“PARKS AND RECREATION” REUNITES FOR CORONAVIRUS EPISODE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Parks and Recreation” is making a comeback. But it’s for one episode only – and for a good cause. The original cast of the sitcom is reuniting for a COVID-19-related fundraiser. It will feature Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman and Adam Scott and the rest of the P&R bunch – and will air Thursday at 8:30 p.m. eastern on NBC. The story line dovetails with the coronavirus crisis as Poehler’s character Leslie Knope tries to stay in touch with her buds – while following social distancing rules. Donations made during the show will go to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. It will help replenish food banks that have been put under stress caring for those affected financially by the pandemic.
CHICAGO TAVERN FEATURED IN SNL SKETCH STRUGGLES
CHICAGO (AP) – A Chicago bar that inspired a “Saturday Night Live” sketch decades ago is struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Like many eateries around the world, the Billy Goat Tavern has seen its income dry up because of stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of the virus. The eatery has insurance, but many companies won’t cover losses due to the pandemic. An attorney for the tavern is suing to force insurance companies to pay. The Billy Goat Tavern was featured in a classic SNL sketch featuring John Belushi and Bill Murray. It’s the one where patrons order everything except the house specialties: “Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger!” and “No Coke … Pepsi!”
ASHTON KUTCHER AND CORONAVIRUS TESTING
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – It’s one thing for a famous actor to call for more coronavirus testing. But it’s another thing for an actor to recommend a firm to get a state contract to do COVID-19 testing. In Iowa, Ashton Kutcher was asked by governor Kim Reynolds to do a PSA urging residents to stay home. He ended up telling her about a friend with ties to a testing company – and that firm ended up with a $26 million no-bid deal with Iowa to do COVID-19 tests. Critics of the move wonder how Kutcher got the governor’s ear, given that they feel Iowa has been slow to consult state health experts about curbing the outbreak.
WHITNEY HOUSTON BIOPIC IN THE WORKS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – There’s no release date. No cast has been named – and no studio has claimed it. But a feature film about Whitney Houston’s life is in the works. The screenwriter who did “Bohemian Rhapsody” will script the film, which is being guided by Houston’s estate and her longtime producer Clive Davis. A statement from Davis says “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” will be “frank” about Houston’s troubles with drug abuse and her failed marriage to R&B star Bobby Brown.
FIRED STAR OF “THE CHI” ARRESTED IN MISSSISIPPI
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) – A fired star of the hit Showtime series “The Chi” (shy) is in trouble with the law in Mississippi. Jason Mitchell faces drug and weapons charges after police in Gulfport did a traffic stop on his vehicle Wednesday. A search of his vehicle yielded about two pounds of marijuana, 1,300 doses of Ecstasy – and a two automatic weapons with extended magazines. He’s free on bond but faces several charges, including possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a felon.
SOUTH DAKOTA RACES TO BE HELD W/O FANS
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – It’s a major reversal for two speedways based in South Dakota. The tracks have decided they will bar spectators from the events this weekend after all – because of the coronavirus. The raceways had said they’d open to fans for the races, one of which was sold out. But South Dakota governor Kristi Noem warned fans about showing up – and the tracks relented. Fans who bought tickets for the races will be given refunds.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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