The Shmooze

Video: Zosia Mamet on ‘Girls’ and Dating Horrors

By Margaret Eby

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Zosia Mamet recently stopped by Conan to answer the question that fans of her HBO show “Girls” have been asking since the series debuted: Is dating in your 20s really as bad as the show makes it look?

“It’s a little worse,” Mamet replied. “It’s pretty f**king bad.” On Girls, Mamet plays Shoshanna, the fresh-faced, overeager “Sex and the City”-obsessed Jewish cousin of the effortlessly cool Jessa. Shoshanna’s most recent romantic excursions have gone incredibly badly, as with her last crush, Matt, a friend from summer camp who refuses to take her virginity. This week, the extent of her love life was watching helplessly as Jessa used Shoshanna’s apartment as a place for a torrid fling with her ex. But despite all that, Zosia thinks the actual dating scene is even worse.

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Video: Jack Black Shows Off in Hebrew

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Like so many parents these days, comedic actor and musician Jack Black is having a lot of stress about getting his kids into a good school. Last week, he told Conan O’Brien that he recently resorted to some desperate measures — well, at least desperate Jewish word dropping — to impress the admissions people at a local Jewish day school (he said “Hebrew school,” but from the context, it sounded like he was not talking about an afternoon school).

Asserting his right to “take my kids there,” even though he’s an atheist (“I’m technically a Jew, you know. And my wife is too.”), Black admitted to the talk show host that he was feeling pressure. So, Jack Black being Jack Black, he “put on a bit of a show.”

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More Mayim! Actress Does Conan

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Mayim Bialik

More Mayim! Our favorite actress, neuroscientist, vegan and “attachment parenting” expert was on Conan O’Brien’s show talking about how she helps keep the scientific facts straight on her show, “The Big Bang Theory.” While she was at it, Bialik also reassured Conan’s other guest, comedian Dana Carvey, that his teen sons’ lack of impulse control is completely normal…at least statistically speaking.

Dressed in a stylish, yet tsnius-conscious printed wrap dress, Bialik told Conan that she modestly lists “PhD in neuroscience from UCLA” in the “miscellaneous” section of her acting resume. She said she simply didn’t know where else to put it, so she put it there…where other people list random talents and hobbies like juggling, as Conan suggested.

Carvey acted star struck to be in the presence of a neuroscientist, and wanted to co-opt Bialik for a conversation on the differences in the development of the brain’s frontal lobe in girls and boys. Bialik gracefully indulged Carvey for a minute or so, but then shifted her focus back to Conan, who reminded her that when she was 11 years old (before her starring on “Blossom”), she played a super-nerd named Frieda on “Webster” — whom Bialik modeled on Carvey’s SNL “The Church Lady” character.

And speaking of character, we love Bialik for hers. Unlike some other actresses, she has a self-effacing sense of humor. In talking about that early role, she said, “I was a character actress. This face on an 11-year-old gets character roles.”

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Larry King Plans To Freeze Himself

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Alive and Well: Larry King at the 2011 Friars Club Testimonial dinner gala in November

For some of us, it is difficult to discuss, even with those closest to us, our own mortality. But Larry King isn’t afraid to talk about death — and about what he wants to happen to his body after he’s gone.

Sunday night, King and his wife, Shawn, were seen on “CNN Presents: A Larry King Special: Dinner with the Kings” hosting Conan O’Brien, Tyra Banks, Shaquille O’Neal, Seth MacFarlane, Jack Dorsey, Quincy Jones and Russell Brand for a Wofgang Puck-catered dinner and a no-holds-barred conversation on a variety of subjects. On the menu for genial banter were topics like friendship, insecurities, success, and personal worries. Among those personal worries, death inevitably came up.

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Claire Danes: Tel Aviv is a ‘Party Town’

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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Claire Danes surprised TV talk show host Conan O’Brien by telling him what Tel Aviv nightlife watchers already know — that it’s “a party town.”

She told O’Brien that she learned this when she went to Israel to shoot the pilot for her psychological thriller Showtime series, “Homeland”, which is based on the Israeli series “Hatufim.” “The big reveal, the big surprise, for me was that Tel Aviv was the most intense party town I have ever been to,” she said.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Showtime, Homeland, Hatufim, Conan O'Brien, Claire Danes, Baghdad, Tel Aviv

Conan Apologizes (Sort Of) for Anne Frank Comparison

By Nathan Burstein

Wikicommons

A large part of Conan O’Brien’s charm used to be that he was different — or appeared to be — from other late-night talk-show hosts: less smarmy than Jay, less misanthropic than Dave.

For at least some fans, O’Brien’s departure from “The Tonight Show” last year was disappointing because of how it revealed that he, too, is often just another comedian with a raging ego. Even after a reported NBC payout of $32 million, a successful stand-up tour and a new gig on TBS, O’Brien seems to see himself as some sort of late-night martyr, still frequently referring to the saga on his new show, a year after everyone else stopped caring.

His victim complex is bigger than anyone could have guessed, however — or was, until a New York Times story on Friday about “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop,” a documentary that premiered yesterday at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. Told on camera that an unhappy stop on last year’s comedy tour would soon be over, O’Brien responded, “I know people keep saying that, but that’s what they said to Anne Frank.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tonigh Show, South by Southwest, NBC, Documentary, Conan O'Brien, Anne Frank

It’s hard To Be a Rock-Drummer: Max Weinberg’s Fate in the Balance

By Benjamin Ivry

Rumors are swirling furiously on entertainment blogs about whether Max Weinberg, Conan O’Brien’s longtime drummer and comedic foil, will be rehired for Conan’s upcoming TBS cable show.

The kerfuffle started when Weinberg’s fellow Jewish rock musician Al Kooper (born Alan Kuperschmidt) told an interviewer that Weinberg had been “fired” because of conflicts with Weinberg’s performing schedule with Bruce Springsteen, as well as Conan’s production team not appreciating Weinberg’s purported approaches – yet another rumor – to replace Kevin Eubanks as Jay Leno’s bandleader.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Jay Leno, Mighty Max, Kevin Eubanks, Max Weinberg, Conan O'Brien, Springsteen

Celebrities Tweet for Passover

By Laura Sinberg

From reality stars to A-list celebrities, Hollywood players have taken to their Twitter accounts to spread sweet Passover wishes, and make the occasional joke. We’ve rounded up our favorites. Here are the highlights:

Whitney Port: “Missing my fam on passover!!! I’m going to make haroset in honor of them”

Conan O’Brien: “Jewish fun fact: If you celebrate Passover on top of an overpass, you go back in time.”

Demi Moore: “Happy Pesach!”

Ashton Kutcher: “Happy Passover.”

Elizabeth Banks: “Happy Passover. Great seder last night. Outfoxed by scrappy little kid though in hunt for Afikomen. Can’t win ‘em all.”

Samantha Ronson: “Happy Passover to all you Jews out there. To everyone else, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to give up bread.”

Nicole Richie: “Only in LA am I the minority because I don’t have Passover dinner tonight.”

Jenna Elfman: “Have a lovely Passover, to all who are celebrating this evening!”

Rain Wilson: “Some old Hasidim start to look a lot like they’re huge ZZ Top fans (my wife’s joke & she’s ½ Jew).”

Joan Rivers: “I spend Passover with gay friends. Two of the four questions were on Liza Minnelli.”

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: samantha ronson, whitney port, elizabeth banks, demi moore, conan o'brien, ashton kutcher, Passover




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