Hollywood Playbook: Monday's Top 5 News Items
1. R.I.P: David Brenner Dead at 78
Learning that David Brenner was 78 years-old surprised me more than his death by cancer over the weekend. In my minds-eye Brenner was always the youngish thin guy; always smiling, always funny, with the big hair, nose, and teeth. I can certainly imagine Brenner being 65, but not 78 for crying out loud.
Here's Brenner's "Tonight Show" 1971 debut -- the beginning of 158 appearances.
"Of course in July he turns the ear flaps up.":
As you can see, Jerry Seinfeld owes a lot to Brenner.
This piece of biography in THR's obituary is good advice for any aspiring artist:
"David Brenner does vomit material. Not only will he not be on The Tonight Show, we'll never let him in the building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza," he remembered the booker telling his agent. "I took that insult and said, 'You know what? Forget about me doing any television show. I'm doing The Tonight Show.' "
He began attending Tonight Show auditions to figure out what kind of comic the show wanted and worked out a monologue that was more tame and tailored to that sensibility. He made it on The Tonight Show on Jan. 8, 1971.
Brenner wanted to be a stand-up comic -- which in those days meant making it on the "Tonight Show" -- so he figured out what the "Tonight Show" was looking for and tailored his material accordingly. After that a life-long career was made. He also stuck to what worked. Observational humor became his identity.
Whether you want to be a comic, screenwriter, director, painter, sculptor, novelist, or anything in the business of entertainment, you need to figure out the market and be the person willing to help fill that hole.
After that you can try and change the world, if you so choose.
Here's Brenner on Fox News last year explaining why he voted for Huckabee.
2. 'Lost' Creators Swear That Was Always the Ending They Had In Mind
At a PaleyFest gathering over the weekend, "Lost" show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse again swore that the show's finale was not the product of painting themselves into a corner:
[Cuse] He later added that the decision to have the final scene of the series portray the afterlife was made early on during the show's run, and that he and Lindelof had lengthy conversations about it.
"Lost was a show about people on an island in the middle of nowhere, but metaphorically they were lost in their lives [and in need of] purpose and redemption," Cuse said. "[The ending] had to be a spiritual one."
I only saw "Lost" after its series run was over. We bought the DVD collection on faith and for about two months the wife and I were completely submerged in the lives of those characters. The series finale was fine by me. But a two-month investment is a little different than the six-year investment many made by watching the show in real time.
I've watched the full series twice now and will again. The finale might not have been BIG and HUGELY SATISFYING, but the series sure is.
MORE: 14 things we learned from the 'Lost' PaleyFest Panel
3. Jenny McCarthy Blasted for Anti-Vaccination Crusade
Jenny McCarthy asked her 1.13 million Twitter followers an innocuous question on March 13: "What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate? Reply using #JennyAsks." Big mistake.
The answers, as one might imagine, weren't very kind. "Somebody who gets that refusing vaccines because of 'toxins' and then shilling for e-cigs makes you a pathetic hypocrite," one user replied. Another person told McCarthy, 41, "Someone who doesn't spread false info causing disease."
McCarthy and her celebrity ilk have done nothing less than scream "fire" in a crowded theatre with this crusade -- which is the result of the worst kind of intentions: narcissism fueling a celebrity that attention and therefore needed to feel smart and superior through a "cause of her own."
It is not hyperbole to state that the health of the entire world is in jeopardy every time this idiot opens her selfish mouth.
4. The Wolverine 2 will shoot after X-Men: Apocalypse
Because a title like "X Men: Days of Future Past" isn't confusing enough, the third solo Wolverine film is apparently going to be titled "The Wolverine 2."
If that's not bizarre enough, "The Wolverine 2" will be a sequel to the lousy second Wolverine solo film, not the first one, which was at least entertaining.
5. Lady Gaga Gets Vomited on During SXSW Performance
Between Miley Cyrus intentionally making herself grotesque at the Video Music Awards and Lady Gaga being vomited on, the bar to stand out in an already depraved entertainment industry is getting even more depraved. Public defecation is coming. I'm not joking. The question is, what comes after that?
When I was a kid, these people only bit the heads off of bats.
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