] than is most effective with a movie. "The Last Detail" is a strong anti-war statement, but the characters in it are just doing their job. And I think that's the most effective way of approaching it.

MTV: What do you think of the spate of films this season inspired by the situation in Iraq?

Nicholson: I'm not for preaching to the choir. It's why some older movies are embarrassing. Yes, they're well intended, but what do they really know about anything?

MTV: Is acting as enjoyable as it always has been for you?

Nicholson: I stopped acting for a year a couple times just to make sure I knew why I was doing what I was doing. And I'm pleased to say I just like making beautiful things. You wonder about yourself sometimes. And I don't want to self-aggrandize or blow my own horn, but that's what I've found when I'm not making movies.

MTV: Clint Eastwood is talking like he won't act again. Would you ever retire?

Nicholson: In my profession, a retirement statement is the most unnecessary statement that you could possibly make. [He laughs.] I'm very fortunate. If I get a good script tomorrow that I want to do, I'm sure I'll be doing it. If I don't, I won't.

MTV: Francis Ford Coppola recently told Esquire he doubted how hungry you are for roles anymore. Did those comments upset you?

Nicholson: He called me. I've known Francis for a long time. I didn't even bother making him explain it. I just told him if anybody in the world understands being burned by an interview, I do. Don't give it a second thought. If that's what he said, and that's what he meant, and now he feels he said something he shouldn't have, that's fine by me. I'm hungry in the sense that I always was. Do I have to work? I haven't had to for quite a long time. Am I as hungry? I don't know that I'm as hungry, but I'm as vicious about the meal as I ever was. [He laughs.]

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