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October 13, 2015


Hot Topics Make Good Comedy ... even the iPad on 'Modern Family'

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 1st 2010 10:35PM
phil_ipad_modern_family_abcWhile watching the two family sitcoms on ABC last night, 'The Middle' and 'Modern Family,' it seemed to me that they were funnier than usual because the writers took the effort to incorporate topical, timely elements into the scripts. On 'The Middle,' it was all about basketball and the NCAA Final Four. On 'Modern Family,' it was the highly anticipated release of the Apple iPad.

Now, while Joel thought the latter was an overdone commercial that may have been penned by Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself, my reaction was completely the opposite. And some critics agreed with me, too.

The idea that Phil would be obsessing about the latest technology was in keeping with the character. Phil's been established as a techie guy, a geekster of the first order. Why wouldn't he be an early adopter of the iPad considering that it is being touted as the next big thing?

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April Celebrity Birthdays

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Apr 1st 2010 5:00AM

April showers bring celebrity birthdays! For all you April babies out there, find out which celebrities you share your special day with. Some celebrities celebrating this month are Paul Rudd (April 6), Leona Lewis and Eddie Murphy share a birthday (April 3), Jackie Chan (April 7) and Leighton Meester (April 9).

Check out the list of April celebrity birthdays after the jump!

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March Celebrity Birthdays

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Mar 1st 2010 12:00AM

Birthdays only come once a year. Do you know which celebrities you share your special day with? March celebrity birthdays include Lady Gaga (March 28), Spike Lee (March 20) and Jon Bon Jovi (March 2).

Check out the entire month of celebrity birthdays after the jump!

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Happy Birthday Elvis Presley! TCM Airs Movie Marathon for King's 75th

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Jan 7th 2010 7:00PM
Elvis in 'Blue Hawaii.' Had Elvis Presley never left the proverbial building, he would be celebrating his 75th birthday tomorrow. In commemoration of his life and his work in entertainment, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has dedicated a whole "King-a-thon" in memory of the late singer.

It's a hunka hunka burning schedule that true Elvis fans will not want to miss.

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Judge Wapner returning to The People's Court... for a day

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 5th 2009 10:32AM
wapner_the_peoples_courtThere's something sweet about birthday reunion celebration, and on Friday, November 13 -- defying all superstitions about Friday the 13th -- The People's Court will honor the original judge, Judge Wapner, on the show. Judge Marilyn Milian will move aside and the distinguished, no-nonsense Wapner will pick up the gavel one more time. Will Dustin Hoffman make a guest appearance? Gosh, I hope so.

Actually, it's Judge Wapner 90th birthday and he's getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (on November 12), so it just seemed appropriate to bring it full circle.

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Buffy's not-so-happy birthdays (part two)

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 25th 2008 2:30PM
Ben changing into Glory

Yesterday, we delved into seasons one through four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's birthday episodes. Let's just say you really, really don't want to celebrate Buffy's birthday with her, as catastrophe, drama, and heartache are always center stage.

Season Five, episode 13, "Blood Ties"

Buffy's 20th birthday goes no better than the previous ones. "Blood Ties" is all about how Buffy and Dawn share the same blood, "Summers blood," even though Dawn was created by monks to be The Key. Yes, it was a somewhat syrupy solution to Dawn's incessant whining in this episode, but it is so important for the resolution to the season, and the defeat of Glory, the Big Bad (Buffy can die instead of Dawn to save the world. Again.).


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Buffy's not-so-happy birthdays (part one) - VIDEO

by Debra McDuffee, posted Jun 24th 2008 3:06PM
NIgel gives Buffy a book for her birthday
Poor Buffy. You'd think that with a life-threatening job like Vampire Slayer, she'd at least get a break once a year, on her birthday. No such luck for Buffy, but great luck for the viewers; we get really meaningful episodes, with significance to both the story arc and insight to the characters' motivations. Buffy's birthday episodes have been some of the strongest of the series.

Season One
These is no birthday episode in season one, since the series began as a mid-season replacement.

Season Two, episode 13, "Surprise"
In this episode, the Scooby Gang throws a surprise party for Buffy, but that is only one minor surprise in an episode filled with significant surprises. We learn that Jenny Calendar is actually "Janna of the Kalderash Gypsies" and that her people were the ones who cursed Angel's soul. Oz gets his surprise when he finds out that vampires are real and that Buffy is the Slayer.


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Happy birthday, Albert Brooks - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 22nd 2007 3:06PM

Albert BrooksAlbert Brooks turns 60 today.

Brooks is mostly known for his films (Defending Your Life, Modern Romance), but he was also a favorite guest of folks like Carson and Letterman back in the '80s. He never quite gained the notoriety of some of his contemporaries, but his reputation as a "comedian's comedian" and a little something called "actual talent" has kept him out of obscurity -- and deservedly so, because he's one of the smartest and funniest people working today, even if he is a few steps outside the limelight.

Younger folks know him best for his various guest roles on The Simpsons, one of which I've posted below along with an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman (in two parts).

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David Letterman turns 60 today: yet another sign that I'm getting old

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 12th 2007 10:20AM
David LettermanRemember back in those heady days of the early- to mid-eighties, when David Letterman was considered to be the young, hip alternative to Johnny Carson? You remember... while Johnny was doing his 4,132nd Carnac sketch and putting on daring musical acts like Paul Anka, Dave was conducting elevator races, tossing watermelons off roofs, showing Jerry Lawler slap Andy Kaufman, and putting on bands like the Talking Heads.

Well, hold on to your bongs, Baby Boomers, and grab on to that flannel, Gen Xers: Letterman turns 60 today.


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The Daily Show: November 28, 2006

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 29th 2006 11:44AM
Jon StewartHappy 44th birthday, Jon! As if tumbling into his mid-forties wasn't already stressful enough, Jon was reminded of his continued journey into seniority when an audience member informed him that it was her birthday as well... her 18th birthday. Aww, poor Jonny Stew is feeling the pressures of time. Well, for what it's worth, I think he still looks great.

Maybe he was still kind of feeling weird about getting old or he felt nervous about the night's guest, but Jon seemed really giggly. The first ten minutes of the show just felt odd.

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The Prisoner: Many Happy Returns

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Jul 26th 2006 8:20PM

the prisoner(S01E09) This particular episode is excellent at playing with your emotions. You already have a good idea of what is going to happen at the end, but you still somehow continue to root for Number 6 to successfully escape from The Village and get back to his normal life.

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The Office: Michael's Birthday

by Michael Sciannamea, posted Mar 31st 2006 12:47PM

Michael, Pam, and Jim on iceYou know, I'm getting sick of this. After every episode of The Office, I usually say that this one was the best one yet. At some point, you can't get any better, right?

Wrong! Last night's episode, which focused on Michael's birthday "celebration" at the office, was simply the best one yet. It was so brilliant and so right on that I can't give it any higher praise. If this show doesn't win an Emmy, then the voters should be arrested and deported.

How great/sad was it to see Michael describe some of his past birthdays, especially the one when he was 7 years old and his mother got a pony for his party which he couldn't ride because he got a rash? Even though Michael does his very best to come across as a visionary business leader, he still is at heart a very sensitive guy who has vulnerabilities just like everyone else. In addition, he so desperately wants approval from his staff, although his attempts to get people to acknowledge his birthday with any enthusiasm prove wanting, to say the least.

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You say it's our birthday?

by Keith McDuffee, posted Mar 10th 2006 2:58PM
tv squad logoYes, that's right -- today marks the first birthday of baby TV Squad! Wow, it seems like only yesterday. Actually, no it doesn't -- dang, it's only been a year?!

In honor of this momentious occasion, we want gifts, dangnabbit! We want you to create your own television network and list what currently existing shows you'd put on that network during prime-time (8pm - 11pm), Sunday through Saturday. The shows can be from any of the networks -- mix and match amongst them all. Make sure you choose a great name for your network, too.

Don't worry, we'll give you something in return. Comments to this post will close next Tuesday, March 14, at which time we will choose the best three lineups you've created. First prize will be a $200 gift certificate to Amazon.com, while 2nd and 3rd place will get one of our snazzy TV Squad T-Shirts.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's see what you've got!

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Animation turns 100

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 22nd 2006 5:24PM

koko the clownIf you believe James Stuart Blackton's 1906 short "Humorous Phases of Funny Faces" to be the first use of animation ever (and many do), then that means the artform hits the century mark in April of this year. Jerry over at Cartoon Brew mentions that, like Jazz, animation is a wholly American creation. He left out comic strips, but what can you do? In honor of Animation's birthday, I would now like to list every animated thing ever. Let's see, there's Cap'n Crunch; Speedy Gonzales; Mickey Mouse; Bugs Bunny; um, that tiny little ball that helps you sing along to songs... well, I'll finish the list later. In the meantime, let us raise a glass to this awesome artform. Cheers.

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Like, My Super Sweet 16, you guys

by Annie Wu, posted Aug 18th 2005 9:01AM
supersweetWell, MTV's new season of My Super Sweet 16 has just kicked off with yet another obnoxiously spoiled teenager. Okay, we get it: these kids live a more luxurious life than the average American. But does that really entitle them to behave like airheaded, bitchy morons? It's no wonder that society now acts like there's no moral fiber, virtue, anything left in today's youth... After all, popular culture is plagued with pre-teen idiots. Just about every episode features some brat screeching at his or her (usually her) parents and results in me snarling at the TV, "If you say 'whatever' one more time..." followed by some angry flailing.

Is this horrible behavior simply in the name of "love to hate" entertainment or is it a real negative influence on today's youth (I know pre-teens that worship and live by this show)? All of these kids make me sick... especially after I remind myself they're barely younger than me and are already so corrupted. And yet... I can't flip the channel. I've got to admit, all complaining aside, idiocy makes some good TV. Damn guilty pleasure television. Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure if I'm recommending or bashing this show nor am I sure if I love it or hate it. I suppose it's something you have to see for yourself so you can happily complain about it later.

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