In comedy, football and politics, timing is everything and today’s events in Zurich have brought all three together with quite exceptional synchronicity. Just two days before Fifa’s annual congress and a fiercely contested presidential election, the Swiss attorney general’s office and their American equivalent in the Eastern District of New York have done what much of the football world has been longing for and launched separate criminal investigations into bribery, corruption and money laundering in world football in general and into the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar in particular. This is going to be good. There are going to be a lot of questions asked about who did what, who knew what and who got what. But important, tantalising and outrageous as the answers will no doubt be, it is worth taking a moment to ask two other questions. First, how did we get into the mess? Why is it that Fifa, as an organisation, has been so profoundly … [Read more...] about The Fifa fiasco proves it’s time to dismantle football’s edifice of corruption
Comedy circus timing
“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” — P.T. Barnum. There’s a new paradigm for struggling and unfunny comedians out there: Make some really crude, even disgustingly profane, comments about President Trump — or even his family — and make bank. Think about the nobodies who have risen to the top of the comedy world of late, such incredibly mundane “comedians” as Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Jimmy Fallon, and their lesser brethren, Seth Myers and Chelsea Handler. Since the moment Trump entered the presidential race, they’ve ripped him and his family — including 12-year-old Barron Trump — and watched as their ratings (and paychecks) rose. But it’s really been the lesser known and mostly untalented comedians that see a way to make a lot of money — bashing Trump is big business. Take Kathy Griffin, who hasn’t done anything funny in decades (she was once pretty good). For some reason … [Read more...] about Comedy Today: Bash Trump And His Family In Offensive, Profane Rants, Make $$$!
Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch - which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer. Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage, hand-in-hand, to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season. Claudia, 47, ditched her usual black attire, wowing in an elaborate sparkling trouser-suit. First ladies: Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman led the stars at the 2019 Strictly Come Dancing launch - which took place on the final Bank Holiday Monday of the summer Loving life: Stepping out in the baking London heat, the glam duo, who co-host the annual BBC dance contest, looked thrilled to be back as they strutted onto the stage Here come the girls: The dazzling duo walked out hand-in-hand to greet the crowds at the inaugural event for the 17th season Loving life! The duo seemed in … [Read more...] about Strictly Come Dancing launch 2019: Tess Daly slips into a velvet gown as Claudia Winkleman makes a bold style choice in glittering scarlet suit
Although Barrie Keeffe, who has died aged 74, wrote a long list of stage plays that fed into, and off, each other – especially in their themes of disaffected youth, criminality and rock music – his one big film, The Long Good Friday (1980), directed by John Mackenzie, seemed like an absolute one-off, not only in the annals of modern British movie-making, but in his career as a writer, too. Helen Mirren, already a star, was sensational in it, and Bob Hoskins made his breakthrough as Harry Shand, an East End gangster who dreams of a new city rising in the docklands of London with mafia money. The thriller plot also tapped into the underbelly of IRA terrorist activity at the time in a highly imaginative, and frightening, way. Around the same time, Keeffe, who specialised in short, sharp stage plays, wrote Sus (1979) for the little Soho Poly theatre near Oxford Circus. It is set on the night of a general election, when a black man is detained on suspicion of murder by two … [Read more...] about Barrie Keeffe obituary
Photo-Illustration: Getty Images Last year, Jason Alexander spoke about why George Costanza’s fiancée, Susan, was killed off on Seinfeld. In her book, Seinfeldia, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong gives the full story behind the character’s death by envelopes. We’ve excerpted it below — for more behind-the-scenes stories from Seinfeld, listen to the latest edition of the Vulture TV Podcast with Armstrong. Tune in to the Vulture TV Podcast, produced by the Slate Group’s Panoply, every Tuesday, on iTunes or SoundCloud. In the summer of 1995, Larry David called Jason Alexander. “We’ve got a great arc for George,” he said. “He’s going to get engaged.” “To what character?” “Susan.” “Who’s playing Susan?” Alexander asked, though surely he knew. “Heidi.” “Who’s playing George?” Alexander cracked. Alexander and Heidi Swedberg, who … [Read more...] about The Story Behind Susan’s Death on
The Disney movie closest to your heart is probably the one you saw at just the right age and rewatched on a parent-tormenting loop. Trying to objectively critique these movies can be a challenge. How do you assess their quality without taking nostalgia into account?So, to embark on the Herculean task of ranking every Disney Animation Studios film — not movies put out by DisneyToon (A Goofy Movie), classic coproductions (Mary Poppins), or more contemporary collaborations (anything by Pixar) — I rewatched all 57 of these movies and developed a scoring system based on plot, characters, music, animation, and influence.The results are, of course, tempered by personal bias, but I did my best to look at the big picture. If nothing else, hopefully we can agree on what makes the best of Disney so timeless and exceptional: strong stories with gorgeous visuals, stirring music, and that inexplicable quality we so often call "heart." Now, without further ado, here is my ranking of all … [Read more...] about The Definitive Ranking Of Walt Disney Animation Studios Films