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Martin Short's a real dummy with Steve Martin in promo for this weekend's 'SNL'

NBC/Rosalind O'Connor

When two Saturday Night Live legends are scheduled to host the show together, you'd be right to expect a funnier than usual promo. Such is the case, no pun intended, with Steve Martin and Martin Short's upcoming return to Studio 8H.

The spot starts with Martin casually pulling a rolling suitcase out of an elevator at 30 Rockefeller Center as he focuses on the cellphone in his hand, obliviously towing cables and knocking over chairs as he walks down the hall.

When Martin reaches the stage, still texting, he roughly yanks the case up the steps, only to reveal a tortured shout coming from within the luggage at each bump. He unlatches the case, revealing Short, comically shrunk to puppet size except his head.

Martin and Short are interrupted by a fanboying Michael Longfellow, who says he's a big fan. As Short tries to thank the new SNL star from inside the box, Martin kicks it closed, then orders a green tea, mistaking the young comic for an assistant — and clarifies his order even after Longfellow makes clear who he is.

Short is then shown perched on Martin's arm, like a ventriloquist dummy, with Martin puppeting his words; Short then gives a tune-in reminder, only to be dropped when Longfellow returns with Martin's tea.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Con Te Parti-D'Oh! 'The Simpsons' to make sweet music with the Bocellis in Disney+ Christmas short


Italian opera superstar Andrea Bocelli, his 25-year-old son, Matteo, and 10-year-old daughter, Virginia, will soon play a very exclusive gig — in Springfield, on The Simpsons.

On December 15, Disney+ will drop Feliz Navidad, a short that will see Homer surprise Marge with the "ultimate gift," a private performance from the musical family members.

Incidentally, the release date coincides with Andrea, Matteo and Virginia Bocelli's release of the single that shares the name of the short, which their animated alter-egos will be singing.

The song can also be found on their new holiday album, A Family Christmas.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Legendary Times Square comedy club Carolines is closing

Getty Images

Carolines, the legendary New York City comedy club, has announced it will soon be shutting its doors.

In a Facebook post, it was announced that Caroline Hirsch, the namesake owner of the stand-up destination on Broadway, has decided against renewing her lease for 2023.

"After 30 wonderful years at our location in Times Square ... our final shows here will be on December 31," the post began.

"Carolines began 40 years ago in Chelsea and later moved to the South Street Seaport before calling Times Square home in 1992, when many New Yorkers and businesses had written off Times Square and NYC overall due to record high crime and a lack of proactive government solutions."

The post continued, "People thought we were crazy to invest in Times Square, only later to say that we were ahead of the curve when global brands like Disney, Nasdaq and national retailers and businesses came to the neighborhood. We are very proud to have played an integral role in its resurgence and brought much needed laughter to the neighborhood and the city."

Ironically, Carolines, which preceded the boom, will be leaving as crime in the city is rising, which critics blame on what they see as soft-on-crime policies.

The post continued, "We've had an incredible run these past 40 years, elevating comedy from the very beginning and we are so proud of the comedians that have graced our stages throughout the years with their considerable talents."

The post hinted that the Carolines brand will live on, though no details were provided.

The announcement concluded by thanking "the comedians, our incredibly talented staff and all of the comedy fans who have visited the club ... to help make Carolines the success it has been for the last four decades."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Michael be lying: Michael B. Jordan on what it took to keep his 'Wakanda Forever' cameo secret

Marvel Studios

(SPOILERS) Marvel fans know that characters who die rarely stay dead, yet Michael B. Jordan's appearance in the hit Black Panther: Wakanda Forever still managed to be a jaw-dropper.

Now that the cat — or panther — is out of the bag, Jordan explained to Extra what it took to keep the surprise quiet.

Jordan says with a laugh, "I had to lie to my family over here!"

He continued, "I had to lie to everybody out here … I had to just keep it under wraps."

In the film, his N’Jadaka/Erik "Killmonger" Stevens — who was killed by Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa in the original film — makes his surprise appearance from the Great Beyond after T'Challa's sister, Shuri, takes the mystical heart-shaped herb.

Doing so temporarily transports a person to the ancestral plane, where a relative guides you on a spiritual path. However, while Shuri was sure she'd see her brother or her mom, Queen Romanda, her heart is filled with vengeance, so she instead encounters the spirit of her villainous cousin, who was also seeking revenge. She keeps the disturbing revelation secret — like MBJ had to in real life.

Jordan added, "When you're dealing with Marvel and stuff like that, you know the routine. So you just gotta, you know, deny, deny, deny, deny, deny until the end of it, yeah."

Marvel Studios' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has reigned at the top of the box office for the past four weeks. The film has made more than $733 million worldwide.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

H.E.R. on playing Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast' special: 'I never thought I could be a Disney princess'

ABC/Christopher Willard

H.E.R. says it's a "dream come true" to play Belle in the upcoming live-action special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.

The award-winning singer, who is the first Black and Filipina woman to play Belle on screen, discussed how excited she was to take on the role and celebrate the "iconic" film.

"I never thought I could be a Disney princess," she said Wednesday on Good Morning America. "Of course every little girl wants to be a Disney princess, but I've never seen one that looks like me — so I get to be that to little girls now."

"And that's such a huge deal on top of being a producer on Beauty and the Beast, which is crazy," she continued. "I got to do a lot of the new arrangements and work with Alan Menken, the original arranger and producer. It's been an amazing experience just learning so much about myself and it's been a lot of fun, honestly."

She added, "Being a Disney princess is fun!"

H.E.R. admits she was shocked she got the role.

"Immediately I was like, 'I get to wear the yellow dress!'" she said. "I have to wear the yellow dress — that's going to be the moment ... but I was so excited. I got to unlock a new thing within myself and that's why I say the timing is so great."

"My inner Disney princess, which I think is this fearless and joyful and just strong and kind of brave thing within myself, I'm finding," she added. "It's been a crazy, wonderful experience."

H.E.R. joins a star-studded cast including Shania TwainJosh GrobanMartin ShortJoshua HenryDavid Alan Grier and Rita Moreno for the television event, which will air on ABC December 15 and on Disney+ the next day.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Zoe Saldaña talks 'Avatar''s success, and her love of action movies

InStyle/JD Barnes

Zoe Saldaña is the cover star for the latest issue of InStyle. In it, she reflects on the box office success of Avatar and her love for action films, among other things.

Avatar premiered in 2009 and has since gone on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Zoe, who plays Neytiri in the franchise, admits she didn't imagine the film would be a big success.

"I had no idea Avatar was going to have the impact that it did on such a global scale," she says. "Those things are unimaginable."

"I had so much hope that it was going to be well received, because it just felt so special to me. This conversation around the environment has become a global social dilemma," she continues. "And what I admire the most is that the younger generations are the ones that are guiding this narrative."

Zoe also appears in the Guardian of the Galaxy films and other Marvel movies as the green-skinned alien warrior woman Gamora, and has dabbled in different kinds of movies. Yet, she has a special love for action films.

"I love action movies. When I was a kid, that's what I was watching, not princess things," she explains. "My idol was Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor." 

Saldaña's Avatar co-star Sigourney Weaver played Ripley in the Aliens films -- the second of which was written and directed by Avatar's James CameronLinda Hamilton played Sarah Connor in Cameron's The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  

When it comes to the films she chooses to work on, Zoe says, "I join projects because I believe in the people behind them. When they're magical and thoughtful, thought-provoking and collaborative, that's what changes my life for the better."

"It gives me experiences that raise me, that help me grow, that make me feel good about people," she concludes.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Literal viral scene: Jenna Ortega performed 'Wednesday' dance with COVID

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

Even if you're one of the increasingly few who haven't seen Netflix's hit macabre dramedy Wednesday, you've probably already seen one of its most-talked-about scenes. 

Footage of Jenna Ortega getting down on the dance floor to The Cramps' "Goo Goo Muck" is everywhere on social media, but as she explains to NME, the viral dance was literally viral: The actress had COVID-19 when she performed it.

She tells the publication, "[I]t's crazy because it was my first day with COVID so it was awful to film ... I woke up and — it's weird, I never get sick and when I do it's not very bad [but] I had the body aches."

She continues, "I felt like I’d been hit by a car and that a little goblin had been let loose in my throat and was scratching the walls of my esophagus. They were giving me medicine between takes because we were waiting on the positive result."

The actress explained of the quirky dance itself, "I'd gotten the song about a week before, and I just pulled from whatever I could."

Jenna reportedly cribbed moves from vintage footage of teens bopping during the New Wave craze, for one. "I choreographed that myself," Ortega tells the publication. "I'm not a dancer, and I'm sure that's obvious."

Of the final result, she explained, "I asked to redo it, but we didn't have time. I think I probably could have done it a bit better."

Not sure how that could be: Apart from countless reposts and remixes from fans all over social media, Netflix's official video of the dance has more than 10 million views on YouTube alone in less than two weeks.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Anne Heche autopsy showed "no evidence of impairment" at time of fatal crash


Anne Heche was not high at the time of the fiery, fatal August crash that led to her death.

That's according to the L.A. County Medical Examiner's report about the Emmy winner that was obtained by ABC News.

The autopsy showed "no evidence of impairment" -- meaning she was not under the influence of illegal drugs when her blue Mini Cooper slammed at high speed into an occupied home in Mar Vista, California on August 5.

The crash caused the car to burst into flames, setting the structure ablaze; the actress was trapped inside the burning vehicle, suffering smoke inhalation and thermal injuries that led to her death.

The autopsy revealed traces of benzoylecgonine, cocaine, fentanyl and cannabinoids in her system. However, the drugs weren't consumed the day of the accident -- and the fentanyl was administered for pain after she was admitted to the hospital.

The smoke inhalation deprived her brain of oxygen, leading to an unrecoverable "anoxic brain injury," according to the report. Heche's sternum was also fractured by the impact, and that injury, likely from the steering wheel, also "significantly contributed to her death."

Heche was declared brain-dead on August 11 and subsequently taken off life support on Sunday, August 14, after some of her organs were harvested for donation.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Christina Applegate joining Brendan Fraser for charity reading of 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Dead to Me co-star Christina Applegate has joined the star-studded cast of The Ed Asner Family Center's annual charity reading of It's a Wonderful Life.

The actress and newly-minted Hollywood Walk of Fame star recipient will join Brendan Fraser in the two lead roles -- Mary and George Bailey -- which were filled by Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 Christmas classic.

As reported, Jennifer Hudson will contribute a musical performance at this year's reading on Sunday, December 11, which will also star Seth Rogen, Fred Armisen, JK Simmons and Jean Smart.

The event, which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET, benefits The Ed Asner Family Center (TEAFC), a charity the late Emmy winner started, which is dedicated to helping people with special needs and their families. Former Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron will once again serve as host.

Applegate, 50, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021, which has made it difficult for her to walk, and even stand for long periods of time.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In Brief: 'Wednesday' ratings magic for Netflix, and more

After scoring the most viewing time in a single week for an English-language series on Netflix, the mystery comedy Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega as the titular character, topped its own mark in the week of November 28-December 4, grabbing 411.29 million hours of viewing worldwide, according to the streamer. Additionally, Wednesday-related searches on TikTok number in the billions, and the show’s soundtrack tops the iTunes soundtrack chart...

Chelsea Handler will make her late night TV return -- on a temporarily basis, at least. The former Chelsea Lately host is one of comedians who'll guest host Comedy Central's The Daily Show after Trevor Noah, who announced his exit as host of the show after seven years back in October, anchors his final episode on Thursday. Al Franken, D.L. Hughley, Leslie Jones, John Leguizamo, Hasan Minhaj, Kal Penn, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes and Marlon Wayans are among the other stars expected to fill in beginning January 17. Correspondents and contributors to The Daily Show will also get the chance to sit in the anchor chair. Handler filled in for a week for Jimmy Kimmel on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! over the summer...

A day after reporting that HBO Max had cancelled FBoy Island after two seasons, Deadline reported on Tuesday the competition series Legendary has gotten the axe after three seasons. Spotlighting ballroom culture, Legendary follows mainly Black and Latino LGBTQ house members -- predominantly from eight houses -- as they navigate through nine dance challenges for a shot at the $100,000 prize. Ballroom legend Leiomy Maldonado, fashion stylist Law Roach, actress Jameela Jamil and rapper Megan Thee Stallion served as judges for the series, along with ballroom MC Dashaun Wesley...

Hulu has renewed The D’Amelio Show for a ten-episode third season, according to Deadline. The D'Amelio Show follows the TikTok famous family as they continue to navigate rising fame and all that comes with it. Season two followed the family — Marc D’Amelio, Heidi D’Amelio, Dixie D’Amelio, Charli D’Amelio — as they deal with "public relationships, private struggles, new pursuits, and unfathomable pressure and scrutiny," while Marc and Heidi parented "in uncharted territory, as they try to protect their family from new pitfalls at every turn," per the streamer. The second season premiered on September 28 and all 10 episodes are now streaming on Hulu...

Hugh Grant has joined the cast of the upcoming HBO limited series The Palace in a guest starring role, according to Variety. He joins Kate Winslet, who executive produces and stars along with Matthias Schoenaerts and Andrea Riseborough. The drama will “tell the story of one year within the walls of the palace of an authoritarian regime as it begins to unravel,” per the cabler. Specific character details for the series have yet to be revealed. The role marks a return to HBO for Grant, who previously starred in the critically-acclaimed limited series The Undoing, opposite Nicole Kidman...

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Willow' cast talks importance of representation in the new drama series

Courtesy of Disney+

In the new fantasy drama series Willow, many were thrilled to discover that in episode one, there's LGBTQ representation among the main characters Jade and Princess Kit, played by Erin Kellyman and Ruby Cruz, respectively. 

Fans weren't the only one's excited, though. In fact, Cruz told ABC Audio that the representation was a big reason she joined the project. 

"I think it's extremely important to represent sort of our our worlds and accurately in the Willow world," she said. "And I'm just really privileged to be a part of that and to be able to develop such an important, awesome, layered, complicated relationship between two young women. That is the best opportunity ever."

Kellyman felt similarly, explaining that  having this kind of representation would have helped her growing up. 

"You know, a show that is inclusive for a younger generation, I think it's really important to be able to have queer representation involved in that because people of all ages are constantly figure out figuring out their sexuality and sometimes it can be kind of lonely or yeah, you can feel quite separate from people," she shared. "So, if you have this representation in TV and film, it can feel way more normalized and less lonely. I know if I had that grown up, I think I would have felt a lot less scared." 

Catch the first two episodes of Willow now on Disney+, with following episodes releasing weekly on Wednesdays.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Vanessa Williams talks 'Soul Food''s lasting power following film's 25th anniversary

Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Vanessa Williams is gearing up for her debut at 54 Below's Diamond Series, during which she'll take the stage for six different shows. While the concerts will broadcast her singing skills, the living legend has also been featured in many films, including the cult classic Soul Food.

The 1997 film, which also stars Vivica A. FoxNia Long and Mekhi Phifer, celebrated its 25th anniversary in September. Speaking of the film, Vanessa admits she had no clue the "small," "independent" and "sweet" movie would be this long lived.

"I had no idea it would have the sustaining power that it has and that, you know, some of my lines would be iconic, which always cracks me up when I see people reenact them on their TikToks or Reels or whatever," she tells ABC Audio.

She does, however, understand the movie's lasting impact, as it encompasses relatable themes for any family.

"Everyone can relate to family, no matter what your cultural background is," Vanessa says. "There's always a matriarch, there's always drama, and there is always tension within a family at certain times. So I think everybody can relate to it."

One of her favorite parts about working on the film was the opportunity "to be part of something that was new."

"I love working with people ... that are kind of undiscovered, or it's their first time at it," says Vanessa. "Because you get a chance to really kind of work at things together and be a creative team, and that's kind of what it was like." She hasn't "heard anything" about a sequel.

Vanessa's upcoming shows, which will feature her live renditions of Broadway classics, American Songbook standards and her own hits, will take place December 13-18 at 54 Below in NYC.  

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

People's Choice Awards 2022 -- The winners


The 2022 People's Choice Awards celebrated all things entertainment Tuesday night on NBC in a two-hour ceremony hosted by actor and comedian Kenan Thompson.

Here is the full list of winners:

People's Champion Award 2022

Fashion Icon Award 20122
Kim Kardashian

Music Icon Award 2022
Shania Twain

People's Icon of 2022
Ryan Reynolds

The Movie of 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

The Comedy Movie of 2022
The Adam Project

The Action Movie of 2022
Top Gun: Maverick

The Drama Movie of 2022
Don't Worry Darling

The Male Movie Star of 2022
Chris Hemsworth (Thor: Love and Thunder)

The Female Movie Star of 2022
Elizabeth Olsen (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)

The Drama Movie Star of 2022
Austin Butler (Elvis)

The Comedy Movie Star of 2022
Adam Sandler (Hustle)

The Action Movie Star of 2022
Elizabeth Olsen (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)

The Show of 2022
Stranger Things

The Drama Show of 2022
Grey's Anatomy

The Comedy Show of 2022
Never Have I Ever

The Reality Show of 2022
The Kardashians

The Competition Show of 2022
The Voice

The Male TV Star of 2022
Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things)

The Female TV Star of 2022
Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy)

The Drama TV Star of 2022
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)

The Comedy TV Star of 2022
Selena Gomez (Only Murders in the Building)

The Daytime Talk Show of 2022
The Kelly Clarkson Show

The Nighttime Talk Show of 2022
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The Competition Contestant of 2022
Selma Blair (Dancing with the Stars)

The Reality TV Star of 2022
Khloé Kardashian (The Kardashians)

The Bingeworthy Show of 2022
Dahmer -- Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2022
Stranger Things

The Male Artist of 2022
Harry Styles

The Female Artist of 2022
Taylor Swift

The Group of 2022

The Song of 2022
"It's About Damn Time" (Lizzo)

The Album of 2022
Midnights (Taylor Swift)

The Country Artist of 2022
Carrie Underwood

The Latin Artist of 2022
Becky G

The New Artist of 2022

The Music Video of 2022
"Anti-Hero" (Taylor Swift)

The Collaboration Song of 2022
"Left And Right" (Charlie Puth Featuring Jung Kook)

The Concert Tour of 2022
BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage

The Social Star of 2022

The Social Celebrity of 2022
Selena Gomez

The Pop Special of 2022
Friends: The Reunion

The Comedy Act of 2022
Kevin Hart: Reality Check

The Game Change of 2022
Serena Williams

The Pop Podcast of 2022

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sylvester Stallone on bonding with 'Tulsa King' creator Taylor Sheridan, and making a TV star out of an extra


Taylor Sheridan has another hit show on his hands. The creator of the Paramount Network ratings powerhouse Yellowstone is also the creator of the acclaimed Paramount+ drama Mayor of Kingstown starring Jeremy Renner. With news that Sheridan's Tulsa King, also on Paramount+, will have a second season, ABC Audio is hitting rewind on how the Sylvester Stallone-fronted series came to be.

Stallone, who famously refused to have his script Rocky made unless he starred in it, explains of actor-turned writer Sheridan, "I actually identified with him because I had a hard time making it as an actor. And that's why I decided to, you know, diverge into writing."

The 76-year-old star adds with a laugh, "And...obviously I wouldn't be here if I hadn't become a writer. And Taylor, I guess because he wasn't satisfied with his acting career. It actually opened up the door to a whole new world that probably never would have been presented. So we had a lot in common."

However, Stallone admits to ABC Audio that his instincts as a filmmaker die hard, recalling when he insisted a background actor, Justin Garcia-Pruneda, get bumped to a main role on the show. "Sometimes you see characters that you go...'He's got it,'" the Hollywood icon explains.

Sly says, "...For example, the heavyset guy that I hit with the thermos [in the pilot], that was his only scene. That was it, done. I said, 'No, no, no. He's going to be around. He's going to be my sidekick.' And as the series goes on, Fred becomes my consigliere...Because you could just tell this guy has the 'it' factor. It's just a certain way he moves. It's so detectable."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw teases "bolder, more surreal" second season of 'Loki'

Marvel Studios

Loki is the only Disney+ Marvel series to get a second season so far and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is happy to be back.

She tells Entertainment Tonight it has been "amazing" to shoot the second season of the dimension-spanning show, due on Disney+ in the summer of 2023. She adds fans "are gonna be in for a real treat, because the show is bolder and more surreal. And in many ways, goes to some bigger, bolder places than season 1, which is really exciting."

Season 1 ended with her character, a Time Variance Authority agent, finding out she's a variant, too: In other words, there was way more to her than fans first thought. The English actress teases, "selfishly, Renslayer makes it out of the TVA, which I'm really excited about."

But Gugu is happy times two, as her Apple TV+ drama Surface, which she also produces, is returning, too. The show is headed to her native United Kingdom for its sophomore frame.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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