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    LeVar Burton Will Guest Host ‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Are Over the Rainbow.

    After a fervent online campaign to get the “Reading Rainbow” star a slot, it’s finally happening.This is “Jeopardy!” — with your host, LeVar Burton.After a social media campaign to get Burton, a star of “Reading Rainbow” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” into a guest-host slot on “Jeopardy!,” the show announced Wednesday that he would indeed step up in the last week of July.“Our goal has been to present a wide variety of guest hosts with different skill sets and backgrounds on our path to finding a permanent host,” the show’s executive producer, Mike Richards, said in a statement. “Our passionate fans are telling us what they like, and we are listening.”Fans were predictably thrilled.“Butterfly in the sky, I’m twice as high about the @levarburton news!” one Twitter post read.But there may have been one person even more excited than Burton’s fans: the actor himself.“THANK YOU… to all y’all for your passionate support!” he tweeted.Since the death of the show’s beloved former host Alex Trebek after a battle with pancreatic cancer last November, “Jeopardy!” has been cycling through a roster of guest hosts that has included celebrities like Katie Couric, Dr. Oz and Aaron Rodgers, and former champions like Ken Jennings.In addition to Burton, the final group will also include the “Good Morning America” anchors George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts; the former “Celebrity Jeopardy!” champion David Faber; and the sportscaster Joe Buck, the show announced Wednesday. Each will host a week of episodes this summer, and the show will make a donation in the amount of the cumulative winnings during that host’s week to a charity of their choice.“Jeopardy!” has not yet named a permanent replacement for Trebek, and Anderson Cooper is currently filling the role through the end of April. But Burton is many fans’ choice, and a Change.org petition backing him for the permanent job has more than 246,000 signatures.Burton hosted 21 seasons of the educational PBS series “Reading Rainbow,” from 1983 through 2006, in addition to serving as the program’s executive producer. He also starred as Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and currently hosts the podcast “LeVar Burton Reads.”For some, Wednesday’s announcement was just the tip of the iceberg of what they hope will soon be even more good news.“We did it everybody!” one fan tweeted. “Now keep doing it until we’re all hearing ‘Welcome to Jeopardy! with your host LeVar Burton’ for the next few decades.” More

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    ‘Skate Kitchen,’ ‘Night Moves’ and More Streaming Gems

    Enjoy these options that are off the beaten path.This month’s under-the-radar streaming picks include clever riffs on the police procedural and the crime thriller; a handful of relationship stories, in keys both comic and tragic; and a pair of memorable (and upsetting) documentaries.‘The Wailing’ (2016)Stream it on Amazon.What begins as a “Memories of Murder”-style police procedural veers into darker, wilder territory in this unnerving and occasionally stomach-churning horror thriller from the writer and director Na Hong-jin. Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) is a policeman whose investigation of a string of grisly killings is influenced by the gossip around him: “All this happened,” he is told, “after that Japanese man arrived.” When his family is drawn into the investigation, Jong-goo discovers exactly what he’s capable of — and then, things get really horrifying. The expansive 156-minute running time allows leisurely detours into character drama and bleak humor, but the picture never goes slack; there is something sinister in the air of this village, and Na builds that sense of inescapable dread with patience and power.‘Night Moves’ (2014)Stream it on Amazon.Many of Kelly Reichardt’s acolytes consider this eco-thriller to be among the director’s lesser efforts, and when placed against “Wendy and Lucy” or “First Cow,” perhaps that’s true. But Reichardt on her worst day surpasses most of her contemporaries on their best, and there’s much to recommend in this morally thorny story of a trio of radical environmentalists (Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard) as they meticulously plot and execute a dangerous act of protest. Reichardt hits the thriller beats, but casually and modestly; her emphasis, as ever, is on character, and she finds as much suspense in interactions as in the action itself.‘Skate Kitchen’ (2018)Stream it on Hulu.A preview of the film.The filmmaker Crystal Moselle’s roots are in documentary — she directed the 2015 Sundance sensation “The Wolfpack” — and that ear for the rhythms and routines of real life are apparent in this hybrid feature, in which a group of female New York City skateboarders play fictionalized versions of themselves. Rachelle Vinberg stars as the outsider looking in, a would-be skater who idolizes this all-girl crew from social media, and works her way into their midst. The details are contemporary (and keenly observed), but “Skate Kitchen” is a good old-fashioned coming-of-age story, in which norms are challenged, lessons are learned and young people must decide which version of their possible selves they want to be.‘Pink Wall’ (2019)Stream it on Hulu.The writer and director Tom Cullen lays out the methodology for his relationship drama clearly and early with a loose two-shot of the couple at its center, in the fourth year of their union, out with family and making little jokes about very real issues between them. This predictably escalates into a knock-down-drag-out fight when the two are alone together. Cullen’s wise and observant script is, in many ways, about that divergence: the difference between a couple’s actions in public and in private. And the narrative structure — skipping throughout the six years of their relationship, with signaling shifts in film stock and aspect ratio — allows Cullen to maximize that contrast. He’ll go from their first night together to their last, but not as a gimmick; he seems fascinated by the fact that two people who share such hope can eventually cause each other such pain. It’s a tough, perceptive movie, and also a funny, sexy one.‘Man Up’ (2015)Stream it on HBO Max.Countless contemporary romantic comedies have built their plots on deceptions, secret motives, false identities and so on, carried out long past the point of anything resembling plausibility. This London-set boy-meets-girl tale from the director Ben Palmer and the writer Tess Morris sets up that sort of duplicity. When Nancy (Lake Bell) is mistaken by Jack (Simon Pegg) for his blind date, she chooses to go along with his error. What’s ingenious is how the film unexpectedly implodes the chicanery early on, and then watches the fireworks. The result is both a winking critique of the genre and a fine example of it. Bell and Pegg puncture conventions while still generating genuine chemistry and comic byplay.‘The Boy Downstairs’ (2018)Stream it on Hulu.Zosia Mamet was the scene-stealer supreme of the HBO comedy “Girls,” her side plots often more compelling than the main narrative, so it’s no surprise that this starring vehicle is such a charmer. She is Diana, an intelligent but insecure young woman trying to piece her life together; the title character is her ex-boyfriend (Matthew Shear), who returns to her proximity when she unwittingly moves into his apartment building. Mamet plays Diana’s dilemma with the right mix of pathos and discomfort, while the writer and director Sophie Brooks crafts emotional stakes high enough to prevent the story from veering into sitcom territory.‘White Boy’ (2017)Stream it on Netflix.In 2018, Matthew McConaughey starred in “White Boy Rick,” a dramatization of the early life of the teenage drug dealer Richard Wershe Jr. But this documentary account was made first, and is the superior telling. The director Shawn Rech uses archival footage, contemporary interviews and re-enactments to tell the story of Wershe’s rise and fall, drawing heavily on the impressions of the rich cast of colorful (and, mostly, scary) characters around him. But it’s not just his story — it’s steeped in the history of Wershe’s home turf of Detroit, and how it fell on hard times in the late 1980s thanks not only to the drug trade but also to corruption in the police department and at City Hall. The filmmaking is mostly by the numbers, but this is such a compelling story, it hardly matters.‘The Last Cruise’ (2021)Stream it on HBO Max.On Jan. 20, 2020, the Diamond Princess cruise ship departed the Port of Yokohama, with 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members on board. By the time it returned after two weeks of stops throughout Southeast Asia, it had become a petri dish for Covid-19, with passengers quarantined in their staterooms as the number of positive cases ticked worrisomely upward every day. Hannah Olson’s mini-documentary augments the memories of a handful of passengers and crew with their own video recordings of the ordeal, from their early, carefree (and, in retrospect, infectious) group activities to the days of worry and fear. It becomes a story of the haves and have-nots; since someone has to feed the guests, the crew has to keep working, and watching them do so (in close quarters, with no support) is as upsetting as any horror movie. “The Last Cruise” is a tough watch, but a necessary reminder of how, from the very beginning, the pandemic brought ongoing issues of class inequality to the fore. More

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    How Late Night Addressed the Derek Chauvin Verdict

    “It’s hard to celebrate, because a man is still dead, but there is a sense of relief that at least this one injustice was not compounded with indifference,” said a somber Stephen Colbert.Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. We’re all stuck at home at the moment, so here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now.‘A Step in the Right Direction’On Tuesday night, several late-night hosts addressed the breaking news that Derek Chauvin, a former police officer in Minneapolis, had been convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd. The case prompted mass racial justice protests last year after Chauvin, who is white, was filmed kneeling on the neck of Floyd, who was Black, for more than nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life.“After 10 hours of deliberation, a jury in Minneapolis decided that it’s illegal for the police to murder people; that Black lives matter,” said Stephen Colbert.“It’s hard to celebrate, because a man is still dead, but there is a sense of relief that at least this one injustice was not compounded with indifference. And it could easily have gone the other way. No matter what you saw on that tape, this nation does not have a great track record on this subject. But at least in this case, this man faces accountability.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“But justice is a far more difficult goal. America still has a problem of over-policing and systemic racism, but hopefully this is a step toward a future where police being held accountable for their actions isn’t headline material, and a hope that accountability today is a deterrent for tomorrow.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Today is one stop on a journey that began last May and led to protests calling for that accountability in every town and every city in America. But this is just one stop. There is more work to be done, and it’s work that all of us should be committed to, because as Ben Crump, the Floyd family lawyer, reminded us today, justice for Black America is justice for all America.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“And while this is a step in the right direction, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Too often, justice isn’t served, and the need for police reform remains. We all must continue to call out injustice until things change for the better.” — JIMMY FALLON“Real justice would be Black Americans not having to live in fear of being stopped by police and killed, and surely that is a verdict that we need to work towards. And that can be the verdict that one day we can celebrate.” — JAMES CORDEN“I think we’re all grateful that it went the way that it did. In this case, the jury made the correct decision, a unanimous decision, which is a step in the right direction. And I hope the verdict itself brings comfort to the family of George Floyd and all those who mourn his death. And I also want to say, ‘Good luck in prison, Derek, you’ll need it.’ That’s right. I hope you’re there for a very long time.” — JIMMY KIMMELThe Punchiest Punchlines (National Holiday Edition)“4/20, of course, is a holiday for pot smokers and pot eaters who celebrate 4/20 by doing pretty much exactly what they do every day.” — JIMMY KIMMEL“I read that 40 percent of people who smoke think 4/20 should be a national holiday, while the rest skipped work today because they thought it was a national holiday.” — JIMMY FALLON“Right now there is so much smoke in New York City, every apartment looks like it elected a new pope.” — JIMMY FALLON“And this April 20 is the big one, because today, 4/20 turned 50. Fifty! That means it’s old enough to sneak off into the garage while the kids are at soccer practice and smoke half a joint, but then it has a panic attack, so it spends the afternoon on the couch drinking water and watching QVC. Far out, man.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“This is the 50th anniversary because, back in 1971, a group of California high school students used to gather to smoke pot every day at 4:20 p.m. Admirable punctuality for a group of kids who were always high.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Not really as edgy, is it, as it used to be? Do you know what I mean? Now that marijuana is legal in California, you know? Sort of feels like the equivalent of White Wine Day.” — JAMES CORDEN“I hope we don’t get caught up in the commercialism of 4/20 and forget the real meaning of 4/20, you know?” — JAMES CORDENThe Bits Worth WatchingMike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and fiercely loyal Trump supporter, responded to Jimmy Kimmel’s Monday-night monologue, in which the host jokingly invited him on his show.What We’re Excited About on Wednesday NightRicky Martin will perform on Wednesday’s “Tonight Show.”Also, Check This OutChris Buck for The New York TimesSeth Rogen, above, has made a pivot from Hollywood stoner to homemade ceramist. More

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    After 'Tiger King,' Law Proposed to Protect Big Cats

    The Big Cat Public Safety Act has been introduced before, but a bipartisan group of lawmakers hopes the public outcry from the Netflix documentary series will finally help it become law.The former roadside zoo owner known as Joe Exotic, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, remains in prison. The animal rights activist he was convicted of trying to kill, Carole Baskin, was given control of his old zoo in Oklahoma.But one year after the premiere of the Netflix series “Tiger King,” an unexpected quarantine binge hit that focused on their feud and the cutthroat world of roadside zoos, big cats remain unprotected from the exploitative practices the series helped reveal.Now, a bipartisan group of United States senators has introduced the latest version of a bill designed to keep unlicensed individuals from owning tigers and other big cats and forbid zoo owners from letting the public pet the animals or hold cubs.Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, introduced the Big Cat Safety Act last year, but it did not make it to the floor for a vote. Mr. Blumenthal said he was hopeful that with Democrats in control and some Republicans already supportive of the legislation, this is the year the bill will finally clear the Senate.“What I’ve seen is a groundswell of support,” Mr. Blumenthal said on Tuesday. “I don’t want to overstate it, but it really seems like an idea whose time has come.”Two Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Richard Burr of North Carolina, agreed to introduce the bill on Monday with Mr. Blumenthal and Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat.“Big cats like lions, tigers, and cheetahs belong in their natural habitats, not in the hands of private owners where they are too often subject to cruelty or improper care,” Ms. Collins said in a statement.The bill is similar to legislation that Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, introduced in 2020.That bill, which would have allowed breeding and transporting of big cats only by educational facilities, and wildlife sanctuaries and zoos that restrict direct contact between animals and the public, had 230 sponsors and was passed by the House in December.Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, said the Big Cat Safety Act had the support of law enforcement organizations and dozens of zoos and sanctuaries, giving it “significant momentum.”“Whether it’s Joe Exotic, Doc Antle or Joe Blow, we can’t permit private individuals to keep big cats captive for pleasure or profit,” she said in a statement. “These operations endanger the public and produce the worst possible fate for the animals involved.”Under Mr. Blumenthal’s bill, it would be illegal for a private individual to transport big cats across state lines, breed them or own them. Zoos, sanctuaries and other exhibitors and organizations that are licensed by the Department of Agriculture or by a federal facility registered with the department would be exempt. Under the bill, no zoo or exhibitor could allow direct contact between members of the public and the animals.The law already requires all zoos to be licensed federally, according to Mr. Blumenthal’s office.Ms. Baskin’s organization, Big Cat Rescue, has long pushed for the Big Cat Safety Act, which was first introduced in 2012. The organization has been calling for a ban on cub petting for more than 20 years.“There is almost nothing more adorable than a tiger cub, and it’s very understandable if you don’t know the back story to want to pet a tiger cub and take a picture with it,” said Howard Baskin, Ms. Baskin’s husband and the treasurer and secretary of Big Cat Rescue. “It’s a miserable life for the cub.”The documentary was criticized by conservation groups and animal rights activists for not focusing enough on the abusive practices of roadside zoos and instead playing up salacious details, including the mystery around the disappearance of Ms. Baskin’s first husband.More tigers live in captivity in backyards, roadside zoos and truck stops in the United States than remain in the wild, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.Before his arrest and conviction, Mr. Maldonado-Passage was a major breeder and seller of tigers and other big cats, who churned out cubs for profitable petting and photo sessions. When they became too big and dangerous for play, he disposed of them.Some were sold as pets to private buyers and others went to other roadside zoos for breeding. Some simply disappeared.The documentary’s footage of baby cubs being ripped from their mothers so they could be petted by the public shocked many viewers. Since then, state legislators have introduced their own version of bills that would ban such practices.Keith Evans, president of the Lion Habitat Ranch in Las Vegas, which has 31 big cats, said he was worried that legislators have become too reactionary and that the new laws being passed around the country could create bureaucratic entanglements that would punish responsible zoo owners.“The way some of the bills are worded, they’re wide open to interpretation,” he said. “There are enough rules on the books that if they just enforce them it would make everybody happy.”Mr. Blumenthal said the bill he introduced was meant to protect big cats from cruel and dangerous practices, not hamstring responsible zoos and sanctuaries.He said the bill had been referred to the Environment and Public Works Committee, which Mr. Carper chairs.“My focus is on preventing abuse and exploitation of the big cats and safeguarding the public,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “Those two goals are paramount.” More

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    Felix Silla, Cousin Itt on ‘The Addams Family’ Dies at 84

    He made a strong impression in his best-known role, even though his face wasn’t seen and his voice wasn’t heard.Felix Silla, the actor best known for playing the hairy Cousin Itt on the sitcom “The Addams Family,” died on Friday. He was 84.The cause was cancer, Mr. Silla’s representative, Bonnie Vent, said in a statement. She did not say where he died.Mr. Silla, who stood less than four feet tall, appeared as Cousin Itt in 17 episodes of “The Addams Family,” although his face was not seen and his voice was not heard. Sporting a floor-length hairpiece, sunglasses and a bowler hat, Cousin Itt spoke in a high-pitched mumble (his voice was provided by someone else in postproduction), which was understood only by the other members of the family.“The Addams Family,” seen on ABC from 1964 to 1966, was based on Charles Addams’s New Yorker cartoons about a family that was (in the words of its theme song) “mysterious and spooky.” Cousin Itt, who became a fan favorite, was created specifically for the show.Mr. Silla in 1965 as the hairy Cousin Itt in “The Addams Family.” With him, from left, were John Astin (as Gomez Addams), Carolyn Jones (Morticia Addams) and Ted Cassidy (the butler Lurch).Walt Disney Television, via Getty ImagesMr. Silla’s face also went unseen in other roles, including the robot Twiki on the 1979-81 NBC science fiction series “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” He was unheard there as well; Twiki’s voice was provided for most of the show’s run by Mel Blanc.He played an Ewok who rode a hang glider in the “Star Wars” film “Return of the Jedi” (1983). Four years later he was in Mel Brooks’s “Star Wars” parody, “Spaceballs.”“Felix knew a lot about making characters come to life with no dialogue,” Ms. Vent said.Viewers had a chance to see Mr. Silla’s face in the 1975 film “The Black Bird,” a comedic sequel to “The Maltese Falcon,” in which he played a villain named Litvak who menaces Sam Spade Jr. (George Segal).Mr. Silla did stunt work in “E.T.” “Poltergeist,” “The Golden Child” and other films. His many TV appearances, in addition to “The Addams Family” and “Buck Rogers,” included roles on “Bewitched,” “Bonanza” and “H.R. Pufnstuf.”His final big-screen role was in “Characterz,” a 2016 film about costumed mascots.Felix Silla was born on Jan. 11, 1937, in Abruzzo, Italy, and came to the United States in 1955. He toured with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as a bareback rider, trapeze artist and tumbler. He began working in Hollywood as a stuntman in 1962.He is survived by his wife, Sue, and his daughter, Bonnie. His son, Michael, died last year.The New York Times contributed reporting. More

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    Jimmy Kimmel to Mike Lindell: The Obsession Is Mutual

    “Mike Lindell doesn’t seem to understand I’m his biggest fan,” Kimmel said of the MyPillow C.E.O. “I have no idea what he is doing, but I love it.”Welcome to Best of Late Night, a rundown of the previous night’s highlights that lets you sleep — and lets us get paid to watch comedy. We’re all stuck at home at the moment, so here are the 50 best movies on Netflix right now.‘Machines, Vaccines and Me’Mike Lindell, the founder of MyPillow, is a frequent target of late-night hosts who skewer him for supporting former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud. Having been barred from Twitter over those claims, Lindell launched his own social media platform on Monday with a livestream set to last 48 hours. Jimmy Kimmel’s name has come up more than a few times during what he described as Lindell’s “yellathon.”“It’s quite a production. Phones are ringing, there are crank calls pouring in, the lights went out. He kept ranting and raving about the same things over and over again — machines, vaccines and me,” Kimmel said.“A lot of people said the C.E.O. of a pillow company couldn’t successfully launch a major social media site, and those people were 100 percent correct.” — JIMMY KIMMEL“He’s been going nonstop since 7 o’clock this morning. In 17 hours, he’s taken maybe two breaths. At one point he claimed they had 75 million people watching. Even Trump was like, ‘Oh, please, quit exaggerating.’” — JIMMY KIMMEL“It’s like the Jerry Lewis telethon if Jerry was on a public access channel and crack.” — JIMMY KIMMEL“What Mike Lindell doesn’t seem to understand is I’m his biggest fan. I have no idea what he is doing, but I love it.” — JIMMY KIMMEL“Of course I would have him on our show, under two conditions. Number one, he has to actually come into our studio — I need to see him in person. I want to smell the knackwurst in his mustache. And number two, I would like to conduct our interview in a bed, surrounded by pillows. Just me and Mike snuggled up side by side in a California king surrounded by sacks of goose feathers.” — JIMMY KIMMELSunday Night SpecialPresident Biden and former President Barack Obama appeared alongside several celebrities on an NBC special Sunday night encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.“Almost no one watched that special. It had very low ratings. Why would we? We already had a special to promote the vaccine — it’s called the news every day for the past 13 months.”— JIMMY KIMMEL“The stars turned out in force to promote the vaccine, from Kumail Nanjiani and Ellen Pompeo, to Amanda Seyfried and Jane Seymour. And you can trust Jane Seymour, because she’s a medicine woman.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Another highlight came when Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by actor Matthew McConaughey. Wow, the sexiest man alive was interviewed by Matthew McConaughey!” — STEPHEN COLBERTThe Punchiest Punchlines (Life on Mars Edition)“NASA made history today with a successful helicopter flight on Mars. This marks the very first time an aircraft has been flown on another planet. ‘Helicopters on Mars’ — sounds like a band Jude Law was in at school.” — JAMES CORDEN“That’s right, a little helicopter detached from a rover and now they’re both exploring Mars. Or as Pixar put it, ‘Sold!’” — JIMMY FALLON“The flight lasted a total of 30 seconds. The men on the team said it was a complete success while the women agreed so they wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.” — JIMMY FALLON“It wasn’t a long flight, it lasted just 30 seconds and reached an altitude of about 10 feet. It may not sound like a lot, but 10 feet means Ingenuity can dunk.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“I say they’ve got two more flights before it ends up stuck on the neighbor’s roof.” — STEPHEN COLBERT“Today’s mission was the first of several, because the helicopter could make as many as five flights in the coming weeks — although, to save a couple bucks, one of those flights has a layover in Charlotte.” — STEPHEN COLBERTThe Bits Worth WatchingThe stand-up comic Tig Notaro told Jimmy Fallon all about her role in Zack Snyder’s new zombie film, “Army of the Dead.”What We’re Excited About on Tuesday NightCher will appear on Tuesday’s “Late Show.”Also, Check This OutThe closure of the ArcLight chain includes the Cinerama Dome, which was first shuttered when the pandemic hit.Kate Warren for The New York TimesThe director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Old Guard,” “Love & Basketball”) writes that the loss of ArcLight theaters in Los Angeles will be felt by filmmakers as much as by moviegoers. More