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  #1  
Old 01/15/2004, 1:41 AM
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Full Name: Alexandrea Borstein [news]
Date of Birth: February 15th, 1971
Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
Height / Weight: <unknown> / <unknown>
Seasons on MADtv: 3-7 (1997 - 2002)

Recurring Characters:Celebrity Impressions:
  • Anne Robinson
  • Betty Ford
  • Beverly Mitchell
  • Bjork
  • Candy Spelling
  • Chelsea Clinton
  • Cindy Williams
  • Debbie Rowe
  • Dolly Parton
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Emma Bunton
  • Eunice Wentworth
  • Geri Halliwell
  • Hallie Eisenberg
  • Jamie Lynn DiScala
  • Jane Pauley
  • Janeane Garofalo
  • Jean Stapleton
  • Jessica Price
  • Josť Carreras
  • Joyce Dewitt
  • Julie Cypher
  • Kristin Davis
  • Marie Osmond
  • Mary Bono
  • Maura Tierney
  • Megan Mullally
  • Monica Lewinsky
  • Natalie Merchant
  • Patsy Ramsey
  • Regis Philbin
  • Ron Howard
  • Rose Marie
  • Roseanne
  • Rosie O'Donnell
  • Sarah Kelly
  • Tori Spelling
  • Vivian Vance
Biography:
Alex was born on February 15, 1971, to Irving and Judith Borstein. In 1980, Alex and her family moved to California, where Alex finished her schooling. After high school, Alex moved to San Francisco and attended San Francisco State University. When college was finished, Alex decided to move back to Southern California, where she got a job at advertisement agency, writing advertisements for Barbie. She then went to a comedy club, where she performed with other actors almost every night. While she at the comedy club, she met two people: her husband and her co-writer. While performing a show in Texas, Alex was discovered by a MADtv Casting Agent. Before she knew it, she was a regular on MADtv. While working on MADtv, Alex met Seth McFarland. Seth was starting an animated show called Family Guy. Alex was very lucky and landed a main role: Lois Griffin. She is currently working on Family Guy and was recently seen in Catwoman.

Where are they now?
As of Summer 2007, Alex is living in California with her husband Jackson Douglas and Pepper, her Yorkshire Terrier. She is currently still working on the animated series, Family Guy, and is also shooting Will Sasso's film "For Christ's Sakes".

Television - Starring Roles:Television - Guest Roles:Film - Starring Roles:Film - Supporting Roles:Other Credits:Fun Facts:
  • When Alex was young, everyone called her Andrea.
  • Alex's chief inspiration for Ms. Swan was her Czech immigrant grandmother who always used her foreign-ness and the possibility of misunderstanding to her advantage.
  • Alex majored in Rhetoric in college.
  • Alex had never heard of or watched MADtv until she auditioned for it.
  • Alex has Hungarian, Mongolian, Russian, and Polish roots.
  • Alex first performed stand-up at age 16
  • Alex competed in a stand-up contest at San Francisco State, but lost to Margaret Cho.
  • Alex has written for cartoons like Casper and Pinky and the Brain.
Famous Catch-Phrases:
  • "I tell you every-ting." --Ms. Bunny Swan
  • "He look-a like-a man." --Ms. Bunny Swan
  • "Yeah, yeah, okay, yeah." --Ms. Bunny Swan
  • "You no say that before!" --Ms. Bunny Swan
  • "You are the love of my life." --Jasmine Wayne-Wayne
  • "You are the one that I love." --Jasmine Wayne-Wayne
  • "This is the land that I love." --Jasmine Wayne-Wayne
  • "DI-ANE!" --Sue Napersville
Memorable Quotes:
  • "I am an anal, control freak." --Alex Borstein (Backstage.com Interview)
  • "I find Will irresistible as Kenny. I'm biased." --Alex Borstein (Junk-Mag.com Interview)
  • "I'm laughing right now at something hilarious that I just did. God dammit! I am so ****ing funny!" --Alex Borstein (Junk-Mag.com Interview)
Pertinent Links:Special Thanks:Sources:__________________________________________________

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Last edited by tvmanismadformad; 07/05/2009 at 10:32 PM. Reason: "Special Thanks" Added
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  #2  
Old 01/16/2004, 11:39 AM
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Default Her website:

www.alexborstein.com

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  #3  
Old 02/10/2004, 7:45 PM
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from alexborstein.com

In answer to many of your emails, YES, Alex has written a script for a MS. SWAN MOVIE. Don't get too excited, there's a very long road ahead before we will know if it will ever get made. Alex is cautiously optimistic. Keep those fingers crossed!

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Peter: What the hell does RANT mean?
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Old 02/10/2004, 10:22 PM
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Mark Mitchell wrote Alex an email and in her response back she basically told him that what he wrote to her made no sense whatsoever.

I almost died when he told me that...........LOL

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Old 02/10/2004, 10:55 PM
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he basically told her that he enjoyed her on "MO TV" and a bunch of other **** while constantly referring to the show as "MO TV"

That's probably what did it, now I wonder how fast Alex will have him blocked from sending her emails.

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  #6  
Old 02/21/2004, 10:39 PM
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thats funny...

anyway i think its also worth noting alex was in a Folk band during college called "The Rashods"
u can download some of their songs via mp3.com
just search for "the rashods" and u should come across their page
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  #7  
Old 02/24/2004, 5:08 PM
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Alex is my internet buddy
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  #8  
Old 02/24/2004, 5:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ota-witch
Alex is my internet buddy

Thats so awesome,
Ive emailed her 3 times, and never got a response.
afterall she is my second favorite cast member ever!

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[color= red]
Cake. it my favorite.
Cake. I wish I had some now.
Cake. It comes in flavors like chocolate and regular.
Cake. DON'T FORGET THE FROSTING.
Cake. Share it with a friend.
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  #9  
Old 02/24/2004, 5:28 PM
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What inside scoop..... Oh, and being the busy actress she is she only checks her mail very rarely.
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  #10  
Old 02/24/2004, 5:29 PM
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Yeah I know. I wasnt really expecting a reply anyway. Ima looser.

But im not saying I dont want one.

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[color= red]
Cake. it my favorite.
Cake. I wish I had some now.
Cake. It comes in flavors like chocolate and regular.
Cake. DON'T FORGET THE FROSTING.
Cake. Share it with a friend.
[/color]

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  #11  
Old 02/25/2004, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ota-witch
What inside scoop..... Oh, and being the busy actress she is she only checks her mail very rarely.
I bet she has someone who helps her w/ her email, right?

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  #12  
Old 03/02/2004, 9:50 AM
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Alex is awesome!! She's definitly one of my favorite castmembers. Even though she's not on the show anymore...I can still enjoy her through Comedy Central I've written to her a few times as well and still no response but I know she's very busy!! I'd still like to hear from her so I'm not going to give up!!
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Old 03/03/2004, 1:59 AM
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both times i've written to her i have got responses and she sent me a signed pic via snail mail a while back too
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Old 03/03/2004, 12:49 PM
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Alex sent Tarza a signed pic of herself.

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Old 03/04/2004, 4:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by tarzapam
both times i've written to her i have got responses and she sent me a signed pic via snail mail a while back too
That is so cool!! Hope that happens to me one day!!
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Old 03/19/2004, 8:41 PM
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How did u get her email address? I'd like to email her

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Old 03/19/2004, 8:55 PM
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It's on her website www.alexborstein.com

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Old 03/19/2004, 10:22 PM
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Very good article on Alex> I believe it's a radio interview that she did.


Profile: Comedian Alex Borstein investigates the making of a class clown



Weekend Edition - Sunday (NPR); 3/3/2001; LISA SIMEONE


Weekend Edition - Sunday (NPR)

03-03-2001

Profile: Comedian Alex Borstein investigates the making of a class clown

Host: LISA SIMEONE
Time: 8:00-9:00 PM

LISA SIMEONE, host:

We close tonight's program with the latest installment of our series Along for the Ride. Every month we ask a different creative person to lead us to someone, something or someplace special. Today comedian Alex Borstein brings us a story about funny kids. Borstein is a regular sketch comedy performer on the Fox Television show "Mad TV," where she plays a wild assortment of quirky characters. In one skit she plays a troll who keeps shoppers out of The Gap store unless they can solve her sphinxlike riddles.

(Soundbite of "Mad TV")

Ms. ALEX BORSTEIN: I start black as night. In time I turn quite bright. I have not wit but there is none sharper. What am I?

Unidentified Woman: Are you a diamond?

Ms. BORSTEIN: Yes! Welcome to The Gap.

It still boggles my mind that I'm on TV. Whenever I see the opening credits of "Mad TV," I think, `Well, I'll be damned. Alex Borstein. How did that happen?' My full name is Alexandria Borstein, and for the first part of my life I went by Andrea. My parents call me Andrea, my brothers call me Andrea, even my dog calls me Andrea. Andrea. Now when I say it, it sounds funny. I'm such a different person--or so I thought before diving into this radio piece. I wanted to find out just when it was in my life that I became funny. When did Andrea become Alex? I figured the best place to start would be at the dinner table with my parents. Meet Judith and Irving Borstein, both mental health professionals, at their home in Los Angeles.

I'm trying to find out why I'm so crazy and why I work in comedy.

Mrs. JUDITH BORSTEIN (Mother): Well, I'm sure part of it is hereditary. I think my mother's pretty crazy and funny at times.

Mr. IRVING BORSTEIN (Father): You're defending yourself really, you know, against...

Ms. BORSTEIN: What?

Mr. BORSTEIN: ...Evan--against your brother Evan. It's like...

Ms. BORSTEIN: The two older brothers syndrome?

Mr. BORSTEIN: The older brothers is like...

Ms. BORSTEIN: Adam is the oldest and I'm the baby of the family, but our middle brother, Evan, was often the center of attention growing up. At school because he was a cute jock; and at home because he had a serious medical condition.

Mr. BORSTEIN: First of all, he was the tennis star, you know, and he could get hurt.

Ms. BORSTEIN: And the hemophiliac, which is rare.

Mr. BORSTEIN: And a hemophiliac and this cute kid--you know what I mean--and so forth. And he was--you know, so I'm just wondering how much that had to do with your getting attention and, you know, being funny and so forth.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Probably. And I think there were so many serious moments to diffuse, so many close calls with him and life and death situations that it was easier for me to make jokes to console...

Mr. BORSTEIN: Did it scare you when he got hurt? Did you get frightened?

Ms. BORSTEIN: Sure. Oh, God, yeah. Always. I mean, Adam would make bleeding jokes. You know, we would do--with his syringes that he always had around the house when he'd have to self-medicate. We'd always have them around the house. We'd do goofy things with the syringes. I'd put them up to my chest and shoot water out and...

Mr. BORSTEIN: I didn't know that.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Well, I was little. That was funny then.

If home was my dress rehearsal, then school was my first big break. Between my family's moves and my expulsions or opportunity transfers, as they like to call them, I learned how to work a room. When it was time for high school, I made a bold move and enrolled across the city at Hollywood High, school of the performing arts. I knew the moment I stepped off that bus that I'd better be funny.

I always felt different from the other kids at every school I'd ever gone to, but at Hollywood High, I really was different. I mean, I was one of the only white kids and the only Jewish kid around. I was the minority. It was then that I started going by Alex all the time.

Mr. BORSTEIN: I remember, too, at Hollywood High you had this math teacher, this Russian teacher.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Mr. Shutovsky(ph).

Mr. BORSTEIN: Mr. Tovsky--what was he teaching?

Ms. BORSTEIN: Shutovsky.

Mr. BORSTEIN: What course was he teaching?

Mrs. BORSTEIN: Algebra.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Algebra.

Mr. BORSTEIN: We went to see him once and he actually cried. What did he cry...

Mrs. BORSTEIN: We had a parent-teachers conference and he broke down and cried.

Mr. BORSTEIN: `She's torturing me,' he said.

Ms. BORSTEIN: I think how I used to torture him most was his accent. He had a very thick Russian accent, and I would do it. I would mimic him.

Mrs. BORSTEIN: You'd make fun of him.

Ms. BORSTEIN: That was a lot of--so he would say, like, `All right. Pull out your books.' And I'd say, `Your books.' And he'd kind of be like, `OK, funny, funny. Please pull out your books.' So, I mean, the guy was practically crying. At first I think he thought the best way to deal with it was kind of be friendly, and then that was only worse because I just...

Mrs. BORSTEIN: And you took more advantage and...

Ms. BORSTEIN: Yeah, I just talked more, made more jokes, made people laugh and...

That poor guy. I wonder was it was that gave me that final push from class clown to professional comedian. After all, not every funny kid grows up to be a professionally funny adult. I like to think that it takes something special, and it was exactly this quality of special that I went looking for when I hit the halls of Marshall Fundamental, a six-through-12 public school in Pasadena, California. I was sure the sight of a locker would give me a rash, but I braved it anyway. I wanted to meet today's crop of troublemakers--I mean, kids. I mean, future Alexes.

Here we go walking the long road through the hallways. Wow, this is chilling just to be here. There's a leak here. Someone ought to fix that. Oh, I'm passing by the nurse's office. That's where I spent a lot of time. When in doubt, have a headache, and you get to go lie down, and then you skip a class and go back and start all over again.

(Soundbite of school hallway activity; bell)

Ms. BORSTEIN: OK, I'm Alex. Hello.

Group of Students: (In union) Hello.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Very good. So I don't know--for those of you who don't know what I do or who I am, I work on a show called "Mad TV," which is--Yea! Which is the other sketch comedy show, we like to say. This is Eddie right here. Everyone's pointed to you and says you're class clown.

EDDIE (Student): Yeah.

Ms. BORSTEIN: And are you?

EDDIE: I don't know. They laugh. I talk, they laugh. It's not like, you know, I've gotta try.

Ms. BORSTEIN: You don't ever tell jokes?

EDDIE: That's not the point. I can say, `chicken,' and everybody just starts laughing.

Ms. BORSTEIN: I guess you're right. But it had to start somewhere. You must have done something really funny once.

EDDIE: It started in fifth grade.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Yeah?

EDDIE: I think it was when I was walking out there and I just tripped, and I just got up and I was, like, `I'm dirty.'

Ms. BORSTEIN: So maybe if you tripped, it could be really embarrassing and instead you made a joke about it so then everybody laughed.

EDDIE: Yeah, maybe--yeah.

Ms. BORSTEIN: I think for me when I started being like kind of a class clown was for that kind of a reason--to--I was always chubby and I'd go into a new class and I was always afraid I'd get made fun of, so I immediately started telling jokes or being funny, and then people didn't care so much what I looked like. People didn't concentrate on that. They just thought I was funny.

EDDIE: Yeah.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Yeah--what I said.

EDDIE: Yeah. Everybody know my name. They're just like, `Oh, what's that kid's name?' `Oh--oh, I think his name is Eddie.' Oh, no.

Ms. BORSTEIN: So it's kind of made you famous in your school.

EDDIE: Just for this class right now.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Just this class. But you're going to eventually move on...

EDDIE: Yeah. Yeah, I'm going to spread.

Ms. BORSTEIN: ...to the higher school. Right. Pick up different demographics and what not. And do you get in trouble a lot for being funny?

EDDIE: Most of the time.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Yeah?

EDDIE: Most of the time. I get away with about two or three.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Two or three a day?

EDDIE: Nah, about a week.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Oh, a week.

EDDIE: No, a week.

Ms. BORSTEIN: OK. How about right behind you. You have a funny story?

JANET (Student): My name is Janet and every time, like, Eddie's pencil falls down, he like tackles it. He falls on the floor to try and make people laugh.

ANISSA (Student): My name is Anissa(ph), and Eddie, he just does stuff to you, like he'll call your name or he'll poke at you, and then when you get out of the classroom you see a whole bunch of girls running after him. Then he gets mad when he gets kicked or hit or something. Sometimes it makes you mad, but not that mad.

ALEX (Student): My name is Alex and...

Ms. BORSTEIN: That's a great name.

ALEX: ...Eddie sometimes likes to make fun of songs that he listens on the radio. There's a song called--I forgot what the song was, but he likes saying, `Take a bath, wash yourself, take a bath, show me what you're washing.'

Unidentified Student #1: It's called "Shake Your Butt."

Ms. BORSTEIN: So he'll change the lyrics? What's the name of the song?

Unidentified Student #2: "Shake Your Thing(ph)."

Unidentified Student #3: The last word is a curse word, but since we little kids, we just say, `Shake Your Butt.'

Ms. BORSTEIN: How does the song go?

Unidentified Student #3: It goes, `Shake your butt. Watch yourself. Shake your butt. Show me what you're working with.'

Ms. BORSTEIN: All right. And he changed that to, `Take a bath. Wash yourself. Take a bath. Show me what you'--that's very clever. That's a song parody. You've got all the makings to be on "Mad TV." This is all we do.

EDDIE: Last year I had a teacher crying before.

Ms. BORSTEIN: From laughter I hope.

EDDIE: He literally cried.

Ms. BORSTEIN: From being funny. Is that your goal in every class, to try to make the teacher laugh?

EDDIE: Yeah.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Why?

EDDIE: 'Cuz like it's hard but when you did it that day, you'll feel good after it. You will.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Well, no, I'm interested. What about it makes you feel good?

EDDIE: You got the teacher to laugh. That's like getting God to laugh.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Wow.

EDDIE: You know, it's hard but you've got to have enough skills and stuff.

Ms. BORSTEIN: Do you think you could actually get God to laugh one day?

EDDIE: Maybe.

SIMEONE: That was Eddie, class clown and middle school student in Pasadena, California, talking with comedian Alex Borstein. There's lots more to Alex's journey. Check out the Along for the Ride Web show at npr.org.

(Credits)

SIMEONE: And for this evening, that's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

(Credits)

SIMEONE: Good evening from NPR News and WEEKEND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

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Old 03/19/2004, 10:24 PM
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Another one:

TV Talk; A love letter to 'Gilmore Girls'.(TV Plus)



The Boston Herald; 1/14/2001; Amatangelo, Amy

I want to move to Stars Hollow, the fictional Connecticut town brought to life in the WB's new drama "Gilmore Girls," airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. WLVI (Ch. 56).

In this magical town, creator and producer Amy Sherman-Palladino has created a cast of characters that actually behave like real people. Stars Hollow embraces its residents and by extension its viewers. It's the type of town that only exists on television, but is so believable that it has become a major character. Stars Hollow deserves an agent and a long-term contract.

I haven't felt this connected to a made-up location since 1984. That was the year I told my mom I wanted to go to Pine Valley for our family vacation. But I digress.

Since its premiere, "Gilmore Girls" has quickly lived up to the promise of its pilot and evolved into the best new show of the season. But because it airs opposite "Friends," it's quite possible that Sherman-Palladino's immediate family and a few devoted fans are the only ones watching the show each week.

I'm not prepared to have another quality show go the way of "Freaks & Geeks," so here's the update: Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) is the 32-year-old single mother of 16-year-old Rory (Alexis Bledel). The birth of her daughter when she was 16 and unmarried has caused Lorelai to become permanently alienated from her steely mother Emily (Kelly Bishop) and her affable but aloof father Richard (Edward Herrmann).

Despite having some of the best dramas on television ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," and "Felicity") and this season's best new comedy (the satirical "Grosse Pointe"), the WB is frequently overlooked. Many disregard the frog network a merely a place where beautiful young actors dress in beautiful clothes and use an inappropriately large vocabulary.

The residents of Stars Hollow are well dressed, but they're also age-appropriate. Rory's never dressed in anything your own mother wouldn't let you out of the house in. And sure, they're beautiful. Particularly dreamy is Jared Padalecki as Rory's boyfriend Dean. With his floppy hair and shy smile, he's perfectly poised to become the next heartthrob. But the show also allows for the type of beauty that's over 35 and larger than a size two.

After years of forgettable series (including this summer's doomed "MYOB"), Graham has found a role that could and should make her a household name. Bledel looks like she could actually be a real teenager (because at 18 she still is) and brings credibility to her role of an overachieving student. In many ways, the Gilmore girls are raising each other, and the show expertly explores this mother-daughter bond.

Never are the characters confined to one-dimensional definitions. In a role that easily could have become nothing more than a wealthy, heartless snob, Bishop, along with some deft writing, has made Emily a compassionate character.

The show's quirky lines are more trendy and funny than the zingers Will and Grace lodge at each other. When Rory is appalled that her mother might date her teacher, Lorelai tells her, "You can't always control who you are attracted to. I think the whole Angelina Jolie, Billy Bob Thorton thing really proves that." Fun stuff.

But "Gilmore Girls" also cleverly balances humor with the struggle of growing up and the difficulty of being a daughter no matter what your age. It taps into multi-generational family angst. "It's just the daughter part I don't have down yet," Lorelai laments when she's complimented on her mothering skills.

"Gilmore Girls" also knows that eccentric characters are best when offered up in small packages. Therefore, the snarky Michel (Yanic Truesdale) weaves in and out of scenes offering up disdainful comments without overtaking the central action. Alex Borstein's perpetually cranky cellist also makes brief but equally hysterical appearances. The producers of NBC's "Ed" should take note and tone down Phil's (Michael Ian Black) presence on that show.

As Lorelai's potential love interest Luke Danes, Scott Patterson is doing for coffee shops what John Corbett did for radio stations on "Northern Exposure." (Watch the show, you'll see what I mean.)

All this plus Sally Struthers' return to series television as Lorelai and Rory's zany neighbor.

In a recent episode Lorelai said, "It's hard to imagine living somewhere else." It's even harder to imagine watching something else on Thursday night.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Boston Herald

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Old 03/19/2004, 10:38 PM
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'LIZZIE' STAR NO SANDRA DEE.(Living)(Movie review)(Review)



The Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH); 5/2/2003

Byline: Joe Baltake Scripps Howard News Service

It's curious. While few people had respect for Doris Day and Sandra Dee when they were in their Hollywood prime, now we can't seem to get enough of the kinds of fluff movies in which the two actresses specialized with such ease.

The current Amanda Bynes teen flick, "What A Girl Wants," is not only like a Sandra Dee movie, it was actually cribbed from one, and now we have Hilary Duff's "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" in which Duff tries to channel Dee's style.

But to paraphrase a rather famous political quote, I've seen Sandra Dee and -- Miss Bynes and Miss Duff -- you're no Sandra Dee. Neither one of you.

Of these two wannabes, Duff is the more annoying -- a rather elderly looking "teenager" who is given to overacting, particularly when she's in a scene in which another performer is talking. She hasn't mastered the knack of listening in a subtle way, but rather, responds to everything by contorting her pretty face.

She purses her lips, furrows her brow, squints her eyes, flips her hair, looks confused. She gives her face a workout. She does everything except actually listen to the character doing the talking.

It's a precious, self-conscious style of "acting" that only another teenage girl could possibly appreciate.

A product of the Disney Channel, Duff is essentially a new-style Mouseketeer, only she doesn't tap dance. And her movie is an extension of her Disney Channel TV series, "Lizzie McGuire," a show that sets the women's movement back several decades.

But let's get positive here -- like Lizzie herself. The movie is a breezy vacation/travelogue, not unlike "What a Girl Wants," in that it frees Duff's Lizzie to run amok in a foreign country. In this case, it's Italy, where she is on a school trip under the watchful eye of Miss Ungermeyer (a movie-stealing Alex Borstein who behaves as if she's in another film altogether).

On the trip with Lizzie are two familiar schoolmates (and regulars from the TV series) -- best friend Gordo (Adam Lamberg) and rival Kate (Ashlie Brillault), your typical teen-girl bully who talks in Valley-speak. Hallie Todd and Robert Carradine, also from the TV series, make token appearances as Lizzie's true-blue parents.

Anyway, thanks to the vagaries of timing, Lizzie arrives in Italy just at the time when her look-alike, pop star Isabella (also played by Duff, in a dark wig), has disappeared. Isabella has walked out on her partner, Paolo (Yani Gellman), over artistic differences, and Paolo, who is handsome and charming in a Eurotrash way, finesses Lizzie into taking Isabella's place on stage for their next big gig. This means that Lizzie has to lead a double life, trying to please both Miss Ungermeyer and Paolo. Of course, Lizzie knocks them dead at the concert (lip-syncing to an Isabella recording), pure teen-fantasy stuff. And, before that, she gets to indulge in the kind of extended fashion show that was a trademark of Day's flicks.

But "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" is not without its subversive humor, thanks mostly to the wry Borstein, the "MAD TV" regular who is more than ready for her own film. She's a female Jim Carrey. And that fashion show is hilarious because the so-called fashions are so hideous. I have a hunch that this was the touch of director Jim Fall. He's cut out for better. Get this man a musical to direct already.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

Hilary Duff lives out a teen fantasy in "Lizzie McGuire."

COPYRIGHT 2003 The Cincinnati Post. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the Dialog Corporation by Gale Group



------------------------------------------------


Another article this time about Ms. Swan

Small steps for minorities.(Multiethnic coalition cites some gains for minorities but nearly equal losses)(Brief Article)



Broadcasting & Cable; 11/20/2000; Ault, Susanne

Multiethnic coalition cites some gains for minorities but nearly equal losses

Converging at a press conference six months after NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox signed agreements guaranteeing they would fill their ranks with more minorities, a multiethnic coalition assessed the Big 4's performance again last week. Not one got high marks.

The networks took some steps forward (the NAACP reported a hike in the number of African-Americans in TV this new fall season), but, according to the coalition, they took just as many steps back.

"Some progress has been made. ... African-Americans have enjoyed better access to on-air and production positions," said NAACP representative Debbie Liu. "However, I say this with guarded caution, given the appalling lack of progress of every network to measurably further opportunities for Asian Pacific Americans, Latinos and Native Americans." Liu added, "We have a long, long way to go."

On the upside, NBC can boast a 14% surge in black on-air talent, CBS has new shows C.S.I. and The District with African-American lead actors, the hero on Fox's Boston Public (Chi McBride) is African-American and ABC'S Gideon's Crossing features seven black actors in featured roles.

Troubling to the coalition is that there are fewer Asian Pacific American cast as regulars than last year, mainly because CBS canceled Martial Law, starring Sammo Hung, and compounded by the fact that there are no rookie series that include Asians in significant roles.

Also, the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition is urging advertisers to stop supporting Fox sketch comedy series MAD TV because of its character, Ms. Swan. Although played by non-Asian Alex Borstein "Ms. Swan is clearly intended to be Asian. And by making fun of the way she talks, Mad TV just mocks her ethnicity," said Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, who has met with Fox executives but hasn't gotten far with his protests.

Latina actress Jessica Alba headlines Fox's Dark Angel, but for the most part, "this season is an unqualified disappointment for the Latino community," noted Raul Yzaguirre, the National Latino Media Council's spokesman. And currently, no Native Americans have landed big acting or production gigs on this fall's new regular series.

The WB and UPN, working with smaller budgets, have so far been spared major criticism, and clearly, the Big 4 thought last week's grade didn't give the whole story.

The networks are getting a litle time to improve, in part, because two executives, ABC's John Rose and Fox's Mitsy Wilson, hired to direct their networks' diversity efforts are just getting started in their news posts. Moreover, it's going to take more than six months to move some diversity initiatives through the pipeline.

"Diversity remains an important initiative at ABC, and we have had significant progress, but we agree that more needs to be done," says Rose, who is proud of jump-starting a talent development program to "nurture and support minority writers, directors and filmmakers."

CBS' Josie Thomas and NBC's Paula Madison have had more time, and the coalition was that much tougher on NBC and CBS.

In giving CBS an "F," Karen Narasaki, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium said that "despite the emphatic promises by Les Moonves [CBS Television chief], the prime time exclusion of Asian Pacific Americans at CBS is worse this year than the whitewash of last year. The good news is that they doubled the number of Asian writers--but that wasn't hard since they had only one last year."

None of the other ethnic groups gave grades.

Narasaki handed "D" grades to the other three; her best mark, a "D+," went to NBC. No Asian Pacific American stars in prime time, but this fall NBC added two shows with significant Asian roles (now-canceled Deadline featured Christina Chang, DAG includes Lauren Tom).

Even so, Madison and Thomas want to pass with flying colors. "We are very aware of the need to bring diversity into our ranks," said Madison. "We'll continue to work on that. But this is not an easy progression."

Said Thomas: "We recognize that there are areas where we need to redouble our efforts and we intend to continue our ongoing talks with the coalition."

NBC'S Madison believes more blacks than other minorities have entered entertainment-geared learning programs and are further in "the pipeline" toward jobs in the TV industry. To spark the interests' of others, Madison has kick-started an NBC internship program for students at two Native American reservations in South Dakota.

"Right now, we have about 500 interns at NBC, but no Native Americans in that group," said Madison. "So by going to their colleges, we'll get them excited about TV ...and after a reasonable amount of time, hope to have a robust number of Native Americans in our TV work force."

This summer, NBC will sponsor workshops that will coach minorities on how to become TV writers and will "introduce minority voices into prime time television," Madison added.

NBC Studios President Ted Harbert will steer a session for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Orlando. And Garth Ancier, the network's entertainment head, will teach a program in Phoenix for the Association of Black Journalists.

CBS has held outreach events at the Directors Guild of America and Writers Guild of America, spreading the word that Hollywood's studio community should consider hiring more minority talent.

Coalition members realize that their gripes with the networks are just battles in their larger war to achieve more diversity. The next phase of the group's negotiations is to go after talent agencies, studios and advertising agencies, encouraging them to approve initiatives similar to the networks.

------------------------------------------------


Can race be a laughing matter?(VARIETY / FREETIME)



Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN); 8/23/2002; Justin, Neal

Byline: Neal Justin; Staff Writer

Sarah Silverman, one of the funniest comics in the business, made headlines last summer for all the wrong reasons. During an appearance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," she made a joke about trying to get out of jury duty. A friend advised her to write something offensive on the application form, such as "I hate *****s," so that they wouldn't take her. Silverman said she didn't want people to think so negatively of her, so instead she wrote, "I love *****s."

The joke triggered a groundswell of protest, and eventually both NBC and O'Brien issued apologies. Silverman, however, stood her ground, and defended the bit in two appearances on "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher," saying comedy can shed light on racism and injustice.

Silverman's act, and other examples of humor incorporating racial stereotypes, were the subject of a panel discussion that I moderated earlier this month at the Asian American Journalism Association convention in Dallas.

The all-star panel for "Race: A Laughing Matter" included Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which led the protest against Silverman; Keiko Agena, who stars on WB's "Gilmore Girls"; Amy Leang, a Detroit Free Press photographer who caused a stir last year when she publicly criticized a comedy troupe, the Capitol Steps, for using pidgin English during a sketch for the American Society of Newspaper Editors; Henry Cho, a veteran standup comic and former host of NBC's "Friday Night Videos"; Ben Sargent, who has won two Pulitzer Prizes for his editorial cartoons at the Austin American-Statesman in Texas, and John Cho, who stars on WB's "Off Centre."

The following are excerpts from our discussion:

Justin: Henry, do you defend comics who use derogatory terms? Comics need freedom, right?

Henry Cho: I haven't cursed on stage in 16 years, but if it's funny, it's funny. I watched Richard Pryor the other night. Laughed my butt off. I know Sarah [Silverman] very well, and she's probably the funniest female under 30 walking the face of the Earth, and I know that joke. Did it strike a nerve with me? No, but I told her that she was going to get some letters on that one.

Aoki: If an Asian-American is making fun of its own community, I think that's accepted because the audience sees some greater truth in it, like Margaret Cho imitating her Korean mother. But if it's someone from outside the community who makes fun of a minority, there's some suspicion there. If Margaret was to make a joke about blacks, people would feel more uncomfortable.

Justin: Ben, as the token white guy on the panel, how do you feel about that? Are you restricted about what you can say about other races?

Sargent: I agree with Guy. All humor has a victim, every joke has a butt, so it all depends on who is telling the joke and what the joke is. This is kind of embarrassing, but just about every editorial cartoonist in the country is a white guy. There's a Hispanic cartoonist in Los Angeles, and I think the fact that he's Hispanic gives him more leeway. It can be a very hazy line. If you're drawing someone, there are techniques you use for the reader so you won't have to label them. But there's a line you don't want to cross.

Agena: There's a really great comic who I personally love on "Mad TV" who does Ms. Swan [Alex Borstein]. She always makes me laugh and I wonder if that's a bad thing, because she's not Asian. The only justification I have is that she's very specific about this one person and it's not just a broad, stereotypical-type thing.

John Cho: I have the same feeling about her. I don't know if us being actors and comics biases us.

Leang: I think it all comes down to cultural awareness. We can laugh at white people because we're aware of that culture. And we can laugh at Chris Tucker because the black culture is more ingratiated into society. But no one's aware of our culture. So when they laugh at us, it's like we're the butt of the joke.

Aoki: Can I say something about Ms. Swan? I disagree with people who say that one character is OK. It's basically "yellow face." If someone were to go blackface and do what she's doing, just see what the response would be.

Justin: Well, Billy Crystal used to do Sammy Davis Jr. on "Saturday Night Live." Jimmy Kimmel does Karl Malone.

Aoki: When Ms. Swan came on Fox in 1997, she was the only Asian character on all of Fox - and she's not even Asian. So you've got to ask yourself: This is the only example of the Asian person on the entire network? Ms. Swan sends everything backward.

Henry Cho: I've been pitching shows for years, and I've heard networks say, "Why don't you write a character like Ms. Swan into your show?" I've left the table every time. A few years ago, I had this great script in which Pat Morita would play my dad, a widower that I would teach how to date again. It was very funny. They said it'd actually be funnier if I spoke broken English. No it wouldn't. It has nothing to do with it. So I walked. Pat called me and said, "I would have done it." Trust me, if I was waiting tables and I had to do it to make a living, I may have sold out a decade ago. Fortunately, I was very successful at standup comedy, and I make a living doing what I love.

Agena: Maybe it's the age I'm auditioning for, but they don't have those stereotypes of having to speak broken English. But I've just started doing voice-overs, and that does come up a lot. That's a little hard for me, largely because I don't do it very well. I'll be honest. I've tried. I don't know where the line is. I haven't defined it for myself yet.

John Cho: I would be really suspicious about doing an accent, but I don't want to say I won't do one, because a lot of the world speaks English with an accent, and I don't want to dismiss those roles right off the bat.

Henry Cho: I didn't have any problems growing up. Now I'm an adult, and I have problems because the pinheads in Hollywood aren't like my neighbors. They won't accept me for me.

- Neal Justin is at njustin@startribune.com.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Star Tribune Co.

--------------------------------------------------


Margaret Cho Gets Serious



The Washington Post; 8/30/2002


The Washington Post

08-30-2002

Margaret Cho Gets Serious
Edition: FINAL
Section: Weekend

MARGARET CHO is not funny.

Not first thing in the morning, anyway, which is when I reach the comedian
by phone at her Hollywood home. There'll be no jokes today about menstruation
or her misadventures with colonic hydrotherapy, two of the less unseemly
topics discussed in her new concert film, "Notorious C.H.O." (see review
on Page 46). Today she'll talk about . . . mental health.

"For some," she says, "my act is pure entertainment. For others, it's
a kind of healing." Something about the way she says this suggests she's
not just talking about her audience either, which can include a theater
with a few thousand paying customers or a dozen gay, lesbian and bisexual
teens "sitting in a room."

"A lot of my material comes out of my own pain," says Cho, who compares
her envelope-pushing style, both on stage and in the unpublicized motivational
speaking engagements she does for small groups, to that of Sandra Bernhard,
Richard Pryor and Roseanne, performers who mine their own lives for laughs.
"It's like they say: Comedy is tragedy plus distance."

At times, it seems as if there's nothing off limits to the 33-year-old
performer -- not her family, her sex life nor her insecurities about body
image. "Things that are off limits are things that are happening to me
at the moment," says Cho, "that are very present. In general, I don't feel
like talking about something until I'm done with it. If it's happening,
it's too raw."

"I've experienced every kind of discrimination there is," she continues,
noting, as she does in the film, that, as a person of size, as a person
of color, as a woman, a bisexual, as a person of intelligence and a person
of integrity, she is a minority several times over.

So, does that mean that straight, skinny, stupid, dishonest white men
rule the world? "Yeah, they do," laughs Cho, cracking up for the first
time. "Not that there's anything wrong with them. It's just that those
people that are left out don't have a mirror. If you're Asian and you want
to be in movies, you have to be able to run up a wall. While I adore all
of those actors, I don't relate to them. They're as foreign to me as they
are to you."

For Cho's next stage show, which she is in the process of writing, she
says she'll focus on racial politics. One of the things inspiring her is
the recent flap over the Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts whose cartoon depictions
of Asians were called racist by many. "For so long, Asians were the silent
minority," says Cho. "We didn't feel we had the right to be offended."

"As a minority, I have the right to talk about my life," Cho says, alluding
to her signature impersonation of her mother's thick accent. "I have a
long history of making fun of her to her face. Others have pointed out
that it might be racist, but I can't be dishonest about my life."

Cho believes there's a difference between her act and, say, Ms. Swan,
the incomprehensible immigrant character portrayed by "Mad TV's" Alex Borstein
(who says the character is based on her European grandmother). "She's clearly
in yellowface," says Cho of Borstein. "I think it's very funny and she
does it well, but she wears eye makeup and she's not Asian."

"There's this backlash if you complain about any of this," says Cho. "People
say, 'You Asians are overreacting, you have no sense of humor.' Well, guess
what? I do have one."

-- Michael O'Sullivan



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