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Round 3: Jimmy Kimmel continues criticism of GOP’s health-care bill

For the third straight night, Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue to criticize the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill in the Senate. 

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Thursday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the talk show host did not back down, responding to Republicans who keep bringing him up as the GOP tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Kimmel began with President Donald Trump getting involved on Twitter on Wednesday night. Kimmel said the president probably didn’t know that the bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) does not protect people with pre-existing conditions. But Trump would “sign copies of the Koran at the Barnes and Noble in Fallujah if it meant he could get rid of Obamacare,” he said.

Cassidy had appeared on Kimmel’s show shortly after the host revealed that his infant son had undergone open heart surgery, the Huffington Post reported. Kimmel said Wednesday that on that emotional night, “I learned there are kids with no insurance in the same situation.”

Cassidy had pledged that no family would be denied medical care because they couldn’t afford it. “This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied to my face,” Kimmel said Tuesday night.

Cassidy responded by saying he was “sorry” Kimmel didn’t understand the legislation, and Kimmel answered several hours later. Cassidy had referenced Kimmel on CNN, asking if principles he believed were necessary to pass a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.

"I ask, does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test?" Cassidy said. 

Thursday on “Fox & Friends,” Cassidy repeated his claim that Kimmel does not understand the bill, the Huffington Post reported.

“Yeah, so Jimmy doesn’t understand,” Cassidy said. “And not because he’s a talk show host, [but] because we’ve never spoken. He’s only heard from those on the left who are doing their best to preserve Obamacare. He’s not heard from me.”

Kimmel fired back Thursday night. 

“A lot of people have been saying that I’m not qualified to talk about this, and that is true,” he said during Thursday’s monologue. “But I think those people forget, Bill Cassidy named this test after me.”

Kimmel added he’d been told he should give Cassidy the benefit of the doubt.

“I do give him the benefit of the doubt,” Kimmel said. “I doubt all the benefits he claims are part of this new health-care bill.”

'Stronger,' new movie about marathon bombing, hits theaters

A new film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman is hitting theaters nationwide.

"Stronger" captures Bauman recalibrating his life after losing both legs in the April 2013 bombings near the marathon finish line. Tatiana Maslany plays Bauman's then-girlfriend, Erin Hurley.

It's based on Bauman's 2014 memoir of the same name.

The movie premiered earlier this month at Boston's Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which treated Bauman and dozens of other bombing victims. It also was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Hurley was running and Bauman was cheering her on when the bombs exploded, killing three spectators and injuring more than 260 others.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (juh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) was convicted on federal charges and sentenced to death. His older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in a standoff with police.

Jerry Lewis leaves 6 kids from first marriage off will, report says

A new report claims that late comedian Jerry Lewis left his six children from his first marriage out of his will.

According to celebrity gossip site The Blast, Lewis’ will says, “I have intentionally excluded Gary Lewis, Ronald Lewis, Anthony Joseph Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis, and Joseph Cristopher Lewis and their descendants as beneficiaries of my estate, it being my intention that they shall receive no benefits her under.”

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The will notes that Joseph Lewis has died, according to the Thursday report from The Blast. He had a fatal drug overdose in 2009.

People reported that it obtained a copy of the will and testament from The Blast. The will was executed in 2012.

Related: Comedy genius Jerry Lewis has died at 91

The children excluded are from Lewis’ first marriage to singer Patti Palmer, to whom he was married from 1944-1980.

According to People, Lewis’ widow, SanDee Pitnick, will be first in line to inherit the comedian’s estate. His 25-year-old adopted daughter, Danielle, will be second in line if something happens to Pitnick.

Lewis died at age 91 of heart failure Aug. 20.

Christian singer Natalie Grant undergoing thyroid surgery

Contemporary Christian singer Natalie Grant will undergo thyroid surgery to remove tumors and will cancel shows between mid-October and November to recover.

Grant posted a video message on Facebook on Thursday explaining that doctors had been monitoring several tumors or nodules on her thyroid for years and that she will have half of her thyroid removed on Oct. 10. She asked for prayers and said she has complete faith in God.

Grant has won the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award for female vocalist of the year five times and some of her hit songs include "Hurricane," ''I Will Not Be Moved," and "Held."

The "Celebrate Christmas" tour with Danny Gokey is still planned to start Nov. 30 as scheduled.

Megyn Kelly hopes for a Trump-free zone with new show

Megyn Kelly says she left Fox News Channel to bring more joy to her life. NBC hopes that starting Monday, she can spread some to the network and its viewers.

The former Fox News Channel star and Donald Trump foil debuts her talk show at 9 a.m. EDT, nestled into the four-hour "Today" show block and competing in most of the country with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest's "Live!"

Kelly hosted a Sunday-night newsmagazine this summer to middling ratings, and it returns next spring. It's the daily talk show, in the lucrative morning market, that will ultimately determine the wisdom of NBC News' decision to hire her. She promises that "Megyn Kelly Today," shown live with a studio audience, will be an information-packed hour with a sense of fun.

"It will be very similar to the 'Today' show, but we're going to have a lot more elbow room," she said in an interview.

Ellen DeGeneres initiated Kelly into daytime TV this week by having her awkwardly toss pizza dough, stuff herself into a fat suit and dance with the audience; Kelly smiled and played along. It was a long way from her Fox life of pressing the future president at debates, enduring his Twitter taunts and being the ringleader for an hour of politics each weeknight.

The Trump trauma wasn't why she left Fox, Kelly said. She compared it to her decision to abandon law to become a journalist and ending her first marriage: they weren't bad experiences, but she knew there was something better.

The truth, Kelly said, is that she's not a political junkie and cable television news is all about politics.

"I don't want to talk about Trump all day," she said. "In fact, the bar is very high for Trump coverage (on 'Megyn Kelly Live'). If you want Trump, you can watch virtually every channel in the country and get Trump non-stop. I think people are looking for a break from that. Not just Trump, it's inside the Beltway. I don't want to talk about Mitch McConnell either, or Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi."

"Live! With Kelly and Ryan" is a celebrity- and entertainment-oriented talk show. Kelly said her program will be uplifting and more substantive: recent trial runs had segments on reacting to the Equifax breach and protecting yourself from attack. Mental health, bullying, coping with divorce and tips for job interviews are the type of topics she'll cover.

Not news, but not fluff, either.

Trying to imitate the formula of "Live!" would be a huge mistake given its success over decades, said Bill Carroll, a consultant and expert on the daytime TV market.

Name recognition, a consistent time slot across the country that makes the show easier to promote, and affiliation with the well-established "Today' brand give Kelly some advantages, he said.

"She faces the challenge that every new program has," he said. "Everyone is going to be looking to see if the show maintains the momentum of the 'Today' show."

Expecting Kelly to beat her more established rival is probably unrealistic; NBC will be looking most closely at how "Megyn Kelly Today" compares to the nondescript third hour of "Today" that preceded her. But attesting to the power of "Today," the networks are already closer than you might think: "Live!" averages 2.8 million viewers, while NBC has been at 2.4 million in the hour, according to the Nielsen company.

A few blocks uptown in Manhattan, veteran "Live!" producer Michael Gelman said his focus will stay internal. "I'm not being dismissive, but I don't really think that much about the competition," he said.

The Trump saga and, perhaps, the debate earlier this summer over whether her newsmagazine should have given a platform to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, took a toll on Kelly's image. While audiences are much more familiar with her, she's become a polarizing figure. Among women — the target audience for "Megyn Kelly Today" — her positive "Q'' score tumbled from 21 two years ago to 4 this summer, said Marketing Evaluations Inc., a company whose data measures the relative popularity of individual personalities. The average score for TV hosts is 15.

Figures like the Kardashians, Martha Stewart and Howard Stern are polarizing yet popular, too, said Henry Schafer, company spokesman. It remains to be seen if Kelly's potential audience won't be too turned off to watch.

While Trump himself has moved on, many of his followers haven't. The conservative Breitbart news site has Kelly in its sights, with unsourced stories in recent weeks saying NBC co-workers were bothered by Kelly's "divalike" behavior, and that NBC insiders are in a "total panic" about the show. Kelly has quit social media, saying Twitter is a den of misogyny.

"There's always somebody who wants to pull you down," Kelly said. "The more you mire yourself in that negativity, the more they steal your mojo. I just feel like this is between me and my viewers. The noise along the ride — I can't listen to it and I know my viewers won't listen to it. They're going to watch the show and either they're going to feel a connection to me or they won't. And that will be on me."


AP Television Writer Frazier Moore contributed to this report.

Woman brandishes gun in Kardashian-owned boutique

A woman screaming about Cuba pointed a gun Thursday at employees inside the Kardashian-owned DASH boutique in West Hollywood and returned hours later waving a machete at reporters, but eluded authorities both times.

The woman first walked into the shop during the late morning and shouted, "stay away from Cuba," Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

She knocked several items off a counter before leaving on foot.

About two hours later, she returned with a machete and swung it at reporters and photographers who had gathered outside the boutique before sticking it through a slot in the front door, authorities said.

The woman is heard in a news video saying, "The Kardashians will be executed if they step on communist territory."

No one was injured and the woman was able to get away before deputies arrived.

Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian visited Havana, Cuba, in May 2016.

The three sisters founded DASH, which sells clothing and accessories, in 2006. There is a second store in Miami Beach, Florida.

Ryan Gosling to host 'SNL' premiere with Jay-Z musical guest

"Saturday Night Live" says it's kicking off its 43rd season Sept. 30 with guest host Ryan Gosling and musical guest Jay-Z.

For Gosling's encore host appearance he'll be on hand to promote his new film, "Blade Runner 2049." Jay-Z will be plugging a world tour that starts next month.

On Oct. 7, "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot will be guest host, with musical guest Sam Smith.

Kumail Nanjiani will host the season's third show on Oct. 14. He stars in the HBO comedy "Silicon Valley" and recently wrote and starred in the acclaimed film "The Big Sick." Pink will be musical guest.

This season NBC's "Saturday Night Live" will air live simultaneously across the U.S.

Jimmy Kimmel transforms debate, and shows comedy's new role

If the latest Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare doesn't work, it may become known as the Jimmy Kimmel Non-Law.

The comic's withering attacks this week have transformed the debate over the bill (sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy) and, in the process, illustrated how thoroughly late-night talk shows have changed and become homes for potent points of view.

"Late-night has really become an important part of the civic conversation," said Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, on Thursday.

Kimmel's monologues on Tuesday and Wednesday were deeply personal. His newborn son underwent surgery in May for a heart defect and faces two more operations. He felt a sense of personal betrayal from Sen. Bill Cassidy, who was on the show this spring after Kimmel talked about his son's medical problems, and felt that Cassidy lied to him about Republican health care plans. Cassidy said the comedian was misinformed.

Kimmel's initial speech on his ABC show, where a phone number to Congress was flashed on the screen to urge viewers to get involved, quickly spread online and became a focus of news coverage. Cassidy was asked to respond to Kimmel when he appeared Wednesday on CNN's "New Day."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, despite his own doubts about the Republican bill, balked in an MSNBC appearance at being compared to Kimmel. "He's not a serious person," Christie said.

But Kimmel was deadly serious.

"Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know I am politicizing my son's health problems because I have to," Kimmel said.

After Fox News Channel's Brian Kilmeade criticized members of the Hollywood elite "like comedian Jimmy Kimmel for pushing their politics on the rest of the country," Kimmel blasted him the next night as a "phony little creep" who "whenever I see him, kisses my ass like a little boy meeting Batman."

Rob Burnett, filmmaker and former executive producer of David Letterman's "Late Show," said Kimmel's monologues were some of the most important things he's ever seen in late-night television.

"I found myself deeply moved by them and also entertained," he said. "It's the full experience."

The talk shows have become deeply political in the past few years with many and varied voices including Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah. Trace the turn to former "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, whose advocacy for legislation to help first responders at the World Trade Center was a precedent for Kimmel. Virtually all of the comedy comes from a liberal point of view; Peter Hasson, an editor at the conservative Daily Caller website grumbled on Twitter that "being a comedian now means actually being a lobbyist."

Kimmel hasn't steered away from politics in the manner of NBC's Jimmy Fallon, but he hasn't made it as big a part of his comedy as many of his colleagues.

Generations ago, late-night comics like Johnny Carson tended to keep their political comedy non-offensive, Thompson said. Their networks didn't want it; no sense in turning off potential viewers. Now the comics appeal to smaller, niche audiences who are attracted by their passion. Burnett calls it a golden age for late-night comedy.

"As a person who wrote many thousands of jokes for late-night television, they've taken it to a whole other level," he said. "I feel like one of those old-time tennis players who were using wooden rackets."

Burnett's old boss, Letterman, straddled the generations. He was aggressively non-political in the early years of his career, and became quite pointed at the end of his time on the "Late Show."

While comics now have a fraction of Carson's audience, today's media world amplifies their impact. If Carson, for example, had delivered a blistering monologue on the Vietnam War — not that his bosses would let him — there was no Internet or cable TV to replay it again and again. But if you didn't see it live, you didn't see it.

One casual reference by Kimmel during his first monologue acknowledged he knew how many people would see it. He urged his fans not just to "like" his speech on social media when they saw it, but to take action.

Kimmel also gave attention to an issue, attention Republican leaders surely didn't want to see, at a time cable television was preoccupied with hurricanes, the Mexican earthquake and ongoing investigation into President Trump's Russian connections.

"He's got a candor that we don't often see," Thompson said. "Certainly not from comedians but also from political leaders."

Top 20 Global Concert Tours from Pollstar


1. U2; $8,024,692; $116.20.

2. Coldplay; $7,780,885; $88.60.

3. Guns N' Roses; $6,037,026; $102.14.

4. Celine Dion; $3,640,420; $143.73.

5. Lady Gaga; $3,455,069; $118.48.

6. Depeche Mode; $3,052,902; $75.30.

7. Dead & Company; $1,934,271; $73.49.

8. Roger Waters; $1,741,453; $122.57.

9. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; $1,613,912; $96.74.

10. André Rieu; $1,527,343; $86.82.

11. Bruno Mars; $1,436,486; $85.51.

12. Ed Sheeran; $1,427,243; $84.10.

13. The Weeknd; $1,339,353; $90.28.

14. Neil Diamond; $1,338,844; $101.20.

15. Queen + Adam Lambert; $1,263,097; $97.44.

16. Enrique Iglesias / Pitbull; $1,259,920; $94.87.

17. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,197,839; $84.92.

18. Kendrick Lamar; $1,164,889; $88.88.

19. Florida Georgia Line; $1,081,894; $51.68.

20. Tool; $1,077,322; $77.19.

For free upcoming tour information, go to


Ric Flair says alcohol problem led to hospitalization, medically-induced coma

Two-time WWE hall of famer Ric Flair says alcohol is to blame for heart issues that ultimately led to a medically-induced coma.

Flair tells People that decades of “social” drinking nearly caused him to lose his life.

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Flair’s fiancee, Wendy Barlow, said she took the wrestler known as “Nature Boy” to the hospital Aug. 11 with “severe abdominal pain,” according to a report from TMZ Sports

Reports said he was hospitalized for heart-related issues, but it was more severe than that.

People reported that Flair’s family members were told that the wrestler said he had a 20 percent odds of survival. When he underwent surgery, part of Flair’s bowel was removed and a pacemaker was inserted. 

“I crashed in an airplane and broke my back, I’ve been hit by lightning,” Flair said. “But this is totally different. Anything I’ve been through before is nothing like this.”

“It scared the (expletive) out of me.”

Flair says he will never drink again. According to People, he needs a nurse to steady his hands when drinking water form a glass.

Although he’s at a convalescent center in Atlanta recovering, Flair said, “I’m not out of the woods yet.”

Years of pain from Flair’s career led to him treating his injuries with alcohol. 

“I’ve never taken a pain pill in my life,” he said. “I’d just take a shower, flip my hair back and go to the best bar in town.”

Flair said he never drank while wrestling, but would frequent bars once he was done with work.

“I didn’t think I was an alcoholic, but obviously I was,” he said.

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