263 posts
  • Late-night

“Saturday Night Live” wasted little time in answering whether the show would address the controversy surrounding one of its own, former cast member and writer Al Franken, who resigned from the U.S. Senate last week after allegations of inappropriate behavior.

In the show’s cold open, Kenan Thompson played a department store Santa dealing with some politically attuned kids for a sketch that echoed aspects of Franken’s resignation speech.

After asking for a few gifts, the first child had a simple question for Santa: “What did Al Franken do?” After some stammering, Santa tried pushing the question off to an elf (Kate McKinnon), who didn’t appreciate being called Sugar Plum. “In this climate, can you just call me Amy?”


A shadowy figure visits the grave of Peter Parker — and that shadowy figure is … Spider-Man? That’s the story of Spider-Man according to the first trailer for “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” the upcoming animated feature from Sony Pictures. 

Inspired by the 2011 comic book “Ultimate Fallout: Spider-Man No More,” Parker has died and another man, Miles Morales, has assumed the Spidey mask. The short trailer gives viewers a peek behind that mask.

The Morales character has been lauded by some critics for bringing a person of color into the role of an established superhero — all done with the approval of creator Stan Lee. (He told the New York Daily News in 2012: “Doing our bit to try to make our nation, and the world, color blind is definitely the right thing.”)

John Boyega as Finn in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
John Boyega as Finn in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." (Lucasfilm)

The world premiere of the year’s most anticipated movie, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” is just moments away. For a moment, it seemed that the Force was going to keep one of the movie’s big stars from attending.

John Boyega, who plays a renegade stormtrooper named Finn in “The Last Jedi,” was held up by snow in Atlanta and, for a few hours, it appeared as if he wasn’t going to make it to the film’s world premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Saturday evening. 

Boyega, however, eventually found a way out of Atlanta, where a storm has left thousands without power. The actor’s publicist, Lindsay Galin, told the Associated Press that the actor was on schedule to make the 5 p.m. premiere. And Boyega later confirmed his arrival in L.A. — without luggage — via Tweet.

  • Birthdays
(Ken Hively / Los Angeles times)

So much of my life has been make-believe that the characters looked more real than the people around me. For years I'd do three, sometimes four pictures a year. … And what you're acting can be realer than things in your own life.

  • Movies
Bryan Singer has directed four films in the "X-Men" franchise.
Bryan Singer has directed four films in the "X-Men" franchise. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The University of Southern California announced Friday that it was temporarily removing Bryan Singer’s name from one of its campus buildings. The move comes after the “X-Men” director was accused in a lawsuit of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy at a party more than a decade ago.

“Bryan Singer has requested that the USC School of Cinematic Arts suspend the use of his name on the Division of Cinema and Media Studies until the allegations against him are resolved,” the school said in a statement. “The school means a great deal to Bryan, and while he intends to defend himself vigorously against these claims, he does not want the pending litigation to have any negative impact on his alma mater.”

Last month, students launched a petition on to remove Singer’s name from the Division of Cinema and Media Studies. It has amassed nearly 4,500 signatures to date.

 Reese Witherspoon in a scene from season 1 of "Big Little Lies."
Reese Witherspoon in a scene from season 1 of "Big Little Lies." (Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/HBO)

It’s the real housewives reunion we’ve all been waiting for: HBO has officially announced “Big Little Lies” will return for a second season.

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman will return as stars and executive producers of the sophomore installment of the not-so limited series. The seven-episode season will be written by David E. Kelley, based on a story created by Liane Moriarty, the author of the novel “Big Little Lies” which inspired the series.  

“I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them.”

  • TV
  • Late-night

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken resigned Thursday, the latest development in the sexual harassment saga that continues to envelop Washington, D.C., Hollywood and beyond. 

Franken’s fall from grace did not go without notice by many late-night talk shows, where reactions ranged from disgusted to dismissive.

On “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah was somber as he played a clip from Franken’s resignation speech before launching into some hard truths about the current politicization of sexual misconduct.

What’s bigger and scarier than charging dinosaurs? A volcanic eruption filled with charging dinosaurs.  

This we are reminded of — in case we ever forget — in the first full-length trailer for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” which features Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady running from just about everything except that raptor he raised from a baby and his will-they-or-won’t-they banter with Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing.

She’s apparently now dating someone way more boring than Owen, but she’s still willing to go for drinks with the raptor keeper. And our heroes are here to help rescue the dinos from an island that’s about to explode. “What could go wrong?” Owen deadpans. 

  • Birthdays
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

I feel as though I have been through a crash course in life. It’s been an incredible ride. I've had the highs of meeting my soul mate, but the lows of having my life ripped apart for something I didn't do. I wouldn't change the knowledge I've gained for anything. Just don't ever ask me to repeat it.

Alec Baldwin is doubling down on his Wednesday comments criticizing talk show hosts for turning their platforms from promotional pit stops into punditry.

The “Saturday Night Live” presidential impersonator appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” on Thursday to discuss his stance and how attitudes toward inappropriate behavior have changed over the years. 

“You certainly want to see everyone who is guilty of something, who have done bad things, wrong things that hurt people, you want to see those people get punished,” Baldwin said. “I don’t want to see innocent people get hurt either.”