October 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Liz Taylor tweets about heart surgery

Dame Elizabeth Taylor is taking to her Twitter page to let her fans know that she is checking into the hospital to undergo surgery. Her publicist confirms to Showbiz Tonight that Liz “eloquently” tweeted this earlier today:

“Dear Friends, I would like to let you know before it gets in the papers that I am going into the hospital to have a procedure on my heart. It's very new and involves repairing my leaky valve using a clip device, without open heart surgery, so that my heart will function better.Any prayers you happen to have lying around I would dearly appreciate. I'll let you know when it's all over. Love you, Elizabeth”

We wish Liz a speedy recovery!

October 6th, 2009
04:11 PM ET

An 'excellent' choice for mayor?

Nineteen years ago, C. Montgomery Burns failed in his bid to become governor of whatever state Springfield is in.

Burns of The Simpsons

Now, the centenarian nuclear power plant owner is throwing his hat into the ring in the race for mayor of New York City.

Of course, Mr. Burns is a fictional character who exists only in the world of "The Simpsons."  Besides, he'd just let his lackey, Wayland Smithers, throw the hat for him.

The "Burns for Mayor" campaign is the brainchild of two New York artists, who say they are poking fun at an election where billionaire incumbent Michael Bloomberg is expected to easily win a third term in office. 

The official Web site for the Burns campaign lists several of the candidate's promises, including selling Staten Island to raise revenue, building a nuclear power plant in Williamsburg and enforcing an "anti-hipster" policy throughout the city.

At least Burns seems to have a campaign platform.  In "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish," the "Simpsons" episode about his early political dreams, Burns runs for governor to save his beloved nuclear plant, which was found to have 342 violations by a government inspection committee.

The inspection was ordered after Bart caught a three-eyed fish, nicknamed "Blinky" by the Springfield media, near the nuclear plant.  Burns argues that the fish is actually some kind of "super fish" and, in one commercial, brings out an actor playing Charles Darwin to claim that Blinky is an example of natural selection.

The move seems to pay off, and Burns vaults from 0 percent popularity to tying incumbent Mary Bailey in the polls. But his advisers suggest that having dinner with a typical American family the night before the election will give him the win.

Burns goes to the Simpsons home, where he is served Blinky for dinner.  Burns spits out a chunk of the fish, ending his chance at higher office.

Perhaps Burns and his new advisers have learned from the mistakes of his last run.  His campaign Web site suggests he's less Charles Foster Kane and more Michael Bloomberg with a Ross Perot attitude.  He seems to be more than a one issue candidate.  Alas, it appears that he won't be on the ballot in November, and a write-in campaign will be a definite long-shot.  Maybe in another four years.

So what do you think about the mayoral campaign of C. Montgomery Burns?  And what fictional characters would you like to see run for political office in real life?

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Filed under: television
October 6th, 2009
11:56 AM ET

'Dancing' star tries to make out with judge

The celebrities on “Dancing With the Stars” try to do lots of things to stand out from the other couples in the competition, but this might be a first: Trying to make out with a judge.

This unusual maneuver came courtesy of Donny Osmond last night after dancing the rumba.

Earlier in the show, the judges acknowledged the dance is particularly hard for the male celebrities on the show because they have to walk a fine line between conveying romance and appearing too soft on the dance floor.

Judge Bruno Tonioli apparently thought Osmond’s performance was too much of the latter and said it had “a bit of ‘Swan Lake’ ” in it. Which is when Osmond playfully lunged at the judges’ desk and tried to kiss Tonioli.

It took a while for everyone to recover, but the show’s next highlight belonged to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who appeared on the verge of pulling out of the competition due to injuries. He revealed he now has stress fractures in both feet and that his doctor and the show’s producers urged him to withdraw.

But not so fast.

“What’s a little pain when you can party?” DeLay said before dancing a decent samba that was favorably reviewed by the judges.

Finally, a surprising standout couple last night was professional snowboarder Louie Vito and his dance partner Chelsie Hightower. Their romantic rumba prompted Tonioli to exclaim, "That's chemistry."

Who do you think will be voted off tonight?

October 6th, 2009
08:53 AM ET

Oprah and Chris Rock team up

Liam Neeson joins "The Next Three Days" cast. Fred Thompson saddles up for "Secretariat." And Oprah and Chris Rock team up for "Will You Be My Black Friend?" CNN's Douglas Hyde has more on these tidbits in today's buzz:

Filed under: Celebrities • movies • Oprah Winfrey
October 6th, 2009
01:57 AM ET

Relating to Vince Vaughn at 'Couples Retreat' premiere

Trivia question of the day: What do ex-presidential candidate Ron Paul, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, a grown-up "Ralphie" from "A Christmas Story" and "Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio all have in common?

Vince Vaughn

Answer: They all attended the "Couples Retreat" premiere in L.A. Monday night. Talk about your eclectic bunch of celebs. Sometimes it happens. A strange constellation of stars forms at a Hollywood event and you shake your head and say, WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

Sometimes it's cool, other times it's just sad. Like the time I covered a red carpet gala that saw both a tipsy Erin Moran from "Happy Days" and Elvis' hairdresser (don't ask me what he was doing there, but he had his own publicist) working the press line. And those were the "A-listers" of the evening! We still have a good laugh about that one here in the office.

At any rate, the "Couples Retreat" cast were a good-natured bunch, and in star Vince Vaughn's case, relentlessly on message. I think before he hit the red carpet his publicist must have told him, "Okay, Vince make sure you hit hard on the fact that audiences will really relate to this film." But don't take my word for it. Count how many times below he uses the word "relatable."

"It was fun to take a bunch of relatable people who would never get a chance to go to a place like Bora Bora and have relatable issues, that go on in all relationships. And audiences have responded really well to the film which is always nice because they can see themselves within the dynamic of what's going on. So I just thought it would be fun to take relatable things in a relationship and have a really funny way of investigating those things...  I think 'Swingers' is very relatable. It's about a friend helping another friend through a bad break up, and he's trying to meet girls and he's really not used to doing that sort of thing and I think in this movie what's relatable is catching a group of people at different stages of their marriages and I think it's very real and in a funny way how they deal with those issues. So I think what people are connecting to are issues that are very relatable."

Dude, I can totally relate.

October 6th, 2009
01:48 AM ET

Comedian: Letterman had sex, so what?

David Letterman took to the airwaves Monday night with an addendum to last week's shocking admission that not only had he slept with female staffers, but that it had become the object of an alleged extortion plot. The news caught staff and audience members by surprise. He addressed the fact that he blindsided them.

“I’m terribly sorry that I put the staff in that position.  Inadvertently, I just wasn’t thinking ahead.  And, moreover, the staff here has been wonderfully supportive to me, not just through this furor, but through all the years that we’ve been on television and especially all the years here at CBS, so, again, my thanks to the staff for, once again, putting up with something stupid I’ve gotten myself involved in."

Letterman then talked about the impact of his revelation on his wife.

“Now the other thing is my wife, Regina.  She has been horribly hurt by my behavior, and when something happens like that, if you hurt a person and it’s your responsibility, you try to fix it.  And at that point, there’s only two things that can happen:  either you’re going to make some progress and get it fixed, or you’re going to fall short and perhaps not get it fixed, so let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me.”

Letterman is right, he has his work cut out for him at home. He's dealing with both the public and personal aspect of  his actions. Comedian Lewis Black offered his take on the whole matter Monday during an interview with a CNN producer. He called for a cease and desist of sorts.

"He came out, he told you. That’s it, case closed. You don’t need to write anymore…you don’t need to write whether you think he’s right or wrong. What are you, a priest? Idiots. You don’t make a judgment call. He had sex. Oh god, he didn’t have sex on TV. Privately. And the only reason he had to come out is because some idiot tried to make money off of it. That’s the story. He is not the story. I am tired of it."

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