Tag Archives: Jimmy Kimmel

The greatest of all time wins Wimbledon title No. 8. A Jewish kid in Pa. dedicates his bar mitzvah to Jimmy Kimmel, and Jon Stewart’s not happy. And even Fox News is tired of being lied to

Between 2013-2016, you would hear the stories on TV, or read them in newspapers or on the web.

At first they were whispers, as there was still so much respect for the person they were talking about. But then they got louder, and louder, and louder.

What’s wrong with Roger Federer? Why isn’t he winning anymore? Is he too old? Maybe he should just … retire.

Yep, looks like all those experts were right. That four-year-gap between Grand Slam wins for Roger Federer was the end. Guy could barely play anymore, he should’ve just shuffled off to Switzerland’s version of Del Boca Vista, Phase 2 and called it a career.

Not quite. Roger Federer, the greatest athlete I’ve had the privilege of seeing in my 41 years of life, is writing a story in 2017 that’s never been seen before. He’s doing things no 35-almost-36 year old tennis player has ever done, hell, no professional athlete has done at this age and stage of his career.

Let me hit you with a few quick facts on this incredible champion’s run in 2017:

— He’s won 2 of the 3 Grand Slam events. He’s only played two of them.
— He just won Wimbledon for a record eighth time. And did it without dropping a set. That’s insane.
— He’s 25-0, that’s 25 wins and no losses, in the four biggest tournaments he’s played this year.
— He’s got an excellent chance to become No. 1 in the world again, at the end of this year.

It is all so miraculous to watch for those of us who are hard-core Federer fans like me. We saw the struggles of the last few years, the shocking losses to people like Tommy Robredo and Sergei Stakhovsky at majors, and winced. Nobody wanted to see Federer go out like this.

Then, he got hurt twice in 2016, and took the rest of the season off. Nobody, and I mean, nobody, not even Federer, thought he’d win two Slams this year, and play so flawlessly.

His movement, his serve, his backhand… all of it, back or even better than it was 10 years ago, when he dominated his sport like few others ever had. It’s incredible to see, and Sunday, when he beat a clearly-injured Marin Cilic in straight sets, you could tell how much Federer was enjoying this career renaissance.

Oh, I know, he didn’t have to beat Nadal, Murray or Djokovic to win this title, his 19th Slam overall. But that’s not his fault; two of them were injured and the other (Nadal, having a terrific year himself) lost an epic five-setter.

It’s truly a remarkable story, Federer doing this at his age, doing it so well.

And before I move on, a few words about Venus Williams. She’s 37, she’s overcome so many injuries and illness the past few years, and yet she’s still a Top 10 player. She made a fantastic run to the Wimbledon finals before falling short to Garbine Muguruza, but she’s an inspiration. Venus has always been a class act, and I hope she does get one more Slam title before she’s done.

Great Wimbledon. U.S. Open only seven weeks away!

**Next up, this made me laugh really hard. Seems there’s a 13-year-old in Media, Pa. named Will Rubin who is a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel and his late-night show. Such a huge fan that he invited Kimmel to come to his bar mitzvah. Understandably, Kimmel couldn’t attend, but he did send a video message along, and Will ended up having a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” theme at his celebration of becoming a man.

Well, a certain Jewish comedian named Jon Stewart wasn’t too pleased he was passed over;and he “stormed” Kimmel’s set last Thursday night to argue/appeal to the boy. “Will, wouldn’t you rather idolize a talk-show host who’s also circumcised?”

This is great.

**Finally today, my head hurts trying to keep up with all the lies coming out the White House these days. Honestly, it’s exhausting trying to keep track, between them lying about the Russia meetings, what’s in the health care bill (and as brilliant Tweeter John Fugelsang pointed out Sunday, after learning that there’ll be no health care vote this week “Mitch McConnell has to delay taking healthcare from American taxpayers until after John McCain has surgery, paid for by American taxpayers.”

It is now beyond clear, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Fredo Trump (Don Jr.) and Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner lied, repeatedly, about meeting with representative of the Russian government bent on helping Trump win. But still, 35 percent of Americans will support this President no matter what he does or says.

But every once in a while, some sunlight comes in, even to Fox News. Check out Chris Wallace and Shep Smith the other day, talking about this scandal and the incredible number of lies, lies, lies coming out of the White House.

“The deception is mind-boggling,” Smith says, and he’s right.

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The craziest Oscars ending ever, my jaw is on the floor, and what the hell happened? Oh yeah, the rest of the show was great.

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It’s 2:11 a.m. New York time, I’m exhausted and wired and still kind of in shock.

So, you know, typical Sunday.

Look, I had this whole Oscars blog post pretty much written by midnight. As you’ll read, I loved the telecast though I’m sure many didn’t. I loved who won (except for Casey Affleck who robbed Denzel), I thought Jimmy Kimmel was a terrific host, and the whole thing was done.

All I needed was a quick few paragraphs at the top about who won Best Picture, whether I was happy or sad about it, and boom. I’m off to bed.

Instead, I’ve spent the last few hours scouring Twitter and the Internet trying, like a million other people, to find out what in the hell happened at the end there.

“La La Land” won Best Picture. Their producers and director and actors all go up on stage, they make their speeches, oh well, I was hoping for “Hidden Figures” or “Moonlight” to win, but whatever.

Then there are men running around behind the “La La Land” folks, looking all frantic. Then the guys at the microphone are looking around crazily. And then it turns out… well, if you didn’t see it, watch this craziness:

I mean, HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HAPPEN? The wrong winner is called out in front of a billion people for the most important award of them all? Craziness.
So many thoughts: First, what a horrible feeling for both “winners” of Best Picture. The “La La Land” folks spent two or three minutes feeling better than they’ve ever felt, they’ve made it, they’ve won! And then… it’s ripped away.

And the “Moonlight” folks! They were robbed of the incredible moment of hearing their names called for the biggest award they’ll likely ever win. They think they’ve lost, then they find out they won and rush onstage. Craziness. (An aside many pointed out on Twitter: Can you imagine if it happened the other way around? If a film made by African-Americans, starring African-Americans, was announced as the winner and then it was changed? You would’ve heard the screaming from L.A. to New York).

— So how did this happen? Well, turns out there are two people, one on each side of the stage, who hold the envelopes for all 24 awards. There are duplicates of each envelope so depending on whichever side of the stage the presenters walk out on, they can grab the correct envelope.

Emma Stone held on to her envelope that said she won Best Actress, and apparently somehow when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway walked out, Beatty took the OTHER envelope for Best Actress instead of the Best Picture one.
If you watch, you can see Beatty looks confused, like he knows something is wrong, and Dunaway just saw “La La Land” at the end of the Best Actress card and read it.

Just amazing. The documentary about how this happened will win an Oscar one day.
And one more coherent thought before I drift off: Why didn’t the 2 people who hold the envelopes realize that each of them STILL had the Best Picture envelope in their hands when Beatty/Dunaway walked out, and raise hell then? Like tell somebody in charge or something?

Nuts. But I’m so, so glad “Moonlight” won. Fantastic picture. OK, off to bed. Here’s all the stuff I wrote before the biggest screw-up in Hollywood award show history…

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Sunday night was the 2017 Oscars, or as they were known heading in, “Hey, #OscarsnotsoWhite anymore!”

Jimmy Kimmel was hosting for the first time (he did a real nice job, and the dropping Junior Mints and other candy from the ceiling was pretty clever), and we had some fresh winners, excellent speeches, and overall a pretty terrific show (your opinion may vary)

Some thoughts on a pretty entertaining telecast:

— Gotta start with the great and deserving winners: Viola Davis, my goodness, what a tremendous speech. Emotional, poignant, thanking everyone in the cast of the fantastic “Fences” movie, and then closing with an extraordinary tribute to her parents, thanking God that they were her first role models and caretakers.

Also loved that Mahershala Ali won for “Moonlight,” (the first-ever Muslim winner of an Oscar, so take that Steve Bannon), and that the “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and screenwriter Tarell Alvin McRaney won for Best Screenplay, and I thought the music awards for “La La Land” were well-deserved.

— I thought the opening was pretty novel, getting all the movie stars on their feet and dancing while Justin Timberlake did his thing (I love that song.) Very cool seeing Denzel and Jeff Bridges and the like having a good time.

And I thought Kimmel’s monologue was sharp, especially the hilarious part “mocking” Meryl Streep for being a highly overrated and unqualified actress, obviously a dig at Donald Trump’s ridiculous critique of Streep. She played along, but it looked like her husband still is mad at our President.

— Sara Bareilles, singing Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” over the dead montage. Absolutely perfect. So achingly beautiful. 

— Actual conversation in my house when The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) came out to present:
Me: “Why is Dwayne Johnson at the Oscars, he can’t act.”
Wife: “I think he did one of the songs in the Monet movie.”
Me: “You mean “Moana?”
Wife: “Oh yeah, that.”

See, now I really want to see a musical about the French painter.

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— Awesome-looking celebs, according to the fashion expert in my house (my wife): Mahershala Ali (stunning in his tux); the three “Hidden Figures” women (particularly Taraji P. Henson, wow what a dress), Charlize Theron who will always look beautiful, and Dev Patel, a handsome man.
Badly-dressed celebs: Dakota Johnson (hideous dress),

— I’m sure lots of people hated it, but we loved the little historical montages about past winners of the big categories

— Very legitimate question. What the hell was Jennifer Aniston, who was never once in a good movie, doing in the second row at the Oscars? We saw her in the interminable (but kind of amusing) sketch where Kimmel gave random people on a bus tour a thrill of a lifetime. Seriously though, how does Aniston get such prime placement?

— Of course everyone was wondering if any of the winners would make political statements in their speeches, and there were a few jabs. Actor Mark Rylance’s statement about “being in opposition but not hatred” was pretty good.

But the sharpest critique came from someone who wasn’t there: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, whose “The Salesman” won for best foreign film. He boycotted the awards telecast, but had a letter he wrote read, attacking Trump’s “inhuman” travel ban. It was powerful and necessary to remind the billion people watching around the world that millions upon millions of people disagree with this.

President Obama and Anderson Cooper with 2 powerful, human responses to Orlando tragedy. And Jimmy Kimmel’s NBA “Generation Gap” cracks me up

There was a fantastic running sketch on the great “Key and Peele” show on Comedy Central about Luther, Barack Obama’s “anger translator.”If you don’t remember it, Luther served as a stand-in for Obama’s rage, poking fun at the fact that Obama is so even-keeled all the time, and that he never lets himself get angry. Luther, therefore, was there to say what Obama couldn’t.

It was a hilarious sketch. But it’s not really needed anymore, sadly, because President Obama has just about reached his tipping point. And he’s really freaking pissed. Maybe what put him over the top was the vulgar, talking yam Tweeting just after the worst mass killing in U.S. history, bragging about how he was right to propose banning all Muslims, and calling for Obama to resign.

(Quick aside: Isn’t it interesting how Republicans always blame Democrats for “politicizing” a tragedy by calling for stricter gun laws after a mass killing, yet after Sunday’s tragedy their Presidential nominee immediately made it a political issue, and no one on the right seems bothered by that? F’ing infuriating.)

Whatever it was, Tuesday afternoon our President gave a stinging rebuke of hatred and intolerance. I encourage you to watch his whole speech embedded above, but if you only have time for a part of it, watch the five-minute clip I’ve embedded above.

It’s powerful, it’s important, and it’s the voice of one man saying “Enough!” Stop!” You are killing people with your insane, racist rhetoric. You think you’re being entertaining and firing up a mob, but you’re actually dangerous, incompetent, and causing more hatred toward America.

Enough. E-fucking-nough.

**Next, someone who actually took the time to memorialize and think about the victims of this tragedy, instead of shamelessly using death to promote an agenda. Anderson Cooper spent seven minutes at the start of his show Monday night, reading the names of the 49 people killed in the Orlando massacre, and giving a few small details where he could about each of their lives.

I found this incredibly compelling; the few details like “he always had a smile on his face,” about one guy, and “she always was such a hard worker” about another give you just a tiny insight, but really go a long way.

Cooper, who is openly gay, chokes up several times reading this. But it’s incredibly important that he did it, and I urge you to watch if you can, emotionally.

These were people, not political pawns.

**Finally today, wanted to end on a lighter note, after all this sadness. The NBA Finals are still going on, which means ESPN/ABC are doing all kinds of cross-promotion, which gave us this hilarious Jimmy Kimmel “Generation Gap” sketch last week, wherein 1970s NBA legend (and insanely bad dresser) Walt “Clyde” Frazier went head-to-head in a trivia game with current NBA star Anthony Davis.

It gets better as it goes along; poor Walt, he just couldn’t keep up. The “Welcome Back, Kotter” question did crack me up…

Super Tuesday brings more Trump victories, and it’s almost over for Bernie. And The latest “Mean Tweets” is great.

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Well that kind of sucked.

Super Tuesday came and went in the Presidential race, and some of the things I was hoping for (somebody slowing down the Trump-mentum, Bernie Sanders outperforming expectations) didn’t quite happen.

Instead, the man the great Charlie Pierce calls “the vulgar, talking yam” dominated yet again. As I write this late Tuesday night the orange-faced idiot has won six states, and could win a couple more.

He is amazingly, truly an unstoppable force right now. Marco Rubio ain’t stopping him (Headline of the night: “Rub-i-No”), Ted Cruz ain’t stopping him, and all this bluster and bravado about millions of dollars suddenly coming in from the GOP Establishment, and the horror they’re all suddenly feeling and their insistence that they’ll be the ones to destroy Trump… yeah, I’m not seeing it.

It’s March 2 and a racist, sexist, xenophobic ego-whore is going to be a major party candidate for President. God save us all.

Even though Tuesday night didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, I sure had lots of fun watching, Tweeting, and reading all the coverage. Lots of thoughts on the results…

— First and most importantly in my mind, on the Democratic side, Hillary continued to do what she needed to do. She dominated the South, she dominated among African-American voters, and except for Massachusetts, none of the states she won were particularly close.

My  man Bernie won Vermont, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Colorado, but lost Mass., which I think he really needed to win. It’s not over Bernie, the fat lady isn’t singing yet, but she’s sure warming up her vocal chords.

— Hillary continues to astound me with her firebrand liberal speeches on primary  nights. I don’t care if she comes out holding copies of “The Nation” and reading from Paul Wellstone’s autobiography, she is NOT a liberal (And yes, I understand maybe only three of my readers got those references). I gotta take my hat off to her, she is trying so damn hard to be a liberal. Maybe somehow all of this leftward movement will lead to a more liberal Presidency from her. I sure hope so.

— I really don’t know why Bernie isn’t making inroads with minorities. He’s so, so much more progressive on issues like police brutality, incarceration, and unemployment than she is. He’s done a hell of a job getting this far and scaring Hillary so much, but I think Bernie’s got about 2-3 more good weeks left.

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— So… Trump. Let’s forget for a minute the improbability of a slick, fast-talking con man from New York winning primaries in the Deep South. And forget that it looked like Chris Christie was making a hostage tape while introducing Trump, then staring up at him from behind for 20 minutes (“Seriously Governor, blink three times if you’re being held against your will” was a popular Twitter comment made by many).

I have to admit it was brilliant stagecraft for Trump to hold a press conference and not a pep rally. He actually seemed calmer and almost rational for a few minutes, but then he reverted back to his old self (he basically threatened the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, that he better get along with President Trump or “he’s going to pay a big price.”)

He was trying to seem Presidential, and it almost worked. I got a little scared.

— I’m finally giving up on Rubio. I’ve been saying for months he’d be the nominee, but the dude just cannot win anywhere. His speech Tuesday night, saying we’re getting closer and Trump’s numbers are falling, was pathetic. He did finally win something late, Minnesota. Way to go, Marco!

— The GOP elite have a real problem: The one guy who’s beaten Trump, Ted Cruz, is the most hated man in Washington, by Republicans. Can they really swallow their hatred and support him to ward off a Trump landslide defeat in November?

— And finally, I watched MSNBC most of the night and can someone tell me how Brian Williams so easily got his reputation back? I mean, hasn’t he lost all credibility as a newsman?

— Sorry, one more thing: Anyone know if Ben Carson is still alive?

**Finally today, I haven’t featured one of these in a while but they always make me laugh. In honor of Sunday’s Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel offered up his latest edition of “Mean Tweets,” where celebrities read out loud the horrible things said to them on Twitter lately.

This is the all Hollywood edition; I think Susan Sarandon’s response was the best, at around 1:05…

 

Good News Friday: A freed American journalist offers thanks. Jimmy Kimmel’s awesome “Friends” reunion. And the NFL, belatedly, takes a strong stand against domestic violence.

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Well, a few days ago I was going to lead Good News Friday this week with the heroic tale of Southern California football player Josh Shaw, who told his coach and the media that he injured his ankles jumping off a balcony trying to save his 7-year-old nephew from drowning. What a sportsman! What a guy! Let’s celebrate his … screech! Hold that thought.

Turns out Shaw made the whole thing up. A good friend of mine who knows things about USC said the real story he got is that Shaw was being chased by his girlfriend and leaped off his apartment balcony to escape, which makes a whole lot more sense than the fiction he told.
Finally Wednesday, Shaw admitted he made the whole thing up, but Newsweek’s John Walters got the scoop on how deep the deception went. Crazy, crazy story.

OK, onto some legitimate good news, news we’re pretty sure is true. As horrifying as the story of journalist James Foley’s death at the hands of terrorists was, this week we got a 180 degree turn as Peter Theo Curtis, an American reporter, was finally freed after two years of being held in Syria by Al Qaeda.

I was listening to the audio of Curtis’ welcome-home interview Thursday, and was struck by the sincerity of this quote:

“I had no idea that so much effort was being expended on my behalf,” the journalist said in his first public comments since he was kidnapped in 2012. “I suddenly remembered how good the American people are and what kindness they have in their hearts.”

Remember that every once in a while, that for all the Ferguson awfulness and so many other horrors, America is filled with good-hearted people who are kind. Not an exciting message, but a true one that always needs repeating.

**Next up, this was fantastic: While he had Jennifer Aniston on as a guest, Jimmy Kimmel staged 1/2 of a “Friends” reunion this week, and it’s worth watching if only for the exactreplica of Rachel and Monica’s apartment kitchen.

Brilliant.

**And finally, it may be too late (OK, it is way too late) but it appears the NFL has finally decided to get serious about its players committing domestic violence. After a hail of criticism came down on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s head for his minuscule two-game suspension of Ray Rice this year, he apparently got the message, and Thursday announced that first-time offenders will be suspended for six games, and second-time offenders will be banned from the league for life.

Now, will this rule have unintended consequences, as some on the Web suggested Thursday, and mean spouses of NFL players will be less likely to report their abuse? Perhaps.

But it finally sends a strong and clear message from the top that the NFL is taking this problem seriously.

When love is an instinct: a beautiful love story 60 years in the making. Mila Kunis hilariously spoofs soon-to-be Dads. And 32 photos of people doing good

Two quick sports thoughts before we get to Good News Friday: 1, It is so, so beautiful to watch the San Antonio Spurs play basketball. Unselfishness, teamwork, no egos… that’s a very rare thing in sports today. And 2, Let’s Go Rangers! Saturday is the 20th anniversary of this. Tonight is Game 5 in L.A. If my Blueshirts somehow find a way to win this one, well then … I can start to dream about a miracle happening.

One of my favorite TV shows, as I’ve said repeatedly, is “CBS Sunday Morning,” because every once in a while they completely knock me out with a simple, beautiful story like this one. Melvin Amyrine and his wife, Doris, have been married for 60 years. Melvin’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, but of course that’s not why this story is part of Good News Friday. Watch the very short story above to see what Melvin did, to show that his heart very much remembers what his mind isn’t always able to. Just beautiful. Get the Kleenex ready. **Next up, this cracked me up. Several years ago I had a friend who was expecting a child with his wife, and he’d always say things like “We’re 28 weeks now,” or “We’re pregnant.” Used to drive me nuts, as I’m sure it drives some women nuts, and I’ve been really, really careful to not say that for the past seven months while my wife’s been carrying our child. Men are NOT pregnant. We are expecting to be parents, yes. But we don’t grow humans inside of us. Mila Kunis is pregnant, and she put together this pretty funny song about the unfortunate trend of men saying “we’re pregnant.” metermaid.buzzfeed **And finally today, some wonderful pictures of human kindness to take you into the weekend. Buzzfeed, which takes a lot of criticism from the mainstream media and deserves much of it, also does some great stuff too. Here, 32 pictures of human beings acting kindly, toward each other, toward animals, or toward the planet. The one above is just one of my favorites, but truly, they’re all worth a look. People are basically good. A lot of people have told me, my whole life, that I’m wrong. But I’m still going to believe it anyway.

Good News Friday: Scientists reveal the secret to happiness (really). Another awesome Jimmy Fallon lip sync-off. And the canceled wedding that turned into a feast for the homeless

Two more things, besides the three below, that I wanted to mention for Good News Friday: One, there was a beautiful, emotional scene at Yankee Stadium last night, as Mariano Rivera pitched for the last time in his career at Yankee Stadium. In a perfect touch, the Yankees had Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter go out to take Mo out of the game.

And Michael J. Fox is back on TV! And his show is funny! At least the first two episodes were. Great to have Alex P. Keaton back on TV.

What’s the secret to happiness? It’s a question we’ve all asked or wondered from time to time, some of us in moments of clarity, others of us in moments of clarity caused by drugs in college.
No one really knows, but some researchers at something called Soul Pancake did a really interesting experiment recently where they asked a group of random people to talk about who has most influenced them in their lives.

The results are really sweet and interesting, and I’m almost certain this video will brighten your day.

**Next up, Jimmy Fallon has become known for his terrific musical numbers on his late-night show, whether it’s him singing in character like Bob Dylan or Neil Young, his raps with Justin Timberlake, or his lip-sync contest with other celebrities.

Here from the other night’s show, Jimmy, and actors Stephen Merchant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt do a fabulous medley, including Elton John, Will Smith, Beyonce-Z and classic 80s tunes as well… try not to laugh, I dare you.

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**Finally, a true feel-good story to head into the weekend. Carol and Willie Fowler, living in Georgia, had planned a big wedding for their only daughter, only to see the daughter split up with her fiancee and cancel the wedding 40 days before it was to take place.

So, faced with non-refundable deposits on food, venue and music, the Fowlers decided to do something wonderful, instead of just eating the money: They hosted a 200-person dinner for the homeless.

Partnering with a local non-profit that feeds and clothes Georgia’s most needy citizens, the Fowlers coordinated a wonderful event.

According to this story, on Sept. 15, buses transported 200 homeless women, children and families to Villa Christina for the event. It began at 2 p.m. with outdoor appetizers and space for the children to run and play.

The event then moved inside, where the approximately 50 children had a room to themselves with face-painting, juggling and crowns.

“The children had chicken fingers, French fries, fresh fruit and chocolate chip cookies,” Carol Fowler said. “The adults had salmon and chicken.”

The Fowlers say they hope to make this an annual event. What a wonderful gesture; I hope they do hold it every year.
I’ve worked at soup kitchens before, and I can imagine the looks on those guests faces when they walked into the fancy restaurant.

I guarantee you they would’ve been happier than any of those wedding guests to the Fowlers’ daughter’s wedding.

Good News Friday: Celebrities pay tribute to a dying 17-year-old. Jimmy Kimmel has fun with the Collins twins. And a homeless man’s dog gets saved.

A young man named Zach Sobiech, 17, was recently diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma, and doctors have told him he has only weeks to live.

Not exactly sounding like a Good News Friday story, I know. But stay with me. Zach’s a musician, and as he faced the end of his life way too quickly, he wrote a song called “Clouds” that became a bit of a hit on the Internet.
Now, a whole bunch of celebrities have decided to honor Zach in a meaningful, beautiful way: They’ve recorded his song in a YouTube video that has gotten even more play.

Please watch Brian Cranston, Sarah Silverman, Jason Mraz, Ed Helms and others maybe put a smile on the face of a dying teenager.
I watched it three times and smiled each time. Live your life as if each day is going to be the last.

**Next, as  you probably remember, NBA player Jason Collins made big news a few weeks ago when he became the first male professional athlete in a major team sport to admit he’s gay.

Collins has gotten a lot of attention since, and deservedly so, and he and his twin brother Jarron went on Jimmy Kimmel the other night and did a very funny interview (Click here for Part 2)

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Kimmel got Jarron the above shirt so people can tell them apart from now on…

Again, it’s such a big step that Jason Collins has come out, and that people for the most part are not flipping out about it. We’ve come so far as a society in this area in just the last 20 years…

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**Finally, we have some good news about a man and his dog. An L.A. area homeless man named Charles Gilliam was distraught over the serious illness suffered by his companion Big, an 11-year-old mixed retriever/terrier.
He had taken Big to a vet who told Gilliam that the dog had an inoperable brain tumor and should be put down.

Gilliam then went back to the streets and asked people for a donation to help save Big, and an animal rights activist got involved, and the story has a very, very happy ending.

Click here to read the details. Again, just a small bit of human kindness goes such a long way.

Duke wins a thriller, and the madness begins. The new late-night wars: Jimmy vs. Jimmy? And “The Daily Show” shines again

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My favorite sports month of the year is here. Pretty much, every day all month, there’s incredible college basketball going on, not just once the NCAA Tournament gets going in a few weeks.

I love all the late-season showdowns, like Sunday’s epic Michigan-Michigan State game won by the Wolverines by a point. I love the incredible, out of nowhere performances, like when Ryan Kelly of my beloved Duke Blue Devils scored 36 points Saturday night in his first game in two months, leading Duke past a very, very good Miami team.

And this week, I’ll love the small conference tournaments getting their one shot at the big time, playing their guts out against their conference foes, all hoping for one ticket to the Dance.

So yes, I’m one of those freaks who will watch South Dakota State and Northeastern and the bigshots of the Missouri Valley Conference, all playing for the right to have a chance to become famous for a few days a few weeks from now.

For most, March Madness doesn’t really start for two more weeks. But after this past weekend’s thrilling games, I’m totally immersed as usual.

God I love college hoops.

And oh yeah, March Madness extends to high school hoops, too. Check out this insane finish and 55-foot buzzer beater from New Rochelle H.S. in New York’s Khalil Edney, to beat Mount Vernon on Saturday.  The good part starts at :25…

** So it looks like we may have a new late-night war on our hands, and Jay Leno is finally getting shown the door.

NBC is apparently ready to throw Leno out the door (again) in 2014 and turn “The Tonight Show” over to Jimmy Fallon, because they’re worried Jimmy Kimmel and ABC are stealing all the young viewers.

I say amen and bravo to this move. Fallon, though he possesses the horrible habit of cracking himself up on live TV, is quick, funny and has great bits all the time on his show. I’d love to see him and Kimmel go at it, because Kimmel is really funny, too.

But Mr. Fallon, I wouldn’t go celebrating just yet. Ask Conan O’Brien how loyal to its promises and plans NBC is, eh?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**Finally today, been a while since I’ve highlighted the consistently awesome work of “The Daily Show.” Late last week Jon Stewart and the gang took on the kerfuffle between the White House and legendary journalist Bob Woodward.

I used to worship Woodward, who of course was 1/2 of the reporting team that helped bring down Richard Nixon during Watergate. But in recent years he seems to have turned into a caricature of himself, and takes himself way too seriously.

So I enjoyed this little takedown very much…

Good News Friday: A very cool look at the International Space Station. Dogs, teaching other dogs stuff. And little kids tell the difference between boys and girls

With all the craziness in sports the past few days, and serial liar and world class jerk Lance Armstrong finally coming clean, and the Manti Te’o story (which, frankly, I’m a little obsessed with, partly because it keeps changing every freaking hour, though Yahoo!’s Dan Wetzel had the best Tweet of the day: “A positive to the Manti story is it turns out a girl didn’t die of cancer. I credit Lance Armstrong.”), I’m glad it’s time to step away and embrace some good news on Good News Friday.

So here you go, three completely hoax-free, steroid-free things for you to enjoy on this fine Friday:

First, this was a very cool video on Andrew Sullivan’s blog the other day; a guided tour of what it’s like to live on the International Space Station. I was riveted. It’s amazing to think that all of this is possible, when it was less than 50 years ago when we first started our space program.

My favorite quote from Sunny Williams, the astronaut who led the tour: “I haven’t sat down for six months.”

**And now, little kids tell Jimmy Kimmel the difference between boys and girls. These kids speak the truth:

**Finally, here’s one dog teaching another dog how to walk down stairs, a video my fiance swears she showed me two weeks ago but I have no memory of it. So cute, and I’m not even a dog person.