Set the DVR’s! For the first time in thirteen years, Conan O’Brien will be visiting David Letterman. The reunion takes place on Thursday, May 17.
Brookline native O’Brien, who had been a writer for both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons, began his talk show career in 1993, taking over hosting duties when Letterman left Late Night on NBC. Letterman’s not so amicable exit from NBC came about when the network passed him over and instead hired Jay Leno as Johnny Carson’s successor to The Tonight Show. Letterman jumped to CBS and went head to head with Leno in the late night ratings war until Leno left The Tonight Show in 2009.
When Leno left the show to move to prime time, O’Brien became the new host and he and Letterman vied for the same viewers. But in another not so amicable move, NBC bumped O’Brien and The Tonight Show from the 11:35 pm. time slot to 12:05 a.m. when Leno decided he wanted to return to late night because of his less than impressive prime time ratings. O’Brien, unhappy with the network’s plan and what he felt would be the demise of the show, walked away, leaving Leno to take the helm again.
This will be O’Brien’s fifth time as Letterman’s guest. Given the common bond the two share in their experiences, the audience should probably expect a barb of two to be thrown in Jay Leno’s direction.
It’s no secret that Boston is a great city for sports. With all 4 of our major league teams winning at least one championship in the past decade, many have taken to calling our Hub “Title Town”. As local sports fans become increasingly accustomed to attending championship parades, it’s natural to expect that many celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon.
Many of these stars long-time, hard-core, Boston sports fans, most of them with long-standing roots in the area. Brookline’s Conan O’Brien, Medford homegal Maria Menounos, and of course Ben Affleck, Matt Damon are all fans of all four of our championship winning teams. Any of them are likely to be spotted wearing their green at a Celtics game, grabbing a Fenway frank for a Sox game, chilling at a Bruins game, or kicking back at a Pats game.
Our most storied sports team, the Red Sox can claim many celebrities among their fans, including the likes of Jennifer Garner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Stephen King, Denis Leary, Kenny Chesney, Stephen Tyler, Arlington’s own Dane Cook, Neal McDonough (who hails from Hyannis), Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and Mark Wahlberg.
Up until June of last year, Bruins fans felt a bit left out of the Boston sports championship frenzy. Then, thanks to the first Stanley Cup in 29 years this past June, famous fans like Dropkick Murphys’ frontman Ken Casey, celeb chef Ming Tsai, “Superbad” star Chris Mintz-Plasse (you may remember him as McLovin), “The Office” star Mindy Kaling, Newton-bred actor/director Eli Roth, Dane Cook, Denis Leary, Jim Gaffigan, and former Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, all suddenly had something serious to cheer about.
With their 2008 champhionship win, the Celtics brought the luck of the Irish back to Boston, harkening back to the days when the likes of Larry Bird helped us hoist multiple banners years after year in the Garden. These days, famous faces like Everett’s Ellen Pompeo, Gisele Bundchen, Watertown’s Eliza Dushku, Dane Cook, Steven Tyler, Mike O’Malley, Jay Leno, and Dorchester’s Donnie Wahlberg all were seeing green. Wahlberg in particular has definitely waited for his chance to celebrate with the team, supporting them by being spotted in the stands going all the way back to the mid-90s, long before Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Shaq ever put on their clover leaf apparel.
Famous Patriots fans are a little harder to find. It seems with all their championship successes, the team causes a lot of controversy, even amongst the most stalwart and staunch Boston sports supporters. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who of course is our famed quarterback, Tom Brady’s, wife, is at every game. Donnie’s brother Mark Wahlberg also roots for his Pats, as does writer Steven King, who originally hails from not to far off Maine. Aerosmith frontman and former Brighton resident, Steven Tyler not only sang the Star-Spangled Anthem at the AFC championship game, but showed his love for his home team by sporting the sparkliest Patriots scarf this side of Michael’s Craft Supply. With the Pats defeat of the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC championship, sending them to yet another Superbowl showdown, maybe we’ll see a few more famous faces pop up at the next game!
Coco is back! Conan O’Brien left the East Coast in 2009 to host the LA-based “Tonight Show” and then his TBS show “Conan,” but will be back in New York City in October and November to celebrate the first birthday of the “Conan” show. Tickets for the live performances, which will tape at the Beacon Theatre, are available now through an online lottery. The ticket winners will be announced in early October.
These performances mark O’Brien’s first performance in the Big Apple since his two shows at Radio City Music Hall last June, during his “Legally Prohibited to be Funny on TV Tour.” The tour, which occurred during his TV hiatus after he lost his “Tonight Show” hosting gig, was chronicled in the documentary “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop.” During his NYC stops last summer, his performances featured guest appearances by celebrity friends like Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and Newton, Massachusetts native, John Krasinski.
O’Brien, who grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard, has not made any plans to bring “Conan” to Boston, but has announced he will take the show to Chicago in 2012.
The film follows Conan on his 32 city “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on TV” tour.
Late night comedian and Massachusetts native, Conan O’Brien takes his turbulent year on tour to the big screen in the film, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. The documentary film, directed by Rodman Flender follows O’Brien in his 32-city “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on TV Tour,” following his abrupt departure from “The Tonight Show” in 2010.
The film includes scenes and sketches from the live tour, as well as tons of behind the scenes moments. Flender even follows O’Brien to his Harvard University, where he performed at the class talent show.
★ Connecticut-made film, Rio, comes in number 1 at the box office for 2 weekends in a row.
One of the best and most respected film festivals in New England, the Independent Film Festival of Boston (IFF Boston) recently announced its slate of upcoming films that will be shown between April 27-May 4, 2011. The festival will take place at theaters in and around the Boston area.
This year documentaries play a prominent role in the festival. Not only does the festival open for the first time with a documentary, it also closes with one. Being Elmo, which follows Kevin Clash‘s story of how he ended up working for his idol JIm Henson and the voice behind Sesame Street‘s Elmo, will kick off the festival at the Somerville Theatre, with the director, Constance Marks, Kevin Clash and Elmo being in attendance, while Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, a documentary chronicling the talk show host’s year after being fired from “The Tonight Show” will close the week at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in O’Brien’s hometown of Brookline, MA.
Other prominent docs showing at throughout the festival are Man on Wire director James Marsh‘s new film Project Nim, the world premiere of Peter Sasowsky‘s Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis about MIT’s resident “free spirit” and the Sundance favorite Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times. Viewers can also catch Boston filmmaker Rudy Hypolite‘s film about Roxbury’s Madison High School basketball team and their coach in Push Madison vs. Madison and several musical documentaries including Who took the Bomp?: Le Tigre on Tour, Color Me Obsessed: a Film about the Replacements and Don Arogtt‘s Last Days Here.
Other films worth checking out at the festival are Michael Winterbottom‘s British comedy The Trip, starring Steve Coogan, Miranda July‘s latest feature, The Future, the co-world premiere of John Henry Summerour‘s southern gothic drama, Sahkanaga, and Larysa Kondracki‘s true-life drama The Whistleblower starring Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, Monica Bellucci and David Strathairn.
Along with all of these films and more, there will be several free and open to the public panel discussions at the Somerville Theater and the Massachusetts College of Art. These include “Following the Band: Docs that Rock,” “Navigating the Film Festival Circuit” and “When Does a Story Becme a Film?: From Idea to Documentary.”
★ Rhode Island filmed “Body of Proof” earns high ratings in its first run.
★ Burlington, MA’s Amy Poehler to speak at this year’s Harvard graduation.
★ Bridget Moynihan talks about her past relationship with New England Patriot Tom Brady.
★ Boston-born Mario Cantone joins cast of new NBC show.
★ Kate Middleton is a distant cousin of Ellen DeGeneres, as uncovered by the New England Historical Genealogical Society.
★ Boston set “Fringe” moves to Friday nights–not a good sign.
★ 2010’s “Best and Worst Movie Posters” feature movies made in Massachusetts, as well as New England stars and story lines.
★ The formely red-hot Mass. movie industry may be showing significant signs of decline but Mass. economic secretary plans a pow pow with LA studios, NBC-Universal, Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, FOX, Paramount, and others to pick up the pace.
★ Newton’s Matt LeBlanc talks to Boston Magazine about his new TV show, and putting in a kitchen in Brighton.
You can subscribe to HollywoodEastConnection.com by e-mail address to receive news and upates directly in your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail below and click Sign Up!