Pharrell Williams just can't lose. The singer and songwriter is set to join The Voice this fall when the show returns for its seventh season; he'll replace original coach CeeLo Green.
Over the past year, you'd be hard pressed to turn the radio on and not hear Williams — he had his own solo hit, "Happy," as well as the collaborations "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk and "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke — so it no surprise that NBC jumped at the chance to have him join the talent competition. "His dominance in record sales in 2014, coupled with his incomparable accomplishments in the world of fashion and design, make him an irresistible addition to The Voice family," says Paul Telegdy, the head of alternative and late night programming for NBC Entertainment.
NBC hasn't announced yet whether Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton will return to the show next season. Catherine Garcia
For the second night in a row on Tuesday and early Wednesday, hundreds of migrants tried to force their way into the Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, France, in a desperate bid to jump a ride on freight trains to Britain. One of the migrants, reported to be a Sudanese man age 25 to 30, died in Tuesday night's attempt, probably hit by a truck leaving a train from Britain. More than 2,100 people tried to rush the Eurotunnel on Monday night, and eight others have died attempting to stow aboard the trains to Britain since June.
Most of the migrants — from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Syria, Sudan, and North Africa — "plan to seek asylum when they arrive in Britain or ask for protection as refugees," explains The New York Times. "They say they are choosing to go there because they have relatives there, speak some English, or believe they are more likely to get housing once they apply for asylum. It is not clear whether that belief is true."
Their attempts are causing delays on passenger service through through the Eurotunnel and even longer ones for commercial trucks. That, rather than the migrant crises, was the focus of British Prime Minister David Cameron's response. "I have every sympathy with holidaymakers who are finding access to Calais difficult because of the disturbances there, and we will do everything we can to work with the French to bring these things to a conclusion," he said from Singapore. Britain and France have pledged millions of dollars to increase fencing and security at the Calais terminal. Peter Weber
Jimmy Kimmel's "pedestrian question" on Tuesday's Kimmel Live was whether the random people his crew stopped on the street had any nude pictures of themselves on their phones. The game involves stopping the interview right before the pedestrian answers and having the audience guess yes or no. There's not a lot to go on — first name and where he or she is from, and of course, what they look like — and there's some sizable element of the audience that seems to pick its response based mostly on what they want the answer to be. What to guess about an attractive young woman from Canada, for example? Or an older, bearded man from Australia? You can play along below. Peter Weber
All those questions you wanted Jon Stewart to answer (and many you never considered) about The Daily Show? On Tuesday, he said he was happy to answer them — but he's kind of a joker, so it took a bit of duress for him to come out with the truth.
The heavy hand was administered by correspondents Hasan Minhaj and Jordan Klepper, using their bad-cop, bad-cop routine. And the forms of torture are for the Daily Show fans. First comes the New York pizza cut with a knife and fork, then a short reel of Jon Stewart's acting career, bad Springsteen improv, and then the coup de grace, which really is disgusting. Watch below and learn what Stewart draws on those blue pads, who his favorite guests have been, and what finally makes Minhaj and Klepper end the interrogation with cries of "TMI." Peter Weber
New York prison worker Joyce Mitchell confessed to helping inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NBC News reports, drawing from documents obtained through a freedom of information act. Her confessions, made June 7, 8, and 10, contain some pretty lurid details.
Mitchell told state and federal investigators that she had smuggled Matt and Sweat in contraband and agreed to pick them up after their escape "because I was caught up in the fantasy." She knew, she said, that after the escape, Matt was going to kill her husband, Lyle, whom the inmates called "the glitch." She sent sexually explicit photos of herself to Sweat, she said, but only had sexual contact with Matt.
That started in April, Mitchell said, when she and Matt were alone in the prison tailor shop, where both Mitchell and her husband worked. "It startled me, she said. "He kissed me with an open mouth kiss. I didn't say anything because I was scared for my husband, who also works for the facility."
At Matt's request, she later performed oral sex on the inmate and "also groped his genitals in several instances, using a large prison coat to disguise their activities," The New York Times summarizes, citing the same statements from Mitchell. NBC News provides more detail: "Matt would come to her desk wearing a big coat in which he had cut a hole so that Mitchell could touch his genitals."
Mitchell told investigators that she "enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me and the thought of a different life," but got ill from worry as the escape neared, ultimately going to the hospital instead of picking Matt and Sweat up in her Jeep with supplies, as planned. Matt was later killed, Sweat captured. "I know I had agreed to help them escape and run away with them, but I panicked and couldn't follow through with the rest of the plan," Mitchell said. "I really do love my husband and he's the reason." Peter Weber
Sometimes at the beginning of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart obliquely brings up some conversation he had with the audience before the show. And now that Stewart's long run is ending, Comedy Central is pulling back the curtain a bit, posting a short highlight reel of Stewart's warm-up banter before the show begins. In the Q&A sessions featured in the video below, Stewart fields questions about his New Jersey game reserve, hummus, and whether he will return to stand-up comedy after he leaves The Daily Show (it sounds like 'yes').
And then somebody asked him about his "worst or funniest mistakes as a rookie on one of your first shows." Stewart started out philosophically, insisting that he never considers any flubs mistakes, but then he told this story:
We did do, my second week of doing a talk show at Paramount, we did a Hitler sketch.... We thought this would be really funny... that Hitler had just been in hiding, and was now coming out to do the talk show circuit. So I just said, "Ladies and gentlemen, unbelievable guest tonight, you know, I can't believe it: Adolf Hitler." And he comes out dressed as Hitler, with the mustache, and he does this [Nazi salute] to the crowd, and you can imagine, the crowd is like, "Booooooo! Boo Hitler! We don't like Hitler!" So we throw to commercial — two seconds later, the stage managers goes, 'There's a phone call for you.' Paramount executives in Los Angeles had been watching it and, like, literally said, "We will cancel you tonight if you don't pull that." [Stewart, Daily Show]
If you've never seen a taping of The Daily Show, this is probably the closest you're going to get, at least in the Jon Stewart era. Watch below. Peter Weber
Late Tuesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) filed a "motion to vacate the chair," a parliamentary measure seeking to unseat House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). In his motion, Meadows accused Boehner of having "endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making" and using "the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker."
Meadows should know — he was briefly stripped of his chairmanship of a House subcommittee after voting against a measure Boehner backed, being reinstated only after fellow House conservatives caused a ruckus. But he says he isn't sure he will ever try to bring his motion to a vote, intending it more as the "impetus to have a discussion, a family discussion," among House Republicans about "how we can make sure that every voice, every vote matters."
The move is extremely rare but not unprecedented. In March 1910, Rep. George Norris (R-Neb.) tried to oust Speaker Joe Cannon (R-Ill.), but failed after a two-day marathon session that ended with Cannon himself moving to declare his chair vacant and winning the vote when it failed to pass. Cannon was reputedly much more domineering than Boehner, but the failed coup did succeed in greatly curbing his power in the House. As Meadows is surely aware. Peter Weber
Harry Potter, the fictional boy wizard, turns 35 on July 31. To wish him an early happy birthday, and scar any Harry Potter fans watching The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon had Simon Pegg on to imagine the mess that would be a 35-year-old inebriated Ron Weasley. "Drunk Ron Weasley" draws pretty heavily from the Dudley Moore school of drunk Britons, but Pegg's "10 points for Gryffindor!" ad-lib is pretty good. Watch the debauchery and shattered childhood dreams below. Peter Weber