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December 30, 2008

Mario Cantone tickles 'Today'

Gee, Hoda Kotb never seems to be having nearly this much fun with Kathie Lee.

Let us suggest comedian/actor/Tony nominee and all-around caustic wise-ass Mario Cantone as a permanent replacement for the often-miserable Gifford on the 18th final hour of "The Today Show."

His reaction this morning to the news that the fake Holocaust memoir from Herman Rosenblat won't be published was priceless (see: Oprah impression). If anyone could possibly find humor in this story, it's Cantone. Bravo, sir!

In other bits today...

Did Mickey Rourke really slam Sean Penn? Background in shorthand: Rourke supposedly sent "an entertainment honcho" a text calling Penn a homophobe and saying he's an average actor who might be no competition at all come Oscar time.

Is any of this sourced, verified or fact-checked? Just because someone at the new grasping-for-attention Tina Brown project, The Daily Beast, says it's true, does that mean it is?

Pick it apart yourselves here and know that plenty of others are doing the same.

Sleep well tonight knowing that "The Terminator" will be safe forever in the annals of celluloid history, thanks to the Library of Congress, which has added 25 movies to its National Film Registry. That brings the total to 500.

Among the others chosen: the World War I drama "Sergeant York" with Gary Cooper, a home movie called "Disneyland Dream" about the opening of the Anaheim park in 1956, and the rednecks-on-a-rampage cautionary tale, "Deliverance," from 1972.

More on the annual rite, along with a look into the decision-making process, here.


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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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