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‘SNL’ bids farewell to Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Will Heath/NBC(NEW YORK) — Saturday Night Live bid farewell to Jeff Sessions — and Kate McKinnon’s hilarious impersonation of President Donald Trump’s embattled former attorney general — whose firing on Wednesday precipitated a reminiscing.

The show’s cold open began with McKinnon’s Sessions crawling out from under his desk and starting to pack up his office.

“Luckily I’ve still got the box I was born in,” he said. “I’m sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.”

Of course he packed up his mug as well — featuring the Confederate flag, as well as the NAACP’s first sarcastic award and a hate letter supposedly from Dr. Martin Luther King’s late widow, Coretta Scott King.

Sessions was paid a visit by Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. — played by Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, respectively — who told him he should’ve ended the Mueller investigation a long time ago. They were followed by Beck Bennett’s Vice President Mike Pence, who was very worried by Sessions’ mentions of gays, even though he said he hated them just like Trump wanted.

“I heard the word ‘gays’ and ‘cages’ and I went somewhere crazy,” Bennett’s Pence said. “And my Apple Watch says I’m having a heart attack.”

Sessions pulled out a photo of Trump — well, a photo of Alec Baldwin as Trump, anyway — before launching into a version of Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

Robert De Niro returned to cameo as Special Counsel Robert Mueller, to whom Sessions declared, “You can’t arrest me, I quit.”

“You’re a weird little dude, Jeff,” De Niro’s Mueller responded.

Sessions offered Mueller one final warning, though: “With this new attorney general, you might be out of a job soon, too.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee dead at 95

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Stan Lee, co-creator of timeless Marvel comic characters including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and The X-Men, has died at age 95.

Family attorney Kirk E. Schenck confirmed Lee’s death to ABC News, saying he died Monday morning in Los Angeles.

“Stan Lee was as extraordinary as the characters he created,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger in a statement.  “A super hero in his own right to Marvel fans around the world, Stan had the power to inspire, to entertain, and to connect.  The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart.”

Considered one of the founding fathers of comic books, few figures can rival Lee’s impact on pop culture.  Born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York City in 1928, Lee’s beginnings in the world of comics were humble: He refilled ink pots and fetched sandwiches for artists at the comics division of publisher Martin Goodman’s company, Timely. Lee landed the job through a family connection, and began rising up the ranks at the company that in the 1960s would become Marvel Comics.

His first official contribution to the comic universe was a small one: a six word-long text box in Captain America Comics No. 3, though his responsibilities grew.  After a stint in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1942-1945, Lee returned to the comics business in New York, but by the late ’50s reportedly became dissatisfied and entertained leaving the field. However, an opportunity to create a superhero team to compete with rival DC comics’ Justice League led Lee and frequent collaborator, famed artist Jack Kirby, to come up with the Fantastic Four in 1961.

The success of that comic and its more naturalistic approach to its characters — these heroes weren’t perfect — led to the team creating The Incredible Hulk and Thor in 1962, and Iron Man and The X-Men in 1963. Lee, along with another legendary collaborator, Steve Ditko, also created another enduring hero, Spider-Man, in 1962.

Lee’s fans spanned all walks of life: President Ronald Reagan had said Spider-Man’s adventures got him into the habit of reading every day, while Spidey was reportedly a childhood favorite of President Barack Obama‘s as well. President George W. Bush honored Lee in 2008 with the National Medal of the Arts, and Lee received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

Lee’s popularity led to numerous cameo appearances in the Marvel movies during their recent resurgence, from 2003’s Daredevil to The Avengers and most every Marvel film since. He also appeared as himself in TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, and in movies like 1995’s Mallrats and the 2011 documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope.

In 2012, Lee, then just short of 90 years old, had a pacemaker installed, joking at the time in a statement to fans he did so to be more like Iron Man’s alter-ego, Tony Stark, who required an energy device implanted in his chest to stay alive. Lee said the real-life gadget would ensure, “that I’ll be able to lead thee for another 90 years.” Author Bonnie Burton, who in the Geek DIY series Stan Lee’s World of Heroes YouTube channel agreed, telling ABC News of Lee, “I always thought of him as the Hugh Hefner of comics. Ladies just flock to him! He’s a blast to be on panels with — he’s got more pep at 90 than most geek guys 1/3 of his age!”

Lee is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee, born in 1950. Lee’s wife of 70 years, also named Joan, died in July 2017.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

First look: See the ‘Toy Story 4’ teaser-trailer

Disney/Pixar(NEW YORK) — It’s been over six years since Toy Story 3 was released.  It’s about time we got an update on what Woody and Buzz Lightyear have been up to since.

Disney/Pixar just dropped the first look at Toy Story 4.  Set to the sunny 1967 Judy Collins song “Both Sides Now,” the roughly minute-and-a-half teaser shows Woody, Buzz, Jesse, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex and all of the other familiar toy characters from the first three movies, all holding hands as they smile and skip in a circle. That is, until we see an unfamiliar toy: a plastic spork, with pipe-cleaner arms and legs made of popsicle sticks.

“I don’t belong here!” the spork cries out, then freaks out and breaks the circle, causing a massive toy pile-up as Woody tries to keep everyone calm.  Whether or not Mr. Spork is a new character, we’ll have to wait and see

2010’s Toy Story 3, in which the human boy Andy grows up, gives away his beloved toys and heads off to college, was intended to be the final Toy Story film.  The four years later, Pixar announced they’d make yet another sequel in response to fan demand.  No doubt the box office also had more than a little to do with that decision: Toy Story 3 grossed over a billion dollars worldwide.  Since Toy Story‘s 1995 debut, all three films in the animated franchise — including their 3D versions — have taken in over $883 million domestically and more than $1.9 billion globally, not adjusted for inflation.

Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4 — with Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and the rest of the voice cast all reprising their roles — is scheduled for a June 21, 2019 release.  Disney is the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

Celebs using social media to help people displaced by California wildfires

J. Countess/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Veteran actor James Woods is using social media to help others in the midst of the California wildfires and the widespread destruction they’re causing.  Using the fast-trending hashtag #SoCalFiresJamesWoods, the actor has helped displaced people connect with their loved ones.

One of Woods tweets Sunday night read, “#MISSING Kele Carter. Interesting situation ??????##CampFireJamesWoods #SoCalFiresJamesWoods see pic.”

Woods has been retweeting several messages like that, including that of Mari Irby, who was looking for her great uncle Al.  A retweet from Woods connected the two.  Irby told Good Morning America that she was “just immediately overwhelmed with gratitude.”

“The way the opportunity presented itself was through social media, through something like a hashtag, and it completely blows my mind,” she said.

Woods is also helping find shelter for pets and reconnect them with their owners.  “#Found! This furry person is anxious to find its human! Do you know this #dog? West Valley Animal Shelter on Plummer. #WoolseyFire #SoCalFiresJamesWoods” is one of several tweets from him.

Woods also assisted fellow actor Alyssa Milano, with whom he’s regularly sparred on Twitter over political issues.  But when Milano needed help evacuating her horses, Woods stepped up.

Milano tweeted over the weekend, “Thank you, Mr. Woods. Appreciate what you’re doing with your feed.”

Other celebs who have stepped up big to help the thousands displaced include Reese Witherspoon, who tweeted a local ABC News story on how to help others.  She added, “Thank you to the firefighters and service men and women working so hard to protect from these devastating fires here in California. Your bravery and selflessness in these times of need is nothing short of heroic.”

Ben Affleck and Gerard Butler are also asking for donations to the services and organizations helping to manage the disaster and keep those affected safe.

Butler, who lost his home in the fires, wrote, “Returned to my house in Malibu after evacuating. Heartbreaking time across California. Inspired as ever by the courage, spirit and sacrifice of firefighters. Thank you @LAFD. If you can, support these brave men and women at http://SupportLAFD.org.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

BTS, Nicki Minaj among the big winners at the E! People’s Choice Awards 2018 — Winner’s List

Marvel Studios/Disney(LOS ANGELES) — It was a good night for Marvel Studios at the People’s Choice Awards broadcast on the E! network Sunday night.

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War was named Movie of 2018 and Action Movie of 2018, while Marvel’s Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira were named Male Movie Star and Action Movie Star of 2018, respectively.  Infinity War‘s Scarlett Johansson was named Female Movie Star of 2018.

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

On the musis side, BTS was named the Group of the Year and their song “Icon” won both The Song of the Year and Music Video of the Year.  Rapper Nicki Minaj picked up awards for Female Artist of the Year and Album of the Year, for Queen.  

Here are the winners at the People’s Choice Awards:

The Movie of 2018
Avengers: Infinity War

The Comedy Movie of 2018
The Spy Who Dumped Me

The Action Movie of 2018
Avengers: Infinity War

The Drama Movie of 2018
Fifty Shades Freed

The Family Movie of 2018
Incredibles 2

The Drama Movie Star of 2018
Jamie Dornan, Fifty Shades Freed

The Male Movie Star of 2018
Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther

The Female Movie Star of 2018
Scarlett Johansson, Avengers: Infinity War

The Comedy Movie Star of 2018
Melissa McCarthy, Life of the Party

The Action Movie Star of 2018
Danai Gurira, Black Panther

The Show of 2018

The Drama Show of 2018

The Comedy Show of 2018
Orange is The New Black

The Revival Show of 2018

The Reality Show of 2018
Keeping Up with the Kardashians

The Competition Show of 2018
The Voice

The Male TV Star of 2018
Harry Shum Jr., Shadowhunters

The Female TV Star of 2018
Katherine McNamara, Shadowhunters

The Drama TV Star of 2018
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

The Comedy TV Star of 2018
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

The Daytime Talk Show of 2018
The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Nighttime Talk Show of 2018
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The Competition Contestant of 2018
Maddie Poppe, American Idol

The Reality TV Star of 2018
Khloe Kardashian, Keeping Up with the Kardashians

The Bingeworthy Show of 2018

The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show of 2018
Wynonna Earp

The Male Artist of 2018
Shawn Mendes

The Female Artist of 2018
Nicki Minaj

The Group of 2018

The Song of 2018
BTS, “Idol”

The Album of 2018
Nicki Minaj: Queen

The Country Artist of 2018
Blake Shelton

The Latin Artist of 2018

The Music Video of 2018
BTS: “Idol”

The Concert Tour of 2018
Taylor Swift: Reputation

The Social Star of 2018
Shane Dawson

The Beauty Influencer of 2018
James Charles

The Social Celebrity of 2018

The Animal Star of 2018
Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund

The Comedy Act of 2018
Kevin Hart

The Style Star of 2018
Harry Styles

The Game Changer of 2018
Serena Williams

The Pop Podcast of 2018
Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley & Tanya Rad

The Most Hype Worthy Canadian of 2018
Tessa Virture & Scott Moir

L’influenceur Pop Culture Francais de 2018

Honorary Icon Award Recipients

The People’s Icon of 2018
Melissa McCarthy

The People’s Champion of 2018
Bryan Stevenson, social activist and founder of Equal Justice Initiative

The Fashion Icon of 2018
Victoria Beckham

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘The Walking Dead’ recap: “Who Are You Now?”

Gene Page/AMC(NEW YORK) — Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead reinforced the shocker at the end of last week’s show: that years have passed since Rick vanished and was presumed dead.  

Michonne still mourning Rick, she speaks to his memory, as if praying. 

Daryl wakes up in a run-down tent and kills a fish with a spear — before killing a walker with the same stick.

Next, we see Carol, her famously short hair has grown to her shoulders. She looks happy, waking up next to Ezekiel, who’s sleeping in, in the Kingdom.

Scavenging, Michonne finds an abandoned van and a cigar box full of trinkets, including a little cowboy toy that looks like Rick. Little bits of life offer hope, she voices over — like a bird that plucks a worm from a walker to feed its babies.

She hasn’t given up hope, she explains to Rick’s memory. “For you.”

Aaron, Rosita, and Eugene look for Judith, who returns with the newbies she rescued. We see Eugene of all people, stepping up and killing a few walkers.

Judith insists they take the new people with them to Alexandria, against the others’ protests.

Back at Kingdom, Young — not so young, anymore — Henry has apparently been adopted as Ezekiel’s son, with Carol his surrogate, if not slightly reluctant mom.

The new survivors can’t believe how civilized Alexandria is; the natives are nervous about the newbs.

Michonne rides in, and wants to know why the rules were broken to bring them in. She insists they stay in a holding pen until a council can vet them.

Henry leaves the Kingdom to go someplace with Carol. His “dad” sees them off.

The folks go before the council, which includes Fr. Gabriel, Aaron, Michonne as the head of security, and Sidiq the doctor; the newcomers plead their cases as to why they should stay.

Michonne spots a prison tattoo on Magna, one of the newcomers, who insists she’s got nothing to hide. Michonne knows she’s hiding a knife. Magna is, in her belt buckle. The newcomer exposed, Michonne storms off.

Later, Father Gabriel and Rosita discuss Michonne, hoping she’ll change her mind. They plot boosting their radio signal to try to find others. Then she kisses him. Times have certainly changed.

Michonne is talking to herself, but really to Rick; Judith spies on her doing so.

As Henry and Carol travel by wagon, he hears a woman screaming. Carol protests but he streaks away, only to be hoodwinked…It’s a trap. Carol tries to save him, but a door opens to reveal Jed and his band of Saviors that left Rick’s gang years ago.

They hijack the good guys’ gear.

Because Carol spared him back in the day, Jed explains, he offers to let them live — but asks for her engagement ring. Henry takes offense; lifts his staff up and hits Jed with it; Henry gets whomped, but Carol throws herself on him, and hands over the ring.

At Alexandria, Judith is doing math homework, with the help of Negan through his jail window. He’s looking far better than when we last saw him. They joust a little, with Negan wondering why a word problem about an airplane leaving at particular times should concern her, seeing as there are no airplanes anymore.

Elsewhere, young Henry asks his mom why she gave up so easily, noting how much of a fighter she used to be. 

Meanwhile, Eugene and Rosita work on their radio relay, when Eugene spots an approaching herd from the top of a water tower. He tries to high tail it off the ladder, but drops his gear. It makes a loud enough bang that their horses scatter. A portion of the ladder falls off, and he leaps, hurting his knee.

In holding, the newbies debate what they should do: the girl who had the knife, Magna, wants to fight the only impediment to staying in Alexandria: Michonne.

Elsewhere, a woman walks in the dark and puts down a gas can. She plucks the match from a sleeping Jed’s mouth.

He wakes. “The ring I could have given you,” Carol says, match in hand. But that stuff you took belongs to people I knew. People who aren’t here anymore.”

“You’ll never see us again,” Jed pleads.

“I know,” Carol says, lighting the match and setting the whole barn full of Savior outcasts on fire, burning them alive. Warrior Carol is back.

Meanwhile, at Alexandria, Magna tries sneaking into Michonne’s home, knife in hand. Seeing Michonne with a little kid — apparently hers with Rick, another shocker — she thinks differently. Magna knocks on the door and hands over her folding knife. “You missed one,” she says, before affirming that Michonne was right about her, that she’s done terrible things. “We’ve all done things,” Michonne admits.

Meanwhile, inside, Judith, holding her dad’s massive Colt, tries to understand why Michonne hasn’t helped the newbies.

Meanwhile, Rosita and a hobbled Eugene try to flee the approaching horde.

Back on the road, young Henry apologizes for implying his mother was weak. Then he spots the ring that’s back on his finger, and he understands. They’re apparently heading to a place off the map. Then they spot Daryl. “Need a ride, stranger?” she smiles.

We see Michonne dressing herself in Rick’s old shirt, taking comfort in it. 

Meanwhile, the newbies bid Alexandria a farewell, but just then, Michonne announces a change of plans. They’re taking the group to the Hilltop colony.

Rosita and Eugene scramble to a muddy riverbank, walkers in pursuit. The humans cover themselves in mud to mask their scent. And we hear, for the first time, a walker talking to the others, rasping, “They must be close. Don’t let them get away!” 

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, November 18 at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘SNL’ star Pete Davidson apologizes to war hero-turned Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw for eye-patch joke

NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) — Pete Davidson apologized — in person — to Lt. Cmdr. Dan Crenshaw during Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment, one week after joking about the candidate’s eye patch. “On behalf of me and the show, I apologize,” Davidson said.

Davidson joked about Crenshaw, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, during a segment on “Weekend Update” last week. Davidson showed photos of various candidates for the midterm elections, including one of Crenshaw.

“You may be surprised to hear that he’s a congressional candidate from Texas and not a hitman in a porno movie,” Davidson joked. “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”

Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, lost his right eye when an IED exploded during a tour of Afghanistan in 2012. After he recovered from his injury, he returned to duty minus the injured eye. He earned two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart during his military career — and he just won his congressional race.

After Davidson’s on-air apology Saturday night, Congressman-elect Crenshaw made a surprise appearance at the “Weekend Update” desk.

“Thank you so much for coming,” Davidson said.

“Thank you for making a Republican look good,” Crenshaw responded.

Davidson again apologized to Crenshaw, who won his race for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday by defeating Democrat Todd Litton.

On Saturday’s show, Crenshaw’s phone began ringing with the Ariana Grande song “Breathin.” Davidson, of course, recently broke up with the pop star after getting engaged earlier this year.

“You gonna answer that?” Davidson asked. “I’m just gonna let it ring,” Crenshaw responded.

“Do you know her?” Crenshaw asked.

Crenshaw then cut a few jokes about Davidson’s appearance, including that he looked like, “a troll doll with a tapeworm.”

He closed by asking Americans to forgive one another and to tell a veteran “never forget.” He also thanked Davidson’s father — a firefighter who died on September 11 — for his sacrifice.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

‘The Grinch’ steals $66 million to top the weekend box office

Universal(LOS ANGELES) — The Grinch brought in the green this weekend, topping the box office with an estimated $66 million debut. The CGI-animated take on Dr. Seuss’ classic 1957 book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas — with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the titular character — posted the third biggest opening for an animated film in November, behind The Incredibles and Frozen, with $70.4 million $67.39 million, respectively.

Internationally, the film earned an estimated $12.7 million overseas, for a total of $78.7 million worldwide as of Sunday night.

Last week’s top film, Bohemian Rhapsody, landed at number two in its second week of release, delivering an estimated $30.85 million. That brings its stateside totals to over $100 million, which added to its estimated $63 million internationally, for a global tally of more than $185 million.

It’s not until third place that we find the second of this week’s new major releases, the J.J Abrams horror film Overlord, with an estimated $10.1 million.

In the fourth position was Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, delivering an estimated $9.56 million and bringing its totals here in the states to over $35 million. Outside the U.S., the film picked up an estimated $13.5 million, for a total of $96.7 million worldwide .

The Girl in the Spider’s Web — the third of this week’s new major releases — starring Claire Foy — rounded out the top five with an estimated $8 million.

The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman opened in four theaters last Tuesday and earned $56,000. It expands to 48 locations next week.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated domestic box office earnings:

1. The Grinch, $66 million
2. Bohemian Rhapsody, $30.85 million
3. Overlord, $10.1 million
4. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, $9.6 million
5. Girl in the Spider’s Web, $8 million
6. A Star Is Born, $8 million
7. Nobody’s Fool, $6.5 million
8. Venom, $4.85 million
9. Halloween. $3.8 million
10. The Hate U Give, $2.07 million

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kathy Griffin and boyfriend split after seven years

Raymond Hall/FilmMagicKathy Griffin and her longtime boyfriend, Randy Bick, have called it quits, she announced via Twitter on Thursday.

“God help me, but I’m gonna be one of those people who announces a break up,” the 58-year-old comic wrote. “After 7 years, Randy and I have decided to part ways. It’s not acrimonious and I will always adore him.”

Griffin seemed to explain the real purpose of the tweet by adding, “There, now those jerks at TMZ won’t get the story first.”

Griffin and Bick, a marketing executive, began dating in 2011 after meeting at a wine festival. 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Alyssa Milano, Rainn Wilson among those forced to evacuate due to LA-area wildfires

ABC/Paula Lobo(LOS ANGELES) — Following the news that Kim Kardashian West had to evacuate her Calabasas home, more celebrities have revealed they, too, have had to flee the raging wildfires threatening the Los Angeles area.

Rainn Wilson, Alyssa Milano and Melissa Etheridge are among the thousands of evacuees.

Wilson tweeted, “My House has been evacuated due to nearby fires in Thousand Oaks. (The pigs & dogs are fine, thank you).”

He added a message for Thousand Oaks, which is also still reeling from the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill Wednesday night.

“Please send your prayers to the people of Thousand Oaks and the victims of the shooting that are now having to evacuate their homes and neighborhoods,” he wrote. “Then send them some cash.”

Milano posted about having to leave her home as well, writing, “I just had to evacuate my home from the fires. I took my kids, dogs, computer and my Doc Marten boots. (Husband is in NY. Horses are being evacuated by my trainer.)”

And Etheridge tweeted, “Well, well, as if life needed to get more interesting…we have a mandatory evacuation of our home due to the #Woolseyfire . We have gone to a hotel in Santa Monica where we will stay until we can return. Send love and strength to our amazing California firefighters. #safe.”

As of Friday morning, fires continued to threaten Malibu, Calabasas, and Thousand Oaks. All of Malibu has been ordered to evacuate.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.