Jay-Z has been shilling brand names in songs and commercials for his entire life. But now that he's retired from Def Jam, he's decided he might as well make a career of it. The Times this morning reports that the rapper-mogul formerly known as Shawn Carter is partnering in a new ad agency, Translation Advertising. An offshoot of Translation Consultation and Brand Imaging, overseen by Interpublic, the agency will help mainstream advertisers like Hewlett-Packard and McDonald's be cooler about dealing with the consumers the Times alternatingly calls "minority," "multicultural," and "urban." “There are people who don’t understand the culture,” Hova told the Times, referring to a cell phone commercial “that shows guys break dancing in the phone store … not something we do." The work, Hova told the Times, is “part of the natural growth” of his career. Now, if only Fergie and Gwen Stefani would transition already.
A New Venture for Jay-Z, on Madison Avenue [NYT]
The list of reasons why we love Julian Schnabel are many and varied — he is large and hairy, but has a funny Mickey Mouse voice; he constructed a large pink castle in the middle of the city and named it Palazzo Chupi; he can often be found in pajamas and sometimes a skirt; he has more progeny than we can keep track of; he appears to have no filter whatsoever. Perhaps most importantly, he is one of a diminishing number of personalities from an era when New York City, even on its worst days, felt like more than just a collection of Duane Reades and bank branches clustered on a chunk of concrete. And now we add to our list an exchange from the Daily Telegraph's profile of the Schnab, which we have transcribed below.
Schnabel: I kid around a lot. I have a lot of fun. But most people don't have a sense of humor.… And then I read in this other thing that I was name-dropping all the time. Well it just so happens that the people I know are famous. You know, they work in the movies with me. They're my friends. It's like if I said… What's your name? Reporter: (Thinks: My name? We have been talking for the past two hours.) Mick. Schnabel: Mick what? Reporter: Mick Brown. Schnabel: Okay, so I could say I was talking to Mick Brown the other day — I might well say that. (His tone sounds doubtful.) But they might not know who Mick Brown is. Reporter: (Thinks: Maybe they will after I become famous for murdering a famous artist/director.)
Rosie O'Donnell has started rehearsals for a one-woman show, directed by Michael Mayer of Spring Awakening, Cindy Adams says this morning. Well, that's what we think she said since, as usual, we needed special decoding glasses to read her column. It seems that Rosie wrote the as-yet-untitled show after leaving The View, and like her book, Find Me, "It's based on her life story," Cindy says. "Her first one. She's lived many lives." It also may not be a one-woman show in the traditional sense. According to Cindy, "An actor or two onstage with her may include Tom Hulce." Hulce, the Tony-award-winning actor who played Mozart in Amadeus, is very good. But we can't help but worry for him: It seems like Elisabeth Hasselbeck would be a very challenging role.
Everything Rosie Coming Up [NYP]
One week ago, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report returned to production, without writers. Would the shows be any good? Would anyone watch? The reviews were mixed, as were the ratings. But what about the audience? Daily Show diehards, who have waited months for their free tickets, now receive unexpected lessons in labor relations. Plus, they have to face picketing writers while waiting outside the studio. Awkward! Late last week, we sent intrepid video correspondent Tim Murphy to try to broker peace. And while the strike continues, at least the audience doesn’t have to feel scabby about it.
Video: Comedy on StrikeRelated:The Daily Show: Jon Stewart Displays His Strike Guilt, UnibrowBlogging the Colbert ReportBy Jonah Green
Woody Allen's Cassandra's Dream, which opens Friday, is his fourth movie in a row that was shot outside of New York. The city, he thinks, is losing its character. "There are certain areas that have not been encroached upon too much — Carnegie Hill, the West Village, Tudor City, places that are still lovely to look at," he told the Daily News this weekend. "But once they put up those big new buildings, it looks the same as Houston." Despite his disapproval, he's preparing a new movie that will shoot here this spring, although he hasn't said what it's about, or whether he'll be in it. He is not in Cassandra. Which brings up a funny point: Even though he's starred in plenty of his own films, people don't really think of Woody Allen as an actor, and he's only been in a couple of movies he did not direct. Why not? "No one ever really offers me anything," he told the Daily News. "I think I'm an ideal person to fill a certain void," he said. Maybe it's because he always plays himself. But even that could be funny, in the right role. "If you were casting a guy vaguely my age and wanted either, you know, a slimy little New York bookmaker or a New York sportswriter or a psychoanalyst or a professor … there are any number of things that I'd be very right for, and could be amusing in," he said. "But for some reason — and again this is not something that bothers me, just mentioning it as a fact — no one ever calls me for anything, ever." Well, it seems like someone should cast Woody Allen as something. How about as a revered but aging filmmaker who ends up marrying his own adopted daughter? Now that would be amusing.
Woody Allen Sounds Off [NYDN]