‘Westworld’ lead Evan Rachel Wood transformed into Madonna for “Weird Al” Yankovic biopic

Roku

Emmy-nominated Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood will portray Madonna in WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story, a Roku Original movie about the life and career of famed parody singer “Weird Al” Yankovic that stars Daniel Radcliffe as Al.

A still released from the film shows Wood as the Queen of Pop circa 1984 or 1985.

Roku also announced that The Office vet Rainn Wilson was also added to the cast as DJ Barry Hansen, best known as Dr. Demento; Mare of Easttown Emmy winner Julianne Nicholson will play Al’s mom Mary Yankovic, and Dickinson‘s Toby Huss will play Al’s father Nick.

As for why Madonna is in the film, it likely has something to do with the fact that after her song “Like a Virgin” became a hit, she wondered to an acquaintance when Al would turn it into “Like a Surgeon.” The acquaintance knew Al’s manager and told him what Madonna had said, and the manager brought it up to Al.

In 1985, Al released “Like a Surgeon” — in the only instance of Al getting a parody idea directly from the artist who he was parodying.

 

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Cher, Tina Fey, Jay Leno and more will be ‘Celebrating Betty White’ on NBC

NBCUniversal

When Betty White died on December 31, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday, Cher was one of the celebrities who took to social media to mourn her loss. Now she’ll be joining many other stars in helping to celebrate the award-winning TV icon in a new NBC special.

Celebrating Betty White, America’s Golden Girl airs January 31 at 10 p.m. ET and will stream the next day on Peacock.  President Joe Biden, Tina Fey, Ted Danson, Valerie Bertinelli, Jimmy Fallon, Goldie Hawn, Jay Leno, Bryan Cranson, Ellen DeGeneres, Jean Smart and more will be also on hand to pay tribute.  

NBC notes, “Co-stars, friends, admirers and those who shared special moments with White recount their favorite memories and reveal untold stories to commemorate the life and legacy of the trailblazing television star. The telecast will include clips and never-before-seen footage that best capture White’s irreverent tone, spirit and impeccable comedic timing that are a hallmark of her decades-long career.”

When White died, Cher tweeted, “I Watched Her on her first TV Show Life With Elizabeth When I Was 7 Yrs Old. When She Did [the] Sonny & Cher [show], I Got a Chance To Tell Her. I Was Embarrassed cause tears came to my eyes. She put her arms around me, & I Felt 7 again.

“Some Ppl Are Called ICONS, BETTY IS A TRUE ICON,” Cher continued. She also posted a GIF of Betty shimmying, and wrote, “BELOVED ICON…YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.” 

Incidentally, back on January 21, Cher apparently spilled the beans about the just-announced NBC special  by tweeting, “I’m So Relieved & Happy That there Will Be A Program Where We Will Talk About Betty. My one fear is…. I may cry.”

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