Money Matters - Simplified


Colleges host 'stress-busting' events

Los Angeles -- U.S. colleges are turning to bounce houses, comedy hours and "midnight munchies" parties to help students deal with pre-exam stress, school officials say.

Events both quirky and serious are being staged at campuses across the country to help students ease tension as they approach final exams with a battered economy and decimated job market in their futures, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

So in addition to extra counseling, additional library hours and dedicated quiet study areas, colleges are offering laser tag, petting zoos, karaoke parties and miniature golf, all designed to reduce stress for students worried about competition for jobs and graduate school admission along with concerns of higher tuition and loan burdens.

Italian director, 95, leaps to death

Rome -- Italian film director Mario Monicelli has died after leaping from a fifth-story window of the Rome hospital where he was being treated for a terminal illness.

He was 95 when he died Monday night.

ANSA, which reported his death Tuesday, did not say from what illness he suffered at the time.

Known as the father of the Commedia all'Italiana or Italian-style comedy, Monicelli directed 65 films during a career that lasted more than 70 years. His film credits include "The Paul Street Boys," "Summer Rain," "Big Deal on Madonna Street," "The Great War" and "Desert Roses."

"He was someone who wanted to control his own life to the very end. His death was an act of lucidity," director Carlo Lizzani told ANSA.

Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa scores Hollywood film role

Former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa, who recently took over the internet as Old Spice guy, is going to Hollywood! The YouTube sensation has landed role in the upcoming Jennifer Aniston-Jason Bateman comedy, 'Horrible Bosses.'

Production to begin on Season 2 of 'Deal'

Los Angeles -- CBS says production is set to begin this month on Season 2 of its new version of the classic U.S. game show "Let's Make a Deal."

The daytime show is to go before the cameras starting July 9 in Los Angeles with comedian Wayne Brady returning as host.

New episodes are to start airing in September, the network said.

The original "Let's Make a Deal" was an enormous hit when Monty Hall served as host from 1963-1977.

While later versions aired in syndication and prime time, the game show is best remembered for the years hosted by Hall, who serves as a creative consultant on this latest version, CBS noted.

Copyright 2010 United Press eInternational, Inc. (UPI).

Apatow working on Pee-wee Herman movie

Los Angeles -- Screenwriter, director and producer Judd Apatow is developing a big-screen vehicle for comedy icon Pee-wee Herman, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Pee-wee portrayer Paul Reubens is writing the road picture with actor-writer Paul Rust, whose film credits include "Inglourious Basterds" and "I Love You, Beth Cooper," the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

Apatow is to produce, but not direct the new Pee-wee movie.

Reubens played the character onstage, in the films "Pee-wee' Big Adventure" and "Big Top Pee-wee," and on the children's television show "Pee-wee's Playhouse," but he stopped appearing as his alter ego after being arrested for indecent exposure in Florida in 1991.

B'way's 'Next Fall' to wrap up July 4

New York -- The Broadway play "Next Fall" is to close in July after playing 26 previews and 132 regular performances, the show's producers say.

The stage comedy was presented by Elton John and David Furnish, written by Geoffrey Nauffts and directed by Sheryl Kaller.

It will play its final performance at Manhattan's Helen Hayes Theatre July 4.

"Next Fall" had its world premiere in a Naked Angels production, opening to critical acclaim June 3, 2009, at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater and played a sold-out run off-Broadway through Aug. 8, 2009.

Starring Patrick Breen, Maddie Corman, Sean Dugan, Patrick Heusinger, Connie Ray and Cotter Smith, the play transferred to Broadway and opened March 11.

Comedian Daniel Tosh plans U.S. tour

New York -- Daniel Tosh, star of TV's "Tosh.0," is planning a U.S. stand-up comedy tour this fall, Comedy Central announced.

"Tosh Tour Twenty Ten: A Comedy Central Live Event" is set to kick off in September in Arizona, then travel to more than 60 cities, with additional shows to be announced.
Tickets are to go on sale Thursday.

Tosh also recently shot an original 1-hour stand-up special in San Francisco, which will premiere Oct. 3 on television. It will then be released with extended material on DVD and CD Oct. 5.

The network also announced the renewal of "Tosh.0" for a third season, which will consist of at least 29 episodes and premiere Jan. 12.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Ricky Gervais to guest star on 'Curb'

Los Angeles -- British comedian Ricky Gervais is to guest star on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" during the U.S. television comedy's 's eighth season, said.

Gervais, 48, is the co-creator and star of the original British version of "The Office" and the comedy "Extras," which aired on HBO. His film credits include "Night at the Museum," "Ghost Town" and "The Invention of Lying."

He served as host of this year's Golden Globe Awards ceremony.

The Live Feed said Gervais will play himself in an episode of "Curb" to run in the second half of Season 8.

Gervais and "Curb" creator and star Larry David served together as panelists on a March episode of the reality relationship program "Marriage Ref."

Hasselhoff set for Comedy Central roast

New York -- Comedy Central says it will roast actor David Hasselhoff in Los Angeles for a special to be aired this summer.

"The Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff" is scheduled for Aug. 15.

"I'm honored that Comedy Central is going to get 'Hoff' on me," Hasselhoff said in a statement Wednesday. "I have always been a major fan of roasts, dating back to the days of the 'Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts.' Laughter is the best medicine. Bring it on! I'm ready to take the heat."

'Lost' star Fahey lands role in 'Texas'

Los Angeles -- Former "Lost" co-star Jeff Fahey has been cast in the small-town comedy "Dadgum, Texas," the movie's producers, Terran Enterprises, announced Friday.

Charles Huddleston is directing the film, which stars Michele Martin as Jennie Lee "Baby" Magee, a young woman "fixin' to get herself hitched," and Martin Morales as her flamboyant wedding designer, Sanchez Horowitz, Terran said in a news release.

Fahey co-stars as Jennie Lee's father, while Dana Wheeler-Nicholson plays her mother and Peggy Stewart her grandmother.

Principal photography is under way in a small town outside Austin, Texas, the producers said. The film is to be released next year.

Fahey played pilot Frank on "Lost."