Celebritology Live

Jun 28, 2012

Celebritology bloggers Jen Chaney and Sarah Anne Hughes gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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Oh, do you think got some weepy goodbyes on the "Today" show this morning? That was just a warm-up to what's going to be happening in the Celebritology chat today.

As I mentioned during last week's discussion, this is Sarah Anne Hughes's last week on the blog; her final day is tomorrow. She's joining us for today's discussion so we can all say goodbye properly and thank her for all of her amazing work over the past year-and-a-half plus.

On a brief personal note, I can't say enough about how wonderful she is, as both a colleague and a human being. The few months have been challenging ones for me for personal reasons and Sarah has been there to keep the blog running when it was hard for me to do so. Celebritology would not have stayed afloat without her. I am not sure how it will stay afloat after Friday, but I guess we will find out.

She will be missed more than I can say and probably more than she can comprehend right now.

Now, over to Hughes. (Also, feel free to submit questions/comments about anything, including "Magic Mike," Nora Ephron or anything else on your mind.

Thanks, Jen. You've been much too kind to me and my ego.

I'm so happy to be here chatting today, as I prepare to take my leave and say goodbye to Celebritology. So let's do this thing! (And by this thing, I mean talk about Uggie a lot.) 

Can you explain this? I don't get the legs on this story. Her announcement was "breaking news" on the radio this morning and when they played the audio, it was like she had died. People were talking in hushed tones and discussing a retrospective of her greatest moments. This is weird to me, I do not understand. They're letting her live right? Is there something I'm missing here? She's not dying is she? I'd feel pretty terrible if she were leaving because she's ill.

She is not in ill health, as far as I know anyway. She stepped down from her role as a Today co-host because, according to reports, the higher-ups weren't enthusiastic about her in that job. She will continue working at NBC and still collecting all the money in her $10 million contract. So while her departure was badly handled and she surely must feel embarrassed, I think she will be okay.

As far as the legs, people have very strong opinions, one way or the other, about Ann Curry. So the tracking of her departure picked up a lot of traction online.

How do I get my husband to go see Magic Mike with me? Should I bother? My girlfriends don't seem as interested in seeing Matt Bomer on the big screen as I am. And the "Citizen Kane of male stripper movies" plug didn't help my argument either. Should I just go by myself? This seems borderline sleazy, but if that's what it takes to see the movie....

The Citizen Kane line cracks me up every time I see a "Magic Mike" commercial.

You can't find a single female friend to go with you? Really? That's surprising. Your husband might like it, actually. It's not Citizen Kane (shocker), but it's entertaining and fun and McConaughey is pretty great in it. It doesn't add up to much, which was one of my issues with it. But it's enjoyably breezy.

Tell your husband Olivia Munn also appears topless in it. Maybe that will have some sway?

Husband and I spent a long weekend in NYC. Took the commuter train out to Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey on Saturday. Shortly after we take our seats, a party of four sits down behind us and a moment later, the man sitting next to me turns and says, "Congratulations on your Tony." I turn my head slightly and do not gawk as my husband whispers, "Is Judith Light sitting behind us?" She was. We were good. We left her alone to enjoy the show. But it was SO cool.

I am impressed by your restraint.

I would have been like, hey, do you remember that episode of "Who's the Boss?" where you and Samantha got in a huge fight and then you resolved by listening to a touching song by Ray Charles? What was that like?

How do I explain to my kids that their favorite TV show, Nickelodeon's iCarly, has been cancelled?

You don't. You go on producing your own episodes when they are sleeping. I'm available to take  Miranda Cosgrove's place, FYI. 

In conclusion, never disappoint your children! 

I say handle this the way you handle the dead goldfish: don't say anything and see if they notice.

I thought Sarah left, but she's still listed on the intro to the chat? What is she doing now? Also, this is may be a bit off topic, but does she have boyfriend? I'm, uh, asking for a friend...

I'm here! It's me!

My last day is tomorrow. Just thinking about it makes me feel very wistful. But, for the record, this is the third time I have left the Post. I can't stay away from you crazy kids for very long.

And to answer your last question, yes. His name is Dante and he's a 16-year-old mini poodle. He completes me.

Jen, what do you think of the new Dallas?

Honestly, I have not watched. The clips I've seen look crazy-cheesy, so it would probably be a fun guilty pleasure.

Seriously, every time anyone mentions "Dallas," I hear the song "Who Shot J.R.?" by Gary Burbank. I may have to write about it at some point.

Have you seen the new Oliver Stone flick and is it good enough to forgive Timmy Riggins for Battleship and John Carter? I read the book and am anxiously awaiting my copy of the prequel, please don't tell me the movie is a let down...

I am supposed to see it Monday and am a little nervous, purely because I expect it to be brutally violent. I'm not squeamish about violence but I always get a little edgy when I walk into a movie knowing that's what lies ahead.

It was my husband that told me about the Citizen Kane of male stripper movies plug, and we was cracking up about it, so maybe I can get him to go. And no, none of my area friends are interested. I've contemplated getting a friend in another state to go to a screening at approximately the same time and then have her on my cell, BUT I hate cell phone usage in theaters, so this seems like a bad plan.

Skyping during "Magic Mike"; if it wouldn't annoy other patrons, I'd be all for it.

Try the husband first.

So, Jen, can you offer some Celebritology spin on the SCOTUS Health Care Act decision -- since it's the only thing everybody in town is talking about, there has to be a celebrity angle, right?

Good work, Chaney! You've just been promoted to the Washington Post's Chief Supreme Court Celebritologist.

Is the rare blood disease Nora Ephron died of, the same one with which Robin Roberts was recently diagnosed?

Yes, it appears that way. I did not put that together until you pointed it out.

As is customary, Roberts did send out an RIP tweet but made no mention of the connection: "So sad to hear of the passing of Nora Ephron..the incredibly talented writer, director. Boy, did I love her wit. Thinking of her family."

Buy an ICarly DVD set and either bury it in the backyard or flush it down the toilet with your children assisting you in the ceremony. Call a plumber. Then find a new show for your child to watch. Or, better yet, a new activity. Because all tv shows come to an end. *sobs*

TV shows come to an end? Not if the Internet has anything to say about it. Change.org, here we come!

Seeing the vid clip of Ann Curry with her puffy face and red rimmed eyes I almost felt bad about snarking about what a truly lousy interviewer she is. Almost.

It has been a hard week for her, I am sure. I hate to see other people in pain, too.

That said, she really isn't good at live interviews. Recorded, maybe. Not live.

Unless they were together when "Showgirls" came out and she gladly tagged along for that experience, then there really isn't any fair trade option, unless of course, she's willing to go see "Nudes on Ice" together next time they're in Vegas.

What if she willingly saw Coyote Ugly with him? Or pretty much any R-rated movie with frontal nudity in it, since the frontal tends to be female?

I have nothing to add, except that now I really want to watch "Showgirls."

So "Magic Mike"- is there enough of a plot in there to keep things moving? It's not that I'm opposed to seeing Joe Mangianello work what the good Lord gave him. (Quite the opposite, in fact.) I just know I'll like it a lot more if there's something to keep my brain occupied while the rest of me is going "hur hur hur, you're pretty".

Well, there is a plot. It's not back-to-back striptease routines. It's more of a character study than a movie with a very distinct narrative arc, but Soderbergh directed so there is a touch of substance there.

It's also a really well-edited and shot film, if that helps.

I plan to spend much of the next several days hunkered down in my cool basement, hiding from Mother Nature's hot flash and am trying to come up with a good DVD fest for entertainment (DVD fests are not just for snowstorms anymore). "When Harry Met Sally" will be one in honor of Nora Ephron's passing this week (RIP). Any other suggestions? I may also make a foray to a movie theater to partake of their AC and I believe you liked "Magic Mike", although a girlfriend may make me wait for her to go see it, so I may need to see "The Avengers" again because not much else that's out interests me. Any other entertainment suggestions for hiding from the heat? And a big ole thank you to Sarah Anne Hughes for helping to keep us up-to-date with celebrity and pop culture news these last couple of years. Good luck to you in your new adventures (which are what, by the way?).

This is a challenging question because it's so open-ended. Maybe you should give your DVD fest a theme. If not all Ephron, then maybe a movies with great holiday season scenes theme? That might be appropriate for keeping you cool, and it allows you to include When Harry Met Sally... because of the Christmas and New Year's moments.

Another bonus: I have seven years' worth of list-suggestions for you.

If you go to theaters, I would recommend Prometheus, though I know Hughes won't agree. Safety Not Guaranteed is a nice indie, too.

My go to DVDs are "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" and "Gone With the Wind" because I'm a complex weirdo. But I think Jen's theme idea is good. Maybe post-apocalyptic movies because this heat makes you wish the world would end/feel like it already did?

And thanks for the kind words! What exactly my new adventure is as open-ended as your question. I can say it partially involves dog walking.

For including the still photos of Ann Curry reacting to Alcide and Al the Weatherman grinding on her. The video made me laugh, the photos helped me remember the good times.

That was all Sarah. And I agree, it was delightful.

You're very welcome. 

Not a big fan of Ann Curry, but Today could have handled her departure with tons more class than they did. One minute she's weeping on the couch, there's a commercial, local news, and Voila! Savannah Guthrie magically appears on the couch to make nice with Matt Lauer. Not. Impressed.

I think Guthrie always takes over in the 9 a.m. hour, or at least has in the past. But I totally agree that it was a tacky way to handle things. They handled the whole thing poorly, really.

This was my thought exactly. It was ice cold.

There's already a meme on FB circulating showing Sean Bean (GoT) saying something about how everyone is now a constitutional lawyer.

I know. I posted it on my Facebook page because it cracked me up.

With the continual explosive expansion of the celebri-universe, I don't understand how the powers-that-be expect the Celebritology brigade to continue to cover the waterfront. Can we outsource to the London Daily Mail or the Mumbai News? Can we have a Chaney Celebrity Apprentice contest--Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling could appear in the first round?

More with less, my friend.

Actually, maybe you don't treat it like a dead goldfish, but rather like a dead hamster -- that is, run out to the pet store and buy one that looks just like it and replace it in the cage before the kids even notice. I mean, c'mon, there have got to be about a half-dozen similar Nick shows with stars (and lackies) who look just like, and fit the same formula as iCarly, right? And every time the new show does something different from the old, dead hamster, just explain to the kids that they changes somehting about iCarly to make it "look" like something's different, but everything's still the same. At least that's what my parents would've done.

Good call. That's what they did with that one chick in the Fresh Beat Band and my kid still hasn't noticed.

I'm not so sure about this. "iCarly" referenced "The Wire." "The Wire!!!" Can any other kid's show say they've made a joke about Snoop Pearson? 


I can't wait to see this on Saturday! I'm looking forward to what I imagine will be the atmosphere in the theater as much the hotness that will be IN the movie. Did you enjoy it Jen?

I would say I liked it, but didn't love it.

As you might imagine there wasn't as much of a party atmosphere at the critics' screenings, despite the issuance of purple beaded necklaces.

Boyfriend and I actually really liked John Carter. I don't get what all the negativity was about...

Look, I will defend Tim Riggins until my dying day. If it were up to me, I would have gotten his backside out of jail, even though I have absolutely no credentials as an attorney.

But even I did not like "John Carter." I thought it was plodding and dull and I didn't care about anything that happened and it felt super, super heavy with expensive special effects. I could see escalated budget numbers flashing by with every weird monster that showed up.

There was nudity in "Coyote Ugly"?!?!?!?!? Maybe it's because I've only ever seen it in the edited TBS version, but, who knew? I may have to NetFlick (singular of NetFlix) it in order to determine whether I should have a whole new appreciation for this potentially fine cinematic masterpiece.

No, not the kind of nudity you see in Magic Mike. Coyote Ugly was PG-13 and Mike is definitely R.

But it still objectifies ladies so I lump it into the stripper genre with the more explicit stuff.

Is that for real? I may need to reconsider my stance with my wife on this movie. Doing so would earn me all kinds of status whilst enjoying the talented Ms. Munn.

I promise you this: you will see Olivia Munn's naked goodies within the first five minutes of "Magic Mike." However, you will see Channing Tatum's bare backside first.

Hiya Ladies - after he 100% stole the show in "Rock of Ages", do you think Tom Cruise's public persona is completely rehabbed from his couch jumping days?

I do not. His career won't be hampered by it because enough people still like him and some of his movies still make money. But a lot of people don't like him, or stopped liking him during that phase and never went back.

I did not see "Rock of Ages," but I think he's on his way back to the top. His talent will not be denied, past couch jumping be darned.

Random, but brilliant idea: Maybe he should be in a remake of "Turner and Hooch" with Uggie. Just sayin.

I love Uggie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the best to you, Sarah. We will miss you. And have I mentioned I love Uggie?

U - Undoubtedly the greatest.

G- Growls at strangers? Never.

G- Goodness gracious, this dog is the best.

I- I'm not sure what to do know that he's retired.

E- Emotions, so many, I feel when I look at his  dog face.

With both Jen & Sarah (or is it the full "Sarah Anne"?) here, shouldn't you guys be answering twice the number of questions as usual?

Hey, don't be on our cases on Sarah's next-to-last day.  I'm trying to reserve my strength for next week when I have to turn into the Blog Machine 5000.

I can only find reference to this alleged review. Is there actually a review that says that MM is the CK of stripper films?

Here is the complete quote, which appeared in Entertainment Weekly and clearly is not a review: "While I haven’t seen Magic Mike yet, I already consider it to be the Citizen Kane of male stripper movies."

Please watch "Heartburn" with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. It's a wonderful movie but very bittersweet. And it might make you hungry for pasta in bed.

This is on my list of films to aquire. It is one of my (divorced) mother's favorite flicks.

Also: I am always hungry for pasta in bed.

You mention objectifying in Coyote Ugly. I'm pretty much against most nudity in movies for that very reason--because it's almost always a woman being thrown in our faces. So, it puzzles me when people (mostly female people) get all excited when a movie comes out which objectifies men. Shouldn't we (especially women) be against anyone being turned into an object?

Well, of course. But in the entertainment industry, that's never going to happen. So we have to resort to Plan B: an eye for an eye. Or maybe, a breast for a penis.

I hope you are moving on to something (and some co-workers) as fun as Celebritology! So give us the scoop, where are you headed? Why are you leaving?

I'm not going anywhere, really! I'm taking some time away from the Internet to walk dogs for money and probably start a blog where I take screen shots of stuff that happens on the "Today" show. It's my true talent.

As to why I'm leaving, my contract was up and it felt like it was time to move on. The decision did pain me, as I love bugging Jen every ten minutes on Gchat with links to funny stories. I'm sure she'll miss that too.

I am one of those who will never go see another Tom Cruise movie again. He is dead to me. As is Mel Gibson.

See? There are people who definitely don't consider his image rehabbed.

THIS IS A GENIUS IDEA! Sorry, I don't normally use that many CAPS, but I felt like your suggestion deserved it.

New decision: I'm moving to Hollywood to direct a remake of "Turner and Hooch" starring Tom Cruise and Uggie. You can all be extras.

Sweet! Can I be the best boy?


So sad to see you go Sarah. You were an awesome addition to Lizard Island. Jen, are you going to Comicon this year? because, uh, I have a couple of suggestions for panels to see.

Sadly, I am not going to Comic-Con. I would still like to hear your suggestions, thought. (Let me guess: Firefly reunion.)


Have you seen the trailers for The Master--love me some PT Anderson and this looks like Jaoquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffamn at their best.

Yes! Very excited for this! 

Related: Did we forgive Joaquin Phoenix for making that fake documentary about himself? Are we over that?

I am certainly over it if he's as good in this movie as he appears to be. (Watch trailer here.)

Interestingly enough, we also saw PROMETHEUS this weekend (and The Avengers...we were there too many days with no Broadway matinees). At first, I wouldn't have recommended PROMETHEUS, but after some though I'm glad I saw it in a theater. If I had waited for the DVD, I'm sure I would have wandered away at the wrong moments. It left a lot unanswered, but it was fulfilling enough. The Avengers, on the other hand, is one of the best super hero films I have ever seen.

Glad you liked both.

I say this as a (mostly) fully functional 32-year-old woman: that show is definitely a goldfish. Yes, it's dumb, but delightfully so, and smart enough to not run into a wall and end up dead and stink up the entire house. (Have I taken the metaphor too far?)

Not far enough, my friend.

I don't know who Tim Page is, but I thought his initial dissing of Springsteen and his music in a review of a new Springsteen biography was a bunch of crap. And I felt this chat was the best place to vent. Page says Springsteen "seems passe to younger listeners" and that "indie bands that have fashioned their styles from the works of Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Lou Reed, Fleetwood Mac . . . show little sign of adding Springsteen to their pantheon." Um, first, the biggest pop star on the planet right now -- Lady Gaga -- points to Springsteen as a major influence. Also, the biggest song in country music right now is titled "Springsteen." And three of the biggest indie bands -- Arcade Fire, The Hold Steady, and The Gaslight Anthem -- are all majorly influenced by the Boss. And to top it all off, the biggest concert in the US in 2012? Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Vent over!

To answer your question, Tim Page is a former music critic for the Post.

I get your point about passe comment. But I thought his review was otherwise pretty flattering of Springsteen. Nevertheless, happy to enable your venting. Feels better now, doesn't it?

Hi Sarah Anne ... good luck on the doggie walking business! I took a break from my career as a writer to do this for 2 years, and it was awesome. Zero stress. I still miss my furry clients.

Wait. Is this me? From the future? Am I communicating with my past self to say that walking dogs isn't a mistake and everything will be fine and I'll only get a little sunburnt?

Yes, it is. This is future Jen -- who currently hospitalized after being diagnosed with a relatively new condition known as Excessive Blogging Disorder, or EBD -- to confirm that this is true.

Actually, rather than forgive him, I've just kind of forgotten about him, as in, he's not on my celebrity or cinematic radar anymore. Not sure if he'll ever be, even if the new film is spectacular....

Yeah, unless he gets nominated for an Oscar or something like that. Then he'll be everywhere all the time. You'll be forced to acknowledge him!

I have a feeling he will indeed be everywhere this fall, or at least enough places that forgetting won't be an option.

Hearing that the Spice Girls and Magic Mike are both hot prospects for musicals--how about if they put them together. Something for everyone--bimbos and himbos!

Hey. HEY. You don't come into this chat and call the Spice Girls bimbos. I won't allow it.

They were my idols growing up. Girl power! Spice up your life! Wear platform shoes! Get a nickname!

I think they should merge shows so the Magic Mike-rs can perform to the greatest hits of the Spice Girls.

I think we've already diagnosed the problem--he needs Billy with him. I would pay $15 tomorrow to watch a movie about Riggins Rigs. $18 if Minka Kelly was somehow in the movie.

Someone get me Peter Berg on the phone.

$22 if you throw in Tyra.

There is something squeal-inducingly adorable about little Uggie in a bow tie. There is something skeeve-inducingly creepy about naked Matt McConnaghy.

McConaughey is supposed to be skeevy in the movie. As you'll see tomorrow in the blog, he was my favorite thing about it.

... this chat turns into some weird dog-walking version of "12 Monkeys." Well done, ladies.

It shall be the follow-up to Sarah's "Turner and Hooch" remake.

... can we add Woody Allen to the list? And did we ever discus his son's Father's Day tweet, which I thought was pretty durn funny?

I think we mentioned the tweet in a morning mix. But again, not everyone is anti-Woody.

How can you totally dislike someone who skips the Oscars because it conflicts with quality basketball, as noted in Ann Hornaday's excellent profile of him?

How did you guess the Firefly panel? The other suggestion was the Grimm panel. You must watch this show. It is so subtly good you don't realize you have fallen in love with it until it much too late. By then you can't live with it.

I haven't watched Grimm but I'll take your word for it.

A lot of people are super-excited about the Firefly panel. The Internet told me.

Sorry I won't be able to bring you coverage of it live. Maybe next year ... if I'm still breathing.

(Don't you love my optimism and positive attitude?)

If you're gonna mash-up Spice Girls and Magic Mike, it's not that the Mike-rs dance to Spice Girls songs, it's that the Spice Girls become strippers. Speaking of which, I thought they all looked great in the group promo photo from the announcement, which was a pleasant surprice.

Maybe they can take turns? One night it's a male stripper show set solely to the Spice Girls, the next it's the Spice Girls stripping. This seems like the sort of compromise that every theater buff will resoundingly support.

I realize this isn't a tv chat, but I just stumbled in watching an episode of "Episodes." I was very confused. Is Matt LeBlanc playing himself? How long has this show been on? And I wish you would write that column about "Who Shot J.R.?" I've had that song in my head, too, since Dallas came back on. Someone made the point in some other chat that all the new, pretty actors are all at least a foot shorter than the original cast, so you may want to comment on that, too.

Yes, LeBlanc is playing a version of himself, though clearly it's only loosely based on the truth. Second season of the show, if memory serves, is the one that just began.

I am so glad that I am not the only person who remembers the J.R. song. Novelty songs: where are they know?

Oh wait, I know where they are: existing in the form of memes and viral videos.

So, it appears that we all agree that iCarly is either a toilet-clogger or a smelly crawl-space dweller. That about sums it up, right, or have I completely missed a point here?

Both. That's how complicated this "iCarly" issue is. It's about as difficult to understand as a Supreme Court ruling. 

On a related note, I hear Weird Al Yankovic just released another album recently. Who knew?

Weird Al is one of the few novelty people still working. When will there by a Buckner and Garcia revival, I ask you?!

And that's a wrap. Thanks for all of the fun questions. I will be here next week to chat with you all again. Alas, Sarah will not. So I will let her have the final word.


This isn't goodbye, it's just an invitation to come find me elsewhere on the Internet. Or in Hollywood. 

Jen is the best! Uggie is the best! Celebritology forever!

In This Chat
Jen Chaney
Jen Chaney anchors The Washington Post's Celebritology blog, The Post's online window into the world of pop culture and celebrities. She also frequently writes about entertainment trends, filmmakers and other Hollywood-related matters for the print edition of The Washington Post.

A Post staffer for more than a decade, Jen also can be seen reviewing movies on WETA's "Around Town," where she is one of the show's regular film critics. Last year, she contributed a series of essays to the book, "The Friday Night Lights Companion."

When she isn't blogging, at the movies or watching a television show, she's ... um ... probably at home watching a movie or a TV show.

Celebritology Live Archive
Sarah Anne Hughes
Sarah Anne Hughes has been a loyal Celebritologist for the past two years, first as an intern and now as Jen Chaney's co-blogger. She occasionally writes about dogs for BlogPost.

She attended American University, where she split her time between studying and watching reality TV.
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