How’s the life everybody? The weekend is here and I’m heading to the left coast to spend time with my sister and her fiancé, reconnect with old friends and, with any luck, make a few new ones. All this amid an active five days of Rush Limbaugh getting no love for trying to buy the St. Louis Rams, Hilary Clinton saying she won’t run for president again and Sen. Olympia Snowe being the only Republican to support president Obama’s health care plan.
Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of pro-wrestling legend figure “Captain” Lou Albano, who died at his home Wednesday (Oct. 14) morning. Shout out to the sounding boards for making sure I stay awake for the encore.
Now’s the time for …. The Last Word for the week ending Oct. 16, 2009.
1. Tracy Morgan Takes Tina Fey to the Strip Club; Blasts Former SNL Castmates
No matter what you may think of Tracy Morgan, you have to admit that he always seems to make an impression.
Just ask Tina Fey, who was lucky enough to go with Tracy to “after-after-after-after party” years ago when they were part of the cast of Saturday Night Live.
“Friends of mine were running an illegal strip club they called the Loft. It was in an office space they’d rented and converted into an after-the-after-party spot. They put a stage in it, they put a few futons all around, and they’d get strippers and girls to come and do shows,” Morgan revealed in his upcoming memoir, I Am the New Black. “I invited everyone to go down there one week. And Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch and a few others came along. I didn’t tell any of them what they were in for, so it was all cool when we got there.
“At first … they thought it was just a private party. Then these two girls came out onstage and started [engaging in sex acts], and that just shut it down,” the comedic actor continued. “All the grips and crew guys from ‘SNL’ were standing around and loving it, but my castmates took one look at that, turned right around and rushed out of there.”
With stuff like that, it’s easy to see why Fey wasn’t on Tracy’s bad side. The same can’t be said for fellow Not Ready for Primetime players Chris Kattan and Cherri Oteri, whom Morgan had less than flattering memories of.
“I had my finger on the pulse of urban comedy, but when I brought my act to ‘SNL,’ those mother——— just felt bad for me. None of the cast I came up with saw this future for me. No, sir,” the entertainer said of his 10-year-stint on the show. “All I have to say about that is, where’s Chris Kattan now? Where’s Cheri Oteri now? That b—- can’t even get arrested.”
It definitely seems like Tracy got the last laugh. He’s on the Emmy-winning 30 Rock with Fey, appeared in various movies over the years and hosted the VH1 Hip Hop Honors for the second year straight. Still, there seems to be nothing like beef to help sell whatever it is your offering. Funny, ain’t it?
2. Nelly Furtado Ponders Nudity at Age 40
She may have sung about being “promiscuous,” but Nelly Furtado is far from that with a husband and child. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop Hugh Hefner from offering some big money for the 31-year-old songbird to take it all off for Playboy when she was starting her career as a singer.
“The magazine was even prepared to offer me $500.000, (but) I didn’t want Playboy on my resume at the age of 22,” Furtado confessed to WENN.
What a difference a few years makes. It seems that Nelly has changed her tune, as she wants Hef to make her a new offer to pose naked on her 40th birthday. As she’s gotten older, Furtado has gotten more confident in her looks and career. Hence, the change of heart towards displaying her birthday suit.
“If they ask when I’m 40, I’ll probably say yes.”
With all the older femmes (Halle Berry, Stacy Dash, Lisa Raye) outshining their younger counterparts lately, a nude Nelly Furtado may continue to keep the streak going, if she does follow through with it. The question is will Hef take her up on it. Stay tuned…
3. Marlon Wayans Prepares for Richard Pryor Close Up in New Biopic
Could Marlon Wayans be setting himself up for a dramatic makeover of Jamie Foxx proportions?
According to EW.com, the entertainer is in advanced talks to play Richard Pryor in the biopic Richard Pryor: Is it Something I Said.
The film will follow Pryor’s controversial brand of comedy and his battle with drugs. Producers for the feature will include the legendary comic’s widow, Jennifer Lee Pryor as well as Chris Rock and Mark Gordon.
Wayans good fortune seems to be Eddie Murphy’s loss. The former Saturday Night Live Star, who was originally set to star in the Bill Condon-helmed film, dropped out amid conflicts with Paramount Pictures.
Nevertheless, the cards ultimately shifted in Wayans’ favor as sources revealed to EW that the funnyman fought for the role and blew away producers with a 13- min screen test where he “transforms into Pryor.”
Sounds like Marlon is making an honest effort to really honor Pryor with his performance. Although you could dismiss this because of his past roles in Dance Flick, White Chicks, Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood and countless Wayans Brother films, Marlon does have a dramatic range. If you haven’t checked out 1999’s Requiem for a Dream, you should. It definitely makes you take a different look at him.
But I have to ask “What if?.” Knowing that Condon directed Murphy to a best supporting actor Oscar nod for Dreamgirls, could playing Pryor have made Eddie a certified Oscar nominee again? It certainly would’ve been interesting, but somehow I think Marlon just might surprise everybody with this. What say you?
4. Amy Winehouse Returns to Music; Signs Goddaughter to New Label
Could it be that Amy Winehouse has cleaned up enough to officially put the wheels in gear to creating a follow up to her multi-platinum opus Back to Black?
It seems to point in that direction. The folks at the BBC report that the songstress’ record label, Island, is expecting the album to be completed next year. And according to Island co-president Darcus Beese, it looks promising.
“I’ve heard a couple of song demos that absolutely floored me,” he said, adding that Winehouse has been writing and recording “in fits and starts.” “Hopefully we’ll have her album next year.”
In addition to reappearing in the studio, Winehouse has made some business moves with her new label, Lioness Records. Among the acts signed are the entertainer’s 13-year-old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield and her long-time back-up singer Zalon Thompson.
Already, Bromfield has garnered comparisons to Winehouse as listeners say sounds like a younger version of Amy as she releases her debut album, a collection of 1960s soul and girl group cover songs.
“A lot of people have said you sound like Amy, and to me that’s a compliment,” Bromfield told the BBC when asked about the comparisons. I try to be myself but when you’ve grown up with Amy and sing together, you both click and sound the same.”
Although Winehouse has become more known for her tabloid behavior than her music, Bromfield only sees the musical side as Winehouse, who instantly became a mentor after hearing her voice, doing everything from paying for singing lessons to teaching the young girl the guitar and put her into the recording studio to record demos with her band.
“Eventually she said, ‘Dionne you’re on my label,’ and I said OK! I wasn’t going to say no,” she said.
Hmmm. Sounds like an offer the young singer couldn’t refuse. Let’s hope Amy stays focused so she can do something worthwile with her goddaughter while making more classic music.
5. Leona Lewis Gets Punchy Reception at Book Signing
An appearance at a book signing was anything but normal for Leona Lewis.
The BBC reports the songstress was punched by a fan while signing copies of her autobiography Dreams. The incident took place after Lewis had spent about 90 minutes signing autographs at Waterstone’s bookstore in London.
It was at this point when Lewis’ spokesman said a guy came up and punched her to the side of the head.” The encounter definitely affected the vocalist as the spokesman went on to say that Leona was “understandably badly shaken.”
Soon after, Waterstone’s released a statement addressing the incident, voicing its support of any police investigation looking into what happened and thanking Lewis for her professionalism during the ordeal.
The bookstore assault comes as Leona prepares for the release of her forthcoming album Echo. The project, which includes the recently released single “Happy,” is slated to hit stores due Nov. 17.
In Other Words…
Six months after the death of their father, BeBe and CeCe Winans have released their first gospel album in 15 years, Still. Songs featured on the new release include the single “Close To You,” and “He Can Handle It.” Producers include Mario Winans, Warryn Campbell and Mervyn Warren. Still is available in stores now.
If you ever wanted to spend the holidays with Jennifer Hudson, now is your chance. The Oscar winning singer will hit the small screen for her primetime ABC Christmas special, Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show, which is slated to air in December, will feature Hudson as she relives her childhood holidays with musical performances filmed in locations specific to her youth: the Oscar winner’s church, music academy and other Chicago locations.
Chris Rock is headed back to the big screen as the star of the upcoming film My Black Friend. According to reports, the feature sprang from a November 2008 GQ magazine story by the publication’s senior correspondent, Devin Friedman, a married white journalist out of Manhattan.
Friedman’s article centered on his search for black friends on Craigslist and the unexpected results that that occur from his quest to expand his social circle. Oprah’s Harpo Films is working with Lionsgate to develop the project. In the meantime, Rock’s documentary Good Hair is in theaters now. The will be followed by the comedy Death at a Funeral, which the funnyman co-wrote and produced. Look for that film to be released in April.
Fergie is making a major business move as a co-owner of the Miami Dolphins. SportingNews.com reports the Black Eyed Peas hitmaker was approved by NFL owners voted on Tuesday as a celebrity minority investor in the team.
The only thing now that’s keeping Fergie from joining the Dolphins’ celebrity investor club is signing the paperwork necessary to make the deal official. The Peas are current touring of Australia has prevented the team’s owner Stephen Ross from signing the papers at this time. Needless to say that Fergie will be in good company once things are done. Other celebrity Dolphins investors include Serena Williams, Marc Anthony, Jimmy Buffett and Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
Looks like Michael won’t be the only Jackson gracing fans with new music. Janet Jackson will be back on the scene with her forthcoming greatest hits album Number Ones. The two-disc project, which hits stores on Nov. 17, will feature more than 30 of Janet’s most popular songs that span from her classic debut album, Control, to her last musical offering, Discipline.
In addition to the classic, Number Ones will also feature a new song from Janet called “Make Me,” which was released last month.