June 4th, 2009
04:45 PM ET

Katie Couric vs. Sarah Palin!

Sarah Palin and Katie Couric are locking horns again, this time after Couric gave a speech at Princeton University and took a jab at Palin. Couric told the class of 2009 that,

“Coming here was a real no brainer! After all, I can see New Jersey from my house!”

Couric was of course referencing the infamous interview Palin did with ABC's Charles Gibson in the fall of 2008. During that interview Sarah Palin, the Republican V.P. nominee, implied that she had foreign policy experience because of Alaska's close proximity to Russia. Palin is not amused.  Meghan Stapleton, Spokesperson for SarahPAC tells Showbiz Tonight;

 "No surprises here. The only time anyone pays attention to Couric is when she quotes Tina Fey – it's job security."

 Did Katie Couric cross the line? Should Sarah Palin have just laughed at the joke? What do you think?

June 4th, 2009
01:21 PM ET

Carradine's Impact

More than anybody (with the exception of Bruce Lee) David Carradine was responsible for introducing Americans to martial arts with the show "Kung Fu".  Even more importantly, he gave a lot of people their first introduction to eastern philosophy through the series.  Not bad considering it was a pretty cheesy show.

"Kung Fu" hit the air in 1972, a time when a TV program could make a huge cultural impact because there were so few viewing options (only three networks, no cable, satellite, internet, etc.).  The show's whiff of the "ancient wisdom of the east" hit at the perfect time, as young Americans were re-evaluating the values they had inherited from their parents.

Unfortunately for Carradine, he became so identified with his role as a Shoalin Monk that he didn't have much of a career afterwards.  It was left to Quentin Tarantino to remind everyone that Carradine was an actor of depth, by casting him in "Kill Bill".  The mixture of Old West and Far East in that film was a sly nod to Carradine's earlier work in "Kung Fu".

His body was found in a Bangkok, Thailand hotel room.  Oddly fitting.  In the end he couldn't escape the mysterious east.
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: Tonight on Larry King Live, an exclusive with Quentin Tarantino, Rob Schneider, Vivaca Fox and close friends on David Carradine's death. CNN, 9 p.m. ET.

June 4th, 2009
12:52 PM ET

The return of Whitney

The press release e-mail had a subject line we hadn't seen for awhile: "Whitney Houston Album Set For Release."  Sure, she performed at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy party in February, but of course the talk the next day was about Chris Brown and Rihanna, not Whitney.  So she's been out of the limelight for awhile... and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The typically breathless prose of the press release was more or less on target - "she has built an illustrious career that has generated over 170 million combined worldwide sales of albums, singles and videos...  Cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as music’s most awarded female artist of all time" - but of course, just as notable was what it didn't mention: her tumultuous marriage and divorce from Bobby Brown, the drug and alcohol problems, and how the whole bizarre train wreck played out on a TV reality series.  The show may have been called "Being Bobby Brown," but let's face it - being Whitney Houston has always been much more fascinating.

So what do you think?  When you hear "Whitney," what comes to mind: the Grammy-winning diva with the incredible vocal range and golden voice, or the near-skeletal drug abuser who uttered such immortal lines as "Crack is whack"?  Will you rush out to grab the new disc when it drops September 1?  The press release calls Houston "a singular force in music today" - yes or no?

June 4th, 2009
09:05 AM ET

Miley Cyrus goes to Walmart

The teen queen of music is introducing a fashion line to Walmart stores - all clothing priced under $20. And "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke has signed on to direct a new film version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." Emile Hirsch will star in movie; apparently the film was his idea.

Plus 15-year-old Keke Palmer's Nickelodeon show "True Jackson VP" has been renewed. CNN's KJ Matthews has more on these tidbits in today's buzz:


Filed under: movies • Music
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