Celebritology Live

Oct 25, 2012

Celebritology blogger Jen Chaney gabbed about the latest celebrity gossip and pop culture news making waves across the Web.

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Sorry I'm a little late. I was just trying to keep things a bit Axl Rose-ish in the blog/chat today.

Breaking news, by the way: Taylor Swift reportedly has broken up with Conor Kennedy, or so says a friend of Swift's who spoke to Us Weekly. Am trying to confirm via her publicist. If it's true, a new double album from Swift will likely be released very soon.

what is so awful about this? Is the beef that these street people were somehow exploited or forced to do something against their will? That they were considered nothing more than joke entertainment for the very-much-more fortunate? They all seemed pretty happy to talk on camera. I don't get it.

I think the video comes across as them being the unwitting butt of a joke, as you implied. "Ha, ha look at these 'Hollywood people' who didn't come to the wedding because they're poor and have nowhere to live. How hilarious."

It was just in bad taste. Obviously Timberlake didn't make the thing but, since it was reportedly shown at his wedding by a friend, it winds up reflecting badly on him, too. Which stinks.

I don't like Jay Pharoah's Pres. Obama. It's like this bad mimic job where he takes verbal ticks Pres. Obama really does use sometimes which aren't really that funny (saying "Umm..." at the start of a sentence or looping hand gesture as he speaks) and just repeats it ad nauseum. It doesn't make me laugh, I just find it annoying to watch especially as the novelty of non-Fred Armisen wears off.

I don't think it's hilarious as, say, Ferrell's George W. or Hammond's Al Gore, which dipped into mimicry but also invented sort of new versions of both men. But I like Pharoah in this role more than Armisen. Armisen wasn't funny in the role and also didn't really nail the mimicry. Pharoah at least has much of this right.

Also, let's not forget that the humor needs to come from the writing, too. I don't think the political sketches have been as funny as they could be this season.

Bruno Mars, however, was excellent.

Hi Jen, Happy Thursday! Can I just give a shout out to Frank Stephens for his moving letter to Ann Coulter? Frank is a Chantilly High School alum and Special Olympics Global Messenger. He wrote this in response to one of Ann Coulter's trademark crazy, classless comments, in which she used the word "retard," and it's been picked up by a number of news outlets, including CNN today and E News last night. Way to go Frank!!! Way to keep it classy and positive!

I had seen that letter floating around and didn't realize the local connection. Very cool.

But she bought a house!

Yes, that's a little weird. Maybe they're still on good terms and she really likes Cape Cod? So it will be okay?

A-ha. Since all Taylor Swift seems to write/sing about are her past boyfriends, perhaps this is why she is a serial dater. She just needs material.

I don't know if that's the reason, but it definitely gives her material.

In related news, I have to confess that I like some of the songs on her new album. There. I said it.

I think this is it, exactly. Doing a video like this, it's like they're treating the homeless like they aren't real human beings. They're just props. I'm glad Justin Timberlake thought his wedding was "magical" but this just isn't funny at all.

Again, to be fair to Timberlake and Biel, they didn't make the video and the impression given by the letter written by Justin Huchel's attorney is that Huchel did it as a surprise. They may have been equally appalled by it, for all we know.

Did you notice that, even after Peter Berg requested that he cease and desist, Mitt Romney slipped in a "Clear eyes" reference during Monday evening's debate? Tacky, IMHO. Or do you think independents will swing toward Romney because they like his defiance?

I think it's worse that he's selling those Clear eyes bracelets. He's profiting from the phrase in that case. I feel like he should be able to use it when he wants to in speeches, etc. because it's a phrase that's in the culture. But putting on merchandise is another matter.

I guess he changed the phrasing enough -- "America can't lose" -- to make it legal. Bottom line is I don't think this election will be decided based on the Coach Taylor vote.

Did you forget to turn the blog on again? So much fun in the celebrity legal world. Lawsuits galore. I am enjoying it even if no one else is. I think the Brit-Brit trial was the best "she was crazy, I should get money."

I am sure all of the Celebritology attorney-readers are enjoying this. Nothing like a fresh lawsuit in the morning, or at least the threat of one.

Has Daniel Craig won this title yet? Should we nominate him?

The next Sexiest Man Alive will be named in the coming weeks. It's very possible Craig could be it, given the synergy with the Bond movie. I plan to write an advancer predicting who else could take the torch from Bradley Cooper. Your input is welcome.

By the way, I've seen "Skyfall" and it is excellent.

Is it more analogous to holding the bridal couple responsible -- or not responsible -- for gauche toasts made in their honor at the wedding reception?

That's exactly what this reminds me of. Clearly I wasn't there, but the way the video was described, it made me imagine this friend going, "Look, I made you a special video," and the bride and groom sitting there going, "Oh. God."

Not only is the LOL- homeless video in horrible taste, but that People photo is just awful too. I have never totally bought them as a couple and that photo isn't convincing me otherwise.

Timberlake jumping in the air in his tuxedo doesn't do it for you? 

It is kind of weird that they're not standing closer together. I guess People would have needed to pay $350,000 to get that.

Do you people have too much time on their hands? The homeless people in the video loved being part of it and we paid them $50 each. Why are people whose lives are NOT IMPACTED BY THIS VIDEO AT ALL getting their panties in such a twist? It's a very strange reaction.

Is this really you? Or just someone representing Huchel's viewpoint?

If people didn't get upset by things that don't, technically, impact them, life as we know it would cease to exist.  

Funny Thing # 1: The editors were sure to shoehorn that pic of Brit Brit into the upper corner - oh so classy. Funny Thing # 2: The inclusion of the name Sandusky on the cover, forever connecting Biel, Timberlake, and a convicted felon in glossy, glamourous, glory. Ha!

The Britney choice was certainly interesting, especially since some of the testimony suggested -- truthfully or not -- that her break-up with Timberlake contributed to her meltdown.

Ewan McGregor. Preferably in eyeliner. However, he may have limited appeal. So I'll take him. In eyeliner.

He is definitely attractive -- I still haven't erased the audio of my phone interview with him because his voice is so delightful. But he may not be as "of the moment" as someone like Craig.

Another option, and I'll just put it out there: Pattinson. Could very easily see that happening, too.

Were there no celebrity babies born this week and saddled with idiotic names?

Well, Adele's baby was born this week but the name has not been released. Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green's baby, announced recently, has a normal name: Noah. So right now, afraid I can't help you.

The first time I heard "We are never ever getting back together" (no idea if that's the real title) I thought it was an Avril Lavigne song. So at least she's branching out and her songs don't all sound alike anymore.

True. They also don't really sound country, but a lot of them didn't in the first place. I consider her more of a pop artist than country.

I sincerely hope, for once, that that was a photoshopped image. Otherwise when he landed he smacked his hand on the mantelpiece and landed feet-first in her lap.

Oh, you and your sense of spatial logic.

Stephen Colbert.

Love Colbert, but yes, that qualifies as a dark horse. Man, that would give him something to crow about on his show for years, though.

Is Taylor Swift the (much more talented) Jennifer Love Hewitt of the music world? Just throwing that out there.

And I am throwing it out there on behalf of your throwing it out there first.

Beyonce and Jay-Z using their baby (thinly disguised as using their baby NAME) to market baby goods ... how greedy and incredibly tacky. Seriously, how much is enough?!?

Well, I'm not sure if they want the trademark so they can immediately cash in, or because they want to prevent other people from doing so.

It would seem very weird for them to sell baby products with her name all over them. But these are weird times, you guys.

I'm loving AHS and I didn't watch last year. And I love your recaps/questions after - kind of reminds of the good 'ol Lost days. No question, just love for all that you do.

Thanks so much.

AHS definitely is not Lost, but the desire it gives us to investigate and analyze in the blog is similar. Of the shows I recap right now, it's my favorite for that reason.

Wait, wasn't she just split from K-Fed when she had her head-shaving, umbrella weilding breakdown? Seems long past Timberlake. Or was the whole K-Fed marriage part of the post-Justin breakdown?

Yes, she was definitely splitting from K-Fed at the time. I think the implication was that it started a whole downward spiral or something. It was just weird, because that headline circulated the same day Timberlake and Biel got married. Both Timberlake and Spears clearly moved on and are doing okay, so why dredge up all that stuff?

I know the twi-hards love him, but he is NOT sexy IMO. He looks about as sexy (and full of expression) as cardboard.

I can see why people find him attractive. But I also can imagine they're being a backlash because people are just tired of hearing about him. People also usually chooses "older" guys, meaning guys above the age of 30.

Do you know if you can buy the DVD of the half season before the movie comes out or are you forced to Netflix it?

No, as I understand it, it must be viewed on Netflix. Don't gripe about it, man, this wouldn't be happening if Netflix hadn't made a deal with Mitch Hurwitz.

for this chat. I needed it today. This morning, for the very first time, I got called a "troll" by other commenters on the WaPo. I'm not one, and I know I should ignore hate-mongerers, but the accusation stung. I hadn't even posted something vile! It was just a comment similar to one another person posted, so we were accused of being the same person and trolling the comments. I know this is not at all relevant to the chat. I'm just really bummed and appreciative of being able to come here and join the other Celebritologists to feel a little love. Thank you all!

What? Was this in the blog today or elsewhere on the site?

Don't let it bother you. If I let every nasty thing said to me or about me on the Internet get under my skin, I'd have tossed myself into a gutter with a bottle of paint thinner back in 2006.

I would put money on either Hugh Jackman (Les Mis will be everywhere soon) or RDJ.

Those both seem like solid wagers.

Jackman got it in 2008, but perhaps they would repeat. They've done that on more than one occasion.

After Magic Mike, who can deny Channing Tatum?

Another possibility.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Seriously, I've had enough of him. I will take ANY Avenger, or heck, even any Muppet over Pattinson for sexiest man alive...

Mark the time: this was when the Fozzie Bear for Sexiest Man Alive Campaign was born.

No, it's a very human reaction. Humans with souls and empathy, that is. If you are the Huchel, here's why I'm upset: because it DOES impact me. It impacts everyone. Callousness is contagious, and when people in positions of visibility find comedy in human suffering, it makes it that much easier for other people to laugh off the plight of the misfortunate. You are directly contributing to the desensitization of people toward the homeless. We readers in the DC area encounter the homeless on an almost daily basis, and we recognize that homelessness is caused by many factors, including mental illness, and that it affects society as a whole. Have you ever volunteered to work with the homeless? I have, and it is heartbreaking. It impacts me because for all the time I've tried to persuade people the homeless can't be stereotyped, by you making them the butt of a joke you perpetuate the notion that they are caricatures, not human individuals. Shame on you. I hope you wake up to your actions, apologize, and then contribute some money, but more importantly, some time to work with the homeless.

This is very well said. Thank you.

I don't know if that really was the Huchel. If it was, I am sure we would be happy to hear his side, for real.

I hope when (if) Lori has her baby, she will be so occupied with it that she won't have time to freak out about Carl not being around.

Well, the kid will definitely be at -5 on the supervision scale at that point whereas now, he's merely at 0.

Didn't even thing about him. Totes agree.

RDJ has never been named sexiest man alive. And he has many solid qualifications.

1. He's sexy.

2. He's Iron Man.

3. He struts.

I could go on...

And those of us who like our fantasies with post-pubescents are most grateful for it! Seriously, I'm sick of all the half-naked barely-15-years-old glam shots of young male celebs. I don't want to have to train my fantasy lover; he's supposed to know what he's doing!

You guys are cracking me up today.

"I don't want to have to train my fantasy lover; he's supposed to know what he's doing!" is going right into the Sexiest Man Alive post, with attribution to you, funny reader.

No, not your blog! Celebritology readers are too classy for that (heck, we even love the LiLo apologists). All are welcome, if not necessarily agreed with. No, this was over in the opinion blogs where, honestly, I should have known to keep my keyboard silent. It does make me wonder, though, how you and the other blogger-journalists cope? I'm all depressed because some stranger posted one comment about my account being a facade -- how do you all deal with the hateful vitriol spouted directly at you? Does it ever get to you?

Aw, please don't be depressed. It's not worth it. That's basically giving away your happiness to someone who said something mean, and they don't deserve that.

Yes, it gets to me sometimes when people push the magic "things that really make Jen feel badly about herself" buttons. But for the most part, you just have to Jay-Z it and go on, brush your shoulders off. Just let it roll off. Otherwise, you would spend your whole life feeling rotten, and as noted above, not worth it.

The worst are when people write actual longhand, snail-mail letters to tell you that you're terrible. This happens very rarely nowadays, but back when I used to write a humor column, I got a letter from a woman complaining about a Princess Diana column I wrote and informing me I had a "vapid face." That one was actually funny. And also won points for creativity.

Has Ben Affleck ever won? He does have a new movie to pimp, er publicize, for the upcoming award season, and he and Jen are even posing for the paps as part of their effort.

He has, back in 2002. So has Matt Damon, in 2007.

There hasn't been a non-white SMA since 1996, when Denzel Washington got the title. Maybe this is Idris Elba's year?

Why is that funny? I consider it standard issue common sense.

Well, it's both.

My problem with the Taylor Lavigne song (yes I know I typed that wrong) is that there are too many evers in it. It makes me think of a foot stomping tweener shouting at her Pattinson poster (torn from the pages of today's Bop or Tiger Beat equivilent) because he kissed that tramp Kristen during the premier of Twilight 17 - curse of the unicorn rainbows.

You have just summarized that song's appeal.

Also, I kind of want to see "Twilight 17: Curse of the Unicorn Rainbows." 

Fozzie! Fozzie! Fozzie!

What did I tell you?

In your opinion, is this more likely to be awarded for a "body" (!) of work or for one stellar year of hotness? (Like on one is mentioning Ryan Gosling this year?)

I feel like they won't pick Gosling because there was such an uproar about it last year. It would just seem like they were cowtowing to pressure.

I could be wrong, but that's my sense.

Have they ever chosen a Hispanic- or Asian-American? Nominees?


Who's got some nominees?

Please explain this film to me. Thank you.

I will, in a blog post to be written very soon. Well, explain may not be the right word. But I will at least provide a guidebook, if you will.

I truly love Connie Britton's work, but lordy, "Nashville" is getting awfully soapy awfully fast. Semi-spoiler: her character and we viewers all found out last night why her mother isn't in the cast -- so contrived!

I haven't watched, due to AHS duties and the fact that I was at a Denzel Washington movie last night. But I shall and I will let you know if I found it contrived, too.

It's better to herd cattle than to tow them. I think you meant the Chinese-origin word "Kowtow."

Yes, my apologies. Typing too quickly.

Would it help if we started a grassroots campaign for Jen Chaney for Sexiest Woman Alive?

No, it would only invite vicious comments, some of which would probably be justified. But thank you, though!

Or would the teen world not be able to handle it?

The Internet would collapse on itself.

But imagine what would result. Taylor Swift could write a new album, which would become the soundtrack for "Twilight 17: Curse of the Unicorn Rainbows." SOMEONE MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

And on that note, I have to sign off so I can go blog about Taylor Swift and Cloud Atlas. Thanks for all your feedback today, everyone. Oh, and happy Halloween next Wednesday!

Easy: Javier Bardem. He's the Bond Villain this year, so he'll have lots of publicity, the timing is right...

Sorry, just wanted to throw this out there really quickly because he's so good in "Skyfall." Not sexy really, but fan-tastic.

All right, bye!

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.

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