Friday, April 18, 2008 | return to: celebrities



by nate bloom

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Another hit for Apatow?

Judd Apatow scored major box-office hits by combining broad humor with touching romance in "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which Apatow produced, mines this same vein of material and features leading members of what many call the "Apatow Repertory Company."

Opening April 18, "Sarah Marshall" stars Jason Segel, 28, who also wrote the script. Segel's first acting role was on Apatow's short-lived 1999 TV series, "Freaks and Geeks." He currently co-stars as Marshall on the TV series "How I Met Your Mother," and he had a supporting role in "Knocked Up." (Nice to note: Segel was a celeb guest at a special televised Yom Kippur service that aired in 2003).

Segel plays Peter, a sweet guy with a slacker attitude who barely supports himself. Mostly he lives in the shadow of his beautiful girlfriend, superstar actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Peter is devastated when Sarah leaves him for a British rocker and he decides to get out of his funk by going to a Hawaiian resort. Well, much to his dismay, Sarah and her new boyfriend are also at the resort.

Things look up when Peter meets a beautiful hotel desk clerk (Mila Kunis, of "That '70s Show"). He also interacts with a dazed surfing instructor (Paul Rudd) and an aspiring musician (Apatow regular Jonah Hill).

Cable news Jews

A leading Bay Area Jewish journalist told me that the presidential race has just about everybody he knows watching a lot of cable news; he was curious who was Jewish on the networks. I don't know the background of many reporters, but here are some I do know about on CNN and MSNBC (I'll cover Fox News in the near future).

At CNN, there's talk show host Larry King and news anchors Campbell Brown and Wolf Blitzer. Brown, who was raised Catholic, converted to Judaism around the time of her 2006 marriage to Republican consultant Dan Senor. Also, CNN correspondent John King is studying to convert to Judaism for his May wedding to CNN reporter Dana Bash.

MSNBC has anchor Dan Abrams (the son of famous attorney Floyd Abrams); correspondent Andrea Mitchell (who is married to Alan Greenspan); and "Hardball" correspondent David Schuster, who's married to Bloomberg News correspondent Julianna Goldman. Also, "Today" host Matt Lauer, whose father is Jewish, often appears on MSNBC.

Of sports and politics

David Wallechinsky, 59, is almost uniquely qualified to comment on the current controversy about holding the Olympic Games in China while the Chinese government cracks down on Tibet and provides support for the genocidal Sudanese regime.

Wallechinsky, the son of the late novelist Irving Wallace, is a leading historian of the Olympics (his new book is called "The Complete History of the Olympics") and he's done Olympic Games commentary for NBC. He's also written extensively on dictatorial regimes, and his list of the "World's 10 Worst Dictatorships" has run for the last several years in Parade magazine.

In commentary for the Huffington Post, CNN and NPR, Wallechinsky has made an important point that a lot of pundits seem to forget to make. He says, "The International Olympic Committee made a mistake by choosing Beijing to host the 2008 Olympics — with 125 democracies in the world, there was no excuse for awarding the Games to one of the 70 or so countries still ruled by a dictatorship."

Wallechinsky, however, is against the rash of attacks on the Olympic torch relay runners, believing it will only lead the Chinese people to support their government.

Columnist Nate Bloom , an Oaklander, can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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