'SNL' Hilarious Cold Open with Biden ... Tribute to Norm Macdonald

"Saturday Night Live" just rolled out the premiere of season 47, and the open did not disappoint ... it was HILARIOUS!

The show, which skewered Donald Trump, took aim at President Biden and Co., with the theme ... and you think you had a bad summer.

James Austin Johnson absolutely NAILED Biden with his voice, his words and his gestures. And, check out Cecily Strong playing Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Melissa Villasenor playing AOC ... fantastic.

"Weekend Update" paid tribute to Norm Macdonald, who died last month after a 9-year battle with cancer. Colin Jost and Michael Che threw to a clip of Norm at the anchor desk, and some of the jokes were ... well, amazing. E.g., “At the White House this week, President Clinton officially came out against same-sex marriages ... What’s more, the President said he is not too crazy about opposite-sex marriages, either.”

So, now the stage is set for next Saturday when Kim Kardashian takes the stage as host of 'SNL,' so stay tuned.

Bill Maher Rails on #VanLife ... Brian Laundrie's Prime Example

Bill Maher has a point ... "Brian Laundrie was not an interesting person until he became a person of interest" ... an example of what the "Real Time" host believes is a cultural crisis.

Maher railed on #VanLife ... where young people meander around the country, chronicling every boring move ... as if it can substitute for meaningful work.

He's merciless in his criticism ... "You've figured out how to monetize f****** off."

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Maher notes ... content creators and influencers are the fastest-growing small business out there ... 52 million around the globe.

He clearly has beef with the coverage of the Gabby Petito murder, and sets his sights on Laundrie, who he says by all rights should be working at a Del Taco drive-thru. He thinks the videos he and Gabby shot during their travels were mind-numbingly uninteresting.

Maher's point ... there's a whole generation now that wants to make their own lives their careers, as if they're actually interesting. As he says, it's not sustainable.

Jim Belushi Hosting 'SNL' Can Be Hell, Kim ... But They Take Care of You!!!

SHE'S IN GOOD HANDS
TMZ.com

Jim Belushi has some interesting, almost ominous, advice for Kim Kardashian as she prepares to host "Saturday Night Live" ... but ultimately he believes she'll do great.

Jim -- who was an 'SNL' cast member in the '80s after his famous older brother died -- was out in Bev Hills when we picked his brain about Kim hosting ... a decision some folks aren't down with.

According to Jim ... Kim should adhere to an old saying about traveling through hell, implying that hosting is like swimming with sharks, so she just needs to focus on the finish line.

He puts a more positive spin on it though, telling Kim ... so long as she follows the lead of the 'SNL' crew and trusts them ... she'll come out looking golden.

As we reported ... another sitcom star's not nearly as chipper about a Kardashian landing the hosting role -- Debra Messing. She threw shade Kim's way last month and questioned why she would even be given the opportunity.

Kim's hosting the show October 9 with musical guest Halsey, so we don't have to wait long to see if Jim's right ... or if Debra has a point.

Ashleigh Banfield Katie Couric May Have Derailed Career ... It Broke My Heart and Broke My Soul

10/1/21
YOU RUINED MY CAREER!
TMZ.com

Ashleigh Banfield just opened up about Katie Couric's memoir, in which the former "Today" show host revealed she was threatened by the rising star ... and Ashleigh clearly thinks Couric's jealously may have derailed her career at NBC ... and she's still not over it.

Ashleigh appeared Friday on "TMZ Live" and reacted to a passage from Couric's new memoir, in which she wrote, "For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing; I'd heard her father was telling anyone who'd listen that she was going to replace me. In that environment, mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage."

Fact is ... Ashleigh was a big star at the Peacock network. Her 9/11 coverage stood out from the pack, and NBC rewarded her with her own primetime show.

But suddenly, without explanation, in 2002 her show was canceled and she says things just unraveled from there, to the point they took away her office and put a desk in a tape closet, which is where she sat until NBC got rid of her.

Listen to her speak ... it's very clear she's still not over it, telling us "It broke my heart, it broke my soul."

As for whether she believes Katie was behind the sabotage, Ashleigh's a class act and wouldn't say directly, but she did say she heard rumors that's exactly what happened ... as she said, "I got a sense" Katie was the culprit.

Banfield hosts "Banfield" on News Nation at 10 PM.

'Free Britney' Movement Our Next Mission ... Free Amanda Bynes!!!

Now that it appears Britney Spears will probably not be living under a conservatorship by year's end, members of the #FreeBritney movement say their focus will shift to the second-most famous conservatee ... Amanda Bynes.

TMZ spoke with several "Free Britney" supporters this week as they held a rally for her outside the L.A. courthouse amid the monumental hearing in her case.

As they celebrated Britney's father Jamie being removed from the conservatorship, we asked what they will put their energy toward once Brit's case is over, and the response was unanimous -- freeing Amanda.

THE FIGHT CONTINUES
TMZ.com

Though we received varying explanations from the Britney fans on why they'll rally for Bynes next, it's clear many of them feel she's stuck in a similar, unfair situation ... even if there are different circumstances.

Further, the #FreeBritney movement has fired up folks to raise awareness about conservatorship pitfalls ... and Amanda's case seems to be the next logical move.

Megan Radford, one of the #FreeBritney organizers, tells TMZ the movement will definitely help Bynes next and similarly fight to end her conservatorship ... but also aims to keep educating the general public on conservatorship abuse with events and rallies.

However, Radford says her group also wants to help anyone who's experiencing conservatorship abuse ... and makes it clear they're still focused on Britney until she's officially free.

As we have reported, Amanda was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. She was in desperate shape before the conservatorship was put in place. At one point she doused her dog with gasoline and almost lit it on fire. Her parents have worked as conservators over the years, and by all accounts, she is doing much better.

Btw, random fact ... along with the obvious Britney-Amanda connection with their conservatorships, the 2 also appeared on TV together back in 2000 on "The Amanda Show," when Spears was the musical guest.

Tyga Yeah, I Was the Dalmatian on 'Masked Singer' And I Got Spotted by Nick Cannon!!!

DALMATION DISCOVERED
FOX

Tyga says he's always felt like an underdog, so he performed as a canine on "The Masked Singer" ... but this dog don't hunt, because he's been eliminated from the Season 6 cast of masked contestants.

The "Taste" rapper yanked off his Dalmatian getup on Wednesday night's episodes of the eccentric singing competition after he got voted off, but turns out the host sniffed out his identity when he was fully masked.

After the Dalmatian rapped "Beautiful" by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell Williams ... both Robin Thicke and Nicole Scherzinger guessed it was Nelly, Jenny McCarthy went with Kevin Hart, and Ken Jeong guessed Reggie Bush.

Host Nick Cannon claimed he knew it was Tyga underneath the Dalmatian costume all along, but everyone else was stunned.

As for why he decided to join the show ... Tyga says he was inspired by watching Lil Wayne perform as Robot back in Season 3.

The rapper performed with Group B, which also included Queen Of Hearts, Mallard, Cupcake and Banana Split ... all yet to be revealed.

Khloe Kardashian Topless Ad Too Sexy for TV ... Networks Won't Play It!!!

TOO HOT TO HANDLE
Good American

Khloe Kardashian's latest ad campaign's got it all -- she's topless and rolling around in bed -- but you won't catch even a glimpse of the ad in it's intended glory on TV, because networks say it's just too sexy.

TMZ's obtained the commercial for Khloe's Good American clothing company, which was intended to launch a brand new "Find the One" campaign to promote its denim jeans.

As you can see ... the ad features a topless Khloe rolling around in bed wearing only those sexy, skintight jeans before she drops the new slogan.

We're told Good American sent the video out to broadcast networks to air this week, but it got rejected during the approval process ... because it was deemed too risque for TV audiences.

This was supposed to be Khloe's company's first-ever TV campaign -- and we're told Kourtney had a commercial in the hopper too. The good news? Our sources say a less-sexy version with less side-boob and skin will be edited to eventually make it to TV.

BTW, her spot feels like a total callback to a classic 1980s Brooke Shields ad for Calvin Klein, where she declared "nothing" comes between her and her CK jeans.😉

Here's the weird thing ... it stirred a ton of controversy, because Brooke was only 15, and yet, it still aired all over the country!!!

The times they are a changing.

Kenya Moore Bravo's Ultimatum ... Housewives or 'DWTS'!!!

Kenya Moore's decision to join "Dancing With the Stars" pissed off her bosses at the network where she got famous -- so much so, they tried to force her into a very tough decision.

Sources connected to 'Housewives' production tell us ... when 'DWTS' approached Kenya months ago about being on its new season, she immediately ran it up the flag pole at True Entertainment, the production company behind "Real Housewives of Atlanta," and there was no issue.

However, the problems started when we broke the story Kenya was officially signed on for the 30th season of 'DWTS.' We're told that's when Bravo came to Kenya and told her to choose one show or the other.

What's bizarre about that is ... lots of other Housewives have done 'DWTS' before without Bravo raising a stink. Erika Jayne, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, Nene Leakes and Lisa Vanderpump were all on the ABC show ... and Lisa even filmed for 'RHOBH' during the dance competition.

Ultimately, we're told Bravo blinked in the standoff with Kenya, and relented she could do both shows, but with one condition -- there won't be any crossover, a la Vanderpump.

Bravo won't feature Kenya's time in L.A. shooting for 'Dancing' when the new season of 'RHOA' begins.

Kenya's been killing it with her dance partner, Brandon Armstrong, but once her ballroom time is up ... our sources say she'll be back in Atlanta to shoot for the 14th season of 'RHOA.'

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney First Look at New Reality Show ... We're Back, On Hulu!!!

The Kardashians are coming back for more reality TV ... and here's the first look at their new show on Hulu.

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney started filming their new show Tuesday at Lucky's in Malibu, and they were dressed to the nines.

It looks like Kim's keeping in line with her look from the Met gala ... dressing in all black and covering most of her face. Meanwhile, Kourtney's showing some cleavage in a yellow top and blue jeans, and Khloe looks like she's ready for autumn in the Bu.

As you know, the Kardashians are moving on to the streaming service after 14 years and 20 seasons filming "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" for traditional TV.

The Kardashians have a multi-year deal with Hulu to produce new content all over the world, with their debut set for later this year, but details on the show have been scarce ... so it's interesting to see the first day of filming.

Stay tuned!!!

Jesse Palmer Takes Over As 'Bachelor' Host After Chris Harrison Scandal

Jesse Palmer is the new permanent host of "The Bachelor" ... replacing Chris Harrison, who was cut loose after his racism scandal.

The move keeps it all in the family, so to speak ... because Jesse's a former 'Bachelor' himself, and now he'll be the face of the ABC franchise for its upcoming 26th season.

Jesse says he's humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host, and he's looking forward to offering the next 'Bachelor' advice as production is about to begin.

Some of that advice might involve being certain about names of the women in the rose ceremony -- something Jesse learned the hard way in 2005 in one of the show's most infamous moments.

7/27/21
FEELIN' FREE
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story ... Chris says he has no hard feelings over his 'Bachelor' exit, telling us he's happy to have his Mondays back and seems at peace with the end of his era.

Chris hosted both shows in the franchise for 2 decades, but he found himself embroiled in scandal this year after he excused historical racism during an interview with ex-'Bachelorette' Rachel Lindsay.

3/4/21
COMMITTED TO CHANGE
ABC

CH caught a ton of flak, went on an apology tour and ultimately left the franchise ... and now ABC is handing the keys rose to Jesse.

Eli Manning Flips Double Birds ... Live On 'MNF'

The Manning broadcast turned PG-13 on "Monday Night Football" ... with Eli Manning giving a double middle finger salute LIVE ON AIR!!!

The hilarious moment went down on ESPN2 as the Giants legend was sharing his experiences going up against the Philadelphia Eagles ... describing their fans as absolutely ruthless.

"You go to Philly, you're getting the double bird right away from a 9-year-old kid," Eli told Peyton and 4th quarter guest Chris Long.

"I would give the bird, I don't know, can we do that?? I'm sure you can blur that out, right??"

As it turns out, E, -- no, you can't do that and no, they couldn't blur it out ... but that didn't stop him from holding up the gesture for a few solid moments.

Despite the hiccup, Eli continued his story like nothing happened ... claiming fans would say things about his mom that he wouldn't say over the air (apparently he limits himself to one FCC violation per game).

"They're saying things about my mom and Peyton, I can't even tell you what they said about my mom," Eli added.

The Manning-cast has been a huge hit through 3 weeks ... with guests like LeBron James, Russell Wilson, Gronk, and Charles Barkley joining the bros to talk football.

Travis Kelce also flirted with more mature content when he was on during Week 1 ... dropping an s-bomb.

No word on if the FCC will hand down any fines, but Eli ended up apologizing for the whole thing.

"Sorry, earlier I gave the double bird. I guess that’s frowned upon, so I apologize if I offended anybody. That’s just what a 9-year-old did to me and I thought I could do it back," Eli said.

So ... hopefully, all is forgiven??

Britney Spears Says Much of CNN Special 'Untrue' ... But Looking for Fresh Start

8:20 AM PT -- 9/27 -- It appears Britney edited her original post and is no longer saying the project was inaccurate.

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Britney Spears is warning fans and viewers of a new documentary about her conservatorship to take it with a grain of salt ... because she claims a lot of the information is untrue.

According to our sources ... Britney's latest Instagram post is specifically calling out the CNN special -- "Toxic: Britney Spears' Battle For Freedom" -- that debuted Sunday night, and she has a list of reasons why she's not down with it.

Aside from Britney claiming it's loaded with inaccuracies -- even though she says she's only watched a little bit of it -- she suggests that it's all about stuff that happened in the past ... and she's trying to move forward.

Brit also seems to take issue with the dialogue not being very "classy," doesn't like the footage they used of her ... and implies the general tone of the special is unkind.

Now, while we're told she's referring to the CNN special, it's actually another one -- the new NYT documentary, "Controlling Britney Spears" -- that made more headlines for the allegation her father, Jamie Spears, recorded her bedroom conversations.

So far, at least, Britney's staying mum on that claim, but as we reported ... her attorney Mathew Rosengart will almost certainly raise the alleged recordings during Wednesday's conservatorship hearing.

Strangely, the singer's IG post takes a left turn where she focuses on her "Rose Project" and how she once kissed Madonna and suffers from social anxiety.

Then, she reveals she's wearing white for her post for "new beginnings" ... which possibly alludes to her huge court hearing and her father finally stepping down as her conservator.

Originally Published -- 9/27 3:03 PM PT

David Letterman Grills Kevin Durant At Nets Media Day ... 'Why Do People Call You KD?!?'

"THAT WAS THE LAST ONE"
Brooklyn Nets

Late-night legend David Letterman crashed the Brooklyn Nets' media day on Monday ... and it was bad news for Kevin Durant, who was interrogated with a ton of tough questions!!

The former longtime "Late Show" host kicked off his round of Qs for the 2-time champ with quite possibly the hardest-hitting question in sports journalism -- asking about Durant's "KD" nickname ... which, of course, has always been a big mystery among fans.

"Why do people call you KD??" Letterman asked.

Durant explained the reasoning behind the moniker with unenthusiastic delivery ... and you gotta give him credit for having the patience to walk Letterman through that toughie.

Letterman had more fire for KD ... asking how much effort he was going to put out on the court this season ... to which he replied, "110%"

The best question came when DL asked if KD would consider playing for the Nets AND Knicks at the same time ... but that's when Durant's patience ran out.

"All right, Dave, that was the last one," he said ... before adding, "They let anyone in here."

We're sure KD was in on the bit, but it's hilarious to watch him stay stone-faced the entire time.

Liz Cheney Supports Gay Marriage, Admits Fault Opposing It ... Goes After Trump, Too

voter's remorse
CBS

Liz Cheney has done a 180 on gay marriage -- an issue that fractured her family given that her sister is gay -- and she flatly says ... she was wrong to oppose it.

The Wyoming congresswoman did the about-face during her interview on "60 Minutes" Sunday night ... and it stunned Leslie Stahl.

Liz's sister, Mary, is married to a woman, and although their father, former Veep Dick Cheney, came out in support of gay marriage, Liz dug her heels in and opposed it.

Cheney's reshaped view is stunning, as she said, "Freedom means freedom for everybody."

Cheney's in trouble in her home district in Wyoming, in large part because she wouldn't buy into Donald Trump's false claims the 2020 Presidential election was stolen. She sure seems undaunted ... and confident she'll win reelection.

Rep. Cheney says anyone who votes against her in 2022 ... is voting against the Constitution.

Cheney goes on to say Trump "doesn't believe in the rule of law" and unlike many of her GOP colleagues, she's openly rebuked the Jan. 6 insurrection.

BTW, win or lose in Wyoming ... it's rumored Cheney will challenge Trump in 2024 in the presidential race, because she's not a big fan of President Biden either.

Shemar Moore Cameos as (Four) Framed Pictures .... In Woman's Viral Alize Post

Some folks can't get enough Shemar Moore -- even in 2021 -- and that goes for the younger generation too ... just ask this woman who's got the dude's shots hanging at her crib.

A gal named Aliyah Vallen has set the Internet ablaze after posting a photo of five Alize bottles sitting on a counter at her house -- of varying flavors -- and adding the caption, "THE ALIZE FREAK." As interesting as that title is ... it's not what people are noticing.

Check the background -- there are a couple framed photographs of Shemar in his prime hanging on the wall. Super caj too -- as if they were family portraits or something. So many questions and theories ... the biggest being, this has to be someone's auntie's place, because no one younger than 35 really knows the dude beyond 'Criminal Minds'/'SWAT' fame.

Well, that turned out to be false -- because Ms. Vallen appears to be a bona fide millennial (or even a Gen Z'er) ... who apparently REALLY appreciates Shemar's early work as a model. Also ... she revealed the truth about how many photos she has of him ... it's 4.

Her explanation for the Shemar shrine pretty much boils down to ... she just likes him, and she thinks the pics themselves are funny --- plus, they might make for some good conversation pieces as decor.

And, for those who are "concerned" about her decorative taste, Aliyah has a simple response ... "don't be. it's not your house." Well said -- how she chooses to style her pad is no one else's business but hers.

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Now, it doesn't look like SM himself has taken notice of the viral name-drop yet -- he's a little busy down in Mexico, it seems ... plugging a new season of 'SWAT' while he's at it. But, something tells us if/when he catches wind of this, it'll make him feel pretty darn good.

Ladies and gents continue to be in awe of his killer good looks ... like fine wine, as they say.

Bill Maher Black National Anthem Promotes Segregation

Bill Maher laid it all out Friday night ... saying the United States is becoming a segregated nation again, and the latest evidence is the push for 2 National Anthems.

The 'Real Time' host blasted the NFL for playing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" -- often called the Black National Anthem -- in addition to the OG N.A. at football games.

Maher's not against a new National Anthem -- one that better reflects current times -- but he's flatly against more than one.

His argument goes like this ... Martin Luther King Jr. and many others fought hard -- even some losing their lives -- to end segregation. The battle was won 67 years ago when the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to separate but equal, which at the time was considered a victory for human rights.

Not so anymore, Maher says, pointing to colleges which now offer segregated residences, segregated graduation ceremonies, and on and on.

He invokes the words of Barack Obama, who said, "There is not a Black America, and a white America, and Latino America, an Asian American, there's a United States of America."

His overarching point ... diversity is a virtue that was celebrated until recently, and to cast that aside threatens the very fabric of America.

Something to talk about this weekend.

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