Songland Interview — Greg Scott Takes You Behind the Scenes of the NBC Show

SONGLAND — “Bebe Rexha” Episode 208 — Pictured: (l-r) Greg Scott, Ryan Tedder — (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)

I’ve long been a fan of NBC’s Songland, as the hit songwriter series provides an opportunity to nurture up-and-coming songwriters, pairing them up with three industry titans for an in-studio upgrade to their existing song. Greg Scott is one such winner, and he graciously took me behind-the-scenes of the hit competition, which scored him a track with Bebe Rexha, which will be featured at the 2021 Olympics.

He shared his win with fellow contestant Anna Graceman (Rexha combined their tracks). Tune in to hear about his story and his experience on the show. We also talk pop-culture — covering Connie Chung’s game of whac-a-mole with Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, Chuck Wicks dragging Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise’s on-set rant, George Clooney and Amal’s love story, and more.

Tom Cruise Loses His Top — and I’m Here for it

Tom Cruise lost his top — and it’s one of the best pieces of audio I’ve ever heard. First obtained by The Sun, Cruise can be heard for a solid three minutes tearing into two of his crew members who are accused of breaking the Covid-19 six-feet-apart rules. Since Mission Impossible VII has already been shut down due to the Coronavirus, Cruise clearly had enough.

Many have compared the Cruise rant to the “good-for-you” Christian Bale meltdown, which I’d argue is distinguishable. For starters, Cruise’s anger represents a nation of virus-fatigued rule followers who are forced to isolate at the hands of selfish dolts who refuse to put a piece of cloth over their face for the benefit of the human race. Bale —on the other hand — was bothered by a disruption to his acting process.

Does a true leader behave this way? Sure. Cruise can be both a leader and a Hollywood A-lister whose multi-million dollar film, and the jobs that come with it, are riding on his shoulders. Kudos to you, Cruise.

Sarah Silverman Calls Out Hollywood for Non-Jews Playing Jewish Roles

Sarah Silverman visited Howard Stern for an in-depth interview, and she drew attention to one of my long-standing issues with Hollywood. In the clip below, Silverman points out that Jews either play sidekicks or annoying girlfriends. But when the role is self-realized and courageous, they are played by non-Jews. Her examples include Felicity Jones playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rachel Brosnahan as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the latter of which I’ve long complained is an inaccurate, borderline offensive portrayal of Jewish culture. She also cites Jojo Rabbit saying, “The Jew in the wall isn’t even Jewish.” And don’t get her started on Woody Allen. Watch below.

Howard Stern Interviews Eddie Vedder — Magic Ensues

Eddie Vedder visited Howard Stern for one of the best interviews in Howard history, and one particular performance caught my attention. Watch below as the Pearl Jam frontman covers Warren Zevon’s song, “Keep Me in Your Heart for You While.” Vedder originally performed the tune at the request of David Letterman and Stern asked him to perform his rendition from the comfort of his studio. The result is magical.

Matthew McConaughey Relives the Fast Times Table Read

Matthew McConaughey — (Photo by: Bravo)

McConaughey visited Watch What Happens Live to promote his new memoir, Greenlights, and when a fan asked him about Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s sexual chemistry during the Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read, he answered the question directly— avoiding the typical worm-your-way-out-of-uncomfortable questions approach so often utilized by celebrities.

McConaughey had some fun with it but admitted he didn’t notice the hot tension. He was also asked about Shia LaBeouf’s very funny, in-character hot boxing of his car to emulate Spicoli, and he admitted something interesting. While Shia’s performance was quite enjoyable for all of us, the end result was edited down and Shia might have been more annoyingly in character than we originally suspected (I’d like to see the uncut version).

It is difficult to articulate how Matthew McConaughey can live in a different world and be so down-to-earth at the same time, but he definitely achieves it.

VMAs Recap: Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, BTS and Other Standouts

I’d never have guessed that MTV would fare better with two hands tied behind their back than they would with complete freedom, but their Covid-19 shackles actually set them free from the routine that has plagued them for the last decade. With the universally beloved Keke Palmer as its emcee sporting a digitally generated backdrop of New York City, the show featured outstanding outdoor performances, dancers donning masks, a drive-in audience, virtual and in-person acceptance speeches, and much more. In short, MTV hit it out of the park. Enjoy the highlights below.

Continue reading “VMAs Recap: Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, BTS and Other Standouts”

Quote of the Day: Annabelle Wallis Talks Tom Cruise

He’s on a different level, and, you know, I ticked a box. I got to run on-screen with him, but he told me no at first. He said, “Nobody runs on-screen [with me],” and I said, “But I’m a really good runner.” So, I would time my treadmill so that he’d walk in and see me run. And then he added all these running scenes. So, that was it. It was, like, better than an Oscar. I was so happy! (Laughs.) I was so happy that I got to run on-screen with Tom Cruise. But I don’t think it ever goes away and I hope it never does. It’s so wonderful to be excited by someone and in awe of what they’ve achieved in their lives. Yeah, good on him. And I hope the questions never stop. I love talking about him. It’s really cool.

Annabelle Wallis on working with Tom Cruise in The Mummy

Are Celebrities Ignorant or Antisemitic? A Deep Dive Into Nick Cannon’s Comments

When Nick Cannon took to his podcast to spout anti-Semitic conspiracy theories alongside a known anti-Semite — former Public Enemy member Richard Griffin (“Prof. Griff”)— outrage followed. ViacomCBS dropped him and his upcoming television show was shelved.

Cannon’s first reaction included a lengthy non-apology, claiming that people “misused an important moment for us to all grow closer together and learn more about one another.” Instead, he furthered, ” the moment was stolen and hijacked to make an example of an outspoken black man. [He] will not be bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed by any organization, group, or corporation. [He is] disappointed that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the black community.” When Cannon finally seemed to take some level of responsibility, he claimed that doing so turned his own community against him. If his community includes Richard Griffin — then I’d say he’s better off.

Unfortunately, Cannon is not the only offender. Chelsea Handler landed in hot water when she shared a video on Instagram, which quoted Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation Of Islam and a widely known anti-Semite. Both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have identified Farrakhan as anti-Semitic, and the Nation Of Islam as a hate group. Handler’s influence proved dangerous, as many celebrities with large platforms also shared the video. When confronted, Handler double down, insisting his message Farrakhan’s message was powerful and that she didn’t even consider the fact that he was anti-Semitic when she posted it — thus illustrating the recklessness of her actions. After unending uproar, she finally relented — but the damage was done.

There are many other offenders as of late, and I have held an extensive discussion on my podcast diving deeper into anti-Semitism and many of the conspiracy theories being spouted.

Listen below (the conversation begins at minute 30 if you’d like to skip the pop-culture portion of my podcast).