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October 29, 2008

Russell Brand's crank yanking


When the country's prime minister gets involved in your raunchy crank calls, you know that off-the-cuff spate of (drunk?) dialing was a massive success.

Russell Brand, the cheeky host who single-handedly saved the "MTV VMA Awards" from falling off the total doldrums cliff, lost his BBC radio gig today in the ongoing brouhaha surrounding a string of bawdy messages he left for a beloved British comedian. Something about what he did to the guy's granddaughter, set to some kind of improvised tune. Use your imagination.

Number of registered complaints to the calls, which were broadcast on his weekly radio show: 18,000 over a 36-hour period.

Highest-ranking finger wagger: Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Brand apologized profusely and took his suspension like a man. Then he resigned when the furor failed to die down. Never mind that it seems to us like more of an issue of broadcasting the prank than creating it. Who at the BBC wasn't minding that store? He's a household name there for a reason, and it has nothing to do with restraint. (See: his best-selling book about numerous and simultaneous addictions).

It's all material, right? Alls we can say is, can't wait for that Comedy Central special.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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