TIME Television

Charlie Sheen Will Reprise Ferris Bueller Role on The Goldbergs

HAYLEY ORRANTIA, CHARLIE SHEEN
Hayley Orrantia as Erica Goldberg and Charlie Sheen as "Boy in the Police Station" on The Goldbergs. Gilles Mingasson—ABC

#Winning

Charlie Sheen is about to return to TV, and not just for his rumored reappearance on Two and a Half Men for that show’s finale. The actor will perform in an episode of ABC’s sitcom The Goldbergs as “Boy in the Police Station,” a role he made famous in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The leather-clad teen served as a bad-boy voice of reason to Jennifer Grey’s more uptight character, who famously instructed, “Blow yourself,” before going on to make out with him. The episode will run sometime in 2015 when the show returns with more episodes.

Read more at People.

TIME celebrities

5 Times Stephen Colbert Changed the World

2014 Storycorps Gala Hosted By Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert attends the 2014 Storycorps Gala at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on October 9, 2014 in New York City. Noam Galai—WireImage / Getty Images

From teaching us about campaign finance to saving the Olympic Speedskating team, Colbert's influence goes much deeper than humor

Since its first episode in 2005, The Colbert Report has mostly served to make us laugh. But Stephen Colbert—both as his over-the-top, ultraconservative character and as his normal self—has had a cultural impact that runs deeper than a few giggles. Here, as his show nears its Dec. 18 end, is a look back at five times he stepped up to influence society and inspire people.

1. The time he helped us actually understand campaign finance.

Apparently, faux TV news host Stephen Colbert is more effective than actual journalists when it comes to explaining the intricacies of campaign finance, according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center. Researchers said the show served as “an extended civics lesson”—largely because it walked viewers through the process of creating a political action committee. In March of 2011, Colbert announced he was forming his very own super PAC called “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.” It became a running gag on the show, but it gave viewers real insight into the policies surrounding campaign finance. (Colbert shut the super PAC down a week after the 2012 election.)

2. The time he saved the U.S. Olympic Speedskating team.

In 2009, the United States’ Speedskating team found itself int a tough spot while preparing for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics. The team’s major sponsor, DSB Bank, declared bankruptcy and cut its funding. So who came to the rescue? Yes, that would be Stephen Colbert. He announced that The Colbert Report would become the team’s primary sponsor, with the show’s fans donating money to the cause. The team made it to the Games, and ended up taking home one gold medal, two silver and one bronze—all while wearing uniforms with “Colbert Nation” emblazoned on the thighs.

3. The time he and Jon Stewart joined forced to lead the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.

On Oct. 30, 2010, about 215,000 people gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Why? To attend a rally hosted by comedic icons/fake news pioneers Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, of course. It was part concert, part comedy show, and part political discussion. Colbert mostly stayed in his ultraconservative character throughout the event, but both comedians kept things mostly nonpartisan, particularly in regard to the looming Congressional elections. The goal, it seemed, wasn’t to implore the masses to take a certain political stance—but rather just to get everyone together in the nation’s capital.

4. The time he testified before Congress.

In 2010, Colbert appeared (in character) before a House subcommittee to deliver a testimony about migrant farm workers. “I don’t want a tomato picked by a Mexican,” he testified, stone-faced. “I want it picked by an American, sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.” The whole thing was ridiculous and a bit awkward, of course, but Colbert once again proved his ability to use his character’s bravado and faux-conservative views to draw attention to issues that many people would have otherwise overlooked.

5. The time he inspired a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor.

Colbert’s contributions haven’t been strictly political or cultural—they’ve also been delicious. In 2007, beloved ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced its newest flavor: Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream. The ingredients themselves—vanilla ice cream, fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel—aren’t especially patriotic, but Ben & Jerry’s promised that the flavor is like “the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth.” Colbert donates the proceeds from AmeriCone dream sales to various charities through The Stephen Colbert AmeriCone Dream Fund. As he put it himself: “I will save the world.”

TIME Books

J. K. Rowling, Please Stop Talking About Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling
FILE - This Oct. 16, 2012 file photo shows author J.K. Rowling at an appearance to promote her latest book "The Casual Vacancy," at The David H. Koch Theater in New York. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP, File) Dan Hallman—DAN HALLMAN/INVISION/AP

The author's desire to give her fans more information about her famous books only serves to illustrate their shortcomings

Updated

This week, J. K. Rowling broke her silence yet again about aspects of the Harry Potter novels, announcing in a chat that there was a Jewish wizard at Hogwarts and that the school was a welcoming place for all religions, save Wicca.

It’s nice that Rowling is so eager to engage with her fans. But if Anthony Goldstein’s religion were substantially important to the books, shouldn’t it have come up in the books? Rowling certainly gave herself enough pages over the course of an often-indulgent series to go down any avenue she wanted; her endless revisions, in the years since the Potter series wrapped up, represent an expansiveness that can be read either as a sign of Rowling’s imagination or of her lack of confidence as a novelist.

If Rowling’s novels convincingly depicted Hogwarts as a place welcoming to students of all religions, would tweeting about it seven years after her last novel’s release be necessary? And if the novels failed to carry that point across despite their author’s attempt, an announcement of how the author felt you should be reading her book would matter little.

The failure of Rowling’s style of ex post facto rewriting was carried across most poignantly by her declaring that Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster character and a fan favorite, was meant to be gay. It was a great moment in the gay-rights movement, and also a basically incoherent moment for literature, as the character, as written, did not “read” as gay, despite fans’ best attempts to retroactively construe the bland writing around him.

“I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy,” Rowling told a live audience, in disclosing an aspect of her novel that was not in her novel. This was sort of the problem. Rowling has a new-media-era eagerness to amplify her novels into a universe without end, one that can be revised or recast whenever she decides she has a new disclosure worth sharing. But her fans aren’t even happy, or are at least struggling to understand what the fuss is about: Take this week’s Pottermore “story,” one that included no new content at all.

If Rowling knew from before she wrote book one that Dumbledore was gay (as opposed to deciding, later, that it was a notion that would be embraced by the political mood of young readers), and didn’t let on in any comprehensible manner to her readers, then that’s a failing of her work. Or, more generously, it’s at least a decision about how to construct her novel that she abandoned in the spirit of fan-service. So, too, does fans’ uncertainty around religious aspects of the Potter series, about which Rowling clearly has strong opinions, seem to indicate.

A sense of the manner in which Rowling’s novels were constructed and why she might, now, feel regrets came through in her recent, regretful disclosure that she killed a character “for no good reason.” Whoops! But even a novel written hastily, under the pressures of publishers’ and fans’ expectations, exists as an object separate and distinct from its creator. Once it’s out in the world, intent matters little, or should. The Harry Potter books are objects that are sold individually, without a packet of disclosures, revisions, and rethinkings from Rowling; she owes it to her creations to allow them to stand or fall on their own. The more Rowling calls attention to what in her books is missing, the more attention she takes away from what’s actually in her books.

TIME Know Right Now

Know Right Now: Colbert Signs Off

'Truthiness' on cable comes to an end

Comedy Central’s most vocal pundit, Stephen Colbert, hung up the towel Thursday, as he prepares to leave The Colbert Report after nine years to replace David Letterman on Late Night.

During Colbert’s tenure, he lambasted President Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner, testified in front of Congress, led a march on Washington and even ran for President. On his show, he satirized the news of the day and newsmakers themselves. Each show ended with sportive interviews with famous writers, musicians, actors and, most recently, President Obama.

Watch today’s Know Right Now to find out more.

TIME movies

The Most Controversial Films of All Time

The Interview is only the latest movie to spark debate

With The Interview, James Franco and Seth Rogen have set off an unintentional firestorm, as hackers opposed to their film’s subject matter have exposed private communications within Sony Pictures. This can’t have been their goal, but controversy certainly was.

Film has stoked passionate argument perhaps more effectively than any other medium — hardly surprising, given its larger-than-life nature. Here are some of the most memorable times that films, either accidentally or on purpose, have incited strong reactions.

TIME Books

J.K. Rowling Debunks Severus Snape Rumor

'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince'
'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince' Warner Brothers

The author also reveals what was in some of her earliest Harry Potter notes

Things are getting festive at Pottermore, with today’s new piece of content in J.K. Rowling’s series of new Harry Potter tales. Today, solve the (potentially easiest) riddle and you’ll be granted access inside Professor Slughorn’s exclusive holiday party, complete with house elves and mistletoe and all the mince pie you could ever want. The riddle reads as such:

With vampires and authors and a gatecrashing Malfoy, Slughorn’s Christmas party is one for (almost) all to enjoy. Much to the surprise of fans, friends and the rest, Which Loony Ravenclaw does Harry bring as a guest?

Even a Squib could solve this riddle! The answer is Luna Lovegood, obviously. Fans can click through the interactive festivities to find a new piece of content from Rowling about vampires, a species that don’t come up very often in the books. Rowling reveals that wasn’t the plan all along. According to her early notes, she toyed with the idea of a vampire teacher called Trocar, named for a “sharply pointed shaft inserted into arteries or cavities to extract bodily fluids.” Alas, Trocar was edited off somewhere along the line.

Read more J.K. Rowling Reveals the Only Harry Potter Character She Feels Guilty About Killing

But that didn’t stop fans from speculating about another character who could be a vampire: Severus Snape. “While it is true that he has an unhealthy pallor, and is sometimes described as looking like a large bat in his long black coat, he never actually turns into a bat,” Rowling writes. “We meet him outside in the castle by daylight, and no corpses with puncture marks in their necks ever turn up at Hogwarts.”

It might strike Potter superfans odd, of course, that others would continue speculating about Snape long after learning the truth about him. Especially because if he was a vampire, Snape could never be around someone after using his spell sectumsempra and not react to all the blood. Didn’t you guys read Twilight?

Red next: J. K. Rowling, Please Stop Talking About Harry Potter

TIME Media

These Are the Theaters That Have Pulled The Interview After Threat

Law enforcement says there's no credible threat

An increasing number of movie theaters and chains are deciding not to show Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Interview, following a threat believed to come from the same group claiming responsibility for a devastating hack against Sony.

The Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Carmike theater chains won’t show The Interview until federal law enforcement groups finish their investigation of the threats made against the film, the Wall Street Journal reported citing anonymous sources Wednesday. Those chains control nearly half of the movie screens in the U.S., according to the Journal.

NBC News previously reported that Carmike had decided to pull the plug on The Interview. Deadline reported late Tuesday that California’s ArcLight Cinemas, which runs five theaters across the state, also won’t show the film, but a spokesperson later said no official decision had yet been made.

Meanwhile, Landmark Cinemas has cancelled The Interview’s New York City premiere, which was set for Thursday evening. That cancellation comes as the film’s co-stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, already backed out of several media events around the films.

The threat, which may or may not have come from the same people who hacked Sony Pictures, intimated at the possibility of attacks on theaters that choose to show the movie, a completely fictional comedy about journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong Un. “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” read the message, with “the places” apparently referring to theaters showing the film. The message also invoked the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

While Sony is at this point going ahead with the film’s Christmas Day release, sources told NBC News that the company won’t punish theaters that back out. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, has said there’s no “credible intelligence” regarding an attack on movie theaters in the U.S.

The threat also coincided with a new release of Sony employees’ emails, several weeks after hackers breached Sony Pictures’ systems and posted troves of company and employee confidential data online. Early reports linked the hacks to North Korea, which is reportedly furious over The Interview’s plot about killing the North Korean leader. However, North Korea denied conducting the attack, and the little evidence thus far tying the country to the incident is circumstantial.

The total fallout of the Sony attack is still incalculable, but it could amount to the most damaging corporate cyberattack in history.

Read next: 3 Reasons People Think North Korea Hacked Sony

TIME Music

Nas: ‘It’s Not Cool For the U.S. to Look Like Apartheid South Africa’

The rapper says Americans—both black and white—need to know their history

Queensbridge rapper Nas celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of his first album Illmatic this year. The debut is considered one of hip-hop’s most defining works; a quintessential piece of hip-hop history.

To commemorate the milestone, two independent filmmakers produced the documentary Nas: Time is Illmatic, a feature that highlights the gritty New York City environment within which the album was birthed.

In an interview with TIME, Nas explains why he feels it’s important to encourage black youth and ensure Americans—both black and white—know their history.

TIME Music

Review: Nicki Minaj Reinvents Herself on Personal The Pinkprint

Young Money

Minaj's new LP sees her donning many identities at once — and that's a good thing

“I had to reinvent,” says Nicki Minaj at the beginning of her third record, The Pinkprint. It’s less a rap than a plea. The reinvention in question is “All Things Go,” a Drake-like quietstorm lament about the cost of fame. And a reinvention it truly is.

“All Things Go” has nothing in common with “Anaconda,” Minaj’s raunchy flip of “Baby Got Back” that, depending on who you ask, is either a revelation or out of Revelations. It’s got something in common with “Pills N Potions,” her moody erstwhile Top 40 single, but where the former was made for radio, “All Things Go” was made for being kept up at night forever. “There’s never been such a huge gap between two [of my] singles,” Minaj said about those two, and “All Things Go” widens the gap even more. It’s the track where she stamps her bid for rap history, a counterpart to Jay-Z’s iconic The Blueprint: “This is the Pinkprint,” she says forcefully. It’s also the track where she contemplates giving it all up to be with her family — to take her future kids to preschool — and sounds entirely like she means it.

It’s a contradiction, in other words, and a tough one even by the standards of Minaj’s career, which is both impressive and impressively torn. Nicki has her ever-loyal core fans, her Barbz — all major artists do. But she’s also got the Mixtape Nicki fans, who show up once an album cycle to be appeased by the promo tracks and haughtily bemused by the record. She’s got her Pop Nicki fans, the ones who loved “Super Bass” and “Starships,” although the biggest Pop Nicki fan may be the pop market itself, which demands and demands until artists die. She’s got Character Nicki fans, the ones who can relate every detail of Roman Zolanski, Harajuku Barbie and the rest of Minaj’s sometime personae in encyclopedic detail. Then there are the R&B Nicki fans, the Dancehall Nicki fans, and – as usual, louder than the rest – the haters: the ones who use Minaj as a metonym for bad taste, musical and otherwise and often without listening beyond snippets of the singles, and the patriarchal industry forces at which Minaj has taken increasingly explicit shots leading up to The Pinkprint. It’d be impossible to sate even one of these groups, let alone them all.

Little surprise that her last album, Roman Reloaded, was a fragmented attempt to serve every demographic at once with Nicki content. As a marketing strategy, it’s fine, even smart – one of Nicki’s many underrated qualities is her marketing acumen – but for a grand Blueprint-esque statement, it won’t do. The Pinkprint, mercifully, barely tries to satisfy the masses. The Mixtape Nicki tracks, as usual, were relegated to promotional tracks. “Anaconda” is an anomaly that exists in its own Top 10 partyland. The pop songs might be more lugubrious than the urban-radio fare.

What we get instead are entirely new Nickis, of her own invention and on her own terms. First is Confessional Nicki – in the singer-songwriter sense of introspective ballads designed for wistful use. Much has been made of The Pinkprint being a “breakup album” – specifically, about Safaree “SB” Samuels, her rumored longterm companion. Part of it’s how intensely private Minaj is: the sort of woman whose media statements are things like, “If I call the ambulance, it’s gonna be on TMZ,” and whose relationship, or whatever it was (she’s that reserved) played out largely not in public but in little plausibly deniable lyrical nudges. He’s been more forthcoming – and publicly salty – about its demise than she was. More of it’s the urge to cast Nicki in increasingly salacious and/or gossipy lights, which women – and women of color especially – know well.

But The Pinkprint’s best confessional stretch is barely about boyfriends. (In a Complex cover story, she specifically talked down that idea.) “All Things Go” is starkest when addressing the shooting death of Minaj’s cousin Nicholas Telemaque, and her subsequent self-laceration: “His sister said he wanted to stay with me, but I didn’t invite him… yes, I get it, I get it was all me; I pop a pill and remember the look in his eyes the last day he say me.” “I Lied” is about a breakup, but it’s more about the fear of vulnerability, down to the visceral fear of being touched; in sentiment it’s not far from Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel. The Andrew “Pop” Wansel-produced “The Crying Game” gets starker both in content– “blood drippin’ out your arm on my Asian rugs … now we in the crying game, hearts laced with slugs” – and spiky guitar backing. It’s a hell of a stretch, and it elevates even the more conventionally weepy ballads. Even “Pills N Potions,” which came off simultaneously too druggy and too drippy for the radio, works here, because it has stakes.

Not that The Pinkprint’s a downer. We’ve also got Boss Nicki, happy-drunk on the same ego she laments on “I Lied.” On “Get On Your Knees,” Minaj and Ariana Grande revel in both sexual control and vocal control, of the disarmingly pretty instrumental; thank god it didn’t go to co-writer Katy Perry, who’d make it the guy’s domme fantasy that Minaj and company dismiss. On “Four Door Aventador,” she emulates Biggie in flow, and on “Feeling Myself,” she does it all: getting laid, getting off, getting puns off, hanging with Beyoncé, conquering rap, conquering worlds. There’s also Curatorial Nicki, who assembles cred and taste as well as anyone has year. She’s generous with it, turning over a large portion of her grand statement record to Maya Jane Coles samples, Fatima Al Qadiri takeoffs, luxuriant Jessie Ware choruses and Beyoncé, who brings “Feeling Myself” to a halt – a literal halt, then “please resume” – to celebrate the one-year anniversary of her own imperial phase. It’s returning the favor for Bey’s own “Flawless” remix, far from the girlfights or beefs the media loves to make records like these into. The Pinkprint is devoid of all that; it’s a work of solidarity, of boosting, prolonging, even saving careers (if you’re feeling generous, you could call her Skylar Grey collab that). And specifically, those careers are female.

The worst moments on The Pinkprint are the ones where men lumber in to ruin the mood, whether they be Drake, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne trading locker-room inanities on “Only,” or Dr. Luke, who produces both that track and the dismal radio castoff “The Night Is Still Young.” They’re not only unwelcome — they feel tired, as if they’d have been dated years ago. (If you’re not feeling generous, you could call her Skylar Grey collab that too.) They’re necessary intrusions of commercialism that belie Minaj’s claim she “ain’t gotta rely on top 40” and undermine what’s presumably meant to be a classic.

But maybe those are the wrong expectations. Maybe The Pinkprint isn’t so much The Blueprint as, as the cover art hints, a fingerprint: something indelibly unique to one person, to Nicki. At this, it succeeds entirely.

TIME Music

Watch Kendrick Lamar Debut a New Song on The Colbert Report

The rapper was the show's last-ever musical guest (sob)

Kendrick Lamar debuted a brand new song on The Colbert Report last night. The rapper needed to pull out the big guns, because he was the final musical guest ever on the late night talk show. Colbert joked about the big shoes Lamar needed to fill: “Keep in mind that Paul McCartney, R.E.M., Jack White and Nas were the opening acts.”

Lamar performed the new untitled track alongside a band that featured singer Bilal and Thundercat, who is rumored to be producing on Lamar’s highly-anticipated follow-up to good kid, m.A.A.d city, along with Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Rahki and Soundwave. The new album is expected to drop sometime in 2015.

Colbert took a moment to ask his guest about his “stage name”: “Why did you decide to name yourself after Anna Kendrick and Senator Lamar Alexander?” before questioning Lamar about being an artist. “I always want to stay true to who I am,” Lamar said.

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video Archive

 

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video Archive

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