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Archive for November, 2009

The Funny Farm is coming back

andrettiMarshall Chiles, owner of the former Funny Farm in Roswell, said he’s found a new location for the standup comedy club inside Andretti Indoor Karting & Games (11000 Alpharetta Hwy., Roswell, GA 30076).

Originally at Startime Entertainment, the club closed earlier this year after eight years when the entire complex (which included a bar and arcade) shut down. Chiles said the comedy club portion was doing well but couldn’t carry the rest of the operation.

Once he gets all the permits, Chiles hopes to re-open the Funny Farm next month. He’ll provide details of who the first acts will be and what the official launch date will be soon.

Chiles has since opened the much smaller Midtown club the Laughing Skull Lounge, which seats about 80 people (vs. more than 200 at the Funny Farm.) He plans to keep that open even when the Funny Farm returns.

Continue reading The Funny Farm is coming back »

Adam Lambert, J Lo, Taylor Swift set off firestorm at AMAs 2009

lambertWhat do “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert, country starlet Taylor Swift and singer/actress J. Lo have in common? They all count as most memorable moments for the 2009 American Music Awards (Red carpet photosShow photos).

  • Let’s start with the final act. The eyeliner wearing, glamtastic Lambert brought the show to a screeching halt. Literally. (Read AJC blogger Rodney Ho’s run-down of “Idol” vets including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Paula Abdul and Ryan Seacrest). His dominatrix-like performance, capped by a dancer’s face getting extra cozy with him – below the belt – lit Twitter up. People were shocked and awed by the audaciously “sexy” moves and some parents were reportedly not thrilled with ABC.
  • Swift continues her country music ascension, claiming five awards including Entertainer of the Year. Even though she was in London, she accepted the awards via satellite and just as surprised each and every single time.
  • In a bit of comic relief, Jennifer Lopez fell flat …

Continue reading Adam Lambert, J Lo, Taylor Swift set off firestorm at AMAs 2009 »

‘New Moon’ breaks box office records with $26 million

newmoon“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is reportedly breaking box-office records for midnight showings.

Fueled by the sex appeal and tabloid photos of stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Patterson, the sophomore in the “Twilight” series pulled in just over $26 million in its first day.

That’s more than the previous midnight record, held by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” with $22.2 million this year. “The Dark Knight” from 2008 pulled in $18.5 million.

The vampire flick made Atlantans blood-thirsty, too.  There were several early screenings this week, and one of the movie’s minor characters, Justine Wachsberger, showed up for a meet-and-greet (see photos).

Continue reading ‘New Moon’ breaks box office records with $26 million »

Celebrity birthdays: Nov. 21

Actor Joseph Campanella (”The Colbys,” “Ben”) is 82. Country singer Jean Shepard is 76. Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 75. Actress Marlo Thomas is 72. Singer Dr. John is 69. Actress Juliet Mills (”Passions”, “Nanny and the Professor”) is 68. Actor-director Harold Ramis is 65. Actress Goldie Hawn is 64. Keyboardist Lonnie Jordan of War is 61. Singer Livingston Taylor is 59. Actress-singer Lorna Luft is 57. Actress Cherry Jones (”The Horse Whisperer”) is 53. Bassist Brian Ritchie of Violent Femmes is 49. Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman is 47. Actress Nicollette Sheridan is 46. Singer Bjork is 44. Singer Chauncey Hannibal of BLACKstreet is 41. Bassist Alex James of Blur is 41. Rapper Pretty Lou of Lost Boyz is 38. Country singer Kelsi Osborn of SHeDAISY is 35. Actress Jena Malone (”Saved,” “Life As A House”) is 25.

Continue reading Celebrity birthdays: Nov. 21 »

Miley Cyrus family mourns tour bus driver

Superstar actress/singer Miley Cyrus and her family say they are “deeply saddened” by the death of a tour bus driver Friday.

Bill “Uncle Bill” Douglas of Austin passed away after the bus he was driving crashed. Miley was not on the bus, which was traveling with other buses through Virginia.

“Members of our tour are like members of our family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in the midst of this tragedy,” the family posted in a statement on www.MileyCyrus.com.

Continue reading Miley Cyrus family mourns tour bus driver »

Tyler Perry, Paula Deen donate thousands to Atlanta charities

Just in time for Thanksgiving, filmmaker Tyler Perry and Food Network personality and author Paula Deen are making sizable gifts to area hunger relief organizations.

Deen and representatives from Smithfield Foods will be here Monday to deliver more than 25,000 pounds of protein to Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless.

“We want to get as much food as possible to as many needy families as possible,” Deen said.

Meanwhile, Perry is supplying the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless each with a $50,000 donation of food and a $25,000 contribution toward operating expenses.

“There are so many people who need so much more this year, and Tyler Perry’s generous donation will make a big difference in so many lives,” said executive director Elisabeth Omilami.

Taking a cue from the boss, the cast and crew of “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns” and “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne” are donating more than 2,250 pounds of edibles to area food banks.

“Tyler Perry’s support …

Continue reading Tyler Perry, Paula Deen donate thousands to Atlanta charities »

Celebrity birthdays: Nov. 20

Actress-comedian Kaye Ballard is 84. Actress Estelle Parsons is 82. TV personality Richard Dawson is 77. Comedian Dick Smothers is 71. Singer Norman Greenbaum is 67. Actress Veronica Hamel is 66. Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is 63. Actor Samuel E. Wright (Sebastian in “Little Mermaid”) is 63. Musician Joe Walsh is 62. Actor Richard Masur (”One Day at a Time”) is 61. Actress Bo Derek is 53. Drummer Jim Brown of UB40 is 52. Actress Sean Young is 50. Pianist Jim Brickman is 48. Drummer Todd Nance of Widespread Panic is 47. Actress Ming-Na (”ER”) is 46. Rapper Mike D of the Beastie Boys is 44. Rapper Sen Dog of Cypress Hill is 44. Actress Marisa Ryan (”New York Undercover”) is 35. Country singer Dierks Bentley is 34. Actor Joshua Gomez (”Chuck”) is 34. Country singer Josh Turner is 32. Actress Nadine Velazquez (”My Name Is Earl”) is 31. Bassist Jared Followill of Kings of Leon is 23.

Continue reading Celebrity birthdays: Nov. 20 »

Oprah to end talk show in 2011

oprahOprah Winfrey will end her talk show in 2011.  Her production company said the media powerhouse will make it official on Friday’s episode, according to reports.

For decades, her talk show has set the standard for TV. Until recently, her ratings were consistently strong (an appearance by Sarah Palin Monday boosted sluggish ratings, said the AJC’s Rodney Ho). She helped new talents like Tyra Banks, Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray and Dr. Phil start their own shows (though as a colleague reminded me, we aren’t sure what will happen to best friend Gayle King). There was also the resounding support for Pres. Barack Obama during his election bid.

Consistently one of the highest earning women in the world, Oprah turned living room book clubs into million-dollar ventures.

For Atlantans, she’s been even closer to home, by being close friends with Atlanta’s own movie maker Tyler Perry. Most recently the two went cross-country as producers and mega-watt promoters of the film “Precious,” starring …

Continue reading Oprah to end talk show in 2011 »

Celebrity birthdays: Nov. 19

Actor Alan Young (”Mr. Ed”) is 90. Talk show host Larry King is 76. Talk show host Dick Cavett is 73. Media mogul Ted Turner is 71. Newsman Garrick Utley is 70. Actor Dan Haggerty is 68. Fashion designer Calvin Klein is 67. Sportscaster Ahmad Rashad is 60. Actor Robert Beltran (”Star Trek: Voyager”) is 56. Actress Kathleen Quinlan is 55. Actress Glynnis O’Connor is 54. Journalist Ann Curry is 53. Actress Allison Janney (”The West Wing”) is 50. Drummer Matt Sorum of Velvet Revolver (and Guns N’ Roses) is 49. Actress Meg Ryan is 48. Actress Jodie Foster is 47. Actress Terry Farrell (”Becker”) is 46. Drummer Travis McNabb (Better Than Ezra) is 40. Singer Tony Rich is 38. Singer Jason Albert of Heartland is 36. Country singer Billy Currington is 36. Dancer-choreographer Savion Glover is 36. Singer Tamika Scott of Xscape is 34. Rapper Lil’ Mo is 32.

Continue reading Celebrity birthdays: Nov. 19 »

Janet Jackson confirms break-up with Jermaine Dupri

janet

(AP)

Pop star Janet Jackson admits that she and Atlanta super producer Jermaine Dupri are just friends.

In a primetime interview Wednesday with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, she said, “I adore him. Love him to death.” In fact, Dupri, whom she dated for about seven years, was the one who taught her to love her … assets. She said he taught her that there’s nothing wrong with her body – curves and all (he just picked up some extra points with that move).

Speaking from her Malibu beach house looking amazingly beautiful in a winter white fitted dress, Jackson, 43, also spoke candidly about her family and brother Michael’s death in June.

“You have to accept what is, but it’s hard.” She said that the family tried interventions to stop Michael’s drug use several times but she felt like he was in denial.

She’s still soft-spoken and seemingly shy, admitting that she gets embarrassed when people stare at her. “I’m in the wrong business.”

Roberts took Ms. Jackson through family …

Continue reading Janet Jackson confirms break-up with Jermaine Dupri »