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September 17, 2014

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Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on 'Faces of America' and the Beer Summit

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 9th 2010 2:03PM
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at the premiere of 'Faces of America'While I was in Pasadena for the TCAs, I got a chance to have a very interesting talk with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. He was at the press tour to promote his new PBS series 'Faces of America,' which debuts on Wednesday, February 10.

In the four-part follow-up to his 'African-American Lives' series, Gates traces the lineages of a number of celebrity guests via the use of both old-fashioned digging -- documents, genealogical investigations -- and cutting-edge genome research. Some of the guests include Eva Longoria, Yo Yo Ma, Stephen Colbert, Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Oz and Meryl Streep.

Professor Gates and I talked mostly about what he found surprising about his research, and what guests were most surprised by their lineages. Of course, I also asked him about the aftermath of the "beer summit" with President Obama and James Crowley, the Cambridge police officer who arrested him for breaking into his own house last summer. You'd be surprised what the officer gave Professor Gates as a keepsake of the incident.

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The Daily Show: March 1, 2007

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 2nd 2007 9:20AM
Jon StewartRob Corddry recently appeared on FOX News to promote his new show, The Winner. He ended his interview with "This crawl is chafing my nipples!" Aww. I really love Rob Corddry, and that's why I'm so disappointed that The Winner is a load of crap. I started watching a few episodes online and I couldn't make it through the first ten minutes of any of them. Sad.

"Ebony and Irony": The Whistlin' Dixie was all right. Reverend Al Sharpton was a good sport for agreeing to come on The Daily Show. This must have been such a crazy subject to talk about. I think both the Reverend and Jon handled it very well.

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Yale vs. Harvard for worldwide comedy domination

by Julia Ward, posted Feb 6th 2007 1:02PM
John Hodgman YalieWatch your backs, Harvard alum. Yale's looking to take on the Crimson mafia's domination of televised comedy. For the uninformed, this is the fast track to a job as a television comedy writer:

1. Be a man - preferably a Catholic or a Jew. (More guilt = More funny)
2. Go to Harvard. (Legacy, class privilege, whatever it takes to get you there.)
3. Write for the Lampoon.

That's it. Within a year or two of graduation, you should be writing for Conan, The Daily Show, SNL, The Office or The Simpsons. Guaranteed. Or, is it? Certain Yalies are looking to challenge Harvard's stranglehold on the writer's room. The Yale Daily News paints a picture of Yale's growing influence on comedy or, at least, Comedy Central. The article name-checks Yalies Lewis Black, Demetri Martin, John Hodgman, Daily Show writer Steve Bodow and Colbert Report head writer Allison Silervman. Hodgman offered, "By accident, maybe there is the beginning of a similar - extremely feeble - Yale network of professionals that may give the aspiring comedy writer on Cross Campus a glimmer of hope." And, so the elitist pissing contest commences.

For those of you who want to pursue a career in comedy and can't afford the Ivy route, you will be happy to know that Jon Stewart attended the College of William and Mary, Tina Fey is a woman and Bob Odenkirk is an atheist.

[Via CCInsider]

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Beauty and the Geek rocks the Cantina

by Julia Ward, posted Jan 4th 2007 11:39AM
Nate Beauty and the GeekStar Wars tribute band So Long Princess is about to get a few thousand friend requests. Last night's premiere of Beauty and the Geek introduced us to Nate Dern, the Harvard student who fronts the band and took the prize in the show's first two challenges. The band has an EP out - Alderaan is Asteroids. You can check out the fun, punky tracks "Stormtrooper," "Kessel Run," "Shades of Darth" and "Pining for Mynock" at the band's MySpace page.

As I pointed out in my "early look" at the show, I think Nate has a bit of leg up on the other geeks. He fronts a band, which automatically makes him a tad more extroverted than, say, Mario, the guy with 25,000 comics. My guess is that Nate cleans up pretty well, too. Not that he should let the show temper his fashion sense. Honestly, most of these geeks are pretty freaking cool dudes. (Heck, Neils is even a professional dating coach now.) They may give the state college sorority sisters the willies, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a few hipsters chicks throwing up a fan site or two. I've got dibs on www.TeamPiao.com.

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That kid from The Apprentice is running Trump's new studio

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 6th 2006 11:03AM
andy litinskySurprise, surprise. Donald Trump is opening up his own production studio and he has tapped a contestant from The Apprentice to run it. Anybody remember Andy Litinsky? He is the young college student from Harvard who appeared on season two of The Apprentice. He was fired-- only for being young. Three months after the show ended, Andy was hired by Trump to work as a project manager for his real estate ventures. Specifically, he managed the construction of the 64-story Trump International Hotel and Condominium in Las Vegas. Now he's been tapped to head up Trump's yet-to-be-named production company. The reason for starting it, according to Trump, is to develop new programs. I'd be totally skeptical of this venture, considering Trump's past with beauty pageants, except that Andy is in charge. Is he edgy? Who knows? He's young and completely inexperienced in television production; hopefully no preconceived notions about how "the industry" works. Perfect for accidentally stumbling upon some great hit!

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Video of Seth MacFarlane's speech at Harvard

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 14th 2006 10:03AM
seth macfarlaneFirst of all, a big thanks to reader Tucker for hepping us to this video. He's good people, that Tucker. Anyway, you might recall I mentioned yesterday that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane spoke to the senior class at Harvard for Class Day, and College Humor has highlights from the speech, which is essentially MacFarlane doing a kind of mini-Family Guy scene for the audience. The video is nice and all, but watching MacFarlane do these voices was kind of like watching Goofy at Disneyland perform without wearing the top part of his costume. It kind of took some of the magic away, you know? However, if you turn your screen off and just listen to the audio, it's pretty funny. That's just me, though.

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Seth MacFarlane speaks at Harvard

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 13th 2006 3:32PM

seth macfarlaneFamily Guy creator Seth MacFarlane spoke to Harvard's graduating class last Wednesday, but it wasn't part of commencement. Instead, it was for Class Day, which takes place the day before graduation ceremonies and was created to be a more relaxing send off for seniors than the "real" ceremony. MacFarlane addressed the crowd as several of the characters he plays on the show, including Stewie, Peter, and Quagmire. MacFarlane didn't attend Harvard, but he told the crowd he had been secretly living among them. Sounds like a pretty cool speech, but I'm not sure anything can top Conan O'Brien's address to the Class of 2000.

[via TV Filter]

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