Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:59 AM

Ever think you’d see Simon Cowell apologize to a contestant? Well, get ready. Snarky Simon may be off the air over here, but he’s still the main judge on Britain’s Got Talent. And this weekend, he could barely disguise his disdain when Paddy Jones, 79 and Nico Espinosa, 40, came out to audition.

Actually, it was fellow jurist David Walliams who got in most of the nasty jabs (while plugging his own comedy show Little Britain).

Paddy and Nico came to dance. What was wrong with this picture? Well. Quite a bit actually. Even the crowd is restive as the mismatched couple begins to pace the stage. Simon buzzes in to eliminate them almost immediately. Notice the delicious moment when both dancers just look over at him defiantly.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 4:19 PM
Josh Charles and Amy Schumer mix romance and curly fries

Brace yourself. Amy Schumer is about to take her humor to a whole new level tonight.

Check out this clip from the new episode of Inside Amy Schumer, “A Chick Who Can Hang” (10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central). The skit is called “The Foodroom” and to call it a fast food spoof of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama The Newsroom doesn’t begin to do it justice. Because it works on so many levels simultaneously.

Including the fact that it stars Josh Charles, late of The Good Wife. Charles seems very comfortable as a Sorkin style hero: eloquent and iconoclastic with a heart as big as a deep fat fryer. Maybe because he spent time in the late ‘90s on the much-loved but short-lived Sorkin series, Sports Night.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 2:01 PM

Oh, what a night! Donny Osmond was the guest judge. The celebs were put back with their original dance partners. (Tom Bergeron referred to it as a “conscious recoupling”.) And the theme was songs from famous Disney movies – most of them animated. The movies, not necessarily the songs.

So who got the boot? Caution: stop reading HERE if you’d rather stay in the dark.

Was it the couple at the bottom of the leaderboard, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas? No, although their garishly costumed salute to The Little Mermaid should have not only got them eliminated from the show but deported. Must be a lot of Full House fans still out there.

POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014, 12:46 PM

Well, you can stop with all those Top Ten lists of candidates to replace David Letterman as the host of CBS's  Late Show. We have a winner: Stephen Colbert.

Moving with surprising swiftness, CBS signed the Comedy Central star to a five-year deal. (His contract with the cable outlet expires at the end of this year.) Colbert is expected to take over the big desk at CBS sometime next summer.

It was exactly a week ago that Letterman, who turns 67 next week, announced that he planned to retire next year. Although Colbert, 49, was among the rumored candidates to replace him, the announcement still took the industry unawares.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 11:43 AM

Like all strokes of genius, this clip pretty much speaks for itself. So we won’t burden it with context, except to say it was taken from one of our favorite scenes in the Game of Thrones season opener.

Arya (Maise Williams) and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann) are drifting through the ruined Riverlands when she spots a familiar face in a group of drunken soldiers who are terrorizing a tavern. Even the Hound, one of the most fiercesome men in the Seven Kingdoms, doesn’t want to step into that jackals’ den, but Arya is determined to have a little palaver with Polliver (who among other things, stole her sword).

That lead to this scene, with one of the great lines in Game of Thrones history, when Polliver challenges the big man, “You’re going to die for some chickens?” And the Hound growls, “Someone is”.

POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014, 1:41 PM
"The Simpsons" do Letterman.
There is no greater pop culture tribute than a Simpsons’ couch gag. And the show crafted a special one for the sardonic scarecrow of late night, David Letterman. After Dave announced his retirement last week, the show dusted off an opening bit from two seasons ago (“The D’oh-cial Network”), which finds Homer, Marge and the kids in gridlocked Manhattan traffic to the strains of Gershwin’s inimitable “Rhapsody in Blue”.

After getting taken by a three-card monte dealer, Homer head butts his way into the Ed Sullivan Theater where the family gets to meet the chonically cranky Dave (yes, that is Letterman’s voice.)

Then they tacked on that nice valedictory note and posted it on You Tube. Play us off, Paul.

POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014, 11:24 AM

It begins with a terrifying premise: Gary Busey gazing earnestly into the camera and saying, “If you’re like me…”

Nothing good is going to follow that introduction. And sure enough, it isn’t long before the actor with the flaky rep goes right off the deep end. “Hello, pants.”

Sure, the ensuing pitch is something of a cliche: actor searches for his own work on voice-activated smart TV, but, man, Busey is a closer.

POSTED: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 7:13 PM

Saturday Night Live trotted out one of our favorite bits last night when during Weekend Update, coanchor Colin Jost introduced sports analyst Stephen A. Smith. (OK, it’s Jay Pharoah doing his hilariously unhinged imitation of the former Inquirer sports columnist, but it’s a riot every time.)

Jost (who looks a little like CBS’s basketball guy Seth Davis) wanted to get Smith’s insights into March Madness. The responses were abysmally uninformed. Smith had, for instance, Michigan State going out in the first round and Wichita State taking the whole thing.

But that didn’t matter, because as is customary, Smith had to preface each remark with a strange, self-aggrandizing commentary about how easy person on the court — coach or player — is a close, close personal friend of his.

About this blog

A true child of TV, David Hiltbrand has worked as a critic at People and as a columnist and editor at TV Guide.

Reach David at

David Hiltbrand Inquirer TV Critic
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