Popular cartoon catchphrase inspired by legendary Motown group
Saturday mornings from 1972-85 were more fun because of a rotund, good-natured guy named Fat Albert and his ragtag gang of pals.
In case you weren't around to appreciate it, the cartoon was called "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" and it was based on the childhood friends of comedic mastermind Bill Cosby, who created and hosted the show. In time for Shout! Factory's June 25 box set release, Cosby, 75, did a special feature interview where he breaks down Fat Albert as the program's central figure. Fat Albert eventually became a hero for countless child viewers, including Cosby's late son, Ennis, he said.
Cosby, who provided the voice for Fat Albert, said he wanted the character to exhibit a range of emotional inflections not heard on most animated offerings of that era. He also wanted the red-sweater wearing star to have a catchphrase viewers would identify with and enjoy. And "Hey, Hey, Hey" was born.
"'Hey, Hey, Hey' is a signal," Cosby said. "It's a charge that he's coming. And that came from his love for The Temptations. (In) some of their songs, the background singers (would sing) 'hey, hey, hey,' that kind of thing. And so whenever Fat Albert would say that, it would come from his group, The Temps. I don't know if Fat Albert wanted to be a background singer or be one of The Temps."
Cosby also said he wanted to challenge the way overweight people were perceived. "In my time, fat people were stereotyped as clumsy, to laugh at, not particularly intelligent and (having) low self-esteem," Cosby said. "I wanted to change that and make Fat Albert the large fellow that everybody started liking because he was the biggest guy in the football game ... to take a person like that and make him an intelligent, compassionate and wise leader."
"Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series" ($119.99, Shout! Factory) hits store shelves Tuesday, June 25.
Younger Actor nominee talks awards show and 'Days of Our Lives'
With the 40th Annual Daytime Emmys set for Sunday, June 16, MSN TV caught up with nominee Freddie Smith (Sonny, "Days of Our Lives"). The Outstanding Younger Actor contender revealed what part of Emmy night has him nervous, opened about being nominated alongside his onscreen love Chandler Massey (Will) and teased what's ahead for Sonny, Will, Gabi and Baby Arianna.
Smith made daytime news two years ago when he was tapped to play Salem's first gay contract character, Sonny Kiriakis. Sonny has gone on to face a few bigots, help Will come out of the closet and find love in Salem. These days, Sonny and Will are just another "Days of Our Lives" couple, grappling with everyday soap drama like flings, babies out of wedlock, meddling parents and scheming peers. Through it all, Sonny continues to be one of Salem's most standup guys and that's just the way Smith likes it ... sort of.
MSN TV: Are you ready for the Daytime Emmys?
Smith: It kind of just hit me. There's a pre-party [for the nominees] Thursday and my parents are flying in Friday, so I'm excited.
I'm more nervous to present [Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series] than about winning or not winning, because that just is what it is. People always laugh at me about this, because I'm an actor. I'm in front of cameras and I do interviews and I'm completely comfortable, but reading a teleprompter or anything in front of a group of people is my biggest fear. That's something I'm conquering by presenting, even though it's just going to be a couple lines, so I'm excited to do it.
How do you feel about going up against your on-screen love, Chandler Massey (Will)?
We were just laughing about that. I was like, "For fun, we should write each other's speeches." We don't care. We're just happy, because how often do actors playing a couple on a show both get nominated?
In the same category, no less! That might actually be a first.
We feel honored. This is incredible. We're happy for each other. We're going to go to the pre-Emmy party together and just enjoy this.
Your Daytime Emmy reel involved Sonny supporting Will's coming-out process and then revealing he had feelings for him. Was that choice a no-brainer?
I had no idea what I was going to submit. I went on YouTube, typed in "Sonny and Will," and started looking through the clips. When I saw that one, I said, "This is it." I remembered shooting it and I felt good about it. It was such a truthful scene and had so much depth and meaning, and it was also a very Sonny scene. He was talking about his feelings.
Sonny and Will have come a long way since that clip. Your most recent storyline was barely about them being gay and saw them playing heroes.
That's what's great. It's not even a gay story anymore. It's about two people in love. We hit that milestone where we're just like any other couple and that's how it should be. That's what our goal was. Chandler and I just did the best we could every day and there's a trust that we've built with each other. I always feel, in every scene we shoot, that we've got each other's back. I think that's part of what chemistry is: Just trusting the other person.
Was it fun to work classic soap moments like an emergency baby delivery and all the drama on the island?
I would say a more typical soap scene is sitting at a table, getting upset, walking away to think about your feelings and pouring coffee. There's not much action, so for me, it was like being an action star for a day. I got to deliver a baby. We're peeking in windows. We're fighting. We're running. And then there was the emotional part of it, too. It was such a tense week when Will was in the hospital. Everyone was so supportive. I was especially proud of that week of work. It was just different and exciting and we were able to grow, as people and as characters.
In a surprise twist, Nick has pulled back and now Gabi and the baby are moving in with Sonny and Will. How is that going to go?
I don't know if Sonny's thought this through. He's got a life partner, who has a baby with a woman, and now they're all going to move in together -- it doesn't sound like anything wrong will happen! [laughs] It's going to be super tense and there's going to be a lot of bickering, because they're all new parents and they're young. But there's also a lot of heart and you see these characters come together and grow together. We're shooting into mid-October and we're still dealing with living together -- learning who watches the baby, who gets to go out and when tragic things happen, we have to handle Arianna and getting a babysitter. It's such a dynamic. A completely fresh storyline. It's going to be an exciting ride.
Between the baby and Sami's newest craziness, Sonny's parents Justin (Wally Kurth) and Adrienne (Judi Evans) will once again question his relationship with Will. Can you tease what's coming there?
It's going to get extremely tense. The thing I love about Judi and Wally's characters -- we get along wonderfully, but as a family. It's parents and son. It's not a friendship. I have that with my parents. We love each other and we're so close, but they're my parents and they've always got advice: "Freddie, I don't think it's a good idea. Do what you want, but this is our opinion." Certain times, I'm like, "You guys are wrong. I know what I'm doing. I'm 25 now!" and then six months later, I'm like, "So, you guys were right..." It's about learning from your mistakes, but also standing up as an adult. That's what Sonny does. His life is going to change -- he has a kid now -- but he loves Will more than anything and that's what matters most to him.
Is there a storyline you'd like to see for Sonny?
I'm very happy with the way things are going. Everything Sonny wants, he gets, even though there's all this drama. He's a cool character. He's just so smart and always has a level head. He's always the man. But he's been such a poster child [that] I'm just waiting. I know there will be a time where he unravels. That's going to be fun to play and see how he deals with it. You don't want that stuff to happen in your real life, but on TV, it's cool to play a spiraling character. It's fun to get those emotions out -- get angry and upset and say things you'll regret. That drama is what soaps are about, and as soon as they yell cut, you can go back to your happy self.
The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards airs Sunday, June 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HLN. "Days of Our Lives" airs weekdays on NBC.
Brian Buckner says vampire drama returns to its soapy roots
HBO's beloved vampire drama "True Blood" has always had its soapy elements. But in recent seasons, the emphasis has shifted from melodramatic to action-driven.
"Everybody loves the show," Buckner told Rolling Stone. "But actors don't want to play the same scenes anymore, and writers don't want to write the same scenes anymore, and so (we're) literally shifting things up. If we can shift the paradigm, and some of the relationships within the show, there are all these sort of new avenues to go down."
Buckner said fans will also see a more evolved Sookie (Anna Paquin) and a more devolved Bill (Stephen Moyer). "Because Anna is changing in her life -- because she's a mother now -- we're trying to make a more grown-up Sookie, a less naive Sookie," Buckner said. "A Sookie who knows when she needs help and isn't always saying, 'I can do it myself.' And a darker Sookie, honestly. Someone who's a little bit more eyes-open to the world and self-aware."
As for Bill, now that he's "Billith," he's going to get a lot worse before he gets better. "But he will find his way back, because Bill has to be Bill," Buckner said. "But that fight that's going on between the Bill part of Bill and the Lilith part of Bill, she will win for a little while."
Meanwhile, Bill and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) will always have a special place in Sookie's heart, even if their love story is less prominent this season.
"The tension is there," Buckner said. "But I would say that these characters have never been further apart, romantically. Bill and Sookie are still the center of the show. That pull is there, but you can't always have people together. But the impasse is really interesting."
"True Blood" Season 6 debuts Sunday, June 16, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
New format includes live on-stage interviews with the big winners
The 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards will shake things up Sunday, June 16. This year's telecast will include live, on-stage interviews with winners from the night's seven top categories directly following their acceptance speeches. Plus, the final list of Daytime Emmy presenters has been revealed.
The seven hot Daytime Emmy categories featured in the new segment are Outstanding Supporting Actor, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Game Show Host, Outstanding Talk Show Host and Outstanding Culinary Host. Interviewers lined up include Giada De Laurentiis, Sheryl Underwood, Julie Chen, Sam Champion and A.J. Hammer.
Daytime Emmy organizers have also revealed the full list of Daytime Emmy presenters, along with their corresponding categories:
• Alex Trebek to present the Smithsonian's daytime TV exhibit
• Wayne Brady to present Lifetime Achievement to Monty Hall
• Betty White to present Lifetime Achievement to Bob Stewart
• Corbin Bernsen and Jess Walton to present In Memoriam
• Il Volo to perform during In Memoriam
• Robin Meade to perform Outstanding Original Song contenders
• Erika Slezak to present Outstanding Drama Series
• Kathy Griffin to present Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team
• Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Hunter King, Kristen Alderson and Lindsey Morgan to present Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
• Max Ehrich, Freddie Smith, Bryton James and Chandler Massey to present Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
• Jason Thompson to present Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
• Don Diamont and Nancy Lee Grahn to present Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
• Vincent Irizarry to present Outstanding Young Actress in a Drama Series
• Lindsay Hartley to present Outstanding Young Actor in a Drama Series
• Rachael Ray to present Outstanding Achievement in Technical Direction/Electronic Camera/Video Control for a Drama Series
• Steve Harvey to present Outstanding Morning Program
• Kris Jenner to present Outstanding Talk Show Host
• Dr. Drew Pinsky to present Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment
• "The Talk" hosts Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, Aisha Tyler and Sheryl Underwood to present Outstanding Talk Show/Informative
• Bethenny Frankel to present Outstanding Culinary Host and Culinary Program
• Todd Newton to present Outstanding Game Show and Game Show Host
• Presenter for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program not yet announced
As previously reported, AJ Hammer ("Showbiz Tonight"), Sam Champion ("Good Morning America") and Robin Meade ("Morning Express With Robin Meade") will share Daytime Emmy hosting duties. It sounds as though Champion will take the lead during the broadcast, while Hammer will work the live red carpet special "Showbiz @ The Daytime Emmys" with HLN's Christi Paul, and Robin Meade will sing the best song nominees, "This Day" by Sheryl Crow for "Katie" and "Good Afternoon" by Little Big Town for "Good Afternoon America."
The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards airs Sunday, June 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HLN.
Lead Actor nominee talks awards show and 'General Hospital'
Thompson's Emmy reel goes back to when Patrick was still mourning the passing of his true love, Robin (Kimberly McCullough). These days, he's trying to juggle single fatherhood, a new romance with Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) and his responsibilities to his pregnant ex, Britt (Kelly Thiebaud). Whether she's really carrying his baby or not, Patrick's got a lot on his plate.
MSN TV: You just got back from the CMA Music Festival. How was Nashville?
Thompson: I had a blast. I love that city and it's fun to be a part of the country music scene. Out of the music and acting genres, country music and soap operas are the most accessible to their fans, which creates a great atmosphere. I'm just walking around the streets like anyone else and you're running into random people like Jason Aldean at a bar. You're part of the energy, which is fantastic.
Are you ready for this weekend's Emmy energy?
I guess so. Sometimes, the nerves get to you, but it's been a fantastic year and this is just icing on the cake. Bradford [Anderson, nominated for Supporting Actor] and I were actually talking over lunch about how fantastic it is to be nominated and what has to happen in order to even get to that point. Everything has to come together: You need the storyline and everyone has to be having a good day -- whether it's lighting, directing or you personally. So it's humbling to even be in the category. We're just going to try to have as much fun as possible, which I'm sure won't be a problem.
Who are you taking to the show?
My mom and dad, my brother and his fiance and my other brother are coming out, and my girlfriend will be there with me. It's going to be great. There's such a room of supportive people. Not only do I have all my "GH" family and my immediate family, but I feel there's a pretty good camaraderie among the soap opera people right now. We're all in this together and gotta support each other. It's important to pay homage to daytime television and the fact that we're all still here.
This year, you moved from the Supporting Actor category to Lead Actor. What went into that decision?
I talked to a couple of people about it. [The consensus was] "You were a lead actor within a lead story on the show that year, so that's classifies you as a lead." At the end of the day, I would say we're all supporting, because so much goes into these shows, but I might never get another year like I've had -- the storyline I was able to be a part of with Kimberly leaving, having to stand up on my own in a lot of ways [after] my dear friend Kimberly moved on, the "GH" 50th anniversary, bringing back the nurse's ball and getting the nomination.... It really has been a fantastic year, so I thought, "Why not?"
You submitted a scene that saw Patrick dealing with losing Robin. Was that a no-brainer?
Not at all. I didn't know what I was going to pick if this moment came. I was lucky enough to have a lot going on. There were a lot of scenes within the Robin story and then the addiction, which I had a great time playing. I wanted my clip to represent my year and I felt those scenes did. Kimberly and Brooklyn [Silzer], who plays little Emma, were in them and I felt it had a lot of what Patrick went through that year.
It's amazing how far Patrick has come since that submission scene, let alone since we met him!
He's grown a lot and torn down a lot of walls, and it's been a long process. If you know Patrick and what he's been through, you can see that. It's been amazing to get him through all these layers and strip away at him.
How are you enjoying Patrick's triangle with Sabrina and Britt?
I'm having a good time. Kelly and Theresa were asked to come into a difficult situation, with a lot of fans knowing Robin is still alive. I was new to this genre seven years ago, so I understand what it's like having to get your feet wet and being a part of something like that. It's tough and they're doing a great job. For me, it's been great to be a part of something new and one of my favorite actresses to work with is Brooklyn, so I'm having fun.
Why do you think Patrick attracts crazies like Britt and Lisa?
Honestly, I don't know. I do think Lisa and Britt are totally different stories. I guess you could say they're both a little crazy, very vulnerable and a bit lost, but I don't actually see much of a comparison. I think Patrick and Britt had some real moments in the beginning and he hasn't seen all the things that she's done. I'm not convinced he knows she's as conniving as everyone else says she is. From the outside, I'm sure everyone's thinking, "You're an idiot! Can't you see the signs?" But his reality is not what the audience sees. The decisions he's making still work, in his mind.
Do you think he and Sabrina can build a strong enough relationship to make it a tough triangle if/when Robin returned?
They could get there, yeah. I'm not exactly sure if Patrick realizes what's going on. Everything's going pretty fast. It's been a little over a year since he lost his wife and here he is, with a new girlfriend and another girl pregnant with his baby, as far as he knows. It's not on the page, but I imagine he has these moments at home where he's like, "What the hell are you doing? You're kind of screwing this up. What kind of damage are you doing to Emma?" There's a lot that has to be figured out, but depending on what happens with the baby and how much he trusts Sabrina's intuition... If she's right all along, that could definitely push them further into the relationship.
Is there anything you'd like to see for Patrick?
When I first got on the show, Patrick's biggest fear was ending up like his father [Noah Drake, played by Rick Springfield]. Cut to six or seven years later, he kind of is that guy. He's gone through a pill addiction. He's gone through a marriage where he lost his wife. He didn't want to fall in love, in the first place, and then he didn't want to end up on his own, and here he is. Now, he's gotten another woman pregnant. It wasn't through an affair like Noah's, but Patrick's got his own somewhat broken home. There's a lot of similarities there and I'd like to play that a bit. That said, I trust [executive producer] Frank Valentini and [headwriter] Ron Calavarti. They know how to tell a story, so whatever happens, I'm game.
"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.
Stars of beloved CBS comedy to thank fans before ninth and final season
It only took eight years, but "How I Met Your Mother" is finally making its debut at Comic-Con. The celebrated comedy will kick off its ninth and final season this fall. And the July 20 panel will undoubtedly allow the show's stars and creators to thank fans for their time-tested support while saying goodbye.
20th Century Fox, which produces "HIMYM," announced the panel Wednesday and said fans can expect stars Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan, as well as executive producers Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Pamela Fryman.
At the end of Season 8, Bays and company revealed the highly anticipated and buzzed-about identity of the mother. Cristin Milioti will play the love of Ted's (Radnor) life when the show returns, and rumor has it the whole season will play out in real time. Bays hasn't confirmed this but said Season 9 will "tell the epic story of the longest wedding weekend ever."
Other 20th Century Fox panels at Comic-Con include the new supernatural drama "Sleepy Hollow" (July 19) and the animated offering "Murder Police" (July 18), both of which will air on Fox. There will also be panels for "Bones" (July 19), "Bob's Burgers" (July 19) and "Futurama" (July 20).
Comic-Con takes place July 18-21 in San Diego.
Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley to host
Tamar Braxton ("Tamar & Vince"), Loni Love ("Chelsea Lately"), Adrienne Bailon ("The Cheetah Girls"), Jeannie Mai ("How Do I Look?") and Tamera Mowry-Housley ("Tia & Tamera") have landed a daily talk show on FOX-owned stations. The four-week test run produced by Telepictures premieres Monday, July 15.
"Tamar, Loni, Adrienne, Jeannie and Tamera are five amazing women of different ages and races, all at different places in their lives who reflect the experiences the audience is going through at the same time as they are," said Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President, Telepictures. "They have great chemistry, are fearless and so entertaining and they will bring a much-needed younger point of view and sensibility to daytime this summer."
"The greatest thing about America is it's diversity, and this show reflects that diversity," Tamera Mowry-Housley added in the preview above. "No matter who you are, there is someone at this table that's going to be speaking for you."
As with "The View and "The Talk," the new daily talk show will feature candid conversations about the hosts' own personal lives, as well as the news of the day, beauty, fashion and relationships. Topics raised in the preview clip include dating Seth McFarlane, guys who "love black girls," interracial relationships, keeping sex alive in your relationship, bingeing versus dieting and Reese Witherspoon's now infamous drunken scene.
"We are ready to talk gossip, relationships, sex, food, sex," Love promised.
"The Real" test run will air for four weeks on FOX stations in New York (12 p.m.), Los Angeles (1 p.m.), Washington D.C. (11 a.m.), Philadelphia (11 a.m.), Phoenix (1 p.m.), Houston (1 p.m.) and Tampa (1 p.m.).
"The Real" premieres Monday, July 15, on select FOX-owned stations.
Veteran actor on joining USA Series, 'Full House' and lessons learned along the way
By Minh Nguyen
Special to MSN TV
On a recent visit to Atlanta, Ga., MSN TV had the chance to visit the all-new set of USA's summer series "Necessary Roughness." The previous season's set of the New York Hawks football team has been replaced by V3, a fancy sports and entertainment agency. V3 had a very fresh, innovative feel to it. Callie Thorne, Mehcad Brooks, Scott Cohen and new addition John Stamos came by to about Season 3.
John Stamos will be playing Connor McClane, the handsome founder of V3 and Dr. Dani's new boss. Stamos, best known for playing Uncle Jesse on "Full House," had had a long and successful career -- from "General Hospital" and "ER" and playing with the Beach Boys. The third season of "Necessary Roughness" premieres Wednesday, June 12, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on USA.
MSN TV: How'd you end up with this gig? We saw the first episode.
John Stamos: Did you like it?
You have a cool office.
Isn't it amazing? This is one of the coolest sets I've ever walked on. They called and said, "We're interested in adding a character to this show, "Necessary Roughness." I said, "Isn't that a sports show?" They were like, "Have you seen it?" I am the opposite … my father used to say, "You go out of your way to hate sports!" No, I just don't get it. I used to say somebody has to lose. With music or acting, there's not always a one-hour loser. I watched some of it and thought, "Hey, this is interesting." I wanted to work with Callie because it was one of those roles that I thought I've got to start playing adult characters with power.
Is that Zegna?
It's Dolce & Gabbana. I think I get caught up in my Peter Pan syndrome. You're 50-years old. You've got to start playing some adult characters. When this came around, it seemed like a perfect fit. The way the character turned out is (he is) this interesting, duplicitous guy who you think one side's good and one side's bad, but you don't know if it's good or bad.
In the first episode, he seems perfectly fine. He is an agent and an executive.
As the show goes on, there are moments where you go, "Oh, he is the bad side of those two guys." By the end of the episode, it's maybe he has a point. This is what he believes. I think what's going to end up is, whether the audience thinks I'm up to nefarious activities or not, Connor believes in what he's doing and is doing the best.
Is there deliberate chemistry or is there anything explicit going on between you and Dani?
I keep on waiting for this script for something to happen.
You said you're watching some of the episodes and thought this is something you would like to do. For fans, it's kind of a big change from last season.
It has nothing to do with me. I think the way Dani related to some of the characters and helped some of the football players, it was very smart of them. They just opened the whole world up. One week, it's a basketball player. One week, it's a football player, a self-help guy. One week, there's a guy who has writer's block who is a client of mine. USA says how do you open a show up from just a football team? They do a big agency like ING. Find a big figurehead like Stamos or Scott Baio.
How do you like the suit-and-tie guy?
I learned a big lesson from "Full House." Go classic. Don't follow any trends. You were talking about Clooney earlier. He's just a classic guy. I'm not going to look back on this suit 20 years later and go, "Why did I wear that nice suit."
Word is that you show up on time and that you're prepared. Is that something you learned as a young actor?
I learned it from my father. I used to work at his restaurant, and he was very into teaching discipline. I've told this so many times. When I got "General Hospital," I was still working at my dad's. He wouldn't let me quit. I was the Sunday guy. "General Hospital" started airing. A month later, I started becoming popular, a teen idol. My dad still made me work at his restaurant on Sundays to stay disciplined.
What would your advice be to kids starting out? A lot of them seem to be going off the rail. It's disturbing. What would be your game plan for them to stay on track?
I have to be honest. I have a great family, a great support system. Anytime I got out of line, my parents reminded me to go clean up the dog poop in the back yard, empty the trash. They always kept me grounded that way
Out of your career, you've done soap opera, comedy, drama and plays. What do you enjoy doing the most?
I heard what you said, I'm so lucky. I can literally go from doing musicals to working on "ER" to going on tour with the Beach Boys. I've had a dream career. Everything I've ever dreamed of has happened to me, except I need a wax figure.
Are there nights on the town?
I don't know if Callie told you, but we got an email from Willie Nelson's manager to see Willy. He was playing in Chastain. I thought it'd be great. Me, Callie, Rob Morrow, one of the guys (went). I'm hanging out and they said, "Are you going to play the drums?" I said, "I don't know. Is there a set list?" They said, "Willie doesn't use a set list." I'm playing "Georgia" in Georgia, this is as good as it gets
Do you feel any pressure given they brought you to the show for added lift for Season 3 and they want to change direction?
Well they brought me on "The New Normal" and that got canceled. I'm kidding. I hope people watch it. It is a fresh, new approach to the show. I think people will like it.