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How Steve Hofstetter Went From Writing for Sports Illustrated, to Hosting a TV Show

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Queens-born comic Steve Hofstetter can take the heat. The stand-up comedian has been heckled more times than he can remember. But that doesn’t faze the former Sports Illustrated columnist. “Stand-up, to some people, is a springboard. To me it is my life force,” he tells MediabistroTV.

For his new show Laughs, debuting Saturday night on FOX5 and more than 20 other TV stations, Hofstetter has scoured the country to find the best club comedians. “Being a king and a kingmaker at the same time,” he says. And he doesn’t kid around when he predicts “Laughs” will be around for a long time. We caught up with Hofstetter last week at Gotham Comedy Club.

Michael Wolff: NY Times Should Buy CNN

CNN304x200Michael Wolff has an interesting take on who/what should buy CNN should it ever be up for sale: The New York Times. Well, Wolff wrote that the “most obvious buyer is CBS,” but his runner-up is the Gray Lady.

Before you laugh this off, it’s actually an interesting idea. Wolff says the partnership would benefit both brands. The Times would gain the much needed ad dollars that come with TV. Meanwhile, CNN will finally be seen as a respectable news company if it has to maintain the standards set by the Times.

“In that combination, news, increasingly devolving from platform specificity, takes a major leap forward by creating a quality news company widely distributing its product through all outlets,” explained Wolff. “Television can’t do quality news, but it has great profits. Print still has high news standards, but ever-dwindling profits — so voila!”

Voila! Now let’s make this happen.

Critics Sip on ‘Shark-Tinis’ at Sharknado 2 Premiere

Monday night’s screening at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles was, appropriately enough, poolside at the Beverly Hilton. Among those in attendance: Chuck Barney, critic for the Contra Costa Times and other Bay Area newspapers.

From his write-up, ahead of The Second One‘s broadcast debut on SyFy Wednesday July 30:

While the sequel features just slightly better production values, it is louder and splashier. In short, there’s more bite for the buck – and more chain saws.

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Long Island Star Trek Fanatic’s Story Takes Flight

Captain’s media log [July 10, 2014; 12:30 p.m.]: The press on planet Earth has grabbed hold of Anthony Sforza‘s kooky basement tale.

BarcroftMediaLogoThe Daily Mail, the New York Post and UK’s The Mirror are likely just the beginning of this comet trail. And who can blame them? Packaged for worldwide consumption by Barcroft Media, the story of a Long Island dad’s fastidious three-year effort to erect a replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise in his expansive home’s basement has everything:

  • Tons of Star Trek SEO;
  • Split family feelings (his two young sons love the basement set-up; Sforza’s sister thinks he’s a little nuts);
  • An out-of-this-world slide show.

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Mets Farm Team Are Masters of Seinfeld Anniversary Domain

Bravo, Brooklyn Cyclones. Bravo.

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There was no shortage over the weekend of tributes to Seinfeld on the occasion of the beloved NBC sitcom’s 25th anniversary. But none did it with quite the flair as this group Saturday. From a Rolling Stone report:

Players took batting practice in puffy shirts; a guy named George Costanza (who drove down from Rhode Island) did radio commentary; the foul poles were re-named Festivus poles (and the stadium dubbed Vandelay Industries Park); and the Soup Nazi threw out the first pitch.

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Dick Cavett Revisits Alcohol-Soaked ‘Worst Show’

In the brand new book about The Tonight Show with Jay Leno by show producer David Berg, one of the many memorable guest anecdotes involves how Quentin Tarantino in 2003 hit “The Jay Bar” cart a little too hard and paid the incoherent, frenetic price.

Reading about that brought back memories of an even more epic artifact from the annals of late night slosh. Back in September 1970, Dick Cavett – on an ABC show shortened to 45 minutes from the usual hour and a half by Monday Night Football – welcomed Husbands director John Cassavetes together with the film’s co-stars Ben Gazzara and Peter Falk. From the get-go, it was a triple-shot challenge for Cavett, who handled it with amazing wit and grace.

The host was especially funny before and after the commercial breaks, at one point welcoming back “our friends on the Emmy Award committee” and pleading, at the end, that his guests “go do the same things to Griffin and Carson.” At another point in the program, Cavett walked off stage, with Falk taking over as interviewer and the host finally returning to the sounds of the audience chorus ‘We Want Dick!’

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Bravo’s Andy Cohen Eyes Madonna, Michelle Obama

As Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live celebrates five years, the numbers are better than ever.

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Per a Q&A with show star Andy Cohen by Hollywood Reporter TV editor Lacey Rose, the program this year is up five percent compared to the same period last year with a weekly viewership of 997,000.

When asked who is at the top of his guest wish-list, Cohen came up with four immediate answers:

“I love music people. I’d love Beyonce or Justin Timberlake. I’d still love Madonna, and I think that’ll happen.”

“The best guests for me are people who I’m actually a big fan of and very invested in. And we’re working on the first lady, too. She and I spoke about it, and she said, “I think that’s a thing we could do later in Barack’s second term.” I loved that answer because what that said to me is, when she comes, she’s going to go for it.”

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Erykah Badu & WPIX’s Mario Diaz Are BFFs

In case you missed it, singer Erykah Badu waltzed into a Friday live shot by WPIX reporter Mario Diaz, who was at the time trying to sum up the Shia LaBeouf mess. After gliding into the background, the singer moved closer and playfully planted an air-kiss on Diaz.

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Greg Kelly is Good at Being Creepy and Gross

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Greg Kelly seems like a great guy. The Good Day New York anchor has either never seen a woman wearing a bikini before, or has no idea how to not be an asshole when he does.

During Anna Gilligan’s report on a new rope swing at New Jersey’s Action Park, Kelly was as creepy and inappropriate as possible. After Gilligan finished the ride, said “Look at her, it’s like something out of a movie. Then, as Gilligan inserted her earpiece, Kelly added, “Nice bathing suit.” He then attempted to keep the segment going, despite it being over. “Hold on a second, not so fast, Anna,” said Kelly.

Rosanna Scotto, Kelly’s co-anchor, tried to stop Kelly from being disgusting, but to no avail. When the segment finally ended, Scotto asked Kelly, “What is wrong with you?” Plenty, apparently.

Joan Rivers Commandeers the Universal Studios Tour

Set your DVRs, folks.

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On tonight’s episode of Fashion Police (9 p.m. ET/PT), Joan Rivers does something many other have done before, but in her own, inimitable style. The hardest working female octogenarian in show business recently crashed the Universal Studios Hollywood tram tour, grabbing the mic and guiding a lucky bunch of tourists through her version of the lot.

As is FishbowlNY tradition, no spoilers here – not even minor ones. What we can tell you is that at one point, Rivers squeezes in a great Taylor Swift reference. At another point in the tour, she runs into an instantly recognizable media colleague. There are also some entirely made up production tidbits about the highlighted TV shows and films.

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