Tuesday, June 17, 2003

7-Up actor's talk show debuts

Los Angeles -- In the crowded neighborhood of late-night talk shows, Orlando Jones wants to move in and become the rowdy resident who shakes up the block.

The "The Orlando Jones Show," which debuted Monday on the FX cable network, Sunflower Broadband Channel 67, features the popular former 7-Up TV spokesman pledging to break what he called the stale humor of his late-night rivals.

Among the sketches, Jones plays a researcher at an institute studying the palm-slapping, finger-jabbing moves of street handshakes. He also plays the pitchman for bandages that match the skin tones of black people from "Morgan Freeman Black (with freckles)" to "Halle Berry Latte."

Cheech Marin loans Chicano art

El Paso, Texas -- Two museums in this West Texas city are displaying one of the largest traveling collections of Chicano art, on loan from actor Cheech Marin's collection.

Marin launched two exhibits this weekend: "Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge" at the El Paso Museum of Art and "Chicano Now: American Expression" at the Insights El Paso Science Museum.

"It's a source of great pride, hopefully, and everybody can enjoy some world-class art that comes from their own communities," said the 56-year-old, who co-starred with Tommy Chong in the "Cheech and Chong" films.

Above, El Paso artist Hal Marcus looks at a picture from the exhibit.

Gibson defends film called anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic

Los Angeles -- Mel Gibson insists his forthcoming film about Jesus Christ will "inspire not offend" Catholics and Jews.

The movie, which Gibson directs, stars James Caviezel as Christ during the last 12 hours of his life and Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene. The reported $25 million production will feature dialogue only in Latin and Aramaic with no English subtitles.

"'The Passion' is a movie meant to inspire not offend," Gibson said in a statement published Friday in the trade newspaper Variety. "My intention in bringing it to the screen is to create a lasting work of art and engender serious thought among audiences of diverse faith backgrounds."

He made the statement to rebut criticism that "The Passion" is anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic, Variety reported.

Radiohead plans N. American tour

Radiohead has confirmed 19 North American tour dates for late summer and early fall, reports Billboard Online.

The first leg will begin Aug. 13 outside Boston, with support from Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. A second leg kicks off Sept. 23 outside San Francisco, with support from Supergrass. The tour ends Oct. 6 with a show in Atlanta.

Tickets for 11 of the first 12 shows go on sale June 21; as usual, Radiohead's online fan organization Waste also is offering tickets to its members.

The group is touring in support of its latest album, "Hail to the Thief."