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Tag: Festivals & Events (11-20 of 20)

'Stand Up for Heroes': Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Robin Williams & more honor wounded warriors

“Humor is healing. Music is inspiring.” That’s how Staff Sgt. Robert Henline summed up last night’s Stand Up for Heroes benefit — an annual event for injured service members, veterans, and their families produced by the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

In March 2007, Henline’s truck hit a roadside bomb while he was serving his third tour in Iraq. He suffered burns over 38 percent of his body and lost his left ear in the explosion — but Henline held on to his sense of humor. Before the show, the vet worked the red carpet outside of Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre with stars like Ricky Gervais and Roger Waters — and even joked about preparing the Pink Floyd bassist for his Stand Up performance by tossing firecrackers into Waters’ dressing room. READ FULL STORY

Eisner Awards: The winners are...

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards — largely considered the “Comic Oscars” — were given out Friday night at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. And the winners are… READ FULL STORY

The Webby Awards' best five-word speeches -- plus Patton Oswalt's funniest quips

Why did the International Academy of the Digital Arts and Sciences choose Patton Oswalt to host this year’s 16th Annual Webby Awards? Oswalt has an inkling: “I look like the Internet personified,” he told an audience filled with celebrities, tech bigwigs, and humble entertainment journalists this afternoon. But Oswalt needn’t have been so self-deprecating. His jokes were uniformly well-received at Monday’s awards ceremony, especially when the comedian went off book. This, for example, is how Oswalt reacted after Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau accepted a statuette on behalf of Greenland.com: “I think winter just came!”

Oswalt, of course, wasn’t the only one loosing pithy quips. The Webbys enforce a strict five-word acceptance speech policy, which can lead to addresses both dull (“Thank you, Mom and Dad”) and inspired (Stephen Colbert, accepting the Person of the Year Award in ’08: “Me me me me me!”). Thankfully, memorable lines usually outnumber boring ones — and this year was no exception. Here’s a roundup of today’s most notable acceptance speeches:

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Patton Oswalt searches for the first 'First!' in Webbys promo

History books are filled with accounts of famous firsts — the first women’s rights convention, the first World War, the first man to walk on the moon. But who was the first Internet user to read a blog post, then scroll down to the comments section and furiously type a simple message: “FIRST”? Comedian, Ratatouille star, and amateur fake historian Patton Oswalt may have just discovered the answer.

An Internet hero in his own right, Oswalt is hosting the 16th Annual Webby Awards next Monday. The following FunnyOrDie video, which dramatizes his quest to discover the first “First,” serves as a promo for his hosting gig — but it’s also pretty great in its own right. Watch for yourself below.

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MTV Movie Awards add new categories, anonymous 'academy' of voters. Will you watch?

“I’d like to, like, thank the academy, dude.” It may not be Oscar, but the Golden Popcorn is undergoing quite the makeover when the MTV Movie Awards airs a refurbished version of its annual awards show in Los Angeles in June.

Among the changes announced today are five new categories — including Best Music, Best On-Screen Transformation and the soon-to-be-classic Best On-Screen Dirt Bag — as well as a new system of nominations based on an anonymous panel of actors, producers, industry folks and “members of the MTV audience,” says a press release. The network hopes that the new Academy, as it’s dubbing it, will add some credibility to the show and allow for a broader array of nominees that don’t necessarily represent the biggest summer blockbusters (as has been the raison d’être for the entire tween celebration in the past). Reflecting the greater selection of talent, a panel of directors will also crown the winner of a new Breakthrough Performance award.

Will that mean we’re going to see less Twilight and Harry Potter and more Winter’s Bone and Monsieur Lazhar? Probably not, but the new voting committee — which will be kept anonymous — should shake up the nominees just enough to reinvigorate the program and add some depth to the choices fans will face when voting opens to the public on May 1. Yes, you’ll still have the autonomy to pick between vampires and tributes, but MTV hopes that peppering in a little Meryl will make your choice a little more difficult.

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Patton Oswalt will host this year's Webby Awards

Stand-up comedian, Young Adult actor, and all-around geek god Patton Oswalt will host the 16th-annual Webby Awards in May. The ceremony, which honors excellence in categories like “Best Web Personality/Host” and “Best Use of Interactive Video,” is famous for its quirky acceptance speech policy — each winner is allowed to say just five words after receiving an award. Thankfully, Oswalt won’t be asked to limit his own riffs.

The Ratatouille star has some big virtual shoes to fill. In the past, the awards have been hosted by funny people like SNL‘s Seth Meyers, Friends and Web Therapy star Lisa Kudrow, and Daily Show alum Rob Corddry. More than any of those comedians, though, Oswalt’s sensibility seems well-suited to the Webbys — and personally, I’m hoping that this stint might lead to more high-profile hosting. READ FULL STORY

Stars gather for Serious Fun at 'A Celebration of Paul Newman's Dream'

The invitation to “kick back and raise a little hell” echoed throughout the night at “A Celebration of Paul Newman’s Dream,” the fundraiser for Newman’s Serious Fun Children’s Network (formerly Hole in the Wall Gang Camps). Indeed, it was one of the Oscar winner’s favorite refrains. Though Newman passed in 2008, his wife, Joanne Woodward, and daughter Clea Newman Soderlund have carried on his philanthropic legacy, which started with Newman’s Own in 1982 and extended in 1988 to the network of summer camps for children with serious illnesses.

Last night’s benefit at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall was full of big names — including Jake Gyllenhaal, Tina Fey, Elvis Costello, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy Fallon, Paul Simon, and Josh Groban — but the night was really about the kids, who came from all over the United States and as far away as Israel, Italy, and Ireland. (Serious Fun has 28 camps and programs in more than 50 countries around the world, helping more then 380,000 kids in the last two decades.)

Gyllenhaal had his own memories of King Cool: “What I remember about Paul Newman is that, I was a kid who grew up knowing him more than anything as being on the cover of a salad dressing bottle,” he laughed. READ FULL STORY

Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball: Statler, Waldorf, Blue Steel, and comics' picks for Funniest Person Alive

The British invaded Radio City Music Hall for the American debut of Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball. The comedy benefit has been raising money for AI since 1976, when Monty Python alum John Cleese co-created the series. The celebrity-saturated roster made for a packed Music Hall as several American faves (plenty of Saturday Night Live stars, Rashida Jones, Paul Rudd, Sarah Silverman, to name a few) plus big-name Brits (Russell Brand, Eddie Izzard, and John Oliver) took the stage. Epix broadcast the event live last night, and it will be available on their site tomorrow. Until then, we single out a few of the night’s best moments and share the stars’ picks for Funniest Person Alive. READ FULL STORY

Octavia Spencer, Paula Patton, and more honored at 'Essence' Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood luncheon

Though the starlets walking the red carpet at Essence magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon brought plenty of the previously promised pre-Oscar glam, it was solidarity and sisterly support that took center stage at the main event. “It’s really just a girl power luncheon,” said former Friday Night Lights star Jurnee Smollett. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to celebrate each other, and give each other a bunch of hugs. We say, ‘I love your work, continue what you’re doing, and I’m supporting you.'”

EW was on the scene as Octavia Spencer, Paula Patton, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, and Pam Grier were honored for their various achievements at the fifth annual luncheon, which also boasted a Whitney Houston tribute led by her Sparkle costar, Jordin Sparks. READ FULL STORY

'Conservative' movies five times as successful as 'Liberal' movies, claims MovieGuide. Meaning what, exactly?

“Liberal Hollywood” is practically a redundant epithet in the modern culture wars, crystallized in the dark days of the communist witch hunts of the 1950s and perpetuated in more recent times by extreme right-wing pundits who see the work of the devil in every American movie that doesn’t end with a “U-S-A!” chant. But this week, a conservative movie watchdog organization released a quantitative study appealing to Hollywood’s bottom line. According to MovieGuide, quote-unquote Conservative films averaged more than five times at the box-office than Liberal films in 2011.

It’s not an altogether surprising finding — if a studio is going to spend $200 million to produce and market a blockbuster movie, the script will likely take great care to deliver a reassuring crowd-pleasing experience that doesn’t rock anyone’s boat — but what exactly makes a film Liberal or Conservative in the first place? READ FULL STORY

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