1. “Colbert Will Host ’Late Show,’ Playing Himself for a Change.” CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of its late-night franchise, which Mr. Letterman created when he came to the network in 1993.
“Mr. Colbert, the star of Comedy Central’s ’Colbert Report,’ will be—in one way—an all-new talent for CBS because he will drop the broadly satirical blowhard conservative character he has played for nine years, and instead perform as himself. Mr. Colbert became the immediate front-runner for the position both because of an increasing recognition of his talent—his show won two Emmy Awards last year—and because he clearly wanted the job. His representation had ensured that he would be available to CBS by syncing his recent contracts with Mr. Letterman’s.”
2. “Ayaan Hirsi Ali vs. the Campus Thought Police.” Why is Brandeis University giving in to the growing hordes who believe they have a right to not be offended?
“It is difficult to conceive of a braver woman alive today than Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Born in Somalia, she was subjected to genital mutilation—a practice commonly inflicted on young girls in Muslim communities—at the age of 5. Fleeing a forced marriage, Hirsi Ali eventually made her way to the Netherlands, where she became a member of parliament, defender of women’s rights, and an outspoken (and, at times, unduly harsh) critic of the religion in whose name she was violently subjugated. When a Muslim fanatic murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh, with whom Hirsi Ali had collaborated on a short film about the oppression of women under Islam, the killer left a note on his victim’s chest warning Hirsi Ali that she would be next. Hirsi Ali now lives in America, under 24-hour protection. She is a bestselling author, a frequent presence in international media, and a heroic example to women around the world. But for the mandarins of Brandeis University, Hirsi Ali’s views are unacceptable.”
3. “Mickey Rooney: The Eternal Boy Wonder.” Academy Award-winning actress Olivia de Havilland remembers 80 years of friendship.
Mickey, Mickey, Mickey. They say that you have died, but I find this hard to believe for you are so alive in my memory. There you are, in the big room of the Chamber of Commerce building on Sunset Boulevard in the summer of 1934, a little boy passing easily as a nine-year-old when you are really thirteen. You hand me your work copy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, climb onto the banquette beside me, place your head upon my lap, and ask me to awaken you nine lines before your cue.”
4. “How Richard Linklater Created One of the Greatest Films About Growing Up with Boyhood.” The filmmaker talks about capturing his lead actor’s coming-of-age in the 12-years-in-the-making film, which finally hits theaters July 11.
“While Mason ages into a conveniently Linklateresque teenager, sensitive and fond of philosophical conversations, the filmmaker said he was willing to follow Coltrane’s lead, however he grew up. ’I didn’t have a pre-conceived notion of what kind of person he would be. I did get extremely lucky in that Ellar turned out to be this thoughtful, wonderful, intriguing, mysterious guy,’ he said. It’s all part of the terrifying act of trust that is committing to a project that spans more than a decade, something Linklater referred to as going ’beyond a leap of faith.’ But he sees Boyhood as actually being created with an air of optimism, in the belief that not only would his collaborators continue to show up but ’that we’d still be here 12 years from now, that the world would be here.’”
5. “Christopher Evan Welch Died Four Months Before His Breakout Role in Silicon Valley.” A look at the actor’s career.
“It’s that face, pointy yet soft. It had a mix of distinct and nondescript that made him an ideal character actor. Onstage, it led to a prolific career playing the Roderigos and Mercutios of the world. He was Reverend Samuel Parris to Laura Linney and Liam Neeson’s Elizabeth and John Proctor in a 2002 revival of The Crucible. There was his breakout performance in director Ivo van Hove’s 1999 experimental version of A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he won an Obie. Welch played Mitch— e was not a Stanley. In movies, like last year’s Admission, where he played Brant, Tina Fey’s snotty co-worker in the Princeton admissions office, or in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, where he served as the well-enunciated, not too distracting narrator, Welch’s specificity helped fill out the universe as much as a bit character could.”
Video of the Day: The Nirvana Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acceptance speech:
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