Harvard's Class Day speakers have included the likes of Mother Teresa, Walter Cronkite, Hank Aaron, Ralph Nader and Conan O'Brien. Last week the satirical British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, better known as the faux hip-hop journalist ALI G, joined the distinguished ranks. Wearing a skullcap, matching track suit emblazoned "Professor of Erbology" and chains, Ali G addressed "da most cleverest of students in America" and their parents with a homily that, in his inimitably maladroit manner, touched on everything from sex, drugs and pornography to famous Harvard grads like "Lyndon Baines Johnson, or, as he is known, J.F.K." and "that really fit hottie from Star Wars" (a.k.a. actress Natalie Portman, who graduated last year). At the end, he cheered the audience with "Big up yaself, Princeton!"
Mariah Does Madge
Is MARIAH CAREY trying to model her career on Madonna's? She has already made the requisite ill-conceived movie. She's recording a new album and, just as Madonna did, is set to appear on the West End, in a production of The Prince and the Showgirl. Now Carey has announced she'll also be writing a series of children's books in response to letters she has received from fans about growing up biracial. Can a Brit accent be far behind?
In Disney's Coop: a Chick Flick
Disney's new animated movie, Chicken Little, picks up where the classic children's tale leaves off. CHICKEN LITTLE, who was struck by an errant acorn, has discovered that his crusade to tell the king "the sky is falling" was wrongheaded. The movie chronicles the exploits of the now infamous Little, hounded by the media, as he tries to redeem himself. Scrubs' Zach Braff voices the main character the cast also includes Joan Cusack, Garry Marshall, Amy Sedaris and Steve Zahn and says the recording sessions have been "so hilarious. We've been ad-libbing and improvising together." That bodes well for the computer-animated feature, which is due out next summer. Chicken Little is a story about public humiliation and the struggle for redemption. For the sake of the beleaguered Mouse House, which has already had to weather a shareholder revolt and an aborted takeover attempt this year, let's hope the tale ends well.