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Todd Barry talks 'Crowd Work' special and getting your friends to pay for stuff

Though he has put “stand-up comedian” on his tax return for over two decades, Todd Barry did not prepare any new material for his brand new special, which was produced by Louis C.K. and distributed through his website for five bucks.

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Cut 'SNL' sketch parodies '90s Nickelodeon -- VIDEO

The kids on children’s programs are really happy — and, as Saturday Night Live explained it this past weekend in a cut sketch — there’s a surprisingly dark reason for that: Speed.

The conceit featured a look back at fake ’90s Nickelodeon show Zap! (which looked an awful lot like 1999 PBS program Zoom!). A television host (Beck Bennett) explained that thanks to the show’s producers, the cast of Zap! had a pretty serious drug problem — as evidenced by later episodes of the no-longer-G-rated program. (“Friendship” has never been so cracked out.) READ FULL STORY

MTV Movie Awards: Conan ditches Andy Richter, teams with Ice Cube instead

This Sunday, Conan O’Brien will host the 2014 MTV Movie Awards — but unlike his regular hosting gig on TBS, he’ll be on stage without his longtime sidekick Andy Richter.

“Andy’s not reliable,” O’Brien explains to EW. “I’d love to bring Andy — in fact, I’ve tried to bring Andy to many things. But he’s like the country singer George Jones late in his career: Maybe he’ll show, maybe he won’t.”

“Andy pretty much lives in an RV,” O’Brien adds. “It’s very hard; he doesn’t have any representation. You can tell. Whenever I talk to Andy’s ‘manager’ on the phone, I can tell it’s Andy from a payphone, doing a slightly different voice. And then I can always hear someone banging on the door.” READ FULL STORY

'Saturday Night Live' best host poll: Anna Kendrick's episode sings -- VOTE

Having great vocal range typically implies an ability to sing in a variety of octaves. I’ll take it on faith that Anna Kendrick, who hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend, has that gift to a certain degree. But I’m more impressed by Kendrick’s other musical range: the ability to sing a G-rated version of a beloved Disney princess tune and a raunchy ditty that includes the lyric, “Each dong is like a snowflake.”

Kendrick’s show emphasized her singing background — not a bad way to go for the Pitch Perfect star. Perhaps the show was short on laugh-out-loud moments, but it still was a fine showcase for the actress. It will be interesting to see if the voters reward her in this week’s Mr. Saturday Night poll.

Last week’s host, Louis C.K., made an impression and pushed Jimmy Fallon out of the top spot, with 33.1 percent. Fallon dipped 12 points to 30.0 percent but remains a strong second. It seems nothing can deter Josh Hutcherson‘s fans, as his bloc remains solid with 22.9 percent. That’s up two points from last week. Melissa McCarthy narrowly dodged elimination for a third straight week, even though her support slipped from 13.5 to 10.4 percent. Lena Dunham got the hook instead after her numbers plummeted from 19.4 to 3.7 percent. READ FULL STORY

In case you missed it: 'The Simpsons' pay tribute to David Letterman -- VIDEO

Homer Simpson isn’t the biggest fan of the Big Apple. (“New York is a hellhole. And you know how I feel about hellholes.”) But when a comedy legend announces that he’s retiring after more than 30 consecutive years on late-night TV, it’s important to pay your respects — even if that means facing terrible traffic, street shysters, and haughty gatekeepers in the (animated) city of New York.

That’s exactly what Homer and his family do in the following couch gag, a special online tribute created shortly after Letterman revealed that he’s stepping away from the Late Show in 2015. (Fun fact: It’s actually not the first time the yellow family has crashed Letterman’s set; a less polished gag along these same lines aired before “The Last Temptation of Homer” in 1993.) Sure, The Simpsons and Letterman air on rival networks – but they’re both TV’s elder statesman, and it’s nice to see a venerable comedy franchise honor one of its own.

Now, who’s in the mood for some khlav kalash?

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ACM Awards: Best and Worst of the Broadcast -- VIDEO

The 49th Annual ACM Awards were held Sunday night in Las Vegas, where George Strait took home Entertainer of the Year, Miranda Lambert earned her fifth consecutive Female Vocalist title, and Darius Rucker stole the show. Here are a few more honors from the telecast. Feel free to add your own in the comments. READ FULL STORY

'Turn' react: Don't start the revolution without me

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A popular and comforting misconception of the American Revolution is that aggrieved American patriots united to take up arms against British redcoats, and that a new nation rejoiced as one after finally throwing off the yoke of tyranny in 1783. In fact, our war for independence was a civil war that divided families and neighbors — Ben Franklin’s son was a devoted loyalist, for example, and thousands would flee the colonies after America’s victory. Another substantial segment of the population tried to straddle the fence — switching sides depending on whose troops were closest that day.

That’s the background for AMC’s new Revolutionary War spy drama, Turn, which set the tone by declaring, “Insurgents have declared war against the Crown.” In other words, we are the traitors. It’s autumn 1776, and revolutionary fervor has subsided in Setauket, Long Island, a few months after the Declaration of Independence. George Washington’s troops were just spanked by the British in New York and chased into New Jersey with their tails between their legs. A quarter of Manhattan burned during the American’s panicked withdrawal, with some accusing Washington of sparking it intentionally. Maybe all this “give me liberty or give me death” talk was a little premature, huh, Founding Fathers? READ FULL STORY

Mr. T inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame -- VIDEO

Pity the fool who doesn’t respect Mr. T’s mama.

The actor was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on Saturday, honored for a wrestling career that began in 1985, when he became Hulk Hogan’s tag-team partner at the very first WrestleMania. The A-Team star used the opportunity to thank — repeatedly, and at length — his mother for her love and support. Here’s a brief clip from his acceptance speech:

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'Saturday Night Live' recap: Anna Kendrick is a (pitch) perfect Disney princess

Disney fans, this was a Saturday Night Live for you.

Going into the episode, it seemed likely there would be at least one musical sketch moment. After all, Anna Kendrick was a Tony nominee when she was just a teenager, starred in the cult classic Camp, and is perhaps best known as the lead in the a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect, which somehow spawned a huge radio hit for the actress with her cover of “Cups.” (Don’t worry. That was – cleverly – spoofed last night as well.)

While a little singing seemed to be a safe bet, no one could have expected that the show would go full Disney princess, with no less than four music moments by Kendrick. The program wholly embraced the host’s musical side, and likely recruited a few more fans eager to see Kendrick’s upcoming interpretation of Cinderella in December’s highly anticipated (and slightly feared) adaptation of the musical Into the Woods. (Other upcoming Kendrick musical performances: The Last Five Years and Pitch Perfect 2.) While the show – and Kendrick – were more charmingly amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, this episode will still go down in the “success” column thanks to a combination of clever writing, higher-than-normal energy, and a host that somehow rapped more than Drake did a few months back. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'Game of Thrones' returns, along with MTV's 'The Challenge' and more

I can win over most of you with five words about this week: Game of Thrones is back. But if that’s not enough for you, we’ve also got a new Bill Murray film in theaters, a funny new read, and the start of the 25th season of MTV’s The Challenge. Let’s just say you’ve got a diverse and very interesting week of pop culture ahead of you. Here’s what your schedule looks like this week:

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