Brian Hiatt

Behind the scenes of ''Elf'' with Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell

In Nov. 7’s ”Elf,” Will Ferrell gets one of his biggest laughs just by picking up a phone. Ferrell plays Buddy, a human raised by Santa’s elves, who thinks answering etiquette dictates yelling, ”Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” That sweetly unhinged quality, always evident in Ferrell’s too-bright blue eyes, is making the ”SNL” alum an unlikely A-list leading man (also thanks to his occasionally nude performance in the $75 million-grossing ”Old School”).

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Our favorite Green Day songs -- and yours?

Our favorite Green Day songs – and yours?

As far as Generation Y is concerned, punk rock did not begin in 1977 with the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, and the Clash. Instead, punk’s year zero was 1994, when the Bay Area pop-punk trio Green Day released their hit-packed major-label debut, Dookie, which sold 10 million copies and gave the future Simple Plans and Good Charlottes of the world their sound.

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In these Yuletide-themed sci-fi and fantasy stories, characters reach holiday epiphanies on Mars, on one of Jupiter’s moons, and in various future civilizations, mostly dystopian. The finest moments in Christmas Stars are the most Scrooge-like: Arthur C. Clarke’s willfully sacrilegious ”The Star” (a Jesuit scientist discovers a dark truth about the Star of Bethlehem) and Rick Shelley’s Rod Serling-worthy ”Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” (a Christmas miracle turns into a worldwide horror).

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Kurtis Blow's favorite old-school hip-hop songs

Kurtis Blow

Young hip-hop fans may know Kurtis Blow by his 1980 smash ”The Breaks” on the retro soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. But Blow (who’s now hosting the classic-hip-hop show Backspin on Sirius Satellite Radio), is a key figure in hip-hop history. Among his milestones, “The Breaks” was the first rap single to be certified as gold, selling more than 500,000 copies. As hip-hop celebrates its 25th anniversary as a mainstream force, Blow shared his five favorite early rap songs with senior writer Brian Hiatt.

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ODB's seven children will split his money

Ol’ Dirty Bastard had seven children — not 13, as previous reports suggested — and his offspring will share in his inheritance, according to the New York Daily News. Russell Jones had three of his children with his wife Icelene Jones, and four outside of the marriage, the News reported. ”We made him a promise,” his manager, Jarred Weisfeld, told the Daily News. ”If or when he passes, all his seven children will be taken care of.”

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Fight breaks out at Vibe Awards

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, ...

A fight between dozens of people interrupted the second annual Vibe Awards Monday night, ending with one person stabbed, according to the Associated Press. The fight apparently began when an unidentified man at the Santa Monica, Calif., ceremony threw punches at producer/rapper Dr. Dre, MTV News reported. The unidentified 26-year-old man who was stabbed was hospitalized, and was in stable condition, according to AP.

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''Toy Story 3'' in the works, so far without Pixar

”Mommy, why does Woody look different?” Disney is going ahead with previously announced plans to make ”Toy Story 3” without the participation of Pixar, the digital animators who made the original films, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Pixar’s distribution deal with Disney is expiring, and the two companies have been unable to strike a new deal.

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