Showbiz Sandbox 81: Kanye West Spins His Own Hype

The week of Thanksgiving is usually slow when it comes to entertainment news, but not this year. There was a horse race at the box office as Disney’s 50th animated feature nearly toppled the seventh Harry Potter film at the box office. “Tangled” received positive reviews and earned an impressive $69 million over the four day holiday weekend.

Also bowing last week was Kanye West’s fifth studio album which is being hailed by critics as a masterpiece. But even before critics had weighed in West had jumped on popular social networking platforms to promote the release and his image. A story in the Los Angeles Times claims the hip-hop star has become a master at creating and controlling his own hype. If that’s the case, then why does West have such a terrible reputation as a troublemaker?

Also trying to promote themselves via social media was Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. The furry blue “cookie enthusiast” is campaigning to host “Saturday Night Live” starting with a video on YouTube. Don’t laugh too hard though, since “SNL” seems to be where the Oscars are scouting for hosts. Just ask two former SNL guests James Franco and Anne Hathaway who will be co-hosting the 83rd Academy Awards.

We review all the week’s top entertainment headlines during Big Deal or Big Whoop, including Brendan Fraser on Broadway, Miramax Films on YouTube and Comic-Con ticket snafus. Fair use and the seizure of Internet domains by the Department of Homeland Security is our Inside Baseball topic.

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Oscar Telecast Takes ‘SNL’ Route With Hosts
http://theenvelope.latimes.com/news/la-et-oscar-hosts-20101130,0,1003497.story

Peter Jackson To Shoot “Hobbit” Films In 3D
http://www.collider.com/2010/11/28/peter-jackson-the-hobbit-3d-red-epic-cameras/

Warner Bros. Reboots Buffy The Vampire Slayer
http://www.deadline.com/2010/11/warner-bros-reboots-buffy-the-vampire-slayer….

Joss Whedon Reacts To Buffy News
http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b212644_joss_whedon….

“Empire Strikes Back” Director Irvin Kershner, An Appreciation
http://popwatch.ew.com/2010/11/29/empire-strikes-back-director-irvin….

Remembering Leslie Nielsen
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/11/29/131661180/remembering….

Bristol Palin Boosts “Dancing” Ratings 23%
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/live-feed/bristol-palin-boosts….

Oprah Winfrey Earns Best Ratings In Three Years
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/live-feed/oprah-winfrey-earns….

Cookie Monster Wants To Host Saturday Night Live
http://mashable.com/2010/11/23/cookie-monster-snl/

Twitterverse Reacts To Its Inability To Purchase Kanye West Tickets
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/the-twitterverse-reacts-to….

Kanye West Shapes The Message His Way
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-kanye-west-2010113….

Beatles Sell 2 Million Downloads In A Week
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2010/11/beatles-itunes….

Get Rihanna’s New Album For $5
http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/22/groupon-grouponicus-rihanna/

‘Spider-Man’ Takes Off, With Some Bumps
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/theater/29spiderman.html

Elton John Likely To Perform At Royal Wedding
http://www.people.com/people/package/article/0,,20395222_204….

Black Eyed Peas Land Super Bowl Gig
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/black-eyed-peas….

Comic-Con Ticket Seekers Thwarted By Online Fiasco
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/site-unseen-comic-con….

“Elling” Starring Brendan Fraser To Close After 9 Performances
http://www.playbill.com/news/article/145321-Elling-Starring-Denis….

Jeremy Renner Groomed To Take Over Mission Impossible Franchise
http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/11/22/jeremy-renner-mission….

New Miramax May Distribute Library Through YouTube
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/11/new….

Bloggers Get Their Due From “Tonight Show”
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/bloggers-get-their-due-from….

South Park Creators Being Sued For Copyright Infringement
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/thr-esq/south-park-sued-stealing….

Homeland Security Is Seizing Internet Domains Left and Right
http://www.businessinsider.com/homeland-security-is-seizing-internet….

Court Confirms Pirate Bay Convictions
http://www.digitaltrends.com/international/court-confirms-pirate-bay-convictions/