TIME celebrities

Cecily Strong Will Perform at the White House

Cecily Strong at Boa Steakhouse, West Hollywood, Aug. 24, 2014.
Cecily Strong at Boa Steakhouse, West Hollywood, Aug. 24, 2014. NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

SNL cast member will crack wise on the same stage as Barack Obama

Saturday Night Live cast member Cecily Strong will perform at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner next year, the association said Wednesday.

Strong has been co-anchor of the faux news segment Weekend Update on the show. She was raised in suburban Oak Park, Ill., outside Chicago, and began in the Windy City’s comedy scene.

“Her political humor is sly and edgy, and it comes with a Chicago accent,” WHCA president Christi‎ Parsons said in an email to reporters. “In the 82-year history of our dinner, she’ll be the fourth woman to serve in this role.‎”

President Barack Obama is also expected to tell jokes at the April 25 dinner, as he has in past years. The annual event, known in some Washington circles as “nerd prom,” brings together journalists and government and political officials for a night of revelry at the White House.

TIME celebrities

Tracy Morgan’s Future in Doubt as He Battles Severe Brain Injury

It's uncertain whether the actor will ever fully recover

Tracy Morgan suffered severe brain injury in his near-fatal highway crash more than five months ago and he may not be “the Tracy Morgan he once was,” his lawyer said Tuesday.

When a Walmart truck slammed into a limo van that was carrying the actor and several other comedians on their way back from a show in Delaware on June 7, the former Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star suffered traumatic brain injury, his lawyer Benedict Morelli said.

“He’s fighting to get better, and if there’s a chance for him to be back to the Tracy Morgan he once was, he’s going to try to do that,” Morelli said, according to the Associated Press. “He’s still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he’s just not better. We’re hoping and praying to get him back to where he was. But the jury’s out.”

The crash on the New Jersey Turnpike killed one passenger and injured three others. Morgan spent several weeks in a hospital and rehab with a broken leg, nose and ribs. Morgan sued for punitive and compensatory damages, and the Walmart driver, Kevin Roper, was charged with four counts of assault and death by auto.

[AP]

TIME celebrities

Former Model Janice Dickinson Accuses Bill Cosby of Sex Assault

Janice Dickinson attends the Katya Zol fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on Feb. 9, 2014 in New York.
Janice Dickinson attends the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2014 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center on Feb. 9, 2014 in New York. Michael Loccisano—Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Dickinson said 1982 incident occurred in Lake Tahoe

Model and TV host Janice Dickinson is adding her name to the women who have accused comic Bill Cosby of sexual assault. In an “Entertainment Tonight” interview that aired Tuesday, Dickinson said that the 1982 incident occurred in Lake Tahoe, California, where he was performing. Dickinson told “Entertainment Tonight” that she wrote about the assault in her 2002 autobiography, but that Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove the details. She said her new account is a “true story.”

Cosby’s attorney, Marty Singer, blasted the assault allegation as a “complete lie.”

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

Read next: Here’s Everything We Know (and Don’t Know) About the Bill Cosby Rape Allegations

TIME celebrities

Netflix Postpones a Bill Cosby Comedy Special as Fallout Mounts

Bill Cosby
This Nov. 11, 2014, file photo shows entertainer and Navy veteran Bill Cosby speaking during a Veterans Day ceremony, at the The All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors in Philadelphia. Matt Rourke—AP

Comic hit by old sexual assault allegations

Netflix says it is postponing the launch of a Bill Cosby comedy special due to a number of sexual assault allegations against the legendary comedian.

A new stand-up show, Bill Cosby 77, which was taped on his 77th birthday, was due to be aired on Nov. 28, writes the Hollywood Reporter.

“At this time we are postponing the launch of the new stand-up comedy special Bill Cosby 77,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. Cosby is said to have agreed with the move.

Old allegations from several women, who accuse Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them over a decade ago, resurfaced after comedian Hannibal Buress called the entertainer a rapist.

On Tuesday’s Entertainment Tonight, model Janice Dickenson claimed that Cosby raped her in 1982.

In a radio interview last weekend, Cosby refused to respond to questions over the allegations, although he has vigorously denied all accusations against him in various statements in the past. The famed comic has also never been charged, but Associated Press reports that he did settle a civil suit in 2006 with a woman over an alleged 2004 incident.

[THR]

Read next: Here’s Everything We Know (and Don’t Know) About the Bill Cosby Rape Allegations

TIME celebrities

This Is What Guy Fieri Would Look Like If He Went All Normcore With His Hair

You better hope he keeps those peroxided tufts

Sometimes it’s hard to separate celebrity chef Guy Fieri from his spiky blonde hair and trademark blonde goatee. But that didn’t stop one Twitter user from trying.

To remind you, here’s Fieri as the world knows him.

And now here’s Fieri without the two things that make him Fieri, in a consummate Photoshop makeover by @gewqk.

Hm. We never thought we’d say this, but the punk-dad look can stay.

TIME People

TIME’s ‘Sexiest’ Men Alive (and Dead)

In honor of PEOPLE crowning a new Sexiest Man Alive, here are TIME's "sexiest" men past and present

So Chris Hemsworth is PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive. PEOPLE has been making this pronouncement since 1985, but sexy men were around long before that — so, to celebrate our sister publication’s announcement, we’ve rounded up some of the men dubbed “sexiest” something-or-other by someone-or-other throughout TIME’s history. Click on “MORE” in the gallery captions to find out how each guy made the list.

TIME celebrities

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Try to Break the Internet With Their Holiday Card

#TGIT Premiere Event Hosted BY Twitter
DeGeneres (L) and actress Portia de Rossi arrive at the #TGIT Premiere Event hosted by Twitter at Palihouse Holloway in West Hollywood, Calif. on Sept. 20, 2014. Amanda Edwards—WireImage/Getty Images

"A shiny new rear," DeGeneres quipped

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are good at multitasking – they’re getting their holiday cards ready, doing something for a good cause and poking fun at Kim Kardashian all at once.

On Monday’s Ellen, DeGeneres revealed her latest cheeky holiday card: a riff on Paper magazine’s “Break the Internet” campaign that featured a nude Kardashian on the cover.

DeGeneres and de Rossi’s card reads “Happy Holidays And a Shiny New Year,” and shows their heads Photoshopped onto Kardashian’s baby-oiled body.

“A shiny new rear,” DeGeneres quipped as she showed the studio audience her handiwork Monday.

DeGeneres’s holiday cards are part of a partnership with Shutterfly to donate money to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Humane Society.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME celebrities

7 Things We Learned About Benedict Cumberbatch Today

US-ENTERTAINMENT-THE IMITATION GAME-ARRIVAL
Director Sophie Hunter (L) and British actor Benedict Cumberbatch arrive for the US premiere of "The Imitation Game" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York on November 17, 2014. Jewel Samad—AFP/Getty Images

Get ready to swoon: Cumberbatch wants to play a romantic lead

Today, the Internet was blessed with not one but two Benedict Cumberbatch interviews, one in New York and the other in FastCompany. Cumberbatch fielded even more questions from the press last night when he and his new fiancée Sophie Hunter made their red carpet debut together.

In case you don’t already know enough about “the Internet’s boyfriend” and star of the upcoming biopic The Imitation Game, here are a few more tidbits:

1. Cumberbatch really likes pisco sours: Enough to order “two or three” double pisco sours during the New York interview by requesting, “Doubles, motherf–kah!”

2. He wants to play someone dumb: After playing Sherlock (Sherlock), Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness), Julian Assange (The Fifth Estate) and Alan Turing (The Imitation Game), Cumberbatch is ready to play a meathead: “If anyone’s got any other stupid people I can play, let me know.”

3. He’s ready for his romantic lead: The closest Cumberbatch has come to seducing the ladies onscreen — not counting that dream sequence with Molly — was as the wolf in Penguins of Madagascar, in a sequence that ended up being cut. “I’ve never had a [Ryan] Gosling moment as a character. I’ve never been the kind of guy who’s made all the girls go gooey. I think it’s about time I did.”

4. But he doesn’t think Sherlock is a virgin (even though he’s called one on the show): “Yeah, I think [Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes] were definitely at it after he ­rescued her from the beheading in Pakistan. I’m sure they were. I’m convinced of that.”

5. He does his research: Cumberbatch has a busy schedule ahead of him: He’s shooting Richard III for BBC over Christmas, filming the fifth season of Sherlock in January and then taking the stage as Hamlet — a show that sold out in one day — this summer. “If you looked at my desk upstairs in my hotel room, there are not one, not two, but four books on the plays I’m about to do. There are two Turing biographies. There is just a s–tload of other stuff on that on my Kindle. Because, of course, I’ve got time to sit down and f**king read everything! It’s ridiculous.”

6. He’s a little bit obsessive about his inbox: “I do get a panic attack when I look at other people’s phones and they have 1,200 emails. It really makes me go, ‘How do you swallow your food? I don’t understand how your body actually functions.’”

7. He was pleasantly surprised by the fan reaction to his engagement announcement: “It’s a crazy old love bomb to drop and the amount of love that comes back to you, that was the thing that [Hunter and I] are both just sort of bowled over by. It’s wonderful.”

TIME celebrities

Orange Is the New Black Star: My Parents Were Deported When I Was 14

The Television Academy And SAG-AFTRA Present Dynamic And Diverse: A 66th Emmy Awards Celebration Of Diversity
Actress Diane Guerrero attends the Television Academy and SAG-AFTRA's presentation of Dynamic and Diverse: A 66th Emmy Awards celebration of Diversity on August 12, 2014 in North Hollywood, California. (Paul Archuleta--FilmMagic) Paul Archuleta—FilmMagic

Diane Guerrero plays Ramos on the hit Netflix series

On Orange is the New Black, Diane Guerrero plays inmate Maritza Ramos, whom she describes as a “tough Latina from the ‘hood,’” but her real-life story isn’t so rosy either. In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times published Friday, Guerrero writes about her parents and older brother getting deported when she was only 14.

Guerrero, who also has a supporting role on Jane the Virgin, is a U.S. citizen, but her parents and brother are from Colombia. She writes that they struggled to get citizenship, but despite going through numerous ineffective lawyers and mountains of legal fees, they remained undocumented. Then, when Guerrero was 14, the worst happened:

One day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn’t there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over.

Not a single person at any level of government took any note of me. No one checked to see if I had a place to live or food to eat, and at 14, I found myself basically on my own.

Guerrero ends her op-ed by calling on President Obama to provide deportation relief to keep families together. The President is expected to announce a new immigration plan imminently that could give temporary papers (but not citizenship) to millions of immigrants.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

 

TIME Music

Review: One Direction Hit Their Stride on Four

Columbia Records

On Four, One Direction's members are more involved in the composition of their material than ever before

In recent years, the release of a new One Direction record has become a November tradition on par with Black Friday sales and the first chilly blasts of winter. After being cobbled together by impresario Simon Cowell as part of the British version of The X Factor, the quintet — composed of Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Zayn Malik, if you need a refresher — has released an album every year like clockwork: no earlier than November 9th, no later than November 25th. All of them top the Billboard charts in their first week available. The music contained within each record has remained consistent, too: the band specializes in affable, buoyant pop-rock, drunk on youth and young manhood and sung largely in unison despite the small army of capable vocalists on hand.

At first glance, last year’s Midnight Memories was similar to the band’s first efforts — a perky lead single, a few folky stompers for balance, lyrical emphasis on love and lust and living in the moment — but a closer look at the album’s credits revealed a shift in their songwriting process. Working with veteran songwriters/producers Julian Bunetta and John Ryan, the band’s members — Tomlinson and Payne, in particular — began to play more of an active role in shaping their sound, with songwriting credits on all but two of the album’s fourteen main tracks. The result was a record that leaned toward arena-filling classic rock and power pop via chunky, bold riffs, spacious percussion, and booming chants; when it clicked, like on the spunky “Diana” and the Big Star-aping “Little Black Dress,” it revealed a valid alternative vision of chart pop that eschewed the dominant contemporary influences of dance and hip-hop, a vision almost unique to One Direction.

The band’s new record, simply titled Four, continues that evolution: its members are more involved in the composition of their material than ever, and the album as a whole takes another step towards the stadium-sized rock first suggested by Midnight Memories. There’s something endearing to the revelation that left to their own devices, One Direction’s members just want to make heart-on-sleeve, slightly cheesy ’80s arena anthems in the vein of Journey, Bryan Adams, and Bruce Springsteen circa Born in the U.S.A.; it does more to contribute to their obvious cultivation of a cool “we’re just regular lads!” identity than a year’s worth of goofy interview clips and candid documentary footage. Their take on the sound is immaculate: arrangements are grand and spacious, with guitar lines glistening and rhythms cavernous and blooming, and the band’s increasingly distinct vocals — allowed to sparkle via the use of harmony more than ever — at the forefront. Songs like lead single “Steal My Girl” and the dramatic “Fool’s Gold” have an expert sense of pace and scale, building from relatively quiet openings to giant, gorgeous climaxes, and even less ambitious songs like “Fireproof” and “18″ feel designed to reach the back corners of the biggest venues on the planet.

The material is helped along by the fact that the band’s members are becoming more compelling, and recognizable, singers. Early One Direction records and lead singles often sound like they’re being performed by a cute gang of urchins, talented but lacking formal training: a pleasant overall sound, but thin and homogeneous. On Four, it’s easier than ever to pick out the voices of each member, from Tomlinson’s sweet, feminine tenor to Malik’s muskier, more sensual tone and Styles’ raspy swagger. Small steps from tone to tone within each song lend them a dynamism and varied palette that earlier compositions lacked, and when they come together to form a tricky, shifting tapestry on the golden, folky “Fireproof,” it’s the album’s best moment.

Four also sustains the subplot that becomes increasingly prominent with each new One Direction record: the boys’ maturation into men, and the constraints placed on that maturation by the demographic facts of their commercial proposition. Each member is now in their early 20s — old enough to try their hands at “18,” an Ed Sheeran-penned weeper about loving like you did at that age, without it becoming too laughable — and there are moments on the record where their sexuality, while remaining thinly veiled, is palpable. Take “Girl Almighty,” a high-energy gallop framed as a toast to the female form that’s largely an excuse for the band’s members to yelp, “I’d get down on my knees for you!” Most songs are less explicit with their innuendo, of course, but tracks like “Fool’s Gold,” “No Control,” and the spunky Styles-penned “Stockholm Syndrome” are ripe with lust and physical expressions of affection. It’s fun to find the spots on each new record where the band’s burgeoning adulthood pokes through their polished veneer, but it’s even more exciting to think about what’ll happen when their identity takes a step forward to match the progress they’ve made musically.

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