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Posts Tagged ‘Shaquille O’Neal’

Back in the Game After NYT Buyout, Sportswriter Recalls Shaq Encounter

Since taking a buyout from the New York Times in early 2010, Joe Lapointe continued to teach journalism, freelanced and toiled briefly for Keith Olbermann‘s Current TV show. Now, per his introductory MLive Media Group dispatch, it’s time to get back into the sportswriting game full-time.

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Lapointe, who came to the Times after 11 years with the Detroit Free Press, is thrilled to be back in his native state. He says that when he looks back on his decades of NYC reporting, two folks stand out – Yogi Berra and Shaquille O’Neal:

The Shaq thing happened on a sunny day as I walked through Times Square back to work after lunch. I saw O’Neal signing autographs as he emerged from a restaurant and walked down the sidewalk…

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Did Jay Pharoah Just Have a Breakout Night?

It sure feels that way.

And we’re not referring to the Saturday Night Live performer’s appearance as President Obama in the cold-open with Kerry Washington. His impression is serviceable and certainly a merciful relief from Fred Armisen‘s agonizingly unfunny 44th. No, it’s what followed that was off-the-hook notable.

Pharaoh channeled the slickness of Andy Samberg‘s taped bits for the music video spoof “My Girl;” he was gut-bustingly hilarious on Weekend Update as Shaquille O’Neal, alongside Kenan Thompson‘s great Charles Barkley; and Pharaoh again provided a great spark with Washington in the skit “How’s He Doing” when he talked, in character as Ebony writer Ronnie Williams, about how much he would love to get a “white person’s mail.”

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Shaq, Phil, Jeanie and Fellow Lakers ‘Superman’ Hang Out at HuffPost Live

This was anything but the usual HuffPost Live Google+ hangout. Ahead of tonight’s retiring of Shaquille O’Neal‘s Lakers jersey at Staples Center, host Marc Lamont Hill welcomed Shaq, Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss and (a little later into the conversation) Kurt Rambis. Before O’Neal, Rambis also famously earned the nickname “Superman” from Chick Hearn.

There’s no better way to get in the mood for tonight’s induction ceremony (or follow it up later) than by watching this half-hour conversation. You know it’s a good HuffPost Live segment when one of the network’s other hosts, Jacob Soboroff, chimes into the chat room with, “One of the great HPL interviews. Well done.”

A favorite part for us was when Buss reacted to Shaq’s first set of comments, explaining that she had never heard the story of what Jerry West told #34 when The Big Newcomer first joined the purple and gold. The story magically ties into what is scheduled to transpire at Staples tonight.

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Shaquille O’Neal Wants Your Funny Internet Video

From Lacey Rose at The Hollywood Reporter comes news of Shaquille O’Neal’s latest creative endeavor. It’s not a TNT sitcom; it’s not a rap album; and it’s not a feature film comedy.

Rather, Shaq has landed a ten-episode order from truTV for a Tosh.0-style clips show tentatively called Upload with Shaquille O’Neal. From Rose’s report:

“Shaquille O’Neal has such a great personality, and he really has a lot of fun with the format and the material in this new series,” said truTV EVP and COO Marc Juris. “This show is going to be a great fit with truTV’s comedic shows like Impractical Jokers and the upcoming Killer Karaoke.”

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Failed Actor Dishes About Jerry’s Famous Deli

Under the pseudonym of Jozef Rothstein, one-time wannabe LA actor Gene Duffy has compiled a comical look at his dogged pursuit of the Hollywood dream, funded by years of day-job toiling at Jerry’s Famous Deli in Studio City. For the book’s title, Duffy chose an expression he liked to use with co-workers when describing the daily pastrami-and-rye-clatter routine: As the Matzo Ball Turns.

Duffy is now safely back in his native Pennsylvania and due for his next book signing June 16. Speaking recently with the same local reporter who wrote about him when he headed west in the late 1990s, Duffy highlighted some friendly celeb customers (Adam Sandler, Shaquille O’Neal…) and not-so-great famous folks (Sharon Stone…). He also suggested that beyond the hundreds of auditions, he got a taste of another staple of the Tinseltown trample:

“From 2002 to 2010, I wrote five screenplays… I wrote one about football because that’s what I knew. But someone in the business told me there were too many football stories that I should use a different sport. So I wrote a hockey drama and shopped it around. The next time I saw it, it was on the screen without my name.”

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Shaq May Be Venturing Into Funny Home Video Territory

Frank Holder’s excellent LA based comedy mag The Humor Mill has shared an intriguing exclusive. Apparently, Shaquille O’Neal and comedian Gary Owen shot a pilot for Tru TV. If the program is a go, it sounds like it will shoot out of Atlanta.

Per the report:

The show is tentatively titled Upload and we hear it is closely based around the former ABC program America’s Funniest Home Videos and will feature funny videos sent in from viewers. What sets the show apart is that Shaq and Gary will not only host, but they will also perform in sketches.

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Santa Barbara Bartender Collects Tattoo Money from Shaq

The things some people will do for money, and-or the chance to meet a celebrity.

Per a recent on-air challenge from TNT commentator Shaquille O’Neal that the big man would pay $1,000 to the first person to get a tattoo of the famous 2007 kiss he shared with NBA referee Dick Bavetta, Shaq was outside Staples Center before the Mavericks game on Monday, meeting the Santa Barbara bartender who took him up on the dare. Not only did Emmet Bentley get the Bavetta stamp on his ankle, but he also revealed a second tattoo on his back of a Shazam-tastic Shaq and some broadcast colleagues, in full Mount Rushmore motif, that Shaq had also thrown down as a separate on-air challenge.

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This New Dodgers Owner Could Make Players Wear Suspenders

Not really. But the above headline-gag is one of the funnier reader comments posted to yesterday’s CNN.com item about Larry King‘s attachment to yet another percolating bid for the billion-dollar baseball franchise.

The strangest element of the article is the final paragraph:

“The emotional part would be that they’d have to carry me out,” King said of his possible part-ownership stake in the team.

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Digital Royalty Relocating to Santa Monica

Her name is Amy Jo Martin (pictured). She’s 32-years-old, attended Arizona State University and once did PR for the Phoenix Suns.

These days, per a fun Business Week profile by Joel Stein, the founder and CEO of Digital Royalty makes her living as a social media strategist. Her initial calling card was Shaquille O’Neal, currently closing in on 4.5 million Twitter followers. But DR has become so much bigger than the Great Aristotle, deciding as a result to relocate from the desert to a California ocean view:

At one point, in October of last year, nine of the ten trending topics on Twitter were related to her clients. The two-year-old company does in the “mid-seven figures” in annual billings, which are up 525 percent in 2011…

She employs 15 people (mostly young, mostly women, mostly pretty) and is looking to hire at least five more. She’s moving all of them, the fleet of Digital Royalty-branded bikes, and the company’s CDO (“chief dog officer”) from Phoenix to Santa Monica.

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Manila Media Thrilled by Kobe Bryant

It’s been fun to read the rhapsodic coverage of Kobe Bryant‘s visit to the Philippines this week, part of an Asian tour sponsored by Nike.

Equally intriguing were some of the Black Mamba’s answers to questions posed by the local media at a July 13 press conference. For example, here is what Bryant had to say about his absence from the Twittersphere:

I just don’t feel like it [tweeting]. [Laughs.] You know, I have friends and when I want to talk to them I text them or I call them. If you’re a friend of mine, I don’t have to text you and let everyone know what I texted to you. [Laughs.]

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