Washington, 22 Oct (AP/UNB) — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name — Elaine Benes of "Seinfeld" and foul-mouthed Vice-President Selina Meyer — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.
On Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey--touching on the multiple aspects of her career.
Fey paid tribute to Louis-Dreyfus at the award ceremony by tracking the similarities between their lives.
"We both started comedy in Chicago. We both moved on to 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL castmate sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the "secret precision" of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.
"Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer," Fey said. "Julia's never been afraid to be unlikable--not on screen and not in person."
Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
During last year's ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby's name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, "167 days since the last Un-Twaining."
With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."
Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, "It's OK, he's not watching," then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel "in the penitentiary."
Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."
"We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together," Seinfeld said. "As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."
Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."
That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.
"The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!" Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.
"But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here," he said.
The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" particularly recalls her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.
"There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them," he said. "But she was just fearless and ego-less."
At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."
A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a high school party.
Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony_framing it around her performance a high school presentation of the play "Serendipity."
"I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it," she said, to a round of laughter and applause. "But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."
Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Her best-known role is her nine-year run as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." More recently, her work as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.
Production on the upcoming seventh and final season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.
PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.
Los Angeles, Oct 21 (AP/UNB) — Film and TV actress Selma Blair announced she is dealing with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
In a post Saturday on her Instagram account, Blair, 46, says she was diagnosed with the disease of the central nervous system on Aug. 16.
Blair says she is struggling with the disease's effects on her: "I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps."
She adds, however, that thanks to the support of the cast and crew of a Netflix show she is filming, as well as her friends and family, "we are doing it. And I laugh and I don't know exactly what I will do precisely but I will do my best."
Blair has co-starred in a number of films and TV shows, including the 2001 hit "Legally Blonde."
Dhaka, Oct 20 (UNB) – Since the demise of the Bengali rock music legend Ayub Bachchu, his fans have been sharing numerous messages and pictures, apart from the countless audiovisuals sharing on various social media remembering him.
Currently Ayub Bachchu (#AyubBachchu) is top of by Twitter Trends in Asia region.
This legend of Bangladeshi rock music has been trending near the top position since Thursday
Mourning the rockstar’s death, the US Embassy in Dhaka in a tweet wrote, “We're deeply saddened at the sudden demise of legendary Bangladeshi Pop artist Ayub Bachchu. He was a rock musician and one of the leading guitarists in the country. He was the founding member of the rock band #LRB #RIP.”
Many of his fans and well-wishers posted #RIPAyubBachchu in their social media pages adding his song “Ai Rupali Guitar Feley Ekdin Choley Jabo Durey Bohu Durey” (leaving this silver guitar will go far away). Most of the Tweets have ‘Rest in Peace’ hashtag.
The rock legend and musical band LRB founder died of heart attack in Dhaka on Thursday at the age of 56.
He was laid to rest next to his mother at their family graveyard in the Port City on Saturday.
Indian singer Sahana Bajpaie, who grew up on the singer’s songs, is heartbroken. “I was 12 when I first realised there is a Bengali musician who plays the guitar like Jimi Hendrix. He was one of the pioneers of Bengali rock music. My teenage was inspired by his music. He became a family friend when I was in Bangladesh,” she said.
We're deeply saddened at the sudden demise of legendary Bangladeshi Pop artist Ayub Bachchu. He was a rock musician and one of the leading guitarists in the country. He was the founding member of the rock band #LRB. #RIP— U.S. Embassy Dhaka (@usembassydhaka) October 18, 2018
P.C: @ayubbachchuAB pic.twitter.com/yF0lUCs0gz
According to her, he never lived like a rock star despite his stardom.
“His simplicity was outstanding. His contributions to music will be remembered by generations to come,” she added. Music composer and percussionist Bickram Ghosh reminisced his collaboration with the legendary singer. “His passing is such a shock! So young, too soon to go. He was an iconic artist who ruled the hearts of an entire generation. We had collaborated some years back for a Bangla rock fusion show at the Salt Lake stadium.” Describing him as “down to earth” and “rooted”, Ghosh said.
“Our stage chemistry was palpable and I remember both of us having great fun while performing. I will always hold dear the fond memories of our collaboration and pray to the Almighty to grant peace to his soul. He will be sorely missed by scores of his fans.”
Composer Arindom Chatterjee said, “I have grown up on his songs. Not only did he have an amazing voice, but he also managed to capture the curiosity of an entire generation. It’s a big loss for the music industry.”
Indian Brand consultant Roopsha Ray Dasgupta, who personally knew Bachchu, is struggling to come to terms with the news. “’Sheyi Tumi Keno eto ochena holey’ is not just another song to me. It is a part of my life, my nostalgia. It is the first 'Opaar Bangla' song that left an indelible impression in the mind of a teenager. I would borrow our neighbour’s tape recorder and keep listening to it on holidays. I remember rewinding and playing to write the lyrics in the blood-red diary that I maintained.”
Dhaka, Oct 20 (UNB) - Bappa Mazumder, a prominent singer, lyricist and composer, has paid tributes to rock legend and musical band LRB founder Ayub Bachchu in a different way by sharing a short video clip where he played guitar on AB’s famous song ‘Ferari Ei Monta Amar.’
“Just to express my love, respect and gratitude to Bachchu Bhai and his enormous creations that he has given us and enriched Bangla music and made us proud as a nation,” he wrote sharing the video on his Facebook page.
“Thank U (you) Boss for ur (your) music. We will celebrate u (you) till we take our last breath. Take my bow ......,” wrote Bappa who had deep relations with AB.
At the end, Bappa wrote, “Can't control my emotions though.”
The body of Ayub Bachchu reached Chattogram on Saturday morning. A flight of US-Bangla Airlines carrying the body and his family members reached Shah Amanat International Airport around 10:55am.
The body, later, was taken to Ayub Bacchu's grandfather's (maternal) house at Madarbari in the port city.
Bachchu was buried next to his mother at their family graveyard on Saturday.
The rock star died of a heart attack in the capital on Thursday at the age of 56.
Chattogram, Oct 20 (UNB) - The rock legend and musical band LRB founder Ayub Bachchu who died of a heart attack in Dhaka was buried next to his mother at their family graveyard on Saturday.
Bachchu was laid to eternal rest after his namaj-e-janaza at Jamiatul Falah Jame Mosque in Dampara Wasa intersection area in Madarbari after Asr prayers.
Earlier, the body of Ayub Bachchu was brought to the port city around 10:55 am and was taken to his grandfather's (maternal) house at Madarbari.
Bachchu’s uncle Abdul Alim said the last wish of Ayub Bachchu was to lay in peace beside his mother’s grave.
On October 12, Bachchu went to Chattogram for a programme while he also visited his mother’s grave and told the caretaker of the graveyard about his last wish, he said.
He also showed the place where he chose to be buried after his departure, he added.
His son and daughter reached Bangladesh from Australia and Canada respectively on Friday night.
Earlier on Friday, people from all walks of life paid their last tributes to the celebrated guitarist, songwriter, composer and singer at the Central Shaheed Minar in the capital.
The rock star died of a heart attack in Dhaka on Thursday at the age of 56.