Story By: G.H. Harding

Gary Oldman

OLDMAN OUT --- Actor Gary Oldman’s interview in the new Playboy has become major news on the West Coast, firstly for its charges from the ADL that he had propagated anti-Semitic stereotypes; and, secondly, for its apparent support of Mel Gibson. First and foremost, and let’s be clear here … the quotes have been taken widely out of context … probably by Playboy in truth. These Playboy interviews are always interesting, mostly for the fact that the entire interview process can sometimes takes 10 hours or more and by the end, the subject, be it Oldman or Gibson or John Lennon … the subjects are almost always exhausted and sometimes do say things off the cuff. Hey, it happens!

Robert Downey Jr
Take it away, Mike Fleming from Deadline Hollywood: “I cherish being part of the Playboy Interview since Robert Downey Jr chose me to interview him 17 years ago and was so honest about his life that he made me look good enough to get invited back. It’s the preeminent forum for in-depth print interviews, and it taught me almost everything I know on how to do good Q&As. Versions of today’s Oldman blowup has happened to me, though, and it can be the most painful part of the interview process. You get a subject to trust you enough to open up about their lives, careers and views on the world in hours of taped sessions, you work like a surgeon to deliver a provocative but balanced discussion, then you wake one morning to see out of context incendiary quotes that were serviced by PR, pasted on web outlets and newspapers all over the world. You spend the day talking down from ledges the stars and reps who are sorry they ever met you. You know it will be OK once everyone sees the actual interview. They don’t want to hear it and say from now on, superficial junkets only!”

“I’d bet $20 that Oldman interviewer David Hochman is doing that dance right now. I recall once writing a story about how Oldman once discovered that an impostor had sent an audition tape pretending to be him for the Andy Kaufman film Man On The Moon. Today has to be about as surreal as that episode for the actor. Hochman’s Oldman piece has all the earmarks of a good Playboy Interview; a funny, introspective, measured discussion with a chameleon actor who plays at a high level and rarely lets the public glimpse his life. He talks about his insecurities, hating his own work, drinking problems, politics. He skates on thin ice, but doesn’t seem to fall through, with a discourse about political correctness when he asks why some people get away with saying polarizing things, while others are ostracized. It’s lively banter and when Hochman asks, ‘What about the Pope?’ and Oldman answers, ‘Oh, f*ck the Pope!,’ it plays as a joke when read in context. That line has made some headlines, but Oldman has been TMZ’s best friend today when he strayed into Mel Gibson territory in challenging the hypocrisy of political correctness. In a 7000 or so word conversation, Oldman’s response doesn’t seem scandalous to me. It doesn’t come until late in the interview. Isolated on The Drudge Report? Yowza!”

So, much ado about nothing – sure, he’s opinionated, but isn't everyone? After reading the rather brilliant interview, I'm more interested in the part about reality TV, where Oldman called it the decay of TV. I've always liked him in almost everything he’s done. He’s a terrific actor, caught in a tough spot. My advice: move on all.

Sarah Silverman

FUNNY OR DIE --- Live Nation and Funny Or Die announced today the return of the world's biggest comedy tour for the second consecutive year. This summer's Funny Or Die Presents Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival 2014 will feature performances by the world's greatest comedians, including: Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr, Brent Morin, Chris Hardwick, Dave Attell, Demetri Martin, DJ Trauma, Hannibal Buress, Jeff Ross, Jermaine Fowler, Jerrod Carmichael, Jim Gaffigan, Jim Jefferies, Julian McCullough, Louis C.K., Marc Maron, Michael Che, Moshe Kasher, Nate Bargatze, Reggie Watts, Ron Funches, Rory Scovel, Sarah Silverman, Whitney Cummings, and, Second Stage, hosted by Brody Stevens.

This year's festivities include 21 dates in all, kicking off on August 8 at Tampa, Florida, at Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheater and culminating with a show at Austin's Austin360 Amphitheater. Like last year, Oddball 2014 will include two stages, the return of the Cut Throat Freak Show, a roaming troupe of misfit performers, tasty treats, libations and more, for a full afternoon and evening of fun and entertainment.

Tickets for Funny Or Die Presents The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival 2014 are available beginning Saturday, June 28 at 10 a.m. at or

"With the Oddball Festival 2014, we are thrilled to expand upon last year's successful tour by offering fans the greatest cast of comedians ever assembled for an epic night of entertainment under the stars," said Geof Wills, of Live Nation Comedy.

Last year's inaugural Oddball Comedy Festival encompassed 15 dates and was the largest outdoor comedy festival ever produced by Live Nation. Anchored by the return of Dave Chappelle to the comedy stage and New Zealand duo Flight of the Conchords, Oddball 2013 garnered intense media coverage for the duration of the tour and was a critical and commercial success.

CLOSING NOTES --- Awesome actor Don Cheadle is leading the pack with a biopic on Miles Davis called Miles Ahead. Always a consummate actor, and as a huge-Miles Davis fan, this is significant news indeed …

Fox’s 24, with Kiefer Sutherland, has another landmark episode this Monday (yes, President Heller (William Devane) is alive). With 3 episodes left, it’s been a pretty stellar truncated season, Should 24 be back full-time? This return has been good. Sutherland is terrific …

There’s been some chatter recently about Fleetood Mac’s terrific 1994 album Time, with Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett in the Mac-lineup; a lineup that only lasted 2 years. It’s actually one of the best Mac albums in my opinion, highlighted by Mason’s “I Wonder Why.” One of his best tracks ever. Another track, “Blow By Blow,” was used in the 1994 world Cup official album; yes, there was an official album for that event …

Actress/singer Rebecca Holden, in town for last Friday’s G. O. D. Awards at the U. N. was startled when King Khoebaha’s (from the African Continent Kingdom’s Federation) mobile phone went off, and the ring-tone was the theme from TV’s Knight Rider. Holden portrayed April Curtis from the series with David Hasselhoff. She performed her new single that night, with Tony LeBron, “Dreams Come True" ...

HBO hosted the premier of their new show The Leftovers Monday night in NYC. Starring Justin Theroux, it looks positively chilling. The Leftovers, based on Tom Perrotta’s novel, is set in a small town, three years after the inexplicable disappearance of 2 percent of the world’s population. “What attracted me was the way everyone is sort of fractured and splintered, and became what they probably were at their core, or were not,” Theroux said of the post-apocalyptic premise. “And I just liked the way that different people dealt with grief.” Written with Lost’s Damon Lindeloff (from Teaneck, New Jersey), it should be pretty spectacular.