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Jim Carrey will play Joe Biden on Season 46 of ‘Saturday Night Live’

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Jim Carrey will play Joe Biden on Season 46 of 'Saturday Night Live'
Jim Carrey hosting a 2014 episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Looks like Jason Sudeikis has been voted out of Saturday Night Live’s Oval Office. SNL producers have announced that Jim Carrey will now be playing vice president-turned-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, when NBC’s late-night comedy institution returns for Season 46 on October 3.

The former In Living Color star has hosted SNL four times, most recently in 2014 — the year after Sudeikis departed the Not Ready for Primetime Players, although he reprised his Biden impression on multiple occasions, including back in February before the coronavirus pandemic forced the cast to finish the season remotely. Rest assured that the new season will be bringing it all back home to Studio 8H, albeit with new safety protocols in place.

SNL guru Lorne Michaels revealed the backstory behind the Sudeikis/Carrey switcheroo in a new interview with Vulture, suggesting it was, in part, the actor’s idea. Carrey certainly hasn’t been shy about expressing his political opinions — in fact, he’s turned them into literal art. “There was some interest on his part,” Michaels said. “And then we responded, obviously, positively. But it came down to discussions about what the take was. He and Colin Jost had a bunch of talks. He and I as well. He will give the part energy and strength, and … hopefully it’s funny.”

Twitter seems split on Biden’s makeover, with several Sudeikis stans sticking up for the former SNL mainstay, who is currently headlining the Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso.

While Sudeikis may be out, Maya Rudolph and Alec Baldwin are continuing their terms as Senator — and Biden’s running mate — Kamala Harris and President Donald Trump respectively. Michaels confirmed their returns to Vulture, ending speculation that Baldwin may have announced his retirement on the Season 45 finale. One of those pieces of news was received more positively than the other.

Michaels shared some other key details about the upcoming season in his Vulture interview, noting that the production was working closely with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to determine the specific number of cast, crew and audience members that can be in Studio 8H during the live telecast. (That so-called “magic number” is something that all productions are trying to calculate as TV shows and movies return to work.) In order to be part of the election cycle, SNL will also produce five back-to-back shows for the first time in its history, with new episodes every week from October 3 to October 31. “There are four debates and then it’s Halloween, and that’s the weekend before the election,” Michaels said. “And sadly, if the election gets extended, then we’ll be doing six or seven shows in a row.”

Because of last year’s COVID-shortened season, SNL won’t be saying goodbye to any of the current cast. But a few new faces will be showing up in Studio 8H, including Punkie Johnson, Lauren Holt and Andrew Dismukes. And Michaels is doing his part to encourage the next generation of comedy stars with the launch of the SNL Scholarship Program, intended to help advance the career opportunities for comics of color. That move comes after a summer where protests over the death of George Floyd brought renewed attention to the lack of diversity on shows like Saturday Night Live. “From Minnesota on, watching that, living through that — the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter — all of it had always been under the surface, and there it sort of took center-stage, and obviously for all the best reasons,” Michaels told Vulture. “So it was officially understood as important, and time had run out on the various excuses.”

Saturday Night Live premieres on October 3 on NBC

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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U.S. to execute first Black man since resumption of federal death penalty

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U.S. to execute first Black man since resumption of federal death penalty

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – The U.S. government plans on Thursday to execute Christopher Vialva, a convicted murderer and the first Black man to face the federal death penalty since the punishment was resumed this summer after a 17-year hiatus.

Vialva was 19 years old when he and fellow members of a gang in Killeen, Texas, killed Todd and Stacie Bagley, white married Christian youth ministers from Iowa, on the Fort Hood army base in 1999.

The Department of Justice says it will kill Vialva using lethal injections of pentobarbital, a barbiturate, at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) at its execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana, the sixth federal execution this year after the hiatus and the second this week.

Vialva, 40, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay, which was still under consideration on Thursday. His lawyers argue that the Federal Death Penalty Act requires the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to obtain an execution warrant from a judge. The court’s conservative majority previously dismissed legal efforts to delay the five federal executions that have already taken place this year.

Vialva’s execution comes as the nation grapples with racial disparities in the criminal justice system, with daily protests occurring in U.S. cities against police brutality against Black people.

Of the 56 people on federal death row, 26, or 46%, are Black, and 22, or 39%, are white, according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), a non-profit organization based in Washington. Black people make up only 13% of the U.S. population.

DPIC published a report this month concluding that racial bias persists in the U.S. system of capital punishment. The report said that the killers of white people were more likely to face the death penalty than the killers of Black people, and a study in North Carolina found that qualified Black jurors were struck from juries at more than twice the rate of qualified white jurors.

At Vialva’s trial in the U.S. District Court for Western Texas in 2000, a jury of 11 white people and one Black person found him and a Black accomplice, Brandon Bernard, guilty of carjacking and murder, and voted for them to receive the death penalty. Bernard’s execution date has not been set.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said that the teenaged Vialva was unfairly tried as an adult and circulated a video of Vialva this month speaking from prison about racial disparities.

“The death penalty has been used disproportionately against Black people for decades,” Vialva says in the video. “People are unaware that many of us here were arrested before we were old enough to drink.”

According to court records, Vialva and his accomplices were looking for someone to rob when they found Todd Begley using a payphone at a convenience store, and he agreed to give them a ride in his car. In the back seat, Vialva pulled out a gun and ordered Begley and his wife to get into the car’s trunk.

After forcing Begley to disclose his PIN, Vialva withdrew cash from Begley’s account at an ATM, though there was less than $100 on deposit. He used the cash to buy fast food and cigarettes, among other items. During the several hours they spent in the trunk, the Begleys could be heard telling their kidnappers to embrace Christianity.

Eventually, Vialva parked the car in an isolated part of Fort Hood, opened the trunk and shot both Begleys in the head, killing Todd and rendering Stacie unconscious. Bernard then set the car on fire, and an autopsy showed that she died from smoke inhalation.

(This story has been refiled to change dateline to Sept. 24 from Sept. 23)

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Mandy Moore Pregnant, Expecting First Child with Taylor Goldsmith

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Mandy Moore Pregnant, Expecting First Child with Taylor Goldsmith

Mandy Moore Pregnant, Expecting First Child with Taylor Goldsmith | PEOPLE.com

























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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Over 7% Dividend Yield

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Yahoo Finance

Markets are volatile, there can be no doubt. So far this month, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% from its peak. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which had led the gainers all summer, is now leading the on the fall, having lost 11% since September 2. The three-week tumble has investors worried that we may be on the brink of another bear market.

The headwinds are strong. The usual September swoon, the upcoming election, doubts about another round of economic stimulus – all are putting downward pressure on the stock markets.

Which doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities. As the old saw goes, “Bulls and bears can both make money, while the pigs get slaughtered.” A falling market may worry investors, but a smart strategy can prevent the portfolio from losing too much long-term value while maintaining a steady income. Dividend stocks, which feed into the income stream, can be a key part of such a strategy.

Using the data available in the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled up three stocks with high yields – from 7% to 11%, or up to 6 times the average dividend found on the S&P 500 index. Even better, these stocks are seen as Strong Buys by Wall Street’s analysts. Let’s find out why.

Williams Companies (WMB)

We start with Williams Companies, an Oklahoma-based energy company. Williams controls pipelines connecting Rocky Mountain natural gas fields with the Pacific Northwest region, and Appalachian and Texan fields with users in the Northeast and transport terminals on the Gulf Coast. The company’s primary operations are the processing and transport of natural gas, with additional ops in crude oil and energy generation. Williams handles nearly one-third of all US commercial and residential natural gas use.

The essential nature of Williams’ business – really, modern society simply cannot get along without reliable energy sources – has insulated the company from some of the economic turndown in 1H20. Quarterly revenues slid from $2.1 billion at the end of last year to $1.9 billion in Q1 and $1.7 billion in Q2. EPS in the first half was 26 cents for Q1 and 25 cents for Q2 – but this was consistent with EPS results for the previous three quarters.

The generally sound financial base supported the company’s reliable dividend. Williams has been raising that payment for the past four years, and even the corona crisis could not derail it. At 40 cents per common share, the dividend annualizes to $1.60 and yields an impressive 7.7%. The next payment is scheduled for September 28.

Truist analyst Tristan Richardson sees Williams as one of the midstream sector’s best positioned companies.

“We continue to look to WMB as a defensive component of midstream and favor its 2H prospects as broader midstream grasps at recovery… Beyond 2020 we see the value proposition as a stable footprint with free cash flow generation even in the current environment. We also see room for incremental leverage reduction throughout our forecast period on scaled back capital plans and even with the stable dividend. We look for modestly lower capex in 2021, however unlike more G&P oriented midstream firms, we see a project backlog in downstream that should support very modest growth,” Richardson noted.

Accordingly, Richardson rates WMB shares as a Buy, and his $26 price target implies a 30% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)

Overall, the Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on WMB is based on 11 Buy reviews against just a single Hold. The stock’s current share price is $19.91 and the average price target is $24.58, making the one-year upside potential 23%. (See WMB stock analysis on TipRanks)

Magellan Midstream (MMP)

The second stock on our list is another midstream energy company, Magellan. This is another Oklahoma-based firm, with a network of assets across much of the US from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi Valley, and into the Southeast. Magellan’s network transports crude oil and refined products, and includes Gulf Coast export shipping terminals.

Magellan’s total revenues rose sequentially to $782.8 in Q1, and EPS came in at $1.28, well above the forecast. These numbers turned down drastically in Q2, as revenue fell to $460.4 million and EPS collapsed to 65 cents. The outlook for Q3 predicts a modest recovery, with EPS forecast at 85 cents. The company strengthened its position in the second quarter with an issue of 10-year senior notes, totaling $500 million, at 3.25%. This reduced the company’s debt service payments, and shored up liquidity, making possible the maintenance of the dividend.

The dividend was kept steady at $1.0275 per common share quarterly. Annualized, this comes to $4.11, a good absolute return, and gives a yield of 11.1%, giving MMP a far higher return than Treasury bonds or the average S&P-listed stock.

Well Fargo analyst Praneeth Satish believes that MMP has strong prospects for recovery. “[We] view near-term weakness in refined products demand as temporary and recovering. In the interim, MMP remains well positioned given its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and ratable cash flow stream…” Satish goes on to note that the dividend appears secure for the near-term: “The company plans to maintain the current quarterly distribution for the rest of the year.”

In line with this generally upbeat outlook, Satish gives MMP an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and a $54 price target that implies 57% growth in the coming year. (To watch Satish’s track record, click here)

Net net, MMP shares have a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, a show of confidence by Wall Street’s analyst corps. The stock is selling for $33.44, and the average price target of $51.13 implies 53% growth in the year ahead. (See MMP stock analysis on TipRanks)

Ready Capital Corporation (RC)

The second stock on our list is a real estate investment trust. No surprise finding one of these in a list of strong dividend payers – REITs have long been known for their high dividend payments. Ready Capital, which focuses on the commercial mortgage niche of the REIT sector, has a portfolio of loans in real estate securities and multi-family dwellings. RC has provided more than $3 billion in capital to its loan customers.

In the first quarter of this year, when the coronavirus hit, the economy turned south, and business came to a standstill, Ready Capital took a heavy blow. Revenues fell by 58%, and Q1 EPS came in at just one penny. Things turned around in Q2, however, after the company took measures – including increasing liquidity, reducing liabilities, and increasing involvement in government-sponsored lending – to shore up business. Revenues rose to $87 million and EPS rebounded to 70 cents.

In the wake of the strong Q2 results, RC also started restoring its dividend. In Q1 the company had slashed the payment from 40 cents to 25 cents; in the most recent declaration, for an October 30 payment, the new dividend is set at 30 cents per share. This annualizes to $1.20 and gives a strong yield of 9.9%.

Crispin Love, writing from Piper Sandler, notes the company’s success in getting back on track.“Given low interest rates, Ready Capital had a record $1.2B in residential mortgage originations versus our $1.1B estimate. Gain on sale margins were also at record levels. We are calculating gain on sale margins of 3.7%, up from 2.4% in 1Q20,” Love wrote.

In a separate note, written after the dividend declaration, Love added, “We believe that the Board’s actions show an increased confidence for the company to get back to its pre-pandemic $0.40 dividend. In recent earnings calls, management has commented that its goal is to get back to stabilized earnings above $0.40, which would support a dividend more in-line with pre-pandemic levels.”

To this end, Love rates RC an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $12 price target, suggesting an upside of 14%. (To watch Love’s track record, click here)

All in all, Ready Capital has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 4 recent positive reviews. The stock has an average price target of $11.50, which gives a 9% upside from the current share price of $10.51. (See RC stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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