August 13th, 2009
03:38 PM ET

News of the Absurd :: Episode 106

In this week's episode, we offer a small tribute to one of my heroes, Jerry Garcia.  It was 14 years ago on August 9 that Jerry went to that great Shakedown Street in the sky.  So, for NOTA #106, I was able to string a few completely unrelated stories together in his honor.

To be slightly more relevant and timely, this episode was actually planned for last week.  However, technical difficulties pushed back our schedule (read: Paul the editor had to go out of town).  Still, this thing was already written and we figured we might as well go ahead with it, now. Better late than never.

Also worth mentioning... long-time viewers may notice our fancy new studio.  Technically, it's not a studio.  Even more technically, it's not all that fancy.  It's the CNN.com employee lounge – those are real co-workers playing FIFA '09 in the background.  Slackers.

I suppose that's sort of the beauty behind NOTA.  We're totally rogue.  And by "rogue" I mean poorly-budgeted.  And by "poorly-budgeted" I mean we have no budget.  But, that never stops us – we actually once shot an entire episode up on the CNN Center roof.  Why?  Because it was a nice day, Paul found a hidden stairway, and, well, it was there.

So, enjoy this (loosely) Jerry Garcia-themed episode of News of the Absurd, shot in front of a rather inattentive and unaware live studio audience in the employee lounge.

August 13th, 2009
11:17 AM ET

Omarosa gets religion

Omarosa Manigault Stallworth, of “The Apprentice” and “The Celebrity Apprentice” fame has, well, found a new calling.  A publicist for the reality show villain confirms for us that she plans to enter United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio for training to become a minister. Uh-huh, yep. I'm serious.

A spokesperson for the seminary tells CNN Entertainment/Showbiz Tonight the following in a statement:

“She has been accepted. We have offered her a scholarship through our Baptist House of Studies and will be releasing a statement soon detailing her new challenge here at United Seminary as she begins her residency. United Seminary is one of the 13 United Methodist Seminaries in the United States and has a long and celebrated history with the African American Church and social justice advocacy.”

She starts classes on Monday, studying for a Doctorate of Ministry. “I feel like God is calling me. He’s been calling me for two years and I can’t ignore it,” Omarosa told Sister to Sister Magazine.

Does it make me evil and cynical to say, I'm not so convinced her motives are all that holy? I mean, the girl still has a publicist. What do you think? Do you think it's really a change of life? If she does eventually become a minister, would her words of moral and religious guidance carry any weight?

August 13th, 2009
08:42 AM ET

Tim McGraw and the Black Eyed Peas

Country singer Tim McGraw and the hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas will help kick off the 2009 NFL season, LEGOs are building their way to the big screen and "Hangover" star Ed Helms is set for a movie of his own. CNN's Denise Quan has more on these tidbits on today's buzz:


Filed under: movies • Music
August 13th, 2009
08:09 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's going on in the world of entertainment this morning:

  • A bit of a step up from the 14-second sneak peek we got of the "Twilight" saga's "New Moon" earlier this week - starting Monday, free tickets will be distributed for a 16-minute trailer for one of the most anticipated movies of the year, "Avatar," directed by James Cameron. 101 Imax venues will carry the trailer in the U.S. and Canada, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • CBS and the Television Academy have reversed course on the controversial decision to "time-shift" on eight of the Emmy Awards given out during the September 20th telecast, according to The Los Angeles Times. Now all 28 awards will be given out live on the air. "This decision was made to mend relationships within the television community and to allow executive producer Don Mischer to focus his full attention on producing the creative elements in the telecast," said the Academy's Chairman/CEO John Shaffner.
  • Sony Pictures Classics is looking to distribute Heath Ledger's final film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," according to Variety.
  • Ten years later, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is not quite the ratings bonanza it once was for ABC, but they're getting better, reports The New York Times.
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